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WOODHAM PROM

Having celebrated the Greenfield Prom in last week’s edition, Newton News is delighted this week to celebrate the Woodham Prom. As we said last week, the school Prom is an important coming-of-age ceremony, and we congratulate all the students on how wonderful they looked, and hope they had an enjoyable evening.

How do you judge a school? You can do so statistically, of course, because the government publishes every school’s exam results. Or you can go online and read the Ofsted inspection – that snapshot-in-time report largely decided before the inspectors even saw the school. Another way, however, is to look at the calibre of the young men and women who are leaving the school – the students whom the school has helped shape – and, when we see, week after week, the stories of individual successes published in this newspaper, and when we look at the Prom photos from last week and this week, it strikes us that our two Newton Aycliffe secondary schools are doing very well, thank you.

KEIRAN MAXWELL

Keiran Maxwell’s life was tragically cut short, but his was a meaningful life, full of athletic achievement and fundraising, and an inspiration to others. The Newton News is delighted that his memory should now be enhanced by the dedication of a street name to him in Heighington, as it is already, by the Kieran Maxwell Legacy Fund which works to improve awareness and raise funds to fight cancer.

LOW BARNS NATURE RESERVE

This week’s article on the Low Barns Nature Reserve, near Witton-le-Wear, which is reopening following an extensive refurbishment and the installation of a new Coffee Shop, describes it as “a hidden gem”. It is indeed a gem and, especially if you have never been, we would encourage everyone to visit (DL14 0AG). The Centre is open 9.30am-5pm, seven days a week, has several bird hides and a network of surfaced paths to help you explore, and visitors are occasionally rewarded by sightings of otters, roe deer, stoats and dingy skipper butterflies. It is a worthwhile trip out, and it does everyone a world of good to reconnect with nature from time to time.