Who are we?
The Friends is the name we give to the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) at SMSP. If you are a parent of a child at the school or a member of staff or Governor, you are automatically a member of the Friends association.
The Committee members are elected annually and are responsible for the day-to-day running of the association. They are strongly supported by class reps and other member volunteers in the organising of events and fundraising initiatives.
Your current committee members are:
Helen Harding (Chair)
In total, I’ll stack up 12 years of my children attending the school and I’m keen to drive the fundraising and community agendas forward for the Friends. Our lives as parents are incredibly busy and I want to find ways to build the school community so that the excitement and innovation that the children experience in their learning environment is replicated in the activities of the Friends.
The Friends is an association for everyone so if you want to get more involved, or have ideas on how to shape things in the future please just grab me. I’d love to hear your views!
Ben Ayliffe (Vice-Chair)
I joined the Friends Committee in the autumn of 2022, just after my eldest son started in Reception. I hope to help in some small way to ensure the Friends are able to support and enrich our children’s learning at SMSP and to build a strong and engaged community of parents and carers around them. My background is in climate change, campaigning and philanthropy. I’m a lifelong Arsenal fan, keen birdwatcher when time allows and, to my lasting shame, still dabble in the world of Warhammer 40,000 table top gaming.
Simone Harvey (Secretary)
I joined The Friends Committee in 2022 with a view to help the school raise funds to boost my children’s life at school. The children love the events (and so do the parents!), and being involved helps build a stronger community within the school. I am looking forward to meeting so many parents this year.
I have two boys at SMSP. I am also ‘double hatting’ by being a class rep this year.
My background is finance in the corporate world, so both the role and environment is very new to me, which is both exciting and daunting!
Jane Beard (Treasurer)
I have two boys at SMSP and I wanted to join the Friends committee to get more involved with the school and to help support the fantastic work done to fundraise. I enjoy working in a team and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet more parents across the school.
What do we do?
The Friends has two main objectives: to raise funds to enhance and enrich the learning experiences of the children at SMSP, and to promote a sense of community within the school.
With increasing pressures on school budgets, The Friends association is instrumental in raising additional funds to ensure that the children of SMSP continue to receive the high quality of education they deserve.
With the help of class reps and volunteers, there are a number of large fundraising events held each year, including Christmas and summer fairs, race night, quiz night, School of Rock and bingo and a disco for the children.
These will be interspersed with a number of smaller events, and other non-fundraising community events. Click here for full details of the role of the rep.
When do we meet?
Friends meetings are twice a term to discuss events, fundraising initiatives and spending. The Friends committee chairs the meetings, which are always attended by either Ms. Swain or Mrs. Bateman. We encourage the class reps to attend the meetings and would love to see more parents attend and welcome their contributions. By getting involved and working together, we will ensure all our events are a success.
The dates for the Friends’ meetings are on the school calendar on the school website. Reminders will also be sent out via your class reps.
How much do we raise and where does the money go?
For the past few years, the Friends have managed to raise over £30,000 a year for the school. This money is raised primarily from events held, but also from initiatives like The School Lottery. This is an amazing achievement and is thanks to the hard work and dedication of all the parents, especially the class reps, staff, governors and children. In previous years, this money has been used to purchase interactive white boards for all the classrooms, laptops, playground equipment, as well as provide fun events for the children, like the Christmas Pantomime.
Please look out for our monthly update in the school newsletter where we will share with you how the money raised is being spent, current initiatives and the dates of future events.
We are always looking for volunteers or any contributions you can make whether it be time or skills! You can contact us on email@example.com or do feel free to come and chat to us in the playground or at the next Friends meeting.