Big excitement reigned at Levin East School earlier this week because of some right royal mail.

The Year 2/3 students in Room 17 at Levin East school had received a letter from the United Kingdom. Several weeks ago, the students had been learning about British culture as part of a unit to explore the cultures of everyone in their class. Kirsty Bennett, Room 17's teacher, was born in Britain.

"The children really got into it," Mrs Bennett said. "They loved hearing all about Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Queen herself. So we decided to write to the Queen to show Her Majesty what we've been learning. The children also drew some amazing pictures of some of the structures in London."

Several cards and letters were written and posted off to the UK. The children had written things such as, "What's it like being the Queen?" and "I really like your dresses" and "We found out that Big Ben is the name of the biggest bell in the tower, not the actual tower".

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Room 17 was hopeful of a reply, but Mrs Bennett had also prepared them to not get anything back, explaining how busy the Queen is. However, on Tuesday September 17, Mrs Bennett was handed an official looking envelope with the royal seal on the front.

The Queen's letter to Levin East School's Room 17.
The Queen's letter to Levin East School's Room 17.

"I was so incredibly excited, both for myself and the children. What an amazing thing to be able to say: we received a letter from the Queen!"

Due to a school-wide production being run at the time consuming everyone's attention, the letter was kept secret until Thursday. The whole class was excited and applauded once the letter was read out.

The letter is from the Queen's lady-in-waiting. In part, it said, "The Queen wishes me to thank you for your letters and cards in which you told Her Majesty you have been learning about British culture. The Queen was glad to see your work and Her Majesty was pleased that you have enjoyed your studies."

The writer also enclosed some information leaflets about the Queen, Buckingham Palace and the Crown Jewels.

"We are sure that the Queen has viewed some of our cards personally, and it's amazing that she's taken the time to dictate a personal letter to us," Mrs Bennett said. "This is something that the children in Room 17 can look back on and tell their own children about."