(Friends of Oxford High School)
FOxHS is Oxford High School’s Parent Association at the Senior School, responsible for fund-raising and providing social events for the whole school community. We are currently a committee of thirteen, including four staff representatives, and we meet twice per term to plan events and discuss ideas. Although we currently have a full committee we are still looking for parents with new fund-raising ideas and for those who will help at events on an occasional basis. Last academic year we raised £10,500.
We started this academic year with Spanish Evening – an evening of music and dance featuring well-known flamenco guitarist Rafael. This was a fantastic way to start the year and the evening was enjoyed by all – so much so that we are going to invite Rafael back next year.
This was closely followed by the biggest event on our fund-raising calendar – Fireworks! This is now an annual event where we serve home-made soup, hot chocolate, cookies and mulled wine, followed by a truly amazing display from Skyline Fireworks. This event is open to the whole school community and we often have 900 people turn up to watch the display. We have confirmed Skyline for Friday 7 November next year – 2014.
Each autumn term we also sell Northbrook Giftwrap. The Christmas and birthday wrapping paper from this company is always of excellent quality, with packs of inexpensive cards, tags, ribbon. This is an annual fund-raiser, requiring relatively little effort from the committee, and yet we raise in the region of £500.
Also in this term we sell Autumn Plants and Hanging Baskets. We use a well-established company to provide the plants, which are always beautiful. This is another fund-raiser that requires relatively little effort and yet we retain 30% of all sales. This term we sold £1000 worth of plants – our best total yet. Look out for our Spring Bulbs and Hanging Baskets from the same supplier.
Our first event for the spring term is always Bingo!. Another annual fund-raiser, this is a light-hearted, family event where parents and pupils (including young siblings) try their hands at Bingo whilst enjoying a delicious fish and chip supper. This event usually sells out and raises somewhere in the region of £1000.
Our annual Quiz Night, an enjoyable battle of wits between teams of Governors, teachers, staff, girls and parents, will be held in the summer term. This evening is always great fun (usually selling out) and last year a team of sixth formers won the title ‘Brain of OHS’! We serve a hot supper and run a bar throughout the evening. Last year’s profit was just over £2000.
Also in the summer term we offer parents a Garden Tour of one of the Oxford Colleges with a talk from the Head Gardeners. Over the years we have visited the gardens at Lady Margaret Hall, St Hugh’s, Green Templeton, Worcester, Merton, St Catherine’s and also Blenheim Palace Gardens. Next year’s garden hasn’t yet been confirmed.
Finally, we also hold discos for years 7, 8 and 9. Boys from Magdalen College School are also invited and the discos are always a great success. We hire in a great DJ, sell non-alcoholic cocktails and the discos raise around £800 each time.
Barclays Bank PLC kindly sponsors three of our events per year, by match-funding up to £750 per event.
Although these will be the main fund-raising events for 2013/ 14, FOxHS will also run the second hand uniform shop throughout the year. The shop has been refurbished and continues to sell uniform at amazingly cheap prices. Parents can donate unwanted uniform and FOxHS recycles them effortlessly. Dates when the shop is open are always advertised in INFO (the school newsletter that is sent home to parents by email on alternate Fridays).
FOxHS raises money specifically for the benefit of the girls. Without these funds the girls wouldn’t be able to have all those ‘extras’ from which they would benefit. Last year we gave just over £10,500 to the Annual Fund and helped to buy: Smilodon fatalis skull for Biology (sabre-tooth tiger); Climbing Wall hire for the Sixth Form; Box Clever Theatre and Opera Project residencies and performances; Year 9 Health Day; Year 7 tennis coaching; Arts, Careers, Drama, Film and Sports activities; plus many more smaller items too numerous to mention here.
We are always looking to raise the profile of FOxHS throughout the school: we advertise all events in INFO, we send emails directly to parents on the class lists and we also send adverts home with the girls.
If you would like to know more about the committee, or you have any fund-raising/ marketing ideas, please contact Daryl Back, Chair of FOxHS: email@example.com.