TONNES of turkey, sacks of sprouts and piles of puddings were dished up to hundreds of primary pupils at a special seasonal festive feast.

Students from Springfield Academy and Beaumont Hill Academy, Darlington, pulled crackers and listened to Christmas music as they tucked into a traditional festive fayre of turkey, stuffing, gravy, roast potatoes, carrots and sprouts.

The annual event hosted at The Education Village, Darlington, saw pupils take their seats in the main school hall which was decorated with a giant Christmas tree and a large screen showing a roaring log fire.

Community manager Morag Challans, who organised the event, said: “All the children love our Christmas lunch and they really enjoy eating with their friends in a party atmosphere.

“It takes about two hours to set all of the tables, putting out the crackers and decorations, and it always looks spectacular when it’s finished.

“It’s really lovely to see the children faces when they come in the hall and it puts everyone in the festive mood ready for the wind down to Christmas.”

Led by head girl Gemma Challans, 12 volunteer prefects from Haughton Academy, helped to serve and clear away all 286 meals, assisted by teachers and teaching assistants.

“I really enjoy being able to help out at school events and the Christmas lunch is one of the best ones of the year,” said Gemma.

“Although there were a lot of meals to get out, all of the prefects did a great job and everyone got served on time.

“The younger pupils have been saying how nice the food is and most of them have even been eating their sprouts.”