An Introduction to the PTA
The PTA exists for two primary reasons. Firstly, by putting on various events, we raise much needed funds to support the school. This enhances the quality of the learning experience for all children while they attend St Katharine’s. Secondly, we provide an opportunity for children and parents to get together with the wider school, to develop and enhance relationships.
Very importantly, our PTA is all inclusive and as a parent at the school you are automatically a valid member. With the support of everyone we can and do make a real difference.
Some of the activities that are run each year include larger events such as Bonfire Night and the Summer Fete, and other smaller events like cake sales, Ice Cream Fridays, Christmas raffles, cinema nights and social events. Another hugely important event in the school calendar is the ‘St. Katharine’s Fun Run’, when a 5 and 10 km course is plotted through the beautiful surrounding area, starting and ending at the school. Now in its fifth year, this event has proved hugely popular, not only with the school but also with our wider community.
The PTA work very closely with the school to define funding priorities that are identified in the School Development Planning process. These change from year to year. However, every year, we support school trips for each class, enabling pupils to go on trips which support relevant areas of the curriculum, at a significantly reduced amount per parent, and provide refreshed literacy material. These ensure that everyone benefits from the money we raise. In the past we have also funded items such as Lego robotics, new playground equipment, new reading materials for the library as well as scheme reading books for Key Stage One, laptop computers (30) and a computer programme to support writing across the school (Clicker V7).
The PTA typically raise approximately £9,000 annually. In the past 2 years, fundraising from PTA events has been significantly curtailed by COVID restrictions; however regardless of this, an incredible amount has still been raised through individual efforts and the school community as a whole.
A key initiative set up during COVID restrictions is the Donation Station WhatsApp group, where parents donate items to sell to other parents in the group. The buyer makes a small contribution for their purchase to the PTA. At last count, the Donation Station had raised just under £2,500, which is not only great news for the school, but also for the environment as it is a brilliant way to reuse and recycle unwanted items. The Donation Station continues to be a huge success.
A few of our parents work for organisations that make generous Match Funding payments, which effectively doubles the fundraising efforts of a number of our activities. Last year, match funding from Vodafone alone raised a further £1,267! If you work for an organisation and believe that you could enable us to apply for match funding, please get in touch.
Parents have also endured ultra-marathons and hill climbs, as well as other activities, to raise funds individually for the school.
We are also registered with easyfundraising which raises FREE donations when you shop online. It includes over 4,100 retailers, such as John Lewis & Partners, Amazon, eBay and notonthehighstreet. If you’re not already signed up, it only takes a few minutes, then you can begin using the easyfundraising website or app straightaway. This will be an enormous help to the school, at no extra cost to yourself. Visit our easyfundraising page to get started: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/friendsofstkatharinesschool/
We use and online booking system for PTA organised events. This enables e-ticketing, booking and also volunteering. Register at www.pta-events.co.uk/stkatharines.
What you can do to get involved
We hold an annual AGM where we discuss both the previous year’s fund raising and the coming events. It is also where we nominate new committee members and say thank you to outgoing members. We usually combine this with a social element as well. Please watch out for details, we always need new volunteers, or just come along to find out a bit more.
We need and welcome any support that our parent group can give. This might include helping out at any of the events that we run each year, attending meetings, putting up banners and selling raffle tickets. Any help of any kind is always warmly welcomed. If you are new to school and want to get involved, please don’t hesitate to approach one of our committee members to find out more about the work that we do.
And if you have an idea for a fundraising activity or want to organise an event or activity yourself, please have a chat with us or email: LDenny@stkatharines.excalibur.org.uk
The Facebook Page
The Facebook page is run by the PTA and endorsed by the school. It is a private group where we administrate members to ensure it is an appropriate and measured form of communication with our parent network. If you are a parent or carer, you can request membership to https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsofstkatharines/