Pontefract Education Trust

Annual Celebrations


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12th JULY 2016:  PET Celebration Evening 

200 Pontefract Children from 12 schools perform together to celebrate Shakespeare with the PET

200 children from 12 Pontefract Schools performed to a 500 audience of parents, staff and governors at Carleton Community High School on Tuesday 12th July.   Guest appearance from Amy Hall, local vocalist, educator and composer led this year's Pontefract Education Trust (PET) choir.

Clapping along to HalfPenny Lane's, 'We will rock you' and laughing at Holy Family's rendition of Toad in 'Wind in the Willows' was a taste of the talents displayed by pupils from 6-16 years old. 

The PET Celebration day is the Trust's second annual celebration event and was a resounding success.  Louise Limbert, (PET Project and Communication Manager) said,

 "The children were beaming after the show.  During rehearsals some of the children were really nervous but there was no sign of that on stage.  The Trust is committed to widening children's opportunities; this celebration is the one event that epitomises everything we stand for and everything we work towards.  Essentially, the focus is on the children.  When I hear 'That was amazing' from one of the children then I know it was worth it!" 

Darren Refern, head teacher at St Joseph's said, "This is an event we are proud to be part of.  The children will look back at this in years to come and remember the amazing opportunity they had to perform on stage. "

Performances from The Rookeries, Orchard Head, Larkshill, Cobblers Lane, Holy Family St Michael, St Joseph's, The Kings School, Delacy Primary, Carleton Park and Carleton High School were also amongst the line up. 

Rookeries Chair of Governors, Mike Farrell said,

"Children never fail to amaze people in the way they are open to any challenge we give them.  It was wonderful to see the performing arts department at Carleton High School mould children into professional performers.  I was so proud of them all." 

The evening concluded with homage to Shakespeare to celebrate his 400th birthday this year.  10 children from each school joined to form our 2016 PET Choir, performing To Be or Not to Be, Sonnet 18 rap from the Sonnet Man and Taylor Swift's Love Story.   

The PET would like to thank Amy Hall for leading the choir, the staff at Carleton for all their hard work and support and partners Pontefract Sports & Education Foundation for sponsoring the event.  Well done to all the brave children who performed so well in front of a large audience.

For further information visit



2015 Celebrations





JULY 2015:  PET Celebration Evening with special guest James & Malcolm Wilstrop

On Tuesday, 14th July 2015 world class local squash player, James Wilstrop was treated to an amazing display of talent from over 200 local school children.  Accompanied by Malcolm Wilstrop, Pontefract Squash Club’s head coach, the father and son were special guests during the evening of entertainment.

The initiative was instigated by the Pontefract Education Trust staff and head teachers, who regularly meet to share expertise and resources.  They felt it was important to show the children, parents, staff and governors how working together as a Trust can raise aspirations and achievements locally. 

The event featured a variety of acts from singing and dancing to drama, skipping and a showcase of musical abilities, featuring flautists, guitarists and pianists.  11 local schools were involved in a huge ‘Pontefract’s Got Talent’ show. 

The performances on the night were faultless with the most amazing array of talent. 

The smiles of the children who fought their performance fears and the after-show buzz, it made the evening a resounding success. 



After wishing the children well in their future careers, James shared his experience of performing in front of a live crowd with the youngsters and said,

“It is great to feel the heartbeat of a live audience and to hear their reactions.  Both myself and Malcolm thought how lucky you all are to be able to perform in a wonderful theatre with such a large audience!”

“Having a hobby to pursue is so important for our health, as well as opening up opportunities in life. It is imperative that events like these are supported and encouraged by local councils and the government, to allow the pursuit of sports and ‘The Arts’ later on in life”.  

After the show, Malcolm said, “We were very impressed with the organisation of the event but mostly the talents of the local children!”  The evening was concluded with the PET choir’s rendition of ‘Young Voices 2015 Pop Medley’. The PET Celebration Evening was a huge success - and the first of many to come. 

We would like to thank our partners: SSE, Ogden Trust, Pinderfield’s PRU, the LA, Wakefield College, NEW college, The University of York, the CHOICES programme, Pontefract