After a couple of days of being able to reflect on such an exciting day that was jam packed from the very start, and now having had the opportunity to process all of the media we gathered, it’s time to bring all of the last day of Term 5 together in a blog post.
My day began at 4am – early for me (!) but necessary to get up so early in order to be organised and in Westwood for 6am ready for the beginning of a once in a lifetime experience. My destination was the Batten residence, home of Jo and Russell, who had kindly agreed to host BBC Wiltshire as they presented their breakfast show from, quite literally, their kitchen, dining room and lounge! Ben Prater, the show’s presenter was already there, along with Richard his producer for the day and Ian the broadcast engineer, to ensure that everything was in place for the outside broadcast to celebrate BBC Wiltshire’s Step into Summer campaign.
Preparations for the show began months ago and we had been working closely with Emma Colman, producer at BBC Wiltshire and lead for Step into Summer, to ensure that we had a range of wonderful guests from the community to talk about their experiences of walking around the local area, as well as children from our school, who spoke so beautifully about how important it is to stay healthy. Everyone was just brilliant and it made for such a slick and impressive show. Ben was able to move around the downstairs with his wireless microphone to interview guests and he is such a professional, always commenting and questioning with such relevance, putting everyone at ease. He was joined by Marie Indge, BBC Wiltshire’s sports presenter, who delivered her 7.20am bulletin from ‘Breakfast with the Battens’!
I was involved briefly a couple of times, but was mainly asked to review the papers with Ben. We always ask the children to put themselves out of their comfort zone and this was certainly an occasion when I was out of mine. However, it was a please and a privilege to work with Ben and before we knew it, 8am was fast approaching and it was time to head round to school for phase 2.
The plan was for Ben to walk around with children and families to school from Jo and Russell’s house and to meet more parents and children on the playground, which he did so well. Once again I was so proud of everyone’s support of our school as so many people came in early to support the show, with children and parents talking to Ben live on air about where they walk and how involved they are in the village. Two of our broadcasters, Charlie and Ellie, also impressed everyone on the production team with their hugely professional reports on sports day and the Race for Life, presented live on air with Marie at 8.20am. What an opportunity and so confident and well delivered! So proud!
As the number of parents grew and the atmosphere reached it’s peak, 9am was rapidly approaching and with a ring of our school bell it was all over. What an experience, what an opportunity and what memories we have of the day BBC Wiltshire came to Westwood! I have to say the biggest thank you to Jo and Russell for being the perfect hosts. Bacon sandwiches and coffee were in plentiful supply all morning and it was a pleasure to spend time in their wonderful home in such a relaxed atmosphere. They were amazing. Also to BBC Wiltshire, to Ben, Emma, Marie, Richard and Ian for giving us the unique opportunity and insight into a live outside broadcast, it was enormous fun. But also I have to say huge thanks again to our parents and children who always support everything we do so strongly and with such commitment. On Friday our entire community came out and everyone listening would have heard how vibrant and active it is and that is something very special. I for one will remember Friday morning for a very long time and with almost 2800 miles walked by our school community during May, I just had to ask Ben to sign this for posterity…
If you missed the show on Friday, you can listen again via the BBC iPlayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p066s97q
Ben and Marie were also incredibly generous with their time and allowed two of our children, Luke and Daniel, to interview them after the show and talk to them about their careers in broadcasting and what advice they would give to our up and coming presenters. You can listen to their interviews below:
Of course that was just the beginning of the day and with keeping healthy in mind we then got straight on with our school sports morning, a well orchestrated and hugely entertaining and fun carousel of activities organised by the staff. All of the children in the school worked together in mixed ability groups to complete each activity and it was the best possible way to get our sports day under way, defying the threat of rain on the field!
After lunch it was then onto the main event, with so many parents and members of our community arriving to support our wonderful children as they took part in a traditional Westwood with Iford Sports day. No trophies, no points, just everyone enjoying themselves on a Friday afternoon as they raced against each other in flat races, sack races and even egg and spoon. With a mums, dads and even a toddlers race as well, there was something for everyone. To finish the day we held our second annual Race for Life and this year so many more children and adults took part, which was a delight to see. Once again my mum made the cakes and everyone was so generous in their donations that already, before sponsorship, we have £150 on it’s way to Cancer Research UK which is amazing. Thank you all so much for your generosity.
So, as you can see, what a day it was. I hop i have given a flavour of the excitement, energy, success, celebration and community coming together that was felt on Friday. Sports day is always a highlight in the calendar but this year it was just a little bit different. Thank you all so much for the part you played in making the day perfect.
Here are some photos we took of the children enjoying their sports.
Have the best half term everyone and enjoy the scarecrow trail…