Today we marked Chinese New Year with a host of exciting activities aimed at heightening children's awareness of this fascinating country , its culture and language. We began the day with an assembly, in our beautifully decorated Pre-Prep hall, looking at some of the amazing facts about China: did you know that China’s railway lines could loop around Earth twice or that paper money was invented in China? We learnt about some of the ways that Chinese New Year is celebrated and learnt the story of how and why different animals represent different years in the Chinese zodiac.
Working in house groups the children then got the chance to learn some basic words and phrases in Mandarin: write the Mandarin symbol for their year of birth, draw a Chinese style pig; make a Chinese lantern and to explore the Chinese zodiac story in more detail: examining the characteristics of each of the twelve animals and thinking about whether their characteristics accurately represented our own, or not- younger children did some wonderful descriptive writing about pigs! A well earned lunch had a Chinese theme with children able to try a range of different dishes, from sweet and sour chicken, to egg fried rice to noodles.