Charity of the Week – Friends of Bromley Road School, Beckenham

FOBR logo 1I had a tweet hinting that @FofBromelyRd were a really dynamic PTFA group and so I spoke to Clare Cassano, one of the “friends”, about them.

Tell me about Bromley Road School

Bromley Road School is currently undergoing some changes. Until recently it was an infants only school but has now converted to a full primary school and has children from age 4 to 11. Our playground equipment was originally purchased some years ago to cater for younger children. This has now been removed and plans are in place to replace with new playground furniture including a climbing wall, a tyre crossing, swinging grips and spiders net so that there is something for everyone and will encourage the children to get active both during their PE lessons and at play time.

I saw on your web page that there is something called jolly jars, what are they?

Jolly jars are little gifts or prizes that the children have been tasked with putting together during their half term holiday in preparation for our Winter Wonderland Fair taking place on 29 November. They take an old jar and fill it with little toys, sweeties or anything else they think might be appealing, then decorate with ribbons, tinsel or something else festive for one of the stalls at the fair. These have proven really popular in previous fairs. They’re like a festive version of a lucky dip.

What’s the connection between cakes and own clothes day?

The own clothes day on the 27th November is to remind children, their parents and carers that it’s cake donation day. This is in aid of our fair which is being held on 28th November where we run a small cake café which has also been very popular in the past.

How strong is the support of the community?

We have a small number of parents and carers who get together often to co-ordinate all of the PTFA’s activities, but all the parents and carers of children at Bromley Road School automatically become members of the PTFA when their child joins the school.

The jolly jars and cake days are really good ways of enabling parents/carers who are keen to be involved but unable to make a more regular commitment to get make a contribution to the PTFA’s work.

We’ve had some great support from some of the local businesses in Beckenham too who have provided prizes and donations for our raffle. The PTFA have helped to engage with these local businesses and have them join and be involved in the school community.

Your Chair has a terrific reputation, who is she?

Belinda is our Chair of the Friends of Bromley Road and she is a superstar. Her passion and creativity really drive the group forward. She’s a real doer and if she’s not generating to do lists and keeping us all on track then she’s probably face painting or making crafts to sell. She’s a really visible presence in the playground and is great at engaging with new parents/carers and getting them on board.

What’s special about the Friends of Bromley Road PTFA?

It is that we want to help enhance student life at the school and create unique experiences for our children as well as supporting the school. The past year has seen some terrific events including picnics on Beckenham Green, a fancy dress school disco and the Summer Fair. Our second hand uniform sales are such a good way for families to supplement their children’s uniforms.

With the proceeds of the Summer Fair and raffle we were able to purchase a special workshop which was about dinosaurs which included a life-size animatronic baby T rex visiting the school – we think that’s pretty special!

Friends of Bromley Road School are on Twitter, Facebook and have their own page on the school website.

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