Heddon pupils celebrate British heritage

The Royal Wedding inspired a Northumberland first school to stage a truly British celebration

A NORTHUMBERLAND school has been celebrating its British heritage by holding a community fun day with singing, dancing and a traditional cream tea.

St Andrew’s Church of England First School in Heddon-on-the-Wall held a fun day for pupils and parents as well as other members of the community.

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The day, which came at the end of a week devoted to learning about British traditions, involved the singing of traditional North East songs such as Take Me up the Tyne in a Little Boat, and Meet Me on the Corner, as well as traditional country dancing.

Headteacher Andrew Wheatley wanted to give the children a day to remember.

He said: “We wanted to do something as a school to mark the Royal Wedding because it will be a part of history and we wanted the children to remember it.

“It was really nice to spend a week celebrating being British and the traditions we have.

“Hopefully we have done something they will remember.

“It has been really enriching and they have been learning, but in a fun way.”

The morning started with a reenactment in St Andrew’s Church of the Royal wedding, which was followed by a picnic lunch on the field.

More than 100 parents and members of the community turned out to see children from the reception class pretend to be Kate and William in the special service.

After lunch, some of the Year One pupils took part in some country dancing, followed by the Key Stage Two girls who danced around a Maypole and the Key Stage Two boys who had learned some morris dancing.

The choir finished off the entertainment with some local songs, as well as a rendition of the British favourite Jerusalem.

After a talk and prayers with the Bishop of Newcastle, who came to join in the celebrations, the school enjoyed a full cream tea.

Mr Wheatley said: “It went really well.

“ The feedback from parents and other community members was really positive and I think everybody enjoyed themselves.

“We were really lucky with the weather because some of our activities could not have taken place if it had been raining, but it held off.”

Earlier in the week, some of the younger children had learned how to bake scones and Victoria sponges, the staples of an English afternoon tea, while the older children learned about British kings and queens as well as British geography.

Photographs from the day will be on display in the school for its annual open day which takes place at the end of the summer term, where parents and community members are invited to look around the school and see what the children have been doing.

The school is already looking forward to planning its next community event, which will be a celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year.

The children will be taking part in a flower show organised by the parish council and will start raising money to help plant flowers around the village this term.

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