Pupils at a Charlton primary school have received formal lessons in a traditional pub card game.

Charlton Manor Primary school, in Indus Road, has announced plans to make card game cribbage part of the curriculum.

Tim Baker, headteacher at Charlton Manor, decided to introduce these lessons after a suggestion from former journalist, Peter Cordwell.

Peter arranged a meeting with Mr Baker to discuss plans to teach the next generation how to play ‘crib,’ a game which is traditionally played by two people and involves playing and grouping cards in combinations to gain points.

Peter said: “It struck me that it would be great to teach it to kids because of the numeracy and concentration involved, and even the dexterity of using a crib board.”

Headteacher Mr Baker immediately saw the benefits in showing his students, who have been raised in a social media era, a skill requiring them to relate to and communicate with each other, and arranged for Peter to teach them every Friday afternoon.

Tim said: “I can remember playing cribbage as a child. As a family we used to play a lot. It’s a great way of getting the family together. It’s also very good for mental maths skills and it helps to bridge the gap across the generations.”

Both men agreed how good it was for families to turn off the technology and get back to playing various card games together.

Peter said: “I think anything that gets children away from their mobile phones, if only for an hour or so, must be a good thing.”

So far, the new lessons have proved challenging.

Peter said: “I’m teaching the children to shuffle, which is not easy in itself.”

He has been showing the youngsters “how to ’peg’ up to 31, how to score and, most important, which cards are best to hold and which to put in your own box or your opponent’s box. And how the 5 of any suit is the best card in the pack”.

The school, which was given Healthy Schools London Gold status in 2014, is known for its unique initiatives, including a ‘secret garden’ where pupils can learn how to grow food, observe wildlife and care for chickens.