The local shops around Kew Gardens station literally do sparkle for one evening a year when the roads are closed, the shops open late, fairground rides abound and lights and happiness light up the darkest of evenings. Broomfield children are everywhere enjoying the fun with their parents. As part of the festivities we bring our Year 3 pupils to sing a selection of traditional carols. Mrs Bou conducts the children in their first public singing outing as a Broomfield choir while Mr York normally dusts off his trombone to accompany them with an obligato or two.
Every year, Year 4 work as a team to run the Broomfield stall at the Kew Fete. With the support of their Year 4 teaching team, they make and sell elderflower cordial. This is inspired by the US charity initiative, Lemonade Day www.lemonadeday.org, a project aimed at inspiring children to learn about running businesses by starting with the planning and running of a lemonade stall. Our pupils are involved with everything from picking and making the elderflower cordial to learning how to price it, serve and market it, to deciding what to do with any profit they raise.
In 2019 our Chamber Choir, along with some of our talented musicians, spent an afternoon with the Avenue Club in Kew. They sang a variety of songs, some from Honk! which was our Senior Play this year as well as some animal songs. The instrumentalists played a variety of solo pieces to entertain this new audience including Maylea, one of our violinists and winner of the International Golden Strings competition, who played a piece she will perform in the winner’s concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
For over twenty years Broomfield has been delighted to present an afternoon of carols and poems to the residents of Cecil Court Care Home in Kew. This tradition began when the mother of our long standing music teacher, Mrs Christine Dickerson, was a resident of Cecil Court. Since those early days we have continued this tradition and in early December each year our Years 5 and 6 pupils arrive at Cecil Court to sing some favourite carols and to recite some Christmas poems.
At the end of the concert our children spend some time chatting with the residents of Cecil Court before coming back to school to get on with their lessons.
As part of school life we embrace opportunities to fund raise for a range of charities to encourage compassion and empathy in our pupils as we educate them about about how tough life can be for some children less lucky than themselves.
Children in Years 2 and above join Houses and raise money for their House charities through cake sales, raffles and sponsored events etc. The House Charities are:
Mead House: Pioneer Preparatory School in India
Palmer House: Phoenix Project in Guatemala
Rose House: Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network in Uganda
We also support other charitable events, including Jeans for Genes, Love in a Box and Save the Children’s Den Day.
Broomfield has historic connections with our local parish church, St Anne’s Kew Green. We have anecdotal evidence to suggest the school has been celebrating its Christmas carol service at St Anne’s since it opened in 1876. Our founding headmistress, Miss Sara Eliza Mead is commemorated for her good public works with a plaque in St Anne’s, as is our headmistress from the 1950’s, Miss Phyllis Palmer. Later in the 20th century, Broomfield was honoured to be the subject of one of their special embroidered church cushions, which are mainly dedicated to notable people, especially Royalty, with connections to St Anne’s. At rehearsals for the Carol Service our children love to see whose cushion they are sitting on and whether they they have the Broomfield cushion.
We welcome Father Nigel Worn to our carol service each year and he also visits us at school. Broomfield is pleased to support the church’s current fund raising activities in a number of ways. We have a school brick in the car park to commemorate our historic link with St Anne’s, and we always dedicate half of the proceeds of our retiring collection at the carol service to the church. While Broomfield is delighted to support St Anne’s, we educate our children about all the major world faiths and welcome families of all faiths, and none, within our school community.
To find out more about St Anne’s Church please see www.saintanne-kew.org.uk
For over a decade, our Years 4, 5 and 6 pupils have braved the cold on a December evening and sung carols to support Richmond Rotary Club. Mrs Bou plays the keyboard while Mr York conducts the children as we sing our favourite traditional and modern carols for commuters as they pass through Richmond train station. The children are wrapped up, warm and smart in their uniforms, while parents have become expert in encouraging the crowd to make donations every year. It is wonderful to bring the happy sound of our children singing to such a public place, to see the smiles on the faces of commuters and to wave at former pupils, parents and staff as they happen past. The children soon learn that we only sing when a train comes in – which is most of the time! Over the years this has enabled us to help Richmond Rotary raise thousands of pounds for a variety of charities generally supporting children. The children are always very excited at the end of their hour’s singing as Richmond Rotary kindly give them chocolates and send them home tired but happy.
We are also very grateful to our local Kew Rotary Club for their support over the years. Most notably, Kew Rotary have kindly donated a beautiful hard back dictionary for every Year 5 child at Broomfield over many years. We present these at Speech Day and nothing could be more appropriate as a gift to a child at this stage in their education, to encourage a love of words and learning. A number of former pupils and parents are members of the Kew Rotary club and we thank them for their kindness in including Broomfield in this initiative.
Every year in October we hold our Harvest Festival. Parents from Year 6 are invited to join the whole school, celebrating with songs and poems from every class, even the very new Pre-Kindergarten children take part, singing in public for the first time. Children are encouraged to think about what Harvest Festival means and how important giving to others is in the life of our community.
To put this into practice, our children all bring in a small gift of food as a Harvest offering. The Year 6 children and their parents collect these gifts together and take them, individually boxed with poems and Harvest cards inside, to local elderly people chosen for us by Kew Neighbourhood Association (KNA).
We have collaborated with the KNA for over 10 years on this project and we are proud to be the only school in Kew to personally deliver Harvest gifts to local elderly people. The children really enjoy the experience and the sense of community it engenders, and we are always delighted to receive and read to the children the letters of thanks sent back from grateful recipients.
Information on Kew Neighbourhood Association can be found at www.kna.org.uk