A ST Helens woman recognised for community service by the Queen visited her old primary school to inspire pupils and present awards.
Ms Griffiths, who was recognised for her work in the church and the Girlguiding movement, told the youngsters about the importance of aiming high and setting themselves ambitions such as studying at a top university.
She also told the pupils in years four, five and six that she once sat in their position in an assembly and stressed her belief in doing good to help other people.
The honours awards were given to pupils aged between eight and 11 for social skills modules, which teaches the youngsters how to introduce themselves, hold conversations and be courteous and well-mannered.
The school now plans to expand the children’s university concept with trips to Liverpool University, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Imperial War Museum and further modules for higher levels of study.
Deputy head teacher Mark Thomas said: “It was brilliant to welcome Joanne back as an ex-pupil and she was delighted with the culture of high expectations in school.
“She encouraged everyone to do things to help other people, saying it makes you a better person and the world a better place.
“The children’s university has been set up to encourage our pupils to consider uni in later life. A lot of them are really capable and high achieving but they don’t really feel the uni pathway is suitable for them because no-one in their family has gone.
“We will be holding a graduate ceremony in the summer term at Liverpool University and we are currently looking for sponsorship from local businesses to roll the idea out further so next year there will be Master’s and maybe even doctorate levels for pupils to take.”