A COLOMBIAN-style carnival came to Alton School as it was transformed for its annual open day festival.

After a morning of making vibrant headwear and masks, face painting and learning Latin American dance moves, the whole school, from nursery-age children through to sixth-formers, took part in an energetic parade through the grounds, featuring an explosion of music, dance and colour.

The school is part of an international network of schools and was celebrating its relationship with its sister school in Barranquilla, Colombia, home to the second largest carnival in the world.

Every February, Alton’s Year 10 pupils are lucky enough to have the chance to visit Barranquilla and experience the giant street party for themselves.

This year, they decided to bring the festivities back to Alton and give a taste of home to the Colombian students in the sixth form, in Alton for two terms as part of the school’s international programme.

Prospective pupils and parents visiting the school were treated to street food and Latin American delicacies made by pupils and encouraged to try their hand at activities in every department, including carnival games, poetry, and puzzles.

There was an array of sporting events on the tennis courts, including a competitive rowing challenge and a fun tennis workshop for some of the prep school classes.

The Combined Cadet Corps’ fieldcraft training in the woods was extremely popular although there was relief all round that they didn’t fire their rifles as ponies from the school’s Equestrian Club had come to join the party too.

The school was filled for the April 28 extravaganza with non-stop music as every band, ensemble, choir, orchestra and soloist either took their turn on the stage in the hall, or busked out in the playground.

Despite the unseasonably cold weather, more than 400 parents and visitors got to enjoy all the entertainment and see the wealth of things on offer.

Alton School headteacher Graham Maher said: “This was a fantastic and joyful celebration of our school and of the great talents and creativity of our students and staff.

“It was also an important recognition of the international dimension we offer our students through relationships with 19 schools around the world.”