Step-by-step: international evening
International evenings are really popular, benefiting
the PTA and the school in many ways. They are a good way of raising
funds and, as they invariably include food, they offer the
opportunity for everyone to sample something exotic!
For schools with pupils from various ethnic backgrounds,
international events draw on that diversity. In less diverse
schools international evenings can help raise awareness of other
cultures. Use a religious or cultural festival as a basis for
choosing your timing and theme - fireworks for Diwali, or a French
cheese and wine evening for Bastille Day.
Some very adventurous PTAs hold international weeks! We've based
this guidance on an international evening of music, dance and
What to include
A performance of music/dance.
Decorations made by pupils - with an international theme.
Costumes/dress - encourage guests to wear their national dress
or something colourful.
Presentations by the pupils and their families about their
Ask parents to donate a dish as this will keep food costs down.
Alternatively (or as well as), ask local restaurants for food
donations in return for some low-key advertising.
Involving parents and local performers
In addition to involving pupils, seek out talented parents.
Guests contributing food need to ensure that they label and name
each dish and list the ingredients used. This is particularly
important for foods that commonly cause allergies or dishes
Your event could include performances from local musicians and
Your local paper is a good place to source dance troupes and
musicians that may be willing to support your event.
Publicise the event well in advance on posters, notice boards,
newsletters and via school and PTA websites.
Prepare and submit a media release and issue this to the local
paper and radio station.
Jane Wiffin, PTA chair of Alexandra Palace
School, tells us about the international evening her PTA
ran: 'The school is a large, multi-cultural comprehensive in North
London, so we decided to hold an international evening to celebrate
the diversity within our community. The evening itself had three
main attractions - food, acts and decoration. Parents and local
restaurants provided us with dishes from their countries; students
performed - we had all sorts of acts - Indian dancing, Irish
dancing, African drumming, a jazz band and a Turkish band; for the
decorations, our textiles department made flags and outfits using
traditional cloth. The music department organised the performances,
and the design and technology department provided additional food.
We booked the school hall in September, and started detailed
planning about three months before the event. My advice for
organising a successful international evening is to have a very
clear project plan, detailing each and every step. Then delegate
tasks to teachers, members of the local community and parents.
Tickets were £5, sold in advance and on the door, and we had a bar
and raffle. In total we raised £1,500.'
For more information
There are several issues to consider relating to insurance,
licences, etc. See our Event Planning
Checklist for more detail.
For our at-a-glance guide to Temporary Event Notices, click here
The above is intended as guidance only. We
recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific
reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child
protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held
responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on
the guidance provided.
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