Shropshire Star

Telford pupils celebrate Year of the Tiger with Chinese workshops

A school welcomed in the Year of The Tiger as it celebrated Chinese New Year with workshops.

Grace Tong hosts a Chinese New Year workshop at Millbrook Primary School in Leegomery

Grace Tong from the Chinese Arts Cultural Centre, based in Telford, visited Millbrook Primary School in Leegomery to mark the tradition.

Pupils took part in workshops and even tasted Chinese food for lunch, as Grace showed them the importance of respecting different cultures.

"The children took part in lots of different activities throughout the day, including Chinese fan dancing, dragon dancing, ribbon dancing and storytelling, as well as singing," Grace said.

"Activities were set up for each class, year by year, with each group doing something different.

Year four and five pupils enjoyed the workshops

"The pupils were able to ask questions and I told them about the importance of Chinese New Year and all the ways it is celebrated in China and around the world. The feedback was really positive."

Kirsty Holden, from Telford & Wrekin Council's multicultural team, said the event was important to show pupils how diverse Telford is.

"The funding for these sessions came from the police and crime commissioner John Campion, so that Telford & Wrekin schools can learn more about Chinese culture," she explained.

"The cultural centre is actually offering free Mandarin lessons through this funding which take place on a 12-week course. All children throughout Telford and Wrekin can find out more about the course if they are interested.

Pupils enjoyed the workshops

"We are hoping to build cultural links, and show equality and diversity in the curriculum but also give families the chance to learn together and learn about the wonderful cultures we have here in Telford and Wrekin."

Jo Edwards, deputy headteacher at Millbrook Primary School, said the children loved doing the activities.

"In our school it's so important to us to learn more about different cultures as we have a diverse community here," she said.

"Throughout the year the school celebrates different cultural occasions and learns more about them. The children had a fantastic day – the activities were interactive and kept them interested, it was great.

Grace Tong from Chinese Arts Cultural Centre

"It kept them really engaged which was nice to see. For us, it's about widening our children's understanding of what goes on around the world and building respect for different cultures.

"It also allows us to develop a sense of belonging for people from different cultures here in Telford."

This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1, although celebrations will typically last 16 days, starting from January 31 until February 15.

The final day of the celebrations is marked by the Lantern Festival – many people celebration this festival by letting paper lanterns off into the sky.

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