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Updated: Nov 14, 2022

What is the Claremont Christmas Cracker?

The PTA is creating a package of magical fun for the children this Christmas.

On Tuesday 13th December, will see the popular Secret Room return which includes:

  • A “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.

On Wednesday 7th December, at the school's Christmas lunch, children will also:

  • Receive a festive surprise, and;

  • have the opportunity to wear a Christmas Jumper/festive item.

On Friday 2nd December, the PTA elves will also be sprinkling festive magic across the school with decorations and Christmas trees in the hall and main reception.

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 13th December. Your child is given the opportunity to choose two Christmas gifts for their loved ones (parents/guardians/grandparents etc), 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.

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 can parents/guardians do to help make Secret Room happen?

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

We will be accepting donations of (small, low value) gifts (2 per child if you can) on Monday 28th, Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th November and Thursday 1st December at morning drop off. Gifts should be left with the PTA helpers, in the marked boxes by the main school entrance.

2) Donate £4 per child if you can here:

Children do not need cash to participate in the Secret Room on 13th December. All children in school on the day will take part. However, if you can donate (we suggest £4 per child) to support the efforts of the PTA, then please do so through localgiving (just click here). Make sure you add gift aid if eligible as this really boosts your donation at no extra cost.

What gifts can I donate?

Gifts really do not need to be expensive. We recommend small low value gifts such as socks, chocolates, mugs, womens & mens toiletries, books, photo frames, key rings, festive food products. Ideally gifts should be neutral or 1 appropriate for a male & 1 for a female. 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 13th 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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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 31st 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 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 £6.75 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 31st 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 2021 we raised nearly £500 through this project, let’s see if we can beat that in 2022!

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The PTA had it’s Annual General Meeting last week which is an informal & friendly chat through what happened last year and the plans for this year. For those who couldn’t make it here is a quick summary of what was discussed and where there are still gaps where we need your help.

We reminisced over how wonderful it was to have the whole community back together in 2021/22 especially at the return of our headline events Clarefest and the Summer Fete. We thanked everyone for all their efforts helping the PTA raise overall a small profit of around £2,000 last year, which has helped to start rebuilding the coffers that were depleted during the Covid years. We funded nearly £30,000 of extras for the school - for a reminder of what, please check our end of year blog from July.

Claire, the PTA chair, updated us on her meeting with Mrs Roberts who had shared some exciting new areas that the school are wanting to improve over the next couple of years, and which could be something for the PTA to consider for future fundraising. These include the support for I.T. that the PTA have been involved in annually, and other projects such as upgrading the trim trail, outdoor areas and some remodelling and modernising within the school. The PTA agreed we would very much like to support where possible and so now we really need all of your help. It would great to see if together we can raise even more than last year.

The specific areas that we identified we need help with are:

  • Marketing - help developing a sponsorship/media pack

  • Corporate partnerships - friendly people to make friends with local businesses

  • Corporate Matching - we’d love to increase the amount of match funding we get from large businesses - if you are employed please check if your company offers match funding and let us know by email.

  • Summer Fete - whilst we have agreed a date in principle with the school it is now time for the parent community to step forward! Running the fete is an immensely rewarding opportunity - whether you’re an individual, a couple or a close-knit group of friends who just want to make a difference. You can make the Fete your own or you can follow the PTA’s ready-made tried and tested formula. A group of around 6 people can really make the difference - with the roles already divided up into coordinators for 1) logistics (someone who is good at organising others and checking jobs off against a spreadsheet!), 2) the Arena displays and timetable, 3) the donation stalls, 4) the BBQ 5) the bar or 6) the activity stalls. You won’t be alone working alongside the PTA Committee who will support you every step of the way and the classes who run stalls on the day.

  • Playground sales - we have a few in the pipeline but heaps more ideas where we need a couple of volunteers to dedicate just a few hours over a short period, such as a nearly new toy sale before Christmas and Coronation crafts before May half term.

We then went onto confirming plans for this year which include some new parent socials, more frequent after school discos and cinema clubs, more playground sales as well as the popular regular events - the Christmas Cracker, Easter Egg Hunt, Scavenger Hunt and of course Clarefest and the Summer Fete. Put those in your diaries now...

  • Clarefest - Saturday 20th May 2022 2-8pm

  • Summer Fete - Saturday 1st July 2022 12-3pm

And finally the Committee for the year was elected. All 2021/22 members were re-elected, minus Claudine to whom we bid a fond farewell and a huge thank you, and one new member was elected. We always have room for more, in particular a School Rep, so if you work at the school please let us know if you’d like to join.

So that you know who to nab in the playground, your 2022/23 PTA Committee Members are:

Claire - Chair - mum to Freddie in Year 2 (& Harry to join next year)

Natalie - Vice-Chair - mum to Chloe in Year 5 and Eddie in Year 2

Sara - Secretary - mum to Edward in Year 4 and James in Year 2

Sami - Treasurer - dad to Laith in Year 1 and 2 younger boys

Ben - dad to Jamie in Year 1

Lucy - mum to Holly in Year 3 and James in Year 1

Emma B - mum to Freya in Year 5 and Ellie in Year 3

Emma D - mum to Jack in Year 4 and Otis in Year 2

Nicki - mum to Finley in Year 2, Lily in Reception and George to follow in two years

Sam - mum to Jack in Year 4

Mrs Roberts - Headteacher/ex-officio

We set the date for our next meeting - which will be 7.30pm on Tuesday 8th November. All are welcome to that so please do come along if you’d like to know more or get in touch in all the usual ways in the meantime.

Connect with us!

Email :

On social media @claremontprimarypta

Here are the slides from our AGM:

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