An academy has made its contribution to a regional spectacular with its own Great Exhibition of the North.

Students across all year groups at Bede Academy, in Blyth, were given time off the normal timetable to work with artists, exhibit their own work in art and engineering and perform live music.

The day of creative activities culminated in a showcase of local and regional artists for the community, the first time the academy had hosted such an event.

Staff from the academy’s art department began preparations back in February to sign up around 19 artists to take part in a carousel of different techniques and artistic skills for the students to experience.

Jessica Ditch, art lead at Bede South for primary age children, said: “The children were buzzing, completely engaged, gaining more and more confidence as the day went on and desperate to show off their work by the end of the day.”

One of the most popular techniques was sphero art, where the children programmed a robotic device to travel through paint and then onto the page.

Head of art Paul Birdsall added: “It’s been absolutely tremendous. It’s been quite an intense experience for many students and, in every room I’ve been in throughout the academy, they have been enthralled with what each artist has shown them and the things they’ve been able to do.

“It will have a real, lasting impact and we are immensely grateful to the artists who gave their time and expertise to contribute to a very special day inspired by the Great Exhibition of the North.”

A video documentary to mark the 20thanniversary of the Angel of the North, produced by the students in conjunction with Culture Street, was also on display at the evening exhibition.

Bede academy principal Gwyneth Evans said: “We are an all-through academy with children aged from 3-18 and we achieve excellent results at GCSE and A Level art, so our own Great Exhibition has been a tremendous opportunity to showcase that with students from Reception right up to the Sixth Form taking part.

“The exhibition has reflected the development of artistic talent and opportunities throughout the academy, enriching students’ experiences and providing them with the chance to work with real artists, learn new techniques and raise their aspirations.”

Miss Evans added: “The organisation of an event on this scale has been phenomenal and I have to say huge congratulations to the art department from bringing it all together with the support of colleagues in engineering and music too.”