SCHOOLCHIDREN from a Monmouthshire school put time and effort into hosting their very own international Christmas market and making Christmas presents for those who are less fortunate.

Children of all ages from Gilwern Primary School held an international Christmas market in the run-up to Christmas which was open to the whole village.

They also put together shoeboxes with everyday items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissues and winter items such as woolly gloves and hats that have gone to the homeless in Brynmawr.

More than 100 shoeboxes were put together by teachers and parents at the school, who bought and donated the items.

The work was part of the school's Christmas festivities, with the Christmas market seeing more than 300 people turn up to buy handmade goods made by the children.

Some of the items included Martenitsa rings, which are a Bulgarian small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn, and painted eggs.

Head teacher Roger Guy said each class chose a country and made something associated with that country for the market.

He said: "This was the first Christmas market we have done outside as it grew too big for the inside.

"We are a pioneer school so we are trying to approach the curriculum and this was pupil led learning.

"It was fantastic and because it was so cold it made it very authentic. The children raised around £1,000 which will go back into the school and they also worked out all the expenses."

Deputy head Sue Marles added: "It was a successful event, all the children held their stalls. It ensured that our children became global citizens and enriched their learning."

"By selling products at the International Christmas market it was lovely to see the children applying their skills and knowledge to a real-life situation."

Speaking about the shoebox donations, Mr Guy said: "These have all gone to the homeless adults in Brynmawr. There has been a great response to this from the children.

"Gilwern identifies strongly with Brynmawr and part of our catchment is on the edge of Brynmawr.

"The children wanted to support something which is very local. There are people who need that extra bit of support.

"Each shoebox is a culmination of everyone's work and it's nice to have something if you're on the street.

"We have made been very successful in our efforts this year."