A GROUP of students from York got an amazing opportunity to visit one of London’s best-known football stadiums to pick up a top award.

Pupils from Applefields School travelled to the Emirates Stadium - home of Arsenal football club where they were recognised for placing third in a country wide anti-racism competition.

Sarah Brown, the class’ teacher, said the pupils entered the competition back in March and were overjoyed with the result.

Following the result came an invitation to an awards ceremony in London.

Sarah said she was sceptical about whether the whole class would be allowed to go to the event.

However, after speaking to the school’s head teacher the answer was: “Congratulations, lets do it!”.

With the rest of the school behind them, the class travelled down to London by mini bus.

Sarah said the children were “very excited” about going to London.

“Most of them have rarely been outside of York,” she said.

Applefields, which is on Bad Bargain Lane in Burnholme, is the city’s additional needs secondary school.

The competition, organised by charity Show Racism the Red Card, calls on school pupils across the country to submit creative content with an anti-racist message.

The class submitted a collage of anti-racism artwork which won them third place in the Additional Support for Learning Artwork and Creative Writing category.

The group were met at the awards ceremony by a number of sporting stars.

Of these included England football captain Gareth Southgate, who spoke virtually at the event.

Sarah said the children were well looked after throughout the day.

They were treated to football skills workshops by Guinness World Records professionals.

The children also left with gifts from their favourite football clubs and a copy of the latest FIFA computer game.

Show Racism the Red Card have held the ceremony virtually for the past two years but made the decision to hold this year’s event in person.

Sarah said: “It was nice to be there in person.

“We just had an amazing day.

“The kids can’t wait to enter next year.”

As The Press reported last year, Applefields has had an increase in pupil numbers increase from 178 to 196 in the 2021/22 academic year and City of York Council gave the go ahead for work to be carried out to increase space.

As part of an overhaul at the school their Transition Zone space is being turned into teaching space to meet the increase in pupil numbers, a classroom will be divided into smaller teaching areas and “chill out rooms” and new offices for staff would be built.

The work is set to take place over two years to minimise disruption and the project is expected to cost £765,000.