October School News

The Open Afternoon and Apple Press was such a success.  Thanks for all your help with the café, cakes, Apple press and welcome that you gave to the many new families who came to visit us.  This was a fundraising event where all the money from the café was sent to a children’s charity that the children choose.  During several school meetings the children discussed lots of different charities to understand what each one was about.  This year they voted for War child, which sends aid to children caught up in wars around the world.  It offers safe schooling, safe homes and counseling.  We managed to raise £201 – a great achievement.  I invited SoundArt Radio in to school for this event and last Friday they produced a short radio programme.  I hope that you managed to catch it – children, staff and some parents were interviewed!  (No doubt we can get copies if you missed it!).  There are also some lovely photos of the Apple day activities on the Dartington community website www.dartingtoncommunity.co.uk The children in the main school teamed up with a local puppet company called Puppet Craft last week.  The company came into school to tell the African myth about the first story and showed them their beautifully made puppets.  The children then created some great images using lino and potato prints of their interpretation of this story, which were displayed in the Round House.  The children were then invited to a music workshop where they became the orchestra for the rehearsal show for ‘A Circle of Tales’ in one of the Dartington Hall Music Studios.  It was a fantastic working relationship where the children learnt how to use the puppets and understand the magic of the stage.

We had a very successful pizza-making day in the main school on Tuesday.  We fired up the clay oven and rolled dough on recycled slate tiles before munching delicious pizza outside (sometimes up a tree!)  We will have another pizza clay oven lunch after half term.

We have some very wonderful music teachers in school at the moment.  If you child would like to learn the recorder, flute, drums, guitar, a brass instrument or piano please let the office know.  These are charged as extra and have various fees.

The Early Years have been enjoying picnics on the big field and have made delicious jam using the crab apples from the tree in their garden.  They have been on various expeditions around the Estate enjoying this wonderful Indian summer.  They’ve also been using paper maché to make a beautiful creature which lives in the dressing up area – and have enjoyed helping the children in Mark and Ben’s class to harvest our huge crop of pumpkins and courgettes.

Mark’s class has been busy studying things about different habitats.  They have found out about natural colours and have even managed to paint with some of them.  They have had a weekly expedition to Totnes Swimming Pool where they have enjoyed the pool with its floats and inflatables.

Ben’s class has been out collecting conkers to do various maths activities and have been busy exploring their water-based theme.  They are off on a trip to Totnes to see the old Leech wells and the river.  They will also be popping into the Museum and the Castle.  They have also managed to do some sewing and have created some cute little pond creatures that now live in their classroom.

Knives in school

Ben has been working with the children during Forest School sessions.  He has been showing them how to use knives.  If your child has a knife that they want to use at school please can an adult bring it into school to give to their teacher and, very importantly, an adult needs to collect it at the end of the day.

I know that we have many parents who work at the moment and I have been approached by Coco’s Nursery in Totnes to see if anyone would be interested in an After School Club.  If there are enough people they will run a bus up to us.  Coco’s is situated by the railway station.  Please contact the office if you are interested.

Social and Fundraising News from Stephanie

During these past few weeks we've had a gentle easing into the school after the summer holidays and the unusual warm weather for the Harvest Cafe gave it a summery rather than an autumnal hue. And with that still sleepy summer, not much in the way of fulfilling our hours has been asked for.  However, after the half term holiday, this drowsiness will make way for a burst of energy to help with all the Christmas events and of course the Christmas fair.  This takes quite a bit of planning and really needs a large group of parents to bring it all into focus.  So please keep your eye out for all notices and emails from myself regarding parental help. I will be scheduling a get together in the beginning of next half term.  Thanks for all your support; it’s very much appreciated.

Buildings and Grounds News from Ruth

This year, from the buildings and grounds area, we have a few big painting and decorating jobs to continue our refurbishment of the interior of the school. There is a little bit of finishing off from last year’s work plus decorating the kitchen, the upstairs offices and the music room!! So lets get going!

The kitchen project will need to happen in the holidays - Xmas or Easter, and will need a good team so anyone who could help with that please let me know.

To start with:

Weekend  in November, to either start the music room or to do finishing off from last year. Days will run 10am-4pm. Please let me know if you can come so I have an idea of numbers and, hence, what we can feasibly get done in the time.

Email is really the best way to contact me and to keep informed, so please email me if you think I haven't got your address yet. If you don't do email then phoning is fine.

Thanks so much for your help


A message from Dyane

October is nearly here and is the time for planting bulbs in the school garden.  It has become a tradition at Park School and always brings a certain cheer in January, February and March.  It has also been very well supported by Park parents and friends who have donated bags of bulbs (thank you to all who have contributed over the years) so, once again, calling all park parents (and friends) please put you donation of bulbs in the box marked BULBS (in front of the green notice board under the covered way).  A bag of bulbs or one special bulb (e.g. an allium) would be bulbtastic!

This year we would like to plant bulbs that flower between January and June.  This initially takes a bit of planning but with your support we can provide a wonderful display for all to enjoy.  Planting lots of bulbs will provide enough flowers to add to the cut flowers that the children arrange for the classrooms and the office (the kitchen will get herbs).  Below are some suggestions to get you in the mood.

Winter Aconite (Erantus) ? winter

Daffodil  (Narcissi) ? early spring

Grape hyacinth (Muscari) ? late spring

Wind flower (Anemone) ? mid spring

Tulip ? mid spring

Sword lily (Gladiolus) ? early-mid summer

Dahlia ? mid summer

THANK YOU – Dyane.

A message from Sarah (Esther’s Mum)

Did anyone go home with a large cool box after the Strawberry Fair?  A smaller blue one was left behind but that is not the one we’re looking for.

Many thanks- Sarah.

We now have the names of our class helpers. They are –

Early Years: Sarah Strachan (Darcy and Louie’s Mum)

Ben’s class: Kate Daws (Adelaide and Dorothy’s Mum)

Mark’s class: Emma Schofield (Cian’s Mum).

They have a very important role in the school to help communication about events to be as efficient as possible.  Please remember to look on the green notice board and to check your pigeonholes daily.


  • Non-pupil day 21 October, Half term week beginning 24 October.
  • Painting weekend November.
  • 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  in  November – Please can you all come along to support the school doing urgent jobs and to share lunch together.
  • Carol Concert- in December in the Quiet Classroom.
  • Colin’s Concert- Our lovely ex-singing teacher Colin has invited all of the children in the main school to join his choir (Big Noise Chorus) to sing in December at St. Mathias Church, Torquay.  Lucina, our current singing teacher, will be teaching them the songs and helping them on the day.  Please return the form at the end of this letter a.s.a.p. so that Lucina can make arrangements with Colin.  It should be a wonderful event!  Come along even if you just want to watch.
  • Christmas Lunch and Party 13 December

Head lice are a problem in most primary schools and in an attempt to keep them down to the smallest number possible please ensure that you check your child’s hair at least once a week every week.  Next week we are having a ‘Blitz the Nits’ week where we are encouraging hair checking every night and into the half term.  Please help everyone by doing this.  If even one family does not do this then the nits will keep coming back.  If you need information about head lice please come to the office.

An abbreviated version of this newsletter is also put on our website www.parkschoolonline.com however I do not always put exact dates and times due to Child Protection issues.  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.

A warm welcome to Rose in Mark’s class and her parents Melanie Eclare and Tom Petherick.

Best wishes,

Amanda Bellamy (Teacher in Charge)

Big Noise Concert

Child’s Name:……………………………………………………………………….

I would like my child to attend the Big Noise Concert on 15 December at St. Mathias Church, Torquay.

I will stay to be responsible for them.

Name:………………………………………………………..  Signature:…………………………………………………….Date:…………………