14th April 2000 at 01:00
(Photograph) - A day in the life of Grove Road primary school, London borough of Hounslow.

Enter the dragon - it's the Chinese new year. The 215 children at Grove Road primary made their own props and staged their own version of the festival as part of a larger millennium celebration. It started last year when every school in the country was invited to make a metre-square piece of tapestry which when put together would rival the one at Bayeux. Millennium co-ordinator Lizann O'Conor said every pupil jotted down ideas on the themes of "what it means to be British today" and "games and sports we play". Then they made the tapestry using collage, embroidery and applique and now it is on display either in the school or Hounslow civic centre. The Chinese new year celebration tells how a sick emperor is cured by magic ingredients and was created after visits from a Chinese musician and a dancer who taught the pupils a fan dance. Hounslow has a large Chinese community but onlytwo attend Grove Road. Lizann O'Conor said this was why they had chosen to celebrate it rather than a festival belonging to one of the larger groups at the multi-ethnic school where 21 languages are spoken. And still to come in this year's millennium celebrations: improvements to the playground and, for a grand finale, a Christmas show.

Snaps by the staff

Abdul and Ekaman carry the millennium tapestry to the civiccentre. Musicians from Years 4 to 6 accompany the dragon dance. The emperor is cured. he declares the year of the dragon and appoints the golden peacock as the royal bird. Sheena Padaruth and Alexander Satterfield go in search of magic ingredients to cure the emperor. Behind them Atika Hamadouch, gurnek Lalli and Taha. Bokhari narrate the story. Rahim Kara is under there as the front end of the dragon. The robbers (Priya Dhunna and Rianna Beckford) try to steal the potion that will cure the emperor. The butterflies perform a Chinese fan dance.

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