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Archbishop visits pioneering North Yorkshire schools

[Wednesday 05 April 2006]

THE SUCCESS of a project linking three North Yorkshire Schools has resulted in a VIP visit.

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, travelled to the confederated schools of Bilsdale Midcable, Chop Gate Primary School and Carlton Faceby Church of England Primary School to meet pupils and staff; he was accompanied by the Rural Dean John Ford, and local community vicars Reverend Ann Heading and Reverend Linda Shipp.

Pupils George Greenwood-Bartlett (left) and Matthew Cook (right) present Dr Sentamu with hand drawn map of Africa
Pupils George Greenwood-Bartlett (left) and Matthew Cook
present Dr Sentamu with hand drawn map of Africa

The schools became the first confederation in North Yorkshire in 2003, retaining their independence, but sharing curriculum planning, with individual teachers taking subject leadership roles across the schools.

The Archbishop listened to the children sing, before being engaged in a schools question time. He was asked why vicars wear dog collars and explained that it dated back to the days of slavery, but that it now showed that vicars were the servants of God.

The two youngest pupils Matthew Cook and George Greenwood-Bartlett presented the Archbishop with a hand drawn map of Africa, which included a photograph of each child within the confederation. The map was mounted on the colours of Africa, which the children hoped would remind him of his visit and also his home.

County Councillor John Watson, North Yorkshire's executive member for schools, said: "I am delighted that the Archbishop is taking such a keen interest North Yorkshire County Council's schools and in particular, the pioneering way Bilsdale Midcable Chop Gate and Carlton Faceby are run as one of only a handful of confederate schools in the County."

Lynne Wood, head teacher, who is one of only a handful nationwide to be in charge of two schools said: "The Archbishop was most interested to hear how and why we became a confederation and our success on entering our fourth year.

"Both children and staff were captivated by the Archbishop," said Mrs Wood, "His presence was amazing. We were truly blessed by his visit."

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