SCHOOL pupils were honoured to have an archbishop and a footballing legend officially open their school.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and former Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery officially opened Eskdale Academy, in Eskdale Road, Hartlepool.
The pair were welcomed by headteacher Liz Killeen, who is also an ambassador for the archbishop’s Youth Trust.
Forty-two of the school’s pupils were presented with certificates and badges by the Archbishop as part of a Youth Trust Young Leaders scheme.
Mrs Killeen said: “We are delighted to welcome the Archbishop to Eskdale Academy and for him to officially open our academy.
“We as a school and community are working really hard to achieve outstanding results and we recently recorded our best-ever SATs results and achieved a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.
“Our Young Leaders have also made fantastic progress in serving others by completing the Archbishop of York Youth Trust Young Leaders Award and they were presented their certificates by the Archbishop in our assembly.”
Jake, a year six pupil, said: “In the Archie programme, I got to learn about how to cope with feelings like being angry or sad and how to make better choices.
“I loved learning the rap which we sang to the Archbishop and have had fun.”
The Archbishop toured Eskdale Academy, which is part of the Stranton Academy Trust, he spoke in assembly, and visited some morning classes, meeting staff and pupils.
He also unveiled a plaque to officially open Eskdale Academy alongside Jimmy Montgomery.
Archbishop Sentamu said: “Eskdale’s motto of Believe and Achieve is well-chosen. My message to the staff, pupils, parents, carers and governors is to keep up the good work.”
The aim of the Archbishop of York Young Leaders Awards is to equip young people to ‘be the change they want to see’ in their schools and local communities.