Not many school assemblies are filmed live to the nation.
But last Thursday proved to be truly memorable for Nene Park Academy and six of its shocked pupils as they received a heart-warming surprise in front of the TV cameras.
The secondary school is taking part in the anti-bullying Be Kind campaign which is being run by ITV show This Morning, and as part of the live shots filmed inside the school hall golden envelopes were handed out to pupils which carried nice messages written about them by their peers.
It was all a big surprise to the six pupils who did not know they were going to receive the envelopes, one of whom was Tiffany Tyson who had moved to Nene Park, in Oundle Road, after having difficulties at a previous school.
The year 11 pupil said: “The six of us have been through bad times before and had mean things said to us, so to have a message in front of everyone was a really nice feeling.
“I think it’s really good our school is participating in the campaign. It’s bringing a lot of us together.”
The idea for Nene Park to get involved in the campaign came from the academy’s head of PE Natasha Gleeson who emailed This Morning and was shocked to receive a reply suggesting a live broadcast.
Natasha (28) of Werrington said: “The pupils were like, ‘we are not really going to be on TV’. They did not actually believe me until it happened, but they were really excited.
“It was really nerve-racking but we held it together. The students were fantastic, I did not realise how much goes into a five minute broadcast. They arrived at 7.30 to set up.”
This Morning is hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, and the live broadcast was led at the school by journalist Alice Beer.
Natasha added: “Alice was fantastic and the students warmed to her.”
The other five pupils to receive golden envelopes in front of 280 fellow pupils were Leah Monaf, Zac Chaudhari, Bea Kumbo and Rosheen Wilson.
Year 10 pupil Bea said: “It was an amazing experience. It was nice because you did not think it would happen.
“My friends and family have been posting on Facebook congratulating me and messaging me.”
Rosheen, who is also in year 10, added: “I was really nervous and quite anxious before, but once I did it everyone came up to me and said I did really well.
“I feel more confident and more people who I do not know have been speaking to me.
“My mum was really proud of me. She was telling everyone to watch it!”
The Be Kind campaign was launched after the huge response This Morning received when Lucy Alexander - the mother of Felix Alexander (17) - and Nicola Harteveld - the mother of 14-year-old Megan Evans - shared the tragic stories of how their children committed suicide after being bullied.
This week every pupil at Nene Park is writing a ‘kind’ comment about another student which will be placed in boxes then handed out. Every pupil will receive a positive comment.
The ‘Be Kind’ slips will then be available around the school for kind comments to be made throughout the year and distributed to the pupils.
The school, which has 1,200 pupils, is also looking at future initiatives to continue the campaign, while Natasha added: “Just because we have now appeared on TV it’s not the end of it. We have to keep the momentum going.
“If we can get this set up at other schools as well that would be brilliant.”