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Children get a taste of army life - with a difference

Children at Cuddington Croft have had found their school under military occupation recently - thanks to the school's own replica of China's famous terracotta warriors.

Year Two pupils at the school have been looking at China as part of their studies, and as well as more obvious topics like the Chinese New Year, they decided to build their own slightly smaller scale replica of the world-famous attraction in the city of Xian.

Teacher Kerry Stringer said the China project had proved a real winner with pupils across the curriculum. "As a school we have been thinking about targeting boys  for writing and how to engage them in their learning. We though that themes such as the Terracotta Army and the Great Wall would really motivate the boys to write and spark their interest," she explained.

The scheme seems to have worked. "The children have really enjoyed the topic so far, and produced some fantastic texts about the purpose of the Terracotta Army," she explained, "and most enjoyably of all, they've created their own class army, with each warrior having individual features and being markedly different - just like the real thing."

Other activities lined up include a Chinese dance workshop, the ever-popular Chinese food tasting session, and looking at differences between life in Cheam and a typical Chinese village. The final part of the project will see the children put their accumulated studies to good use as they draw up their own holiday brochures for China.

"It would be nice to think that maybe one day some of them might even get to go there and see the real Terracotta Army," said Ms Stringer. "Then they can see how the school's version compares!".