Mabel Prichard School hosts its very own ‘Royal wedding’

Students at Mabel Prichard School marked today’s union between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by hosting their very own mock wedding taken by a real vicar.

The special school in Blackbird Leys saw the occasion as a chance to teach students about the institution of marriage and socialising.

It hosted an outdoor ceremony yesterday taken by Reverend Heather Carter of nearby Church Of The Holy Family, with 17-year-old pupils Leonna and Matthew as the bride and groom.

Headteacher Lucy Wawrzyniak said: “It was beautiful - we even had a pianist.

“It was done very much with the intention of teaching students social skills and about events they will take part in through their lives.”

Ofsted says schools must teach ‘fundamental British values’, and Ms Wawrzyniak said the event was full of learning opportunities.

Six bridesmaids and three pageboys trailed Leonna, who is from Blackbird Leys.

She was accompanied down the aisle by Key Stage 3 teacher Bob Houghton who wore a Mad Hatter-esque hat.

Instead of inviting the groom to kiss the bride following the traditional vows, the vicar announced: “You may now high five the bride."

The school in Cuddesdon Way educates children aged two to 19 with severe learning difficulties.

Ms Wawrzyniak said: “Students can find change in routine very difficult, so the more we can teach them about certain situations in a safe setting, the better.

“All the primary school students came [to the upper school] which was a break in their routine and a completely different venue for them.

“There was also the socialising with the party after.”

About 100 guests including staff, pupils and parents applauded as the pair ‘married’, then enjoyed a tea party with a top table, and the official opening of the school’s new sensory garden.

A fruitcake centrepiece was made and donated by Michelle Robbins, and the carpet for the aisle was donated by Carpets 4 Less in Cowley.

There was also a performance and lessons by drummer Natty Mark Samuels.

Joe Austin Florist, The Garden, Bicycle Blooms and ALJ Florist provided flowers.

Higher level teaching assistant Annie Hawkins, who co-organised the day, said: “The whole community pulled together to make this happen.

“We teach through practical activities whenever we can and try to make our teaching as fun as possible.”