Venerable Bede's Katelyn Shaw (15) and Aimee Young (16) Serving Tea to people at the Community Christmas Party. (Picture Keith Blundy)

The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Tunstall Bank, Ryhope, Sunderland opened its doors to members of its community on Monday 18th December through an invitation to their Community Christmas Party.

The Community Christmas Party now in its 15th  year is a way of saying thank you to everyone in our local and extended community said Head of School Mr David Airey. He added: “Without the support of the people in and around our community we would not be able to enjoy some of the success that we have achieved over the years. That is because the community is the school and we are here to be part of it.

“Around 100 people came to this year’s party – something they put in their diaries every year. The party is always a great success and both pupils, staff and participants are thrilled to be involved.”

Those attending include supporters, parents of ex-pupils, those on the school’s immediate doorstep and others with whom they have built up a relationship over the years.

Lynn Burlace who has been a long-time supporter of the school since her two boys attended, one of whom who started in its first year of opening said: “This is amazing. Everyone present is absolutely blown away by the children and staff, the effort they go to in putting these Christmas parties on and the all the hard work they put in. We look forward to them every year – my mum Jenny has been to every one of them since the school opened. This is a fantastic community activity and really shows the ethos of the school – simply the best!”

Pupils Katelyn Shaw (15) and Aimee Young (16) both in year 11 said: “This is a great opportunity for us to meet with people in our community and to say thank you for everything they do. It’s great chatting with people that we otherwise would never get to meet.”