On the 28th March 2017, pupils and staff were thrilled to welcome Mr Robin Fletcher, Chief Executive of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) into school. During his visit Mr Fletcher planted a cherry tree and a time capsule at the front of the Preparatory School.

The planting of the tree is part of The Boarding Orchard initiative launched by the BSA in 2014 to be the largest orchard, by distance, in the UK and involves boarding schools joining the orchard by planting fruit trees on their grounds. The trees symbolise the ‘tree of knowledge’ and demonstrates each school’s commitment to growth and caring for the environment. Since the launch, schools across the UK – including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have joined The Boarding Orchard and trees have also been planted at boarding schools in Switzerland, the
USA and more recently Australia.

As well as planting a cherry tree, the boarding community took the opportunity to bury a time
capsule, containing items from the three boarding houses: a lost sock, a pack of Top Trumps,
a memory stick of photographs, a toothbrush and some Jenga bricks, to name but a few.

Mr Paddy Moss said, “It has been wonderful to share with Robin a glimpse of the unique
boarding experience we offer here at Dean Close Prep and to allow him to meet many of our
happy boarders and committed boarding staff. We were so pleased to be able to join him in
celebrating the Golden Jubilee of this vital, support organisation and to plant a tree together
as part of the nationwide ‘Boarding Orchard’.“

Boarder, Jessica Pond enthused, “I was thrilled to help pack up the time capsule and be part
of burying it alongside the cherry tree, especially as it was my birthday. Now every time I pass
the tree I will remember my 13th birthday!”