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“Winwickbury” rocks as pupils bid fond farewell

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WHILE Glastonbury may have been cancelled this year the festival vibe was definitely rocking for pupils bidding farewell from Winwick CE Primary School!

Twenty-seven year 6 VIP’s, accompanied by their teacher Mrs Kelly Mather and teaching staff, were treated to their own “Winwickbury” festival last week as the school said thank you and waved goodbye to the youngsters who were about to move onto high school education.
The event nearly didn’t happen as festivities were cancelled after four class bubbles burst, including Y6, just days before the end of term, but the festival finally came to life last week following months of fundraising and planning thanks to the determination Headteacher Mrs Sue Dymond, teachers and careful masterminding led by Mrs Mather and the school’s Parents, Teachers and Friends’ Association chairman Sarah Browning who managed to keep the gig’s highlights top secret until it was unveiled at the very last minute.
As music and laughter reached the far corners of the village, social media lit up as inquisitive residents tried to find out where the noise was coming from, and as word spread and rock band Highway 62 belted out the children’s favourite anthems, it wasn’t long before the rest of the village was singing along as the youngsters partied all day and into early evening.
“Mrs Mather chatted with the class about how they’d like to celebrate leaving Winwick CE Primary School and they came up with the idea of a festival. Year 6 (like so many students & pupils) have missed out on so much these past 12-18 months. They didn’t get to go on their class residential, do Y6 Enterprise Initiatives, or be Buddies with new 2020 Reception class children, or get to go on the usual trips and visits – all the things that would usually help carve their last year in primary school and help prepare them for the next stages of their learning & life journey. Mrs Mather was determined that their last celebration at Winwick Primary School would be the absolute best possible for her Y6 children, Class of 2021”. Said Sarah.
The youngsters, ‘Team Awesome’, were tasked with raising fund and they managed to top up the festival kitty by £550 with various enterprising initiatives from challenging chores to a 25k sponsored bike spin. The children even completed a sponsored walk from Winwick to Glastonbury! Villagers and local businesses also stepped forward to support the event. Sarah added: “Mrs Mather wanted them to take responsibility and learn through the process and be personally involved. PTFA was given a wish list from the children of what they wanted at the festival and then Mrs Mather and I ran with it. We didn’t tell them what we’d actually organised for them, just took their ideas then managed it all privately. The live band, ice cream van, bell tent, music dome and mocktails were all surprises for them!” The festival field was also kitted out with gazebos, tents, a BBQ, bubble and smoke machine. Outdoor games were the order of the day including a session of the youngsters’ favourite – Bongo Bingo.
Sarah added: “We promised the children they would not miss out and we managed to reschedule everything. The children had their church service and graduation ceremony at St Oswald’s Church. They each received a rainbow bee badge, then Winwickbury Festival kicked off at the church hall followed by a prom party organised by their parents all on the same day!”
She added: “We’ve had lots of lovely feedback. Will we do it again? ………This was organised as a special celebration but the class who are about to become our new Y6 have already asked if they can have a festival too…… let’s see what the summer of 2022 brings and who’s up for fundraising initiatives and helping out!”

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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