Bishop helps to say farewell to Sunderland schools

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TWO Wearside primary schools which are closing this week have been saying a fond farewell.

Hylton Red House Primary and Bishop Harland CE Primary School will both close at the end of term and open in September as the new Northern Saints CE Primary School.

The Bishop of Jarrow, The Rt Rev Mark Bryant, went along to Bishop Harland school to perform a closing service.

Lynn Nichols, a member of staff at the Ramillies Road school, said: “It was a service to celebrate the life of the school, which has been here for 50 years.”

Prayers were said for the staff and children are the school who will be moving to Northern Saints CE Primary School, which will be opened on the site of the current Hylton Red House Primary in Rotherham Road.

Staff and pupils at Hylton Red House have also been holding events to say goodbye to their school as it is now.

Heather Fraser, a teacher at the primary, said: “The school has been open since 1950s so its closing is going to be a huge milestone for our community.”

A fun day was held on the field with a picnic, singing and games for the children and the school also held an exhibition at St Cuthbert’s Church, Red House, to share photos and memorabilia of Hylton Red House over the years with the community and the children also performed for visitors.

When Northern Saints CE Primary School opens its doors in September, it will be Sunderland’s largest primary school with a roll of 525 pupils.

Work began a few months ago on the £1million transformation of the current Hylton Red House Primary School premises to create the new school.

Headteacher Steve Williamson said it is hugely exciting times for staff and pupils at both schools and they aim to not only be the biggest, but also one of the best schools in the city.

The changes to the current school will include building a glass fronted hall and dining area, a complete renovation of classrooms, an ICT suite, a new pedestrian area and upgraded play facilities. Work to Northern Saints CE Primary School, named after the six northern saints, Oswald, Margaret, Hild, Cuthbert, Aidan and The Venerable Bede, has been funded by Sunderland City Council, The Diocese of Durham and the schools themselves.