Nova Hreod staff and students have placed a time capsule in memory of those lost to covid.
Tutor reps, house captains and student heads gathered with staff at the school's reflection garden and placed the time capsule into the ground. The event was organised by Assistant Principal Simon Foster.
Nick Wells, Headteacher at Nova Hreod, said before the capsule was lowered: "This is a marker of not only the challenges the students have faced, but also what the school has gained.
"This is a real sense of who we are at Nova. People will look back on this and understand what we went through together. I'm immensely proud of the children pulling together over the last 18 months and this is a special day to commemorate those lost to covid 19."
After speeches from students, house captains Logan Jones and Blaise Killingback lowered the capsule into place. A commemorative plaque immortalises the students' names and the date of the burial. The school hopes to host an unearthing ceremony in 2070, with Logan and Blaise already at the top of the guest list.
Former head of year students Sophie Buckett and Hanna Warner returned to the school to witness the event. Sophie said: "It's been a really lovely ceremony and this capsule demonstrates the struggles we have been through in the past year. It's been hard for everyone and this shows how we have persevered through it, like many other schools have."
Hanna added: "It's quite a privilege to come back for this. As year 11s, we've already left and haven't been able to be included in other things. Being able to see the capsule burial and inform everyone else about how beautiful it was, will be really nice."
The capsule contains:
- Student art work and written personal records of covid 19 experiences - including words about loved ones that may have contracted covid and passed away from the virus. Some of these articles are in physical form, and some on a USB stick.
- House ties from the school, to reflect on changes to the school uniform.
- A school timetable
- Photos of the students involved
- Hand sanitiser
- A home testing kit, similar to the ones the students have been taking at school.
Nova ran a competition prior to the event in order to select extra students to take part in the compilation of the capsule.
Mayor of Swindon Garry Perkins attended the event along with governors, Kevin Logan and Helen Thorne. Cllor Perkins said: "This is great. This is a school that the students are obviously very proud of.
"It's good that the students are taking an interest in their social and personal history and how the pandemic has affected their families and their neighbours as well as other pupils.
"Spending so much time away from their friends and all that time at home must have had a big effect on these students. Being seperated from others affects every aspect of young people's lives; their enjoyment of sports, social interaction, live music, and the general relationships they are building."
The school welcomed the small gathering, and headteacher Mr Wells said that due to the pandemic Nova had not been able to use the space much, prior to the capsule ceremony.
He added: "The garden has been an important place in the past for people to come together and reflect. It's been nice to be able to use this space again for the capsule.
"We decided it was important as a school that we did something to mark such a historic event and this is the way we decided to recognise what has been going on."