THE beat of African drums has been echoing around North Yorkshire school corridors.

More than 200 pupils in Richmondshire took part in percussion workshops led by Andy Spearpoint, one of the region's leading experts on African music.

The sessions, at Middleton Tyas, Reeth, Richmond Methodist and Richmond CE primary schools, used a mixture of traditional percussion instruments and keyboards to explore African rhythms and performance techniques.

The workshops were arranged by Richard Jones, director of performing arts at Richmond School.

He said: "In our second year as a specialist school in the performing arts, we are putting a lot of energy into working with our partner schools.

"Vicki Hargest, our head of dance, is teaching in primaries every Wednesday afternoon.

"We are funding other specialists in Reeth and Mowbray schools.

"We will soon be embarking on drama work, too."