Pupils pay respect to loss of life in Pakistan school attack

Pupils pay respect to loss of life in Pakistan school attack

22nd December 2014


TOP students were urged to become peacemakers after they leave the safety of their North-East college to make their way in a world blighted by conflict.

Hundreds of parents, staff and students attending an annual awards ceremony at Carmel College, Darlington, paused to remember the loss of innocence in the Pakistan school attack in which to date 145 pupils and staff perished.

Chief Executive of the Carmel Education Trust and the school’s principal Maura Regan joined the audience in a moment’s reflection in respect of the dead students and teachers.

And special guest and speaker Cyndi Hughes, the chairman of the trust’s directors and Darlington Borough Council’s lead councillor for children and young people, urged students to embrace peace and love in their lives.

“Spend your lives thinking for yourselves and questioning authority,” she said. “You need to do this every single day in your own space and your own lives. Your moral compass will lead you; but be part of the solution not the problem. Be peacemakers.”

A host of awards were presented to last year’s Year 13 as guests celebrated students past successes and their futures at university, college, training or work.
Miss Regan highlighted the college’s 99.4 per cent A Level pass rate, 56 per cent of which comprised grades A*-B. She said students had secured places at 36 universities, from Edinburgh to London.

Others had gained apprenticeships, jobs or were working as volunteers. “I hope we have prepared you with the tools to succeed,” she said. “I hope we have instilled in you a sense of belonging, of wonder, of justice and integrity.”

She also had high praise for staff. “The high expectations which underpin what goes on in college is thanks to the excellent teaching, pastoral care and support from staff,” she added.

The James Corr prize for best overall A Level results was presented to Samantha Downes, Amy Shakeshaft and Andrew Watson, all 18, of Darlington, who each gained two A*s and two A grades.

They are studying degrees in law, psychology and geo-physics at Sheffield, Bristol and Durham universities respectively.

The Caden Cup, which recognises community spirit, went to Rachel Gunnell, 18, of Middleton St George. “I am extremely proud to receive this award,” said Rachel, who hopes to be a doctor one day. “It really is a momentous day for me.”

News in December