We are fortunate at to have a Friends of Stanwix School (FoSS) that is, and has been, an integral part of the school community for many years. Over the years the FoSS has raised several thousands of pounds, which has been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education experience and the school’s facilities. However, FoSS is about much more than simply fundraising. It exists to provide closer links between home and school and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. And it’s fun too - really - just ask any of the Committee members or helpers, many of whom have been involved for several years. All families are automatically members of FoSS when their child joins our school, and we would encourage all parents and members of the school community to get involved, even if they only have a small amount of time available. FoSS tries to arrange a variety of events and activities across the year as well as supporting the school on key dates such as Sports Day. Not all of our events are run as fundraisers; some activities are run purely to enhance the school calendar.
Our FoSS Committee consists of four Officers; Jacky Kapoor (Chairperson), Lyn Marriott (Treasurer). We also have around ten members who sit on the General Committee. The Committee meet on a regular basis - usually once per half term, with additional meetings as necessary when we are planning larger events. We also have a group of volunteers who give some of their time to help with events either in the set up or on the day. Every little helps, so just one hour assisting at an event would be invaluable.
Our Annual General Meeting is held at the beginning of the academic year, typically in October, usually alongside a social event such as a family quiz or bingo night. This provides an opportunity for all parents and children to come along and meet new friends, have some fun and hear about the events we run, funds raised and how money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new committee members and class representatives.
Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Our most popular events include discos for infants and juniors, usually once per term, bingo and quiz nights, Summer and Christmas Fairs.
Sometimes the school will have a wishlist of things that they wish to buy and sometimes requests come from the children via the School Council. There can be a wide variety of things that are funded including resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment, funds for sporting events, extended schools projects etc. For the most part, FoSS funds are spent on the ‘extras’ that are not provided by the school’s budget, thus making our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting. We always endeavour to spend our funds in ways that will benefit all our children across all areas of the school and curriculum. FoSS also funds a bursary which is dispensed at the Head teacher’s discretion. The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting our school, your child/ren will feel the benefit, along with everybody else.
FoSS information is posted on the notice boards which are situated close to the front door and at the Year 1 entrance round the side of the building. Flyers are also sent home in advance of events along with ticket requests and permission slips. The website will also be regularly updated with a calendar of events and information on what’s going on. Weekly updates are provided in the schools newsletters, details of the total amount raised that term, any equipment we have bought for the school, stories, input from the children etc.
Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you cannot come into school. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the behind the scenes help that we receive. If you would like to be more involved you can volunteer to be a Committee Member or just come along to the meetings. Or you can simply support the AGM and give us your ideas for fundraising events. For more information you can contact FoSS via your child’s Class Teacher, or by leaving a message at the school reception for Jacky Kapoor or contact email@example.com, we are also on Facebook click on our FOSS group here.