Academy shares Royal spotlight

On the day the biggest Royal news story of the year was making headlines around the world, Nottingham University Samworth Academy (NUSA) was enjoying a little bit of Royal attention itself…

Her Royal Highness Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, arrived at the Bilborough school shortly after the announcement that Prince William is to marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton.

She told the waiting media she was ‘delighted’ by the news and wished the couple all the ‘luck and love in the world’.

After being greeted by pupils and staff at the school, led by Principal David Harris, she was treated to a drama and dance performance and a look at one of the school’s art lessons.

The Countess also had the opportunity to take in the weird and the wonderful in the school’s Wonder Room — a modern-day ‘cabinet of curiosities’ which promotes learning through fascination.

Her visit came as part of a wider fact-finding mission to Nottingham to learn about the city’s Early Intervention Programme to tackle underachievement and deprivation, which includes 11-16 Life Skills lessons, which aim to develop pupils’ financial acumen by offering successful tips on managing money, avoiding overspending and debt.

At NUSA, the Countess took part in a Life Skills lesson. She also met young mothers and their babies who have been helped through the Family Nurse Partnership — another strand of the city’s Early Intervention Programme. NUSA — a £24m government-funded complex — is one of the first in the country to have direct sponsorship and academic links with a university and is also backed by local businessman and philanthropist Sir David Samworth.

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