September School News

Welcome to the Autumn term.

It was so lovely to come to school the day that all the scaffolding and ladders disappeared and I saw the change the decoration and repair work had made to the school buildings.  With all the hours that motivated parents and staff have given over the last 2 years to internal areas the school really is looking fantastic.  Thank you to everyone who put their energy into this.  There are a few more projects to get through this year which Ruth (The Buildings and Grounds Coordinator and Felix’ Mum) will help to coordinate.  I know that Stephanie (Rudi’s Mum) has some plans for the Social and Fundraising Group too.  Please could you contact Ruth if you want to join the Social and Fundraising Group within the next two weeks so that we can start putting these plans into place and you can fulfill your hours easily.

The orchard is full of apples again this year.  I spoke to the person who helped to plan it and they told me that they planted a huge variety of very old and unusual stock with Park pupils many years ago.  What a gift they left us!  Shona will be helping the children to make apple crumbles and we will have the Apple Press come to school during Apple week (26-29 September).  The Fundraising Group puts money towards the cost of the Apple Press and each child will be asked to pay £2.  Please complete and send in the form at the end of this letter.  If your child is in Early Years and it is not their day you can still contribute £2 to use the Apple Press between 3 –4.30 to be part of the fun.  We will need very clean plastic bottles to fill with juice to sell and jam jars with lids to make jam so please start collecting them and leave them in the box under the covered way.  This year the Press will be here all day on 29 September alongside our Harvest Café between 3 –4.30pm. This café is the only fundraising event which is not for school funds.  Last year the money raised went to our Sri Lanka twin school and they put a new roof on their library with it.  The children decide where they want the money to go in a school meeting.  Please look out for sign up sheets on the green notice board under the covered way to help.  The food is free (paid for from fundraising) and instead of charging we ask for a donation to this year’s good cause.

Martin has organized an exciting project that the children are participating in for the first 3 weeks of this term.  They will be learning about a South African Creation Myth from the Puppet Craft Theatre Company called ‘A Circle of Tales’.  The myth is about how the very first story came about and is linked to how the first images were created.  The children will be told this inspiring story by John Roberts (Director of Puppet Craft) and will then be asked to create their own stories using lino and potato print for inspiration.  They will tell each other their stories and will have all their work displayed in a theatre space on 30 September when all the children in school 4 years or over (if they normally attend on a Friday morning) have been kindly invited to watch the preview show alongside other local schools.  I think it will be a wonderful community project and I am very pleased that we can be part of it.

Dates for your diary.

Autumn term:

  • Class presentations: A chance to find out the term’s project and important class routines.  Children will be looked after in the Music Room.

Mark’s class 19 September 3.30 –4.30

Ben’s class  22 September 3.30 – 4.30

Early Years 27 September 3.30 -4.30

  • Parent Teacher Meetings 9 and 10 November 3.30-5.30. These are really important times that teachers have set aside for you to learn how you can support your child.  Please look out for the sheets and sign up promptly.
  • Work Party 26 November – Please can you all come along to support the school doing urgent jobs and to share lunch together.
  • Christmas Lunch and Party 13 December

Spring term:

  • Work Party 10 March

Summer term:

  • May Day and Café 3 May
  • Work Party 30 June

.  The main form of communication from the school is via the pigeonholes so please check yours as often as possible.  In case you didn’t know, they are generally organized in alphabetical order using the mother’s surname.

Some reminders… Please can you make sure that your child has a named coat, wellies and a whole change of clothes in school each day.  Teachers often take the children out onto the Estate and this happens in all kinds of weather.

School starts at 9.00.  It is very important to get your child to school on time because they feel more settled if they arrive with the others and it means that the whole class can start on time without disruptions.  Main school opens their doors at 8.50.  Please respect that teachers are often busy until then. Early Years open their doors at 9.00.

Once children have left their classrooms at home time they need to play outside so that the cleaning and organizing of classrooms can start on time. We are asking the children not to use the school telephone for making social arrangements.

Parents are responsible for keeping their children at home if they have a contagious illness or infection.  We also advise that if children have sickness or diarrhoea they should stay off school until it has stopped for at least 48 hours.  Parents are also responsible for informing the school office so that other parents can be alerted and we can keep all children as healthy as possible.

As many of you know the school has a council of Management (which is very similar to a board of governors).  The Council is made up of the Chair – Inga Page, 2 nominated parent members who sit on Council for 2 years, the Treasurer and other council members who are experts in their field and have been associated with the school over a number of years.  The Teacher in Charge and a teacher representative are also in attendance and the Parent Group Coordinators also attend one meeting each term.  Anybody is welcome to contact Council members.  In particular the nominated parents (Ross Robens and Kate Daws) and Chair are a good point of initial contact.  The Council generally meets half termly.  Like all governing bodies their role is not to be involved in the day to day running of the school but rather broader issues, such as policy, future development, financial strategy, staffing, establishment etc.  Currently the Council has 2 sub groups – an ongoing Finance group, which considers detailed financial matters and makes financial recommendations to Council and the Parent Review and Consultation Group.  The latter was formed 4 years ago to find a structure to make a significant change to the Rota system because after many years of trying to make it work it became apparent that the system was not sustainable.  Running a school is a complex matter and I hope the above helps to clarify.

A big warm welcome to all the new children and families who are joining Park this term.    An updated parent phone list will be in pigeonholes shortly.

The term dates are attached on a separate sheet for your retention.

I am really looking forward to meeting you all again and to another year at Park School.

Best wishes,

Amanda Bellamy (Teacher in Charge)


Apple Press: September 29

Child’s name:…………………………………………

I enclose £2 for the Apple Press event.  This will include a small bottle