Donkeying around is top of the timetable at Armfield Academy Primary school - with the full approval of staff.
Youngsters at the South Shore school in Blackpool received a visit from some very special friends.
Two donkeys visited the Lytham Road facility, much to the delight of pupils and staff.
Parents were told that the reception class children had written to Santa whereupon he had been asked to spare two of his reindeer, but “they were resting in preparation for the big day”.
However, instead two of his donkeys, Cochise and Shane, were given well earned time off to visit the school to meet the children.
Armfield children were able to pet the animals and have a short ride around the school grounds, chaperoned by stable hands.
Headteacher Mark Kilmurray, reminded the children about their own nativity play and that donkeys capture the essence of the nativity, as many believe Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem, by donkey.
The school is part of the Fylde Coast Academies Trust and John Topping, FCAT community relations and estates lead, said this was the second time the school had arranged a visit from the animals.
He added: “For a couple of weeks leading up to the end of term our youngsters were learning about the nativity story and the children drew pictures of the donkeys with some capturing their experience and short ride in their striking artwork as well a writing stories and poetry. around the theme.”