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Sunderland school brings East End history to life

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Learning about their home city’s heritage has been as easy as ABC for one Sunderland school thanks to a special programme.

Historic England’s Heritage Schools project aims to help youngsters develop an understanding of the history of their area and the significance it still plays.

A display about the city's ship building past has been set up through the project.

A display about the city's ship building past has been set up through the project.

Hudson Road Primary, in Hendon, has now been given national recognition as a Heritage School, with its new displays to be officially unveiled as it celebrates its work, which has been hailed as “outstanding.”

It joins Valley Road Academy in being the only ones in Sunderland to gain the status.

At Hudson Road Primary, children researched local history to produce a Heritage Alphabet, which has formed the basis of a display in the school and a publication for pupils to share with their families.

They have also discovered the ship building past of the River Wear and the fate of those left growing up without any family.

The children have learnt so much from this in depth Sunderland history project and gained a real sense of local pride.

Cathy Westgate

Cathy Westgate, the school’s headteacher, said: “The children have learnt so much from this in depth Sunderland history project and gained a real sense of local pride.

“They have discovered the heritage all around them that tells the story of the city and put together a wonderful showcase of their work for our visitors today.

“This is just the start of our history project and we will keep on exploring our neighbourhood and unlocking the stories from the past.”

Sunderland’s Heritage Action Zone, which is being delivered by the Sunderland City Council in partnership with Historic England and local partners, is a live project that aims to bring the city’s high street heritage back to life.

The children's work has been used to create a hertiage display in the school.

The children's work has been used to create a hertiage display in the school.

Historic England has created new learning resources and held a training event for teachers, which included a tour round the Heritage Action Zone and is working to get others involved in the scheme.

Sir Laurie Magnus, chairman of Historic England, said: “My colleagues and I have been extremely impressed with the fabulous work that staff and children at Hudson Road Primary have been doing to explore the fascinating heritage on their doorstep.

“They have helped us all to understand why Sunderland is so special and we have been delighted to see how much they care for their local heritage.

“It’s been a delightful privilege to present them with a Heritage Schools Award today for this outstanding piece of work.”

Councillor Michael Mordey, deputy leader of the council, who is also a Hendon councillor, said: “I’m delighted to see Hudson Road achieving national recognition as a Heritage School and Sir Laurie Magnus taking the time to visit the school to pay tribute to all their hard work.

“It’s really important that children learn to appreciate the heritage around them from an early age which is why schemes like this and the Heritage Action Zone which is helping breathe new life into the historic High Street area and old Sunderland, are such a great idea.”