Pupils head south, by Royal appointment

A GROUP of Ponteland schoolchildren will be heading due south for another Royal appointment with the Queen.

In June 2011, more than 130 students at Ponteland Middle School helped to line the route when she visited Alnwick to honour thousands of carers and volunteers from the region.

Year 7 pupils have recently taken part in the Royal Commonwealth Society’s Jubilee Time Capsule project, which asks members of the public to share their memories of a special day to create a digital Diamond Jubilee gift for the monarch.

They contributed their thoughts about the event last summer.

All those who entered were put into a draw for places at the Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 12, and this week the school received notice that it is one of the lucky winners.

Eight tickets have been allocated for students and two for members of staff.

Through a mix of world music, dance and personal testimonies, the event will explore things that tie together people from every continent, faith and ethnicity under a Connecting Cultures theme.

As well as the Queen, Prime Minister David Cameron and a number of High Commissioners will be attending.

The best Jubilee Time Capsule entries will be curated into a Royal Collection and be presented to Her Majesty later in 2012.

Two of Ponteland Middle School’s entries – the pupils are being kept anonymous at the moment – have been put forward as potential material for the document.

Headteacher Caroline Pryer said: “We were very proud to be present when the Queen visited Alnwick last year for the carers and volunteers party and everyone had a fantastic day.

“A group of our pupils did some African drumming and the Duke of Edinburgh walked over to them and said light-heartedly ‘so, you’re the ones making all this racket’.

“The Commonwealth Day Observance is a prestigious event and we’re thrilled that putting forward their memories of seeing the Queen up close has enabled some of our students to see her again next month.

“The news got even better when we received positive feedback from the Royal Commonwealth Society about the high standard of our entries and were told that two of them are being considered for the special collection.

“Credit must also go to our new IT and maths teacher Carl Johnson, who brilliantly co-ordinated our responses to the project.”

To decide who goes to London, the Year 7 pupils will write a letter of application to Mr Johnson saying why they should be chosen.