Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy marked Remembrance Day with a poignant service on Friday, 10 November 2023, bringing together staff, students, and representatives from The Stationers’ Company.
Gathered in the school quad just before 11 am, the service was drawn to attention by Corporal Unsworth and the Cadet Parade. Principal Mr Sparks opened the ceremony, highlighting the collective effort of the SCWA community in organising the event. From the Design Technology Team’s construction of the monument to the ‘Pie Jesu’ composed by Mr Yeates and performed by the Year 7 Choir, each element of the service was steeped in the academy’s collaborative spirit. Mr Sparks noted, “Today’s service has been designed by SCWA staff and students and is an embodiment of our community’s respect and tribute.”
The emotional rendition of ‘Pie Jesu’ by the choir led to readings that touched upon themes of sacrifice and memory. Major Jeremy Wilson gave life to the Parable of the Good Samaritan, followed by the solemn sound of the Last Post, played by Thomas from Year 9, initiating the two-minute silence.
The two-minute silence served as a powerful pause for reflection, honouring those who have given their lives in service. Thereafter, ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon was read by Professor Linda Drew, Chair of Governors & Stationer; this was followed by ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae, recited by pupils from Ashdown, Delamere, and Sherwood schools. The service’s deep connection to the school’s values was highlighted by the Head Student and a pupil from the Dean School, who together recited ‘The Fellowship of Remembrance‘, a poem specifically composed for the occasion, echoing the academy’s principles of scholarship, fellowship, and leadership.
During the service, wreaths, poppies, and crosses were laid by The Stationers’ Company, school representatives, and students from each of the small schools in a gesture of remembrance and respect. The service concluded with an invitation for all attending students to place a poppy, symbolising their personal tributes and the collective remembrance of the academy.
Mr Sparks, Principal, reflected on the service’s significance and extended his gratitude, saying, “As the service drew to a close, with each student laying a poppy in tribute, there was a powerful sense of unity and reflection within our academy. I would like to thank all those who attended, including our staff, pupils, and representatives from The Stationers’ Company, who came together to make this act of remembrance so meaningful. This ceremony transcends tradition; it is a deeper connection, reminding us of the sacrifices made for the freedoms we enjoy today. Our Remembrance Service is a heartfelt expression of our school’s collective gratitude and solemn remembrance.”