‘Historic’ new classrooms get royal welcome at Arundel CofE School

Children watch as the Duchess of Norfolk cuts the ribbon to open the new classrooms at Arundel CofE School. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Children watch as the Duchess of Norfolk cuts the ribbon to open the new classrooms at Arundel CofE School. Picture: Kate Shemilt

A duchess and a bishop were on hand to usher in a ‘historic moment’ for Arundel CofE primary school.

he Duchess of Norfolk was a guest of honour on Friday at the official opening of a new building at the school, the first for 40 years.

Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner joined Duchess Georgina Fitzalan-Howard at the event.

The ceremony was held outside the building, which houses classrooms for years five and six, from 1.30pm.

“It was a fantastic event, a really historic moment for the school,” said head teacher Andrew Simpson.

“It was a combined effort getting the building,” he said, thanking the local community for their part in raising the necessary funds.

He also praised the attitude of the children at the event, saying guests had described their conduct as ‘impeccable’.

The building was officially opened by the Duchess, who gave a short speech about the importance of places like the school in the community.

She also expressed her wish that all parts of the community work together to improve society.

This was followed by a blessing of the new classrooms by the Bishop of Chichester, who also took time to speak to the children.

He spoke of the need to always have hope for the future and the importance of activities like reading.

“The children were so excited about the having all these people come,” said Mr Simpson.

He also said the pupils’ enthusiasm for the new building and awe at their distinguished guests came through in their singing at the event.

David Twinley, vicar of Arundel also spoke, and several students also gave contributions.

The new building at the school, located in Jarvis Road, has allowed the school to convert the old year six classroom into a new new Learning Resources Centre, which includes a library.

“The classrooms are fabulous,” said Mr Simpson, who says pupils and teachers alike are loving them.

“We are able to provide the children in year 5 and 6 with a bit more chance to be creative in their learning.

“It’s part of a process where we are looking at improving what we do,” he added.

Dr Andrew Mott, chair of the governors, said:

“There was a partnership between the diocese, the local authority and parents to expand the school.

“Pupils have been using the extension since September and it’s great.”

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