St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Newton Aycliffe was honoured to welcome Sue Snowdon, the H.M. Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham, to a special assembly held on Friday 10 May. Jorja-Anne, St Mary’s pupil parliament representative, kicked off the assembly by introducing Mrs Snowdon, highlighting her distinguished role as the H.M. Lord-Lieutenant.

During her address, Mrs Snowdon captivated the pupils with insights into the history of her role, including her appointment by the late Queen Elizabeth II and how she was the first woman to hold this prestigious position. She elaborated on her duties, which include representing the King, collaborating with the armed forces, and facilitating royal visits and ceremonies. The children asked some very interesting questions!

The highlight of the assembly was when Mrs Snowdon unveiled the school’s new portrait of King Charles, symbolising a significant moment in St Mary’s history. The assembly also featured the presentation of virtue certificates to deserving students, with Mrs Snowdon personally giving the awards. Teachers commended students for exemplifying virtues such as compassion, respect and resilience, underscoring the school’s commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals. This event resonates deeply with the British values embedded in the St Mary’s curriculum.

In a heartwarming conclusion, the pupils sang their school song, ‘Called by God,’ reinforcing the sense of unity and community spirit that defines St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.

Mrs Emily Millward, Headteacher, said, “It was an absolute honour to host Mrs Snowdon. The head students and school council were exceptional in representing the school. As headteacher, I was extremely proud of all of the children. The children’s behaviour was outstanding and I was extremely proud of the school community.