Welcome to the St James’ PTA page
Our school has a very active PTA (Parent Teacher Association), which is passionate about enriching the educational and social life of the whole school community. We are a registered charity that primarily concentrates on raising funds for the school, to enable us to buy things that are not covered by the school budget.
All parents of children attending St James’ school, as well as the teachers, automatically become members of our PTA. This is crucial for us to be able to not only raise the incredible funds that we do, but also in being at the heart of the school community and sharing our skills and voices in its continuing success.
Our planning team are made up of parents just like you! We have our own children at St Jamesand believe that the PTA can really make a difference to all of our children’s education and wellbeing. We work closely with the head teacher, the teaching staff and the staff in the school office to ensure that we can continue to help strengthen the opportunities and advantages our children at St James have.
We meet regularly to plan events, agree spending and discuss any current issues. All parents and teachers at the school are welcome to join the meetings and contribute ideas. Our meetings are friendly and informal, and are always attended by the head teacher to ensure we’re meeting theneeds of the children and the school. We also have a PTA Teacher Liaison, who collates any ideas and requests from the teachers before the meetings.
Our AGM is held in the autumn term and is an open forum for all parents to find out more about how the PTA is organised and how our funds are raised and spent. We also elect the Chairperson, Treasurer(s) and Secretary(s), which is a requirement of our charity status. It is also a good opportunity to catch up and meet other parents over a glass of wine!
How we keep in touch
Communication is key, so we create fortnightly emailed newsletters, and have a secure Facebook group (SJP PTA) to enable parents to have access to fully up-to-date information about our events, purchases and pleas for help! Copies of the newsletter and imminent events are posted on the PTA notice boards, which you’ll find in the foyer by the school office, outside the school gates, and on the wall outside the Reception area. Minutes of our meetings are available in the school foyer, and copies of the accounts are available on request.
Other ways we support the school
As well as raising funds we also provide support; involving refreshments and parent to parent information, at events such as school open days, sports days and the summer term induction sessions for the new children starting in September. Please feel free to come and chat to us andask any questions during these events.
How we raise money
We do this by organising events for the children to enjoy, such as:
• After school popcorn and film clubs
• Evening discos each term
• Several cake, preloved uniform and dressing up costume sales
• Creating Christmas cards
• The Christmas Fair
• A fun annual sponsored event
• The Great St James Bake Off competition
• The Summer Fair
• A summer family fun event at the Lido
Plus events for parents such as the Parent Quiz night with fish and chips included, and a Ladies Night Out! event with child-free socialising and pamper treatments to enjoy. Easy Fundraising – Another way we raise money is from online shopping. We ask parents to sign up to easy fundraising and use the links to take you to your usual online retailers (Amazon, John Lewis, M&S, E-bay and Argos to name but a few). A percentage of the amount you spend then comes directly to the PTA at no extra cost to yourself.
Stamptastic – Labelling our children’s uniform and belongings is always a necessary but painstaking job! Every child loses their jumper or even a shoe at some point, so we’ve teamed up with Stamptastic to make it easier for you, and easier for the school to return the mislaid items. Stamps, stamp pads and marking pens can be purchased through their website, please quote our code GL502RS’ when ordering, and we’ll receive 30% in cashback. It’s a win win!
Donations – Financial donations are very gratefully received. We also welcome any donations of goods or services that we can use as a raffle or other prize. Any way you can help us, whether it be a prize, a financial donation or an hour of your time would be fantastic. St James is a wonderful school and our children all deserve as much time and money devoted to them as possible!
What the money we raise is spent on
The PTA normally raises about £12,000-£14,000 each year. One hundred percent of that money we raise is used to help improve the school community, such as purchasing new equipment, improving the school environment or providing activities and opportunities for the children to enhance their learning and enjoyment. The general principle of spending PTA funds is to benefit the largest possible number of children in the year that the money is raised.
In recent years it has paid for items such as:
Within the school:
• The infant and junior large outdoor wooden play equipment
• A wooden gazebo which is used as an outdoor classroom
• Sports equipment plus sturdy new goalposts and playtime outdoor games
• The Scrapstore PlayPod (a whole school playtime activity)
• Reception Year outdoor wooden play equipment
• The stunning new 6m x 9m Polytunnel!
• An audio/visual multi-media system with 3 metre screen, lighting and
microphones for the stage in the main hall
• A yearly pantomime performance
• Refurbishment of the junior library and buying additional KS1 & KS2 books.
• 8 large boxes of Lego for Reception to Year 4 classes
• Two large fun mats for the Reception classes
• Musical instruments and play equipment for Reception and Year 1
Outside the school:
• Subsidising school trips, including the recent Young Voices Choir event
How YOU can help
Offering to help at events or at other times during the year is really valuable, and without volunteers we simply wouldn’t be able to run them. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you can’t come into the school, as there are often jobs that can be done from home – even if you only have half an hour to spare. We couldn’t achieve what we do without the unseen `army of helpers’ that exists within the school.
You can volunteer to be part of the planning team or help at an event. You may work for, or run, a company that could donate products or services to the school, perhaps you have skill that would help us or you know someone else who does. You may have organised events before or have an idea that could raise money or maybe you just want to get involved with your child’s school. Whatever way you think you could help, we would love to hear from you! Grandparents are equally welcome to help, as the children really benefit from a broad spectrum of ages, skills and knowledge, and it’s a great excuse for them to see the grandchildren more often!!
Come along to our meetings or just have a chat with any PTA helper… dip your toe in and get involved!
It really makes a difference to the children, and that’s what the PTA is all about.
How to contact us
There is a black PTA mailbox in the foyer by the school office. If you can help or would like to make suggestions for future events and spending ideas, drop a note in the mailbox with your contact details or speak to a PTA helper.