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Sedgefield blooms again

Sedgefield celebrated success once again at the recent Northumbria in Bloom awards ceremony.

On behalf of Sedgefield in Bloom, Mayor Ann Carr and Bloom Chairman Howard Smith accepted a gold award and Best Small Town, shared this year with Sacriston in County Durham. Describing Sedgefield as ‘a delight for the senses, inspiring, colourful, creative and vibrant’, the judges were impressed by the ‘outstanding standards achieved in the most difficult of times’.

Despite the continuing constraints of the pandemic, Britain in Bloom managed to host virtual judging this year. As no visits were possible, all entries were submitted online with photographic and written evidence of work done. Instead of their usual criteria, Britain in Bloom had come up with five categories. Sedgefield received an Achievement Award for Cultivating your Community. Highly appropriate, as community is at the heart of everything done by our town council gardeners and volunteer Bloomers.

Come and see us at Sedgefield Farmers Market on Sunday 7 November, when our community stall will display the awards and some examples of the work which has yielded such great results at regional and national level. We really appreciate the support and encouragement of this great community and hope you will share our pride in maintaining the gold standard.


Local athlete qualifies for World Championship

In mid-September, Ellie Spink, a member of Sedgefield Harriers competed in a Duathlon World Championship qualifier.

Duathlon is a mixed sport event which takes the format run-bike-run. Ellie had to run 4.8km then cycle 18.3km and finish with a 2.4km run. To represent Great Britain at next year’s World Championship in her under 20 age group, she needed to finish in the top four of the category and with a time that was no longer than 115% of the winner’s. This is a tough endurance event which needs the athlete to work at their threshold for just over an hour.

In order to prepare for the race, Ellie had spent many hours on the indoor cycling app Zwift on her dad’s bike! And in the absence of a local athletics track, she could be regularly seen running multiple laps of NETPark. Training had been going well, until Ellie contracted COVID in the first week of September. She was unable to train for a week and this dealt a severe blow to her overall fitness, as no doubt many people have experienced. Unbowed, Ellie returned to training and made it to race day.

After the first run, she was in third place in her category, 35 seconds behind second place, but a speedy transition reduced this to just 9 seconds as the bike leg started. The cycle leg is her strongest discipline and she proceeded to take over 3 minutes out of both the athletes in front of her, so that when she left transition she was in the lead, but only by a few seconds. Ellie was able to hold onto the lead until 800m to go, but was pipped to the line by her nearest rival. However, she comfortably held onto second place and achieved qualification for the World Championships in the under 20 female category. This was a great effort, especially after such a tough setback so close to the race.

Ellie now needs to raise money to fund her trip to the championships next year, which are due to be held abroad – details to be confirmed. If any local business is interested in sponsoring Ellie, our sports reporter (chrisjlines@aol.com) can connect you to the Spink family, so get in touch.


Year of the Pig

Congratulations to The Impeccable Pig which has been awarded the AA Inn of the Year 2021 at this year’s AA Bed and Breakfast Awards.

The venue has 10 extremely comfortable rooms and each is subtly themed with a pig related tale and some extra special features.


Diversity calendar

As part of our commitment to the personal development of the students at Sedgefield Community College, we have set up a ‘Diversity Calendar’ of events that will take place throughout the academic year, in order to ensure that our curriculum is inclusive of people of different backgrounds, cultures and identities.

The first event in our diversity calendar was Black History Month, which takes place every October. We held assemblies for each year group about this, and in form time students were asked to consider whether ‘taking the knee’ is an impactful way to make a stand against racism. Year 9 were also treated to a special assembly delivered by Hashi Mohamed, via live link from the Royal Grammar School. Hashi is the best selling author of People Like US, BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. As a child refugee arriving in the UK in the 1980s, he was raised on benefits and attended some of the lowest-performing schools in the country. He is a passionate speaker and advocate of social mobility.

The highlight of the month was having Marsha Garrett (who is a researcher, public speaker and historian on the creation of race and racism) in school to run workshops for our Year 8s about Black history and the creation of race. Marsha shared her expertise with warmth and humour and the feedback from students and staff was very positive. We are hoping to continue working with Marsha to support further developments.


Revolve and evolve - a class way to learn

With single subject teaching of foundation subjects well underway at Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School, a new pedagogy is evolving within Key Stage 2. The classrooms are all based around a specific subject and are all led by specialist leaders within that field.

Each classroom has been renamed: the Studio will enable the children to release their creative side through art and design and design technology; the Lab will bring out the children’s inquisitive, scientific minds; the children will travel across the world and through different time periods whilst they are in the Orb and in the Hive, the children will explore technological advances in computing.

Every three weeks, children will visit their new learning zone where they will expand their learning horizons and learn how to instil, inspire and innovate in every subject. “I love the new idea of moving round the classrooms because each one is linked to a specific subject and the learning environments inspire our creativity,” stated a Year 6 pupil.


Sedgefield schools’ partnership work

Partnership work between the two schools at Sedgefield and Hardwick took place this week in both Year 2 classes. Sedgefield Hardwick pupils visited Sedgefield Primary and conducted mini interviews to explore healthy packed lunch options.

Pupils from both schools thoroughly enjoyed seeing established friends in their school environment Also many used the opportunity to make new friends from the local area.

"It was exciting because they were kind. We got to meet new people. I also got to meet people I already know." Isaac W.


Scottish Author

Sedgefield Primary pupils were wowed this week by the acclaimed Scottish author, Stuart Reid. Stuart has performed in over 2,000 schools worldwide. He is the well-known author of the Gorgeous George series.

Lively creative writing workshops were presented to pupils from Year 2 – 6. The aim was to engage all pupils further in a love of books. Sedgefield Primary pupils thoroughly enjoyed this visit, alongside staff. Teachers were impressed by Stuart’s ability to engage all pupils. In fact, some pupils were so inspired that they have produced their own poetry and mini books based on this visit.

Perhaps these pupils will become famous authors later in life?


Combustion Engineering Association

Formed in 1933, the CEA is a registered educational charity based at Sedgefield’s NETPark. Through education, representation, promotion and specialist advice, the organisation aims to promote the science of combustion engineering and to encourage best practice.

Office administrator vacancy This office administrator (or apprentice) will be involved in all aspects of running a very busy office, dealing with daily data entry into the accreditation schemes that the CEA run, being involved in organising and attending the conferences and events we host around the UK (if appropriate). Working with training providers and assessors for the accreditation schemes.

Attending meetings with other staff members and taking minutes (if appropriate). Previous experience is preferred but not essential, general IT skills are required, good telephone manner is required in dealing with the very mixed range of people we communicate with daily.

Hours: 35 - 40 per week
Application deadline: 05/11/2021
Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Permanent, Apprenticeship
Salary: £18,000-£22,000 per year

COVID-19 considerations: NETPark is a modern office and research complex, it has COVID measures in place that we all have to adhere to including face masks in general public areas, hand sanitiser and social distancing.


DCC Care Connect

We continue to operate as usual and ask all customers to use our service if you need it and to recommend it to friends and family who may need extra support at this crucial time. If you have concerns regarding the pandemic and your health, please get in touch. Staff will ask you on arrival if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive.

Our staff wear full protective equipment (PPE) to protect both themselves and you. They use antibacterial gel for their hands and sanitise vehicles after visiting homes. We take all precautions to stop the spread of the virus.

If you want to join the service during Covid-19 restrictions and are concerned about staff entering your property, we can either deliver your equipment to your doorstep for you to plug into an electric socket or it can be installed by our staff using PPE and social distancing.

If you are shielding, please let us know. Get in touch today by emailing care.connect@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000 262 195.


Christmas Tree Festival

The festive season may still be months away but enterprising members of Sedgefield’s St Edmund’s Church are already hard at work planning a Christmas Tree Festival for the town while keeping their fingers well and truly crossed that there won’t be another COVID lockdown.

“We’ve responded to requests from several people who thought it would brighten up their lives after all the challenges they have had to face during the COVID lockdown”, said emeritus warden Brian Mutch this week.

And to kickstart the celebration, festival organisers have decided not to charge local companies and organisations of various kinds who want to dress a tree.

More than 30 have expressed an interest in staging a display which all things being equal, will be open to the public from Friday 26 November to Friday 3 December.

During the festival, it is hoped to arrange a Civic Carol service and a brass band concert.

Further information, including expressions of interest in acquiring a display site, can be made by contacting Brian on 01740 622302


Sedgefield Christmas cards

Packs of Christmas cards with a difference are now on sale in Sedgefield as part of the ongoing efforts by the Friends of St Edmund’s Church to help preserve the fabric of the centuries-old building.

The trifold cards depict the doorway entrance to the church. The cards come in a pack of five and cost £5.

The Friends are also offering a mixed pack of eight cards in four different eye-catching designs for £6 per pack or an option to choose eight identical cards for the same price.

They can be obtained from Brian and Christine Mutch on 01740 622302 or via b.mutch@btconnect.com, any member of the Friends’ committee or at the Hive in Rectory Row.


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Sedgefield Energy Switch is a new initiative from Sedgefield Development Trust.

Working together with iChoosr, we're trying to help Sedgefield residents save money on their domestic gas and electricity bills. Sedgefield still continue to have the highest switching rate in the country.


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Buy Local

Sedgefield Farmers Market is held every first Sunday of the Month, on the village green, from 8.30am to 12.30pm. The market has about 20 stall holders each month, varying throughout the seasons, providing meats, vegatables, Handmade pies, pastries and cakes, Fish, Spices, Cheeses and more.

To book a stall call Roger Clubley: 01740 620609, email Farmers Market: farmers@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk


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