North East Connected

Fire Ravaged School Rises From The Ashes To Celebrate 10 Years

c of e school largeA school is celebrating a decade of success ten years after literally rising from the ashes.

A huge wall-hanging featuring a dove of peace will be revealed for the first time at a special day of celebration at St George’s C of E Academy.

More than 400 embroidered squares have been created since January by children, staff and governors and sewn into a patchwork piece of art for the Middleton St George academy, near Darlington.

Designed by creative arts leader Claire Bentley, the 8x9ft hanging features a dove of peace soaring over a rainbow capturing the spirit of the school and those connected to it.

Special guests will be invited to a celebration, between 2pm and 3pm on June 28, for the official unveiling by Darlington’s Mayor Brian Jones and the Archdeacon of Sunderland the Venerable Stuart Bain.

Then the academy will open its doors to the whole community of Middleton St George, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, for a picnic in the school grounds.

In February 2003, the school was raised to the ground with just three classrooms and a corridor surviving a devastating blaze.

Pupils and staff moved temporarily into the old Firth Moor Primary School with children being bussed between Darlington and Middleton St George for lessons.

They then returned to the village using temporary classrooms until the new school was built and opened in 2006.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength becoming an academy in 2012, securing an outstanding Ofsted rating and now becoming a multi academy trust that is looking for partner schools to join the successful centre of learning.

Headteacher Janine Gleeson said: “We are really looking forward to sharing our success with the community. A former pupil has baked a cake, there will be performances by our winning

Eurovision Song Contest choir, our violin ensemble and brass section and we will celebrate our sporting and academic achievements.

“This is a very exciting time for the school and the village and we are very much looking forward to working with partner schools as we expand our multi-academy trust.” Director Jan Robson said: “It is ten years since the school rose from the ashes and to celebrate it’s not the mythical phoenix but a dove of peace that is emblazoned onto the 420 square patchwork. Directors, staff, pupil and members of the community created the patches that will form a visual celebration of ten successful years.”

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