Things are far from normal, but our annual Commemoration Day could not go unmarked! Although the St Clement Danes School Community was not able to travel to Central London today, staff and students were able to celebrate Commemoration Day here in Chorleywood. The day is a celebration of the school’s heritage, commemorating the founding of the school in 1862, and is also an opportunity to say thank you to the Holborn Estate charity for their commitment to a tradition that has endured over hundreds of years.
All students in school attended a virtual Commemoration assembly. The assembly included speeches from Headteacher, Mr Sutherland, Chair of Governors, Martin Day and Head Boy and Head Girl, Louis Ertl and Vinita Patel. They talked about the unique year that the school community has faced, and of the experiences of all at St Clement Danes School through a global pandemic. Year 9 student Leo Kaski spoke about his experience attending school during lockdown, with his parents working as key workers. Music included a socially distanced performance of Jenkin’s Palladio, led by Director of Music, Anna Stevens, and also the school’s hymn – ‘The Anchor is our Emblem’. The service concluded with prayers led by Head of Maths, Mrs Sue Savin. The assembly successfully captured the key moments of Commemoration, whilst also being a time capsule of the unique circumstances that we are currently experiencing.
It is a tradition on Commemoration Day for red roses to be given by the school to the Trustees of the Holborn Estate Charity to wear at the Service in London. The red roses symbolise a ‘peppercorn’ rent which St Clement Danes pays to the Holborn Estate Charity for the lease of the land on which the school sits. Today each member of the Senior Leadership Team wore a red rose on their academic gown and hood to symbolise that rent, and a socially distanced photo was sent to the Trustees to mark the occasion.
Our school canteen also joined in the spirit of the occasion by using the school emblem of an anchor as a decorative item on some of their products at break and lunch today.
Please follow the link below to view the assembly with thanks to Deputy Headteacher Mr Chris Marks.