Food fights, water pistols and football - no it’s not your child’s next birthday party, but the latest way to test out their new school uniform.
Exhausted parents would have had sympathy with staff at West Town Primary Academy as 25 pupils were let loose by Marks and Spencer to test out their latest school range.
And the children, aged six to 11, did not waste their chance to cause mayhem and see if the uniforms were really as water-proof and resistant to food stains as the M&S store in Queensgate claimed.
The fun began with super soakers to see if the clothes were water repellent. Pupils took it in turns to soak one another to see how well the uniforms kept them dry, replicating the moment when a child is caught in the pouring rain without a coat.
Next came the food fight, 30 minutes of children pummelling each other with cake to see if the chocolate would leave stains or slide off without leaving a trace.
Aliha (8) said: “We were really surprised that the shirt didn’t get messy, even though the chocolate was melting.”
The M&S trousers were next in the firing line to see if they were crease resistant.
It was an opportunity not to be passed up for the children as they flung, squeezed and jumped all over them to see what folds could be made.
For a group of excitable youngsters, to follow that up would be hard, so chocolate Percy Pigs were offered out for the next challenge - to see who could do up their cufflinks the quickest.
The winning group managed to get in and out of the stretch cuffs in one minute and 56 seconds to bag the prize.
The final two challenges involved shoes. First up was a penalty shoot-out to see if the shoes would scuff up badly or be easy to clean.
This was followed by a sniff test to see if the footwear had remained fresh.
“We thought the shoes would be really smelly because everyone had worn them but they weren’t!” said Gabrielus, aged eight.
So what were the results of the tests? M&S, as expected, claims the uniforms are very much as resilient as promised.
But what did Catherine Brooks, art specialist at West Town, make of the day?
She said: “Everyone had such fun testing out the school uniform. We were so pleased to be approached to take part.
“M&S has clearly thought about the common issues parents have with uniform and created a child proof selection of clothes to make them last long, which is every parent’s dream come true.”
The uniform is available now at M&S in Queensgate.
Vicky Spurling, the store’s home and children commercial manager, said: “I want to thank everyone at West Town Primary Academy – the children were great and really got involved, and the staff were so helpful all through the process.”