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The Queen's Platinum Jubilee: celebrating the past - looking forward to the future

On Friday of this week, I am delighted that Brookfield will play host to a ceremony as part of the Queen's Green Canopy Scheme. This is a tree-planting initiative that is taking place this year, and where people across the country are encouraged to 'Plant a Tree for the Jubilee'.

The origins of Brookfield can be traced back to Chesterfield School for Boys, formerly Chesterfield Grammar School, dating back to 1594. Today, the Old Cestrefeldian Society and the Old Cestrefeldians’ Trust, works to maintain links between former students and masters from Chesterfield School and Brookfield Community School.

On Friday 6th May 2022, a ceremony attended by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, as the Queen's representative, will see an oak tree planted on the Chatsworth Road side of the school site. In the 16th Century, the oak tree provided the wood to build the ships of Queen Elizabeth I's fleet. In fact, Queen Elizabeth I was instrumental in the establishment of Chesterfield School in around 1598. It is fitting, therefore, that our current monarch - in the 70th year of her time on the throne - is commemorated with the same oak tree over 400 years later. This promises to be a very special ceremony and will be attended by students and staff from Brookfield, Old Cestrefeldians and other local dignitaries, as well as Vice Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Colonel John Wilson OBE DL.

The ceremony is important on many levels. From marking the Platinum Jubilee and the 70 years that Queen Elizabeth has spent on the throne, to the commemoration of students and staff who have attended Chesterfield School and Brookfield Community School - and who will do so in the future. We want to mark the Jubilee as an event that we will never see again. For a monarch to reign for 70 years is unprecedented. 

Later in the day, we will host a whole school 'Platinum Jubilee Picnic' on the school sports fields, where form groups and staff will gather as a community to mark the occasion. This fits in with our wider belief that education does not simply focus on the academic. Education is an experience in itself and not just a preparation for the next stage in life. We want to mark the Jubilee as an occasion that we will never see again. For a monarch to reign for 70 years is unprecedented. 

The past is important, and it is vital that we understand and cherish our history. It is also important that we allow students and staff to create memories of their own. I am sure that long into the future we will be looking back at the reign of Queen Elizabeth and how her Platinum Jubilee was marked. The oak tree that will stand at the front of school for many years to come, will be a reminder of this achievement.

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