School News April 2012
Welcome to the summer term! I hope that your Easter holidays were fun and that ‘The Bunny’ visited your gardens.
We had such a lot on towards the end of last term. Thank you for the wonderful Barn Dance, which many of you made delicious food for – and so many helped to decorate and tidy up the hall. I would like to say a special thank you to Dylan, Laura and Adelaide who were so generous with the help that they continued to offer from beginning to end. Complete stars! We had a lot of fun, got to know each other a bit more and raised £82.
Our Open Afternoon was blessed by beautiful weather and drew in about 12 new families. Your delicious cakes, fun activities and friendly faces all helped them to feel very welcome. Some have asked to have a formal look at the school this term. I would like to say thank you to all of the people who came to the Work Party the previous weekend to ensure that the school looked super lovely and to all of you who are on the Essential Jobs team. The kitchen cups are shining, the tea towels are crisp, the garden just gets better and better, Pauline has some wonderful office help, the main flower bed to the office is beautiful, the publicity around Totnes and surrounding villages has never been so good and the Fundraising cupboard is very tidy. Thanks also to Drum who has given many hours to update the office computers and help me to maintain an up to date and useful website.
I thought that I should clarify that we do not have two separate parent contribution groups. We now only have one parent contribution group which involves all of the fundraising, social events and building and grounds work. Stephanie and Ruth coordinate separate areas but you can help in all of them! There are one or two jobs on the essential jobs list that still need to be covered. Look on the green notice board if you have not fulfilled your expected contribution hours, which are at least 1 hour a week, or 12 hours each term and time for fairs and work days. Please talk to Ruth or Stephanie for job ideas or talk to Pauline about paying the voluntary opt out fee. Please talk to them early on in the term so that jobs can be planned and you are not left with a week to go before the end of term realizing that you have several hours to give to the school still. Once again thank you for the care and time that so many of you give to make our school a very special place.
Ben needs some help!
Please can a parent sharpen a set of 15 knives, which we use in the forest gardening sessions? They are rather blunt and the children need sharp tools to work with.
Do you have any unwanted, unused cards or postcards or envelopes? - The children are writing to parents, friends and favourite bears/aunties.
Please speak to Ben if you can help with either of these requests.
A note from Inge-chair of Council
At its regular half-termly meetings, the school Council has been discussing the budget for the next academic year. We have to plan well in advance to ensure the ongoing financial stability of the school. This includes making decisions on staffing levels, whether we should increase pay for staff and if so by how much, whether we should increase the fees and if so by how much, and any other provisions that need to be made for increased expenses such as higher energy bills. We have considered a range of possible options prepared by our Finance Committee, and discussed them with staff and with parent representatives on the Council (Kate van Dyke and Ross Robens). The figures are now being finalized and will be shared with parents before half term.
School starting time
Classrooms open at 8.50am in the main school and all children should be supervised by an adult before this time outside of the classroom. Teachers are busy preparing for the day or having meetings and cannot be responsible prior to this. School starts at 9 o’clock. Please can all children be ready in class at 9 o’clock in the main school. Being on time is such an important part of feeling settled, secure and calm. Please do not interrupt the class teacher after 9 o’clock because they really want to get on and be with the children. 8.50 is a good time to catch teachers for quick messages. For longer conversations appointments should be made. Early Years open their doors at 9.00 and offer a slightly more staggered arrival time.
Can I remind you that once you have collected your child you are responsible for them. Your child knows that if they want to play in the grounds the school safety rules remain the same. This includes only playing with sticks shorter than their arms, no rough fighting games, only one person on the swings at a time, keeping off the banks and being generally lovely together! Please help them to stick to these rules.
To protect your child from the sum it would really help if you could make sure that you apply a long lasting sun cream if you use sun cream in the morning before school as the weather gets warmer. We do have sun cream at school, which we apply if necessary in an emergency. Please let the office know if you do not want us to use sun cream on your child. If you would like your child to have their own sun cream in school please send a bottle in with their name on it.
We hope to have some fun water play as the days heat up. Your child will need a named towel, a swimsuit or wet water play clothes in school every day to be able to join in the fun.
Reminder for all children
Children will need a waterproof coat, wellies, a full change of clothes and a sun hat in school every day – all named please!
Young Dartington summer camps for children aged 8-14 are running for 3 weeks this year in Park’s grounds beginning on 23 July. Park children receive a discount. If you would like more information there are brochures on the table outside the school office. Their website is www.ydsummercamps.co.uk and they can be contacted on 07818032443 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to help Tabitha collect payments more easily you will need to book and pay for all meals by the end of the first week of each half term. This term it will be by 20 April. Payment after this time will have the usual surcharge added. 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 to Tabitha 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.
- 24 April 2-3 Meet Ben in his classroom.
An invitation to all Early Years parents to find out a little more about the transition to Ben’s class and what kind of activities they do.
- 26 April 1.30-3 CAP workshop for parents at school in the quiet classroom. If you are unable to get to this meeting CAP have offered one on 26 April 6-7.30pm. Please come and talk to Amanda if you can only manage this time.
- Spring Celebration All come dressed as fairies or spring creatures. Everyone welcome. A musical procession with a café opening . Please be here to collect your children promptly as they are the parent’s responsibility after this time.
- Jumble Sale 12 May Methodist Church Hall Totnes 10.30am
Please only bring good quality jumble. We are collecting it during the week beginning 7 May. Please leave under the covered way. Help needed on Friday evening 6-9pm and Saturday 9-3pm. Please see the sign up sheet or talk to Stephanie.
- Earth Education Parent Evening
Ben and Mark’s class parents invited to find out what their child has done in the Earth Medicine workshops.
- Hop, hang glide, cycle or walk to school day Wednesday 23 May.
If you do not come by car or other vehicle and you need a bit longer to get here you can be at school by 9.30 with a story to tell!
- School Play ‘The Borrowers’ in the Hexagon- all welcome. Tickets (£4 adults and £1 child) on sale from the office nearer the time. Marks’ class is putting on the play with support from Ben’s class. Please could these children be at school by 5.30 to be dressed and ready for 6pm. Early Years will watch the dress rehearsal on Monday afternoon but are welcome to come back in the evening with their parents!
- Blitz the Head lice Week 28-31 May
Please check all heads at least once a week but this week let’s all make a special effort to check twice a week and get rid of these beasties. More information is available from the office.
- Pizza oven Day 29 May
Please book and pay Tabitha as soon as possible.
- 1st June – Education (non-pupil) Day, Half term 4-8 June
- Scarecrow event at Shops at Dartington 3 June – flier with further information to follow.
- 12 and 13 June Parents Evenings 3.30-5.30pm. Sign up sheets will be put up nearer the time.
- CAMPS-dates in hard copy of school news
- Bike week 18-22 June
All children in main school please have your bike in school in good working order along with a good fitting helmet.
- Sports Day 26 June or (3 July if wet) 2-3
- Work day 30 June (10-2) and Park Family Camp 30 June (‘til 11am on 1 July).
Bring supper (6pm) and breakfast to share.
- Strawberry Fair 7 July 11am-3pm.
- Leavers Ceremony
Term ends at 12 noon followed by a picnic together. Bring your own food and rug.
The summer term is my very favourite term at Park. There are expeditions, canoe trips, water play, camps, Strawberry Fair and lots of other exciting things to do together. I look forward to sharing lots of them with you.
Teacher in Charge