School News March 2012

The children in Mark and Ben’s class have been learning some den making skills during their Forest School sessions.  It has been a lot of fun but has been a great way to help children to understand how to cooperate and work together too.  These are skills that will last a lifetime. March has arrived at last!  The daffodils are holding up their golden heads and the crocuses are yawning themselves awake, while the cherry trees blow blossom around the buzzing bees.  The school really is looking so beautiful.  This is mainly due to the work of parents and children giving and planting so many bulbs over the years – leaving their laughter in the blooms.  Thank you to all of you and to all that have left in the last 26 years who have given these gifts for us all to enjoy.


I want to say a very big thank you for a fantastic gift that Richard, Kate Daws and Drum have made for the school this term.  It is a Park School short film.  They have worked very hard to create a stunning and moving film (it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it).  I feel it catches the essence of what we are about.  It has now been added to our website so please have a look   Drum has put some onto DVDs to help publicize the school.


Thanks also to those parents who have been decorating the school.  A gang came in to clean light shades, paint the toilet walls, doors and radiators.  It all looks so much fresher.


Project ‘Children’s Fire’

Mark and Ben’s classes are starting a new project.  They will be joined by Earth Guides Carlos Glover and Mark Jefferys to embark on a pilot project to enhance children’s environmental education.  Mark Jefferys is a very experienced Earth Education teacher and Carlos Glover has worked with the American Indians with Earth Wisdom for many years.  They have combined their skills to create a project for our children, which they plan to take to other schools and groups.  It will be all about encouraging them to look at the natural world in new ways, build awareness through all 5 senses and awaken a sense of wonder.  There will be songs, games and written activities as well as maths and time to be still.  The aim is to offer the children the chance to have a greater connection to the earth, a deeper understanding of how it works and a sense of inspiration to do more for our precious planet.  I know that it will be loads of fun too!  The last session will be on May 21st after school (3-6pm).  Parents are also warmly invited to come along to this session to celebrate what the children have learnt.

We had fun during our French Day eating lots of delicious food in the Park café.  Martin showed the children some pictures of Matisse and then they made their own wonderful pictures.  Mark showed the children a very cute model of France lent by Stephanie (Finn’s Mum) and made cut out Eiffel Towers.  I went round to each group and was amazed by the French that was spoken and fascinated by all the extra general knowledge and conversations that were happening around the French activities.  For example the Early Years had a map of the world and found where France is but the conversation took them to where Eljas and Nicholas had come from and the transport they had to use to get to the UK.  The Eiffel Tower activity took us to when it was built, the Victorians and why it was built with all those triangles.  The French café had lots of conversations but Cian said ‘This is a good way to start the day‘ with a big grin on his face as he tucked into a bowl of hot chocolate, French stick and Nutella.’  I couldn’t have agreed with him more!


Book Week

Book Week was a huge success with lots of reading and sharing of books.  Thank you to all of you who came to read in the mornings in your child’s class.  We also had a wonderful story told to the whole school while sitting in the sun on the field.  Martin played us his Didgeridoo and told us about the first story as told by the Australian Aboriginals.  Storytelling is such a wonderful thing to offer the children.  If you have skills in the area please let your class teacher know.


We made books and went on an expedition around the Estate telling jokes to each other.  (‘Why are elephants grey, big and wrinkly?  Because if they were smooth, white and small they would be an Aspirin.’ – by Esther!)


Our dressing up day was an enormous success with nearly everyone dressing up as a book character.  We all had a parade and took it in turns to stand on a stage to tell each other who we were.  Thanks for all the time and energy you gave to make those costumes so much fun.


We also had an Extreme Reading Day where children could read wherever they wanted and also draw pictures of where they could imagine reading a book.


The book swap will happen this week and we have a regular shelf to swap books in the Music Room if your child ever needs a book.


Our Twin School in Sri Lanka sent us some more letters.  This time they told us about different festivals that they celebrate through their various religions.  They sent us pictures and poems, which we looked at in the school meeting.  These are up in the quiet classroom.


Early next term we will be having CAP come into school.  This is the Child Abuse Protection team.  It will be in school for 3 days to work with Mark and Ben’s children and the older Early Years children.  I will be sending a full letter out about this nearer the time.


A message from Martin

I am trying to get rid of the old playhouses but need someone with a big trailer and vehicle or someone who has a vehicle that can tow a big trailer.  Please come and talk to me or the office.


A message from Stephanie

The Social and Fundraising group contribution hours are really starting to need as many parents as possible to fulfil all the events which are up and coming over the remaining months until the end of this school year.  I've outlined a few below, but firstly can I remind everyone:


We are a short hop and jump away from the Barn Dance - and ticket sales need to be flying out of the office.  If you haven't already pledged your money for tickets please do so. This isn't a large fundraiser for the School.  It’s our annual evening bash where we chat and dance together merrily with a Band - However, the event will cost us £400.00 to organize hence the need to sell tickets, so as we aren't dipping into our social fundraising pot.  Please help by running to the office and grabbing your tickets.

Events lined up:

29th March School Open Day - To help with the successful running of this event, the Social and Fundraising group is urgently needed. The help of at least 4 Parents to help with running 2 activities, arranged as 2 1 hour slots of 2.30 -3.30 and 3.30- 4.30.  Can any parent who wishes to make a contribution from their hours please contact myself?  Amanda will be able to fill you in on more details.  Also extra help needed on the day to help set up and run a small tea & coffee café. Eljas' parents, Lotta and Dale (Early Years), have kindly come forward but we really need some extra help.  Again this is another great way to contribute your hours.  Let me know.

You can email me. From a point of view of administration of the Social and Fundraising group it would be really helpful if all those who correspond by email confirm this note by emailing me, this ensures that all future emails I send out to the Social and Fundraising Group include all.  If you are part of the group and not on email, please confirm by putting a note in my Pig. Hole.

Some other dates and Events for your diary:

 May Day Cafe for the benefit of all new parents - this is a large Spring Celebration event.

12th May - Our big town Jumble Sale

7th July Strawberry Fair

Best wishes,



A message from Ruth

Big thank you to all our decorators and light shade cleaners over the half term. Premium job done on the downstairs loos. Just the ceiling and floor to do and that's another job ticked off. Anyone who wants to help with putting up the yurt after Easter email me to let me know. I'll be emailing round after the school workday on Saturday with anything that's left for the Summer Term.

Thanks for all you help


Pizza Oven Day

We will be having another Pizza Oven lunch day on 20 March.  If your child normally has pizza then you do not have to do anything but if not please order this directly with Tabitha by 14 March so that she has time to get all of the ingredients.


School lunches

Please remember to give Tabitha your email address if you would prefer to receive invoices in this way.  Tabitha’s email address is..(ask at office).  Please remember that the cook at Park is self-employed which means that prompt payment is essential as late payment affects them directly.  Refunds can only be provided if your child is off school due to illness for more than three consecutive lunch days (in one week) and in this circumstance reimbursement (starting from the fourth day of absence) will be by deduction from the following invoice. Holidays should be notified by the first day of the half term as invoices need to be issued.  Unfortunately it will not be possible to make any other refunds.   I know that parents will appreciate that it is difficult to provide an organic and nutritious lunch on a budget, so I hope that you will support this on the basis that once the food is ordered and paid for it isn’t possible to recoup the outlay.  As of the summer term the price for meals for special dietary requirements will be £3.



  • Work Party 10 March 10-2.  Bring a wheelbarrow if you have one.

A time to meet and work on projects together that help the school.  Hannah and Julia have kindly offered to make lunch for us again.  Please sign up for lunch under the covered way.


  • Early Years ‘Bring a Friend’ Afternoon

If you have a child in the Early Years and have a friend who wants to come along for a free afternoon to see what we are about please tell Bridie and come along with them for a lovely afternoon of play.  Children aged 3-6 welcome.


  • Whole School Open Day 29 March 2.30-4pm.  We are planning an Easter Treasure Trail around the grounds for our visitors (our children will have their own separate hunt).  This will be followed by a café for all of us – do stay and introduce yourself to visitors.  Please help to publicize the event by displaying the posters and speak to Stephanie if you can help with the Treasure Trail or café.


  • Tickets for the School Barn Dance at Rattery Village Hall are now available in the office. There will be some soft drinks available but no bar so you are welcome to bring a bottle if you want to. Please bring a friend or two to this wonderful fundraiser.  We need some more offers of food for the buffet so please sign up on the board.


  • Jumble Sale 12 May

Please save your jumble!  Stephanie will be organizing collections early in the summer term.



Best wishes,


Amanda Bellamy

Teacher in Charge