Urdd Peace and Goodwill Message 2021



Sakura Cherry Tree Project1

In celebration of a new era of UK-Japan friendship and cooperation, we held a very special Sakura Cherry Tree planting ceremony on Wednesday 12th May 2021. 

In the words of our Community Governor, Mr Keith Dunn OBE, Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales and President of the Consular Association in Wales: 

"Wales and Japan has a strong relationship developed over more than 100 years. At the heart of that relationship is a desire for mutual understanding and to learn from each other's of life, culture and history. This planting ceremony today, is a strong symbol of our friendship, that can be supported and enjoyed by future generations and I hope particularly at this current time, will be embraced by our communities for the future. 

Six cherry trees have been gifted to Monmouthshire schools, the first here today in Chepstow School, to celebrate that friendship between Wales and Japan. The initiative will be a lasting legacy from the Japan-UK season of culture, which has been made possible by donations from Japanese businesses. 

  1. Chepstow School
  2. Llanfoist Fawr Primary School
  3. Monmouth Comprehensive School
  4. Raglan Church in Wales VC Primary School
  5. Undy Primary School
  6. Shirenewton Primary School

Other cherry trees have also been distributed to hundreds of schools and colleges all over Wales, including the cities of Cardiff, Bangor, St. Asaph, Swansea and Newport. The National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire, St Fagan's National Museum of History in Cardiff and Conwy Castle, which is twinned with Himeji Castle in Japan will all receive trees."

More information regarding this important project can be found here: SAKURA CHERRY TREE PROJECT | Celebrating a new era of UK-Japan friendship and cooperation (japanuksakura.org)



Opening by Matthew Sims, Headteacher. 

Left to right: Matthew Sims, Headteacher, Emma Mellen, Assistant Headteacher, Keith Dunn OBE, Community Governor and Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales, and Takumi Ikeda, Sixth Form Student.


Our Year 7 and 10 Choir, who performed moving renditions of the traditional Japanese folk song, Sakura and Suo Gân at the planting ceremony.


Our pupils planting the Sakura Cherry Tree in its new home at Chepstow School. 


Left to Right: Cllr Dale Rooke, Deputy Town Mayor, Mrs Sarah Dunn, Judith Langdon, Chair of Governors, Takumi Ikeda, Sixth Form Student, Ryan Coleman, Tackling Poverty and Inequality Lead MCC, Emma Mellen, Assistant Headteacher, Matthew Sims, Headteacher and Keith Dunn OBE, Community Governor and Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales.

5Our talented Year 10 pupils who created a full Japanese menu of food for our special guests enjoyment.