Queen presents West Norfolk pupil, Alexander Simpson, 9, with signed bible for school project efforts
A West Norfolk youngster has enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak to royalty about his schoolwork after winning an award presented to him by the Queen.
Flitcham Church of England Primary Academy pupil Alexander Simpson, aged nine, was presented with a signed leather-bound Bible by the Queen at Sandringham on Sunday after his school project on Flitcham Church was deemed top of the class.
Alexander said: “I was very nervous but it was lovely to meet Her Majesty the Queen in person.
“She was very welcoming and very interested to chat to me about my project on Flitcham Church.
“It really was amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
To win this special prize, year five and six pupils at Flitcham were tasked with creating a project on the village church, St Mary the Virgin, which the school has connections to as a Church of England institution.
Executive headteacher Jane Gardener said Flitcham is one of three schools on the Sandringham estate, along with Sandringham and West Newton Primary School and Dersingham Primary School, which benefit from the Queen’s bible award on an annual rotational basis.
To help prepare them for their projects, Rev Canon Jonathan Riviere, rector of Sandringham, gave the pupils a lesson on the history of the church.
Mrs Gardener said it was up to the pupils themselves to decide how they wanted to do the project.
Alexander’s work was chosen as the winner after he presented it to a panel of four judges.
He was so eager to do his best in an attempt to win the prize that at one point he stayed up until midnight working on the project, his mum Debbie said.
“He spent hours and hours on it, because he so desperately wanted to win,” she added.
Included in his project, which was presented as an information book for others to learn from, were a drawing of the church and photographs of the village.
She added: “He’s never found handwriting and things very easy, so he’s always had to work very hard.
“For him to take the decision to do this, and put so much effort into it, we’re so incredibly proud of him.”
On Sunday, following a morning prayer service, Alexander, his family and Mrs Gardener were received by the Queen at Sandringham House, where the Flitcham pupil discussed his winning work with the monarch.
“She was really genuinely interested and delightful and warm, as she always is,” Mrs Gardener said.
“It was very exciting for Alexander.
“We are really proud of him. It’s quite a thing to stand in front of the Queen and chat to her about your work.”
Alexander was also supported on Sunday by his sister Amelia, who is a member of the Sandringham Church choir.
Mrs Simpson said the family are regular church-goers in Sandringham.
She said her son, who she described as “lovely” and “kind”, was “so nervous” to speak to the monarch.
“She was absolutely lovely and very welcoming to us all,” Mrs Simpson said.
“Not only did he meet the Queen, but it also gave him the opportunity to show what he could do.
“Meeting the Queen was the icing on the cake really, it’s something he will remember forever.”