Ella Hutchings. Welcome to Winnersh Primary School PTA

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1 Welcome to Winnersh Primary School PTA Thank you for taking the time to read our booklet. By the end of it we hope you will know a little more about your Parent Teacher Association (PTA). On behalf of all the pupils we would like to thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experience and makes their time in school so enjoyable. We need your input please. There is brief questionnaire at the back of the booklet to fill in and return if you are able to help in any way, no matter how small, and for any comments or ideas you have. Don t forget to include an address if possible. Kind regards, Ella Hutchings PTA Chair Mum to Daniel in Year 3 and Sophie just about to start in Reception! Tel:

2 Introduction This booklet has been compiled by the Winnersh Primary School Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) especially for you and aims to provide you with information about our PTA which forms a major part of school life. If you have any questions that remain unanswered, please contact one of the Committee Members; details are included at the end of this booklet. Why do we have a PTA? We are fortunate at our school to have a PTA that is, and has been, an integral part of the school community for many years. In its time the PTA has raised thousands of pounds, which has been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children s educational experience and the school s facilities. For details see the PTA website and PTA newsletters, which are ed out to you by the school. Our PTA is about much more than simply fundraising. The PTA exists to provide 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. It is fun too - just ask any of the Committee Members or PTA helpers. Obviously, as in any organisation, we have experienced some challenges but with the continued support of parents and staff, our PTA has always succeeded in its efforts. All parents and members of the school community are encouraged to get involved, even if they only have a small amount of time available. All families are automatically members of the Winnersh Primary School PTA when their child joins our school. Charitable status Charity law requires voluntary organisations such as ours with an annual income in excess of 5,000 to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. As a charity, we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a governing document referred to as our constitution. Our constitution sets out the rules about how we operate as a PTA and how we conduct ourselves. If you would like to see a copy of the constitution, please contact one of the Committee Members or see the PTA website. Links with local businesses We have, over time, developed strong links with the local community and are always well supported by both residents and businesses, for which we are very grateful. Many of our local businesses are very generous providing donations for raffle prizes, auction items etc and some have taken part in our Christmas and summer fairs. We are hoping to develop these links further over time, including looking at company matched giving schemes (see attached further down). Role of the Committee Our PTA committee consists of four Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We also have a core number of ordinary Committee Members to make up the full committee. Members have to be nominated and seconded by other parents at the school to take on this role, which gives them a vote on all matters before the Committee. This usually happens at the AGM, but Members can join at other times through the same process. You do not have to be a Committee Member to attend meetings. The Committee meets on a regular basis usually once or twice per term, with smaller subcommittees meeting as necessary when we are planning events. Each sub-committee has to have one Committee Member on it (although often there are more), but any parent can be part of the Sub-Committees who organise all the events throughout the year (there is

3 one sub-committee per event e.g. Summer Fete, Discos, Christmas Fair, Bingo and so on). If you are interested in joining any of our sub-committees, please do get in touch. Annual General Meeting (AGM) Our Annual General Meeting is held in March each year and provides an opportunity for all parents to come along and hear in more detail about the work of the PTA, the events we have run, the funds we have raised and how the money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new Committee Members. Non-Elected Roles Class Representatives We do not yet have class representatives, but we feel it is a very important role that we want to fulfil this year. We hope there will be two representatives per class who will provide a link between individual classes and parents and the PTA Committee. The support from class representatives will be vital when it comes to organising our main events from selling tickets to organising rotas of help. Corporate Donations Officer This role is undertaken by one of the Committee Members who takes on the responsibility, under the guidance of the Chair, for contacting local businesses and requesting support for our events in terms of raffle prizes, auction prizes and sponsorship. This is an essential role as every event relies on the generous donations of businesses in our area and coordinating that support, making sure we thank and keep in touch with our donators is so important. Each year a Committee Member volunteers to undertake this role. Progress on work carried out is reported directly back to the Chair at agreed times and the Committee is updated at each meeting. School Uniform Officer The supply of school uniform to parents is another vital role undertaken by a Committee Member. Each year someone volunteers to take on this role, processing request forms, handling enquiries, ordering stock and attending events where possible such as Parents Evenings or fairs to have stock available to purchase. Updates are provided to the Chair at agreed times and reported back to the Committee at each meeting. PTA Website Officer The PTA Website is an essential communication tool. It provides parents with information about events, about the Committee, how to contact the PTA, what fundraising has been spent on and details of our amazing sponsors. Maintaining the website by keeping it up to date and relevant is another role that one of our Committee Members takes on, reporting to the Chair and updating the Committee at each meeting. PTA Volunteer Helpers We have a growing list of PTA volunteers who commit some of their time to help by, for instance, assisting the Committee, being on a sub-committee or at events. Every little helps, so just one hour assisting at an event would be invaluable to the running of the PTA and help raise those much needed funds. We have volunteer helpers who design our posters and leaflets, who put up posters in shops for us, who bake delicious cakes or who prepare our craft items. It all really does help. A list of current PTA Committee Members can be found on our website at Updated lists are ed out each year after the AGM. If you are interested in joining the Committee, acting as a class representative, joining a sub-committee or being an ad-hoc PTA volunteer, please do not hesitate to talk to a member of the Committee for more information or fill in the attached sheet.

4 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: Children s Discos Christmas & Summer Fair Family Bingo The Bag2School initiative, where families donate second hand clothes, also raises a lot of money for the school during the year. So you can see there is always something going on. We always try and respond to the children s requests, though we would love to hear more; it is great to see them having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that the PTA has donated. We raise money in other ways too. Donations from parents are extremely important. You can donate time, money, items for sale, raffle prizes and auction lots or offers of services and skills. The items you donate in return for non-uniform days prior to events for example are absolutely essential to the success of those events. Company matched giving Company matched giving is a very simple. Companies or businesses pledge to donate to a charity such as ourselves an amount of money relating to the amount that an employee(s) donates or fundraises for us. This is a new area we are looking into and could help the school enormously. There are several benefits to both ourselves and the company involved we have heard from other PTAs: employees morale is boosted by having their efforts supported by their employer the company benefits from having charitable donations against taxable profits the company can endeavour to get publicity for their giving our PTA benefits from receiving perhaps double what we have raised at an event. If you think that your employer has a matched giving scheme already in operation, or setting up a scheme in your workplace, please talk to one of the Committee Members. How we spend the money we raise Following a fundraising event, the money is banked straight away. At our PTA Committee meetings the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed. Sometimes we may know of a need prior to an event and agree funds raised will pay for that specific request. Usually, Mrs Powell will have a wish list of items that the school would like the PTA to consider funding, with ideas compiled from teachers, staff, pupils and parents. Sometimes this will be as a result of the children asking for something, or a need being recognised by a member of staff, such as the lunchtime controllers asking for additional play equipment to help keep children entertained during breaks and lunchtimes recently. At other times it will be for resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment, such as the purchase of noticeboards to go outside each classroom to help aid communication between school and parents. The PTA funds are spent on the extras that are not provided by the school s budget, thus making our children s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting. As budgets get tighter and tighter, the funds raised by the PTA become ever more important. We always endeavour to spend our funds in ways that will benefit all our children across all areas of the school and curriculum. Some items have a direct, easily visible effect,

5 such as the playground equipment; others, such as the lighting in the hall may not be as easy to see how that benefits your child, but without that lighting the school productions that we all love seeing our children in could not go ahead. The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting your child s school, your child/ren will feel the benefit, along with everybody else. Of course there have been times when we have been fundraising for a large project. This is the case for the outside classroom/undercover play area the PTA has been raising funds for over a number of events. However, whilst saving for these, we have still managed to find funds for smaller items thanks to the generous and continued support of our parents. How we get information to you All PTA letters we send home are ed to you from the school office, with the PTA logo on. The letters include information on forthcoming events and dates plus requests for assistance, when we are planning large events. Following a PTA event, we always write to let you know how much was raised, and if we can, what the money will be spent on. A summary newsletter is published at the end of every half term giving a summary of events, details of the total amounts raised, any equipment we have bought for the school, stories, input from the children and so on. What the PTA means to our school Because our PTA involves the whole school community we thought you would like to know what others think about our PTA. From the Governing Body: At Winnersh Primary School we are very lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive and hardworking PTA. As Governors we very much value all the work undertaken by them. We are very grateful to have such a dynamic and innovative group of people within the PTA who bring fun and creativity to the numerous fund raising events and activities they organise and run. As Governors we would like to thank the PTA for all their hard work and for the very important part they play within our school. And last, but by no means least, Our Headteacher, Mrs Powell: The PTA provides wonderful support to the school, not only financially but also by creating many opportunities for the whole school community to socialise together at family-friendly events. The money raised helps us to provide extra resources for the children that would otherwise be difficult to fund such as science equipment, books and playground toys.

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