HIS hardworking reindeer needed a day off, so Santa dropped in to Mere School by helicopter instead.

Pilot Steve Cooke from RNAS Yeovilton brought him safely down on the field where 218 excited pupils were waiting to greet him, along with parents, grandparents and the little ones from Mere Pre-school.

“It was very exciting,” said headteacher Catriona Williamson.

“He brought chocolate coins for the children, and they had a chance to walk round the helicopter and ask questions.

“He was asked what had happened to the reindeer, and he said they needed a rest.”