School News Sept 2013

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Dear Parents, Welcome to the new school year. I hope that your holidays were filled with sunny picnics, adventures, ice-creams and relaxation. It has been wonderful to meet you and the children again and to catch up with each other.

Your Parent Contribution

Stephanie, Ruth and I have had a meeting to confirm various fun events and jobs for this year. They will be sending an email out to you shortly. If you sign up for jobs under the covered way, please ensure you also email Ruth to confirm the job is still available to avoid confusion.

If you intend to opt out (£180 per term), please advise the office by 20th September.

Just to remind you, a parent contribution of approximately 12 hours per term is expected from each family as well as time during all cafes and fairs. There are a number of ways to complete these hours, including work days, contacting Ruth and Stephanie and reading sign-up sheets under the covered way. The hours you put in not only improve our school, but help you to feel part of our community which, in turn, helps your child feel more secure and confident. We all know how busy family life can be, but please try and give your full contribution.

Please ensure Ruth and Stephanie have your email details, should you want to be contacted by them in this way. The office holds a separate database for school communication, so please contact Rebecca if you wish to receive School News in this way. The best way to communicate urgent matters is in person, or by phone, as emails are only checked once a day.

 

Class Helpers

Each class has a class helper. Mark’s in still Rachel (Will’s mum). Ben’s are still Mike and Helen (Kieran’s mum and dad) and the Early Years now have Rebecca Giraud (Reuben’s mum).  These people help with the communication in the school, and will be calling upon you to help with the various events in the dates list at the end of this letter.

New parents can identify our class helpers from the “Who is Who at Park School” noticeboard.

 

Getting your child ready to learn

There are a few things that you can do as parents to help your child to be ready to learn:

Please get them to school on time. The main school classroom doors open at 8.50am and registration is at 9am.  The Early Years open their doors at 9am. Late children always miss the crucial start to the day and also disrupt their peers.

Please have all the correct kit in school every day – coats, wellies, a change of clothes.

Please have lots of sleep and breakfast before school.

Main school children should bring only healthy snacks for break time – sugar and sweets do nothing to help concentration.

Let them feel their independence as soon as possible by letting them take their own things into school and collect them at the end of the day (e.g. coats, toys, lunchbox). This gives a young child confidence, which will transfer to other learning areas.

Once children have left their classrooms at home time, they need to play outside so that the cleaning and organising of classrooms can start on time. Children are asked not to use the school telephone for making social arrangements.

Parents are responsible for keeping their children at home if they have a contagious illness or infection. We also advise that if children have sickness and/or diarrhoea they should stay away from school for at least 48 hours after it has stopped.  Parents are also responsible for informing the school office so that other parents can be alerted and we can keep all children (and staff!) as healthy as possible.

 

Council of Management

As many of you know, the school has a Council of Management (which is very similar to a board of governors).; The Council is made up of the Chair – Inge Page; two nominated parent members who sit on the Council for two years, the Treasurer and other members who are experts in their field and have been associated with the school over a number of years.  The Teacher in Charge and a teacher representative are also in attendance and the Parent Group Coordinators are invited to attend one meeting each term.

Anybody is welcome to contact Council members; in particular the nominated parents (Heidi Strawson and Mike Rowe) and the Chair are a good initial point of contact.

The Council generally meets half termly and like all governing bodies, their role is not to be involved in the day to day running of the school but rather broader issues such as policy, future development, financial strategy, staffing, establishments, etc. Currently, the Council has two sub-groups – an ongoing Finance group which considers detailed financial matters and makes financial recommendation to Council, and the Parent Review Group (PRG). The latter was formed six years ago to find a structure to make significant change in the rota system, because after many years of trying to make it work, it became apparent that the system was not sustainable. Running a school is a complex matter and I hope the above helps to clarify how we achieve this.

After serving on Council on two separate occasions, and being Teacher in Charge twice over a period of about 15 years, Richard Hickman has decided to step down to spend more time with his family. He has given an enormous insight into Park during his various roles. His commitment to the school has been incredible and, on behalf of the Council and the Park community, I would like to offer many thanks to the time and effort he has given to us, and wish him well with his adventures and family.

 

 

 

A note from Matilda, in Mark’s class

In my first week in Mark’s class, when we were in School Meeting, Amanda said “could Ben’s class leave the meeting” and I was almost going to go with Ben’s class but then I remembered I was in Mark’s class. When it was Friday I wanted it to be Monday so I could start the week again.

By Matilda Mackie

 

 

Art with Martin

In the summer term, before the holidays, I started a project wth both Ben’s and Mark’s classes using chalk pastels and looking at the art of Van Gogh and Jean-Francois Millet – we started to look at drawings of both artists that themed on scenes of farming and agriculture and then progressively moved onto portraits of each other. Through gently guidance and influence, the children started to produce astounding works of art. The atmosphere created in the project room started to inspire each other, as creating naturally should. Interestingly enough, Van Gogh was influenced by Millet and copied various pictures by Millet.

If there was ever a phrase to be dispelled it is the one “I can’t draw” or “I’m no good at art”. To prove this, you must look at the display on show in the main entrance – I’m sure you agree from what these children have produced, everybody has the potential artist inside them. I also feel, and I hope you agree, that what is on display reflects the way we all work at Park School.

Through newsletters I intend to keep you updated on the events in the project room and please feel free to chat to me.

 

Cheers, Martin “Artin”

 

Rebecca, our lovely new secretary

Our wonderful new secretary Rebecca has been very busy settling in this week. I do hope that you have managed to pop in and introduce yourself to her.  Rebecca works until 12.30pm every day –this means that phone calls may not be picked up in the afternoon, so please don’t be surprised if you get the answer phone. I will check the messages as soon as possible.

 

Music Lessons

If your child would like to learn the drums, piano, guitar or recorder please talk to the school office as there are some spaces available with our music teachers at the moment.

 

Ex-pupils

I have spoken to several parents of our last year’s leavers, who all seem to be settling into their new schools very well. I was reading the Totnes Times over the holidays and saw two students who went to Park several years ago collecting their A Level results. It was wonderful to find out that they had secured a strong of A* and As between them – well done Molly and Megan!

 

My trip to an International Democratic Education Conference

I flew over the America during the holidays to spend a week in Colorado, Boulder at the University at a conference. It was a conference for Democratic Education and it was brilliant! I have written some reflections of my time there, which are on our website under “Human Scale” and some hard copies are available on the hall table if you wish to find out more. I was kindly given a grant to do this by the Phoenix Education Trust and the Human Scale Movement.

Dates for your diary ~ Autumn Term

Some dates have been removed for child protection reasons-please see hard copies or emails for more information

Bridie’s – 7-8pm on Tuesday 8th October – all new parents are warmly encouraged to come to this social event – get a babysitter!

Older Group Swimming: first of 4 visits is on Friday 20th September – see separate letter for information

Sarah Woolaston MP visits school on 27th September, 11am-midday

Pizza Oven Day: Tuesday 8th October

Stay Late & Supper:  see hard copies. Ben’s, Mark’s and some Early Years children are invited to stay after school to play and have supper. Please complete the permission slip attached and return it with £3 in a named envelope to your child’s teacher.

Work Day: See hard copies

Nits Week: 14th – 17th October

Apple Day, Harvest Café and Open Day: Thursday 17th October, 3-4.30pm

Education Day: Friday 18th October – staff only in school

Half Term: 19th October to 3rd November inclusive – children return on Monday 4th November

CAP: Wednesday 6th November, 2pm (more details to follow)

Parent/Teacher Meetings: Tuesday 12th & Wednesday 13th November, 3.30-5pm

Carols in the Great Hall: Tuesday 10th December – get your tickets NOW to avoid disappointment (Box Office: 847070)

Christmas Fair: Friday 13th December, 3-4.30pm

Class Christmas Parties, Lunch & Special Visitor with reindeer: Monday 16th December

Early Years’ Nativity : Tuesday 17th December, 1.30pm

Whole School Carols: Tuesday 17th December, 2.15pm

Autumn term ends: Friday 20th December, 3pm

Finally…

We would like to give a warm welcome to the children who have joined us this term - Milo in Mark’s class; Hannah and Charlotte in Ben’s class, and Tom, Felix, Luca, Orriah and Charlie who have all joined Early Years. Milo and Hannah’s mum and dad are Simon Howe and Caherine Sullivan and they live in Totnes.  Charlotte’s mum is Natalie Rooney and they have just arrived from the USA. Tom’s parents are Roger and Yasmine Davey and they live in Tavistock. Felix’s mum and dad are Karen and Christian Fronteras and they have just moved to Totnes. Luca’s mum is Candida who lives in Dolbeare and his dad in Giles who lives in Ashburton.  Orriah’s parents are Rebecca Ayling and Mark Elliott, who live on the estate.  Charlie lives with mum Bonny Timms in Totnes.  An updated Parent Phone List will be in your pigeon holes shortly.

I am looking forward to spending time with each of you over the coming year.

Best wishes,

 

 

Amanda Bellamy

Teacher in Charge

STAY LATE & SUPPER

 

October 2013

 

I give permission for my child .................................................................................  to stay.

 

During the event, I can be contacted on the following number/s ........................................................................

 

I have enclosed £3 in a named envelope.

 

Any additional information we need to know for the day? ......................................................................................

 

...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

 

 

Signed...........................................................      Name................................................................      Date.........................................

 

 

 

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Phone number and email address

To aid communication the school publishes a Parent phone list for parents and members of the school community.

The school office and certain members of the school community e.g. Parent group coordinators, may prefer to send you some information by email if you are willing.  Please would you sign below to indicate your agreement to your phone no. and email address (if relevant) being used for these purposes.

Email address:..........................................................................................................................................................................................

Or I would prefer not to receive information by email □ (Please tick)

 

 

Signed:............................................  Print name:.............................................Date:......................

 

School NewsAmanda