Christchurch Primary School Parents and Friend's Association Annual Report 2016
We can all be rightly pleased and encouraged by what has been happening in the PFA over the last 12 months.
The three aims of the PFA are:
1. Fundraising for school resources and equipment.
2. Providing a social network for parents and families.
3. Enabling communication between school and parents.
So what has been happening in each one in the last 12 months?
The new playground was finished in September 2015 and the school won first place as the "most adventurous playground in London" and was awarded 3 play huts as prizes, which arrived in the New Year. The Christmas fair raised over £900, mostly to be spent on creative play equipment for the playground, and the PFA are in the process of ordering and up cycling various items to enable the play space to be even better. Summer fair funds of over £2000 (including match funding from Barclays) went towards school art equipment for the new arts room and some funds raised from the Christmas fair will buy fluorescent high visibility vests for children on trips. Our fairs continued to see an increasing number of parents getting involved in planning and on the days themselves.
We also have a large number of local businesses, who support us regularly with donations, including Tiger, who regularly donate end of line stock for school supplies or sale to parents for fundraising. We have a number of local companies who are offering to do voluntary practical work including ELBA (East London Business Association) and British Land. In fact, there are so many opportunities that Devya and Jignesh have kindly offered to look at our corporate relationships and match our needs with what may be available so we can maximise this. We are keen to hear from anyone with business contacts who may be interested in supporting the school and also parents with ideas about specific fundraising needs they see at school. Ruma and Shiuli are about to start regular second hand uniform stalls where parents can donate items their children have outgrown and buy bigger uniform for a very small price (50p-£1). Funds will go to the PFA but this is primarily an opportunity to provide cheaper uniform if they don't want to pay full price for brand new clothes. We will also have donated Tiger stock for sale. The first one will be Monday 21st March.
In the last year we have benefitted from those parents who volunteered to act as class reps. They have increased the numbers of parents involved in the PFA and brought school issues to us so we can help address them. Those parents who are involved in Tuesday coffee mornings, our new parent led monthly workshops and occasional socials such as the Eid and Diwali parties, have appreciated the feeling of connectedness, support and fun! We are planning on continuing the workshops every first Tuesday of the month (second if this falls in the holidays) and having a specific school issue discussion in the third of the month. We have had some great exercise sessions with Pilates and aerobics, but at the moment don't have enough regular interest to keep them going.
We would love to see more involvement from parents of children in key stage 2 and also from dads as, so far, they are in the minority. We would be also very open to being flexible about when events happen for those parents who work. We would encourage any parents wanting to get more involved in the social life of the PFA to get in touch with their class rep or a committee member as we value every single parent and carer's contribution.
Garden club has been managed by Clare, with the help of Amina who has done a fantastic job of helping children to think about their environment and the environmental space around us. We took a break over the colder weather but will be back in the two weeks before Easter to start planting again. All the children are welcome with their parent/career on a Monday after school.
The class rep system has helped us work together as parents to develop better communication channels with school. We are very short of class reps for years 4, 5 and 6 and would love to hear from any parents with children in those classes who would be interested in getting involved in the PFA and helping other parents to do so too.
The communication survey has shown that parents would like to be communicated with in a variety of different ways and Mrs Uddin is currently putting together an information pack around everything we might need to know as parents and planning a school diary. We will soon be talking about what forms parents would like to receive information like this, eg letter, email, website etc. This is very much a continuous piece of work and we would value any thoughts and feedback about how we as the PFA can help parents as a whole communicate better with the school. We are about to launch an "Ask the Teacher" campaign to encourage parents to go to class teachers and other staff for questions and concerns rather than worrying about problems or looking elsewhere for solutions.
The Year Ahead
We hope that in the next 12 months we will see:
• Lots of bright and musical creative equipment arriving in the playground.
• Better links with local businesses.
• Well attended coffee mornings with helpful monthly workshops run by parents and local experts.
• Thriving and beautiful growing spaces.
• Increasingly effective communication both ways between staff and parents which responds to needs and changes in the school community.
• Regular second hand uniform stalls.
• Summer and Christmas Fairs where increasing numbers of parents and local community members can join together.
• Every parent feeling connected in to the parent body through the PFA.
If you have never been involved before, now is a great time to start!
If you want to find out more, then please speak to a member of the committee or your class rep. We would love as many people as possible to be involved in the summer fair in July. If you have specific ideas then we would love to hear them. But if you have any ideas at all then we want to hear them and work with you on them.
None of the work of the last 12 months would have been possible without the hard work and commitment of the whole school community. In particular, we would like to thank our committee for2015/16:
Samira (vice-chair), Tim and Clive (treasury team), Emma, Shiuli, Rabia, Shamima and staff reps Mrs Diletti and Mrs Uddin. We would also like to thank Tory, the church children's and families worker, and her colleagues who support our work.
And also those who are class reps:
Ruma and Devya (Nursery); Rabia and Samira (Reception); Clare and Tim (Yr 1); Amina and Lusna (Yr 2); Emma and Shiuli (Yr 3); Iwona and Shamima (Yr 4); Wongele (Yr 5) and Zoraida (Yr 6).
We are very grateful for the support we receive from Mr Morant and his encouragement of our involvement, which goes for all school staff, especially Karul who has looked after all number of parcels of donations for fairs and is always so helpful. Last but not least, we are incredibly grateful for Damian, who gives his time, expertise and muscle to help us with our practical needs around school and is always so cheerful and willing to help us.