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Updated: Feb 8, 2023

Term 4 Teaser

No, we can’t believe it’s almost Term 4 either! With your help, we have raised over £7,000 so far this year, so we have lots of fun plans for Term 4 to help build towards our target of £40,000 for the year.

New School Lottery

We will be setting up a Claremont lottery through “your school lottery”. You’ll be able to buy a weekly ticket for just £1 and be in with the chance of winning a £25,000 jackpot each week, as well as a smaller prize (30% of Claremont ticket sales) that is guaranteed to come to a Claremont ticket holder. The PTA will also directly receive 40% of all ticket sales. Our first draw will be on Saturday 11th March - so watch this space how to buy your tickets!

Tea Towels

After half term, the children will be drawing self-portraits in class which the PTA will turn into a bespoke tea towel for every year group. Parents will have the opportunity to buy 1, 3 or more, through our website. The PTA will order the tea towels and they’ll be delivered back to school, probably after Easter. It’s a wonderful memento and the PTA makes a small commission from each sale.

Cinema Club

Cinema club is open for Years 1 -6 and next term will take place after school on Monday 20th March. The film will be DC League of Super-Pets (PG rating). Tickets will be on sale after half term.

After School Discos

We’re working hard to bring the discos back as we know how much the children love them. We are hopeful that Term 4 will see the first disco of the year, for Years 5 and 6, and then further discos will take place later in the year for Years 3 and 4 (April), Years 1 and 2 (May) and Reception children (June).

Easter Egg Hunt

An event held within the school day that is a real Claremont highlight for the children, especially when they spot our special guest, the Easter bunny!

This year, it will be on Friday 31st March. In the week before, the children will make baskets within their class and the PTA purchases thousands upon thousands of eggs which then get carefully sorted into each basket. The baskets are hidden around the school grounds for children to hunt out during their class’ timed slot.

Second Hand Uniform

Our monthly online sales will continue with the next one on 4th - 5th March. We will also have an in-person playground sale before the Easter holidays to help you prepare for the switch to summer uniform on 1st May.

Where will I get more info?

Further information on all of the above will be rolled out after half-term through the weekly bulletin sent by the school office, our website, social media and class reps. To get news directly, make sure you’re signed up as a member on our website and following us on social media.

In the meantime, we wish you a wonderful half term and look forward to seeing you after the break.

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With the turn of the year, the PTA Committee is turning it’s attention to the two flagship events of the year that take place in the Summer Term - Clarefest and the Summer Fete. These events do not run themselves and can only be as large as the number of volunteers we have to organise them. We are now looking to the whole PTA community to help us. Remember that all of you as parents are automatically PTA members. The Committee has overall responsibility for the running of the Charity but every parent of the school is a key member of the PTA. Today, we are writing about what you can expect from these events and where we still need help. Whilst with some of our events we are lucky to have the same group of friends running them year after year, this is not the case with the Summer Fete. At the moment, the Summer Fete does not have enough volunteers to make it viable so please read on to help us get it off the ground…

The first major event is Clarefest on Saturday 20th May from 2-8pm.

Clarefest is when Glastonbury comes to Tunbridge Wells! It’s a day of musical festival fun where you can enjoy local music, buy food, drink and partake in lots of fun activities such as crafts and inflatables. It is ticketed (tickets will be on sale after Easter) and only open to Claremont families. As with all our events, Clarefest is run by volunteer parents and we are very lucky to have the wonderful Emma Butterworth and friends running it again this year but there are still some areas where we will need the wider parent body to help out.

How can I help?

We would love someone/a small group of friends to run the ever popular craft stall again this year. Please contact Emma at if you can help. We will also need volunteers the day before and on the day to set up and help various stalls running efficiently. For this you can volunteer nearer the time.

Later in the term, we have the Summer Fete.

We hope to run this on Saturday 1st July from 12-3pm. Unlike Clarefest, it is open to the whole community. At the Fete there are all your usual fete fun and games such as hook a duck, lucky dip, sponge a teacher, tombolas as well as entertainment, food and drink offerings.

Why does the PTA Committee have to ask for help?

The nature of the Fete requires even more hands to help out than Clarefest. It’s a big event for the whole community to enjoy and so again, many hands make light work. Last year, it raised £6,000 for the PTA so it’s a vital event as well as heaps of fun for all. The stalls cannot run themselves. Traditionally we allocate each class a stall which they organise and run on the day. There is also a core team of coordinators to oversee all the different parts. These roles have been split into manageable bite-size chunks so no-one has to take on too much. It’s this in particular that we need help with.

What help is needed?

At the moment we have only a handful of volunteers for the core coordinating team. You could do one job with a few friends to make it even easier - and feedback from last year was that it is surprisingly fun! Plus you aren’t expected to make anything up from scratch. There is a formula to follow and the Committee will brief, guide, support and help out as much as needed.

Please, please, please do come forward if you can help with:

  • Overall coordination - we need 2/3 more individuals to help ensure there are people doing all the things needed in the run up and on the day (with time out scheduled on the rota so you can enjoy the fete with your family).

  • Coordinator/s of the donation stalls (incl. sweets tombola, teddy tombola, bottle tombola, fancy dress and book stall): to organise the donation mornings, liaise with the lead for these stalls, ensure volunteer rotas complete and volunteers briefed as to how to run the stalls.

  • Coordinator/s for activity stalls (incl. Hook a duck, sponge a teacher etc): to organise prizes, ensure equipment is working/available, liaise with the lead for these stalls, ensure volunteer rotas completed and volunteers briefed as to how to run the stalls.

  • External vendor coordinator - research / book external vendors, be key contact point before and on the day, record insurance/public liability certs, ensure smooth arrival/departure.

  • BBQ Coordinator/s - organising food, plan set up, secure volunteers and ensure runs smoothly on the day.

What might happen if we can’t fill these roles?

The Fete can only be as big as the volunteers we have to run it. In the worst case scenario, we will not be able to run the fete this year. If we get some volunteers, we may be able to run it on a smaller scale, outsource some aspects or run it as a children-only fete within school like we did in 2021.

Will it be worth me helping out?

YES! The events can only be successful where many hands make light work. Both events are an amazing day of fun for all the family to enjoy and last year raised an incredible amount - over £10,000 from Clarefest and over £6,000 from the Summer Fete. All this money goes straight back into the school. So any help you can offer, makes a massive difference.

Remember as well that if you are employed by a company who offers corporate matching, they may match the money you raise while volunteering for us. For example, if you spend 30 minutes on the bar and raise £100, your company might double it for nothing!

Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you.

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08/11/22 – 7.30pm Zoom Call PRESENT: Claire Summers (Chair), Natalie Jolliffe (Vice-Chair), Sara O’Malley (Secretary), Sami Fatoohi (Treasurer), Lucy Prior (Committee Member), Ben Dryland (Committee Member), Sam Walker (Committee Member), Nicki Webb (Committee Member), Emma Butterworth (Committee Member), Candi Roberts (Headteacher), Michelle Bovey-Wood, Jonathan Coupee, and Cat Christodoulou. APOLOGIES: Emma Doward

Chair Update - CS Lots of fundraising activity going on in the first term. Dragon Boat team won the Tonbridge Boat Race and raised nearly £500 in September. We hosted a Reception social; good vibe, encouraged interest and raised money via the raffle, and we also hosted the Afternoon Tea with governors and school. Big thanks to Juliette Hatchman for organising the pre-half term Halloween costume playground sale that raised £200. The recent Raffle raised ~£1k and huge thanks to Zoe Phillimore for hunting down some amazing prizes. For the first time we sold Dunorlan Park Fireworks tickets (with thanks to Lucy Prior), for which the PTA received a kickback totalling ~£200. Michelle Yeatman organised Christmas Cards again this year and thanks to Emma Doward who is supporting and will take over next year (post meeting note: raising around £450). The Wine Tasting event was held last week and was a big success, raised ~£700-£750, and was much enjoyed by all. Uniform sales continue well with two online sales and one in person sale raising ~£800. Huge thanks to parent body and wider community for their continued support during tough economic times. Looking forward we have planned a Cinema Club, the usual “Christmas Cracker” including Secret Room and we have committed £170 (approved by email in the term) to costs to contribute Christmas hats to the Christmas lunch and prize for Christmas card winners.

New Committee Member Voting - CS Michelle Bovey-Wood has kindly volunteered to join the PTA and was nominated by CS and seconded by NJ. Welcome to Michelle and a big thank you for your time prior to this meeting. Actions from last meeting - S O'M – see attached update.

Treasurer Update – SF £7,177 profit raised this academic year to date, which is almost double compared to this time last year so a great effort from all involved, many thanks. £37,202.70 cash in the bank. Figures from individual events were presented but various expenses had not yet been processed so revised figures for the term will be presented at the next meeting. 5. Funding Request from School - CS CS provided an overview of some of the equipment suggestions that the school are interested in investing in, and that the PTA could contribute to. The school are looking into more Canopies for the outside area(s) & a Trim Trail (the wooden play areas on the school field). The Committee had a productive discussion on this; we reviewed the overall funding contributions the PTA normally donates forecast for the whole year (see below diagram) and noted that if all potential projects are contributed to, with the year's lower amount of expected fundraising than last year, then the buffer in the PTA bank account could deplete by over half and be under £10,000 by year end (which would not be enough to fund even 1 future year of IT spend). CS highlighted that all figures in the chart are forecast estimates and no firm commitments or requests for funding have yet been made.

[Chart unable to load to blog - Please contact the PTA if you'd like to see the chart] The Committee felt that it was a big outlay to commit to at this point in the year when future fundraising efforts are uncertain e.g. we do not know if the Summer Fete will be able to go ahead due to lack of volunteers to organise and there is no guarantee of being able to raise the whole amount the school may request. However, the PTA agreed in principle to work towards funding £40,000 of projects and set a fundraising target of that for this year. The PTA requested for CR to revert to the PTA for formal approval once costs and specs are confirmed and known following the school's formal procurement process.

Summer Fete – CS CS has had some discussions with a previous organiser of the Summer Fete; it was acknowledged that it is a resource intensive project. It was agreed that a brainstorming session could be held to look at innovative ways of making it more light touch on the organisers (e.g. children only event in school, outsource bouncy castles). ACTION: CS to organise Summer Fete brainstorm; SO’M, BD agreed to attend.

Feedback Process - CS The PTA sometimes receive feedback (positive and constructive) on events / fundraising activities. Responding to individual feedback can be time consuming so the below text in blue was reviewed by the Committee and it was agreed it would be issued in response to any future feedback. We also agreed to introduce a formal standing agenda item at the PTA Meetings where feedback received would be tabled for the Committee to discuss and address as appropriate. Hello, Thank you for taking the time to email us your feedback. We love hearing your thoughts and ideas, and we look at everything we receive at our regular committee meetings. We can't respond directly to every email, but rest assured we will be looking into the points you've raised in your email. The PTA committee is made up of Claremont parents, and most of us have work to balance too. We joined the PTA because we want to create fun memories for the children at Claremont, so we're always looking for ideas of how we can improve. But we have a limited capacity, and need an increase in active PTA members to help get everything done. Could this be you? We'd love to see you at our next meeting, where we will be discussing your feedback. You can find details of when our next meeting is by clicking here. We hope to see you there. With thanks, Claremont PTA committee

Cinema Club Feedback – SW SW informed the Committee of feedback we had received following Cinema Club ticket release. It was felt that there were not enough tickets and not enough notice before they went on sale. It was acknowledged that there was a “glitch” on the website which meant tickets were available before they should have gone live and parents had been able to starting purchasing. Once realised we put ticket sales on hold until agreed time. It was a very popular event. We explored whether we could hold another one around similar times which SW kindly agreed to organise again. Everyone agreed if we could secure the hall and enough volunteers. Discussion on allowing Reception children but CS advised the adult: children ratios are different. ACTION: SW/CR to take offline and discuss possibility of Reception children at Cinema Club. SW to explore second date.

Christmas Cracker – CS This year's PTA Christmas Cracker is again being organised by Theo Tully and Loran Haines and will include the Secret Room, Guess the Name of the Teddy, Christmas Hats at the lunch (organised by Michelle Yeatman, handing over to Lucy Lamb for next year), and being able to wear a Christmas jumper on the day of the lunch. We are asking for a donation (no-one is excluded) of £4 per child and the LocalGiving site is open. CS advised that King Charles the Martyr is holding a Christmas Tree festival and they’ve offered a tree which we can decorate and trees get auctioned off before Christmas of which we would receive some funding. There is no cost to the PTA, we just provide the decorations Jonathan suggested that the children could do at home and offered to provide a template we could send out to parents. ACTION: Jonathan to provide Christmas decorations template.

Second Hand Toy & Christmas Jumper Sale – Cat Christodoulou Cat kindly attended the meeting and proposed an idea for doing a second hand toy and Christmas jumper sale before Christmas this year. Everyone thought it was a great idea so this will be progressed. NW agreed to support and help. Many thanks to Cat for proposing and taking the time to attend. ACTION: NW to contact school about availability of facilities to hold the sale one day after drop off.

One Hundred Club idea – JC Jonathan Coupee attended this month to propose and explore the idea of a “One Hundred Club”. Parents donate £100 per year and this would include certain items such as PTA tickets for events, an ‘x’ amount of second hand uniform items and potentially benefits such as offered by the TN1 card organiser had offered 50% discount on the cost of that card. It was suggested whether it would be a subscription approach rather than a one off payment. Again, there was lots of support for the idea but more thought and brainstorming would need to go into it to ensure it was inclusive. Many thanks to Jonathan for proposing and taking the time to attend. ACTION: LP agreed to arrange a brainstorm session in January and BD, CR and SO’M offered to attend and support.

AOB – All Wine Tasting – NJ – great feedback received on event and looking into possible gin tasting in the future. It was noted it was a good networking opportunity and perhaps a parent networking night could be held if we had any volunteers. Kent Wines supplied the drinks and they have offered to supply our wines for future events and beat the cost of Bookers or Majestic. Boon – CS – like a local e-bay within Claremont community and has been discussed before. CS will revert in January as no capacity to do anything now. Not Just Travel – EB – there is an initiative called “Not Just Travel” which offers a kick back, at no cost, to charities when people book a holiday through them. ACTION: EB to revert with a formal proposal on this and check there is no sponsorship conflict. Panto – BD – The Assembly Hall offers a school deal “cheaper rate”; BD wondered if the PTA could sell these tickets with a mark-up as a service to parents. Committee agreed it was worth looking into for Christmas 2023. ACTION: CS to discuss cheaper panto tickets with Council / Assembly Hall and explore the opportunity of accessing and selling such tickets. Date of Next Meeting - S O'M – Tuesday 24th January 7.30pm at the Claremont ACTION: SO’M to book next meeting at the Claremont. APPENDIX 1 Table 1 - RECORD OF ATTENDANCE & VOTING: See PTA files for table (unable to load to blog)

APPROVAL OF MINUTES BY CHAIR OF MEETING: SIGN: ________________________C Summers_____________________ DATE: _______7/1/2023______________________________________

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