Visit of HRH The Duke of York to Truro School

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Visit of HRH The Duke of York to Truro School

Posted: 05/02/2007 22:56:36

HRH The Duke of York visits one of the country's newest secondary schools on Wednesday 7th February, Richard Lander School, a Technology College, in Truro, where he will see the latest educational facilities and tour exhibitions on the school's themes. The Royal guest will also hear the school choirs perform.

The Duke will be escorted by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall Lady Mary Holborrow, and the visit will be hosted by Headteacher Trevor Coldman and Chair of Governors Barry Tripp.

Famous for his own sporting prowess, HRH The Duke of York will first visit the school's sports hall to see a badminton class in progress, then move on to a specially-equipped fitness suite. In a part of the vast school known as the Ground Floor Street he will then meet students and teachers with exhibits on the six themes relevant to Richard Lander School Student Leadership, Young Enterprise, Curriculum Enrichment, International Dimension, Specialist School Provision and Learning Communities.

Richard Lander School won designation as a specialist Technology College in 1998, and a popular design and technology project for Year 8 and 9 students is to design and then construct surfboards. HRH will meet Deputy Team Leader Richard Scott, who will explain that during the one-week curriculum enrichment programme students work with a local company on computer-aided design, spray painted graphics, visit production companies and have the chance to see their own surfboard being manufactured in fibreglass. At the end of the week participating students each have their own individually designed custom surfboards, which are then submitted as GCSE coursework. The colourful display of finished surfboards is expected to be one of the highlights of the Royal Tour.

The Duke of York is the UK's special representative for International Trade and Investment. Another exhibit will illustrate Richard Lander's international dimension, focusing on the school's American Exchange Programme with the Mechanicsburg Area School District in Pennsylvania. Since 1999 the exchange programme has enabled 70 students to experience culture and education USA-style. The programme has also allowed the exchange of 20 teachers to date and HRH the Duke of York will meet the Superintendent of Mechanicsburg Area School District (equivalent to a Director of Education), Joseph Hood and Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School Principal David Harris, and hear that 'this partnership is flourishing and strong friendships have developed amongst our two communities.'

In the school hall HRH will hear the combined school choirs sing Purcell's Birthday Ode 'O Come Ye Sons of Art', conducted by the school's Head of Music and Cornish Bard Russell Pascoe. The onward tour will include Year 8 students' creative work on mining landscapes, in preparation for the forthcoming Truro Schools Combined Arts Exhibition, and a display on the school's visit to the Busu community in Uganda.

Having spent around 75 minutes at the school, HRH The Duke of York will then receive a gift of local produce and unveil a plaque commemorating the Royal opening, before heading off for two other appointments in Cornwall at Crantock Bakery, Indian Queens and Brunel Business Part in St Austell.

The new 24 million Richard Lander School is the first new secondary school in Cornwall for 28 years, and with the capacity for 1,350 pupils is the largest every built in the county. Among its state-of-the-art facilities are a recording studio, a library with mezzanine, fitness suite and an all-weather synthetic turf pitch. The school, located at Threemilestone and a near neighbour to the Truro College campus, opened its doors in September 2006 after a 26 month building programme, on time and on budget with an accident-free building site record. The project is part of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme partnership between Cornwall County Council and Pyramid Schools (Cornwall) Ltd. It has 32 general teaching classrooms, 10 science laboratories and rooms for art, food technology, textiles and graphics. It also contains design technology workshops, two drama studios and a dance studio and four information and communication technology (ICT) rooms. Richard Lander School also has its own sustainable travel plan, with improved cycle routes between the site and Truro's Highertown.

Headteacher of Richard Lander School Trevor Coldman says, "We are extremely honoured to have HRH The Duke of York performing our official opening ceremony. Staff and students have been working on some special exhibitions and events to make the Royal visit as interesting as possible. We are very proud of our new building so it is good to mark its inaugural year in this way. I am sure the Duke of York will experience our school's distinct ethos and its sense of community pride. We very much hope that he will enjoy visiting the new Richard Lander School site."

Chairman of Governors Barry Trip says, "The Governors of Richard Lander School are pleased that HRH The Duke of York has agreed to officially open our new building. I am sure he will be impressed with the excellent facilities our students now enjoy to give them the best education we can provide. Richard Lander is a unique school and I am certain he will have a pleasurable experience meeting our committed staff and students."


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