Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall opens new Marlborough school
It's been a very special day that everyone will remember for years to comePhilip Whalley, Wiltshire Council portfolio holder for education and skills
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed a rapturous welcome from pupils waving Union Jack flags at Marlborough St Mary's C.E. Primary School this morning (30 January) as she paid a special visit to officially open the school.
The Duchess was treated to performances from children of all ages and a tour of the classrooms before unveiling a special plaque to commemorate the new building.
The visit began with a performance from children in the reception class, before a tour of the classrooms including a visit to the Complex Needs Resource Base.
After touring the classrooms and learning about the school's Radio Club, Her Royal Highness was treated to two songs by the school choir which featured 49 children from various year groups. They included the school's own version of The Lion King's "Hakuna Matata" while year one pupils performed a poem called "If I were a superhero." Her Royal Highness enjoyed the performance so much she stayed an additional 15 minutes to hear more. The choir is taking part in the Youth Voices Concert taking place at the O2 Arena in London on 1 February and The Duchess wished them all the best of luck.
Her Royal Highness also met three budding young journalists who joined the press pack covering the visit. Corey (10), Rosie (10) and Amy (7) were equipped with iPads and given official Royal Rota badges which allowed them to accompany The Duchess throughout the visit.
The Bishop of Ramsbury the Rt Revd. Dr Edward Condry also blessed the school.
Headteacher Anne Schwodler said the children had been really excited about the visit: "I thought it went very well. The Duchess was lovely she was very kind and chatted to lots of the children. I think the staff and the children will remember this for years to come."
Philip Whalley, Wiltshire Council portfolio holder for education and skills said: "It's wonderful to imagine the thousands of children who are going to learn and develop in this amazing school. It's been a very special day that everyone will remember for years to come."
The school currently has 380 pupils, with the capacity for 440. There are two classes for each year group from Reception to Year 6 (age range 4 11 years) and a Complex Needs Resource Base for children with a range of special needs.
The school has been built as part of the government's Priority Schools Building Programme. Wiltshire Council contributed to the build to ensure it could be a single storey school. The former infant building was recently demolished to improve access and parking on the site.
The special event was also attended by HM Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton, The High Sheriff of Wiltshire Lady Marland, chairman of Wiltshire Council Allison Bucknell, The Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire Superintendent Chris Chammings representing the Chief Constable of Wiltshire and the Mayor and Mayoress of Marlborough Councillor Mervyn Hall and Cath Hall.