School children in Grays have been celebrating the Chinese New Year recently by learning Mandarin and more about the rich culture of China.
The Woodside Academy in Grangewood Avenue in Grays have been teaching Mandarin to their pupils for over four years and the Chinese New Year is always a special event in the calendar.
Celebrations started during the February half- term holidays, when Year 6 were invited into school for special learning booster classes. After their extra classes they cooked their own Chinese meal.
Once classes were back at school they began working with Li Binglei, the school’s Chinese Language Assistant, on New Year related activities, including learning to sing and play the song Jasmine Flower in Mandarin.
The school kitchen then cooked a Chinese lunch and children were able to eat Chinese noodles with chopsticks and enjoyed lychees and fortune cookies.
The celebrations then finished with the Chinese lantern festival on Friday, March 2, when the whole school came together to share their Chinese New Year activities in a special assembly for The Year of the Dog.
Woodside Principal Edward Caines said “We were already teaching Spanish but, with our Chinese Language Assistant, we added Mandarin as it is the major world language and our children will grow up in a world where China is also the biggest economy.
“We want to encourage our children to become successful global citizens and to learn about other countries, their language and their culture.”