‘So much to do, so much to see!’
Every September, Broughton High School hosts its annual ‘Septemberfest’. A free and action packed community festival and craft fair, Septemberfest has an excellent reputation for both raising the profile of the school and bringing the community together. This year’s event, which took place on Saturday, certainly lived up to expectations (writes Katherine Wright).
One of the first sights (and sounds) to greet Septemberfest goers was a large circle of bongo drums beneath the school’s gazebo, played by young children and adults alike. With balloons attached to buggies and drum beats ringing out, the tone was set for a great day ahead.
Septemberfest is always a great opportunity to try out new sports, and this year was no exception. Alongside more traditional sports such as football and athletics, there were a variety of activities that could certainly be considered more unique. ‘Bubble Football’ – involving two teams of people rolling around in giant inflatable bubbles and simultaneously trying to score a goal – was a particular highlight. One teacher commented that a recreation of the 1934 London Empire Games, complete with long jump and high jump, was ‘just as I remembered it!’
There were plenty of excitable children running around, and the Sumo suits section seemed to be the perfect activity to tire them out. The rules were the same as normal wrestling – each competitor had to try their hardest to force the other one out of a circular ring. But with giant inflatable costumes, it was both more difficult and a lot more fun for the participants and spectators. Quoting from Smash Mouth’s hit song ‘All Star’, Liam Brown of S6 aptly observed that there was ‘So much to do. So much to see.’
Away from the outdoor sports activities and into the school itself, people of all ages and from all walks of life enjoyed the multitude of stalls, bake sales and arts and craft opportunities available. Jack Curran, Broughton High School’s head boy, commented on how nice it was to see ‘Over six weeks of work and organisation finally paying off”.
From a Greenpeace supporter dressed as a polar bear to Pac man on projector screens, Septemberfest was an excellent showcase of the school’s creative and forward thinking approach. In just one room, people could learn about human rights abuses going on around the world at the ‘Amnesty International’ stall, and then buy an ice cream cupcake or some handmade soaps.
The effort to make Septemberfest informative as well as fun was particularly evident in the ‘Silly Science’ stall, with pH testing experiments that allowed children to learn more about chemistry while watching things ‘magically’ change to different colours.
Live music performances from the highly renowned City of Edinburgh Music School also attracted large audiences, with Jenny Rutherford’s piano solo of ‘Bach Prelude in A Flat Minor’ a particular highlight. An Ihayami Indian Dance family workshop in the Theatre gave both children and adults the opportunity to learn a completely new style of dance, with the instructors dressed in traditional costume, jewellery and makeup.
Part of what makes Broughton so special is its diverse range of pupils, and Septemberfest is perhaps one of the best examples of this. Alison, a helper who handed out programmes to people coming through the gates commented “There’s loads and loads of different people coming through the gates. Lots of different languages.” Indeed, this year’s Septemberfest had a ‘Commonwealth’ theme, and the indoor hub area was adorned with painted flags from all different commonwealth countries. In addition to other arts and crafts opportunities, children could paint a flag of their choice and then pin it to one of four tents around the school, each tent representing a continent. The selection of food available also linked to the Commonwealth theme, with Casa Roble paella, Blue Banana Caribbean food and La Favorita pizzas some of the many options available. As well as the more substantial meals, there was also a delicious selection of home-baking, with the lemon and poppy seed muffins a particular favourite.
Throughout the day, many parents and children commented on how well organised Septemberfest was. Indeed, this would not have been possible without the time and effort spent by parents, students and some school staff to ensure the day ran as smoothly as it could have. Theo Chornogubsky, an S6 pupil who spent his Saturday volunteering at the small games stall, said “It’s really nice to see the community come together”.
Marc Lazarowicz, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, also commented on the excellent organisation and added: ‘I always try and come every year. It’s a great opportunity to meet people in the school community and beyond. It really shows off the school as part of the community, and that’s what makes it so special.”
As the clock hands approached four o’clock and the crowds became smaller, many people took time to rate their Septemberfest experience on a sticker board survey. The results speak for themselves. Out of the one hundred and twenty six people who answered the question ‘Would you come back to next year’s Septemberfest?’, only three people said they would not. They probably hadn’t tried one of the lemon and poppy seed muffins!
Katherine Wright, S6 Broughton High School