PATRIOTIC pupils celebrated St George’s Day in style – at the South Tyneside home of the man who established the term ‘English’.
Bede’s World in Jarrow yesterday welcomed more than 500 pupils to celebrate the patron saint of England.
The setting was highly appropriate, because it was the Venerable Bede, writing at the Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery more than 1,300 years ago, who first applied the term ‘English’ to a race of people, in The Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
Pupils from numerous schools, including Jarrow Cross Primary and Epinay Business Enterprise School, both in Jarrow, and St James’ Primary, Hebburn, took part in a range of activities, ranging from sports to crafts, all on an English theme.
The day helped children understand their patron saint St George by taking part in traditional English games and pastimes and through pottery and textile activities. And via Skype, pupils from the town of St George in Grenada performed a dance for St George.
St George was also portrayed riding on horseback by Paul Martin, a regular visitor to Bede’s World, as a member of North East historical re-enactment society, Wulffengrimm.
Pearl Saddington, deputy director of Bede’s World, said: “We not only celebrated our traditional English skills and customs, but we shared the day with 25 international teachers, some of whom have St George as their patron saint.
“In addition, we linked directly with St George in Grenada, with pupils from across the world sharing their cultural heritage through dance.
“We have to ask ourselves, would we be called ‘English’ at all if Bede had not written his Ecclesiatical History of the English People?
“Therefore, like Bede, we took this great opportunity to celebrate ourselves as a fusion of global influences and cultures.”
Guests at the Bede’s World patriotic special included the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, councillors Eileen Leask and Olive Punchion.
Coun Leask said: “St George’s Day is a key date in the nation’s calendar.
“It was also a great opportunity to celebrate our tradition of democracy.”