Pupils become good citizens

Pupils become good citizens

26th July 2013


PUPILS at a primary school have been honoured for the quality of their citizenship work which is setting the standards in a North-East town.

West Park Academy has become the first school in Darlington to receive the ACT Citizenship Quality Standard Award.

The award, presented by the Association of Citizenship Teaching, recognises the efforts schools have made to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding of pupils to play a full part in society as active and responsible citizens.

ACT representative Alun Davies said: “If you look at the curriculums in most schools there are so many subjects to teach but what is really important for children to learn are the personal, social and community responsibilities which they need in every day life.

“West Park Academy has a very active school council and they are always involved in a number of activities helping others in their local and wider community which is a very worthwhile quality.

“Although the school is presented with a certificate to recognise its actions, the real value of the award is the process which it has gone through to achieve it.”

The citizenship quality standard awards were developed in 2011 with 15 schools in Gateshead, Northumberland and Durham taking part in the pilot scheme.

Now in its second year the scheme has spread across the North East to include 20 more schools in Sunderland and Darlington.

School governor Abigail Rowcroft said: “The governors spent a day observing classes in West Park Academy and it was evident that there is a big emphasis on citizenship.

“It goes through every element of the curriculum and we are extremely proud to be the first school in Darlington to achieve this award.”

As well as embedding the values of citizenship into schools, to achieve the award pupils also took part in a community Easter fair making and selling fair trade items the profits of which will be donated to charity.

Assistant head teacher Julie Gibson, who led the citizenship project alongside Year 2 teacher Charlotte Brown, added: “Being part of the Citizenship Quality Standard Award gave our staff and pupils the opportunity to plan and develop something as a school to benefit the whole community.

“Being the first in Darlington to achieve the award means we are leading the way and that we can now provide support to other schools in the town who are looking to take part in the scheme next year.

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