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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Tynedale: Pupils master the art of how to be a good citizen

SCHOOLCHILDREN from across Tynedale have been honoured for their public- spirited charity projects.

Alun Davies, from the Association for Citizenship Teaching, left, and Coun. Rad Hare with Alicia Armstrong of St Joseph’s Middle School in Hexham, who received a special award for her charity work.

A special ceremony was held at St Joseph’s Middle School in Hexham earlier in the month, where representatives from five of the district’s schools received awards for citizenship.

Citizenship teachers and students awards were handed out to young representatives from St Andrew’s First School in Heddon, Hexham East First School, St Mary’s RC First School, Haydon Bridge High School and St Joseph’s Middle School.

The awards, from the Association for Citizenship Teaching, (ACT) also recognise that the schools have achieved the ACT Citizenship Quality Standard.

Each group of students gave a short presentation explaining the citizenship project undertaken at their school.

Year four students from St Mary’s First School in Hexham, Matthew Carney, Ruby Watts, Christian Ryan and George McArthur, explained their school’s work with the People’s Kitchen.

Teacher Clare Burkett said: “It’s one of the charities that the school has been involved with before.

“The children wanted to challenge themselves, so they decided they would each use a pound of their own money and see what they could do to make it grow.

“Some of them pooled their money to make it go further and there were some really imaginative ideas.

“The project allowed them to get involved with their school and parish and look at the value of money, see how far it could go and how they could make an impact on the lives of other people.”

Students from Haydon Bridge High School gave an account of their school’s charity day and Hannah Clark, Max Beveridge and Thomas Hindle from Hexham East First School explained how they worked hard to raise awareness for Fairtrade.

Key stage two pupils from St Andrew’s First School, Rebecca Nicholson, Naomi Johnson, Elliot Reay and Connor Richardson, gave a short presentation on their involvement in improving their village’s park with the Welfare Field Force.

And a trio of year eight students from St Joseph’s Middle School, Oliver Cape, Angus Doig and Alicia Armstrong, told the audience about their school’s fund-raising efforts to sponsor the education of a Kenyan orphan.

Alicia was singled out for an award for her extensive efforts in raising funds for the RVI’s Teenage Cancer Unit and local charity, Josie’s Dragonfly Trust.

Head teacher Alan Hodgson said: “The project was to raise money to help Jackson, a little boy in Kenya.

“He wants to go on to university and, in Kenya, the fees have gone up dramatically so we wanted to help him realise his dream.

“One of our key aims here is to make sure that we always do what we can to help others rather than ourselves.”

The ACT Citizenship Quality Standard has also been awarded to another 18 schools in the North-East this year.