People from Haverhill and beyond joined together on Saturday to enjoy the Castle Partnership Academy Trust’s Community Extravaganza.
The event was organized by people from across the trust, led by Castle Manor Academy’s teacher in charge of community engagement, Becky Baldwin.
It was free to attend and saw hundreds of families from all schools join in the fun. Many families came with picnics and stayed for the day enjoying the atmosphere and entertainment at what was the second Extravaganza to be held.
The event began with the official opening of the new park, funded by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, by Haverhill Mayor, Betty McLatchy.
Bunting made by students decorated the fences and students handed out Castle Manor Balloons and free flower seeds funded by Grow Wild UK.
The Castle Partnership Community Extravaganza is a biannual event and this year was divided into four zones; Early years, charities, inflatables and schools.
Most of the activities were free to participate in allowing everyone to get involved.
This year the theme for the early year section was ‘Every Child a Reader.’
Local nursery groups were expertly coordinated by Janette Godfrey who manages Sandcastles playgroup, a recent nominee for a ‘Raising the Bar Award’.
The team from Sandcastle, which is situated within the Castle Manor Academy campus, has worked with the Academy on many occasions to offer outstanding outdoor learning experiences and together they planned for Gazebos at the Extravaganza to be decorated inspired by books.
Some stalls had real animals for a hands on experience and messy play activities using mud, ice and crafts.
Entertainment on the pavilion was excellent. Captain Calamity, kindly funded from the locality budget, enthralled young and old alike with his giant balloons and custard pie antics.
Clements pupils danced under a Maypole, the Fire and Ice Majorettes danced new routines and students from St Felix performed music from their recent school play.
The Extravaganza finished with impressive musical performances from schools within the Castle Partnership introduced by Executive Principal, Madeleine Vigar.
Burton End Primary Academy and Place Farm Primary Academy pupils sang in choirs, teachers joined with Castle Manor Academy students to play ukuleles and Castle Manor Academy students sang an excellent a-cappella cup song. Finally a joint performance saw young people from primary and secondary schools closing the show.
Ms Vigar was enthusiastic about the day, saying: “I was proud to see our young people and staff leading Haverhill in this excellent event to kick start the summer.
“All of those involved demonstrated the Trusts core values of Professionalism, Resilience, Optimism, Understanding and Drive to ensure the day was a huge success.
This event marks our essential role at the heart of this wonderful community.”
Mrs Baldwin, said: “I am so pleased with how the day has gone. Everybody has had lots of fun, including myself! There was a brilliant community atmosphere.
“It is clear for everyone to see that the Castle Partnership of schools is in the heart of its community.”
Mrs Baldwin worked hard to galvanize support and funding to make the event happen.
“Many of our students were here today in their community roles as student council representatives, Emergency cadets and as St Johns Ambulance crew.
“The Castle Partnership is a credit to Haverhill and we have shown what great things can be done by working together.
“We have made strong links with many of the groups here today and we have already started to plan further projects together for the benefit or our students and the Haverhill community.”