NURSERY school children put on their dancing shoes this week to learn the ancient art of maypole dancing.

Youngsters at Winchcombe Farm Day Nursery, in Upper Tysoe, near Shipston, removed the Jolly Roger from the flag pole in their forest school and replaced it with ribbons and flowers so they could try the traditional May Day dance.

Nursery manager Rachel Giorgio said: “The children have really enjoyed practicing maypole dancing. While it’s a fun activity, it helps them learn about team work and aids their activate learning by encouraging them to be involved and concentrate, as well as enjoy achieving what they set out to do.”

Maypole dancing is most often associated with May Day celebrations all over the world and commemorates the arrival of spring.

People used to cut down young trees and stick them in the ground in the village to mark the arrival of summer and would dance around them in celebration of the end of winter and the start of the fine weather that would allow planting to begin.