PRIMARY pupils aged just nine and ten have returned from the school trip of a lifetime to China.

Youngsters from Bishop Aldhelm's in Poole visited primary schools in Chengdu and Chongqing and also got the chance to explore famous landmarks.

Their visit included a trip to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Bishop Aldhelm's sees global learning as an important way to inspire, motivate and educate children.

The aims of the trip were to develop critical and creative thinking, self-awareness and open-mindedness, understanding of global issues and optimism for a better world.

The trip was organised in conjunction with OneWorld Education and Bishop Aldhelm's has become a Global Youth Ambassador Project School. Many pupils at the school are now taking lessons in Mandarin.

Head teacher Laura Dickson said: "After such a successful trip, it is hoped that this is the first of many trips overseas for Bishop Aldhelm’s. I also hope that this opens the door for other primary schools to follow our schools lead when travelling abroad."

Director of OneWorld Education UK, Mike Bennett said: "We have had the pleasure in working with Bishop Aldhelm’s CE Primary School over the last two years. The school and pupils have embraced the role of becoming a global citizen and putting into practise what they have learnt by hosting students, where English isn’t their first language.

"Several of their teachers have joined us in China, teaching in the summer camp, and we are so pleased that the school opened up the opportunity to their pupils to experience the wonders in China, a fantastic opportunity and memories to last a lifetime."

One of the pupils, 10-year-old Hannah, said: "Going to China was the best experience of my life. The country is beautiful, the people are so friendly, I learned so much about the culture and the food was amazing. This is an experience that I’ll never forget."