Hello and welcome to the PTA section.🏫✏️🚸
We are a group of parents who want to help out our lovely wee school as much as we can. Our reason for being is to raise funds to provide equipment and experiences for our children. And we try to do so by having as much fun as possible!
It's all change in 2019 with an (almost) new team at the top. With nowhere left to go after achieving so much, Tracey Stirling and Claire McLarnon stood down as chair and treasurer respectively. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all they did.
So the chief culprits are now Paula Gow (chair), Karen Campbell (vice chair) and Jane Hill (treasurer). Tara Brankin has thankfully stayed on as our secretary.
The PTA would love to hear from people who are keen to help organise and run events. We know all too well how busy parents are, chauffeuring their offspring from one social engagement to another, but we are only asking for a few hours of your time every now and then. We would also love to hear your ideas.
We'll post our newsletters up here but the best way to stay in touch is via our Facebook page - have a look and give us a like.
If you want to get on the mailing list or get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org
With Halloween just a ghostly memory, it is time to talk about Christmas. Or more specifically our Christmas Market. It is such a popular event and fun for the whole community. It will take place this year in the parish hall on Friday 1 December from 2pm to 4pm.
Here's our wishlist:
All decorations, prizes etc should be handed into Mrs Killen in the school office.
Entrance costs £2 per adult (kids go free) and this includes a coffee/tea and mince pie/biscuit.
There will be stalls a plenty to purchase some unique gifts and lots of raffle tables. And of course, the man in red will be there and entrance to his grotto costs £2 per child.
We have decided to support Tiny Life Charity by giving them a free table at the market. They will be selling Christmas cards and all proceeds will be donated to the charity.
The new 2017/2018 school year is well under way. We hit the ground running, and September and October have been uber busy.
News in brief
BREAKING NEWS: We have revamped our newsletter and the first edition came out in October. As it's a very busy season, there'll be another one in November. In addition to keeping you up-to-date, it's a great opportunity for the school community to advertise. Great rates, great coverage, starting at £20 for a year.
We now have our own postbox and you cannot miss it - it’s yellow and located at the main entrance. All correspondence and payments to the PTA can be deposited in the box which will be cleared every day.
We are now registered with Stamptastic, which sells stamps and ink pads to label school clothing. If you place an order with them, enter our code BT203DS and we’ll get some cash.
easyfundraising.org.uk - you can earn money for us by simply doing your online shopping as normal. There are nearly 3,000 retailers on board, including Amazon, Tesco and Sainsbury's, and these companies will give the PTA money every time you shop with them. There is no small print to catch you out and no hidden charges - honestly!
Senior playground - Gavin Hunter has done a great job painting various parts of the senior playground. The job is now complete and it all looks fresh and inviting. We will work on the next phase of the revamp and keep you updated.
Our job is done in the junior playground, which was transformed last year. We’ve bought two football nets and there is now another picnic table and benches so a whole class can come together. The more the merrier as they say!
We are also looking to purchase a strimmer and/or lawnmower for Mr Busby as the school doesn’t have any gardening tools.
Coffee morning for P1 parents - thanks to all our helpers and everyone who came along for a cuppa and a chat.
A total of £1,530 was donated by 65 families for this year's voluntary parental contributions. Thanks so much for your generosity. If you have not managed to send in your donation and still wish to, please pop your forms in the PTA post box.
Ball-tastic. The P5–P7 school teams needed some new footballs and netballs, and their wish is our command. They cost of £223.13 and let's hope they bring them a winning streak.
Fund the school counsellor for the academic year
Classroom fund (every class gets £100 for the likes of upgrading play equipment and subsidising outings)
Refurbishing school entrance (next to staff car park)
Purchase further sports kit and equipment
Fundraising target - £8,000
Happy holidays 😎
A message from our venerable leader Tracey Stirling:
We are immensely proud of what the PTA have achieved over the last academic year – refurbishing the junior playground, clearing the garden space, a school counsellor for the year, more than £12,000 raised... But what has made us immensely proud and extremely grateful is the community spirit, parental involvement and the immense support you have shown us.
It has been a pleasure working alongside you and we truly appreciate all the volunteers, donations and support you have given over the last year.
To our P7 parents, we wish you all the best for the next chapter of your adventure - we have no doubt your children will flourish in whatever they tackle next.
Enjoy your summer and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.
We have some homework for you and the question is how do we improve the senior playground next year?
The pupils' requests are very simple - inexpensive play equipment and picnic benches but their priority is to brighten up the area, particularly the green mobile and boiler house.
Do you know of any schemes/companies/artists who could work with the children to design and revamp the playground? All ideas/suggestions welcomed.
Not wanting to depress you during the holidays but here's the kind of drabness we need to address:
What: Tesco Bag Pack
When: Saturday 17 June
Where: Tesco Springhill, one hour slots from 10am to 5pm
We will be manning six tills each hour, so please get in touch if you can spare 60 minutes. Every Little Helps...
UPDATE: We bagged £805.47 from this event - fantastic! Thanks to all our volunteers, including the 22 children from P2 to P7.
What: Summer Party
When: Wednesday 21 June from 5pm to 7.30pm
Where: St Comgall's
We have a DJ, BBQ, tuck shop and a few other tricks up our sleeve. There's no entry fee, just pay for your purchases. It is a family event - it is not a drop-off event and all children need to be supervised - and for once, no volunteers are needed!
UPDATE: Some pics from the event
What: P7 Leavers Mass
When: Thursday 22 June from 1pm-2.30pm
Where: St Comgall's
The P7s and their families attend a mass before heading to the school hall for refreshments.
UPDATE: Some pics from the event
Can you believe it's June already? Bear with us for the final push... Here are a few updates.
Junior Sports Day was a huge success. The PTA funded the medals, which this year were only given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, with all the athletes receiving a lovely certificate. The certificates were printed in school at no cost and 200 medals (for the seniors too) were bought for £210. It was a slight change from previous years but it meant a saving of £300. We also made a profit of £147.78 by selling coffee, tea and cake. Thanks to our P1 parents for the sweet treats particularly Catriona Moore for arranging it all; the volunteers for manning the event; Centra Holywood for the ice lollies; and Starbucks Springhill for yes, you guessed it, donating the tea and coffee. 🏅
The money was used to buy the following equipment for the senior play ground: two football nets, four footballs, one football target insert, two basketballs, and two swingball sets. ⚽⛹️
The Senior Sports Day was also held in May and we raised a very sporting £262.04. Gold medals to the volunteers, the P1 parents again for the munchies, Starbucks Springhill and Conor McCann from Sizzle'n'BBQ for the delicious food. 🏅
Saturday 3 June was a very special day in our school life - it was the P4's First Holy Communion. The PTA was responsible for supplying and serving the refreshments in the parish hall after the service. We also made up gift bags for all the children taking part. A big, big, thank you to all those who helped out in the hall, particularly Marie Bell, a previous PTA chair, who kindly offered to run the show as several of the usual suspects had children taking part! Big shout out also to Brian Morrison, who donated all the cupcakes for the communicants, and Claire McLarnon who patiently made up all the individual bags for the P4s and the choir.
The final Friday take-away of this year on 9 June raised a fabulous £113.60. Big thanks to the P5 year group for their donations, and a round of applause for Cristina Zampola, who not only came up with the idea but also project managed every single one of them. 👏
More wonderful equipment has arrived for the junior playground, which looks blooming lovely thanks to all the donations of flowers. There's a picnic table with benches, two large blackboards, sandpits and water tables. Check out the pictures below. Magnificent!
(for a while at least)
We've had a few gardening afternoons recently in order to complete the work on the junior playground. We are very nearly there, with just some more outdoor play equipment to arrive.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, and anyone who supported the PTA in any shape or form.
An extra big shout out must go to Chris Wallace for making the puppet theatre and mud kitchens; Praxis Care Conlig for all their tools, equipment and helping hands; Paul Rafferty and MMM Design & Build for their help and donations; and Neil and John from Woodways who built our decking, lean-to and play equipment.
Here are some pictures as they can speak louder than words, and the first two are before shots:
A few wee updates
Decking - it's hard to miss and it looks fantastic. The junior playground has been transformed and it has created much-needed space that will be used by all the year groups. Big shout out to Neil and John from Woodways.
Unfortunately they were not able to add storage space underneath the decking but a Plan B is being discussed!
Gardening Day - sticking to the outdoor theme, the third gardening day took place on Saturday 8 March. The sun came out for all the volunteers who toiled and did not seek rest! There was a lot of clearing, cementing and cutting going on.
There were a great many new faces and of course the stalwarts who continue to help out. Thanks also to those who came armed with refreshments for the workers. Your generosity went down a treat.
We managed to tick off a lot of the to-do list in both the junior and senior playgrounds.
The changes and improvements to the school grounds wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for everyone’s time and effort. Just take a look at the progress - we really should have taken some before and after shots.
The Eco Committee is going to plant a variety of flowers in the tyres in the Sensory Garden.
The puppet theatre was built by Chris Wallace and one of our volunteers varnished it. The curtains are being made by another parent Wioletta, a very talented seamstress, and they will finish it off beautifully.
In other news -
When: Thursday 9 February
Where: School hall
Time: P1 to P3: 6pm-7pm; P4 to P7: 7.15pm-8.15pm
Cost: One child £2.50; Two children £4; three or more children £5
When: Tuesday 21 February
Where: School office
The timing will not suit a good few parents, so the plan is to alternate times of forthcoming meetings to try and accommodate as many people as possible. It's a very informal gathering, so please come along for a chat and a coffee.
When: Friday 24 February
Friday treats are all wrapped up. The PTA will be setting up "shop" at the school entrance to sell donated snacks for 50p each. The aim is to do this monthly and the P6 parents will be the trailblazers.
When: Saturday 4 March
Calling all volunteers and anyone with a trailer or tow bar to help remove the garden waste. Any donations of sandwiches, snacks and drinks also welcome. It's a great workout and it's much better fun than the gym! Please drop by for an hour or two.
Happy New Year
Let's start off with a big pat on the back. We set a target of £8,000 at the start of the school year and so far, £4,783.97 has been raised. Absolutely fantastic! Only £3,216.03 to go. 💰💰💰💰
A few other things to mention:
Christmas seems like a lifetime ago but a few thank you cards are still outstanding.
A huge thanks to everyone involved in the market - the organisers, decorators, donors and volunteers who manned the stalls. In addition to generating funds, it was full of Christmas spirit and festive cheer.
It was a massive team effort with so many parents helping before, during and after the event.
Big shout out to:
Thanks also to everyone who donated a prize for the Christmas ballot. There are, quite simply, too many generous people to mention.
And finally, thanks to our Santa - it would not have been the same without him.
🎄Christmas is coming
Ho, ho, ho. The countdown is on but there's no need to panic because the PTA's festive craft market is just around the corner.
The vital statistics you need are:
When: Friday 2 December, 2pm to 5pm
Where: St Comgall's Parish Hall
Why: To help pay for the playgrounds' upgrade
Entrance: £2 per adult - includes coffee/tea and mince pie; Kids go free
What we need: Volunteers; donations of mince pies and shorbread; Any bottles (wine, chutney, sauces etc)
There will be more than 20 stalls selling all sorts of perfect pressies and smashing stocking-filler stuff.
The main man (in red) will be hanging around in his grotto 🎅 and there'll be a whole host of activities to keep the kids entertained. It will get the whole festive month off to a cracking start.
Come support the school and local businesses, and make your family and friends happy with unique gifts that you cannot buy on the High Street. 🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁
❄️On a related note, the Christmas ballot will be drawn on Wednesday 21 December at the P3 and P4 concert. If you can donate or help secure prizes, please get in touch.
We are all about fundraising. There are the traditional events - such as the coffee mornings and Christmas fares - and then there's the very modern fund matching and "easyfundraising".
The latter may sound daunting but it is easy by name, easy by nature. The PTA has signed up to easyfundraising.org.uk and you can earn money for us by simply doing your online shopping as normal. It will not cost you a penny - honest!
There are nearly 3,000 retailers on board, including Amazon, John Lewis, Tesco and Sainsbury's, and these companies will give the PTA money every time you shop with them. There is no small print to catch you out and no hidden charges.
Here's a useful guide to get you started:
Many companies throughout the UK offer employees the chance to boost their fundraising efforts by matching the money they raise. It really is money for nothing, and we could double the amount of cash raised with very little effort.
Companies may match the fundraising total for an event or for example, the stall their employee is working on.
It is not just the big beasts that have a match funding policy, and smaller firms may be interested in setting one up. First off, we ask you to check if your company already has a policy. Let us know and we can start the conversation.
This has the potential to be a really large source of income for the PTA.
Recent past events
The Halloween Spooktacular Magic Show was held during school hours and was a scarily good success. Caolan McBride bewitched the children and £366.76 was conjured up. Thank you to everyone involved. Some of our creepy volunteers are pictured below. 👻
☕🍰Our coffee morning in aid of the Eve Appeal - the UK's gynaecological cancer research charity - and Cancer Research was really well attended and raised £700, which was divided between the two charities.
The array of baked goods on offer in the parish hall would not have looked out of place on the Great British Bake Off. There was not a soggy bottom in sight. Thank you to the organisers, volunteers, bakers, those who donated cakes and everyone who came along.
UPDATE: We've held two gardening Saturdays thus far and our next clearing day will be early doors 2017, so watch this space.
Thank you to everyone who came along to dig, chop and saw. It was quite the workout and a hundred times better than going to the gym - the craic was much better. Thank you also to everyone who donated sandwiches and snacks.
We are looking to increase the outdoor space by clearing away the overgrown bushes. During October we hope to arrange a weekend for volunteers to come in and help make a difference.
* If you have any gardening expertise and/or skills, your help would be greatly appreciated.
* If anyone has access to or knows of anyone with a skip and/or wood chipper, please get in touch.
* If you know of any pallets, tyres, wood or any other materials that can be donated to the school, our very talented and creative Mr Busby will put these to great use for the new garden.
If you would like to be involved or could help in any other way, please get in touch either by email or contact Tracey Stirling on 07826925063.
Extra big thanks
There are always too many people to thank but we think the guys below need a bit of a shout-out. 👏
Springhill Starbucks – donated coffee and tea at various events.
S & S Plumbing and Heating – installed a tap in our junior playground.
Able Contracts – helped supply and install a fence.
Balloo Hire Bangor – gave us a great deal on the hire of their garden equipment.
Hillmount Bangor – donations to our garden project.
Homebase Bangor – donations to our garden project and one of its employees Stephen came along on his day off to help clear our garden. What a star.
Kieran, Kenny, Paddy and John from Praxis Care Conlig – volunteers who worked tirelessly to help clear our garden.
Damien McAlorum – donation to our garden project.
PTA School Library Fund
The PTA are trying to raise funds for a new library for the school. Please support PTA events and fund raisers so that we can make this dream a reality! - Thank You!
The PTA are a group of parents/carers who fundraise and organise events which will support the life and work of the school. You do not need to attend meetings (though you are welcome) but you may be able to assist at events, donate a prize or your talents, sponsor a gift to the school or attend our functions throughout the year. Every child benefits from the work of the PTA and its a great way as parents to give back to the school.
If you feel you could assist us in any way, please feel free to contact Mrs Marie Bell (Chair) on 07590 753422 for further information.