Warminster School Community Action Day 2019

Back in in the winter months as we sat in our scarves and woolly jumpers planning Community Action Day 2019, it was hard to imagine that we would be carrying out the various projects in such soaring heat. However, as last Friday approached it was clear that plenty of sun cream and bottles of water were going to be vital!

Excitement for the day started to build at the CAD Fayre a few weeks ago. House prefects set up stalls and tried to entice pupils across all year groups to sign up to their particular project which was one of the 14 different community projects – from building a nursery courtyard at St George’s Primary School to clearing the high street of litter and weeds (and everything in between).

On Friday morning, the groups of pupils gathered in their Houses to collect their tools and packed lunches and set off to give something back to our local community. A number of pupils and staff ran around Cold Harbour in the blazing sun – all in support of the charity UNICEF. Sixth Form pupils Max and Finn did a fantastic job of organising and co-ordinating this project and keeping pupils cool with the sprinkler system. Between all pupils and staff, they ran a staggering 714.5km! Money is still rolling in.

Over in the Prep School, there was more running going on. Year 6 pupils had organised their own Race for Life and Aquathon to raise money for Cancer Research in memory of much-loved former Deputy Head, parent, and friend, Stuart Morgan-Nash. They also held a raffle with prizes donated by parents as well as a number of local shops, restaurants, cafes and hairdressers. Sponsorship money is still coming in and money raised so far is already close to £600.

In the TA Hall pupils and staff were spinning on bikes – kindly loaned to us by ‘Fit to Perform’ – to raise money for Will Edkins. Will is the son of our wonderful photographer Jon and his wife who are continuing to raise funds to make substantial alterations to their home to make a safe and comfortable place for their son Will to grow as his care becomes more complex. Sponsorship money is still rolling in so we are hopeful for a decent amount of money to be raised.

Out and about in the community, others were peddling like mad too – on bikes kindly loaned to us by Harridges Gym – this time to raise money for the local MS Society Centre. Some of this group were also gardening at the centre itself and did a fantastic job.

We had various groups going out to some of our local primary schools. At St George’s Primary School the pupils did an amazing job building the courtyard for the nursery. A member of staff at the school commented that ‘The amount of work they managed to get through exceed all expectations and it all looks fantastic’ she also said that a pupils ‘are a credit to the School they are so polite and helpful, not to mention hard working.’

At the Minster Primary School, pupils delivered language workshops that they had planned themselves – a Russian song together with some Spanish numbers and fruits. One of the Year 1 pupils commented that he had had ‘lots and lots and lots of fun!’

Meanwhile, at Crockerton Primary School, the pupils accompanied younger pupils on their welly walk as well as helping with gardening activities throughout the day.

Our musicians went out to Imber Court and Wren House to entertain the residents there with their musical talents. A good time was certainly had by all – by the end the residents were up on their feet dancing and singing!

In terms of clear-up operations in and around Warminster, we had one group at the Minster Churchyard clearing gravestones, weeding and tidying up paths – the area looks very neat and tidy now. Another group was out at Smallbrook Meadow and the town park, clearing up litter and conducting flower and tree surveys there while another group got to grips with some gardening work around the War Memorial, removing weeds and generally tidying up the area. Again, they all did a brilliant job. At the cricket club, staff and pupils got stuck in and spruced up the paintwork there while back at the School pond there was a huge clear-up operation to rid the pond of weeds and rubbish. Dr Hankey, who was supervising this group, said that he ‘was very impressed with how it all went and what they had managed to do.’

Mr Crinion and his team of litter-pickers were like a swarm of locus spreading along the main street of Warminster in their fluorescent vests, removing any scrap of litter and weeds in sight. A member of the public emailed us to say what a fantastic job the pupils and staff had done. They were particularly impressed that some of the pupils had removed the ivy from his elderly neighbour’s low wall – a job that she had been unable to do herself.

Community Action Day has become the one day of the year when all staff and pupils at Warminster School are able to join forces and give something back to our local community. This year was certainly no exception. I am extremely proud of all of our staff and pupils for approaching these tasks with such enthusiasm, energy and a real sense of community spirit. Our intention now is to continue some of these projects throughout the year, working in partnership with the local primary schools, Town Council and local residents.

I would like to express my thanks to all staff who helped organise and run the day, including all those who did vital work behind the scenes, all pupils who fully embraced and engaged with the day and the whole community who welcomed and supported us.

Nicola Rogers, Assistant Head, Pupil Development