I was surprised to learn that there is a ‘Crown Aided’ state primary school in the middle of Windsor Great Park, and full of curiosity when kindly invited to visit it. Driving through the Park, which is much more extensive than I realised, snow had recently fallen, with lacy white branches all over the thick woodland giving incredibly beautiful winter views; somehow, I was thinking ‘Narnia’.
But we received a very cheery welcome at The Royal School, housed in a charming cottage-like building which dates from the school’s foundation by Prince Albert 175 years ago, as a place of education for the children of estate workers at Windsor. The school is a one-form entry First School (up to age 9) so its high gabled rooms don’t seem overcrowded. Music is high on the agenda, and we were greeted by some fine singing by the assembled students, for whom I’m going to write the music for an ‘175th anniversary anthem’ while they write the words.