Autumn Newsletter 2010

A big Hi Di Hi to everyone and welcome to your Autumn PTA Newsletter and a shiny new Autumn Term

Well before we start I must say a massive welcome to all the new families throughout Ley Hill School.  I hope you’re sussing it all out & if you’re not, just ask.

The other necessity is to say a HUGE thanks to all the current families who helped out with PTA events over the past year, who have given their time, enthusiasm & support, bought through our sponsored websites or contributed money at our Fayres/special events etc as without you we wouldn’t have raised £8,045 last year.

Thanks also to the main PTA team, who all hold down full time jobs and to the PTA Class Coordinators who provide an essential support line for communication and fundraising.  Go up & give them a little stroke & tell them that you appreciate what they are doing for your children!

Extended thanks also to all the Teachers & School Support Staff who have helped raise money in their own time.  And although this has nothing to do with the PTA I would like to send a special thanks to all the Parent Helpers who volunteer their time on a regular basis to enrich the lives of our children with cookery, extra reading etc

Right I think I’ve covered everyone.  If not, please see the terms & conditions.

Why join the PTA?

Well, actually you’re already part of the PTA in theory by being called a ‘parent’.  Now it’s up to you to decide how involved you get in practice.  You can disassociate yourself from the PTA but only by signing a lengthy document (with lots of small print) saying you no longer wish to be called a ‘parent’.  See Terms & Conditions.

It is well known that the school is in deficit by approx £100k.  As a PTA we cannot directly contribute to this specific budget but we can indirectly.  We generally raise between £7-10k per year.  It is important for us to help the school reduce this deficit as & where we legitimately can so that the PTA contributions can once again buy the big & little extras which enhance our children’s lives.  More recent purchases that the school have requested from PTA funds have included the matrix display board in ICT (£3k), the Literacy Scheme (£1.8k), the water tray in Nursery & a contribution to each Teacher’s ‘Wishlist’ (£800), not forgetting the planting of the beds at the front of school.

The commitment of helping out the PTA team can be whatever you want it to be.  It’s a great way to help the school and our kids and build the sort of community we all want to live in.  The best part is that it’s (supposed to be) a bit of a laugh.  It can be a tad serious (the nature of the animal) but I’m having a laugh & I hope to enjoy being involved for the next 6 or 7 years & helping others enjoy it too.  We’d love to see some more people at the next meeting or volunteering behind the scenes – go on, think about it as it can be really rewarding.

The PTA Team consists of many who wander in & out as time allows but there are also the regulars.  Main PTA Team:

Chairman—Emma Summers (Gladys)
Secretary—Sally Kendall (Peggy), plus others
Treasurer—Simon Redlich (Spike)
Class Coordinators for each year.

Also included is: anyone else who’d like to be a Yellow Coat or help at events front of house or behind the scenes or may have a fundraising idea that they’d like to head up & see through to fruition for the school.  Maybe you work in a company that would like to sponsor one of our events or you’d like to go into competition with a mate to see who can get the most from their begging letters or fundraising schemes.  Try to keep everything legit (see Terms & Conditions) & keep the PTA main Team ‘in the know’ so we don’t duplicate schemes.

Events planned (or hopeful to get off the ground):

Recipe Books – Eleanor & Sarah are putting together a School Recipe Book.  All recipes into either of them (see flyers or put recipe in PTA box) by Fri 15th Oct.

Cocktail Xmas Party – all ticket requests to be back to Jo via PTA box by Fri 15th Oct.  Big Charity Event, proper grown up professional Cocktail Staff & everything!

Fundraising Gift Wrap Sale – This term we will be using a Northbrook gift wrap sale to raise money for the School.  In the next couple of months we will all be buying Christmas wrapping paper and we need birthday paper all year round.  When you buy any item from the Northbrook leaflet, our School will receive 22% cash back on each sale!  If we all bought just a couple of items we could raise a significant amount of money.  All of Northbrook’s products are high quality, great value and importantly all the gift wrap has been responsibly sourced in the E.U and finished in the U.K.  Brochures coming out soon & order forms back to PTA boxes by Fri 5th Nov – Bonfire Night!!

Xmas Fayre Stands – still available.  Got anything you want to sell?  It’s £15 for a 6′ stall.  Contact your Class Coordinator for a form.  We will try to ensure no duplication so get yours in quick.

Parent Ads – We get contributions through some parent-owned companies—see PTA website.  It’s a new initiative – £30 to advertise for the whole year.  Please start checking the website for those parents you’d like to buy from – let’s keep it in LHS by boosting our parent owned services.

Supermarket Voucher Scheme – welcome to the 6 new families in year 1, our gratitude goes out to you as this raises approx £900/yr from just 20 families.  Would all of you 6 mind jotting down your thoughts about your changeover for us to include on next Newsletter?  If you shop at Sainsburys or Waitrose/John Lewis you could help raise funds for the PTA with no extra cost to you.  Sains is ‘in person’ purchases only but Waitrose can also be done online (via Waitrose or Ocado) if you so wish.  If you know you are going to buy a new sofa from John Lewis or have large one off purchases, the school can also benefit – ask your Class Coordinators or look at the PTA website. – Visit & buy through hundreds of retailers & the school gets up to 15% commission!  Bigger players are: Amazon, Alton Towers, Asda, BBC shop, Boden, Butlins, Carphone Warehouse, EON (switch overs), Ebay, Game, Hertz, Kays,, Marks & Spencer, O2, Orange, Pizza Hut, RAC, Staples, Superdrug, Swinton, Thorntons, Very, Virgin, Vodaphone, Waterstones, Woolworths to name a few!

Disco – we hope to put on a school disco but its disco diva dependent – ie we need one/two/three to help show the kids how to do the moves & get the party ‘going’– can you do the McDonalds/Pizza Hut Song???

Secondhand Uniform has changed to Thurs after school (used to be Wed)

Utility Warehouse – home utilities company providing gas, electric, phone, broadband and mobile usage.   School gets £5 for every new joiner plus up to 5% of your monthly spend!  People already using have said it’s the cheapest utility provider by far but check out (the final g23151 is our Ley Hill School account number ensuring LHS benefit when you sign up) & judge for yourselves.  Current users say it is a non-pushy company with no issues during change overs.

Film Club – we know it was received brilliantly.  Another exciting film coming soon!  Keep ‘em peeled!

Tesco Clubcard Vouchers – ok this is a little bit ooh & a little bit aaah, a little bit duckin’ & divin’, bobbin’ & weavin’.  My thought process is – as an irregular interloper into the hands of the big Tesco machine, it takes me 3 years to build up £4 worth of vouchers & so I’m happy to chuck them the way of the school as my £4 vouchers are going to go out of date soon.  But if you were a regular user you may not mind sparing the odd quid of Tesco Clubcard vouchers too.  This will allow the school to whoop up the prizes for Fayres & Events to attain really good crowd pleaser status!  If you have the odd voucher you wouldn’t mind donating please put in the PTA box but you MUST also sign the ‘Petition’ document saying that you are happy for your voucher to be signed over to me (Heather Smith) (I promise not to take the kids to Alton Towers!!) so that Tesco can reissue 1 big voucher that the school can then gain out of (you can’t usually use Clubcard vouchers in different names in this way but we have been allowed to do so if we get the signature of all parents donating).

Bag2School – Jan 14th.   Get ready for a post-Xmas clear out!  Please gather & save any of the following: Clothes—kiddy sized or adult, shoes, sheets, blankets, curtains, soft toys, belts & finally handbags – you know the drill already.  Blue bags will be sent out at the start of next term.  Remember clean & reusable please.  Lets see if we can beat the tonne mark this time & get ourselves £500.

Please also keep old mobile phones & old ink cartridges as we hope to set up a collection service for them too.

Website Search If anyone wants to scour the web for websites where the school get a % commission then I have started a list but now don’t have time to finish it.  If it’s something that floats your boat then please tell me so work is not duplicated & we can get a list up/sign up to earn commission for the school in other ways.  Heather Smith =

Tea towels Personally I am desperate for customised tea towels for my daughter (Nursery).  I want to be able to give her a tea towel for every year she is at Ley Hill so that when I put her out on the doorstep at 18 she’ll have something to dry up with/clothe herself in.  Would anyone be happy to take up the banner quickly so that we could have them ready for Xmas?  Some suppliers have already been found, it’s just the rest/organisation that needs doing.

Bunting – we would like to reintroduce bunting to advertise our Summer Fete.  Please make double sided triangles to the template given (previous page) in any material you wish.  It would be a lovely legacy to put your child’s first name on a triangle too to be seen for years to come.  First name only please.  We may be able to rustle up some ‘Sewing Masters’ for those not conversant with needle & thread so that your child can also be part of the legacy – 50p per named triangle, 30p for every other non-named triangle you wish to have made on your behalf in your own material.

Xmas Fayre – please all keep Sun 5th Dec free to come & join us in our Xmas Fayre antics.  In the next few weeks we will be more specific about toy/sweetie/hamper contributions so keep an eye out. Thanks in advance.

Here’s the Calendar & what we would love to see you at:

Thur 2nd Sept School Start Hellooooooooo!
Mon 27th Sept Bag2School We bagged £352 of reusables!!  Thank you everyone.
Wed 6th Oct Midsummer Music Benefit Concert Comments : great, fantastic, lovely to see Paul & Bjorg perform together!  Sounds like a resounding success – could it have ever been anything else!  An amazing contribution by Paul & Bjorg, £4,300 thank you both sooo much.
Wed 13th Oct Sausage Sizzle This one’s for the kids – sausage at school, who could ask for more, apart from Oliver that is! (although I’m not likening the school to a workhouse)
Fri 15th Oct Recipe Book & Cocktail Party Last date to enter your recipe ideas for the PTA recipe book.  And last date for ticket requests for the Xmas Cocktail Party
Mon 25th Oct – Fri 29th Oct HALF TERM  
Fri 5th Nov Christmas Wrap Orders Brochures coming out soon & order forms back to PTA boxes by Fri 5th Nov
Mon 8th Nov PTA meeting in Swan All welcome, more the merrier.
Fri 19th Nov Mufti Day – Bottle Tombola Bring a bottle & don’t forget the kids in casual clothes.  Mufti = non-uniform day (Arabic origin!)
Fri 19th Nov Xmas Cocktail Event Big Charity Christmas Party (parents only), be there or be square
Wed 24th Nov Sausage Sizzle One for the kids – veggie stuff available
Sun 5th Dec Xmas Fayre Stands still available, anything to sell?  Please come & support the Xmas Fayre by helping or bringing the kids – great Sunday afternoon entertainment
Thur 16th Dec Xmas Parties (nursery date TBA) It wouldn’t be the same without a pre-Christmas Father Christmas now would it?
Fri 17th Dec End of Term It’sssssssssss Christmassssssssss (Noddy Holder Style)
  Xmas Hols  
Wed 5th Jan Spring Term Start  
14th Jan Bag2Shool 2nd collection – save up over Xmas or have a ‘one in, one out’ policy for soft toys

Help needed:  Many hands make light work & all that.  Anyone ready to dip a toe into the PTA pot & see if they’d like to be a Yellow Coat for a day?  Come along on November 8th at 8pm in the Swan to find out more or email me saying that you’d like to be involved.

Posts available:

Disco diva/s, Sewing Masters to help out with our bunting legacy, any of the other events/schemes you’d like to be involved in or ideas of your own that you’d like to get off the ground.

PTA website: or just google Ley Hill PTA

School website: (currently being updated)

As twilight begins to fall on this Newsletter, it only remains for me to say:

So let’s get going & make this the best year yet – for the benefit of all our kids

Terms & Conditions:  The author cannot be held responsible for ANY of the content.  The sole responsibility lies with Emma Summers (PTA Chair) for proof reading & allowing this document to be sent out.  All complaints should be sent to our Right Honourable PTA Secretary, Sally Kendall.

Small print:  Emma and Sally are very busy and may have missed a couple of spelling mistakes or glitches in the layout or language used in this document.  No harm has been caused to any animals or children in this newsletter production.  All jokes included are intended to provide light relief to our hard working parents and staff and may even be funny….