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PICTURES: Duke of York visits Tollgate Primary

16:10 12 February 2014

The Duke of York to meets puplis at Tollgate School.

The Duke of York to meets puplis at Tollgate School.

Archant

The Duke of York officially opened the new £250,000 teacher training room at Tollgate Primary School this morning.

Rami El Berdai and pupils from Tollgate School wait for The Duke of York to arrive.Rami El Berdai and pupils from Tollgate School wait for The Duke of York to arrive.

Prince Andrew was greeted by flags and bunting as hundreds of pupils from Tollgate and nearby Cleves Primary lined the playground.

He was met by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir David Brewer, while a musical welcome was provided by Jim McLucas, the deputy head of Cleves Primary who is personal piper to the Earl of Wessex.

During his visit, Prince Andrew unveiled a plaque marking the occasion watched by five pupils from each of six schools in the Tollgate Teaching School Alliance.

He also gave a speech about the importance of inspiration and aspiration.

David Brewer, lord Lieutenant of Greater London (left) and Jim McLucas, deptuty head teacher at Cleavers Primary School.David Brewer, lord Lieutenant of Greater London (left) and Jim McLucas, deptuty head teacher at Cleavers Primary School.

Pupils performed songs which they had written and composed before presenting the prince with a CD containing recordings of their music, after finding out that his birthday is next week.

Tom Canning, headteacher of Tollgate, said the Prince’s appearance is a momentous one as he is the school’s first Royal visitor in its 80-year history,

“It will leave everyone with a memory that will be with them for the rest of their lives,” he said. “Prince Andrew said that he will not forget us and he was impressed with what he saw so we are absolutely thrilled.

“When he left he building, word had got round and the whole of Plaistow seemed to be out on the streets with their iPads and cameras.”

Tollgate’s new training room was built in the summer holidays to increase provision at the teaching school.

Mr Canning said: “The new extension will further our future development because we will be able to coach groups of 40 teachers in one room.”

For more pictures click on the picture gallery on the right.

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