Windsor’s Schools’ Week was created for the Jubilee year and is now set to become an Annual Event. It started in style and ended in fame, with many highlights and much enjoyment in between! Here are some of the highlights.
What an incredible week it was here in Windsor for our Jubilee Schools’ Week, a concept created by the Windsor Platinum Jubilee Committee and master-minded by James Manwaring, Director of Music for the Windsor Learning Partnership. The purpose of the week was to enable every school-aged child in the town to be able to celebrate this unique Jubilee. It is also a great chance to mix across our schools, across disciplines and ages, to try out new skills and test the robustness of others. These extra-curricular experiences have valuable life lessons and are an important chance for children to enjoy non-classroom-based activities. Windsor’s Schools’ Week is now planned to be an annual event.
The week began for many of the First Schools with an invitation to join the Mayor of our Royal Borough for a special Jubilee Tea Party in the Guildhall. They were treated like Royalty, welcomed by the Mayor and the Town Crier, had fun making their own crowns, then shared special Jubilee cake, before leaving with a certificate and a goody bag to remind them of the special occasion.
On Monday evening there was a very stylish occasion which saw senior pupils create and deliver the Jubilee Banquet – a Celebration of Education- in the Dining Hall at Eton College. The menu was designed, prepared, and served by students, under the watchful eyes of school chefs and the Eton Banqueting team. The Provost of Eton College, Lord Waldegrave welcomed the invited guests, who were all nominated for their contribution to the local community, in particular the learning of our future generations. James Manwaring thanked everyone for coming before guests enjoyed a delicious 3 -course meal and carefully poured fine wines in prestigious surroundings, with entertainment from the Jubilee Schools’ Choir and the Windsor Boys School barbershop choir. Simon Henderson, Head Master of Eton College spoke of the importance and value of education and then Alain Roux, Chef-Patron of the Waterside Inn at Bray spoke of his love of food, the value of a career in catering and how far it can lead!
All week children right across Windsor were involved in so many activities. They are thoroughly enjoying visiting other schools, working together, pushing the boundaries of their experiences.
Tuesday saw a highly contested debating competition in the fabulous Jafar Hall at Eton College. Teams from senior schools took part, each persuading the judges and the audience why their choice of monarch was the best ever! Hard-fought and closely run but won by the Windsor College team.
‘The Big Sing’ events were a chance for every child in the town to sing the Jubilee song ‘The Long Walk’ en masse. Either on the cricket ground at the Windsor Boys School on Tuesday – where many First School children enjoyed singing alongside a school band from the Windsor Boys School, or at Dedworth Middle School, on Thursday where approximately 1200 children gathered.
The Windsor Boys School hosted a number of varied events including a Sports Afternoon, a Chess Competition and the wonderful Jubilee Schools’ Concert on Thursday evening where there were lots of musical performances to enjoy, hosted by Kevin Cruise of Pantomime fame.
Upton House produced and transmitted daily live broadcasts from the school, with invited guests including Graham Barker, Chairman of the Windsor Platinum Jubilee Committee. The children worked really hard each day to produce interesting content which encouraged an ever-growing local audience as the week progressed.
Six of the Windsor schools worked together to Stream interesting content from the Windsor area in celebration of the Queens Platinum Jubilee. The Streams were presented, produced and streamed by the pupils. If you didn’t catch the broadcasts live, or you’d like to watch again, Upton House have kindly uploaded recorded versions of all five days to You Tube for you to watch and enjoy. Click here to view all five broadcasts and more
There was an added bonus on the Wednesday evening when a Classical Concert by students from our Windsor school was streamed live. Don’t worry if you missed it as this is also available on the Upton House YouTube channel click here to watch
On Tuesday 24th May The Windsor Castle Learning Centre hosted a special Royal Lecture – ‘The Queen’s Image’ – by Senior Curator at the Royal Collection Trust, Alessandro Nasini for local sixth form students with a keen interest in Art and/or history. This included many photographs from the Royal Collection, many of which were taken by members of the Royal family. It was a wonderful way to see The Queen across her reign and appreciate her total devotion to service
Musical Theatre Night at the Old Court on Tuesday 24th May was a fun-packed occasion with mostly senior school pupils performing songs from musicals in the auditorium to a significant crowd. The standard of performance was high and each one seemed to lift the enthusiasm for the evening, creating an enjoyable time for everyone.
By Friday many children had visited neighbouring schools and joined in new activities. Parents had the chance to enjoy seeing their children try different activities. Cameras and videos were everywhere! James Manwaring was a ceaseless source of energy and enthusiasm and as the creator of the whole Schools’ Week idea, he said “It’s the song that brought it all together, galvanized the children and the staff and has created a lasting feeling of community and sharing educational learning and opportunities across the town.”
The Jubilee song – ‘The Long Walk’ – created by Windsor-based children at a workshop in Windsor Castle – was performed at some point on each day of Schools’ Week, but the grand finale had to be on the actual Long Walk on the Friday afternoon. Here over 300 children – aged from 8 to 18 – from over 20 local schools came together to sing their emotionally-charged and catchy song on front of hundreds of onlookers and press and media from around the World. As the sun shone, the voices united and created the most special tribute to Her Majesty The Queen on this unique Jubilee occasion. Read more about how the song was created.
Images : Copyright Jon BOND 27.5.2022
Schools’ Week should be back next year, and it is also hoped that the collaboration around the creation of a song can be repeated annually. There is so much creativity within young minds and so much to be gained from these experiences, the Windsor Platinum Jubilee Committee hope to make these opportunities into annual experiences for the school children of our Royal Town.
It was a truly amazing week for both the young people of Windsor and their teachers and we hope it will leave them with lasting happy memories of the Platinum Jubilee for years to come. We would like to say congratulations, a big thank you and well done to everyone who took part and contributed.