STUDENTS at one of the district's high schools have once again come together to help the less fortunate at Christmas.

Pupils at Ponteland High School were tasked with sourcing food and presents for individually decorated festive themed hampers to be distributed to those in need.

And last Friday, the hampers were collected by the Early Help Team - South East Central, the Wellbeing and Community Health Services Group (Children's Services), Northumberland County Council and Domestic Abuse Support Service Northumberland - Places for People Living +.

This year, the school and charity partners have been overwhelmed by the generosity and creativity of pupils - staff from Northumberland Children's Services even had to make two trips to the school as they couldn't fit all of the donations in one van load!

Now, the school's headteacher has heaped praise on those involved. Kieran McGrane said: "The kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness of our students and staff will make a substantial difference to a large number of people, at what can be a difficult time of year. This year, the hampers have been just outstanding; a lot of work had gone into the decoration, and it is brilliant that the students and staff are showing their compassion in a practical way for others less fortunate than themselves."

Meanwhile, many of the school's music students were celebrating - having beat the challenges of Covid-19.

Talent musicians from years 7 to 13 impressed in their recent ABRSM examinations, with marks ranging from Grade 2 to Grade 8 Distinction in a variety of instruments.

Mr Noble, director of music, said: "I am delighted by the continuing success of our pupils in their examinations, and would like to thank the Peripatetic Staff for their dedication and commitment to our talented pupils"