Overchurch Infant and Juniors PTA, from left: Mark Arnold (Vice-chair), Emma Randle (secretary), Zoe Carmichael (Chair), Lisa Bates (Treasurer) and Lisa Soderberg-Jones (Vice-treasurer).
The Parents Association is a registered charity that exists to support the school as and where we can.
Primarily, although not exclusively, this revolves around fund raising. It is a sad fact of life that the school does not receive sufficient funding to be able to provide all of the facilities and resources that they would like to do. Over the last 4 years the Parents Association has raised in excess of £50,000 and half of this amount has been given to the junior school, the balance going to the infants. This has enabled the junior school to purchase a wide range of items, such as: reading material; storage for active play; 5-a-side posts; large P.E. mats; the creation of a quiet outdoor area; gardening equipment for the eco club; basketball equipment; library seating; stage lighting; Wolfe Hill interactive books. These, and other smaller items, would not exist without Parents Association funds and I hope you will agree that these all help provide our children with a safe, stimulating and rewarding environment in which to learn.
Funds are raised in various ways throughout the year. These range from traditional sponsored events and non-uniform days, through race nights, balloon races and fashion shows to our biggest earners, the Christmas and Summer Fairs. However, as referred to above, it is not just about fund raising and the Parents Association is responsible for many of the social events held in the school. In addition to the fairs mentioned above, we organise: end of term discos; Christmas entertainment; the end of year fun day and the family barbecue / treasure hunt. Additionally, members are often present at events such as open evenings to make tea or coffee or simply to show our support to the school staff.
I hope that this brief overview of what the Parents Association does has convinced you that it is worthwhile and perhaps even that you would like to get involved.
How do I join?
All parents / guardians of Overchurch pupils are automatically members of the Parents Association so there is no formal joining process and no membership fee.
Who are the Parents Association and how do I contact them?
There is an elected committee of 5 positions, currently held by:
Chair: Zoe Carmichael
Vice Chair: Mark Arnold
Secretary: Emma Randles
Vice Secretary: Hollie Burnett
Treasurer: Lisa Bates
Vice Treasurer: Lisa Soderberg Jones
In addition there are a number of parents who regularly attend meetings and help co-ordinate the association’s activities. Committee members can be contacted via the school office.
Am I allowed to attend meetings?
Absolutely! All parents / guardians are welcome (indeed encouraged) to attend any of the meetings and to get involved in the organisation of events.
When and where are the meetings?
There is no set date for meetings. We meet one evening at the beginning of each month starting at 7pm and set the date for the next meeting at that time. The meeting location alternates each month between the junior and infant schools. This simply reflects that the Parents Association exists to support both schools. Details of the next meeting are posted on the PTA notice boards situated adjacent to the paths into school.
How do I find out what is going on?
There are a number of ways. As referred to above, details of upcoming events are posted on the notice boards. Additionally, regular newsletters and event-specific information will be sent home with pupils in their book bags. Finally, anybody that wants to can receive meeting minutes either in an e-mail or hard copy format, simply let the school office know.
How much time would I have to give?
The short answer is as little or as much as you can afford. The monthly meeting usually lasts for about an hour. Different events need various amounts of support and management and require volunteers. You can put your name in our helper’s bank whereby you are contacted when help is needed. You are under no commitment to say yes if it is not convenient at that particular time.
Are you interested in my ideas?
We are always on the look out for new ideas for both social and fundraising events. You can attend the monthly meeting to put your ideas forward or simply leave details at the school office. If you wish, somebody will contact you to discuss them further.