SCHOOL staff have been lifting lockdown spirits with an upbeat video watched around the world.

Staff at Haughton Academy, part of the Education Village, Darlington, re-enacted the popular Is This the Road to Amarillo video, made famous by Peter Kay for comic Relief in 2005 – and their efforts cheered colleagues as far away as Singapore.

Sung by Tony Christie, staff, some in fancy dress, marched and danced their way through school, their homes and on exercise routes in a three minute tribute to frontline workers.

As well as brightening the day of colleagues, parents and pupils, the video was watched on social media by colleagues in the Far East.

Haughton Academy principal Jonathan Lumb said: “We are really missing seeing all of our fantastic pupils and their families and wanted to show their support to key workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our rendition of the Tony Christie classic is dedicated to them and to show our united support for front line staff. We were absolutely delighted when we received such lovely feedback from our colleagues in Singapore.”

Mr Lumb is part of the British Council’s Creating Opportunity Worldwide – Building Educational Bridges 2019/20 programme, a joint venture with the Department for Education.

The project involves English-Singaporean exchange visits as primary and secondary headteachers share best practice and address means to secure consistently good teaching.

Outcomes and recommendations are reported back to the Minister for Education.

The week-long English session was completed in November last year in London but the return leg in Singapore was due to be held in February and had to be postponed because of Covid-19. It is hopefully being rearranged for January 2021.

Mr Lumb said: “I was thrilled to be invited to be one of the 10 English headteachers by the Department for Education. It’s very prestigious and I am delighted to be linked with the principal of Junyuan Secondary School, Singapore, Mohamed Razali B Abdul Hamed.

“It was such a surprise when he watched the video and responded on Facebook and the WhatsApp page. It was great to hear from him during these troubled times and I am really looking  forward to visiting his school in January.”