CHILDREN swapped their school dinners for prawn crackers and noodles this week to learn more about Chinese culture.

Pupils from Oakhurst Primary School, Wroughton Infant School, Bridlewood Primary School and Broad Hinton Primary School learnt about Chinese New Year, which enters the year of the snake tomorrow, when they visited Oriental Aroma, in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Meanwhile children from Lethbridge Primary School, who have been learning about China for their topic this term, visited the Jade Garden in Old Town.

A total of 105 children from Oakhurst visited Oriental Aroma on Thursday to learn about Chinese New Year.

They ate a two-course meal and learnt how to use chopsticks as part of the week long event for primary schools across the area.

Owner James Huynh said: “I have invited different schools from Monday to Friday this week. We serve them a two course meal and afterwards we show them how to use chopsticks, fold a paper fan and then we tell them about Chinese New Year and the 12 animal cycle, so it is educational for them.”

James has run the event for free in the past but this year he is asking for donations because he is raising funds for Prospect Hospice in memory of his cousin who passed away last year.

He is hoping to raise £5,000 with various events, including the mayor’s charity ball, throughout February.

Oakhurst were at the restaurant on Thursday and donated £525.

Children from Wroughton Infant School visited on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Bridlewood Primary School and Broad Hinton Primary School visited yesterday.

Prospect Hospice community fundraiser Amy Francombe said:“We are very grateful to James and everyone who supports his fundraising efforts towards our work.”

Year 3 and Year 4 pupils from Lethbridge Primary School visited the Jade Garden on Wednesday and Thursday as part of their topic on China called Deadly Dragons.

Year 4 teacher David Tanner said: “Part of the topic was to visit a Chinese restaurant to sample the food.

“They liked the chicken balls, egg fried rice and prawn crackers. It was a chance to give the children some cultural understanding and also think about the economic angle of how restaurants work. It was a really good trip.”