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With Union Jack bunting proudly displayed across the school's two entrances, reception atrium and Chapel, the school community set about marking the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a Celebration Day of special events.

The day began with a Jubilee Chapel, led by Dr Kirk. The Chapel featured a beautiful rendition of In Our Service, a choral piece commissioned by the Royal School of Church Music especially for the Platinum Jubilee, performed by a fusion of Junior Consort, members of Opera Ensemble, the Chamber Choirs of both St Mary’s and St Margaret’s, and staff.

Director of Vocal Studies, Mrs Bethan Dudley Fryar, who led the combined choir, remarked that 'the rousing rendition of 'In Our Service' was beautifully sung and felt very poignant, especially as many of the words of the anthem were taken from speeches the Queen had made over the years. It was a wonderful way to start the school's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.'

Following the performance, Dr Kirk spoke about the astonishing achievements of the Queen and her life in service to the United Kingdom. As Dr Kirk addressed the school, an impressive series of morphing photographs taken throughout Her Majesty’s life and reign was shown on the Chapel's large screen.

Dr Kirk also recounted some fascinating facts about the Queen’s reign, including the fact that she is the longest-reigning Monarch in British history, surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, in 2015. Dr Kirk added that it's interesting that 'out of 1,200 years of history and 61 monarchs, 56 of whom were men, the top two longest rulers were both women'.

Girls left feeling very proud of the Queen's remarkable achievements, with the Chapel setting the celebratory tone for the rest of the day. At morning break, girls enjoyed Jubilee-themed cupcakes in House and were encouraged to visit the Library to view the book display dedicated to the Queen.

After classes finished for the day, the school community was invited to join Dr Kirk and the Head Girl's Team on the Beech Lawn to plant a tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project. Dr Kirk opened proceedings by explaining that the Queen’s Green Canopy is a unique initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, which invites people from across the UK to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’. Everyone from individuals to villages, cities, community groups, schools and companies have planted trees as a way to enhance the natural environment and celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee milestone.

Dr Kirk then explained that the tree being planted was a Rowan tree, which will grow to be an elegant tree with delicate green leaves bearing clusters of creamy white flowers in spring and bright red berries in autumn. Since ancient times people have planted a Rowan tree beside their home as in Celtic mythology it’s known as the ‘Tree of Life’, symbolising courage, wisdom and protection. Many say planting a Rowan tree near your house will ensure a happy home. So, it seemed very fitting that this tree will sit beside three of the school's Boarding Houses.

The Head Girl’s Team was then invited to plant the Rowan tree, with Anna and Hannah lifting the tree into place, while Sienna shovelled soil around the tree's base.

Dr Kirk thanked everyone for coming together to mark this historic moment and encouraged everyone to enjoy watching the tree grow and flourish.

The final event of the school's Jubilee Celebrations was the official naming of 'The Platinum Jubilee Garden’. The raised bed vegetable garden, placed outside the Science Block, has recently been created and is run by the school's Gardening Club. As a girl, the Queen was involved in encouraging the nation to start allotments and to 'dig for victory' as a way to combat food shortages during WWII. It was thought it was a fitting tribute to the Queen and her part in the WWII allotment campaign to name this area in her honour.

There was an enormous sense of pride in our Queen and her historic milestone, and the girls left for Half Term ready to enjoy further celebrations with their family and friends over the extended Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend.