28/11/2011 13:00 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Fast Food Kids Learn How To Use A Knife And Fork At Harry Potter Banquets

 Harry Potter banquet in Hogwarts Hall Warner Bros

Couch potato kids are being taught how to use a knife and fork at Harry Potter-style banquets.

The children are so used to wolfing down their dinner in front of the television that they have no table manners.

Now youngsters from one of the poorest parts of Britain are being taught how to sit up straight, keep their elbows off the table and not talk with their mouths full in a newly renovated dining hall that looks like the one in Hogwarts.

Originally, pupils from the Havelock Academy, Grimsby, had a fortnightly banquet to promote a sense of community. But the sessions soon revealed a shocking lack of table etiquette, with pupils not even able to use a knife and fork correctly.

The academy, which is run by housemasters recruited from the armed forces, serves up lunches of shepherd pie and fish and chips to children more used to eating TV dinners and fast food.

"The idea for banquets wasn't part of a programme per se about telling you to use a fork - that came accidentally," Nicholas O'Sullivan, principal of the Academy told the Sunday Times:


It was clear that the experience of a number of these children at home was a television dominated, on your feet, relatively fast food experience.


The school, which is sponsored by David Ross, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, is similar to an independent school with the children being split up into houses and each house enjoying a fortnightly banquet.

The academy believes that by allowing children to have a sit down meal, they are able to improve their confidence and self worth.