Important guest made Remembrance event extra special at Mapplewells Primary & Nursery School

Mapplewells Primary & Nursery School in Sutton in Ashfield always mark Remembrance Day, but this year it was to be an extra special service because of their guest of honour, Lt.Col Spiers from 7th Infantry Brigade & HQ East, commonly known as The Desert Rats.

Important guest made Remembrance event extra special at Mapplewells Primary & Nursery School

Fran Marshall is the Support Staff Leader & Learning for Life Coordinator at Mapplewells Primary School and she said along with fellow organiser, Shelley Christie (Extended Services Leader) they needed a new approach to the ceremony, in light of social distancing guidelines.

She said, "During the past 10 years Mapplewells have supported The Royal Greenjackets in marking Remembrance Sunday. We make class wreaths for representatives from the school parliament to lay at the Sutton In Ashfield Cenotaph and these representatives also recite the Ode to Remembrance. At Mapplewells we understand the importance of supporting our local community and always strive to show our respect for others, particularly those who help us.”

Fran says that due to restrictions prompted by the pandemic, the school had to be creative in this years approach. "To not be able to carry out our ‘usual’ act of remembrance this year gave us a new challenge! Mapplewells decided that this important and significant date should not go unmarked and therefore we decided to carry out this ceremony at school. Each child made a poppy from a plastic bottle and these were displayed on the front of the school premises. Outside, in front of the school the Year 6 class recited the Ode to Remembrance and the Year 5 class the Kohima Epitaph. During this time the rest of the school marked the event in their individual classrooms.

"We were honoured to be joined by Lt.Col Spiers from the 7th Infantry Brigade & HQ East  - The Desert Rats, who led our ceremony and spoke to us about Remembrance, the history and significance of the date and time and the importance of the date for us all.

"The school’s poppy display will remain at the school to give the children, parents and carers an opportunity to see it and hopefully next year we will be able to join together as a school community to pay our respects once again.”

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