November Newsletter -parts of

Please look in your pig. hole this week to get the full details and dates of events. It has been such a beautiful autumn this year.  The leaves have fallen like a golden carpet around Mark’s class inspiring poetry and lots of wishes!  The expeditions into the Dartington Gardens and the Estate have been rewarded by a blast of colour and pockets full of conkers, while trips to the River Dart have felt more like adventures into the Amazon because of the energy it is holding.

Thank you for coming along to the Harvest Café and for those of you who baked those delicious apple cakes.  We raised nearly £240, which will be sent to our twin school in Sri Lanka.  The children are also sending a book with pictures of themselves and their favourite places in school.  The twin school is sending a similar book to us, which should arrive early December.  Inge, our Chair of Council, happened to be on her family holiday in Sri Lanka and made a visit to the school.  Inge and her daughter Ilana will be coming into school to talk to the children about this experience.  I feel that this project will introduce a lot of discussion about other cultures in a very positive and holistic way.  I hope to put a small display up in the entrance hall for you to find out a little bit more.

Thank you also to those of you who managed to fill a shoebox for ‘Operation Christmas Child’.  We collected 23 this year.  I know that the discussion in the meeting with the organizer was very interesting and that several of you have mentioned how much your child learnt by putting their box together.  We will find out exactly which country these have been sent to later on during the year.

Messages from your Group Coordinators:


XMAS FAIR - Friday 3rd December - POSTERS will soon be ready – please check your pigeonhole and display them anywhere you can think of!  Your car window, local shops or give them to friends who might be interested.   The Xmas Fair is always a great fun event for the whole school and visitors and most importantly for all the children.  Do come and join in and bring friends and family.   We need everyone to get involved to make it work and will put up sign up sheets for helping with the Fair and cooking for the café – this is for EVERYONE to join in with.

Fundraising Group will do the main organizing and preparations for the Fair and we ask all other parents to join in on the day, or before if you feel like helping with craft making or decorating the school.  Plus please sign up to help on the day for an hour or so with the cafe or a stall or clearing up.  If your child would like to run their own stall or with friends speak to their class teachers and then please be there to help them set it up and take it down on the day.  THANK YOU!!

As usual the gorgeous non-perishable organic hamper for the raffle needs your donations to make it fantastic!  Please leave in the basket outside the office.  Good quality toys and books can be left in the upstairs Fundraising cupboard (no clothes this time – please save them for the Jumble Sale).

WINTER CONCERT – Thursday 9th December 7.30-8.45pm.  Refreshments from 7.00.  Tickets £5 for over 16 year olds on sale after school. Please collect free child’s ticket too.  (Children in Mark and Amanda’s classes do not need one).  Mark and Vanessa and Amanda’s group will be joining the Big Noise Chorus Choir led by Colin for a singing evening.  Half of the funds raised will go to the school and half to the ‘Children’s Brain Injury Trust’ chosen by the adult choir (Big Noise Chorus).  Do make sure you have this in your diaries, last year’s concert was a really beautiful evening.


Calling all parents who are in the Buildings and Grounds group!! I have in place three sessions for painting and decorating over the next half term. Please contact me to sign up or talk to me about other jobs that need doing if you can't make any of these dates. There is so much decorating to catch up on but once it is done then we can get on with more inspiring projects as well as the general day-to-day maintenance. Dates are as Follows: Sat/Sun 20/21st Nov 10am-4pm Sat/Sun 27/28th Nov 10am-4pm Thurs/Fri 16/17th Dec 10am-4pm. Anyone with first aid training please let me know. Anyone who feels inspired to manage a little team also let me know. Contact Ruth:      07780 914 377 (text best as signal patchy).

Marianne, Stephanie, Ruth and Sue are doing an amazing job pioneering this 2nd pilot phase of the Parent Community Groups.  It has been great that more parents have realized that they really need support.  If everyone takes responsibility for contacting them and checking boards they will be able to be more efficient and not get totally exhausted.  For example it often takes a whole evening to remind people to look at sign up boards – an evening which could be spent moving a project on to make it more successful.  I am really looking forward to the Christmas Fair especially if I know we have all helped to create it together.

Nits are about again!  This is a continual problem not just at Park of course but in all primary schools where children are in close contact with each other.  Please can all families check hair at least every 3 days to eradicate these beasties.  We have found over the years that the best approach is twice a week regular combing at all times to ensure a nit free head (i.e. not just when the hair is infected).  An information sheet is available from the school office if you would like to know more.

There is a case of Chicken Pox in the Early Years.  Medical advice is that children with Chicken Pox should not come back to school until the spots are dry (5 days minimum). If you have any concerns we would suggest you consult your GP.

Lunches, as mentioned in Shona’s menu notes are now £2.50 each, (£1.50 for under 4s).

Thank you to Saffron for her wonderful cleaning last half term.  We now have a new cleaner called Paul who cleans the whole school each day.  He is doing a marvelous job!

We had another fantastic Work Party Day just before half term.  We cleaned out the sandpit in Early Years and replaced the sand, chopped wood for the pizza oven, cleaned all the windows inside the school, dug the food garden over and did a general tidy.  We had a lovely lunch together made by Shona, Sarah and Julia with the table decorated by Jana and friends.  Thank you everyone.

Ben, Dyane and the children have been very busy in the grounds.  The old pigpen has been dug over and leaves collected for the compost heaps.  I know they are still looking for cardboard to help with the mulching.  If you have any boxes please leave them under the covered way.  Ben and Amanda also need newspaper for art projects.

Mark’s class has been studying Habitats and has made some wonderful 3D worlds.  I expect they will be ready to put in the main hall soon!  Vanessa took her class to Bath this week as part of their project on Water.  They had a great adventure on the train and experienced a city (even if it was ‘quite smelly!’).  Ben’s class has been working on Forces and has had so much fun with making different sorts of parachutes.  The Early Years have been on several expeditions and have been enjoying the last bit of crab apple jam that was made.

During our recent non-pupil day before half term we had some training on Internet safety.  We were recommended a good site to help discuss issues with children.  I thought you might like to know it – We also use a parent control site called K9 web protection, which you may want to look at for use in your home.

Dates for your diary:

Christmas Fair 3 December 3-6 (We will begin with the children singing at 3pm so please arrive by then to collect your child as there will not be the usual supervised break for the children at the end of the day).

Christmas Concert 9 December 7.30-8.45 at St. Mary’s Church, Totnes-tickets £5 from Harleqiuns in totnes or the school office

Christmas Party with Father Christmas 14 December.  (Sacks with class names will be upstairs in the Quiet Room from 1st December for parents to put a named ‘you know what’  (up to £5) to be given to your child by ‘you know who’ at the party.  Please ensure they are in place by 10th December at the latest.  (If this cryptic message means nothing to you please have a word with your class helper or the school office!!)

And check those painting weekends urgently please!

Mark has reorganized his Parent Teacher Meetings so please sign up again.  They will now be on Monday 22nd November and Monday 29th November.

Please remember to take your child’s bike home in advance of the Fair or ensure that they have the key to their bike lock in school so that bikes can be moved out of the way for the event.  Please also remember to lock bikes up at the end of every day, as they are not covered by the school’s insurance.

I hope these crisp November days stay with us a bit longer!

Best wishes,

Amanda Bellamy (Teacher in Charge)