Gatton-Style Street Party

Pupils at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday with a bumper street party yesterday. 450 pupils enjoyed a party meal in the spectacularly decorated dining room, and then had an afternoon of entertainment in the school’s stately home, Gatton Hall, and in Gatton Park.

The day started with pupils and guests gathered in the School’s Chapel and a welcome from the Headmaster. The first event, a hat parade, took place and the judges reviewed the hats junior pupils had been working on over the last few weeks. There were some creative masterpieces and the winners received special 90th birthday teddies. The inclement weather meant the outdoor street party had to be moved indoors but it was no less spectacular.

The dining room (renamed The Mall) was a vision of red, white and blue and party goers were welcomed by drama pupils dressed as royalty, acting as living statues. Once seated, the Headmaster said grace and pupils tucked in to a birthday meal of sandwiches, sausage rolls, cheese and pineapple on sticks, cupcakes, jelly and fizzy pop. A steel band led the 450 voices as they sang Happy Birthday to the Queen.

Then came the serious business of judging the inter-house birthday cake competition. Each house had baked a birthday cake for the queen and the winning house won pizzas for their evening meal.

By the time pupils had finished their meal, the weather had improved so they were able to enjoy the many activities on offer in and around Gatton Hall. There was a magician, circus acts that pupils could try for themselves, music from a steel band and performances from pupils at the school. The Equestrian Centre laid on pony rides and older pupils set up stalls including, guess the number of sweets in the jar, sweet tombola, hook-a-duck, ten-pin bowling, face painting, tin pan alley, balloon modelling and many others.

Headmaster, Paul D Spencer Ellis said “The Queen is the Patron of this School and we felt this would be a fitting way to celebrate her 90th birthday. An event like this takes a lot of planning but it was worth it as the children had a fantastic day. This was a truly memorable occasion and it was pleasing to see the older children have such an active role in making it happen. I would like to thank pupils, staff and especially our Harrison’s catering team for making this birthday celebration such a success.”

13th June 2016

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