Sunday Times Prep School of the Year 2013-14

The bunting is up!

It is the final week of the half term and it certainly feels like the summer term has arrived at long last. The school is still basking in glorious sunshine with the staff enjoying the weather as much as the girls.  It is the week leading up to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and there is a definite buzz in the air as the girls look forward to the half term break and to Friday, when the girls will be wearing red, white and blue and enjoying many celebrations together as a school.

 jubilee emblem

The Infants are involved in a Jubilee Workshop all day today, Tuesday, and preparations are well under way for a super day on Friday.

 jubilee infant gates jubilee flags blue sky jubilee flags and trees

There are a great many ways to celebrate the Jubilee over the long bank holiday weekend and below are some links to information and websites. Mrs Earl has prepared the Jubilee Assembly on Friday for the whole school and will tell your daughters about some of the events.

jubilee boat pageant logo

On the morning of Sunday 3rd June, boats will gather on the River Thames between Chiswick and Putney to prepare to sail down the river into London. The Royal Barge will depart Chelsea Pier at about 3pm. The flotilla will arrive at Tower Bridge at about 6pm.

There are a great many, and variety of, boats taking part - over 1,000 - from rowing boats, canoes and kayaks, to working motorised vessels, tug boats and barges, steam boats and leisure boats, as well as historic and modern sailing ships.They will all be decorated. Some will have music playing as well. They will total 7.5 miles in length from the tip of the very first boat to the rear of the very last boat and will travel at no more than a very a sedate 4 knots an hour, in order to minimise the wash created.

A specially commissioned Royal Barge 'Gloriana' has been hand-built by British craftsmen and women in which the Royal Family will sit, and spectate, and be seen - its colours are mainly a very regal gold, red and purple. It is 88ft.long.

There is also a special barge which will lead the whole flotilla that has been fitted with a structure to hold 8 large bells that have been cast - one for each of the immediate members of the Queen's family - so even if you can't see the flotilla you will definitely hear it coming.

The riverbanks and paths along the Thames will be the best place to see all this, or on the large public screens which are being erected in certain areas to televise the event. For more information on this event please go to

 jubilee Buckingham Palace

On Monday 4th June there is a concert being staged outside Buckingham Palace which will be broadcast live on BBC 1 and shown on big screens in Hyde Park, St.James' Park and The Mall. People are being encouraged to watch and bring a picnic for a whole family fun day out.

 jubilee beacons logo

In the evening, people from across the country will be lighting beacons to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Beacons were lit across the country in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and the same beautiful ceremony is now to take place in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. Over 4,000 beacons are set to be lit in locations throughout the United Kingdom, including plenty in Surrey and South West London. At 10.30pm, following a special concert by the BBC, the Queen herself will light the National Beacon in central London, Trafalgar Square.

Coombe Wood Golf Club, Wimbledon Common, Polesden Lacey National Trust Gardens, The Medicine Garden, Cobham, various Scout & Guide centres in the borough, as well as churches and playing fields are just some of the places where a diamond jubilee beacon will be lit near to us.

 jubilee St Paul's Cathedral

Finally, on Tuesday 5th June there is a special National Service of Thanksgiving in St Paul's Cathedral. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family will attend the service which will include a prayer written, at The Queen's direction, by the Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral in honour of the Diamond Jubilee. A 'Diamond Choir' of children from around the UK will sing a specially composed song. Later in the day, the Royal Family will travel from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace by carriage, along a processional route. Shortly after their arrival, the Royal Family will appear on the balcony and an RAF fly-past will take place. Buckingham Palace has published full details of the processional route, and the events will be shown on big screens in Hyde Park, St James' Park and Trafalgar Square.

 jubilee stamp