26th May 2000 at 01:00
Days in the life of Hele's school, Plymouth.

The bride was only 14, and so was the groom, and the bridesmaids, and the vicar and most of the guests. But this isn't another story about getting married too young and regretting it. For they are all members of Year 9 at Hele's school where wedding ceremonies are part of the section on relationships in their religious studies curriculum. Sylvia Sutcliffe, deputy head of the 1,350-pupil comprehensive, says: "It's something children never forget. Eighteen years ago I staged a Hindu wedding and a former pupil wrote to me just last Christmas reminding me about it. It's a much more powerful way of dealing with a subject than reading about it in a textbook." Pupils volunteer for their roles. The vicar, for instance, needs to be confident about speaking in public. The bride and groom talk to their parents about the kind of commitment involved, and someone else bakes the cake. They book the church of St Mary, Plympton, tell the organist what music they want and invite parents as guests. Later, pupils record their impressions: "I was urprised at how seriously the wedding was performed. Everyone played their parts really well but still enjoyed it. I enjoyed singing the hymn. It had great lyrics," wrote Dom Wood. "The last wedding I went to (a real one) was not as good as this one," said Emma Smith. And Jason Jones (one of the bridegrooms): "I was really nervous and one of my legs was shaking all the way through."

* And here's one for the bride.

* Smiling, from left, Daniel Higgins, Daniel Brewer, Michelle Robertson, Fiona Cormack, Adam Sampson, Darren Reilly, Jessica Adams, Adam Fryer, Nicola Donovan, Louise Higgins, Bruce McConaghy.

* My big day:Bride Jessica Adams outside the church.

* The icing on RE:Jessica Adams and Darren Reilly cut the cake.

* Bridal couple Laura Wilson and Jason Jones with bridesmaids and guests.

* Do you . . . ? Adam Fryer conducts the service.

Bride Joanne Greer and groom Tony Hart flanked by bridesmaids, from left, Lauren Hidebrand, Leigh Curran, Sarah Davis, Becky Smith, Sam Curran and Tracy Pengelly.

Snaps by Sylvia Sutcliffe

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