A Right Royal Visit

On the 11th of April our school was delighted to accommodate Prince William and Katherine Middleton. A tour took place to show the couple our fantastic achievements since opening in 2008. Our now Royal journalists (Georgia Walsh and Christina Horrocks) were on the scene and followed them on the tour.

It was a cold damp Darwen day, but it didn’t dampen our spirits. The Darwen community came out in their hundreds, into the pouring rain only to see a glimpse of the Royal event, and they were not disappointed as the couple shortly arrived. Cameras were flashing, faces were smiling and the towns people were cheering. This was an unforgettable moment in history for the people who were there.

They met Mr Loughran (our principle) and then proceeded to the tour. The tour started on the first floor where the Royal pair watched some of our students do P.E with SkillForce, a charity working with 13-19 year olds. Prince William commended SkillForce on their work and then went on to the Entrepreneurship Bridge. The couple met young business people and talk about their business achievements. We then went on to the textiles class room. Katherine Middleton asked Katie Byrnes questions about her work in this area. The pair then looked at a wedding dress designed by another student from DACA.

We then proceeded into an art classroom. Prince William looked through Johanna Riley’s work and said ‘It’s brilliant, really brilliant’. He also discussed his own art GCSE and cameras flashed again as the media followed the tour. The pair was then escorted to the drama studio, where they sat within a crowd of students and watched our dance troop who had been led by Miguel and MJ Productions. The couple smiled and commended the dance troop on their efforts and excellent performance.

Not long after, we went to the assembly area where Rod Aldridge, DACAs official sponsor, and Mr Loughran both made speeches about how proud they were of the school, the students and our achievements. It came to the moment we all waited for Prince William’s speech. He said how he had a ‘Warm Lancastrian welcome, if not a little damp’. Once the speech was finished they revealed the plaque, officially opening the Academy.

Finally our very own Jessica Dootson was presented an award for writing by Katherine Middleton. Jessica had won the Pegasus short story competition and received congratulations from an applauding audience. Well done Jessica.
Our Royal journalists had this to say about the visit. ‘The day was really happy, everyone had a smile on their face and felt like they were apart of this historical day. I enjoyed every Minute.’ –Christina Horrocks

By Alice Eden, Ronan Kay and Christina Horrocks.