PARENTS received a shock at Heddington Primary School this afternoon as a donkey, four goats and a Shetland pony joined children for a special end of term nativity.

On returning from the Christmas carol service, nine reception children joined the animals for a live nativity scene whilst the school sang Child in a Manger.

Head teacher Ashley Martin played the piano as the school sang in the playground for the parents with year six pupil, Georgia, completing a solo performance.

Parent Kelly Harford said: "I think it's beautiful, it's the first time they have done it which is really unexpected but it's lovely. They have put a lot of effort into it with the nativity scene too."

Fellow parent, Gemma Edwards, added: "It's a lovely little surprise, my daughter didn't say anything about it to me."

After a quick prayer with local reverend Linda Dytham, the school were dismissed for the Christmas break.

"I'm delighted. I have been planning that, in my head, for two years and it could not have gone any better," Mr Martin said.

"It went better than all my expectations, seeing the looks on the children's faces, it was a real end of term treat for them to see them animals."