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What is the PTA Christmas Cards project? Each year the PTA gives the pupils of Claremont the chance to design their own Christmas Card and for their designs to appear on cards and other novelty items (mugs, wrapping paper, gift tags and A5 spiral bound notebook). You can place an order for as many of these items as you wish to and the PTA submits the designs to Cauliflower Cards who produce the cards/mugs etc to order. Cauliflower Cards give us commission for every item ordered so you can spread your child’s creative joy to everyone you know this Christmas and raise funds for the PTA at the same time!

But it’s only October! Why now?!

Christmas is only 2 months away! And that means we have to get the designs back to the company after half term so they can print them to get them back to us in good time for international posting deadlines in December. Plus, what better thing is there to do on a rainy day over half- term!

Why else should I sign up?

Prizes! Your little one’s artwork will be automatically entered into a school competition with the chance to win a £10 Waterstones voucher for the best entry from the Infants and the best entry from the Juniors, selected by Mrs Roberts.

I’m in! What do I do now? 1 - Don’t lose the Order Form that your child will bring home before half term (each one has a unique code so can’t be easily replaced)

2 - Before you start, check out the “artwork guidelines” on the Order Form and inspiration no their website here.

3 - Encourage your child to release their artistic expression! (within the guidelines, of course, for optimal printing)

4 - Carefully stick the completed artwork onto the Order Form.

5 - Circle the tree on the Order Form which shows the correct orientation for the card

6 - Complete your child’s details and your order request on the Order Form (boxes 1-3)

7 - Then, by Monday 30th October you need to do two things:

1. Pay online using your unique two part code found at the top of the order form,

2. Return your completed Order Form with artwork attached, in a plastic envelope or sleeve, back to your child’s class teacher.

8 - Sit back and await your delivery; the items you order will be sent home with your children in good time for Christmas posting deadlines.

——————————————— FAQs

Any questions not covered below please contact Emma Doward at How much do the cards cost? The first pack of 12 cards costs £5.50. Packs of gift labels cost £2.50 and the mugs are £6.75 each. This is set out as well as bumper and value packs on the Order Forms. Does my child have to participate? Absolutely not! The project is not compulsory, it is run as a fun way of giving pupils a chance to get their own design printed so that they can be proud of their work and for parents to see their children be inspired by freedom of expression. And of course raise some vital funds for the PTA at the same time! For that reason, to avoid embarrassment for people who choose not to participate, individual parents/pupils who have not submitted forms/artwork will not be chased after the deadline.

Can I use any medium/product?

Please refer to the Artwork Guidelines which are clearly set out on the Order Form. If you use materials which are not recommended, do not stick down properly, or if you fold the artwork, this will affect the end result and you may be disappointed. Please follow the guidelines. Will the cards be printed the right way up? Yes, provided you circle the tree showing the correct orientation for your card. The tree is clearly shown on the Order Form where you complete your child’s details

How big should the card be?

The artwork must be A4 or A5 size and must fit within the square box marked on the Order Form. Anything bigger than this and the edges will not come out. I have lost my Order Form... Please contact My child’s usual name is different to their formal Christian name – which do I use? Whichever you prefer, as long as it is written clearly on the Order Form. The name you write on the Order Form will be the one which appears on the finished cards. I do not get to see my child’s book/homework bag often so may not see the Order Form. Can I still order? Absolutely! Any requests of this nature can be made directly to us To ensure discretion we are happy to personally arrange for products ordered in these circumstances to be posted to your home/work address rather than be returned “home” via your child’s book/homework bag. Please just email with order requests and postal address/collection requests and we can deal with this separately. Will I be reminded of deadlines and chased if I forget? The deadline for your payment to be made online and to submit the Order Forms with artwork attached to school is Monday 30th October.

Reminders will be sent out via class reps and social media but we will not be chasing individual parents where orders have not been placed, to avoid embarrassing those parents who do not wish to order. If you are forgetful, keep an eye out for the reminder!

Please don't be late! We unfortunately can’t accept orders submitted after this date.

Can I submit late orders? If you have not submitted payment or your order form by the deadline, you can still order directly through Cauliflower Cards – details on their website. How much money does the PTA make through the card scheme? The PTA makes £1.00 profit for every pack of cards sold, 50p for every pack of gift labels and £1.50 for every mug. The cards are much cheaper than shop/charity bought cards. The PTA is a registered charity and funds raised work directly benefit your child’s education and well-being. Please order as many as you can. You will also show your child how much you love their creativity! In 2022 we raised nearly £550 through this project, let’s see if we can beat that in 2023!

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Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Unbelievably we are at the end of another academic year!

It’s been a busy year and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.

To mention just a few highlights; we discovered how much Claremont families LOVE a donut, an ice lolly and second hand bargains with our new playground sales, we enjoyed a rare sunny Saturday in May and danced as the sun set at Clarefest, making a record breaking profit (over £12,000), children in all years had the opportunity to enjoy an after school disco for the first time since before the pandemic and the rain held off for a fun family day at the fete raising around £5,500. All of this on top of other events including nearly new uniform (which raised over £2,000), new parent drinks, wine tasting, wreath making, a text raffle, Christmas festivities, and the ever popular Secret Room, Easter Egg Hunt and sell-out Cinema Clubs.

Thank you!

Of course none of the above could happen without volunteers and supporters. Thank you to you all. Whether you donated your time, money or something else, it all goes a long way.

This year we have been able to fund over £35,000 in the following items for the school all thanks to your generosity.

What impact does that have? Without the PTA funding, the school’s capital budget (which is less than £10,000) would have to be topped up from the school’s core revenue budget - the budget that funds teachers salaries. The PTA’s contributions enable the school’s core budget to go further in other areas, such as rewarding the exceptional staffing team.

This year we contributed:

£200 to the Year 6 Leavers BBQ

£303.89 for Netball Kit

£563.80 subsidy for Year 6 Yearbooks

£1,400 for classroom contributions (£100 for each class for the teacher to spend as they wish)

£2,219.50 to pay for the Trinity Threatre Panto Trip in full for Years 4-6)

£15,000 for I.T. (to enable the school to operate at the forefront of technology, with access for every pupil to maximise their learning)

£16,000 for wet weather canopies to improve access to/from the hall and year 1 area

Why it matters in the words of the school:

“The work of the PTA is absolutely vital in enhancing the learning journey of every pupil in school”

Get involved next year!

We can’t continue to help the school in this way without more volunteers.

From September 2023, we are looking for new people to take on the following roles:

Secretary - to join Claire, Natalie and Shagun as a Trustee of the charity to help ensure the charity runs smoothly e.g. meetings are organised and recorded and our Charity Commission records are up to date. A full handover and ongoing support from Sara, our outgoing secretary, is included.

Summer Fete Team - a small group of friends to coordinate this wonderful community event with a full handover/support from those involved the last few years.

Marketing / sponsorship - people who can help build relationships with local businesses and build our advertising sales and sponsorship.

More members to take on the running of specific events e.g. Discos and Parent Socials.

The following roles are also available (either from September 2023 or in a shadowing capacity with formally taking on the roles from September 2024):

Chair - oversight of all PTA activities, run the meetings (not organise any events themselves), main liaision point with the school.

Vice-Chair - to support the Chair, deputise when needed, potentially take on Chair role themselves in future years.

Clarefest team A group of 4-6 friends who are willing to take over the organisation of Clarefest from 2025, to shadow the outgoing Clarefest team this coming year.

Want to find out more? Join us at these events in the Autumn term:

New Parent Social (open to new parents/guardians of the school from all years) on Friday 22nd September, 7.30pm in the Claremont pub.

A NEW annual PTA “welcome back to school” social (open to all parents), followed by the AGM, on Friday 6th October, from 7pm in the School Hall. We will be serving welcome drinks, making new friends and finishing off with talks from PTA Committee members on what happened this year and what’s planned for next year.

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07/06/2023 – 7.30pm The Claremont

PRESENT: Claire Summers (Chair), Sara O’Malley (Secretary), Natalie Jolliffe (Vice-Chair), Lucy Prior (Committee Member), Ben Dryland (Committee Member), Sam Walker (Committee Member), Emma Doward (Committee Member), Jenny Brown (Committee Member).

1.     APOLOGIES: Emma Butterworth (Committee Member), Candi Roberts (Headteacher), Nicki Webb (Committee Member), Shagun Bansal (Treasurer).

2.     Chair Update – CS

CS noted this was the last meeting of the academic year. On behalf of the whole PTA and the school she expressed massive thanks to all the volunteers who have helped make the year a success. Most recently, the Clarefest team - Emma and Tom Butterworth, Chris and Emma Jefferys, Lucy and Mark Prior, Emma and Andy Murphy, Giles Lamb, Cat Christodoulou, Guy Levy and Heather Roth.

We’ve received a LocalGiving Grant of £500, which CS applied for, for the trim trail. Committee expressed thanks to CS for applying; we have committed to revert in future to advise how we spent it.

Action: CS/SB to report back to Local Giving once spent the grant.

Banking Update – Barclays bank very difficult to pay cash in, and use in general. Slow to make a mandate changes. Agreed to keep Barclays open given some donees pay directly into one of the accounts. Our Barclays savings account is only £1 so agreed to research a better savings account. 

ACTION: SB to research savings accounts and propose at next meeting.

Committee agreed to open a Metro account to use as main current account. It was agreed the Executive Committee members (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer - see names above) would be the authorised users to operate the bank account. The Account would operate under a dual approval Signing Rule as exists for the Barclays account currently i.e. two authorised users must dual authorise/sign payment orders from this Current Account.

ACTION: SB to set up new Metro bank account.

3.     Actions from last meeting - S O'M – see attached action log for update. Lisa Gammon has offered to help chase outstanding actions so will be in touch directly before the next meeting to get updates.

4.     Treasurer Update – CS

PTA has around £56k in bank account, with £15K (IT) + £8k (Weather canopies) committed to school but not yet paid. ~£33k remaining. Some funding decisions were required.

CS asked whether Committee would be willing to support release of funding of £1,400 for classroom contribution (teacher discretion - £100 for each class) which is an annual PTA contribution. The committee voted unanimously in favour (8 votes); (please refer to Appendix 1 for voting record).

ACTION: CS to discuss with CR whether she would like to increase classroom contribution of £100 based on inflation, as it has been same value for several years. CS to also ask CR whether we could contribute equivalent to per classroom funding for Senco team if it would be helpful.

We discussed funding of Netball Kit; school has indicated they’d like this to be funded but not established the precise cost. In anticipation of this, the Committee voted up to £500 on netball kit and voted unanimously in favour (8 votes); (please refer to Appendix 1 for voting record).

We discussed support for road safety measures on Claremont Road and the previously awarded South East Water grant of £500. We agreed this could be used to fund the small road safety signs that CR had previously briefed us on that can be put out every morning at Banner Farm Road and Claremont Road. The committee voted unanimously in favour of spending the £500 on these items (8 votes); (please refer to Appendix 1 for voting record).

We discussed the previous commitment in principle that the PTA would fund a second wet weather canopy (£8,000) if fundraising from Clarefest / Fete was sufficient. Given recent fundraising, it was put to a vote as to whether to honour this commitment. 7 members of the Committee voted to support this (please refer to Appendix 1 for voting record).

The PTA estimated that after these funding expenses, with around £7,000 assumed in future fundraising from the Fete and the rest of the year to keep £20k buffer in the bank, there might be £10,000 in further funding available to offer the school this year. The committee discussed funding to upgrade the Trim Trail as previously highlighted by the school and other Road Safety measures (upgrading the wig wags). The Committee identified the Trim Trail as a potential source for this funding, for discussion with the school. The Committee agreed we would not support the wigwags with remaining funds we have this year at this stage but noted the School can come back with a formal request for funding for next year if this is a priority for the School.

ACTIONS: CS to request priorities for fundraising from CR (and costs) which the PTA can then formally vote on. CS to ask whether there are any other capital assets that are required and that we can support with funding.

Brief discussion on controls regarding cash at events. Proposed we have a Treasurer cash receipt book to track the cash in and out on each stall. Post meeting note - ED has purchased.

Post-meeting note: In July 2023 the Executive Committee decided to move the accounting system to an online system using Xero at a cost of ~£200 per year. Simpler, more accurate and transparent. Thanks to NJ for setting this up.

5.     Headteacher Catch up update – CS

CS updated on recent catch up with CR. CR expressed huge thanks to Clarefest Team; noted a small core team and would support with requests for more volunteers to come forward for next year in the next school newsletter.

Governors are interested to know why PTA maintains a £20k buffer - Committee confirmed it was to enable the £15k annual IT commitment to be met in the event we are unable to fundraise as much one year (Covid was a good example).

Chip-In Launch – CR supportive but keen to ensure that it’s equitable and optional.

Road Safety – supportive of using Summer Fete to fundraise. CR has already had numerous discussions with the council and there are only 2 options. 1) Signs to put outside (every day) and 2) replacing the Wigwags. Committee discussed whether this is what all parents would want to fund as a priority.

6.     Committee Succession Planning - All 

We discussed the capacity of the current Exec Committee to continue in their roles next year. CS will not be able to commit same level next year and needs to relinquish some responsibilities and/or handover to a new Chair. SO’M agreed to stay another year but subsequently has resigned but is willing to continue until a replacement Secretary comes forward and do a full handover. Clarefest (Butterworth family) – Emma and Tom have kindly offered to do one more year (Clarefest 2024) and seek a team to shadow to take on for 2025.

Agreed we need to start advertising and do a recruitment drive – we need new membership in anticipation of Committee member churn and capacity issues. Will be looking for new Secretary from September 2023 and Chair from September 2024. Ideally we recruit early and new member shadows the Chair role and CS steps back; reduce the scope of CS role and reallocate / delegate out.

ACTION: Exec Committee to define the main responsibilities of the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer articulating the minimum requirements to run a charity. PTA Leadership team (inc. Charity of Trustees with legal responsibilities).

We discussed using the AGM as a recruitment drive in September in the School Hall on a Friday night. 7pm-8pm informal welcome drinks, and formal AGM 8-8.30pm. Combine with Launch of Chip In.

ACTION: CS to discuss with CR whether we could use the school hall for the social AGM and serve drinks / nibbles.

7.     Events / Fundraising updates - summary of events for this term and any help required from PTA

  1. Clarefest feedback – CS - EB flagged need for proper security guards for next year. Fence off behind tent and generator. Should not put peoples’ mobile numbers on a volunteer’s spreadsheet which is public; it should be added by each volunteer only or alternative method found (e.g. radios).

  2. Summer Fete – CS – BD has agreed to be Treasurer for the event. Suggested using walkie- talkies to communicate (NJ can get hold of 12). NJ, BD, JS, LP, ED to support for any major issues. Agreed to fund gazebo weights and cable covers £240 to fund – the committee voted unanimously in favour (8 votes); (please refer to Appendix 1 for voting record). Everything else all on track. Issue with Brochure production due to capacity; BD kindly agreed to support.

  3. Cinema Club – SW – Sold Out (135 tickets) after went live on 07/06. Volunteers and First Aider needed.

  4. Discos – NW – last one on Monday 12th June for Reception. Will provide snap- bans for all attendees (won’t do for next year).

  5. Ice Cream sales - NJ – sales start from next Friday 16th June.

8.     AOB

1.     Autumn Events:

●      New Parent Drinks at the Claremont with a raffle – NJ to organise. Mid-September – S O’M to book Claremont. Post Meeting note - confirmed Friday 22nd September @ 7.30pm

●      AGM (see notes above)

●      Cinema Clubs November– Sam to action – same movie two showings.

●      Chip In Launch @AGM (see notes above)

●      Wine Tasting – NJ offered to organise with help from JS and SW

●      Wreath Making – LP offered to organise and liaise with Amy (book Hall and Amy)

●      Christmas Cards – ED

●      Christmas Secret Room – current team happy to do 1-2 more years.

9.     Date of Next Meeting - S O'M – Next meeting will be AGM (Date to be confirmed).

POST MEETING NOTE: AGM confirmed as Friday 6th October 7pm, School Hall


SIGN:    C Summers

DATE:   15 July 2023




See PTA files for table (unable to load to blog)

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