It’s easy to overlook messages from the school and PTA scattered over email, WhatsApp and class message boards, but a giant dinosaur at the school gates with a sign that says ‘uniform sale this afternoon’ is hard to miss. Putting on a costume or dressing in an eye-catching way attracts the attention of parents and children alike. It makes the work of the PTA more visible and gets people talking.
Our Parent School Association (PSA) team at Queen’s CofE Primary School in Kew love to dress up. Showing we don’t take ourselves too seriously makes it easier to ask for money and results in more volunteer sign-ups. Everyone is willing to get involved – even if they don’t turn up in full costume, they will happily sport a few items and get into the spirit. I even provide the headteacher with an assortment of accessories to wear each year at the summer fair!
Rebecca Geitgey is PSA chair at Queen’s C of E Primary School, Kew (360 pupils)
We created Brickarella advertise our Yellow Brick Road fundraiser, where parents buy an engraved brick for £100. The road is a pathway, originally built with blank bricks. Every few years, we run a campaign where we ask parents to buy a brick, which is engraved and swapped with a blank one. The QR code takes supporters straight to the information and ordering page.
The bunny costume belongs to a parent at school. Each year we run an Easter Trail and the bunny visits just before the Easter holidays. She encourages parents to sign up for the trail and to collect their chocolate treats at the gate. We take a photo and turn it into a thank you poster for our local Sainsbury’s, which donates the chocolate, to hang on their community board.
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The special events dinosaur
This costume makes me laugh every time I put it on and chase the children around the playground. We roll it out the second week of every term to remind parents about the upcoming uniform sale. The dinosaur has also shown up at a food bank donation day and to remind everyone about the summer fair. We once lent the costume to the PE teachers for a game of Beat the Dinosaur Goalie. One day I hope to find a Santa hat and accessories big enough for the dinosaur so we can use it all year round.
Inflatable Christmas tree
We use this for non-uniform days in the winter, to advertise the Christmas fair and when we are seeking tombola donations.
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A new addition to our summer fair. Last year, a parent working on the admission table wore it, making sure everyone was set for fun from the moment they entered the school gates.