Tree planted to help Midhurst pupils ‘dream big’

Staff and pupils at Midhurst CofE Primary School, delighted to receive an oak tree from Clive Rowntree, front left, and other members of the firm. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks16000230-1
Staff and pupils at Midhurst CofE Primary School, delighted to receive an oak tree from Clive Rowntree, front left, and other members of the firm. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks16000230-1

An oak tree has been planted at Midhurst CofE Primary School as a powerful symbol for the children.

One pupil from each of the eight classes was chosen to be part of the tree planting ceremony last Friday, to commemorate the start of a long and fruitful life at the school.

The tree was a gift from Anderson Rowntree, which led an assembly about oak trees, their longevity, what they have seen through history and what they could witness in the future.  

Partners Clive Rowntree, Bridget Davies and solicitor Sarah Rowden presented the tree, as well as a donation to the school for much-needed sports equipment.

Mr Rowntree said: “We wanted to convey to the children what the oak tree stands for. It is such a visible part of our landscape and at the heart of our firm’s logo.

“It symbolises long lasting support and strength and underlines how long our firm has been in the community, too.

“We challenged them to think about what this oak tree may see into the next 200 years. The children were wonderful – full of energy and ideas. It was great to hear their ideas and the whole occasion was very enjoyable.”

Head teacher Sally Clarke said the tree would be a powerful symbol to the children to ‘dream big’ and to challenge themselves to reach their goals and ambitions, whatever they may be and however big they were.

“We have been delighted to have the support of the team from Anderson Rowntree Solicitors in Midhurst,” she added.

“Through the PTA, we reached out earlier in the year for support with the summer fair and their ongoing help has been excellent.

“We hope the tree will be enjoyed by many future generations here at the school. It will also provide some welcome shade in the years to come on sports days and events. The children and teaching staff will be keeping a close eye on it to make sure if flourishes.

“We are also very grateful for the financial donation Anderson Rowntree is making to the school. This will be put to very good use for sports equipment for the children. Our already successful football team will be pleased to get some new kit to continue their winning ways.”

Anderson Rowntree also gave each class a collection of seeds to plant in raised beds in front of the school’s new classrooms, close to the sports field, where the oak tree stands.

Mrs Clarke said: “Next year, the school will be thinking about creative ideas around the themes of fire and ice, so we thought it would be a good idea to plant flowers in groupings of reds, oranges and yellows for fire, blue, white and purple for ice.

“It will make our new buildings look splendid next spring and summer.”