THESE three lucky girls are enjoying a half-term full of adventure and excitement as they enjoy a taste of the Orient.

The trio – Louise Warburton, Marnie Layne-Hill and Eleanor Hailwood, all aged 10 – flew over to China yesterday as young ambassadors for their school, The Gates Primary in Westhoughton, to offer the hand of friendship.

They travelled over for a 10-day visit accompanied by the headteacher, chairman of governors and school business manager to establish a link with Nanjing Jinling Primary School, also known as Xianlin Experimental School, Nanjing City, Qixis District.

The Chinese hosts are providing meals and accommodation and parents of the trio and the school has funded the flights.

Headteacher Kathryn Coiffait said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the school to establish a long-lasting partnership with our Chinese link school and draw on first-hand experience and communication to enrich our curriculum at The Gates.”

During the stay, the delegation will be meeting their link school, learning Mandarin, the Chinese culture and the education system as well as taking in some cultural sightseeing in the Shanghai during some downtime.

Recently Prime Minister David Cameron urged all schools to consider teaching Mandarin as China is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and one which young people should be aware of.

Business manager Carol Band said: “It is a very exciting time for The Gates Primary School. This is a great opportunity for the school and we hope to be able to send pupils to China every year.”

“The link between the two schools will be beneficial for all the children “Children at the school will learn more about the culture and the language.”

The school developed a link with the country thanks to Moorside Primary School in Manchester. Represent-atives from that school and St Luke’s Primary in Manchester also travelled to China.