VIDEO: Award-winning academy hosts African choir

A thrilling performance by an internationally-acclaimed music group rounded off an excellent week for The Northumberland Church of England Academy.

It has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award for the second time in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The audience was enthralled by the traditional, vibrant African music and dancing.

The audience was enthralled by the traditional, vibrant African music and dancing.

The accolade celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life in today’s global workplace. The Academy’s international work includes exchanges with French and German schools, educational visits to South Korea and Spain and an annual Sixth-Form volunteer trip abroad.

It also hosts the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir – this year’s performance, part of a UK tour to raise funds and awareness, took place at the Josephine Butler Campus in Ashington.

The audience was enthralled by the traditional, vibrant African music and dancing and the colourful costumes of the young people, who are ambassadors for more than 2,000 similar orphaned and destitute young people who attend the non-governmental Molly and Paul Childcare Foundation schools in south-west Uganda.

Louise Gatti, head of art and design, said: “We are delighted that the Academy has received the International School Award for the second time.

“We believe that bringing the world into the classroom is vital in preparing our students for what is a global jobs market.

“Employers say that language skills and an understanding of different cultures are high on their list of qualities that they look for during the recruitment process.”

The Northumberland Church of England Academy also supports the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal each year, which enriches the lives of thousands of young people from many schools across the world at Christmas time.