The High Sheriff of West Sussex, Mr Jonathan Lucas went back to school on Friday June 6 when he was invited to perform the official opening ceremony for Cottesmore School’s Pre-prep department.
Accompanied by his wife Mrs Caroline Lucas, Mr Lucas undertook the ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the new purpose-built classroom building before enjoying musical performances outside in glorious sunshine.
The Pre-prep choir performed ‘Earth, Sea and Sky’, followed by all the children singing ‘From A Distance,’ accompanied on piano by music teacher Ben Lewis. As a trained tenor, Mr Lucas listened attentively and complimented the children afterwards on the high standard of their singing.
Mr Lucas also gave a speech in which he described the role of the High Sheriff, thrilling the children with special mentions of the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood before cutting a second ribbon outside and posing for photographs with his ceremonial sword.
Once the opening ceremony formalities were over Mr and Mrs Lucas joined staff and parents to cheer on the pupils in their Sports Day events. The afternoon finished with everyone enjoying a delicious high tea served in the Headmaster’s garden and prepared by Cottesmore’s award-winning chef.
Pre-prep Principal Mrs Charlotte Rogerson said: “We are delighted to welcome Mr and Mrs Lucas and all the parents to Cottesmore for our official Pre-prep opening ceremony. When the department opened we had just 10 pupils, yet we very quickly achieved our maximum number of 45 pupils across four year groups from the ages of four to eight. We have continued to flourish, remaining at full capacity and with a waiting list. It’s especially pleasing to officially celebrate the Pre-prep’s opening and continued success today as Cottesmore School celebrates its 120th anniversary this year. This event is just one of our Cottesmore community Double Diamond celebrations.”
Cottesmore’s bright and modern Pre-prep building is immediately adjacent to the Prep School in Pease Pottage, situated in 35 acres of its own grounds.
As well as following a broad curriculum, the pre-prep pupils enjoy a wide variety of after-school clubs and activities and have their own large, well-equipped outdoor play area. They also use all the facilities of the main school, including a swimming pool.
Report and picture contributed by Cottesmore School.