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Family film fun!

Tasked with getting more parents involved with the school, Rachel Hammond, PTA chair at Bosvigo School, Truro explains how she brought a new family film event to life... 

6 weeks to go...

My film night proposal is not met with huge enthusiasm at the termly meeting. Will people come? How much will they pay? How do we get the licence? Should we sell food? We have two events scheduled this term and concerns are raised over asking parents for cash too often. Engaging parents is one of our biggest challenges so we hope a family event will bring parents into school. We decide to offer a bar, given that we need a TEN for 'regulated entertainment' anyway.

4 weeks to go...

We shortlist three films from the Filmbank website and our head offers the choices during assembly. Unanimously, the children choose Frozen and I use a 'Chill out with your family' slogan on our Facebook page! The STS licence application process is easy so our plans are under way! We complete the TEN application and I approach local companies for sponsorship. The brewery loves the idea of a family event and offers a case of beer and seven bottles of wine. A glass loan is organised - we are making progress! Stuck for food ideas, I canvas opinion on the PTA+ Facebook page where I discover that Domino's Pizza support school fundraising with a BOGOF deal... all I have to do now is convince the committee!

3 weeks to go...

A special meeting is held. Pizza is approved but ticket/food talk is tying us up in knots. We really want to make a profit but we do not want to alienate families by overcharging. We settle on £8 for a family ticket and £5 for parent and child, to include a drink and sweets. Families can pre-order pizza and with a 100-square game, bar and ice cream factory, there is plenty of opportunity for profit. We offer pizza at a discount and work out that our main costs will be posters/tickets, ice cream and toppings, sweets and squash but anything surplus can be reused at the disco/fair. I use the PTA Print Shop for the first time to order posters and tickets. It is so quick I wonder why I've never done this before!

2 weeks to go...

The committee will be pleased if we cover our costs for this event and treat it as a 'trial', but I really want our hard work to be worthwhile and I'm thinking of ways we can build interest. Posters go up and tickets are on sale. We have great feedback from parents on the quality of the tickets - they look professional so it's clear we are taking this event seriously. First day sales are promising but tail off throughout the week. There is enough room for seating and a mat area, and I ask our caretaker to help set up and request extra bin bags for litter. I complete a risk assessment and ask to use a Foundation Stage classroom for the bar. With five committee members and two helpers, we're in good shape! 

1 week to go...

Working parents may not have seen posters so I produce a PDF flyer saying 'Have you bought your family film night ticket?' which the school emails to parents. I use my number and email address and I am flooded with replies! A reminder text from school has the same effect so it was worth the extra effort. We have now sold 90 tickets - not bad for a school with 326 pupils. On the day I confirm the pizza delivery and order four extras to sell by the slice. There is a small panic that we don't have enough beer or wine so we have to
top up! Sadly this means we forget to put up the 100-square board - but at least we have beer! Doors open, families arrive and the bar area is welcomed. The pizza is a little late so I'm glad I picked an early delivery slot! Even with all spare hands helping, the ice cream factory is chaos - a good idea but we need to improve our system next time.

Summary

This was a hugely successful event, making an amazing £552 profit. And not since a talent night four years ago have I had such positive feedback! The head is thrilled that so many of our hard-to-reach families came along. I even had several parents asking to become more involved in the PTA! Parents welcomed the opportunity to socialise at school and the hot food was popular. Would we do it again? Definitely!

Costs:

Licences £107
Pizza £98
Ice cream, sweets & soft drinks £20
Bar £50
Posters/tickets £27

Total costs: £302

Takings:

Pizza £244
Ice cream, sweets & soft drinks £50
Bar £190
Ticket sales £370

Total takings: £854


Total Profit: £552


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