School News March 2014


 School News no.293

If you receive your school news by email, please make sure that you still pop in to check your pigeon hole as often as you can, as you may miss other important messages – and we like to see you by the office too!

12th February 2014

Dear Parents,

The school grounds are beginning to show signs of spring with snowdrops, daffodils, crocuses and there is even pink cherry blossom just emerging.  The grounds were extra decorated by Darcy this week, with a beautiful sculpture in the sandpit using ribbon from the apple tree ceremony, an old apple branch and flowers (see the website!)  It is so fantastic to watch the children during their long play times; it really shows that play is children’s work.  They make up plays, dances, outside chasing games, football, read, play chess, use computers and climb a lot of trees.  There is always much laughter and adventure every day.  The huge space we have is used very well by the children and they are communicating, cooperating and creating games together, using our guiding principles – which are:

1. To take care of yourself

2. To take care of others

3. To take care of the place you are in

When we talk about issues in our school meeting, the children themselves often use them to support what they want to happen, and we discuss how it would be great if we all carried these out of the school gate and beyond every day.

Article about Play – I was sent a very interesting article from The Independent about allowing time for children to play, which I would recommend reading.  Copies are available from the hall table, or on our website.  It talks about the importance of play in the development of young people, which has always been a part of Park School’s ethos.

Mark’s class has been very busy with their topic on gases this term.  They have looked at what makes a gas, as well as trying to blow up fizzy drinks with sweets (where Mark got more covered in sugar than was thought possible!)

The children have been extremely busy writing the script for their class play.  This is a very child-led process, which involves cooperation, creativity and lots of laughter.  I believe they are learning their script over half term, ready to begin performing it together.  They will make all of the props and work out their own stage directions (helped by Mark and Martin) next half term.  April 1st should be fun!

Ben’s class topic is materials – they have been looking at ice to find out how to stop it melting with lots of experiments, measuring and fair testing.  Sarah Strachan has been helping with sewing in the class and the children have made the most amazing little rabbits.  Sarah and Ben aim to teach all children in main school basic sewing techniques this year.  Sid and Catherine have been making delicious pasties and other goodies with Ben’s class too.

Thank you for all the people who do the essential jobs each week.  This is working very well and is an enormous help to the school.  If you need to complete your twelve contribution hours before the end of term, please contact Stephanie or Ruth.  Every hour makes a difference to your child.

Nitz - It’s Blitz the Nitz Week! If everyone checks their child’s hair this week, we could eradicate these little beasties!  More information is available from the office.

Pizza Day – Please note that from after the half term break, Pizza Day will be on Thursdays.  We had a wonderful Pizza Oven Day on Tuesday this week, with the clay oven all fired up and delicious toppings available.  The children all made their own pizza and watched it being cooked.  The next Pizza Oven Day will be on Thursday 20th March.  Please book and pay Tabitha by Monday 17th March to ensure enough ingredients are bought.

Diary Dates-

28th February – Mark’s Class 1st Gym Session – collect from Pavilions at 3pm 29th April – Mark’s Class Presentation, 3.30-4.30pm
3rd – 7th March – Book Week 30th April – Ben’s Class Presentation, 3.30-4.30pm
6th March – World Book Day – dress up as a character from your favourite book! 5th May – May Day Bank Holiday
7th March - Mark’s Class 2nd Gym Session 8th May – Spring Celebration and Café, 2-4.30pm
11th March – Early Years’ parents meeting, 2-3pm 20th May – Pizza Day (and Council Meeting, 5pm)
13th March – French morning 19th – 22nd May – Blitz the Nitz Week
21st March - Mark’s Class 3rd Gym Session 23rd May – Education Day – staff only in school
22nd March – Work Day, 11am – 2pm 26th May – 1st June – Half Term Break
25th March – Pizza Day (changed from 1st April) 9th – 13th June - Blitz the Nitz Week
27th March – Open Day, 2.30-4.30pm 10th & 11th June – Parent/Teacher Meetings 3.30-5pm
28th March - Mark’s Class 4th Gym Session 18th June – Sports Day (25th June if wet)
31st March - Council Meeting, 5-7pm 28th June – Work Day, 11am – 2pm
1st April – School Play  July – Overnight Camp (Mark’s, Ben’s & older EYs)
1st – 4th April – Blitz the Nitz Week  July – Overnight Camp for Mark’s children
5th – 21st April – Easter Holiday 8th July – Council Meeting, 5-7pm
22nd April – Education Day – staff only in school 12th July – Strawberry Fair, 11am – 3.30pm


Book Week – From 3rd to 7th March, we have a Book Week, during which the curriculum is focussed around books.  If you want to read with your child’s class, or know of a friendly local author who may pop in to talk with us, please let Ben know.  On 6th March we will all be dressing up as a book character, so get planning with your child this half term to take part in our school parade of characters.

Tabitha – Tabitha has been our self-employed school cook for over a year now and has made delicious lunches for us and created a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the kitchen.  She has decided it is time to try new things and will be leaving Park School.  She can stay until July, but says that if someone comes forward who is able to do this before July, she can be flexible.  If you know anyone who may be interested, please talk to Tabitha so she can tell you more about the job.  Then come and speak to me and I will arrange an interview with Inge (Chair of Council).  All the normal DBS and employment checks will need to be carried out for this role, as well as a food hygiene course.

Contribution Hours – Many parents have asked me if ‘help in the classrooms’ can be counted as contribution hours. Council have agreed that this will now be possible within the main school classes. Early Years parents will also be able to offer hours to the main school classes should they want to.

Council also agreed that the teachers can only ask for a certain number of hours each to ensure the Essential Jobs List remains fully allocated. Therefore, an agreed pilot of 5 hours a week per class has been allocated for this year.  If and when you offer to help in a classroom capacity the teacher will ask if this is part of your contribution hours or extra time you want to give. If it is contribution hours then please let Stephanie and Ruth know.

In addition Council were very clear that any help must be within the remit of the teachers and their need to support the curriculum. Please could all parents be mindful that teachers will need to prioritise all your offers to reflect the needs of the curriculum and the needs of the children. Unfortunately, they will not always be able to accept all offers.

With best wishes and have a wonderful half term!



Amanda Bellamy

Teacher in Charge

School NewsAmanda