Francis the donkey helped launch a whole week of Easter celebrations at Heddington CofE Primary School yesterday as part of a Palm Sunday re-enactment.

The excited pupils welcomed the donkey into the playground waving their handmade paper palm branches, in scenes designed to echo Jesus being welcomed to Jerusalem.

The children followed up the visit by re-creating the last supper today, to remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples before his arrest.

Tomorrow pupils will reflect on Jesus' subsequent crucifixion before their big Easter celebrations on Friday.

The school’s collective worships were led all week by the Rev Philip Bromiley.

Headteacher Ashley Martin said: “It’s about the children reflecting on themselves, their own spirituality and where do they stand in the broad scheme of things.

“The children had a cracking time, they loved it, and they were really excited to see the donkey.

“It’s important to get the true meaning of Easter to the children, that it’s about Jesus dying on the cross, resurrection and new life, not just Easter eggs.”