The Headteacher at Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy serenaded students throughout the school day to raise money for charity.

Joan McCarthy took requests and sang tunes ranging from pop to rock as students filed into lessons, during the morning’s Act of Worship, and at break and lunchtime.

She decided to run the Singathon on a non-uniform day held to raise money for Mellon Educate, a charity that helps to build schools and improve education for African children.

Mrs McCarthy is aiming to raise £2,000 ahead of a trip to South Africa with Mellon Educate during the summer to work in schools, when she will be supporting teachers and finding out more about the country’s education system.

She said: “I thought that the Singathon would be a bit of fun for the students, especially with all the bad news there has been recently. I also thought I could raise money and awareness of Mellon Educate at the same time. I sang during our Act of Worship and I encouraged students into lessons by singing to them, I’m not sure how much they enjoyed it but they certainly moved a bit quicker than usual. “

Mrs McCarthy flies out to South Africa on July 29th for two weeks and will be based in a secondary school called Silverlands.

She said: “Mellon Educate started out by building homes in townships in Africa and has moved into building schools and they need teachers to go out and help with the running of the schools.

“Hopefully we can share ideas. I don’t really know what to expect but I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be able to experience their education system and bring that back to our children at Saint John Houghton.

“I think a trip like this will show how lucky we are and I’m hoping to establish links with the school and learn from them.”

With support from 25,000 volunteers, Mellon Educate has built houses for 125,000 homeless people in South Africa’s poorest townships and the charity has pledged to provide better education for more than 100,000 African children.

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