STAFF and students are celebrating after being awarded a Heritage Schools Award.

Aclet Close Nursery School in Bishop Auckland was given the award after taking pupils to visit local landmarks and submitting a portfolio of work to the Arts Council.

Youngsters took trips to Auckland Castle, Auckland Tower and the Mining Art Gallery to help understand their local heritage before producing artwork based on their experiences and completing an educational booklet.

The Heritage Schools programme aims to help school children develop an understanding of their local heritage and its significance and help young people develop a sense of pride in where they live.

Deputy head teacher Suzanne Staines said: “We have worked with the Auckland Project before and we are very keen to make links within the local community.

“We thought this would be an ideal opportunity to bring in new experiences to further the children’s learning and we have all thoroughly enjoyed it.

“The children loved taking part in the trips and particularly having their artwork on display. It was a very proud moment for us all.”

Each child participating in the programme received a Heritage Schools Achievement certificate and the school received a Heritage Schools plaque in recognition of their commitment to embedding local heritage into the curriculum and encouraging young people to step into the story of where they live.

Parents of children taking part were invited to see the children’s artwork on display in No. 42 in Bishop Auckland and the children themselves visited with nursery staff.

Head teacher Lisa Jenkins, said she was thrilled to receive the news that the school had been successful in their application for the award.

She said: “The children have really enjoyed developing an understanding of their local heritage and I would like everyone involved for providing imaginative and creative learning experiences. We are very proud to have the award on display for all to see.”