Queen's Visit: Bright day for students
HUNDREDS of students packed the entrance to Samuel Whitbread Community College to greet Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. As soon as the couple stepped out of their car they were greeted by loud cheers and lots of patriotic waving of Union
HUNDREDS of students packed the entrance to Samuel Whitbread Community College to greet Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
As soon as the couple stepped out of their car they were greeted by loud cheers and lots of patriotic waving of Union Flags.
After meeting civic dignitaries, including Lord Lieutenant Samuel Whitbread and Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police Gillian Parker, Her Majesty was presented with a posy of flowers by 15-year-old pupil Emily Travis.
As Her Majesty walked through the entrance to the new arts and science unit she was treated to a musical performance written especially for the day by the students, called It's A Bright Day.
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Her tour took her through the newly-built art and science block where she was given demonstrations of performing arts, took a look at some of the pupils' paintings, followed by a visit to the dance studio where pupils performed a reconstruction of Swan Lake.
The party then moved into the main hall where Her Majesty was shown a display featuring Bedfordshire's first e-learning project, which allows disaffected pupils and youngsters to keep in touch with teachers and still gain a quality education.
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Sam Flint, 15, one of the pupils using such technology, said: "She asked me what the website was used for so I told her we could use it to catch up with course work. I was really nervous but I enjoyed talking to her."
Confident 13-year-old Jamie Day spoke to the Queen about the school's academic mentoring project. She said: "I told her we work together to improve learning at the school. It was cool!"
The Queen was then taken on a tour of the sports hall where pupils were busy giving demonstrations of trampolining, netball, badminton and other sports.
Emma Ramsay, 16, spoke to the Duke of Edinburgh about the school's sports facilities and said: "It was nice to meet him, I got to have a nice chat with him and he was very friendly."
As the royal party moved through the new facilities the couple were invited in to various classes to see what the students were learning.
In one of the science blocks she was given a demonstration of a voice box which analyses speech patterns before seeing a bunsen burner demonstration to see which metals conduct heat most effectively.
Helen Collier, 16, said: "She asked how many times a week we have science. She was very easy to talk to."
The Queen rounded off her visit to the school by unveiling two commemorative plaques, one marking the opening of the school's art and science units, the other marking Harlington Upper School's involvement in the day.
Samuel Whitbread Community College's former principal Roger Owen said: "This is a day we won't forget and it was also memorable for the students here.
"Our passion is for the development of our young people as effective learners and positive students and as fulfilled human beings."
Speaking directly to the Queen, Mr Owen continued: "We are very impressed with your interest and commitment to the young people who are the future of our country.
"It's recognition for us for the achievement of our students that you have come today."
As the Queen left the school building she was presented with a bouquet of flowers by two children from Samuel Whitbread Nursery, four-year-olds Olivia Mardell and Eden Rowlinson-Martin.