LAST Wednesday, Winton Primary and Early Years Class held a Celebration of Chinese Culture Day.

This was an event which was the culmination of extended planning by school staff and pupils. Euan Lees, who is North Ayrshire’s Community Development Officer, Joe Chan from the Chinese Community in Irvine, staff from the Asian Association of Culture, Commerce and Education in Europe (AACCEE) and parents of children in the school.

The day began with a wonderful assembly where invited guests, which included Consul General Pan Xinchun from the Chinese embassy in Edinburgh, Provost Ian Clarkson, staff from the AACCEE and members of the Chinese community were piped into the hall by Mackenzie Smith, a pupil of Ardrossan Academy.

Consul General Pan Xinchun gave a speech about China and its relationship with Scotland. Primary 6 pupils then acted out the story of the Chinese Zodiac.

Some dancers from the AACCEE performed a traditional Chinese dance and everyone sang Auld Lang Syne in Scottish with Sally Leung from AACCEE then leading the Chinese guests in the Mandarin version.

Throughout the day, the children had the opportunity to take part in a variety of workshops celebrating Chinese culture.

During the calligraphy workshop, pupils used water or ink to learn to write Chinese characters and spell their name in Mandarin; in the Tea Dance workshop, they learned a dance using red ribbons and then were shown how to conduct a traditional tea ceremony and were even given the opportunity to taste Chinese tea.

Further workshops included paper lantern making, exploring China using ICT, drawing a storyboard of the story of the Chinese Zodiac and a cookery workshop run by three parents: Yan, Ya Ming and Ping. During lunchtime, pupils ate a variety of Chinese food and even tried using chopsticks.

In the afternoon the whole school came together to see a Chinese Dragon Dance.

This was the highlight of a fantastic day which was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved.

The school wishes to thank all the partners who were involved in making it such a memorable occasion.