Students enjoy a taste of the far east

IT may boast the Great Wall and be home to more than a billion people, but now China is dearer to the hearts of 100 Norfolk youngsters.

IT may boast the Great Wall and be home to more than a billion people, but now China is dearer to the hearts of 100 Norfolk youngsters.

While a school trip to Asia could rarely be balanced in the accountancy books, one school got over this stumbling block by bringing the spirit of the orient into the classroom.

Children at Ashill VC Primary School, near Watton, spent all last week soaking up the look, taste and culture of the world's biggest country.

Chinese artist Chen Hong stopped by to teach the five to 11-year-olds the delicate art of calligraphy, while a group of five Chinese UEA students ran workshops focusing on subjects like day-to-day life and Chinese music.


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On the last day all 99 pupils, and school staff, arrived at the school in Chinese costume and enjoyed a Chinese Fan Dance from students at King's Lynn's King Edward VII School.

And the week climaxed with a sponsored chop-stick-a-thon - where youngsters were given three minutes to shift as many objects with chopsticks as possible, raising funds for International China Concern.

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The school's annual multi-cultural weeks focuses on a different nation each year, and packs five days with activities that veer from sampling the food and practicing origami to learning about the geography and lifestyle.

'Not all of our pupils can afford to go abroad and this gives a taste of a different culture and way of life,' said Helen Blaver, school secretary and one of the organisers.

'They absolutely love it, it's a bit different so they get really involved and take it all on board.'

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