School children marked the Chinese New Year of the snake by getting up close and personal with the slithering creatures.

Pupils at Jenny Hammond Primary School in Worsley Road, Leytonstone, were visited by 12 of the animals, including Royal Pythons and Columbian Rainbow Boas, as part of an educational event last week.

They were brought by Sue Coleman, a former Leytonstone resident who once appeared on TV show Britain's Got Talent dancing with her pets under her nickname 'Snakey Sue'.

She now runs a snake sanctuary in Harwich with more than 60 of the creatures.

Deputy head John Yates-Harold, who organised the visit, said: “At our school, we’re always looking for unusual and creative ways to bring the curriculum to life.

"Some children were naturally quite nervous and apprehensive, but Sue’s calm, friendly and confident approach to handling the snakes and interacting with the children put everyone at ease.

"This was the perfect opportunity to challenge and dispel myths, fears and prejudice about these amazing animals".