The 11th of November is a day celebrated all over the United Kingdom as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, but this year it has been an especially poignant occasion at Heanor Gate Science College as we held our very first Remembrance Service to honour those who have served and lost their lives in all wars and conflicts.
Arranged and organised by Mr Jones, Senior Vice Principal, and Flight Lieutenant Watson, Contingent Commander of Heanor Gate CCF, the 10 minute service involved both students and staff across the whole school making their way up to our tennis courts in order to pay their respects as a community. A handmade monument, produced by Staff Sergeant Jackson and Mr Cherry, was a focal point of the service and featured messages of remembrance and respect.
The occasion was made even more noteworthy by the attendance of high-ranking members of the community who were invited to join us for the occasion by Flt LtWatson; HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Lt Col Dawber, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Heanor and Loscoe, Nigel Mills MP, Associates of the Royal British Legion.
Order of Events
CCF Cadets set the precedent and took position on the courts first. They were closely followed by the Post 16 year groups, with the rest of the school following not far behind. The VIPs were then escorted to the ceremony by two of our youngest cadets, Katy and Nikita.
The ceremony started with the Banner Party procession led by Flight Sergeant Tom H. Sergeant Kai B had the responsibility of being the Standard Bearer, escorted by Corporal Rhys S and Corporal Ben F.
Mr Huntington gave a speech in which he read an extract from the poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon. The Last Post was played on a cornet by guest Tori Harrison to mark the start of the 2 minutes silence. It was ended by Reveille.
Wreaths were laid on the monument by Lance Corporal Dominic T on behalf of the CCF, Head Boy & Head Girl Harry R and Lizzie M on behalf of Main School, and senior members of our Post 16 Student Management Team, Holly W and Jack L on behalf of the Sixth Form.
Mr Huntington then closed the service by reading the Kohima Epitaph.
Whilst considering this is something we have not organised before in school, we are very pleased to say that even with the ambitious schedule and quick turnaround the students conducted themselves superbly during the whole event from the moment they left class. The silence was observed perfectly and we are very proud of the way they made the most of the opportunity to pay their respects.
SSgt Jackson was particularly impressed with the service, explaining “The students were exceptionally well behaved and respected the situation. The Standard Bearers Party were well-rehearsed and perfectly in sync with their drills.”
May we take this opportunity to thank our visitors for coming and for being part of what we hope will become an annual event.
Cadets made a tremendous effort, as always, to raise as much money as possible for the Poppy Appeal. They gave up their evenings in the freezing rain last week and headed down to Heanor Market Place to sell poppies; they gave up their mornings to sell them in school during tutor time; and even gave up their Saturday to fundraise in Langley Mill’s Asda on a Poppy Appeal stall.
In the run up to Remembrance Day, Aaron in Y10 and his Keyworker Miss Sanders also raised money by selling hand-crocheted poppies. Aaron, who is used to working in small groups of students with Miss Sanders, bravely entered classes around school throughout the week advertising their poppies, ending up with a total of over £70! This will be a massive contribution towards the school’s Poppy Appeal total (which is yet to be counted – watch this space!).