Waberthwaite C of E Primary School

This hasn't been the easiest period for us and due to unforeseen circumstances our event planned and organised by the children could not go ahead within the time frame [of the Bright Stars competition]. It has been significantly adapted and will now go ahead on 18th March. This is outside of the time frame but unfortunately this is what has happened. The children are still busy planning away and have not been knocked too much by the changes.

After a great introduction to Bright Stars from John from Atkins we set about trying to decide what to do with our £50 note — most of us had never seen one before! We came up with a range of ideas from coffee mornings to car washes but just didn't feel that any of them really fit 'us' and what we wanted from the project. The children were equally stuck as they have done these things before and really wanted this to be about them... so out popped the idea of a football tournament!

The children became really enthusiastic and engaged by the idea, as did John and I, and the children really let their imaginations run wild, transforming the initial idea of a football match on a school day and inviting parents to watch and buy refreshments etc, to a family football fun day! They planned a knock out tournament for the older children, a parents match if there were enough takers, and a toddler penalty shoot-out! They roped in support from a local sports provider to help with refereeing etc. There was to be a BBQ, stalls and other events, a real celebration of what the children wanted to show they could do and achieve themselves, and a great chance to get everyone together and have fun, as, due to the rural isolation of our location and large geographical area of our catchment area, many of the children don't see other children on the weekends. Tesco agreed to donate food items for the BBQ, parents agreed to lend time and equipment.

We were all ready for our event on 4th March, then...


Our school field started to collapse and over the course of 2 days sink holes appeared all over our field due to collapsing drains. Our event had to be called off as the field was deemed unsafe and with no other recreation facilities within the village or surrounding areas this left our football tournament in disarray.

The children did not let this beat them... we picked ourselves up and the children then started to reorganise their event now to incorporate a penalty shoot-out rather than a football tournament and leave everything else the same but have it at the village hall followed by a disco.

Then... you couldn't make it up, DISASTER!!

The village hall was deemed unsafe the day before our event as the floor is in need of repair and one of our pupils attending a robotics workshop there got a large splinter in their leg from sitting on the floor and had to be taken to the doctors. The floor was deemed unsafe for use by the children without further investigation and our event once again had to be cancelled and rescheduled!

The children were deflated. The staff were demoralised. Then along came John who picked us all up and re-energised us!

Our Year 5 leadership team have been amazing and have made sure everyone is organised and ready. They have gained support from local businesses and adapted every time something has got in their way. I could not be prouder of them.

The family fun event is now planned for 18th March and incorporates a BBQ, ice cream stall, welly wanging, a penalty shoot out, the lemon drop (balancing 20p on a lemon in a bowl of water), splat a mole, nerf gun target shooting, an art show, popcorn and sweet stall, cake stall and much more! The children have worked out their costings and projected profit, they have established how many ice creams they can make from a 2 litre tub etc and using data collected through footfall forecasts they have projected attendance figures for the day and are basing their food expenditure on this. They have also checked the weather which is looking good so far! Fingers crossed for the sun to shine on us that day!

The children are ready. They have made posters, written to families of children in school and some have even quality control tested the ice cream! They have worked so hard and we are already looking forward to next year's Bright Stars — hopefully with a reinstated field! Thank you for the opportunity to participate, and we are only sorry we could not complete the project within the specified time frame — but it has certainly been an adventure trying!

Sandra Cummings
Head Teacher, Waberthwaite

We have been working very hard on our family fun day and are excited about Saturday. We have made lots of posters and advertised it on the newsletter and all around the village! There will be a BBQ, welly wanging, penalty shootout, guess the name of the rabbit, an ice cream and ice lolly stall and more things! We have spent our £50 on food for the BBQ and prizes for the competitions. We are hoping to make lots of money for our charities and our school as we want to spend the money on trying to fix our school field so we can play football again. We wrote letters and have had some prizes donated for our event. Now we are just hoping it doesn't rain too much! We have surveyed and think there will be about 80 people at our event and so have worked out how much food we need from that information. Hopefully we won't run out of anything!

Class 3, Waberthwaite School