BACK CHAT – Inspiring stories

Worth sharing

PTAs tell us about their lockdown community success stories…

‘Having seen a scarecrow trail in a neighbouring village, we thought it would be an amazing way to boost morale within our local community during lockdown. Not only would designing and making scarecrows be a fun activity for families to work on together, people would be able to look out for them during their daily exercise. We didn’t make an offi cial trail but instead encouraged people to spot the scarecrows and post photos on the Facebook event page or the village group page.

‘We raised spirits with our scarecrow trail’ We publicised the event on our

village Facebook group. Our local community really embraced the idea; not just families from our school, but ex-pupils and local businesses too! Also, keyworker children who were in school during the early stages of lockdown were able to get stuck in, making scarecrows to go outside the school. In total, about 110 people were

involved in creating and displaying more than 30 scarecrows, and the response from residents in our

village was phenomenal. Thanks to the hugely positive reaction to this year’s trail, we hope to run it again next year, perhaps adding a competitive element as well.’ Heather Jones, PTA chair, St Martins School PTA, St Martins, Shropshire (500 pupils)

‘We sent a message of appreciation to the school staff’

‘Once the children had been away from school for the fi rst few weeks of lockdown, I decided it would be lovely to send a video message to the school staff, to show how much they were missed and appreciated. I hoped this would not only be heart- warming for the teachers and staff, but that by getting families involved it would promote a sense of pride and unity throughout the school community. News of what I was doing

spread really quickly, just by word-of-mouth, and parents and children were

58 AUTUMN 2020

so keen to participate. The children were asked

to make signs with words on, which once combined together would make a message to the school. Their parents then fi lmed or photographed them posing with their signs, and

sent in the video or photo. Some of the results were highly creative. I combined the digital images together using the fi lm editing software Final Cut Pro, and added a soundtrack. Two of the girls who participated sang Somewhere Over

the Rainbow, which I was able to include as well.’ In all, 112 children were

involved in the video. We managed to keep it a secret from the school, so they were thrilled to receive it, and many staff were moved to tears. The teachers loved seeing all the happy faces of the children, and the video has since been uploaded onto the school website, together with a message of appreciation from staff.’ Emma White, PTA vice-chair, Orchard Community primary school, Castle Donington, 315 pupils

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