School News


School News 5 nov 2014 First Aid Training

Just before the half term break, Mark’s and Ben’s classes had a morning learning basic first aid, which was a free workshop provided by St John’s Ambulance.  They talked about how to assess someone with an injury and follow DRAB: Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing.  The older group also covered resuscitation using ‘Steve’ the resuscitation doll.  The children seemed to enjoy it and it is a very useful set of skills to have, whatever age you are, so hopefully your child shared their new knowledge with you!

We had a delicious pizza oven day recently.  Eamon (Buster’s dad) came to help Tabitha and Martin as they fired up the cob oven and made dough for Ben’s and Mark’s classes to make some incredible creations.  Only Ben’s and Mark’s classes made pizzas in this way as it is a small oven, but Early Years had pizza made by Tabitha.  Our next one will be on 12th February and your child can book a pizza on this special day even if they do not usually have a school lunch.



All visitors (including all parents) must inform the office and sign the Visitors’ Book if staying longer than drop off or pick up.  The column in the Visitors’ Book headed ‘Supervised By’; all visiting adults who do not hold a Park School DBS (Police) check must be supervised by a school-employed adult who is DBS checked.  If you’re not sure, please ask the office who is supervising you whilst you’re in school.

Park School takes safeguarding your children very seriously, and I am sure you appreciate the importance of this and will work with us to ensure this is carried out.

Please also sign out of the Visitors’ Book when you leave.  This is essential in the event of a fire or emergency.

The kitchen is a lovely place to have a quiet time (once you have signed in!) in the mornings.  Please be aware that after 10am, Tabitha needs this space clear to prepare lunch.


We started making shoeboxes about eight years ago and, at the time, I had concerns about where the boxes went and what religious literature was included in the boxes.  A representative from the organisation came to talk to me and informed me that although this is a Christian-run charity and that Christian literature is put into some boxes, they are not sent to areas where it would be inappropriate or insensitive.  As far as I am aware, this policy has not changed.

Please make sure you include your £3 donation, or pay online – all details are on the form.  There are spare forms and labels on the hall table outside the office if you need another one. The deadline for bringing boxes into school is Thursday 13th November.


  • Does anyone have a small television that they could donate to school – our rather large set needs to be replaced.
  • For the gardeners amongst you… Ben and Shona are starting a new bed in the vegetable garden for special perennial flowers.  The aim is 1) to teach children about dividing plants in the autumn; 2) to provide some flowers for cutting for decorating the school and 3) to grow some plants for selling at school.  If you have something particularly lovely that you are splitting this autumn, please bring it in a pot or bag, with a label and your name and leave it under the covered way and tell Ben.  We also need your help to collect bark for our garden from the Estate – pick up a dumpy bag from our veg garden, take it to the Estate Garden Yard and tell them it is for Park School.


Please can you make a note of when the Blitz the Nitz weeks are each term, so that we all try to eradicate these little beasties at the same time.  More information is available from the office.


Christmas Fair!

Thursday 11th December, 3-4.30pm

Our next big community fundraising event is the Christmas Fair.  The café will be hosted by the parents in Ben’s class, but everyone is asked to contribute food towards it, and time to set up, serve and/or tidy up during the day.  There will be a raffle with one glorious hamper, with donations from us all – organic, local, non-perishable food and drink can be popped in the collecting box by the office, which will appear closer to the date.

We also need lots of crafts to sell, so if you are a crafty person have a think what you could make to add to a small stall.

Stalls which will also require your support include:

· Craft Making - if you are able to help, please respond to the request for seasonal craft goods

· Book Stall – books needed pleas.  Recycle, reuse and raise funds for the school

· Toy Stall –  the perfect destination for good quality unwanted toys. ** Please leave Books and Toys in the Quiet Room on the 9th, 10th and 11th of December. No jumble please!

· Children’s Games – talk with your child about what game they would like to offer. Please be aware that they must set it up and run it, and that you are responsible for making sure it is all cleared away at the end

· Entertainment – Kate and Richard will be inviting parents to join in seasonal musical entertainment and storytelling, please look out for this call out and become involved if you can

Look out for emails from Richard concerning the Fair, and respond to say you have read it – a simple ‘thanks’ or ‘fab!’ will do, or better still ‘I can do that!’ will reassure Richard that his emails are being read and will hopefully bring fun and jolliness into the school as the Fair arrives

Parents’ Meetings

18th & 19th November, 3.30 – 7pm

Please ensure you arrange a time to meet with your child’s class teacher – it is vital that you make time to discuss your child to find out how they are doing and how you can help them.  Teachers put a lot of time and energy into these meetings, and will appreciate if you come to these days.  You will have about fifteen minutes together; however, if you feel you are likely to need longer than this please talk to your teacher in order not to run over time and cause delays for others.  If your meeting begins to run over time, your teacher will ask you to make another time to complete discussions.

Bridie has arranged an Essential Information Evening, for all Early Years parents, on Tuesday 11th November.  You will be given lots of information about our Early Years setting, and refreshments, so please attend if you can.  Parents’ Meetings, to discuss your individual child, will take place on Tuesday 18th November, 3.30-5.30pm.

During the Parents’ Meetings, a beautiful book company called “Barefoot Books” will be selling some amazing books.  I really recommend these books to you – and they would make great Christmas presents.  The company is run by an ex-parent called Millie (Soli’s mum) and she is giving the school a percentage of the takings for us to buy books for the school.

Assessment and Progress of your child - Although teachers mainly assess children by observation and discussion, there are a couple of assessments done termly for Reading and Maths for children over five years of age.  These are carried out in a fun, non-stressful manner, which is beneficial to the child and to the teachers to aid planning.  If you would like to see these, please talk to your child’s class teacher.

Fire Safety Workshop

Mark’s and Ben’s classes will be visited Devon & Somerset Fire Rescue Service on Friday 5th December, to learn about the role of the Fire Service, the dangers of matches, etc., how and when to dial 999 (111) and the consequences of hoax calls, as well as a host of other life skills.  Please see the letter about this free workshop in your pigeonhole and return the tear-off slip to your class teacher by Friday 28th November.

Christmas Carols at The Great Hall

Ben’s and Mark’s children join other local schools to sign carols in The Great Hall on Tuesday 9th December from 10-11.30am.  Everyone is welcome to attend but seats will be allocated on a first come first serve basis for parents and friends.  Book your free tickets through the Dartington Box Office on 01803 847070 this week.

Ben’s Class Puppet Show

Ben’s class are visiting the Aquarium in Plymouth next week, as part of their water topic.  They will then make some clever puppets with Martin and tell the story of their creation on Thursday 4th December from 3 – 3.30pm. Not to be missed!


Mark’s class has been looking at a small Indian village as part of their topic this term.  They have been finding out about its habitat and how things are different to Devon.  As part of the study, the children learn a little about Hinduism and even had a Divali day, where they dressed up, lit candles, danced and made sweets.

Each term, the main school looks at a different religion to celebrate the differences between people.  If you have any objects or resources you could give or loan to us, please tell your class teacher.

University Students

We had about 20 trainee teachers and two lecturers visit Park School during the last half term.  The University of Plymouth uses us as a good example of Alternative Education on their curriculum.  It is so important to show trainee teachers around because it shows them how education can be, and that it’s not about “schooling children”.  If they manage to understand that children must be at the centre of their learning to be successful, rather than the curriculum, it is so worth it.

One student wrote an email to her tutor, which said “I have had a really inspiring couple of visits into school, in particular Park School; it really opened my eyes to a different approach to education”

The tutor wrote “the visit will be a solid foundation for the beginning of the model which explores pedagogy” and then sent a lovely letter, which began “I wish to thank you for allowing us to visit you and Park School Wednesday last.  The students found the experience very illuminating and, for my part, had the desired effect of opening their minds to ‘other’ possibilities.  I know that the experience will live on in their imaginings and I’m sure will bear fruit.  Thanks once again for your contribution to their education”.

Fleur’s String Project

Thank you to all of you who gave Fleur ‘twisted strands’ for her project.  We received the following, last week:

Greetings from Salt Meadow Academy,

Thank you for connecting with us! We have received your Twisted Strands Project submission in the mail today! We wanted to let you know that it has arrived and that we will be posting about it on our blog ( later this evening. Please check here tomorrow for pictures of our children adding your wonderful ribbons to our tree! We also maintain a Facebook page, were we post submissions as well located at

Thank you again for participating!

Warm Regards,

Salt Meadow Academy, Clinton, Ct USA

Fleur received a parcel in the post with pictures from the children, and a certificate from the school, to say thanks.  Well done Fleur!


Christmas Card Fundraising Project

Heidi (Dylan and Lara’s mum) has kindly organised this fundraising project again for us.  Your child will create a picture (or two!) at school, which they will bring home to you together with a letter explaining what to do next.  Basically, if you like the picture and want to have it transformed into a card (fab for Christmas, thank yous, birthdays, etc) complete the form and return it to school by Tuesday 18th November – Heidi will do the rest.  The school raises money and you get a great present – the more we manage to order, the more we raise so please try to support Heidi’s project!

BIG Thank you!

Hamish and Craig (Hamish’s dad) came into school during the holidays and re-carpeted the Early Years’ first room.  They have done a fabulous job, which really brightens up the area.  Thank you so much to both of you for giving up your time so generously over the holidays.

Finally, a warm Park welcome to Esme, who joined Early Years this week.  She lives with her mum and dad, Katie and Liam McKay, Newton Abbot.


Best wishes,

Amanda Bellamy

Teacher in Charge


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY…not all dates are published for child protection purposes. Please can all parents check emails and hard copies for full details.


10th November  Main School trip to Plymouth Aquarium

11th November Early Years Essential Info Evening, 7-8pm

13th November  Deadline for Christmas Child Shoeboxes to school

18th November  Deadline for Heidi’s Christmas Card Project

18th November Parent/Teacher Meetings, 3.30-5.30

19th November                 Parent/Teacher meetings, 3.30-5.30

28th November  Fire Safety Workshop

4th December     Ben’s Class Puppet Show, 3-3.30pm

8th December    Finance Meeting

9th December    Great Hall Carols, 10am.

16th December  Council Meeting, 5-7pm

10th December  Greenery Walk, 1.30-3pm

10th December Decoration team to decorate school with greenery

11th December  Christmas Fair, 3-4.30pm

16th December Early Years Nativity, 1.30pm, followed by carols at 2.15pm

17th December  Christmas parties and lunch, and visit from You-Know-Who

19th December Autumn Term ends at 3pm



5th January           Education Day – no children in school

6th January          Spring Term begins

20th January        Ben’s Class Presentation

21st January        Mark’s Class Presentation

10th February     Council Meeting

12th February     Pizza Oven Day

14th February     Education Day – no children in school

w/b 16th Feb       Half Term Break

27th February     Mark’s Class to The Pavilion for gym

w/b 2nd March   Book Week

5th March             World Book Day

6th March             Mark’s Class to The Pavilion for gym

7th March             Work Day

13th March           Mark’s Class to The Pavilion for gym

18th March           Spring Open Day

19th March           Pizza Oven Day

20th March           Mark’s Class to The Pavilion for gym

24th March           Council Meeting

27th March           Mark’s Class to The Pavilion for gym

27th March           Spring Term ends


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