Article written for the local newspapers - Longwood School and Nursery has been making some very big cuts lately, but for all the right reasons. Longwood prides itself on putting the well-being of the community in the hearts of all its pupils. The week, the children learnt the plight of young children with cancer and were given the opportunity to help in a practical and positive way.
On Monday, Year 6 assembly prefect, Rebecca, gave a presentation in assembly about the Little Princess Trust, which collects hair and sends it off to be made into wigs for children who have lost theirs, due to cancer and other serious illnesses. Following on from the presentation, headteacher Claire May, together with one of the secretaries, two nursery practitioners and two year 5 pupils, had their hair cut, so that they could send their ponytails to be made into wigs for children. The whole school watched as Sam Anton wielded her scissors six times. Sam is a Longwood mum herself and donated her time and her skills for free. Mrs May says, “I am so thrilled that this project has inspired so many of our community to get involved. The atmosphere in today’s assembly was supportive and so much fun and we’ve surpassed all expectations in terms of donations.”
Another Longwood mum, Tracy Hunt, whose daughter, Freya, came up with the whole idea, together with Sanya’s mum, set up a fundraising page for members of the community to donate. So far, we have raised just over £2000, which is a fantastic effort. The money is being divided equally between the Little Princess Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support, which is another charity that Longwood has supported for many years. Lauren and Adam, who are Year 6 events prefects, told the pupils about this charity and explained how they are organising a cake sale and a cupcake competition on Friday. Our annual coffee mornings have become an eagerly anticipated highlight at Longwood and we hope to raise a significant sum on Friday.
Macmillan Coffee Morning
This morning we held our annual coffee morning and it was, as usual, a great success. Thank you for all the wonderful cake donations and a special thank you to everyone who entered the cupcake competition. The judges found it hard but finally made their decision. Congratulations to Lauren, who was awarded third place, Sonni who came second and the overall winner, Rayyan, with his chocolatey, Oreo-laden cupcakes. It was lovely seeing so many parents enjoying a cup of tea, a cake and a chat. Thank you to Julie (Harrison’s mum) for helping to serve the hot drinks. My biggest thanks of the day go to Lauren and Adam for organising such a successful event.
FoL Family Quiz
The quiz, organised by Friends of Longwood was a great success. Special thanks to our quiz masters, Yogi and Julie, who ran the event with panache! Congratulations to the winning team – the Costco Champions – and thank you to everyone who came along and supported us.
Our harvest festival at St James’ Church was a lovely celebration and, as usual, the children all performed beautifully. It was very well attended; thank you to all parents who came along. I hope you enjoyed listening to our selection of harvest songs and poems.
This year, we decided to support Children in Need again. Lauren and Adam, our events prefects, suggested that all children come to school in sports kit. This was a popular idea and everyone enjoyed dressing in non-uniform. Lauren and Adam also organised a fun run at playtime, with children donating money to take part. They raised £35 for their efforts.
Oak room held their own Bake Off. The cakes looked delicious and they raised a staggering £301. Congratulations to Mrs Madawela, who won the staff cake competition and to Prachi in Oak room, who won the children’s competition. Altogether, we raised £448.30 which we have sent off to Children in Need.
December started with a very special treat for the children in Cherry, Oak, FT and FW. They had a magical visit from Mr Marvel. He kept them entertained with all sorts of tricks and jokes. Great fun was had by all.
Our older children visited Beaumont Care Home in Bushey to entertain the residents with a medley of Christmas carols. After some beautiful singing, UKS2 enjoyed chatting to the old people, getting to know them and finding out about their childhood memories. This was a lovely opportunity; the children and the residents both gained a great deal from our trip.
Everyone enjoyed the preschool nativity dress rehearsal. It was a lovely occasion, where the older children supported the younger ones, clapping enthusiastically and joining in where appropriate. The preschool parents loved the real thing. It was adorable and judging by the comments afterwards, enjoyed by all.
FS and KS1 loved presenting their show, Christmas with the Aliens, to a packed audience of family and friends. It was a superb performance, and was the culmination of a great deal of hard work.
KS2 performed Aladdin Trouble for their Christmas show. The children put in so much effort and were rewarded with a performance of which to be immensely proud.
In the last week of term, the school children enjoyed a special Christmas lunch, complete with crackers and Christmas music. Everyone was in good spirits, the children behaved beautifully and a great time was had by all. The dessert – a dazzling array of homemade Christmas cookies – was amazing. Our school council enjoyed judging the cookies, although they had a difficult time choosing the winners. Congratulations to Aadi (third place), Freya (second place) and the overall winner, Mack.
On Wednesday, we all went off to the pantomime – oh yes we did! (OK, so I make the same joke every year!) This was huge fun, a perfect Christmas treat and a chance for the children to see a professional show and start gathering some ideas for next year’s performances.
At the end of term, KS2 children enjoyed an Interhouse football competition. Congratulations to the winning house – BLYTON! Thank you to Miss Taylor for refereeing the matches.
On Tuesday 5th February, our school choir had a fabulous day, culminating in taking part in a performance at the O2 arena in Greenwich. Everyone had been practising all the songs and dances for months. It was an amazing experience to be part of a massed choir made up of 8868 primary
school children and their teachers. The O2 was packed, the atmosphere was fantastic and we
all made memories that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
This event, organised by Young Voices, gets bigger and bigger each year and it's not hard to see why. The benefits of working together, being a small cog in a big machine, practising hard for a future reward, making music and having fun are so important and we work hard at Longwood to take
advantage of opportunities such as this event, to that end.
Also in February, we held our annual Musicians Assembly. What a fabulous musical celebration! We heard many solo pieces on a variety of instruments. The children were confident, well-rehearsed and enjoyed playing to an audience; some of them for the first time. UKS2 performed a piece of Gamalan music. This was the culmination of several weeks of work in their music lessons. Gamalan music originated in Indonesia and is traditionally played on drums and percussion instruments hit with mallets. Our children used glockenspiels, drums and a xylophone. They played complex layers of music all on a pentatonic scale. Our school choir performed We Are The World, which was part of our Young Voices repertoire. The morning finished with everyone singing Let It Go, after being reminded that singing improves mood, decreases stress and anxiety levels, lowers blood pressure and increases blood oxygen saturation. We all felt great afterwards.
We had a great week celebrating World Book Day. Lots of children bought a book or two from our Book People book fair to add to their family libraries. Our World Book Day dress up day was very successful. There are some pictures on the website; the children made a fantastic effort.
Madame's second hand book fair was another success. She raised £75 which we donated to the RSPCA. Thank you to everyone who donated a book, everyone who bought a book and a special thank you to Madame for organising it all.
The house captains organised a quiz on Friday afternoon. They kept the whole school entertained with a selection of literary questions. Great fun!
We held a fun day to support Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. The children enjoyed wearing something red and we raised a substantial amount of money for the charity. Lauren and Adam organised two playtime games – Guess How Many Sweets In The Jar and How Many Basketball Shots In One Minute. This generated excitement and also helped add to the total. Well done to our Events Prefects for being proactive and making a difference.
There was great excitement when the eggs arrived. We all watched the chicks hatch. The children loved watching the life cycle in action and getting to meet the baby chicks.
Still in March, we took part in the National Skipping Challenge. The children enjoyed counting the number of skips jumped at playtime and lunchtime. Charlotte and Aman, our playground prefects, added them all together and submitted our total, which was added to the totals from 123 other schools around the country. It was fun to take part and has helped us to develop our skipping techniques, which will come in useful on Sports Day.
Just before the end of term, the school council organised an Easter egg race at lunchtime, just for fun. This event was in the planning for a good few weeks. The children were split into teams. Each team had to “mat race” to the log world and get a plastic egg full of chocolates down from the top of the log world, using only rulers and sellotape. Everyone really entered into the spirit, worked together and had loads of fun in the process. Thank you to Rebecca, who masterminded the whole event.
The house captains organised inter house handball and football on Wednesday afternoon. These matches are becoming a tradition at the end of each term and it’s lovely to watch the children taking their sport seriously and putting skills learnt in their games lessons to the test. Well done to everyone for such good sportsmanship.