Elmwood Helping Hands (EHH), are a group of parents, staff and governors who meet regularly to organise events that promote education and fundraise for the school. The EHH group, which currently consists of 8 members, meet weekly on Friday mornings at 9.00am. However, they may meet more frequently or at different times when preparing for an upcoming event. The meetings are informal but minute taking ensure that all ideas, actions and deadlines are noted and followed through to enable the success of events.
EHH was first established in 2016 and consisted of 4 members hosting a cake sale as its first event. The event was successful but EHH expanded its activities to create new experiences for the children and introduced Year 2 graduation photos. This event was hugely successful and since then EHH have hosted a variety of events including Book Sales, Readathons, Fairs and a Year 2 Disco.
All events are designed to enhance the children’s experience of their education at Elmwood Infants. Some activities are linked to the school’s improvement priorities, such as the readathon challenge which aligned itself with the ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture that was being promoted within the school. Some activities celebrate the ethos of the school, such as the International Fair, which celebrates diversity. Other activities promote awareness, such as raising money for ‘Children in Need’. Where activities raise funds, the money is used to supply the school with additional learning materials, sports equipment, prizes or it is reinvested into other events.
EHH get a great deal of satisfaction from the children’s and parents enjoyment of EHH events and activities.
As part of the school’s ‘Reading for Pleasure’ theme, EHH organised a whole school readathon. Children from each year group were given a target to read a number of books during the half-term holiday.
The children completed a booklet that detailed the books they read. Children were rewarded a bronze, silver and gold medal, according to how many books they read. Gold winners were entered into a prize draw and received a book prize in assembly.
EHH requested parents to bring in their nearly new, unwanted books as part of a book amnesty. The books were then sold at a low cost to be read and loved by new owners. New books were also purchased and sold. This event raised £236.66 to provide new books for the library.
EHH organised graduation photos for all the Year 2 children. Children wear a stylish graduation robe and a graduation hat and sit individually for two poses. The pictures are framed in medium or large prints and are made available for parents to purchase. The graduation photos are very popular, and children enjoy wearing the outfits and taking their photos. Parents value these memorabilia of their child’s time at Elmwood Infants. A total of £814.00 was raised from these sales, which went towards funding additional events and activities for the children.
International Summer Fair
In July 2017, EHH held an International Summer Fair. Children attended school in their own clothes, some of which reflected the cultural heritage. Afterschool, the playground was decorated with flags from countries all over the world. The atmosphere was very celebratory and colourful.
The event was opened by Croydon North MP, Steve Reed. There were several stalls selling hot food, cupcakes, sweets, beverages and ice lollies. There were a variety of games, such as, ‘Score a Goal Against the Goalie’, ‘Pin the Flag on the Country’ and ‘Guess How Many sweets in the Jar’. There was a popular Teddy Tombola and an EHH Cake Raffle.
There was delightful performance from the school choir and a dance competition for each year group. The songs for the dance competition where chosen by the school council at an earlier date. A range of international music was played by our own EHH DJ, Laura. This was followed by a fashion show, where the children paraded their cultural clothes proudly across the stage.
Year 2 Leavers Disco
In Summer 2017, we hosted out first Year 2 ‘Leavers Disco’, with a sports theme. Children wore their sporty clothes and danced to all their favourite songs with disco lights and a bubble machine. We provided them with juice and fruit snacks. The staff were keen to provide a leaving gift for the children to remember their time at Elmwood Infant School and EHH were able to fund this cost. It was a great way to say goodbye and send off our Year 2’s to the Junior School.
Mini-Mid Winter Fair
EHH hosted a ‘Mini-Mid Winter Fair’ in the playground during the Christmas season. EHH vended many of our own stalls, which offered; Face Painting, Teddy Tombola, Hot Chocolate, Books, Xmas Hamper Baskets and England Signed Football raffles. We also had an external vendor who offered affordable novelty stationary and toys. Carrol songs were played in the background, which set the tone for the festive season. The fair was further complimented with an amazing choir performance organised by Mr Burrows and Miss Reapy. EHH were pleased to see that parents enjoyed the fair just as much as the children.
A Gift for Your Grown Up
To end 2017, EHH wanted to give the children the opportunity to express how much they appreciate a grown up in their life. All the children were invited to choose from a wide selection of gifts that they could wrap and write labels on themselves to their special grown up. The children were so pleased to be able to give a gift of their choice and participate independently during the season of giving.