Cotsford Infants School said ‘goodbye and good luck’ to Miss Randell at the half term holidays. Miss Randell, a support worker, has worked at the school for 14 years, but has been part of the Cotsford team in various roles for many years prior to this.
East Durham College’s Houghall Campus has hosted the local heats of the 2016 Institute of Horticulture’s Young Horticulturist of the Year (YHOY) competition. This first round of the prestigious national competition saw Houghall students compete in a multiple choice quiz to see who would come out on top and advance to the Northern England regional finals. Houghall students have been successful in the competition in the past with former student Chris Parsons winning the 2014 national title. Over 20 students battled out the first round with winner Damian Unsworth, who is on a level 2 diploma, first by just one point (23 points) to second place Ben Walker and third place Jamie Fisher.
Headteachers from local primary schools were invited along to The Academy at Shotton Hall to see how well their ex-students are settling into secondary school life and to see them awarded for their hard work. Two standout students were chosen for an award and four very special awards were given to students who had been particularly brilliant. The Achievement Award went to Tyler Reeve for showing great resilience every day and for being an active member of school life. The Friendliness Award went to Jake Askew for taking another student under his wing and being a brilliant friend. The Community Award went to Grace Fallow for her selfless bravery in November when she cut her hair for cancer. She also donated a large amount of food to the local food bank. Grace is always putting other people first. The Performance Award went to Ashleigh Armstrong for being an active member of multiple clubs, in particular, performing arts. She has already performed at numerous concerts this year and recently recorded a charity single for The Charlotte Leatherbarrow Foundation. There were fantastic performances from talented students including singing, dancing and more.
Three students from East Durham College’s creative industries department where invited to Durham County Council’s County Hall to talk about one of their recent projects. In November 2015, students, Callum Bunney, 19, from Peterlee, Johnathon Harker, 19, from Peterlee and Lewis McDonald, 20, from Seaham took part in a project on behalf of Durham County Council’s Area Action Partnership (AAP) to create a video on the commemorative plaque ceremony for Thomas Kenny. Taking place in Wheatley Hill, the plaque was placed in remembrance of Private Thomas Kenny, who served in the First World War and received the Victoria Cross for his ‘conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty’. The group of students worked alongside a team from ITV Tyne Tees to produce the video for the AAP, and visited County Hall to talk to a panel about the process and what they took from the experience.
Elaine Jones, the vicar at St Cuthbert’s Church, has had her hair dyed purple on Ash Wednesday for Lent. She has pledged to keep her bright new hairdo until Easter with money raised being used to help fix the church roof.
The Academy at Shotton Hall invited families from the area to the academy to meet princesses and superheroes. Local children between four to eight years met characters including Elsa and Anna, from Frozen, and Captain America and then enjoyed an exciting, interactive show in the performance hall. The day was a huge success and children were invited to dress up in their favourite character costumes.