Royal Visit for Official Neston High School Opening
|Author: Katie Robson||Published: 19th November 2018 16:38|
His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, visited Neston High School on Monday 19 November, to officially open the new facilities there. He was accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs.
Originally scheduled for March, but postponed due to poor weather, the silver lining of the later visit was that it gave His Royal Highness the opportunity to see the school fully finished after its multi-million pound new build programme.
Greeted kerbside by Head Teacher Mr Steven Dool, Deputy Head Teacher Mrs Rachel Hudson and Chair of Trustees Dr Kevin Mothersdale, then by hundreds of excited, flag-waving students, Prince Edward spoke to as many of them as possible on his way up to the school's main entrance. Neston High's Samba Band gave an energetic performance to welcome him.
Once inside, His Royal Highness was greeted by more music, this time from the High School's band, playing a programme of popular tunes including 'We Will Rock You' and 'September.'
After a brief refreshment stop, Prince Edward was introduced to representatives from Brio Leisure, the community interest company responsible for the running of Neston Recreation Centre next door to the High School.
(l-r) From Brio, Lesley Finnigan, Elly McFahn, David Woods and Cllr Louise Gittins, who is on the board of the CIC.
On to the second floor, and a brief chat with some Mental Health First Aiders and members of the Inclusion Team, after which the visit moved on to the Reg Chrimes Library, where His Royal Highness chatted to more pupils about their work.
Sixth Form students were up next - explaining their studies for EPQs (Extended Project Qualifications) to the royal visitor and then on to the Art Department. Prince Edward had animated chats with a number of students on his way through all the departments he visited.
Next, a brief stop to speak to members of the team who ran the new building project, including now-retired Deputy Head Teacher Colin Randerson, School Bursar Mrs Tina Phillips and project co-ordinator Ben Wolstenholme.
Ben Wolstenholme, Tina Phillips, Colin Randerson and Stephen Dool discuss the school building project with His Royal Highness Prince Edward.
In the Hird Activity Studio, 250 Duke of Edinburgh award students had gathered to meet His Royal Highness. It was the numerous conversations that he had with them that caused the tightly co-ordinated schedule to run over time. He was clearly genuinely interested in hearing about their various experiences on the road to Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.
Finally, the visiting party moved on to Bushell Hall, where hundreds more students awaited the Earl, along with invited guests, including the Mayor of Neston, Cllr Pat Kynaston, Cheshire West Councillor Louise Gittins, Trustees of the school and current and former staff members.
After speeches from Head Girl Abbie Cannon and Head Boy Jack Cooke, Prince Edward unveiled the plaque to mark the official opening of the school and made a presentation of a certificate commemorating the occasion, to Head Teacher Mr Stephen Dool. His engaging speech even raised some laughs - no easy task when students have been waiting nearly an hour in silence!
All in all, it was a very successful royal visit, of which the entire school should be very proud.