STUDENTS proved to be a class act in an initiative designed to promote good citizenship and community spirit.

West Park Academy, in Darlington, has been awarded the Citizenship Quality Standard, making it the only school in the town to receive the accolade for the second year running.

The whole of the community came together to develop an outdoor area with pupils having the loudest voice in the decision making process.

The result, a £50,000 community facility, features a sensory garden with access for people with disabilities, including an adventure trail to encourage healthy lifestyle activities and develop skills and a bandstand which will double as an outdoor classroom for 30 pupils.

Almost £40,000 was secured from the Ministry of Defence’s Community Covenant with an additional £10,000 being raised by the school.

Presenting the award council member for the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) Alun Davies said: “You should be extremely proud to achieve this for the second year running.

“The scheme equips young people with the skills needed to become global citizens. It helps them develop an understanding of themselves and make sense of their place in the world.”

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Cyndi Hughes, said: “The work you are doing has made a real impact on your community and I hope you will use the experience to grow for the rest of your lives.”