NORMAL lessons were put on hold for a day at a Worcester school while pupils tried their hands at a host of different life skills.

The Christopher Whitehead Language College pupils tried Bhangra dancing, Irish dancing and listened to an anti-bullying presentation from Robert Higgs.

They also tried out exotic fruits, tackled self-defence moves and some years learned about sex education and contraception as part of the school's annual Citizenship day.

Eileen Crossey, the school's head of maths who teaches Irish dancing after school, led a session on Irish dancing for year 7s.

The Malvern Road school was visited by 18 students from the nearby Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary School who showed off their moves and taught the older pupils a new routine.

Vijay Mehay of Nachda Sansaar held a Bhangra dancing workshop for the schoo'ls year 8s while Sue Morris, design technology food teacher, introduced the 12 and 13-year old pupils to new tastes.

She said: "They are learning about what makes a portion for their five-a-day and have tried different fruits like custard apples and star fruits.

"They are experiencing fruits from all around the world which they have never tried before."

Headteacher Neil Morris said: "It's a day when we abandon the curriculum and do Duke of Edinburgh, anti-bullying presentations, a multi-cultural day for our year 7s, food-tasting, Bhangra workshops and self-defence classes.

"We always get better attendance on this day than school days.

"That tells you something.

"We are trying to produce good citizens not just exam robots.

"It's about getting on with each other, younger children working with older children and destroying myths that big school is horrible.

"The children go away with new life skills and knowledge."