The Arundel Centre Opening
Channing School was honoured to welcome back a former pupil, Her Royal Highness Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan, to open the Arundel Centre, the school’s new performing arts building.
Her Royal Highness was a Channing pupil between 1955 and 1963 and, in the presence of Chair of Governors Mrs Cindy Leslie, former Headmistress Mrs Isobel Raphael, she was given a tour of the Senior School, having made a special request to revisit Channing’s Art department, with its unrivalled views across the city of London.
For this special occasion, the Junior and Senior schools joined together in a service of celebration, and we were delighted to hear Her Royal Highness talk with great fondness of her Channing school days. She reminisced not just about the superb education she received at Channing but also about how the unique Channing ethos remained, which could be summed up in one word – kindness. She talked of the school’s emphasis on good manners, respect for elders and the inspirational teachers who encouraged her and nurtured her love of learning, which she said informed her own career choices and passion for spearheading girls’ education in Jordan.
Her Royal Highness was treated to a stunning performance of ‘A Spoonful of sugar’ from ‘Mary Poppins’ by Year 10 Drama students, as well as a moving violin recital by Year 5 pupil Natasha Freedman in the Arundel Centre before she opened the building.
Her Royal Highness then chatted with Channing staff old and new, Governors and VIPs at a Champagne buffet. She was also reunited with several former classmates.
Mrs Barbara Elliott, Channing Headmistress, said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome former pupils back to Channing. What a thrill that HRH Princess Sarvath al Hassan was so keen to return to Channing to open and name our fantastic new performing arts building: the Arundel Centre. The pupils and staff were so pleased that the values she recalled with such affection are still so important today.”