Room at the top as school observes ritual

Royal Latin School Head Girl Georgia Crouch and Head Boy Callum Holliday join headteacher David Hudson to place the ceremonial yew branch at the highest point of the Discovery Centre. PNL-141027-141518001
Royal Latin School Head Girl Georgia Crouch and Head Boy Callum Holliday join headteacher David Hudson to place the ceremonial yew branch at the highest point of the Discovery Centre. PNL-141027-141518001

An ancient tradition was observed in a ceremony at a high-tech new building.

Guests assembled on the roof of the Royal Latin School’s new Discovery Centre last Thursday, for the building’s ‘topping out’ ceremony.

Guests assemble for the topping out ceremony at the Royal Latin School's Discovery Centre PNL-141027-141505001

Guests assemble for the topping out ceremony at the Royal Latin School's Discovery Centre PNL-141027-141505001

The practice of topping out a new building can be traced

to the ancient Scandinavian rite of placing a tree at the highest point of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits exiled in its construction.

Headteacher David Husdon was joined by head boy Callum Holiday and head girl Georgia Crouch to place the ceremonial yew branch at the Discovery Centre’s highest point.

The £5m, 12-laboratory facility is being funded by the RLS 600 Campaign, which has successfully brought together funding from central and local government, industry, charitable foundations and members of the school community.

Among those attending the ceremony was Julian Thomas, sponsor of the centre’s Racelogic Innovation Lab.

The Discovery Centre still has a few remaining opportunities

for lab sponsorships.

Mr Hudson,said: “Today is another important step towards the creation of the Discovery Centre.

“We are all so excited about the prospect of being able to open the doors of this spectacular building to students next year.

“Our rapid progress has only been possible because of the considerable and enduring support we have received, for which we continue to be incredibly grateful.”

The school says the Discovery Centre will encourage close partnerships between industry and education, to encourage students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities or to make a donation to the Discovery Centre, see www.rls600.com