CHILDREN at a New Forest school have widened their understanding and knowledge of other cultures, while also getting covered in a range of colours from head to toe.

Inspired by teacher Pankaj Sulodia, pupils at Ringwood Waldorf School ended the term by celebrating Holi, the festival of colour.

The historic Indian celebration marks the arrival of spring.

Originally a Hindu festival, with an important meaning and purpose, it has since grown into one of the most important festivals in India.

Holi took place on March 2 this year, but due to the snow and ice across the south coast, the school had to postpone their celebration until last week.

To mark the occasion around 60 pupils gathered in the playground to take part in the traditional act of playing with dry powdered colours, which the children produced themselves.

Younger classes explored the powdered colours by making Rangoli patterns on the floor of their classrooms.

Mr Sulodia said the festival provides important cultural lessons for the children.

"I wanted to make sure there was an educational aspect to it so in the build up to Holi we have covered the history of the festival, which dates back to ancient India and Hinduism," he said.

"It is a very important festival both religiously and culturally, and I think it great that the children have taken to it so well.

"I come from a Hindu family and I spoke to the children about what that meant and the different culture.

"For me the festival is all about showing it doesn't matter about one particular group or race of people. Everyone is equal."

The school first marked Holi in 2016, when pupils from Mr Sulodia's class were taught about the festival before marking it with the colour celebration.

They were spotted by other classes who wanted to take part and it has now taken place as a whole school event for two years.

To give the children a direct link to Indian culture £1 donations were collected to take part in the celebration and the total raised was sent to the Manzil children's charity in Delhi, India.