July School News
I was woken up on Saturday morning at 3am by the rain hitting my window and I thought ‘Oh no!’ But by 7 it had eased and I thought ‘the show must go on!’ As 11 o’clock approached the school looked so beautiful. The bunting was waving, the chilli and juice stand was beginning to smell yummy, the pizza oven fired up and the music began to play ‘It’s raining men!’
As the first visitors began to arrive Puppet craft started beating their African drums and it drew the children towards Daverick’s tent (Daverick is an ex-parent who kindly lends it to us) to be astonished by the story of the very first story. There were the most beautiful puppets (many of which Martin had made) and enchanting African singing. As soon as this finished Kayte had organized a treasure hunt. I was lucky enough to be able to give out all the treasure at the end. Then there were lots of games invented by Kayte and storytelling with Jeremy. I loved all the games the children invented – and some very creative face painting. The children’s busking area was stunning and brought tears to my eyes. What talents they all were! We were lucky enough to have a healing gazebo from Kirsty and a wonderful guess the weight of the cake from Julia. Richard had kindly put together a DVD of the recent Borrowers play which was put beside the amazing props the children had made to form a wonderful art installation in Mark’s room. The café had supreme organization! And seemed to be seamless in its ability to serve everyone with the fabulous and delicious homemade food that you kindly gave. (Just wish my tummy could fit more in it!) The Bog Boys brightened the afternoon with their merry tunes as we chatted and got to know each other but my favourite bit was the dance disco that we did after the raffle which played ‘Don’t blame it on the boogie’ for us all to dance together. What joy I saw around me! Thanks so much also to the tidy up team who helped to put the school back together again so quickly.
Takings at the Fair came to £1456.57 which will go towards school funds of which 10% goes to the bursary. And an especially big thanks to Stephanie for her wonderful coordination of the whole event.
Many of you will have noticed that the car parks around the Estate will have meters from 25 July. We have been in discussion with the Estate to decide what this means for school parking. The estate has offered the school enough permits to cover staff and about 3 visitors. Council will try to have further conversations through the holidays. However at present this means that parents are allowed 15 minutes free drop off and pick up time. It will cost 30p per hour after this. The visitor permits will be used for parents working at school during the day and for new Early Years parents during their settling in period.
New classroom update
For those of you who do not know me I am Hamid, Samadi and Aliyyah’s dad, and I am supervising the building of the new classroom, with much appreciated support and guidance from Anne Phillips, member of the Park School Council.
I have really enjoyed this project – (so far!). It was good fun going to London with the children and teachers. I felt very privileged, and saw the Park School philosophy in action by how the teachers supported the children enabling them to find their confidence and shine, bringing out their true potential. As a designer also I was very impressed with the teamwork, collaboration and creative process that emerged between us – as were the competition judges.
It looks like Mark’s class will be moving into the classroom by the end of November. This seems like a long time away, but we are in the process of submitting drawings to obtain planning permission, and negotiating details with Dartington Trust, including exploring more ecological heating options. The planners also require us to do a tree root survey in order to ascertain whether the foundations might cause any damage to the surrounding trees. Once we have our planning certificate we will be able to take the old hut down.
Martin Bjerregaard (Kai’s father) has been advising us on the demolition procedures for this, and it looks like this will take place in September. During October Elliott - who are the manufacturers and generous donors of the new classroom - will lay new foundations. Finally a large crane will turn up to lift the new building into place – right over the row of lime trees along the drive. You will all be invited to watch this on the big day, which is scheduled during the October break!
As part of the prize we also won some furniture and a few weeks ago Mark and Amanda had a ball choosing from the Rhubarb furniture catalogue. There will be some colourful soft seating, new desks and chairs. So it is all very exciting and I do hope Mark will let me have a go on the super-deluxe electronic smart board when that arrives! In any case I wish you all a good summer break.
Hamid van Koten
Bikes and property
Please remember to take all bikes and belongings home by Friday. The school is used by several people during the holidays and the teachers need to sort out their rooms ready for next year.
Day to help teachers
29 August 1-4pm. Please come and support your teachers to get the classrooms and equipment ship-shape for September. Tea and cake provided! If the children come please remember that they are your responsibility out of school hours.
Family camp and Work Day weekend
I had such a lovely weekend with everyone on our Work day and Family camp. We got MASSES of jobs done including a new stile for the food garden, barking both playground equipment areas, painting, cleaning, sawing, weeding and sharing a delicious lunch. And then it just carried on! The tents and bongos went up and the children played in the sunshine while we set up supper to share. What a feast! Then we built a fire and Heidi lit some beautiful candles while we sang songs, toasted marshmallows and told stories. It was a beautiful evening and I sat chatting under the stars ‘til after midnight. Morning brought the sun out again and the smell of bacon cooking. Croissants, coco pops and hot chocolate made me feel like we must be in France! After breakfast a team set to work putting up the marquee for the Fair - which is quite a task!
The whole weekend offered the chance to meet people in a space where we could talk and really get to know each other. I often talk to new parents about this being a community school and I really felt that sense of community strengthening again. Thank you for all of your help and time given so generously.
Parent Member of Council
Thank you to Heidi Strawson for agreeing to become the new parent member of Council next term. Thanks also to Mike Rowe for offering his time and expertise and to Kate Daws for her time in Council over the last two years.
- 13 July Leavers Ceremony 11-12.
Term ends at 12 noon followed by a picnic together. Bring your own food and rug.
- Autumn term begins on 5 September.
I hope that you all have a joyful holiday with family and friends with lots of adventures (hopefully in the sun!) together. Make some good memories!
Thank you for a great year!
Teacher in Charge