GALLERY: Royal visitor for Waverley School


ONE of the borough’s primary schools has welcomed a right royal visitor – HRH The Countess of Wessex  helped open the first phase of a programme of new school facilities at Waverley School.

And as part of her visit, she played with the youngsters, read them a story and even jogged on the spot to help out with a science experiment.

The Countess officially unveiled the school’s new playground and library.

Waverley said that she was an instant hit with the children and delighted the pupils by spending much of her visit getting involved with them in wide variety of activities. The Countess was a natural with the youngsters, quickly putting all ages at ease, whether it was rolling cars on the floor with the babies or taking part in a Year 3 French lesson.

Year 6 children were in the middle of a science experiment when the Royal visitor entered their classroom. Investigating the effect of exercise on pulse rate, the children were delighted when The Countess joined in, jogging on the spot and then measuring her and the children’s pulse rates.

Reception children were also overjoyed when they discovered they had a very special new play mate.  

The pupils proudly showed The Countess their writing skills in a sand tray and were thrilled when she shared her name with five-year-old Logan by writing ‘Sophie’ in the sand.

Amid laughter, the children and The Countess then took part in a ‘finger gym’ to develop their fine motor skills by disentangling plastic spiders from a spider’s web using tweezers.

The purpose of the Royal’s visit was to open the first phase of a programme of new facilities at the school, ranked Berkshire’s top school for under 11’s for its academic results.

HRH The Countess of Wessex reads the Pied Piper to children

Midway through HRH’s visit, The Countess officially opened the new library – but only after she had enthralled Year 2 children by reading the story of Pied Piper of Hamelin with them in the new library’s story telling area.

The Countess’s visit was brought to a tumultuous finale with HRH unveiling a plaque in the playground for the new outdoor play and learning area amid loud cheers and applause from children and staff alike.

Waverley children love their royal visitor

After her visit the children reflected on the day’s special visitor.

Chloe in Year 3 said: “I enjoyed asking The Countess in French what her name was. She replied to me in French! It was amazing having Her Royal Highness join in our French lesson.”

Year 3’s Elliott said: “She was just so cool!”

Charlotte, in Year 6, said that she “loved The Countess’s red coat” and Kamran said “it was a real pleasure to meet someone related to the Royal family – she was so lovely to talk to”.

Guy Shore, Waverley’s Head, summed up the visit from HRH The Countess of Wessex.

He said: “We were overjoyed when Her Royal Highness agreed to open our new facilities. It was an unforgettable day for all the children and we feel honoured that she chose to stay twice as long at our school than was scheduled. We hope she enjoyed herself as much as the children did!”

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