As others see us – Sunderland pupils win award for work celebrating different cultures

Pupils from Thornhill School with their winning artwork.
Pupils from Thornhill School with their winning artwork.
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CELEBRATING different cultures has seen Sunderland students scoop a national award.

A team of pupils from Thornhill School were named among the winners of the 2014 Arts and Minds competition, organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK.

Arts and Minds is an annual, UK-wide competition, aimed at promoting race equality and diversity in schools.

Children and young people from primary, secondary and special schools are judged in two categories, art and creative writing.

The Thornhill students, all in Year 9, picked up the winning prize in the secondary artwork category for their collaborative piece, As Others See Us.

Lesley Etherington, community cohesion officer for the school, travelled down to London with three of the students who had worked on the piece to take part in the awards ceremony.

She said 26 pupils worked together on the artwork over a few months and were thrilled with the outcome.

Mrs Etherington said the school has links with a school in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and the artwork they created was an interpretation of what the children there told them life is like in their city.

She said: “The kids worked so hard on the project, they were absolutely brilliant. When someone told me about the Arts and Mind competition, I thought we might as well enter and, lo and behold, we won.

“I am really proud of them.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The students clearly worked really hard to achieve such success. Each entry was a highly creative and thoughtful response to the issues of diversity and equality.

“The standard of entries throughout the competition was again very high and I know the judges had great difficulty in choosing the winners.

“The quality was strong throughout all of the age groups and categories, and is a credit to the skills and abilities of the pupils and their teachers and support staff.”

Each winning school received £350 per category, with every child also being presented with a gift voucher.