Pupils take selfies with Sir Ian McKellen during visit to Wellingborough school

Sir Ian McKellen met students during a visit to Sir Christopher Hatton School in Wellingborough
Sir Ian McKellen met students during a visit to Sir Christopher Hatton School in Wellingborough
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A renowned star of the stage and screen met students during a visit to recognise their school’s work in addressing the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

As the country’s first gold award winning school, Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in Wellingborough was delighted to welcome Sir Ian McKellen, Stonewall ambassador and founder, to meet staff and students at the academy yesterday (Wednesday).

Sir Ian started his visit with lunch and a question and answer session in the school’s library with students from the peer mentor team and the staff who are involved with inclusion.

The actor was interested to hear about how the academy deals with inclusion for LGBT students and staff over lunch and home-made rhubarb crumble, handpicked from the garden of the school’s anti-bullying co-ordinator John Barker.

Sir Ian then had a guided tour of the academy by students and the school’s learning mentors.

Many of the students that he met on the way were startstruck as they took their selfies and were greeted personally by him.

The visit came to an end with Sir Ian giving a speech, Shakespeare recital, singing and answering questions from further selected students.

John Barker, Sir Christopher Hatton Academy’s senior teacher and anti-bullying/E-safety co-ordinator, said: “This was an historic day in Hatton’s history, and recognition for the team’s hard work in addressing the needs of LGBT students and stamping out bullying.”

The school is to become a Stonewall training partner for other schools within the region, with training delivered by Hatton’s team.

It is also becoming an ABA SEN/Disability Champion school where they will be delivering training for other schools in anti-bullying and inclusion for students with special needs.