Children and staff at The West Grantham Academy St Hugh’s and West Grantham Academy St John’s each held a special remembrance ceremony earlier this month.
Students from St Hugh’s gathered in their school houses, Plato, Voltaire and Socrates, and waited quietly and respectively outside on the tennis courts. Then out of the silence the order ‘Cadets get on Parade’ echoed around the tennis courts, followed by the sharp, crisp, clatter of boots from the cadets marching up to take their place for the assembly.
With everybody in place the Executive Headteacher, Mrs Susan Dench, began the ceremony with a heart-warming and poignant opening speech and blessing.
Ann-Marie, a pupil from the house Voltaire read the poem, ‘Jane Weir Poppie’, followed by a brief silence. The academy choir then lifted the silence by singing the song Jerusalem, by William Blake.
Following that, a second poem, titled ‘For the Fallen’, was read by a pupil named Hannah who was representing the house Socrates. The academy reflected on the poem before the Bugler, Mr Robert Crick, came out to take his place, in his ceremonial dress uniform. Pupils Lara and Daniel lowered the standards slowly as the Bugler played the traditional‘Last Post’.
Two minutes of silence and reflection was then observed by all, remembering personal losses and sacrifices of all our fallen and injured. The Bugler then burst back into action with the sounds of ‘Reveille’, as Daniel and Lara lifted the standards back into position on their belts. Despoina, also a pupil, calmly and respectfully moved forward to the lectern to read the final poem of the service, ‘Peace’, by Henry Vaughan. A poem that has been described as a ‘fitting end to our service and what we all hoped for in the world.’
The West Grantham Academy Chaplain, Reverend David Shenton, shared his thoughts and reflections and delivered the final blessing of the ceremony before handing over to the school’s Head Boy and Head Girl, Thomas and Nicole. Together they shared the school prayer.
Pupils at West Grantham Academy St John’s also took part in a two minute silence which was followed by a reading and prayer led by the children of year 6. All the children of St. John’s made their own poppy which when put together formed a sculpture on the school’s playground.