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Thorpe Lea Primary School
At Thorpe Lea Primary School in Egham, Surrey, a group of 60 pupils of all ages plus staff gathered on Thursday 12th December 2013 to plant a commemorative tree for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Despite boggy conditions, the field maple (Acer campestre) Queen Elizabeth tree was planted with due ceremony and excitement.
The children were accompanied by Tree Warden David Pope, Headteacher Leslie Semper, Deputy Head Chris Haxell, Caretaker Daniel Jenkins and Rita Pardi, the lead teacher for our Green Ambassadors.
The planting of the tree not only commemorates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but also supports the long-term plan to develop the school’s outdoor learning environment. It very much demonstrates the school values of high expectations, respect, teamwork, diversity and nurturing care.
Leading up to the planting, Thorpe Lea Primary celebrated the school values by designing special indoor trees. They stood in our entrance through the year. Our first tree was the “diversitree” and later we celebrated our values of high expectations and respect. With the help of volunteer students from Royal Holloway College, the school has also developed a wildflower meadow.
Thorpe Lea Primary is set in an area called Egham Hythe (the word Hythe meaning “landing place” in Old English). The land was owned by Chertsey Abbey in medieval times and Crown land included the Royal Hythe Farm (where the local secondary school is now located).
After World War II, much of the area was developed. The school stands within the locality previously known as Hythe Fields so our tree and our wildflower meadow not only create an area to support nature, they also link our school with the past. Our planting of the Diamond Jubilee tree will now be part of the history of Thorpe Lea Primary School.
With the tree planting we celebrated our value of nurturing care, and pupils, led by our Green Ambassadors and gardening club, continue to look after the tree and use it as part of our outdoor learning environment.
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