School News April 2015


No.308  15th April 2015Dear Parents, Welcome to the summer term. This is always my favourite term with camps, bike week, sports day, expeditions, canoe trips, our Strawberry Fair, as well as a host of other summertime fun. Please check the diary dates to remember it all! Our first major event of the term is the ITALIAN POP UP RESTAURANT this Friday 17th April (7.30-8.00pm) at school. This will be a delicious three-course meal cooked by our two wonderful professional parent chefs, Eamon and Ali, who will work with the Park School children and Sands School students to create a feast of delights. Book and pay for your tickets from the office soon to avoid disappointment (£15 a head plus tips for Sands’ Student Catering Team), and book your babysitters too! Our last event of the spring term was the school play which was a wild mix of madness this year! The older group wrote their own script of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ supported by Mark and Martin. I loved all their props- especially the white rabbit rod puppet and all the ingredients for a Mad Hatters Tea Party. Darcey’s teapot was so funny! The children’s dances and funny songs, with some beautiful solos, really brought the stage to life. Ben’s class did a wonderful job supporting them with their own song and dance scenes (poor little oysters!). It was a magical journey for the children to work together as a fantastic team to tell their wild story. The journey their characters went through to challenge themselves to be brave enough to go on stage and shine saw the children’s real personalities grow in confidence. This inner growth will be with them for life and not just for the performance, which was the icing on the cake celebrating all that they have become through the process. I hope to put a display of a few posters, photos and props in the entrance hall soon - and Drum is busy working on a DVD. One audience member (Rebecca’s dad) commented “Wow, I didn’t know children could be like that”; he was so impressed by the children’s confidence and talent. Cultural Music and Dance Workshop, 24th April at KEVICCs I am so pleased to say that I have managed to book Mark and Ben’s class into the workshops involving African dancing and music with professional musicians and dancers. They will also be working with children from other local primary schools. Ben’s class will walk down and we have booked ‘Bob the Bus’ for the return trip. Mark’s class will need to be dropped at the train station (London side) at 8.45 to walk to KEVICCs and then they will walk back to school in time for lunch. There is no cost for this activity. Sarah, our music teacher has been given some training and ideas to go with the workshops so I hope that the children will be able to continue what they learn with her through the year. Sands School GCSE drama performance invitation Mark’s class have been invited by Katie (mum of Esme in the Early Years and Sands School drama teacher) to be the audience for the GCSE performance at Sands School on 23rd April. It is about time travellers who visit ancient China, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton and modern day scientists. The performers have invented summaries and made up situations about major historical events to educate and entertain. It will be held in the science lab and there will be some real scientific experiments happening on stage as well as live music. We will be kindly transported by the Sands School mini buses. Dance Event Natalie (Charlotte’s mum) has organised a fun dance event at The Civic Hall, Totnes on 15th May. Tickets are £5 in advance from Natalie, or £8 on the door, and funds raised will be shared with Park School and Sands School. Join in for a few hours of lively dance with a DJ! Spring celebration and dressing up day - Thursday 30th April, 2pm Every year we have a celebration to welcome in the spring and the lighted half of the year. Children come to school dressed in spring colours or as baby animals. We all meet at 2pm (dressed up as well if you want to!) to share a fun ‘naming’ game before parading around the school grounds. We all have instruments to make as much noise as we can to wake the Earth up. We then come to a huge circle in the middle of the field made by Mark’s class to share some poems, music and stillness. If you are a musician with a bit of time and would like to play for us in the large circle, please let me know. There will be a café at 3pm. The Early Years will be hosting the café but there will be a sign up sheet for everyone to offer some delicious cakes. It really is a beautiful celebration and I do hope that you will be able to join us for it. Fundraising Events this year: The Cabaret Night raised a total of £582.03! Art Exhibition takings so far are £580 – some pledged paintings are still to be paid for.  All unsold children’s work is priced at £35. They are displayed in the main entrance hall and will be available online – let Rebecca know if you would like to purchase one. Eventually, all unsold pictures will be hung in school to brighten up areas. Funds raised this year have gone towards the purchase of curtains for Mark’s class, a class camera, face paints, cutlery, the apple press visit, sand and bark, a drum monitor, fairy lights and Christmas parties. I have been asked by several parents if we could fundraise for a particular thing. This is quite a hard thing to do in practice; if we choose a particular project but then something else has to take priority, it can be upsetting for those people who have given money towards the initial project. Therefore, all fund-raised money is spent in agreement with the Parent Coordinators and the Teacher in Charge, taking into account requests from staff and children. New Fundraiser team member needed Rachel is leaving us at the end of this term because Will is going on to secondary school. I am sure that you are all aware of the huge support that she has given to social events throughout her time at Park and we will all miss her brilliant organisation skills and ability to gather people to help. We need a new Rachel! Are you that person??? If you want to know more about this role chat to her, to Richard (Dorothy & Adelaide’s dad) or to Simon (Lara and Dylan’s dad). The hours that you give count towards your contribution hours. New Buildings and Ground Coordinator needed Ruth is also leaving us, as Felix is moving onto secondary school. If you are interested in helping to coordinate the essential jobs and the Work Day lunches then have a chat to Ruth and pick up a job description from the office. This post is a Council-agreed position which you apply for. If you are interested please talk to Ruth or me before half term so that you can begin to shadow Ruth before she leaves. The hours that you give count towards your contribution hours. Tabitha is leaving us After over 3 years as our school cook, Tabitha has decided to move on to have new adventures at the end of this half term. She has given a lot of energy and care during her time at Park and I know that we will miss her and we all wish her the very best. It is a difficult job to manage to cook for children 3-11 years old and to make it a financially viable business as a self- employed person. Thank you Tabitha! If any family still owes Tabitha money after the publicised payment dates, Council have recommended that from this term, lunches will not be available to the family until full payment with the surcharge is paid. This term’s payments are due on Friday 17th April. We are very happy to say that we have found a new cook. Rika (Hannah and Mayu’s mum), has decided that she would like to take the job on for the second half of the term and see how it feels. Council have asked for a small Working Group to meet in the next three weeks to talk about lunches. We will look at things like purchasing and sourcing food, making it economical and the cost of meals. Once we have had time to think about these changes we will let you know. If you are interested in joining this group then please let me know by Monday 20th April. Bike Week - 18th-22nd May It is a little way off but it is this side of half term! I thought that I would mention Bike Week as all children in the main school will need a good working bike, a perfectly fitting helmet and a bike lock. Older children in the Early Years can also bring these into school for afternoon fun! The week is full of practical fun bike games and bike rides where the children learn road skills and the love of riding. We also write bike poetry, do bike art, bike maths etc. as well as have bike maintenance classes. If you have any bike skills to offer please talk to your class teacher to book yourself in for a bike workshop. If you have an old bike in good working order that you no longer use then please bring it to school to sell or to give to another family as soon as possible. If the bike does not get taken by someone, please will you be responsible for taking it home again! Reminder: bike helmets cannot be shared at any time. This is to ensure that they fit correctly. (Fitting 40 helmets every day takes up a lot of teacher time!). Term Dates, 2015-2016 The dates for the Christmas holidays have been slightly amended - the autumn term 2015 ends at normal time on Wednesday 16th December 2015. Staff return for an Education Day on Tuesday 5th January 2016 and the children are due back at the normal time on Wednesday 6th January. The other term dates for the next academic year are attached. School Photographs – Monday 20th April (22nd April if wet) We have booked Steve Gouge to take our school photos once again and are having them taken earlier than usual so that I can ensure that they all get to you in plenty of time. Proofs will be available during week beginning 27th April and orders must be returned by 5th May. Photos will be ready for collection by 15th May. Steve donates 20% of total sales to the school funds. Young Dartington Summer camps for children aged 8 – 14 years old are running from 28th July – 15th August and Park children are eligible for a 10% discount on the basic price. If you would like more information there are brochures in your pigeon-hole and on the table outside the office. Their website is and they can be contacted on 01803 867100 or 07818 032443 or email Dartington Community Day Dartington Hall Trust would like to invite you all to a Community Day on 21st May, between midday and 5pm. It looks lots of fun and there is a poster in the kitchen with more details. Strawberry Fair More information about the fair, and requests for help and donations, will be sent to you as this term progresses, but it would be great if we all start thinking about our major annual fundraiser now.  The date for your diary is SATURDAY 11TH JULY, 11am – 3pm. This sounds ages away, but there is always so much to do that time goes very quickly! Essential giving for everyone is:-  Cooking for the fair – at least one dish please  Giving time during the fair – at least one hour commitment please  Giving time setting up or dismantling the fair – at least 2 hours commitment please You may also want to offer a stall, entertainment, music, a craft idea, etc Internet Safety As children become older, they need good advice when using computers. Ben and Mark offer this in school time, but if you want to learn a few important things about keeping your child safe please have a look at A copy of the most recent edition of Digital Parenting was left in everyone’s pigeonhole last term - please ask if you didn’t get one. Class themes this term Each term the main school classes study a theme taken from our three-year rolling programme. The teachers will help the children to connect these to the arts, literacy, numeracy and other curriculum areas to make their learning interactive and connected. Please see the term’s planning sheet on classroom doors for more information. This term Mark’s class will be looking at the science of ‘Changes.’ They will find out about evaporation, freezing, condensing and other different ways that things change from one state to another. Ben’s class will be looking at ‘Plants’. They will make full use of our lovely poly tunnel and hopefully help to grow some delicious food and flowers. Ben’s Presentation to Early Years Parents – 29th April, 2-3pm Ben will be talking about the organisation, expectations and arrangements in his classroom, which is particularly useful for the parents of children who are likely to move to Ben’s class next year, but any Early Years families are welcome to attend. A note from Pauline… We have recently changed our bank and need you to update your bank records with immediate effect, to ensure future payments are paid correctly. A letter with the new account details has been left in your pigeonhole, but for reference the new sort code is 08-92-99 and new account number is 65748938. Let us know if you have any difficulties. Hopefully, we’ll be looking forward to many weeks of sunshine this term. Please note, all children must come to school with sun cream already applied and we will assume this is the case unless you tell us. Teachers have Factor 50 sun cream which can be used in emergencies – if you do not want your child to use this, please complete the form in the office. Everyone must have a sunhat, as well as a change of clothes and a towel for water play – let’s hope for many sunhat days! Best wishes, Amanda Bellamy Teacher in Charge

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY… **New / changed dates in bold SUMMER TERM 17th April Pop Up Restaurant, 7-10pm 20th April  School photos (weather depending) 20th – 22nd April New children to practice in Ben’s and Mark’s classes 22nd April Reserve date for school photos if 20th is wet 23rd April Mark’s class to see Sands School GCSE performance 23rd April Gardening Group meet at 3.30pm (invite sent) 24th April Cultural Music and Dance Workshop, KEVICCs (see separate info) 29th April  Presentation to Early Years parents from Ben, 2-3pm 30th April  Spring Celebration and Café 5th May Deadline for photo orders 7th May  Pizza Oven Day – don’t forget to book 11th May Education Day – staff only in school 19th May  Council meeting 18th – 22nd May  Bike week  19th – 22nd May  Blitz the Nitz Week 25th -29th May  Half Term break 26th May Dartington Community Day 1st – 5th June  Camp Week 11th June  CAP (Child Assault Prevention) 1.30-3.00pm 12th June Trip to London (Mark’s class) – details to follow 16th June Parent/teacher meetings, 3.30-5.30pm 17th June Parent/teacher meetings, 3.30-5.30pm 24th June  Sports Day (or 1st July if wet) 2-3pm 27th June  Work Day, 10am – 2pm 7th July Council Meeting 11th July  Strawberry Fair, 11am - 3.30pm 17th July Leavers Do, 11am followed by Group Picnic at midday 27th Jul-14th Aug Young Dartington 2015/2016 7th & 8th Sep Education Days – staff only in school 9th September Children return 16th October Education Day – staff only in school 19th – 30th Oct Half Term 16th Dec School ends, 3pm 5th Jan 2016 Education Day – staff only in school 6th January Children return 12th Feb Education Day – staff only in school 15th – 19th Feb Half Term 25th March Good Friday 28th Mar – 8th Apr Easter Holiday 11th April Education Day – staff only in school 2nd May Bank Holiday 30th May – 3rd Jun Half Term 13th June Education Day – staff only in school 15th July S

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