Sophie is a pleasant visitor

By Farnham Herald in Community News

PUPILS at The Ridgway School were treated to a Royal visit by Sophie, the Countess of Wessex recently.

The visit was an opportunity for the Countess to see the diverse range of high-tech interactive facilities at the outstanding-rated school, and to experience the high expectations placed on the young people that reflect the schools ethos of challenging barriers and expectations, promoting a positive understanding of people with disabilities and ensuring ‘A Voice for All’.

The visit was initiated by the Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, Diana Prain, who has been associated with the school for a number of years.

The Countess supports a number of national and local charities for children with a range of disabilities and the school community was delighted to welcome her visit.

As the Countess arrived, there was a crowd at the front of the school cheering and waving flags. She was then escorted into the school building by deputy headteacher Jayne Moore.

First stop was the PECS Cafe (Pictorial Exchange Communication System) where the children served the Countess with strawberries.

She also saw pupils in the hydrotherapy pool, the sensory garden and then watched the City and Guilds Horticulture group working on their syllabus.

The Countess then joined some primary-aged pupils as they made bread in the food technology room. She donned an apron and assisted with the kneading process.

Next stop was the MILE Room (Multi Interactive Learning Environment). The children were delighted to see her and the Countess was very interested in the design of the room.

Finally she had the opportunity to meet the whole school community, after she unveiled a commemorative plaque and was presented with a basket of spring flowers by Luke Etherington, 18, and a hand-made card by Chloe Fryer, aged nine.

Also in attendance were Richard Whittington (High Sheriff of Surrey), Sally Marks (chairman of Surrey County Council), Chris Storey and Judith Storey (mayor and mayoress of Waverley), John Ward and Gillian Ward (mayor and mayoress of Farnham), Mark Rosling (chair of governors), Wyatt Ramsdale (county councillor, Farnham South) Diana Prain DL (past patron), Helen Benson (parent and chair of Friends of Ridgeway), Ann Marie Funk (parent, Friends of Ridgeway), Cathy Billet (trustee), Martin Billett (horticulture lead), Jim Bawn (governor and volunteer), Yasmine Prichard (school business manager), Jane Van Den Broeke (Surrey school officer).

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