A DARLINGTON school is stepping up its bid to gain arts college status.

Haughton Community School has launched a week-long festival of African film, dance and animation.

The Adpana Festival started yesterday and runs until Saturday. It will be open to the public from Thursday to Saturday, from 7.15pm.

The school sees this enhancement of its arts curriculum as a significant step towards gaining arts college status.

The name Adpana is taken from a Ghanaian proverb meaning "all dwelling places are not alike".

It has been adopted as the title of the festival, which celebrates the different lifestyles in countries along the Greenwich Meridian.

Adpana is the result of two months' work at the school which has seen year nine pupils working alongside professional company Theatre Cap-a-Pie.

The pupils had the chance to join in with dance, animation, drama or media groups as they set about building an African festival from scratch.

The festival will also see the UK premiere of The Great Boo Boo, a play devised by Theatre Cap-a-Pie as part of the Channel Four and Oxfam sponsored On the Line project.