As always, the Autumn term has been a busy one for Friends of Squirrels, welcoming in new committee members and kicking off the term with the ever-popular Quiz Night and AGM on Friday 6th October. Much fun was had by all, despite some initial technical glitches with the sound system! There was plenty of delicious curry, ice cream and drinks, and after a number of challenging rounds and some very close competition the eventual winners of our high quality inflatable trophy were Year 1’s ‘Give Us A Clue, Jill’. The night’s real news, however, was the teachers’ table not knowing how many yellow shutters adorn the front of the school building. Shocking!
On Saturday 24th November, we enjoyed FoS’s second big event this term, the Christmas Fair. It was very well-attended and a friendly, familial atmosphere marked the occasion. As always, Mr McInnes, Mr Foster, Mr Cassells and the team gave the boys a run for their money with Beat the Goalie in some very fetching turkey and snowman costumes. Elsewhere staff ran the bottle tombola and Mrs Gannon did a splendid job in a variety of roles throughout the day, culminating in drawing our brilliant raffle with more than 20 great prizes. We are, as always, so grateful to all the teaching staff and coaches for their endless enthusiasm and good humour.
Other highlights included Jag, resplendent in festive costume, providing superb entertainment in her last hurrah as MC – she will be sorely missed. And the new Dads’ Bauble Bar was a roaring success, serving up plenty of mulled wine, mince pies, hot chocolate and other treats, in addition to some bargain Laser Tag tickets for those who arrived early – fortunately spotted and rectified by our brilliant Treasurer fairly swiftly! Together with cakes, sweets, games, Santa (who has reported back that the most popular request was for drones – not sure what the boys are planning for the skies of Wimbledon), face-painting and much more, a truly fabulous day was enjoyed. A huge thank you to all those parents, grandparents and friends behind it all; without your generous donations of gifts, cakes, bottles and most of all time and energy this fun event could never happen – you are wonderful! Photos are available on Helen Warrick’s website the password will be sent to parents via email.
The Christmas Fair raised more than £4,000 which will be put to good use enhancing the boys' education. We already have plans to fund a Superheroes themed Art Week, and the Mud Kitchen purchased over the summer has had its official opening (once the overalls arrived). We will be planting a tree to mark the school centenary. We will be sharing 10% of profits with our charity of the year, Place2BE, a children's mental health charity working within schools.
We are excited to announce the launch this month of the Friends of Squirrels website. Huge thanks to Reception dad, Francis Cook, for all his hard work on this. Please do check it out if you’ve not already done so at https://friendsofsquirrels.org.uk. We hope that this will enable parents to find information about forthcoming events and ways to get involved even more easily, and we look forward to developing it over the coming months. Please give us your feedback. We also hope to reach Squirrels alumni to hear stories of the school in days gone by. We’ve already tracked down one parent present at the legendary “boys jumping through burning hoops” sports day – and we thought it was a myth!
And while on the internet, you can keep raising funds for FoS at no extra cost by logging on to the EasyFundraising website before doing your Christmas shopping. Please sign up at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/fosquirrels and websites like Amazon, John Lewis etc will give a percentage of your shop to FoS.
And finally, with 2018 drawing to a close we look forward to celebrating Squirrels Centenary Year in 2019 with many events for boys and parent. On Saturday 9th March 2019, Friends of Squirrels will be hosting the Centenary Ball at the Bank of England Sports Centre, Roehampton. Tickets will go on sale on Monday 10th December at 10am for £110 per person so don’t miss out. For more information please see the FoS website.
With just three years at the school for each boy, Friends of Squirrels is an active and ever-changing committee. If you are interested in finding out more about what we do or how you can get involved please get in touch via the school office and come along to our next meeting – we’d love to see you there!
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, and a restful break.
Jill Bryce and Stella Murrell
Co-Chairs, Friends of Squirrels