THE ancient art of origami was unfolded for pupils when staff at Holy Cross Primary School organised a Japan Day for them.

Kimonos, kite-making and cherry blossom art kept the pupils entertained all day, while catering staff whipped up tasty dishes with exotic names like chicken soba noodles, vegetable tempura and mama miyuki pantsy.

Head teacher Tony McAteer said: “It is a very multicultural school, we’ve got families from all over the world.”

The school, currently based on two sites at Upham Road and Queens Drive, holds regular international days where different countries and their cultures are examined and celebrated.

“The idea behind it is that the children understand and respect other people and other cultures,” he explained.

It is a popular event because the pupils get the opportunity to wear traditional dress and try new food and activities away from their normal lessons.

“Whenever we ask children what they especially enjoyed about Holy Cross they always mention the international days.”

With the help of a Japanese volunteer from Swindon, the children learned to make sushi wraps and origami geisha girls. They also learned Japanese phrases and songs as well as listening to music.

Some of the older pupils built fact files on the country while others tried their hand at making carp flags.

Next month the children will be sampling the flavours and culture of Greece.