News from The Kings of Wessex Academy

SCOOP Interview for the 2017 Charities Week! ☆

1st December, 2017 by The Kings and Queens News Team

Head Boy Archit Singhal and three of his Deputies, Frank Floyd, Bill Landers and James Leader attended a recent News Team press conference to find out more about this year’s forthcoming Charities Week.

As everyone at Kings holds their breath for the extravaganza week of exciting events; of course, the number one question the press pack want to know is, Are they ready? After plotting and planning and now standing by to host the week, have the Senior Student Team done enough prep? Are they raring to go?

The answer was a momentous YES! Although the fab four confess they might not be quite there; they’re as ready as they can be at this stage. And let’s be honest, this is their Charities Week organisers’ début. Until this year, they’ve been in the audience watching previous host Senior Teams racing round and overseeing all those fine details we’re never really aware of, unless you’ve got inside information.

As part of the hype they’re launching the official Charities Week video in assemblies to the other year groups. That should really start the conversation. Any hints about special features? Easter eggs. Less than a month before Christmas? The mind boggles. It’s obviously going to be some week. Before we know it, they’ll be selling the entry wrist bands and programmes - and then the week will feel very near!

As per tradition, has the backdrop on the stage been painted in the image of Executive Headteacher Mr Ball? “Oh yes,” they say with a twinkle. We sense they’re using the word image loosely, as tradition dictates that the picture is in keeping with the theme of the week. And that’s where they’re really cryptic. The Charities Week theme is a key character itself for the events, the decoration of the Academy – not forgetting, how the Senior Team will be dressed up. The journalists have done their homework and suspect there’s been a few false trails to throw people off the theme scent. Filming under water…Finding Nemo? Films? A double bluff? The Senior Team’s tactic is to say no to everything. But what they would say is: “Pack your swimming trunks.” Right-oh…

So remembering the real reason for this fun-fundraising, what are the team’s chosen charities? This is the meaningful bit. The local charity is the Wellbeing Café here in Cheddar in partnership with national charity Mind. The Café is a drop-in space for students aged between 13-18 open on Mondays from 3.30-5.30pm in the Cheddar Methodist Hall, Cliff Street. Next, the national charity is SUDEP Action, in memory of former Kings’ student Johdi Russell who sadly died at the beginning of October. A charity close to the students’ hearts, working to raise awareness of epilepsy risks and tackling epilepsy deaths, including as per the mnemonic, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. Lastly, the international charity is GlobalGiving, which is the largest global crowdfunding community connecting non-profits, donors, and companies in nearly every country, helping them access the tools, training, and support they need to be more effective in order to make the world a better place. Wow!

So, let’s talk money. How much do they expect/want/dream/hope to make…? There’s no hesitation. Their target is at least £10,000 to be divided between their there charities. That’s a lot of money in one week. But cool, calm and collected, the press pack sense they mean business and they’ll do it. They want to make money for their nominated charities AND for the whole school to have fun, with events designed to involve everyone. All year groups can take part and the video from the Main Hall will be streamed in The Kings Café for diners to watch what’s going on.

Thinking big, thinking ambitious, what’s going to make their 2017 Charities Week better than all the others? Good question. There’re some new events. But they’re being secretive again. Naturally, Rock and Roll Years on the last day is always the point culminant of the week with singing and dancing performing by students and staff. Kings’ very own talent show! They’re also planning to take over the Reprographics booth. Intriguing...

We already know this is a big event of high pressure. So what’s the Senior Team’s Main Worry? It has to be said, observing these four team reps, it’s hard to think anything would worry them. Perhaps that’s the job of the rest of the team who are not there and busy doing the work! But they’re all assigned special roles for the week to spread the workload. Some are presenting, another’s doing the graphics for the flyer and much more. Honest answers. They’re mindful about the events synching and also if the pre-week hype works it magic and it all comes off. But there should be a good vibe, with better hosting this year. A canny journalist and Charities Week aficionado asks, “Can we expect the same disorder and manic running towards the Main Hall?” Probably yes! That’s busy show business!

Will the Sixth Form students will be dressing-up in the usual array of colourful and characterful costumes for Mufti Day on the final day? “Oh yes, we hope so.” That’ll be another photo opp and money-spinner too.

Have they referred to the mythical Red Folder of notes and tips passed down from one Senior Student Team to the next? Has it helped? “Erm, yes…to a point.” They implied that they wished they’d listened more. But after all, this is their week and they’re going to put their own spin on it.

Above all, their confidence and enthusiasm shine through when they say, the week “is going to be brilliant” and they’ll be working hard to ensure the events runs smoothly, observing Health and Safety at all times. Good, good; pleased to hear that.

We’re all told school is about life-enhancing experiences. So what has organising (and leading) Charities Week taught the team? Their answers are honest, humbling and well thought-out. To be patient with everyone as everyone has different ideas. Too true, with the group dynamics of 17 in the team. Planning takes time. That all essential teamwork, of course; working hard for the same objective, and the essential compromise. But it’s also been enjoyable and fun. Especially the filming, as the four start fizzing about showing the teaser trailer in assemblies.

And from their privileged position on the Senior Student Team what tips would they give to anyone who might be considering having a go and putting themselves forwards for the 2018 team. Interesting answers from personal experience…Don’t just focus on sport. Be educational; but not too narrow a focus. Have some good ideas! Look at your broader experience and what you could bring to the team.

Finally - what advice would they give Mr Ball for his first Kings’ Charities Week?
BE PREPARED! Well, that’s crystal clear…!