LUCKY schoolchildren from Drove Primary School were treated to a school dinner with a difference yesterday.

A group of 28 youngsters were taken to the Lalbagh Restaurant in Rodbourne where they were able to make traditional Indian food, before tucking into the feasts they put together with their own hands.

On the menu was chicken Tikka, onion bhajis and naan bread, all prepared with help from the pupils from the reception class.

The day was part of a school topic being run by Drove to help teach the children, aged between four and five, all about different cultures, something which is very important to the school.

“We are running a monthly topic on cultures because we are a school with pupils from many different cultural backgrounds,” said Emma Rudman, who is a reception teacher.

“We asked the children about what things they would like to learn about and a couple of them said food so we have come here so they can learn all about how Indian food is prepared.

“In the kitchen they all got to help out with making the naan bread which they all seemed to enjoy and then they all seemed to like the food after.

“It has been a fantastic experience and it’s been nice to have some lovely food. The Lalbagh has been very good to us and we are grateful for their help.”

During today and tomorrow the rest of the year group will get to head down to the restaurant to try their hand in the kitchen.

“Many of the children will have seen the food or been to an Indian restaurant before but never had chance to make it for themselves,” said Emma.

“For some of them though they will never have seen this so it is great to be able to get some hands on experience which they will most likely not get elsewhere.

“Next week we are going to ask all the children to bring in some item of food from home so we can have a look at lots of different foods from different cultures.”

It is the first time the restaurant has hosted children from a school but the joint owner has said he is happy to do it again.

Abdul Kahhar said: “It is good for the children to see how traditional Indian food is cooked and prepared so we have invited the school down here to see how everything is put together.

“It is really good to see a local school giving this experience to their pupils and it is something we will certainly be looking to do again next year.”