Updated: Dec 13, 2021

What is happening at school on Wednesday 15th December?

The PTA is creating a magical day of festive fun for the children with:

  • A magical Christmas “Secret Room” experience where each child will have the opportunity to select gifts for 2 of their loved ones to give them at Christmas

  • A “Guess the name of the Claremont Christmas Teddy” competition – each child will have the opportunity to guess the Teddy’s name when they visit the Secret Room. One lucky winner will be able to take the teddy home.

  • Giving all children the opportunity to wear a Christmas Jumper/festive item that day.

What are you doing to minimise the risk of Covid transmission?

As with every PTA event, we have to conduct a Health and Safety risk assessment, and to minimise the risk of Covid transmission during Secret Room we are:

- asking each child to sanitise their hands upon entry to Secret Room,

- keeping the back doors open at all times for good ventilation,

- asking every parent volunteer to undertake a LFT on the day and they can only attend if they have a negative result, to wear a mask at all times and to bring, and use regularly, their own hand sanitiser,

- ensuring all the usual good hygiene practices are encouraged as a matter of course.

What can parents/guardians do to help make this happen?

1) Donate gifts to fill the Secret Room full of wonderful presents:

We will be accepting donations of (small, low value) gifts ideally 2 per child if you can - on 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th November at morning drop off. Gifts should be left with the PTA helpers, in the marked boxes by the main school entrance.

2) Donate financially:

Children do not need to take cash into school on 15th December to participate in the Secret Room. All children will be given 2 non-monetary tokens to “spend”. However, if you can donate (we suggest £4 per child) to support the efforts of the PTA, then please do so through our website, through localgiving here or by texting CLAREMONT 4 to 70085 to donate £4 (or CLAREMONT 8 for £8 etc).

What is the Secret Room?

The Secret Room is a much-loved magical Christmas event for the children that takes place in school, this year on 15th December. Your child is given the opportunity to choose two Christmas gifts for their parent(s)/guardian(s), wrap them up in their classrooms and take them home to hide ready for Christmas Day.

The PTA transform the school library into an enchanting festive room of wonders where the children get to choose their gifts. Every child will be given 2 tokens to “spend” in the Secret Room.

The children really do love selecting secret gifts for their loved ones and are thrilled to watch you receive a genuine surprise on Christmas Day, if of course, they can keep it a secret that long!

What gifts can I donate?

Gifts really do not need to be expensive. We recommend small low value gifts such as socks, chocolates or bubble bath. We are unable to accept any gifts containing alcohol, nuts or DVDs over rating PG.

Will all children be able to participate?

Yes, if your child is in school on 15th December they can participate. No child will be excluded regardless of donations received. It is an inclusive and festive fun event for ALL Claremont School children and all donations are optional.

Thank you for your support!

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Following our AGM on 30th September 2021, we're delighted to be able to introduce the new Committee and update you all on our plans for this year. We welcome Sami Fotoohi as our new Treasurer and Lucy Prior and Sam Walker as new Committee members. Details on the whole Committee can be found on the About page on our website.

We discussed how much we need to raise this year - which we have estimated to be £35,000 to be able to meet all the school's needs (which they've set out in the attached poster).

We looked at how much we hope to raise from the events we know we can run - which amounts to a whopping £20,000 - but we know we could raise the additional £15,000 needed if we ran more events.

Crucially, the Summer Fete cannot currently take place due to lack of volunteers, yet it could raise £10,000 alone! Nor do we have enough volunteers to run parent socials.

So we very much STILL NEED YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS TO COME FORWARD to help us run these, or any other events that you're interested in, to raise valuable funds for the school as set out in this poster from Mrs Roberts:

Fundraising Poster Oct 2021
Download PDF • 725KB

The full list of PTA events that we know can happen are:

- Autumn Raffle (Exec Committee)

- Christmas Cards (Jilly Thomas & Michelle Yeatman)

- In school Christmas Secret Room (Clare Lynch, Theo Tully, Loran Haines)

- Christmas Wreath Making Social (Ami Parker & Natalie Jolliffe)

- Christmas Cinema Club (Sam Walker)

- Scavenger Hunt (Kate Bourne)

- In school Easter egg hunt (Lucy Prior)

- Family physical challenge (Kate Cooper)

- Clarefest (Emma Butterworth & team)

- In school discos (Claudine Cerrini)

- Monthly 2nd hand uniform sales (Nicki Webb)

Events we could run but require volunteers for:

- Summer Fete

- Parent socials

- Any new events..all ideas welcome!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Claire, Natalie, Sami & Sara

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Updated: Nov 1, 2021

What is the PTA Christmas Cards initiative? 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). Should you wish to, then you, the parents, can buy these items to spread your child’s creative joy to everyone you know 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 in the first week of November so they can print them to get them back to us in good time for international posting deadlines. 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 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 - Pay online using your unique two part code found at the top of the order form by Tuesday 2nd November.

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

9 - Sit back and await your delivery; the items you order will be sent home with your children in Term 2.

——————————————— FAQs

Any questions not covered below please contact Michelle 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 £6.50 each. This is set out as well as bumper and value packs on the Order Forms. Why are the cards being done at home and not at school? The school is under enormous curriculum pressure. To complete the cards at school, in October, would present the teaching staff with a huge additional but avoidable stress. Additionally, we have found that conducting this project in class means that pupils, especially in the infant section of school, are constrained artistically whereas at home the only limit to their design is their imagination! The project 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. This is not a compulsory project. If parents or pupils do not wish to get involved that is absolutely fine. 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 is TUESDAY 2nd NOVEMBER. Order Forms with artwork attached are also to be submitted to school by TUESDAY 2nd NOVEMBER.

Reminders will be sent out 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 of TUESDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 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 2020 we raised approximately £550 through this project, let’s see if we can beat that in 2021!

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