Sir David Attenborough delights Lancing secondary school with handwritten letter

It is not every day you receive a handwritten letter from a bona fide national treasure, but staff and pupils at a Lancing high school have been given a rare treat.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 4:45 pm

Sir David Attenborough, the 94-year-old naturalist who has been the voice of the natural world for generations, responded to a letter from geography teacher Sarah Miller at Sir Robert Woodard Academy.

Ms Miller had written to Sir David to tell him what an inspiration he was, after her year 9 class watched an episode of his documentary series Perfect Planet.

Last week, she received this handwritten response: “Dear Sarah Miller, thank you for your letter and the kind things you say. I am delighted that your students enjoy my programmes so much. Best wishes to you all, David Attenborough.”

Britain's Sir David Attenborough reacts during the naming ceremony of Britain's new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough in Birkenhead, northwest England on September 26, 2019. (Photo by Asadour Guzelian / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ASADOUR GUZELIAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) SUS-210302-092624001
Britain's Sir David Attenborough reacts during the naming ceremony of Britain's new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough in Birkenhead, northwest England on September 26, 2019. (Photo by Asadour Guzelian / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ASADOUR GUZELIAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) SUS-210302-092624001

Ms Miller said it was ‘wonderful’ to see how much respect pupils had for Sir David while watching the documentary.

“They fully understood the awareness he was trying to raise, and were genuinely interested in how they could personally make changes to tackle issues surrounding climate change and environmental degradation,” she said.

“Upon watching his most recent documentary, A Perfect Planet, which contains a ‘suns’ episode that summarised perfectly the topic that our Year 9s studied last term, I thought it would be a lovely lockdown activity for the pupils to write to Sir David and explain the impact that he has had upon their understanding of our world.

“For motivational purposes, I wrote to Sir David myself and received a reply with perfect timing! We were able to share the letter with the pupils during our online lessons and we hope that this has encouraged them to write their own. Whenever school returns, we will be collecting the pupils’ letters and sending them off in a big envelope to Sir David to show SRWA’s appreciation for all he has done for the natural world throughout his extraordinary career.”

SRWA’s principal Kieran Scanlon said Sir David was ‘an inspiration to everyone in the world of education’ and the school was thrilled to get a response from him.

Teachers and parents used his documentaries to support pupils’ education during the pandemic, he added.