A group of Year 6 pupils from Buckholme Towers School in Lower Parkstone, Poole were among 800 school children from across the UK who were in attendance at Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day on Monday March 13.

The celebration was attended by The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex. This year’s observance celebrated the theme ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’.

The eight pupils who were in attendance at the service were selected on their essay writing skills from a recent Buckholme competition.

Judy Hook, Deputy head teacher at Buckholme Towers School, was privileged to attend. She said: “The whole day was very exciting and we were honoured to be accepted as one of the schools which could attend the special service. We started the day by visiting 10 Downing Street which was a valuable experience for the pupils, and then attended the service in the afternoon.

“At Westminster Abbey, we sat four rows from the front and the pupils could see The Queen and other members of the royal family clearly. The day gave the pupils the chance to learn about citizenship and reinforced a feeling of pride in our country and the efforts being made towards world peace.

“It’s really important for our children to see other cultures as well as visiting the capital, and they were inspired by the theme of world peace.”

Quotes from the pupils who attended include: “Australian Paralympian Kurt Fearnley made me realise that you shouldn’t give up and you can accomplish anything you want if you put your mind to it”, “The service made me realise how lucky we are,” “I was struck by all the different religious groups coming together and sharing a common theme.”

Buckholme Towers School on Commercial Road, Lower Parkstone, provides education for children aged four to 11 years old.