School News May 2015


No.309  13th May 2015 Dear Parents, Thank you for joining in with our Spring Celebration and making it such a success. We had a wonderfully long parade around the school grounds full of blossom and sunlight! The café was a feast of delights too - thank you to all the cake makers, and also to the Early Years team and Rachel who hosted it this time. We raised £155.55. Bike Week – Monday 18th – Friday 22nd May It is essential that all children in the main school have a bike in good working order, a good-fitting helmet and a lock in school for the whole week (our insurance does not cover stolen or damaged bikes that don’t belong to us). I notice that there are a couple of bikes for sale on the notice board in the kitchen. If you have a good quality bike you want to sell, bring it to school with a lock and a label next week! Please take all unsold bikes home by the end of the week. The children can bring their bikes to school all year round but during Bike Week we help them to learn particular bike skills. Mark and Ben make a road route on the field and teach them about hand signals, braking, overtaking and cycling in a group and about how to look over their shoulders while riding- as well as lots of other cycling skills. Once we feel that they have managed these skills, the children take to the roads. Ben’s class cycle on the estate and Mark’s class cycle to Staverton to take the train to Totnes before cycling back. They also cycle all the way into Totnes for a picnic/snack and then cycle back to school. Please make sure that your child has the correct footwear and clothes for cycling every day. If they can bring a named reflective jacket, that would be great but not essential. During Bike Week the normal class topic is put on pause and the curriculum is taught through bikes. There will be bike maths, bike stories, poems and facts as well as bike art. If you can offer time, skills and tools for some bike maintenance, or if you are a keen cyclist and have some stories or bike gadgets that you want to share, then please let your class teacher know. Parking and Speeding reminder  To keep our children safe PLEASE DO NOT park on the pavements outside the school or drop of/pick up by the gates. Also, walking at the back of the car park to get to the road, rather than across the car park itself, will be a good habit to encourage your children to do. Please observe the speed restrictions on the estate – TWENTY IS PLENTY – there have been complaints about cars speeding up the drives. School Lunches As you know Rika will be taking over as school cook after half term. Council have set up a small working party to discuss food in the school, which will be meeting over the next few months. There are many issues that they have already been talking about and one that came up was the payment to the cook. The cook is self- employed and the payment methods are very clear. Please respect this very important job and order and pay on time. It takes a lot of extra time and stress if monies are not paid by the agreed time. A change to help collection of money will be: 1. Pizza Oven Day – this must be ordered and paid for at the beginning of the half term like all other lunches, which means that the correct quantities of food can be bought and made. So if you normally have a packed lunch then remember to order your pizza! 2. Camp Lunches -These will be ordered from and paid directly to Rika, in addition to your child’s camp fee. See your camp letter to see which days you will have to order a school lunch or bring a packed lunch for your child. A reminder that food coming to the school should be as healthy as possible - especially snacks. Fruit/veg or a healthy sandwich are the best morning snacks and lunch boxes should be filled with as little sugar as possible. This all helps to educate our children about their food choices. Rika won’t be making great changes to the menu in the first few months; the children have voted for these menus and many really like them. She will be looking at the sourcing and quality of the ingredients she uses in the favourites rather than changing them completely. I hope that lots of you managed to fill out the survey that she sent out to help her with her decisions. Look out for Rika’s menu and booking form via email and pigeonholes. Please could EVERYONE look at the menu with your child (even if they currently have packed lunches) and support Rika in her new role as our school cook by booking lunches? Rika will provide fresh fruit as a pudding option every day, as part of the cost! Rika has been supply cover for Tabitha on occasions, so now we need to find a new person to cover Rika if she needs it! Are you that person? She would pay you for this time, so please contact Rika as soon as possible. Rabbit gate  Thanks to Martin for the gorgeous new rabbit gate in the Early Years garden! It even has a little wheel so that the children can push it open! Strawberry Fair – Saturday 11th July, 11am – 3.30pm Keep the dates in your diary free for the SET UP on Friday 10th July from 2-5pm and SET UP AND CLEAR UP on Saturday 11th July from 9am -5pm I know that Rich will be keeping you up to date with emails about this beautiful event. If you want to offer something please do not be shy! Speak to Rich! Food Feast: This is a whole-school contribution event and the Food Tent, Tea & Cake Stall and Pizza Oven is hosted by us all. We have decided to have fewer individual food stalls and are requesting that more food be made at home and put in the Food Tent and Café. We hope that this will mean that there will be more people available to help to serve and wash up on the day to allow for everyone to have time to relax too. Entertainment: Rich and the fundraising team have organised a surprise entertainer to open the fair –more details to follow. However they will be creating a performance area for us all to entertain each other. If you or your child wants to perform please talk to Rich or Kate and practice at home! (The staff will not be involved in any rehearsals). The children will have an area dedicated to games. Please help your child to bring a game to play and ensure that the game is put away completely at the end of the fair. We will be talking about these in the school meeting over the next few weeks. Posters: You will receive posters in you pigeon holes after half term. Please display yours to promote the event Parent Council Member As you may be aware, Park School does not have a board of Governors but has a Council of Management, which oversees the general running and direction of the school. There are usually two elected parent members at the meeting, which happens once every half term (usually on a Tuesday, 5-7pm). Each Parent Member stands for a two-year term and Mike Rowe’s current term ends in July. If you would like to join, Council nominations should be returned to the office by Monday 8th June – Nomination Forms are available from the office. Voting will take place on Thursday 11th (3-3.30pm) and Friday 12th June (9-9.30am) – for more details, please speak to our current parent members Heidi or Mike. Inga (Chair of Council) has a pigeon-hole outside the office, if you need to contact her for any reason. Gardening and outside working  I wonder if you have had a chance to look around the grounds and have come across all the wild weaving that the children have been making in their environmental afternoons? They are so beautiful and have really helped the children to notice natural materials around them and work in a group. The food garden has had lots of seedlings and plants added to it in the last few weeks and we hope that more produce will be harvested by the children and given to the kitchen for lunches this year. They have already munched on a crop of purple sprouted broccoli and lettuce! I do not expect that the peas will manage to get to kitchen because they love to munch them straight off the plants! The herb garden is a delight to walk by and nibble at! HELP NEEDED PLEASE…. 1. We need a small team of willing volunteers to work with the children in the kitchen to use the garden produce; 2. We need plant labels – they must not protrude more than about 3 inches above ground level; 3. We need some more pallets to put the large water containers on; 4. Does anyone have a source of qood quality organic compost? Please speak to Ben; 5. There is a signup sheet on the green board for volunteers to water the garden. If you have half an hour spare to come to school please talk to Shona or Ben to find out more. We will also be looking for half term and summer holidays help. Camps The class camps start on the Monday we return from the half term break. Please check your class letter for more details. School photos These were even better this year! If you forgot to hand it in and really wanted one then pop it to the office by Friday 15th May and Steve might still be able to process it. Non-Pupil Day This week’s non-pupil day was purposefully arranged at a slightly different time to normal, because staff used it to make contacts with other schools and to visit whilst they were in operation to improve their practise. Tina and Helen visited local Early Years settings. Bridie and Amanda went to a school near Brighton called Annan, which is a small independent primary school with a very similar ethos to ours. It believes in outside learning, child-directed learning and is underpinned by the philosopher called Froebel. If you take a moment to find out about Froebel you will see that he talks about many of Park School’s practices. It was a very valuable time spent talking about education to similar minded teachers. Ben and Mark investigated some details about dyslexia and other schools, which they will share with all of us over the next few weeks. CAP (Child Assault Prevention Project) In June, we have the CAP team coming into school.  This is an internationally established school-based programme aimed at teaching children strategies to keep themselves safe.  Please see the letter in your pigeonhole – you need to return the permission slip with your payment of £5 per child for this activity. Parents of Early Years children need to talk to Bridie to check if their child is involved, as it is not applicable to all. Eye Tests In state schools, children are offered an eye test at around the age of 4 or 5 years old in school, but this is not available in independent schools.  However, you can access the service free of charge via your GP.  If your child has not had an eye test over the age of 4, I would strongly recommend that you organise one, even if you think your child’s eyesight is fine (think of it as you would your child’s dental check-up!). Late Arrivals Teachers have been telling me that some children are arriving after 9am in their main school classes – this is disruptive to the whole class and is unsettling for the child who is late.  Please make every effort to be in school on time. After School Supervision May I remind you that your children are your responsibility out of normal school hours – it has come to my attention that children are playing some distance away from parents at the end of the school day. Please make sure that your children are in your sight at this time, and you are aware of where and how they are playing. It is the time of day when children are tired and usually need more adult support and supervision than at other times of the day. A note from Pauline… Don’t forget we’ve changed our bank account: the new sort code is 08-92-99 and new account number is 65748938. Also, the letter about next year’s fees has been left in your pigeonhole – the deadline for bursary applications is 16th May. Next Work Day – 27th, 11am – 2pm I do hope that lots of you will be able to join us for the Work Day – this is a fun day filled with hard work and time to get to know people, and we all share a lunch together at the end. If you want to help to make the lunch please contact Ruth, and sign up on the sheet when it goes up. We sometimes have a family camp after the Work Day at this time of year, but have decided that it works better for new families in the Autumn term. However, I believe that some people are making their way down to the river behind school to play for longer after 2pm Finally… Welcome to the two new Early Years children who joined us this term: Berry and her mum, Jasmine ; and Wilf and his mum and dad, Anna and Will. We would also like to give a big Park School welcome to Leo’s (Early Years) new sister Narina ~ congratulations to Maria and Rolf! Amanda Bellamy Teacher in Charge

News, School NewsAmanda