APPAA (Ark Priory Primary Academy Association) – Friends of Ark Priory is ARK Priory's Parents’ Association, run by the school's parents and carers to raise funds, hold events, and bring our academy community together. As a parent of a child at Ark Priory, (including the nursery classes), you are automatically a member of the association, and we look forward to getting to know you over the coming years.
Ark Priory is a state-funded school, but Mrs Karmios and all the Priory staff want to give our children the kind of education, rich in music, arts, sports and external visits, which a state budget does not always allow for. Over the last few years, even during the COVID pandemic during 2020 and 2021, we have managed to raise several thousands (2019 - £20,847, 2020 - £10,742, 2021 - £8,465, 2022 – £16,395).
These additional funds have allowed our children to have experiences they would not otherwise have had. We have, over the last years, contributed towards science equipment, PE and games equipment, iPads, wet weather suits for EYFS, musical instruments, Art Week, educational Lego and robotics, and the complete astroturfing of the MUGA (multi-use games area), as well as the crucial ongoing supplementation costs of trips and educational visits. Over the last two years, we used some of the funds to offer every child the opportunity to go to a west-end theatre show free of charge.
We hold a number of events each year, big and small, for the children and for our parents/carers. For example, annual Christmas and Summer fairs; Easter and Eid bake sales, socials, a new parents’ ‘meet and greet’ event, second hand uniform sales, and a great many other bake sales, to name but a few. Not only do we aim to raise much-needed funds for our school, to enrich our children’s education further, but also to foster community. To that end, some events are simply social, intended wholly for parents, governors and staff to mingle in an informal setting.
During 2023, we are completing the process to become a registered charity. This means we will have elected co-chairs, a treasurer and a secretary plus ordinary committee members. The committee members will be trustees of the charity, responsible for overseeing the running of APPAA and voting on key decisions.
The committee will be supported by a wider group of year-group representatives and volunteers. Working together, they oversee the organising of fundraising and social events, encourage greater communication between parents and carers and the school and support other parents by sharing helping information about school life, or passing on experiences. As a new parent, the experience can be quite daunting, and it can be helpful to have someone ‘on the ground’ to talk to.
We also facilitate communication amongst parents in each year group by maintaining a 'WhatsApp' group per year group that all parents are invited to join. And we issue articles in the school weekly newsletter with our latest news and events.
We have open committee meetings approximately twice a term, and our AGM (the event at which the accounts are presented and the new committee is finalised), is held in October.
How can you get involved?
There are lots of ways to be involved with APPAA, small or large! From simply attending the social and community events, to baking a cake for our regular bake sales, organising an event, fund raising, or becoming a member of our APPAA committee. Hopefully you’ll want to be an active part of our community!