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Pupils join royalty for Commonwealth Day

Youngsters from Appletree Gardens First School, with teacher Claire Carron and headteacher Jill Burrell, at Westminster Abbey.

Youngsters from Appletree Gardens First School, with teacher Claire Carron and headteacher Jill Burrell, at Westminster Abbey.

Youngsters from a borough primary school travelled to London on Monday to join royalty in celebrating Commonwealth Day.

Seven Key Stage 2 pupils from Appletree Gardens First School in Whitley Bay took part in the celebrations at Westminster Abbey.

The students were selected for the trip by taking part in this year’s Commonwealth essay writing competition, which called for entries on the 2014 theme of ‘Team Commonwealth’.

The pupils were among nearly 1,000 youngsters from across the country to take part in the celebration at the abbey, which was attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Speakers at the event included Malala Yosafzai, Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Olympic gold medallist Lord Sebastian Coe.

Brit nominee Laura Mvula also performed at the Commonwealth Observance, and a specially commissioned poem was read by artist Phillippa Yaa de Villiers.

Headteacher Jill Burrell said: “It was a great day and the children really enjoyed themselves, especially being on the front row and at the heart of the celebrations.

“It really was a fantastic opportunity for the children to visit London and to find out more about Commonwealth Day.”

Closer to home, at North Tyneside Council’s headquarters on Cobalt Business Park, young mayor Allen Oghene lifted the flag alongside deputy chairman Coun Tommy Mulvenna.

 

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