Steyning Class of 2020 gets unique send-off with mini festival

Steyning Primary School’s Class of 2020 was given a terrific send-off, after missing out on a number of big events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 9:07 am

Year-six teachers Miss Lizzie Messina-Reeve and Miss Yasmin O’Brian were thrilled to welcome back 52 children for the last few weeks of term and they came up with a unique leavers’ party for them, including a silent disco.

Miss Messina-Reeve said: “We were so lucky that we were able to welcome back all of the children who applied for a space in a year-six or key-workers bubble.

“It was amazing to see all their faces again and despite the fact they missed out on their SATs, residential to the Isle of Wight, Bikeability and their leavers’ production, they all came back smiling and ready to enjoy their last few weeks at Steyning Primary.

“When we realised they would be missing out on so much, we sat down with head teacher Mrs Sue Harrison to figure out a way to make the children’s leaving celebrations one of a kind – one where no other pupil from SPS could say ‘oh we did that too’!”

The big plan for a mini festival, SteynFest 2020, began and, thanks to funding from Friends of Steyning Primary School, Hush Beats Silent Disco was booked.

As soon as the children found out, there was a real buzz of excitement around the school. In their bubbles, the children’s used DT and collaborative skills to create decorations, including tissue flowers, tassels and the SteynFest lettering. They agreed the dress code should be festival themed, with wellies, glitter, sequins and outrageous shirts.

Steyning Primary School created SteynFest 2020 to give the Class of 2020 a great send-off, after missing out on a number of big events due to the coronavirus pandemic

On the day, every child received a VIP SteynFest lanyard with their name on it and the line up for the day.

Miss Messina-Reeve said: “The festival was kick started with hilarious socially-distanced games, Pictionary, face muddles and challenges to complete.

“After much hysteria, we sat on the field and had the annual year-six awards ceremony, presented by head teacher Sue Harrison and sports coach Simon Knowles. Thanks to technology, our parents joined us on Facebook Live and, as always, it was an emotional assembly, celebrating the wonderful children we have at SPS.”

The children were treated to a barbecue, thanks to donations from local businesses, before the dancing began. They had created two playlists for the silent disco, one with cheesy beats and the other with floor fillers.

At the end of the afternoon, they were each given a goody bag and staff created a walk way to gave them the traditional Steyning Primary clap out.

Pupil Olive Fewtrell said: “Steynfest was the best experience of my life. It was so much fun and I will never forget it.”

Pupil Amos Misra added: “I was very lucky to be in such a kind school with loads of really nice teachers. We all had so much fun.”

Goody bags were also delivered to the year-six children who could not make the party.

Miss Messina-Reeve said: “It feels so good that we were able to see all of our pupils before they left us to move on to the next chapter in their education.

“To top it all off, on their actual last day, we shared a video which we had been putting together for them since the start of lockdown. It was a fantastic success.”

The children and teachers sang Hall of Fame and they had seen only their own part before the big video reveal.

Pupil Haidee Boyt said: “Even though we have missed out on so much this year, Steynfest and the leavers video has made year six 2020 a year to remember.”

Mum Lara Boyt said the school had made the children’s last few weeks at the school special.

She added: “It is just what they all needed and I know it made up for all the disappointment.”

Mum Mel Lacy-Fewtrell said it was a ‘wonderful, positive way’ to end the school year and she thanked the teachers for going ‘above and beyond’.

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