A SOUTH Tyneside primary school hosted a day of celebrations to mark its first anniversary as an academy.
Mums and dads joined their children at Ridgeway Primary School as youngsters swapped classroom studies for fun and games, all aimed at promoting an educational message.
School bosses say Friday’s event, which featured face painters and live music, helped highlight educational improvements and the sense of partnership that has grown during the past 12 months.
They say steady progress in standards has been made at the school in Park Avenue, South Shields, since South Tyneside College Academy Trust became its support sponsor.
Headteacher Michael McCarthy said improvements in all aspects of the 220-pupil school had been seen – and praised the college for the role it had played.
He said: “I am very pleased with how well we have done since becoming an academy. Education standards are improving, the children are doing well and the learning environment is good.
“All school staff and the college are firmly committed to maintaining and bettering these standards, and reaching all our goals.
“It is early days, but we have laid firm foundations to ensure Ridgeway’s pupils will enjoy a fulfilling and very valuable education in the years ahead. That is what we are all striving for.”
Students taking workshops in music were among about 60 from the college at Ridgeway who helped ensure the entertainment went with a swing.
An ice-cream van was on site and a balloon release took place, with a prize for the one that is returned from the furthest destination.
Cakes were available, and all pupils received a goody bag, with parents invited to join in the fun in the afternoon.
Mr McCarthy said college staff had upgraded ICT hardware and installed new learning software, while also adding other new technologies to the classroom.
The overall school environment has also been improved, including the creation of an adventure trail on the school field and new flooring and doors in parts of the school, with more upgrades planned.
And Key Stage 2 pupils can now look forward to an adventure week in Cumbria in June – the first such school trip in a number of years.
Lindsey Whiterod OBE, South Tyneside College’s chief executive, said: “Ridgeway has made good progress and it is right that its achievements should now be celebrated.”