Pupils given their marching orders

18th June 2004 at 01:00
Military-style morning exercises practised by millions of Chinese every day are being used to keep youngsters at a Huddersfield school fit and focused.

The 10-minute routine, which includes marching on the spot, is a daily part of life at St Aiden's first school in Skelmanthorpe.

The exercises, carried out to Chinese music, were introduced this term after three of the school's five teachers visited Beijing on a British Council-funded research trip.

Jo Martin, deputy head at the 130-pupil school, said she was impressed when she saw 3,000 pupils at one Beijing primary performing the ritual together.

"All the children knew exactly where to stand in the playground, even though no places were marked out," she said. "They copy an instructor or another child standing on a platform, and to see so many youngsters move together really was quite mind-blowing."

All pupils and staff at St Aiden's, including the head, classroom assistants and parent supporters, take part.

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