Parent talk - May 2023

This powerpoint has four short videos from Mr Chamberlin which detail what was shared at our recent talk on the funding crisis in education, the actions the school is taking, and how each of you can make a difference.

You can also access the content here.

Parent Talk - May 2023


PTA event planning

We are all in the PTA - as parents and as staff members, we are all part of this community and the events and experiences we put on.

Ask: Our current focus is our summer festival. Once on the other side, we will share a form for you to express an interest in being more involved in the leadership of our PTA.


If you don't have capacity to lead events, but could lend a hand, you will make such a difference to the success of the event.

Ask: Our next big event is SJB Fest '23 on Saturday 17th June - 2pm-6pm. If you could lend a hand for an hour or so, please let us know here and we'll be in touch.

lead a smaller pta activity

There are many smaller activites that are a lovely addition to our bigger events. Christmas cards and the Easter raffle are two examples.

Ask: Again, after the summer festival, if you would be up for owning and coordinating a smaller activity later in the year, we will reach out to you and one of the PTA leaders will be in touch to discuss it with you.


Everything we do has come from an original thought (whether brand new or borrowed from another school!). If you have an idea or hear of anything interesting, please share!

Ask: Let us know here and one of the team will be in touch within 2 weeks.

Impact of helping with fundraising & community events: We will be able to hold brilliant and varied events, asking less of those involved by sharing the load, raising money and having a great time as a community.


Some of these initiatives involve ways to give financially (£) and others cost you nothing but could make a big difference (FREE)


The fund helps us to access larger projects through the diocese, and supports the maintanence of our school buildings - which we are responsible for as a church school.

Ask: The requested annual voluntary contribution to the school's maintenance fund is £50 per child. In response to a suggestion from some parents, we will set up the option to pay a monthly direct debit of £20 should you be in a position to do this. This will be from September.


Many schools, including HWINS, have Amazon Wish Lists to support us to provide the resources we need to make our school run. From scissors to standing desks, we would be so grateful for any support you could provide.

Ask: If you would like to, you can find our Amazon wish list here - thank you so much.


When you pay for a trip or event on ParentPay, there will soon be a button which says 'Pay for another child'. Clicking this will mean you will, well, pay for another child! By doing so, you help those who are struggling financially, and prevents the school from either covering the shortfall or cancelling the event.

Ask: Consider clicking the 'Pay for another child' every once in a while if you feel able.

Corporate match funding (£ or FREE)

Many companies operate a match funding scheme whereby they ‘match’ charity fundraising undertaken by their employees. This includes financial donations and time spent volunteering.

Ask: We will be in touch in the next few weeks with a bit more detail but in the meantime, speak to your human resources department to find out whether they offer match funding.


Either by app or with a browser extension (takes 30 seconds to set up) the school gets a donation on purchases you make at over 7000 online stores, so from your weekly food shop to your package holiday, you can help donate at no cost to you.

Ask: Install the free easyfundraising browser extension here or the app here.


Donations you make to the maintenance fund or to any PTA initiative can all be gift aided. This means for every £1 you give, we get £1.25.

Ask: We will be in touch next half term with details of how to check whether you have signed up to gift aid.


Children grow up so fast! If you have good quality uniform they no longer need, or hardly worn footwear, books, or possible wet play games, we would be so grateful for your donations.

Ask: Please get in touch with the school office who will likely say 'yes please!', and pop them in to Reception. We will share them with the most appropriate classes accordingly. Thank you!

Impact of helping with these financial activities: How long do you have?! Ultimately, the more creative financial support you can give, the less of the limited school funds will need to go on basic things like pritt sticks and fixing gutters, and the more we can focus on high quality teaching, learning and nurture support for our children.

HOW TO support by volunteering time & skills


We always so appreciate your help in joining us on trips. This means more staff can stay in school and support others in their learning.

Ask: Please consider saying yes for your child's next trip


Visitors can bring learning to life! Do you have skills in a certain field or know someone who does? Could you inspire the next pilot or personal trainer or art curator?!

Ask: We will get in touch to seek expertise for certain areas of learning of focus weeks in our newsletters in the months ahead. Please consider saying yes!


There are lots of grants out there which enable schools to do things but at no or a reduced cost. Recently we have received £500 for nature resources, £6000 to support with early reading, and £1500 for gym equipment from charities.

Ask: Do you have experience in seeking grants? Would you be interested in helping us find them? Let us know here.

roll up your sleeves!

Do you have an artistic flair and want to help make our children's work come to life? Do you have capacity to don some wellies and help Mrs P plant the wild flower meadow, or pop in for a couple of hours and do some strimming or painting?

Ask: Let us know here if you would be up for helping out every once in a while. Thank you so much!

Impact of helping by volunteering your time and skills: You all have so much to offer to our community. By sharing a little of your time or expertise, you will enhance our curriculum offer and inspire the creativity and aspiration of our young minds. Volunteering with other more practical activities will make our learning environment a more beautiful place for our children to enjoy.

Who is our PTA?

If you are a parent or staff member at St John's - then it is you! We are all part of the community of St John's and we are all part of making it the best place possible for our children to have the best start to life. Your involvement in events and in volunteering makes it all possible, so thank you.

Our PTA is lead by four parents: Emma (Arlo Y4), Emma (Jack Y4), Karen (Lucy Y4 & Lottie Y6), and Jo (Evie Y5). This team of volunteers works closely with Mr Chamberlin (Headteacher) and Mrs Minnaar (Treasurer of the PTA and member of the office team). Together they organise events, manage the money raised, and look to maximise the strength and resources within our wonderful school community.

If you would like to be more involved in the work of the PTA, please do speak to any of the team.