Children at a north Cumbrian school were given a taste of the bright sights and sounds of Chinese new year.

Castle Carrock primary school was transformed on Wednesday with paper dragons, a feast of Chinese dishes and even a live performance of the Chinese harp, all to celebrate the Chinese calendar’s new beginning.

The Year of the Pig, which officially began on Tuesday, is traditionally celebrated with a feast, parade and music.

Helping to bring the celebration to life, two Chinese sixth form students from Austin Friars school in Carlisle put on a performance for the Castle Carrock pupils, treating them to the traditional sounds of the Chinese harp, called the Gu Zheng.

The pupils also had fun with a paper dragon on Monday, thanks to visitors from Carlisle’s Tullie House museum, who will be holding tomorrow’s city centre parade honouring Chinese new year.

And pupils were busy on Wednesday morning preparing the dishes for their Chinese lunch feast.

Wednesday’s celebrations were particularly significant for Castle Carrock School. Since September 2018, the village school has been developing a link with a school in Guangzhou province in China.

Headteacher Rebecca Stacey explained that the celebration helped to broaden the pupil’s horizons and expose them to the rich diversity of culture found across the world - something made more important by the remoteness of the school.

“Essentially, it widens the children’s perceptions of the world,” she said.

“The children can learn a lot about the wider world through the flavours and the sights and sounds of other cultures.”