Highfield Leadership Academy marked the occasion of Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle with a celebration that gave pupils the chance to do something special for their local community.

Pupils worked alongside staff members to organise a wedding party that united the local community in a celebration of love and romance on Friday 18 May.

Invited guests at Highfield’s Royal Wedding Community Party included individuals living close to our school, plus representatives of community organisations with which we have links – including Friends of Highfield Road Park, South Shore Community Partnership and Blackpool Food Bank.

The event was organised by the Academy’s Student Council with support from pupil volunteers, known as the Highfield Helpers.

In preparation for the event, pupils listened to some love stories of local couples who met at Highfield, including the school’s Data Officer Alison Hinchliffe who met her husband Martin at Highfield 40 years ago. The couple shared their advice to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a long and happy marriage with members of Highfield’s Student Council. A game of Mr & Mrs at the school’s Royal Wedding Celebration tested just how well they know each other!

Local florist Ann Barnes held a floristry masterclass with Highfield’s Pupil Volunteers to help them arrange table decorations for the celebration. The arrangements were donated to local day centres and sheltered accommodation sites afterwards.

The celebration, held one day ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan’s marriage in Windsor, began with presentations on love and community from Highfield Student Council members.

Our pupil choir, Highfield Voices, having worked closely with former pupil turned singer and conductor Emma Louise Jackson, performed at the event. Emma Louise’s own community choir, Revoe-Lution, joined Highfield Voices in a performance that brought generations together to spread some happiness through song.

And Highfield’s Food Technology teacher Mrs Barrett and her team planned a delicious two course meal for guests to enjoy. Many Highfield pupils entered a Royal Wedding Cake competition, getting their bake on to prepare a celebration cake worthy of royalty. Their bakes reflected the themes of love, marriage and British values – and tasted as good as they looked!

Helen Mackenzie OBE, our Executive Principal, said:

“We have been encouraging our young people to embrace opportunities to serve others; in doing so we aim to help them foster an appreciation and sense of responsibility for their local community.

“Ever since we brought our local community together for a Christmas party, we’ve been looking for an opportunity to share a celebration with them again –the Royal Wedding was the perfect occasion. We’re keen to combat the isolation some people may feel from not having anyone to share this national celebration with by inviting them along to our event.

“So, we invited along members of our community who were keen to mark the happy occasion, and gave our pupils the chance to lead on a variety of activities – from cake baking and choral singing, to flower arranging and catering.”

Year 10 pupil Michaela Lloyd is a member of Highfield’s Student Council. She said:

“It is important that our local community know we care.  We do not want anyone to be alone on special occasions so we decided to celebrate together. I gave a presentation about love and happiness with three more members of our Student Council.”

Marc Fenwick from Year 8 is a member of the Highfield choir. He added:

“It is good that everyone is getting together to celebrate the Royal Wedding. I practised my singing at home, in secret because my grandad was coming to the party and I wanted to surprise him.”

Thank you to all the pupils and staff who worked hard to make Highfield’s Royal Wedding celebration such a special event for our local community.