Duke of Edinburgh opens new centre

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“He was really nice – just like an old person” – that was the verdict of one of the students when HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Bourne Grammar School.

Only 26 hours after attending Baroness Thatcher’s funeral in St Paul’s Cathedral with the Queen, Prince Philip was opening a new building in the school and looking fit after a series of health setbacks.

Excited students and a crowd of well-wishers watched and waved as His Royal Highness arrived by car and was met by a welcome party that included headteacher Jonathan Maddox and head students Liam Jones and Sarah Fountain.

Prince Philip spent a few minutes chatting to students waiting outside the school, before taking a one-hour tour of the new Turing Centre, which houses modern and exciting teaching facilities for Systems & Control and Computing.

He enjoyed a cup of tea with students and staff before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Director of systems and control, computing and ICT, Stephen Brown, told the Lincolnshire Free Press: “His Royal Highness appeared to be very interested in our systems and control and computing work and spent time asking students about the subject and projects they have been working on.”

Bourne Grammar School introduced systems and control at KS3 last year and the first students will sit GCSE examinations in 2014. AS/A2 level courses are being launched in September.

Skills acquired from studying it are highly relevant to the future employment prospects of many of our students.

The new building, named after Alan Turing, the founder of modern computing and wartime code-breaking, will provide students with two computing suites, three spacious classrooms, cutting-edge facilities and access to high-spec testing and manufacturing equipment.

Reflecting on the Royal visit, headteacher Jonathan Maddox said: “We wished to have a high profile guest to open our major new school building and also to mark a significant, new and exciting development in our curriculum, so we were delighted when Prince Philip accepted our invitation.

“The visit has been everything we could have hoped for and is something the whole school community will remember.”