Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dundonald & Abbotsbury schools (Flying the Flag for Haydon - 2011)

The second week of school visits kicked off with a trip to Dundonald Primary School, just behind Wimbledon High Street. I was there with a fair bit of time to spare and as the assembly hall was being used for a public meeting I had enough time to stroll into town to look for a couple of extra 'flags'. It seemed a good idea to stock up as the school were considering doing one flag for each of the years. Seven in total!

Well ambition is a great thing but painting a large scale flag is quite an undertaking. Painting seven would test the patience of a saint but I was hopeful that restricting their effort to just a couple of flags might just be 'do-able'. Luckily Elys had just opened so after explaining my exacting requirements I was able to pick up a couple for a reasonable amount. Back to Dundonald then and the public meeting was just coming to an end. There was a knock-on effect which meant the first of the assemblies for the younger children was going to be a little shorter than usual. Again I was ably assisted by a couple of very capable IT related older children who kindly installed and ran my powerpoint for me so that helped a great deal but they were also very handy as 'flag-extras', putting up and arranging a number of flags around the hall and providing a suitable setting for the show to come.

I was introduced to the assembly by Miss Nugent, the school's art co-ordinator and after having the reason for my visit explained (there were lots of curious stares at the walls) we started looking at all things Wimbledon.

The younger children were really interested in the wombles and, as before, it was the flags produced by the schools last year that really caught their imagination. There were some interesting questions as well, but before long the older children were outside waiting for their assembly. This was a larger group and it was quite strange to be going over the same slides, questions and flags so quickly, but again, as with all the children in all the schools, everyone was very well behaved, polite and very keen to get involved with creating their own flag. 

When all the children had left for their break I had a brief but enjoyable chat with the Headteacher and Miss Nugent and I'm hopeful that we may be treated to two flags from Dundonald, one from each assembly!
Last years flag from Abbotsbury. Slightly drier weather as well.
Tuesday saw the welcome return to Abbotsbury Primary School, one of last years participating schools. This was an extra pleasure as the team that produced the flag were able to come up on stage to show it to the rest of the school and this was another venue where I was able to put up the rest of the Tempest End flags around the walls. It was also handy having the youngsters up on stage as well as they made very competent 'flag-danglers' for the rest of the school flags. Luckily their arms were young and strong! 
Abbotsbury know all about the production of quality flags so I'm very confident that they'll be producing another cracker this year.
Two young fans are surprised by an unexpected AFC Wimbledon shirt in the middle of their class
 Whilst I was at Abbotsbury I was very pleased to pop in to see a couple of very special young youngsters. Their teacher, Miss Holme, had mentioned that there were two very committed AFC Wimbledon supporters in her Year One class and that they would be very excited if I could pop my head around the classroom door to say hello before I left. I think it would be the sight of an AFC Wimbledon shirt that was more interesting, rather than myself, so rather than have them disappointed I managed to rustle up a couple of recent programmes, bags and a Junior Dons cap or two. They were suitably surprised at my unexpected arrival and after coming up for a quick chat were slightly surprised to be presented with a Wimbledon goody-bag!  It was a pleasure to meet them both and I hope they have the chance to wear their caps to a match soon!

This was the end of the school assembly visits. I had, however, offered any support I could to those producing the flags and there was only a couple of days grace before I had been invited back to Hillcross Primary to lead a painting workshop. That was going to be new territory for me!
A little bit of after school reading!

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