GETTING involved with community projects proved to be an enjoyable break from the traditional classroom setting and gave pupils at a Furness school a chance to be good neighbours.

The Mail, on October 24 in 1996, noted: “The community-minded pupils from Thorncliffe School won warm praise from councillors for the helping hand they have been giving their neighbours.

“The Barrow school addressed the county council’s education committee under an agenda item on Education for Citizenship.

“It was the first time the committee had been educated by pupils about their work in this way.

“The 12 Thorncliffe pupils, all aged 14 to 16,were introduced by assistant headteacher Jacqui Barnfield, who told councillors that all classes now had some form of community experience, with 173 pupils involved this year.”

She said: “They work in small groups on what they want to do and organise and plan it themselves.”

The article noted: “The first project was presented by Alan White, 16, Tamsin Sharp, 15 and Sarah Postlethwaite, 15.

“They had drawn two murals on the inside of Hindpool Nursery and spent three days with the under-fives.

“Jill Rundle, 15, told how she spent a day at Risedale Retirement Home doing the laundry and helping them with chairobics.

“Kirsten Thompson and Amy Walker, both 15,shared with councillors the fun they had painting the doors and windows of Hawcoat Community Centre.

“Stephanie Day, 16, Nicola Slater, 15 and Katherine Hill, 15, told they had helped out at Spring Mount Christian Fellowship.”

Other pupils described the production of a community newspaper which was delivered to 6,000 people.

Director of education John Nellist said: “It isn’t easy for them to stand in front of you, but they’ve done it well.”

In May 1999 pupils Stephanie Sloan and Ashley McKeever raised more than £50 for Kosovan refugees based at Ulverston from a collecting box in the  Shell service station on Abbey Road, Barrow, with the assistance of manager Joan Purchase.

In March 2001 Thorncliffe students Laura Marsland, Kayleigh  McIvor, Jade Leonard and Mia Swindlehurst produced posters to help with a Second World War air raid shelter project at Barrow's Greengate Junior School.

Another community project in the same month saw Thorncliffe pupils assist with the redecorating at Barrow's Holbeck Community Centre.

Among those proving more than useful with the paint brushes were Charlene Marks, Kelly Penaluna, Laura Hill, Rachel Barrow and Rebecca Robinson.