A PRIMARY school has started the new term with a new look after gaining Church of England status.
Ward Jackson Primary School, in Hartlepool, hopes to strengthen ties with the local community and churches through the status.
To mark the closer relationship, Stranton Church Parochial Council (PCC) presented each pupil with school sweatshirts carrying the new C of E logo at an assembly.
In July, Stranton Church and the Burbank Community Church held a gift day when they raised more than £900 for the school.
The church raised more than enough money for the jumpers and the remaining funds will be spent on a new notice board and other school equipment.
Ward Jackson was granted the new status following some two years of work behind the scenes.
It included consulting parents, pupils and the community.
Headteacher Jan Brough said: “The school is confident that becoming a Church of England School will give the children at Ward Jackson Primary a stronger sense of identity and cultural understanding within a caring and supportive Christian community.
“Our aim is to strengthen the close bond we already have with Stranton Church and Burbank Community Church and the children are keen to look for ways in which they can help their community and share their Christian ethos with others.
“The new status will also help to increase links and educational opportunities for the children with other faith schools and groups locally, nationally and internationally.”
Clive Hall, Burbank community worker and school governor, said: “We were delighted that the whole church and the Parochial Church Council decided to support the school in this practical way.
“I hope that we will be able to continue developing the good relationship that already exists between the church and the school.”