PRIMARY school pupils campaigning for animal rights held a question and answer session with the star of a hit documentary.

Pupils at Tottington Primary School had the opportunity to speak to Dr Jeffrey Ventre, a former SeaWorld trainer who starred in Blackfish, via Skype.

In the documentary, which focuses on the controversial captivity of killer whales and its dangers for both humans and whales, he recalls his experience at SeaWorld.

The connection was organised by the school’s pioneering year four teacher Simon Hunt, who has previously won prizes and attracted worldwide attention for his technology-driven methods.

Mr Hunt did similar work campaigning for animal rights at his previous school in Bolton and even visited the European Parliament to lobby MEPs.

His work also received the support of former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, who read about it online.

Now a practising medical doctor, Dr Ventre faced questions from inquisitive Year Three and Year Four pupils at the school, in Moorside Road.

The youngsters came up with their questions after watching clips from Blackfish and researching the issues surrounding the captivity of killer whales as part of their Oceans topic.

Mr Hunt said: “Because of what I did last time, I made contacts and was able to get hold of him.

"It’s something I’m passionate about and it fits into our topic, but I don’t put my views on pupils.

"I always show them both sides of the argument. It is an important skill to listen to both sides before you make your mind up. The questions the children asked were really good.

"I use Skype a lot because it’s free and it doesn’t take a lot of time for people. I go to other schools and discuss how you can use Skype in school because you can’t always go on a trip to the Arctic, but you can speak to an Arctic explorer.

“The kids really enjoy it. They can see the benefits of what they are doing.”

Following the Skype session, the pupils each wrote a letter to the Dutch government, as well as creating a poem titled ‘Free Morgan’, accompanied by a video. The poem is inspired by the ‘Free Morgan’ campaign, which aims to lobby the Dutch government to release an orca from an amusement park in Tenerife.

The video can be found at