to ask what your kids and school enjoyed the most that was funded by the PTA?(56 Posts)
Hello, posting here for traffic.
If you are/were a parent or a teacher of a primary school kids, what projects, educational trips, equipment were the most beneficial or enjoyable?
Our school has nearly £10K PTA funds raised and looking for the ideas to enhance their learning and time at school.
Have you had any external suppliers come in to show or teach the kids anything new that they loved?
Did any play equipment go down very well and lots of kids enjoy using it?
Anything to encourage sports? Learning about nature?
If you have any links, please include them.
Our school is in the South East of England in a village with a big field.
Did she come to do the talk? Wow!
Do you know what the cost was?
Our PTA funded a music garden which is fabulous.
Climbing frames and soft flooring, chickens and chicken run, pirate ship climbing frame, large slide built into the side of a slope in the playground
Playground equipment is great and such a good investment. Think long term, and things that are different and creative.
Our PTA funded and then extended a play trail that ~8 years on is still very popular and used every break time. Not cheap though!
I tend to feel that PTA funds should mainly go on lasting stuff not one-off trips/visits. By mainly I mean 80%+ of funds raised.
I like the idea of a music garden.
Not in England, but some things that have been great at our school:
Playground. Lots of equipment and markings on the ground for various games. The kids in the school are aged 4 to 12/13 by the time they leave. It was a condition of it being installed that it had to be appropriate for all ages, and all children given equal access to it. There was a worry only younger kids would get to use it, but older kids have benefited loads from the down-time they get there,a nd just getting to still play.
Friends bench. This is a bench in the yard with no teachers by it, but is monitored by teachers. If a child has no one to play with, they sit here. The children are all encouraged to keep an eye on the bench and ensure no one feels left out. If kids are looking for extra people to play in a game, they go ask there. It's worked really well for making sure kids aren't left out, as sometimes they didn't know kids had no one to play with.
Cycling. A company came into the school with bikes and taught all the kids above a certain age to cycle. It avoided all the hassle of how you get a bike to and from school, as they brought bikes for everyone. It also meant kids who didn't have bikes learned to cycle. They then taught the kids how to cycle on public roads, what to watch for, etc. They brought them around the local area, and showed them what to watch for at various junctions. t was great. Kids who couldn't ride a bike learned, kids who good got more confident, and parents who wanted to let their kids cycle to school felt much better as they had been taught how to be on public roads and mind themselves..
My boys school pta heavily subsidise school trips and swimming. I recently paid £5 for my 7 year old to go on a trip to an attraction with lots of different animals and 2 massive play areas. My ds came home so excited, he'd held a snake and a lizard. We can't take him on trips like that and like many other parents we are very grateful to the school for taking him.
Outdoor play equipment that can last for years to come. My daughter's school had a "trim trail" that they all loved. Wooden balance beams, monkey bars etc.....
One of things are a waste of money like a celebrity visit and don't actually give to the school or pupils for years to come.
Outdoor play equipment with wood chip flooring.
Couple of benches for children to sit on at break/lunch times.
Football kit for the football team, and boot scrapers.
Camcorder so member of staff could film school plays etc. Saved having to hire equipment, or an outside individual, to do it.
Personally, I would recommend an upgrade of the school library, both new shelving, rugs, sofas etc and lots of lovely new books.
does your school have a school development plan
this should show the areas the school needs to improve and there may be a way the PTA can help with that. eg if it looks like they need a boost in maths then something long lasting/maths related might be a good idea.
Its just working in a school, I've seen PTA's spent 1000 on things that pta things are great or look lovely but actually hardly get used as the school was already doing really well in that area. Eg for some schools new books and an enhanced library would be just the thing, but in others it might be pointless if they have no one to run the library, never use it and have fantastic literacy delivered in other ways.
our PTA have invested heavily on developing woodland area and outdoor learning training for teachers and equipment. the aim was to increase resilience and language use.
we always fund a theatre group to come in and perform a pantomime at Christmas. Only chance some kids get To see one.
Outdoor "kitchen" and sandpit for reception class.
Large wooden activity climbing frame thing.
Ukeleles - enough for a whole class to be taught at a time.
Crackers and Xmas themed cups/plates etc for the School Xmas lunch.
Ours paid for playground painting (markings on the playground for games like hopscotch) which the kids loved and are constantly in use.
They also subsidised a day trip for every class every year (whatever trip the class teacher decided on) to keep costs down for all parents - while I can’t say which of those trips was the best, I do think the policy helped make for a great school. Parents knew costs would reasonable and teachers could rely on being able to do it. The kids could look forward to, for instance, the trip to the beach in year 2. That sort of consistency and shared experience can help build a sense of belonging to the school community and by taking the pressure off individual parents to significantly fund it, they minimised the potential cost to family life for the less well of parents.
Cycling lessons as someone else said where the bikes are provided by instructors. Also buddy bench.
Funding music lessons and instruments. Lessons were once a week and children were loaned the instrument for the 2 year period they were learning it. Brilliant opportunity as otherwsie music lessons and instruments are generally out of reach of the normal family financially.
This was a selection of brass instruments and year 5 children were able to choose their first,second,third choice after trying a lesson in them all and then learnt that until the end of year 6.
We always ask teachers and children what they would like the momey to spent on as school often has grants for things like outdoor equipment. Recently we've bought tablets- enough for a whole class at any one time, a stage (cost £4k!! but schools was from the 70s and unusable), subsidise trips, pay for Christmas class parties, a boucy castle for KS1 fun day, ice pops for after sports day, books as presents for KS1 at Christmas. Next year school wants some science equipment.
Scottish Opera workshop - it was awesome. They came in one afternoon and ran through the songs for a kid friendly, tailor made opera all about a child who caught a fever. About 100 of the oldest kids were split into groups - medics, immune system, virus and something else. They all learned the songs and three weeks later they had a full day with Scottish Opera in the school perparing their performance with proper costumes and proper opera singers and at 2pm all the parents pitched up to see the show.
It was fabulous, great fun and even the non-musical kids loved it. Our PTA fund it most years as it's expensive and couldn't be paid out of funds. Just the sort of thing the PTA should be doing, imho.
You may want to stay clear of Leaver's Hoodies as today's thread shows … www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3284614-School-leavers-hoodie-is-wrong
Playground equipment and a book scheme.
I agree that pta funds should be used for something long lasting, and that all children get a chance to enjoy. For example a book scheme for one year is ok, on the basis that all children will get to use it as they progress through the school.
I don't agree with pta funds being used for trips or similar, as I believe this should be funded by parents. At least the parents that can afford to pay, should. Maybe the pta can help with a small fund to cover those who cannot pay.
When I was teaching in a school the PTA used to give each class teacher £100 to spend on whatever they needed for the classroom. Although it doesn't sound like much, it was really useful as it allowed purchase of resources and for things like cooking and art equipment which we wouldn't have otherwise had. In later years the PTA funded a £10,000 piece of playground equipment which looked lovely (and was hardly ever used). meanwhile, our budgets had been cut and we were struggling for basic things like pencils/glue sticks etc by the end of the year. I would suggest you ask the teachers for their suggestions before spending a load of money on something that may not really make much of a difference to the kids.
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