Twenty-three pupils and four teachers from China made a special visit to a Loughton-based school complete a student exchange programme.

Members from Beijing School of Technology arrived at Roding Valley High School to immersed in the daily life of an English student from Wednesday, July 10 to Friday, July 12.

Both schools competed in the annual sports day event where a valiant effort was put from youngsters during in the tug of war contest.

The Beijing pupils were partnered with over 60 Roding Valley High School volunteers in order to take part in their daily timetable of lessons.

The trip was closed with a farewell assembly, at which students were invited to present their experiences and insights.

Peter Melvin, head of languages at Roding Valley High School, who organised the exchange, said: “I’m extremely proud of our students for how warmly they welcomed our visitors and impressed by the young Chinese students who have thrown themselves into the experience whole-heartedly.

“This has been an enlightening experience for both sets of students, as they have developed a greater understanding of each other’s cultures and languages.”

The exchange is part of Roding Valley High School’s wider commitment to teaching foreign languages and encouraging the experience of different cultures.

It comes just days before the school’s Languages Day, where students will study a variety of languages, such as Japanese, Mandarin and Gujarati. Sharon Jenner, headteacher at Roding Valley High School, said: “The exchange trip was such a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience, first-hand, the wider world and the diversity within it, whilst also representing our school and showcasing our values.

“I look forward to seeing our students pass on this enthusiasm for culture and languages to the pupils of Whitebridge Primary School as part of our Languages Day.”