School News Nov 23 2015


Click here to read as PDF No.315  23rd November 2015  Please don’t forget to check your pigeonhole regularly, and say hello to us in the office!

Dear Parents and children, We’re on the final countdown towards one of the two very big, everyone-get-involved, school events: our Annual Christmas Fair on Thursday 10th December. In addition to the twelve hour contribution, EVERYONE is asked to give the following 1,2,3 help… 1 – Contribute some food for the café 2 – Give one or two hours to help set up or clear away the fair And 3 – Give one or two hours to help during the fair. Sign-up sheets are under the covered way so please help as much as you can, particularly with the following: Setting Up and Decorating - The children are collecting green foliage during the afternoon of 9th December; adult help is needed from 3pm to use this to decorate the school and more, coloured foliage can be brought to enhance this. Café -  Ben’s class (coordinated by Katy – Adam’s mum) are hosting and running the café. Check the sign-up sheet for food options. Children's Games – Children in Ben’s and Mark’s classes are running their own game areas and parents need to support their children with setting up and (especially) clearing up their games. Think outside the box for prizes, as the children have chosen to limit sweets. Fairy Grotto – Please talk to Sarah (Darcy's Mum and Mark's Class Helper) who is co-ordinating this magical space. Hamper – The basket is outside the office, ready for your non-perishable (organic/local if possible) donations. Craft Stall – Calling all arty crafty people!  Please let us know what creations you are able to offer. Second Hand Toy Stall - Good quality toys or games can be brought to school from 3pm on 9th December. Entertainment - Please chat to Kate (Dorothy's Mum) who is co-coordinating this.  She will be in the Music Room between 2.15 and 3pm on Fridays for rehearsals. Pizzas – Volunteers are needed for making sauce and dough, and making/cooking team members on the day. Great Hall Christmas carols-tickets We have our annual local school carols at Dartington Estate’s Great Hall on 9 December at 10 o’clock sharp. This is a free event but the tickets are very limited this year and we only have been given 30, so I am so sorry if you miss out on this event this year. The tickets can be collected from Rebecca in the school office on a first come first given basis-max one per family initially.  However, don’t forget that we will also have our own whole-school carol concert at school on Tuesday 15th December,2-3pm where we will sing the same song and a few more. No tickets are needed for that one! We also have the Early Years’ nativity show for our Early Years parents at 1.15pm on the same day. Christmas lunch help and Father Christmas  We have a wonderful day lined up for the children on Monday 14th December with a Christmas lunch and a visit from Father Christmas. Please volunteer to help Rika cook and clean up the lunch if you can!  A few children still need to book their Christmas Lunch – sausages, roasted vegetables, crunchies and gravy and ice cream are on the menu and we all sit together to enjoy it! Please book and pay by Friday 27th November. Each child also needs something to put in a sack for ‘you know who’ to give. Please don’t spend more than £5, label your contribution clearly and leave in a sack in Pauline’s upstairs office by Wednesday 9th  December. If this means nothing to you, please ask Rebecca to avoid your child being VERY disappointed!! Lithuanian teachers - We had a group of 5 teachers who flew all the way from Vilnius in Lithuania especially to visit Park School. They have set up the first Democratic Kindergarten in Lithuania (Aukstyn kojom) and had researched Park School as the place of good Human Scale / Democratic practice in primary schools in Europe. It was great to talk to them and to share ideas. They also visited Sands School in Ashburton to discover how secondary school children run a school through a school meeting and what that means. We have another five teachers coming from the same school in December. Thank you for chatting to them and making them feel welcome. Message from James our drumming teacher James has a few slots available this term – prices and details are on the kitchen noticeboard, or you can download them from his website: Jamming Station have kindly offered the loan of a drum kit for free. If anyone wants to borrow it please contact James to find out more. An Autumn Poem “Autumn Reflection” by Mark’s Class - I went for an expedition around the Estate with Mark’s class last week and we spent some time down by the river using our senses to notice the world around us. As a result, they wrote this poem together: A hurricane of wind erupts, making a melody of whispers and causes the birds to fly. I shiver as the wind sends a chilling breeze down my back. The whooshing wind smashes against the tree bark As I am walking, I hear crunching of the leaves under my soft feet. The lime grass waves like a flock of eagles As the ivy stretches to the clear blue sky around the rust bark. The wind blows on my face like a broom, sweeping me off the ground. As the bashing wind blows in my face, I see a glimpse of sunlight;  the shiny bright sun makes the leaves look like gold. The cold icy spat a horrible chill down my spine. Leaves swirling ballistically by the cold wind. All the golden leaves shimmer on the glistening river. I feel the fresh wind through my hair, and I can hear the lovely birds singing. Silent and beautiful, a rainbow stretches across the sky like my friend doing gymnastics. As the wind blows through the trees, I feel like a golden shiny flower moving about in the sunshine Wind blowing in my face as I shiver in the cold air, and the grass warmed by the sun. The wrinkled up leaves made the tiniest of noise, as it sways softly to the water As the whistling wind whispers through the undergrowth, it makes more ripples than normal As I stood on the pure green grass, the wind blows anxiously, but it settles. It felt like a gentle silky soft young kitten, stroking against my face. A brown leaf falls silently onto the rippling water And I stand still and strong amongst it all. Snacks and wrappers - Nude Food Week It is good to see that most of the children have a healthy snack to eat at first break and in their lunch boxes. However I have noticed that there is a lot of packaging coming into school. I thought we could have a Nude Food Week in January 11-15th to help rethink snack packaging. You’ll find a sheet in your pigeon holes to give you some ideas to practice until then! Mark - It is great to have Mark back with us after his knee operation, which appears to have been very successful. Our new supply teacher Katherine worked very well with his class when he was away. They have been looking at reflection, symmetry and some wonderful maths games. Thank you Katherine!   He is sorry to have missed the parent meetings but will see you on 1st and 2nd December at the same times as you booked before.  Assessment and progress - 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. Visitors - 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.  Please also sign out of the Visitors’ Book when you leave.  This is essential in the event of a fire or emergency. 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. 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, Rika needs this space clear to prepare lunch. By Fleur By Tilly Spare change of clothes - It is the muddy/rainy time of year and all children in the main school need a whole change of clothes, wellies and a waterproof coat in school every day. This is essential not only to keep them warm and comfortable but also to keep the classrooms clear of mud! Children can also bring a change of shoes or slippers for inside (especially in Mark’s classroom as the floor is cold). Ofsted have an updated point-in-time survey for pupils to complete and we will be grateful if you could help your child to complete it.  You can either complete the paper version to send by post, or download a copy from the Ofsted website ( and return by email. Ben’s class puppet show - Ben’s class gave the whole school a puppet show this week, which was all about the layers of the rainforest and a chicken! It was hilarious and their shadow puppets were beautiful. They would like to invite you to another short show on Wednesday 2nd December at 3pm (prompt start!) in the middle room. Christmas card fundraising project - A massive thank you to Heidi (Dylan’s mum in Ben’s class) for organising the Christmas card project again this year, and for all of you for sending your designs to her within the deadline. We even had some ex-Park children who joined in! I am sure that you will have some fantastic cards coming your way, hopefully on Wednesday 2nd December. She raised £110, which is a record amount - thank you! Headlice Please remember to regularly check your children’s hair for these pesky unwanted pets.  Advice on treatment can be found at Shoe boxes Thank you for the amazing number of shoe boxes that you managed to bring to school filled with goodies this year. We had 23 in the end! They will be sent to Romania in the next few days. The Link to Hope coordinators were thrilled that such a small school could give so many. Sophie Green who lives in Totnes with mum Victoria and dad Michael and big brother Jamie, and  Sapphire Fronteras, sister of Felix in Ben’s class, who lives with mum Karen and dad Christian in South Brent have both joined Early Years.  Ben’s class have welcomed Panna Szep, who lives in Torquay with mum Diana and dad Imre. I am really looking forward to creating a jolly holly sort of Christmas fair with you over the next three weeks! All the best Amanda Bellamy Teacher in Charge

School NewsAmanda