Sydenham High’s Annual Frost Fair

The long-standing tradition of a winter fair lives on at Sydenham High as the annual Frost Fair took place last weekend. Opening at 11 am, fairgoers took advantage of a wide range of activities and sales such as a jolly jar raffle, trinket stalls and a rowing competition, while classic Christmas songs played from the speakers.

Lots of the funds raised by student-run stalls go to charities, such as sixth formers selling jam were raising money for the British Red Cross, meaning that it was a great place to pick up Christmas gifts on a budget while giving back to the community.

One stall particularly stole my attention. Run by year 10 DT students, it featured a wide range of trinkets and stocking fillers, all hand made by them over the past few weeks as an extended project for their GCSE. On offer were a diverse range of knick-knacks from acrylic earrings to wooden wine stands. Behind the stall, I spoke to Alyssa Patel and Nayomi Blake about their projects.

Alyssa had chosen to make wooden ball balls with snowflakes and holly designs. During the manufacturing process, she said she found it a struggle that the laser cutter took a very long time to cut out the various components of the items. She also told me that 50% of the profits from their stall would be donated to charity and the rest split equally between the students.

Nayomi said that one of the selling points of their stall was the variety of handmade products on offer and the consistency in pricing, with variations depending on size and the time it took to make. The items were all low cost and good quality which was ideal for the fair, which had many children looking to buy Christmas gifts for their parents. Nayomi also said that if an item was sold out, you could order it and the students would make it for you next week for the same price.

Furthermore, speaking to the DT teacher, Mrs Curran, I asked about how the venture aided the students’ learning. Since it is part of the enterprise project of their GCSE, students can see the entire development of a project and practice skills like time management leading up to the fair. However, Ms Curran does confirm that some last-minute panic did take place but that overall the project provides the students with a good insight into the world of entrepreneurship by being there to sell the products at the fair.

The fair ended at about 3 in the afternoon and with it the year tens dispersed, having made over £400 profit. Out of 19 students and 19 different products, the best selling products were angel wing earrings, followed closely by vinyl pins and letter keyrings.

The students have undoubtedly learned a lot from the fair and went home tired but happy on Saturday with the effort they showed and the experience they gained. For all the other fairgoers, it was a great day that raised our expectations for the fair to come next year.

By Ipek Tsil Kara

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