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UCFS children reflect on their exciting meeting with the Countess - 27/03/2018

Children from Year 6 at the University Church Free School (UCFS) have been reflecting on their ‘exciting’ and ‘special’ meeting with HRH The Countess of Chester (HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.)

The group of 10 and 11 year olds had the unique opportunity to meet her when she received her Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Chester at Chester Cathedral.

The Countess is a champion of literacy and received the award from the Chancellor of the University, Dr Gyles Brandreth, for her inspirational leadership in promoting and encouraging literary initiatives and celebrating literature.

As she left the Cathedral, she was met by the 10 Year 6 students, who presented her with a selection of their creative writing, which they had prepared in honour of her visit. Each child had written a piece of flash fiction (very short stories, which, in this case, are no more than 75 words), using royal themes as their starting point (this year’s Royal Wedding and the arrival of Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s baby brother or sister).

The flash fiction had been assessed by two Senior Lecturers in the Department of English at the University of Chester – Drs Ashley Chantler and Peter Blair – who are both Editors of Flash – the world’s leading journal of quality flash fiction. Dr Chantler and Dr Blair are also Directors of the International Flash Fiction Association.

The children who met HRH the Countess of Chester were: Isobel A (aged 10); Ella B (aged 10); Ruby B (aged 10); Darcy F (aged 10); Lili H (aged 11); Eve M (aged 10); Alexandra M (aged 10); Lilly P (aged 11); Lily W (aged 11); and Isaac W (aged 10).

Each of their reactions to the special occasion are below:

Ruby B: “It all happened so fast, she just appeared behind us and started chatting to us about our stories. I was so proud we had been chosen to meet her.”

Isaac W: “She said she thought we all looked very smart. I felt very special being there.”

Isobel A: “She spoke to me about our stories – she was very pleased we had written them especially for her. Afterwards I was interviewed by a radio reporter about what she had said to me – it was very exciting.”

Lili H: “I will always remember the day my class met and presented HRH The Duchess of Cornwall with stories we had written especially for her.”

Eve M: “I was a little bit nervous about what would happen when we met HRH but she was so kind to us and was really excited about our writing.”

Ella B: “She talked to me about the 500 word story competition she judges for BBC Radio 2. I told her I had entered it before – she was very pleased about that.”

Darcy F: “I really really enjoyed meeting Her Royal Highness. She was so kind. She asked us questions about our writing and she said she hoped we hadn’t got too cold standing waiting for her. We had lots of photographers take our pictures.”

Lily W: “I felt so proud to present Her Royal Highness with my winning story. I think she was really pleased that I had written it especially for her. She said she would enjoy reading our stories on her journey back to London.”

Lilly P: “I was so proud to be the first person that Her Royal Highness spoke to when I presented her with our class collection of Flash Fiction stories. She said that she would read them all when she got back to London.”

Alexandra M: “She was very smiley. I think she was really pleased to see us waiting for her to come out of the Cathedral. She knew we had written her some stories because she said: “Hello, I believe you have some stories for me”.”

Mrs Erica Cowley, Year 6 teacher at UCFS said: “I was so proud of all of the children in my class. Not only did they write some wonderful Flash Fiction stories for HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, they also talked confidently about their writing and behaved beautifully when they met her.”

Mr Jonathan Farrington, Principal of UCFS added: “What a fabulous afternoon it was! Everyone at UCFS really enjoyed it. The children and the school were honoured to have had the opportunity to take part in such a special occasion.”