South Bersted pupils join Queen to celebrate the Commonwealth

Pupils from South Bersted C of E Primary School who attended the 2016 Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey
Pupils from South Bersted C of E Primary School who attended the 2016 Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey

Senior pupils from a Bognor Regis school joined the Queen at an international event.

The eight children at South Bersted C of E Primary School were among almost 1,000 young people who celebrated Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey.

As well as the monarch, former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan and singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding were among the high profile guests at the service in London last week.

The Queen was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Prime Minister David Cameron was also present along with former PM John Major.

Chris Kronda, the school’s headteacher, said: “It was an amazing experience for the children.

“It’s something they had not done before. They were very impressed by the whole atmosphere and ambience and of being in the abbey.”

Commonwealth Day is marked annually on the second Monday in March. It is a celebration of the rich diversity among the network’s 53 countries and a chance to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth civil society organisations.

This year’s theme is ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’ to underline the Commonwealth Charter values of tolerance, respect and understanding.

Celebrations to mark the day take place around the world. The service at Westminster Abbey is organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Its aim was to celebrate the unity, diversity and linkages of the modern commonwealth and foster greater understanding of its achievements and role.

Mr Kronda said the multi-faith service had brought to life his school’s work. “It was a wonderful day and highlighted the work we do in school about inclusivesness, British values and Christian values,” he said. “The pupils had their learning enriched by attending.”

After the service, which was attended by pupils from all corners of the UK, the South Bersted group met two Commonwealth Youth Games athletes to talk about their experiences.

The eight Year Six pupils from the Church Lane school included members of its cabinet, school council and eco committee.