Students at Bede Academy in Blyth take part in an African themed harvest festival

harvest Festival 2013 1CHILDREN who have been collecting produce for a local food bank took part in an African themed harvest festival to remind people about famine across the world.

An audience of family and friends watched year five and six pupils at Bede Academy, Blyth, present a traditional harvest festival with a twist, with music, dance and prayer inspired by Africa.

Celebrating the recent visit to Bede Academy of the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir, from Uganda, the students sang a traditional Swahili song ‘Asante’ and offered prayers for a bountiful harvest for children living across the African continent.

harvest Festival 2013 3They also presented a famine news broadcast, explained how food is grown in African countries and spoke about the work of charities including Oxfam and Water Aid.

Year five pupils created a poem, based on Kit Wright’s The Magic Box, about their hopes and wishes for children across Africa to have plenty to eat, a life without heartache and access to a good education and medical care.

Head teacher Irene Watson said:

“Our students in year five and six have worked extremely hard to bring us a wonderful harvest festival reminder of the difficulties faced by many children across the world.

“They have also shown an appreciation of families living in our own community who may struggle to buy food by collecting a wonderful amount of produce for Storehouse, the food bank run by the Tyneside Vinyard Church.

“We started off with one table for donations but thanks to the incredible generosity of parents, students and staff we have managed to collect six tables full of food and toiletries, which is an incredible achievement.”

Following the harvest assembly pupils and staff helped to pack up the food for distribution to the Tyneside Vinyard Church.

Year six teacher Rebecca Johnson, who arranged the collection, said:

“This is the first year that we have held a harvest food collection at Bede Academy and it has proved a great success.

“It’s good for the children to be able to bring and give and help people who are not as fortunate as themselves and if they start donating when they are this age it may be something that they continue to do in later life.”

Student Caitlin Allison, 10, of Blyth, added:

“I think everyone should have something to eat so it’s good that we can do something to help.”

Nursery children plant pots for Marie Curie

Mini pots1 Susan, Oliver and Rhonda  (1)LITTLE tots got busy making mini pots to show their support for a school nursery assistant who lost her husband to cancer.

Nursery pupils at Bede Academy, Blyth, got their hands dirty planting daffodil bulbs for the Marie Curie Mini Pots of Care cancer fundraising activity in memory of their nursery assistant Rhonda Hedley’s husband Guy, who died from the disease in 2010.

Rhonda, 45, said:

“Guy spent his last month in a Marie Curie hospice after contracting stomach and bowl cancer and received such phenomenal care and attention from all the nursing staff.

“I approached the Academy to ask if we could take part in the Mini Pots of Care fundraiser three years ago and ever since then it has been an annual event.

“It means such a lot to me that staff, children and parents are so willing to help such a fantastic charity that provides such valuable care to so many families that are touched by this terrible disease.”

More than 63 nursery children at Bede, along with their parents, took part in the planting activity with nursery teacher Joanne Baird.

“Marie Curie provided us with all of the daffodil bulbs and the children have had a great time today putting them in their pots,” she said.

“We have been learning about growing in school so the children were very excited to be able to grow their very own flowers.

“They will care for them in school over the winter, and when the pots flower in the spring we plan on holding a big fundraising day for parents with a coffee morning, bake sale and raffle to help raise funds for Marie Curie.”

Parent Susan Jobling 39, of Blyth, who helped son Oliver, four, plant his daffodil bulb added:

“It’s been a great morning being able to come into nursery to help Oliver plant his mini pot especially for such a good cause.”

Bede Lions roar into Scotland

Lions Rugby Tour 2103 1 (1)RUGBY Lions are hoping to be the main attraction as they join forces to tackle opposition north of the border.

Students from Bede Academy, Blyth, have united with fellow Emmanuel Schools Foundation pupils from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, The King’s Academy, Middlesbrough, and Trinity Academy, Thorne, to form an elite 24-man squad for a week-long rugby tour of Scotland.

Jordan Knight, 15, Kai Burn, 15, Jordan Thompson, 15, Callum Uddgren, 15 and Nathaniel Lynn, 16, have all been selected to be part of the ESF Lions squad and will compete in three games against Longridge Towers, Berwick, The High School of Glasgow and North Berwick High School.

Bede PE teacher Andy Sutherland, who has been appointed as an assistant coach for the tour, said:

“This is the highest number of students that we have ever had selected for the ESF Lions team which shows that rugby at Bede continues to improve.

“A lot of our boys only started to play two or three years ago but already two of our students, Kai Burn and Jordan Thompson, have secured a place in the Northumberland county team.

“We were also supposed to have another Bede team member Connall Martin, who is at the Newcastle Falcons Academy, accompanying us but unfortunately he broke his ankle playing rugby and has had to pull out of the tour.

“Being part of the ESF Lions squad is a great honour for all of our students, who were selected from the best under-16s players from each of the four sister schools, to bond as a team and learn some important personal values, as well as improving their game.”

The team, who met up at Emmanuel College, Gateshead, before heading off to Scotland, were each presented with a full ESF rugby kit by Emmanuel College assistant head boy Sam Hedley, who took part in the tour last year.

As well as playing rugby, students will be given a tour of Murrayfield Stadium before watching Edinburgh Rugby take on Benetton Treviso and will also get the opportunity to enjoy an evening bowling and scaling the heights at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.

Northumberland flanker Kai Burn, 15, added:

“It’s a real privilege to be selected for the Lions squad.

“There was a lot of competition to be in the team from a lot of good players across all four schools so I was a bit surprised to get a place.

“We’re looking for three wins from three games so we’ll have to be at our best but we have a strong squad and I know we’ll all try our best.”