Rathmell School has been reaching out into the community – by inviting residents to join the children for lunch on a Tuesday.

Headteacher Chris Boxall said the school was very proud of its lunches and this was a way of thanking the community for its support.

She added: “It is a great opportunity to invite parents, grandparents and members of the wider community into school to sample one of our lunches.

“We have been doing our own lunches for eight years now and they are fantastic. We have a take-up rate of 90 per cent.”

School cooks Michelle Ashcroft and Julie Graham use fresh ingredients to produce a wide range of dishes including roast pork, chicken fricassee, beef cobbler and the children’s favourite, cornflake tart.

“The feedback we have had has been very positive,” said Mrs Boxall.

She added that the community lunches also helped youngsters to meet different people, which developed their social skills.

The scheme will run until Easter, although there are plans to extend it.

Lunches cost £2.80 and must be booked two weeks in advanced by ringing the school office on 01729 840360.