Special gift helps pupils broaden their horizons

St Aloysius pupils with back row, left to right, Ray Crawford (Variety Chairman), Pauline Neville (Variety supporter), John Courtney (Variety volunteer), Michael Reynolds (committee member of Variety) and Paddy Cronin (from Edward Thompsons, a big supporter of Variety), and front row, left to right, Jackie Watson (staff member at St Aloysius, Miles Baron (The Bingo Association) and Nick Conway (St Aloysius headteacher).

St Aloysius pupils with back row, left to right, Ray Crawford (Variety Chairman), Pauline Neville (Variety supporter), John Courtney (Variety volunteer), Michael Reynolds (committee member of Variety) and Paddy Cronin (from Edward Thompsons, a big supporter of Variety), and front row, left to right, Jackie Watson (staff member at St Aloysius, Miles Baron (The Bingo Association) and Nick Conway (St Aloysius headteacher).

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A school has been given a major boost after being donated a coach to help it broaden its horizons.

St Aloysius RC School, based in Argyle Street, Hebburn, has been given the coach by The Bingo Association, which supports children’s charity Variety.

.Jackie Watson, a staff member of St Aloysius, with Miles Baron, of the Bingo Association.

.Jackie Watson, a staff member of St Aloysius, with Miles Baron, of the Bingo Association.

It is now set to be used to “increase the number of opportunities” given to pupils at the school.

A spokesman for Variety said: “Alongside the outstanding levels of classroom-based teaching, the school endeavours to provide educational visits to support and enhance the children’s learning.

“Currently the school relies on either public transport, which can be very time consuming and requires close supervision, or the hire of minibuses, which is very expensive and requires forward planning.

“The new Sunshine Coach will allow the school to increase the number of opportunities available to more children without having to depend on financial support of parents and carers.

The new Sunshine Coach will allow the school to increase the number of opportunities available to more children

Variety

“The specially-adapted vehicle will provide an easy access to the natural environment to support and advance learning, increase and widen participation in sporting events and competitions across the region and ensure that all extra curriculum activities are accessible to all pupils regardless of their disabilities and background.”

There are two neighbouring sites at St Aloysius, with the infant and nursery school sharing one, while the junior school has the other.

Overall, the school has 480 children aged between three and 11, and 120 of them need the Variety Sunshine Coach.

There are 50 pupils with special education needs, who require extra support both academically in the classroom and with behavioural, emotional and social issues throughout the school day.

St Aloysius pupils enjoy their new minibus.

St Aloysius pupils enjoy their new minibus.