A HEADTEACHER who founded a school celebrated success with pupils for the last time before moving on to pastures new.
Mandy Southwick will leave a legacy at Marchbank Free School, Darlington, as an award will be presented in her name every year to the pupil who demonstrates best the school ethos.
Part of Darlington’s Education Village Academies Trust, Marchbank Free School was set up by Mandy and her colleagues off site to help primary age pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.
The school’s values encompass respect, enjoyment, achievement, citizenship and hard work. The first recipient of the Mandy Southwick Cup was Marcus Wake.
Chief executive of the Education Village Academies Trust Mike Butler told pupils, staff, and families attending the annual awards ceremony: “It is fantastic to recognise the achievements of the pupils and also the person who created Marchbank and made it the beacon of excellence it is today.
“This is the first Mandy Southwick Award and this represents us making a new piece of history for the school.”
Mandy said: “This is the fifth annual awards and the biggest yet. It recognises the many achievements of the children and the extra effort they have put in to their learning.
“This is our biggest ever year group of leavers. We never thought we would see more than ten but this year we have 13 going on to secondary education, seven of who will continue their learning in mainstream schools, which is fantastic.”
Each leaver received a year book chronicling their time at Marchbank. Awards were made to pupils celebrating their efforts, attendance, positive attitude, resilience, kindness and progress.
The audience, who, for the first time, attended the Hullabaloo Theatre for the event, was entertained in spectacular fashion by a host of moving musical performances featuring choirs, groups and solos.