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Welcome new starters T

he summer term is a frenzy of waving off Year 6 pupils and getting ready to welcome new Reception children. As well as

sending out a ‘starting school’ pack, the school may well organise sessions where new starters can sample what school is going to be like. Any presence your PTA can have at these will be a good investment of time and effort – parents of new starters will appreciate some reassurance from other parents – and volunteering with the PTA will give them a chance to stay connected and make a difference to their children’s day-to-day experience of school life!

Welcome pack The school will be sending out a ‘starting school’ pack, so see whether a document about your PTA can be included, featuring:  A summary of why the school has a PTA and your aims/goals  A brief history of recent events and the amounts raised  Resources or experiences that the PTA has funded How parents can stay up-to-date with PTA activities

Contact details for key committee members and class reps How parents can get involved – volunteering, joining the committee, getting match funding from employers, becoming a class rep Details of upcoming events It’s also worth including details of

any fundraising schemes you run… NAME LABELS: Before they even think about ordering name labels, get parents thinking about fundraising! Easy2Name, Stamptastic, and Label Planet provide cashback schemes where PTAs can claim 20-30% back on all orders. Take a look at our suppliers directory at 100 CLUB: A 100 Club is a form of private lottery, where members buy a numbered ticket which is entered into a regular draw. If you already run one, let everyone know! If you don’t then this is the perfect time to set one up ready for the new school year – read our step-by-step guide at SHOPPING SCHEMES: Before parents start buying trousers, polo shirts and the like, make sure they’re ordering via your Give As

While teachers will be focused on getting new pupils settled, welcoming new parents sounds like a job for the PTA!

You Live (, or equivalent portal. Many of the most popular retailers of uniform – M&S, NEXT, Tesco – will give your PTA a % of every £ spent.

New school year events Start planning your back-to-school events, sending out ‘save the date’ invitations before the summer break. Events that encourage the whole family to come along give parents the chance to mingle and make new friends, as well as helping those who might not be doing the school run to feel connected to the school. Events that work well are: FAMILY DISCO: Ask parents to stay with their children – this reduces the supervision burden on the PTA (no panic about signing children in and out!), and gives parents the chance to let their hair down, too. BEETLE DRIVE: ‘Beetle’ is quite a simple game of rolling dice and drawing a beetle, but when you run it as a beetle ‘drive’ you add in the element of moving tables – this makes for a lively and sociable event! TREASURE HUNT: Create a map of the school grounds with clues or simple tasks to complete. This gives families the chance to explore the school, so take them to areas of particular interest such as your music room, media centre or MUGA. For more ideas, advice and event- planning guides go to


TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC AND BACK-TO-SCHOOL BBQ ‘Last year we ran two events to welcome new families to our school – a teddy bears’ picnic in the summer term and a back-to-school BBQ in September. When the new intake children had their trial afternoon they were given an invitation

made by current P1 pupils, inviting them and their parents to attend a free teddy bears’ picnic the following week. On the day, our current P6 pupils – who would become their buddies – made a picnic. We then used the school’s PE equipment (hoops, balls, etc) to set up games, with P6 pupils helping the P1 teachers. Meanwhile, the PTA committee were busy networking with the parents. We secured 11 email addresses on the day  Our BBQ was held on Saturday 5 September from 4-8pm, but it got a little cooler

around 7.30pm, so we’re running it from 3-7pm this year. We sent out a date reminder at the end of the summer term and put a reminder on our PTA Facebook page at the end of August. As soon as we returned after the summer break a letter to parents was ready to  

  and everyone felt that this event made a good start to the school year.’  SUMMER 2016 49


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