FRIENDS OF CHARLTON MACKRELL SCHOOL
A very warm welcome to our school’s PTA, known as the ‘Friends of Charlton Mackrell School’ or just ‘Friends’ for short! If you ever want to get in touch, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest newsletter can be found here - Newsletter 2018-19
WHY DO WE HAVE A PTA?
We are very fortunate at our school to have a ‘Friends’ group that is and has been such an integral part of the school community for many years. Thousands of pounds have been raised over the years, which have been spent on improving equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education and the facilities in school. ‘Friends’ is about much more than just fundraising though. It also supports closer links between home and school and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal.
All parents automatically become members of ‘Friends’ when their children join our school. Parents and members of the school community can get involved in a variety of ways if they want to, even if they only have a small amount of time available. Not all of our events are run as fundraisers; for example, at Christmas, our children’s parties are run simply with the aim of giving the children a good time.
HOW WE RAISE MONEY
Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Some of our most popular events are the Bingo Night, Jumble Sale, and the Garden Teas. We have also enjoyed sponsored events, most recently being the sponsored swim at Millfield School, run in conjunction with the Lions Club, raising over £200 for the school. In the past we have printed poem books, tea towels and created coasters using the children art work. We’ve had fashion shows, a race night, a pamper evening and various seasonal parties/events. So you can see there is always something going on and it is truly rewarding to see the children having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that ‘Friends’ have donated.
Donations are extremely important to making these events as successful as possible. These can be time, money, items for sale, donations for raffles or offers of services and skills. We have links with the local community and are generally well supported by both residents and businesses for which we are very grateful.
3. On-Going Fundraisers
We are also fortunate to have other opportunities open to us to raise money. We are members of various affiliate schemes which bring regular income in from larger businesses, without costing individuals a penny.
HOW WE SPEND THE MONEY WE RAISE
Once money is raised from events the funds are banked straight away. The decisions on how to spend the money are taken at the Committee Meetings. Mrs Kempton, our Head Teacher, has a "shopping list" of items that the school would like to purchase. Often these will be resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment - this year the focus has been on specific fund-raising for the Brymer Room. At other times, funds are used for a specific event – this year we have subsidised a theatre trip for all children in Rainbow Class and educational visits to various exciting places for each class. We have also funded the coach transport for the whole school seaside trip at the end of the summer term. In the main, the funds are for the "extras" that unfortunately cannot be provided by the school budget; items that make our children’s learning and social experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting. The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting our school, your child/ren will feel the benefit, along with everybody else.
‘Friends’ do have ongoing commitments every year:
- Funding the hire cost of Strode Swimming Pool and its life-guards, to benefit all of our children with a weekly swimming lesson, each week of two of the three terms every year, for the duration of their time at our school
- Providing the goodies for Christmas parties and of course the gifts during the Christmas festivities
- presenting each child with a book on their birthday
HOW PARENTS CAN GET INVOLVED
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through ‘Friends’. Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable - it really is a case of "many hands make light work". It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you can’t come to meetings. There are always small jobs that can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare (e.g. wrapping gifts, cooking fairy cakes etc.). We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the behind the scenes help that exists throughout the school. You can of course if you feel able, volunteer to be on the Committee. Or you can simply support the AGM and give us your ideas for fundraising events - this is also the time to ask questions or voice your opinion. You can help by letting us know if you have any useful contacts or skills - we are always grateful for new ideas or openings which may boost our funds!
ON-GOING FUNDRAISING SCHEMES
Please take a moment to look through these ways to boost our funds:
Easy Fundraising and The Giving Machine
By visiting the easyfundraising.org.uk or thegivingmachine.co.uk websites, you can raise money for the school simply by shopping at your favourite online retailers. There are over 2,700 well known retailers signed up to the schemes, including Waitrose, Tesco's, Amazon, Argos, M&S, eBay, Expedia and many more, so this is a great thing to do ahead of your Christmas shopping blitz!
For Easy fundraising you log onto easyfundraising.org.uk, registering your ‘cause’ as ‘Friends of Charlton Mackrell School’, then, whenever you go to buy something online, search for your chosen retailer via easyfundraising.org.uk website (using a link on your toolbar), and a proportion of whatever you spend will be donated by the retailer to the school.
And for The Giving Machine all you need to do is set-up a ‘Giver’ account and select Charlton Mackrell School as your beneficiary. Then choose to get redirected to the website you wish to shop at... SIMPLE!
Between both of these sites we have raised over £100 already (without baking a single cake!!!) If you have any questions, please speak to Liz Pretor-Pinney or Kate O'Boyle.
A great range of name labels, gym bags & label tags. Just select Charlton Mackrell School from the drop-down list on the order form. The fund receives a donation & you reduce lost property!! Check out the creative designs at www.easy2name.co.uk.
A huge range of craft supplies & gifts, which are great for party bags. Yellow Moon are launching a new fundraising scheme for schools from September 2010. Details will be sent out as soon as we know what!
WHY ARE WE A REGISTERED CHARITY?
It is a legal requirement that organisations such as ours, with an annual income in excess of £5,000, register with the Charity Commission. As a Charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a constitution. Our constitution sets out rules about how we operate as a PTA and how we conduct ourselves. A full copy can be provided on request from the ‘Friends’ secretary. We are also a member of the NCPTA, which is a national charity that advances education and supports over 1300 PTAs throughout the UK.
THE ROLE OF THE COMMITEE
Our ‘Friends’ committee consists of 3 Officers (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary). We also have several other committee members, consisting of Mrs Kempton, our Headteacher and several current parents. No members of ‘Friends’ are paid. Everything is done on a voluntary basis for the benefit of every child in the school. The committee meet on a regular basis usually once per half term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary to organise the larger, more time-consuming events. If you are interested in joining the committee please speak to a member of the committee or email for further information – we would be delighted to have you on-board!
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)
Our Annual General Meeting is held at the beginning of the academic year and is an opportunity for all parents to come along and hear in more detail about the events run, funds raised and how the money has been spent. We also elect our new committee at this meeting.