Queen donates tree to Portsmouth primary school as staff and pupils celebrate 'wonderful privilege'
A PORTSMOUTH primary school is celebrating the ‘wonderful privilege’ of being gifted a tree by the queen.
The ornamental pear tree was planted in the grounds of Ark Dickens Primary School in a special ceremony this morning.
Gifted to the Turner Road school as part of a tree planting initiative called the Queen’s Green Canopy, the tree represents the monarch’s 70 year reign as well as a more sustainable future.
This initiative was launched as part of the celebrations of the queen’s 2022 platinum jubilee.
People from across the United Kingdom are invited to ‘plant a tree for the jubilee’ to mark the queen’s 70 years on the throne and to enhance the environment.
The lord mayor and mayoress and the deputy lieutenant, Lady Portal MBE DL, attended the ceremony.
Ark Dickens is one of 70 primary schools in the UK that have been selected to have a tree planted to mark the jubilee.
Laura Berry, head of school, said: ‘Today we have got a tree planting from the Queen’s Green Canopy, we are one of 70 schools to be chosen to have a tree planted.
‘It has been an absolutely wonderful privilege to be part of this to know that we are the only school in Portsmouth and only one of 70 that is having a tree gifted to us by the queen.
‘For so many of our children, that has become an absolute discussion around why, why we are planting trees, what the queen’s role is, so it’s really focused and contextualised the jubilee as well as the need for trees and the environment.’
Pupils from Years 3, 4, and 6 took part in the planting ceremony.
Luke Clarke, a Year 4 teacher, said: ‘It’s been brilliant.
‘We are honoured to be chosen for the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.
‘The mayor of Portsmouth, Frank Jonas accompanied by the lady mayoress attended along with the deputy lieutenant.
‘We had an assembly yesterday and we spoke about the representation of the trees, which represent one year of her reign.
‘The children were inspired and delighted to be part of this opportunity to assist the country in building a more sustainable future.’