As the year of the Monkey ends and Chinese people around the world prepare to welcome the Year of the Rooster, students from across our area will be joining in the celebrations.

Youngsters at the First Steps Nursery, on Stoke on Trent College’s Cauldon Campus have decorated lanterns and fans and enjoyed a special new year’s eve meal, tasting traditional Chinese food; rice, noodles, vegetarian dishes and prawn crackers.  They also made shapes in play doh infused with Chinese spices and made play doh noodles to try and pick up with chopsticks.

Nursery Manager, Angela Stubbs, said: “It’s important that we encourage our children to experience different tastes from an early age.  The children loved being creative decorating their fans and lanterns.  It is just one part of the ongoing enrichment for our children, not only do they love taking part and having a bit of fun, but they learn a lot from it too”.

The Ofsted registered nursery accommodates children from 12 weeks to 5 years and welcomes applications from learners, staff and the local community.

They also had a visit from BBC Midlands Today reporter Laura McMullen who spoke to the youngsters for her report on the evening news programme.

Students at the College’s Discovery Academy in Stoke on Trent  also compared eating cultures with a specially designed Chinese New Year menu for the day.  Youngsters will choose from Chicken and noodle soup, Beef and mushroom in Szechuan sauce, Chicken and Green Pepper in black bean sauce, Vegetable stir fry and finish off in style with Banana and chocolate pancakes.

Principal, Simon French said: “It is important that our students’ embrace other cultures through their education.  Traditions such as the Chinese New Year celebrations are just one of the many events that our youngsters experience.  They find out about their ways of life and also about nutrition through the food they taste!”

Stoke on Trent college and the College Academies Trust are multi-cultural communities that welcome all nationalities and their different cultures.  Each year, students’ at Stoke on Trent College have the chance to experience the country as part of “Challenge China”.

Head of Learner Resources at Stoke on Trent College, Dave Hopley, said: “Challenge China is an ideal opportunity for our students’ to experience, not only the culture of China, but also the different styles of education that students’ in the country receive.  As well as visiting the temples and the Great Wall of china, students leave a lasting impression with their host country by working on community projects that enrich the local area.  During our visit, students’ discover more about the traditions of the country and support fellow students who return to the area on a visit later in the year!”