Sunderland students celebrated for character-building work at special ceremony

Sunderland students have undergone a range of experiences to build character and a sense of moral purpose.

Monday, 24th June 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 24th June 2019, 7:00 am
St Aidan's Catholic Academy CLIMB award presentation with Sunderland Mayor Coun David Snowdon, Mayoress Dianne Snowdon and headteacher Kevin Shepherd.

Youngsters from St Aidan’s Catholic Academy celebrated completing the school’s new ‘Climb’ programme which sees Year 7 pupils with a special graduation ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland.

The ‘CLIMB’ programme was introduced in September 2018 to year 7 with the aim for all students to undergo a range of experiences to build character, promote personal responsibility, integrity, honesty and a sense of moral purpose. At St Aidan’s they want their students to ‘Celebrate life to the full’.

The Mayor and Mayoress David and Dianne Snowdon attended the event in order to hand out awards to the deserving young men.

St Aidan's Catholic Academy CLIMB award presentation with Sunderland Mayor Coun David Snowdon.

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St Aidan’s Catholic Academy said the school prides itself on three core values: hard work, trust and fairness.

Coun Snowdon said: “It is because the young men at St Aidan’s hold true to these values that outstanding academic results are achieved.”

He went on to praise the academy for being the ‘highest-attaining school for English and Maths in the whole of Sunderland and Washington combined.”

As part of the award, the year group climbed their first real mountain and overcame the demanding, physical challenge of reaching the summit of Walla Crag.

At the end of their ‘climb’ they celebrated their achievement and reflected on their vision of who they want tobe.

Headteacher Kevin Shepherd said: “We don't just want our boys to achieve fabulous exam outcomes, we want more for them.

“It's the extra qualities and skills they demonstrate that will set them apart from others.”

They also attended the Youth Village to reflect on their spiritual journey, completed stretch projects and had the responsibility of holding presentation evenings for members of the public.

The Mayor emphasised that guests attending have commented on how impressed they are by the hard work that goes into putting on these events.

The Mayor was keen to tell the packed audience of parents that alongside work that takes place within the academy, the cohort has also had a huge involvement in projects that are extremely beneficial to the community.

He mentioned that earlier in the year they opened a foodbank in school for the needy and they have also been working in partnership with St Mary’s open house serving meals to those less fortunate within the local area, many ofwhom are homeless.

This year will also see a drive to clean up Backhouse Park and the Year 7 pupils will undertake a litter pick to help serve the local area.

The Mayoress expressed her support for this by promising to help with the effort and get personally involved.

The speech closed by again praising the success and value of the CLIMB programme and how it has created a great sense of what the core values of the academy really mean and it’s clear that hard Work, trust and fairness are implicit in the ethos of St Aidan’s and are the driving force behind the truly excellent GCSE results.