Tree planting ceremony among events at Chesterfield school to mark Queen's Platinum Jubilee
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Brookfield Community School held a number of special events on Friday, May 6, to celebrate 70 years of Her Majesty's reign.
The secondary school, which scheduled the events for May as to not coincide with exams, started the day by welcoming the Queen’s representative Vice-Lord Lieutenant Colonel, John Wilson; Deputy Lieutenant, Lead for the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, Brell Ewart and members of the Old Cestrefeldians’ Society, Incoming President, John Drabble; Secretary, Derrick Priestley and Trustees, Tony Hine and Rob Woodhead.
They took part in a planting ceremony where the Old Cestrefeldians represented the past, the Vice-Lord Lieutenant represented the present and a number of students, including Head Boy and Head Girl, represented the future.
Headteacher Keith Hirst said: “The ceremony was important on many levels. From marking the Platinum Jubilee and the 70 years that Queen Elizabeth II has spent on the throne, to the commemoration of students and staff who have attended Chesterfield Grammar School and Brookfield Community School - and those who will do so in the future.”
Chesterfield School, formerly Chesterfield Grammar school, opened in 1594 and continued to educate boys from Chesterfield and further afield until 1991 when educational reorganisation resulted in its closure and the handover of its buildings to Brookfield Community School.
When it was founded, Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne and the timber from traditional English oak trees were used to build her ships.
So, as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, Brookfield Community School opted to plant an oak tree on the Chatsworth Road side of the site, to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee and mark such a significant royal occasion more than 400 years later.
After the tree planting ceremony, the special guests toured Brookfield before the Vice-Lord Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenant joined Mr Hirst to conclude the morning’s celebrations with an assembly for Year 7 students.
Later in the afternoon, students and staff gathered together for a Jubilee picnic and individual tree planting by the schools five houses.
Mr Hirst added: “This fits in with our wider belief that education does not simply focus on the academic; an experience in itself and not just a preparation for the next stage in life. We wanted to mark the Platinum Jubilee as a special occasion that we will never see again.
"For a monarch to reign for 70 years is unprecedented. The past is important and it is vital that we understand and cherish our history. It is also important that we allow students and staff to create memories of their own.
"I am sure that long into the future we will be looking back at the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and how her Platinum Jubilee was marked with an oak tree that will stand at the front of our school for many years to come, as a reminder of this achievement.”
To plant a tree for the jubilee, visit https://queensgreencanopy.org/ for details on how to get involved.