City status: This is what Doncaster education leaders and schoolchildren had to say about the new title

After the recent announcement that Doncaster had been successful in its bid for city status we spoke to education leaders and local schoolchildren what they thought about the news and what changes they imagined it might bring.

Saturday, 18th June 2022, 2:17 pm
Kay Godfrey (on the left) with Michelle Cockayne and academy pupils
Kay Godfrey (on the left) with Michelle Cockayne and academy pupils

Kay Godfrey is the Regional Director at Astrea Academy Trust which oversees eight Doncaster primary schools and a secondary, and she had this to say: “We are delighted with the decision to award Doncaster with city status. This celebrates Doncaster’s diverse community, cultural heritage, and rich history.

“It’s important to have pride in our local community. That is why at Astrea we have weaved our local surroundings into our history, geography, and wider curriculum opportunities, which will provide our pupils with a rich set of wider experiences that expands on their local knowledge.

“We are all excited about the prospects and opportunities that this will bring for our pupils in Doncaster, both now and in the future.”

Pupils at Kingfisher working on a mural

Michelle Cockayne, Principal at Edenthorpe Hall Academy, part of Astrea, said: “We are so proud to have been granted city status, it really puts Doncaster on the map and ensures we get the credit we deserve. Our pupils are delighted that we are now a city.

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“Achieving city status for the children of Doncaster is really exciting and contributes to their personal development. Our curriculum teaches students essential knowledge about the world and their own place within it. At Edenthorpe Hall, we aim to offer a high-quality wider curriculum education and being of city status will inspire in pupils the curiosity of understanding what this means.

“City status will provide the families of Doncaster improved opportunities for future generations and provide a boost to our communities.”

Arty pupils at Kingfisher hard at work

Niki Penn, Year 5 class teacher, at Kingfisher Primary Academy, part of Astrea, said: “We are ecstatic at Kingfisher Primary to have played a part in Doncaster becoming a city. Our Year 5 students in particular have worked extremely hard to contribute towards this.

“The children in Year 5 have commented on how great it would be if Doncaster could become a city because there are so many fascinating places to visit in Doncaster, that in fact, they were shocked because of how big it is, that it wasn't already a city.

“Now that they know we have achieved city status, they are so proud, with cheers of joy and laughter. They couldn't believe that they had the opportunity to play a part in this, with their amazing video, which showed examples of the brilliant pieces of work from our very own Kingfisher Curriculum on Doncaster.

The finished mural

“As part of this curriculum, our children explored the history of Doncaster and were able to use this learning when creating their incredible mural. The mural is now on display outside of the school, thanks to the Mayor of Doncaster, who had the honour of unveiling the mural.”

Jannah, Year 6 student at Edenthorpe Hall Primary Academy, said: “I'm happy that we are now a city as Doncaster is a nice place with nice people and we deserve the status.”

Aaron, Year 6 student at Edenthorpe Hall Primary Academy, said: “Doncaster will become a better place as we will be more well-known and attract more tourism.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.