On the morning of Friday 26th January 150 guests joined us to celebrate our (Not Very) Grand Official Opening, which was co-incidentally EXACTLY a year to the day that we laid the first foundations for the school.
To mark the occasion we asked everyone to come help us put down our roots and plant a tree in our wood at the back of the school. It was a truly memorable, if not rather muddy occasion and fortunately the weather was kind to us. It was a very down to earth and happy event. We enjoyed tea and home made cupcakes and biscuits on vintage crockery all laid out on upcycled cable drums. Entertainment was provided by Mr Higgins and our fantastic pupils playing ukuleles, cajon drums and plastic tubes (who knew?!).
Most poignant and tear-jerking were speeches given by Daniela Shanly our Proprietor who thanked and recognised the very important role that her husband Michael and the Shanly Foundation had played in supporting and building the school. Assistant Head, Jack Rider spoke beautifully about a sense of belonging at Beech Lodge. Our very first pupil Dom aged 14 stood up in front of the assembled audience to speak about the fun times and the future for the school, and parent Sue Leach left not a dry eye in the house sharing her families experiences of being at Beech Lodge.
All of the children then joined the stage to hold the ribbon which was cut by Dom and Max to a rousing cheer! A very happy moment indeed!