Festive magic occurred at a primary school in when Father Christmas landed in a helicopter on a school playground.

Children at the St Michael’s Church of England Primary School in Larkhill watched as two of the crew from the Royal Airforce (RAF) Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron landed the helicopter with Santa waving at the children who were waiting for his arrival.

Salisbury Journal: Helicopter visit thrills childrenHelicopter visit thrills children (Image: Acorn Education Trust)

Santa, the RAF crew, and support staff were able to stay until the early afternoon with every child from Nursery to Year 6 having the opportunity to sit in the helicopter and to learn about its inner workings.

Santa's flying visit was organised by RAF Squadron Leaders and St Michael's school parents Garry McKay and Liam Glasby. 

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Deputy headteacher for the school, Mrs Webb, said: “Our whole school community has been feeling extra festive since our special visit on Monday, which brought joy to everyone at St Michael’s. I know each child had a fantastic time in the helicopter and were fascinated to learn more about how it worked, while also checking the reindeer were having a good rest before December 25th.

“With so many of our children coming from military families, it was extra special to have the armed forces involved and we are incredibly grateful that they were able to help Father Christmas stop by before we break up for the term.”

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Squadron Leader Garry McKary, added: “It was great getting to meet all of the children, their energy and excitement was infectious. They all had such fantastic questions, and we were surprised to learn that at least one child claimed to be able to fly a helicopter already. The curriculum really has changed since we were in school.”

One child from Year One said: “I can’t believe Santa came to see us when it’s so close to Christmas. It was nice of him to let the reindeer have a day off.” 

Every child, from Nursery to Year 6, had the opportunity to sit in the helicopter, learn about its inner workings and ask questions to the pilots and support team.

While Santa was unable to stay long, he did fit in a visit to Harnham Junior School before flying back to MOD Boscombe Down.