Introduction to Fern Hill PSA
What is the PSA?
Like many schools, Fern Hill has a PSA. PSA stands for Parent Staff Association and it is a group of individuals who work together for the benefit of their school. As a parent or carer at Fern Hill you are automatically a member of the Fern Hill PSA.
How is the PSA organised?
Fern Hill PSA is a registered charity, governed by a written constitution. This constitution lays out the PSA’s objectives and how it is run. The day to day running of the PSA is the responsibility of a committee which is made up of both parent and staff volunteers.
There are a number of official positions on the committee which are needed to fulfil the PSA’s obligations as a registered charity and these include a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. This all sounds very formal but in fact most roles on the PSA committee are informal and involve running events and other fundraising activities.
What does the PSA do?
The PSA’s objectives are two-fold; to raise money to improve the educational opportunities available to the children at Fern Hill and to help foster a strong sense of community among the children, parents and staff. Ultimately everything the PSA does is for the benefit of the children. Together with the parents, carers and children who support the fundraising activities, every year the PSA raises a lot of money and makes a very positive contribution to the school.
How does the PSA raise money?
Mostly through events. Some events are just for the children, some for the grown-ups and others for the whole family. The calendar of events is planned at the start of the school year and published on the school website. The PSA runs second hand uniform sales and events that benefit other charities too.
What does the PSA do with the money raised?
Look around the school and you’ll see where the money goes. Almost all the playground equipment, from the climbing apparatus and tunnels, table tennis tables and sun shades to the balls, hoops, skipping ropes and seating has been bought by the PSA. Some years ago, the PSA funded the building of the Discovery Hut and Pond Zone and, more recently, the redevelopment of the Secret Garden – now an amazing educational and recreational space for the children. Over the past few years, we have redeveloped both school libraries. The infants’ library has been completely refurbished and is now the enchanted ‘Fern Forest’, complete with ‘Hoot’ the owl. The redesign of the juniors’ library included the children participating in a series of artist-led workshops to design and create their own mythical creatures as mosaics, now proudly displayed on the library walls.
PSA funds have also provided the children with the latest technology. Every classroom has a visualiser, a fantastic tool to enable interactive learning, and access to a suite of LearnPad tablets - classroom-ready interactive devices similar to iPads but all ready to go with the functionality our teachers and children need for digital learning at school. Last year we funded audio-visual equipment: a mobile PA system and new projector and microphones for the Large Hall. Throughout the year, the PSA buys lots of different teaching aids including books and musical instruments. These are all resources that our school would not be able to purchase without PSA funding.
Why should I get involved?
There’s lots of research out there (over 80 academic studies spanning three decades!) to show that children of parents and carers who are actively involved in their school do better, not just academically but socially and behaviourally too. Being part of the PSA, in any capacity, is a great way to stay connected to your child’s school life and it sends a very positive message to your child about how much you value their education and the environment they are educated in. It’s also a lot of fun! If you are a parent who is new to the school, being involved in the PSA is a fast track way of getting to know the school, staff and other parents from across all year groups.
You don’t need to make a big commitment to be a part of the PSA and there are lots of different ways to get involved, even if you only have a little time to spare. Many mums and dads on the PSA committee work full or part time; some get involved throughout the year, others just for a single event. You don’t need any specific skills and it’s a great opportunity to learn new ones. If the PSA isn’t for you right now, you can still make a much-valued contribution by coming along to the events and supporting the fundraising.
How can I find out more?
Come along to the PSA’s Welcome event at the start of the school year or join one of the PSA Committee meetings that run every half term. You can find the dates of these meeting here on the school website and they are published in the weekly school newsletter. Everyone is welcome at the Committee meetings whether actively involved in the PSA or not. You can also talk to your Class Rep who will keep you up to date on PSA events and activities throughout the year. Look out for the termly PSA newsletters bulletins and keep an eye on the school website and PSA noticeboard outside school for the latest information.
How can I get in touch with the PSA?
You can email the PSA at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message for us with the school office.