Laidlaw Schools Trust Celebrates the Success of "Extraordinary Us" Singing Concert

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News / Posted On - 2 / 07 / 2024

Laidlaw Schools Trust is delighted to announce the resounding success of the "Extraordinary Us" Singing Concert, held as part of our Laidlaw + initiative.

This event, generously funded by the Laidlaw Foundation, showcased the exceptional musical talents of pupils from Atkinson Road Primary Academy, Westgate Hill Primary Academy, Excelsior Primary and Secondary Academy, and Thomas Walling Primary Academy.

A Day of Musical Brilliance

The singing concert, held at The Civic Centre in Newcastle City, was a harmonious collaboration that left the audience in awe. Under the expert guidance of renowned educators Miles and Gary Wallis Clarke, Co-Founders of Palladio Education, pupils delivered captivating performances. Pianist Gary Wallis-Clarke and conductor Miles Wallis Clarke led the rehearsals, ensuring a polished and high-quality musical experience. The concert featured instrumental accompaniment from talented guitarists and drummers, adding depth and richness to the performances.

A Testimony to Dedication and Hard Work

The children from the participating schools worked diligently to perfect their performances, and their enthusiasm was palpable throughout the afternoon. The concert was a testament to their hard work, commitment, and passion for music. We spoke with pupils at Thomas Walling and they told us:

“We have been practising for four weeks. We are so excited to see our parents and show them the songs we have learned. It’s so fun to see the other schools singing their songs too!”

Miles Wallis-Clark, Palladio Education added:

“We had a wonderful time working with the children and staff from the Laidlaw Schools Trust. It is clear that considerable work was done in schools so all the children were brilliantly prepared for the day. The individual pieces showed great variety and were performed with enthusiasm and musicality. The sound of the massed voices was spectacular - the children coped with a short joint rehearsal on the day and sang their hearts out in rounds and part songs. The final song, ‘We Are The Young’ was very moving and showed the huge potential of the children. They lived up to the billing of the concert and were Extraordinary!”

Sue Ogilvie, Teacher at Westgate Hill commented:

"Watching our students grow through their participation in this singing performance has been incredibly rewarding. They've developed not only their musical talents but also important skills like teamwork and dedication. Our year group practices provided a wonderful opportunity for students to collaborate and support each other, which is especially significant for those from our alternative provision school.

Events like this have a profound impact on our school community. They broaden the horizons of our pupils and their families, especially for parents who might not often have the chance to attend events in such beautiful venues as the Civic Centre in Newcastle. It's heartwarming to see our students come together on stage, showcasing their talents and the incredible journey they've undertaken. This concert not only celebrates their musical achievements but also strengthens our sense of community and shared experience."

Sally Newton, Co-CEO of Laidlaw Schools Trust:

"I am feeling incredibly emotional and proud of all our students who participated in the 'Extraordinary Us' Singing Concert. These young individuals mean more to me than they could ever know, and I am confident they will go on to achieve extraordinary things. Music has a unique ability to bring us together, and seeing our pupils united in song was truly heartwarming.

Each one of you is unique and special, yet you all embody the values we hold dear at Laidlaw Schools Trust, you are all —Ambitious, Brave, Curious, Determined, Extraordinary, Fast, and Good. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the dedicated teachers who have worked tirelessly to prepare our pupils for this event. A special mention goes to Lisa Macaulay from Atkinson Road for her remarkable leadership and dedication in bringing this vision to life. Your passion and commitment are truly inspiring."

Optional Donations for St Oswald's Hospice

We are thrilled to announce that all ticket sales for the concert were collected as optional donations to St Oswald's Hospice. The generosity of the attendees resulted in a significant contribution to this worthy cause.


We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Laidlaw Foundation for their generous funding and support of the "Extraordinary Us" events. Their commitment to fostering education and creativity has made this concert possible and has enriched the lives of our pupils.