All the classes have been out on expeditions across the Estate. Some to the beautiful scent filled Dartington Gardens and others down to the River Dart to watch it fly past. I am always amazed at what we find and what we talk about on these outings. It is time for children to really let their minds run free and let conversations happen so naturally between everybody. We have a few more planned expeditions so let’s hope for sunshine. What a wonderful celebration we shared! Thank you for joining in with our loud parade (that Eljas thought might have ‘woken up the wind!) and our quiet moments, the singing, the dancing and the apple tree blessings. The trees are looking beautiful at the moment. Take a peep into the orchard this week. Thank you once again to Kathy and the Early Years café team who displayed and served all the delicious cakes everyone made, then cleaned and tidied it all away. Takings came to £114!
Daverick (a very kind ex parent) kindly put the yurt up for us and has helped to sort out some repairs to the roof. We will use the yurt for some lesson times, camp and the children use the yurt at every break time for all sorts of drama, singing, games and quiet reading. Last week it even turned into a makeshift changing room when we decided to have some water play to enjoy the hot weather. Lots of the children in main school did have a towel and a change of clothes so could join in. Please could you also give your child a plastic bag to put all their wet things into each time as mine have all run out now.
Shona has taken on her role as Gardening Assistant with great enthusiasm and energy. Ben and all the other gardeners have been planting up seeds, digging paths and weeding. It is only 2 years ago that the old pig field began to turn into a wonderful food garden. What a lot of work everyone has done. We are looking at getting permission for a poly tunnel this term which would lengthen the growing and eating times for the children. I know that we will need a rota for watering in the half term and in the summer holidays. Please tell Shona if you can offer any time for this. Also a few requests- we need squash plants (courgette, pumpkin or others), tomato plants and any black plastic you can spare for the garden. I would very much like to thank a local charity called ‘Seedy Sisters’ who have very kindly donated £50 to Park for our garden. It was a very generous gift and will be well spent.
Young Dartington summer camps for children aged 8-14 are running from 22 July -9 August. Park children receive a 10% discount on the basic price. 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 01803 867100 or 07818032443 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin has put up a wonderful display of some theme work that Mark’s class has done last term in the main entrance hall. As you may know each term the children in the main school follow a theme for a term based on our environmental science curriculum, but extended into all curriculum areas. The display is about ‘Dragons and Treasures’ and shows how the children made their own treasure maps to hide a treasure in the school grounds for their friends to find. They had a lot of fun and a huge amount of learning about maps in the process. I hope you have time to have a look as you pass by.
Mark’s class has been extremely busy this term writing, learning, making props and acting out their play. It is ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and will be performed next Wednesday 22 May at 6 o’clock at the Hexagon (last building on the left on Park Road), Studio 30. Tickets are £4 per adult and £1 per child. (Tickets are on sale after school this week and next week). Buy early to avoid disappointment as there is a capacity of 150 people. If your child is in the play please drop them off at 5.30 having eaten and been to the toilet. There will be juice and crisps waiting for you in the foyer of the Hexagon.
It has come to my attention that teachers are being held in conversations at the beginning of the day by parents. Please remember that the start of the day is a very important time to settle individual children and a whole class. Quick details about collecting of children or a mention that is essential for that day is fine but for all other issues please see your class teacher at the end of the day to make an appointment. Your child may not need the teacher while you are talking to them but there may well be another one who does. The teachers like to be available to these children as their priority at this important time especially in the early years.
We have spent some fundraising money recently on an online music resource with lots of songs and activities, a laptop for Mark, repairs to the yurt, a new tablecloth for the kitchen and Easter eggs for the egg hunt! We have a further £1200 which we hope to put towards a shelter for our Forest School activities and a laptop and projector for Ben’s class. The bark and sand to replenish the playgrounds will also need to be ordered again for next year. But we have our main fundraising event this term to replenish funds: our Strawberry Fair.
A message from Stephanie-
‘6 school weeks until the Fair.
Thank you to all those parents who came to the planning meeting. I have set aside Thursday 23rd May 9.15 in the music room for another Fair Planning Meeting. Apparently Rachel has offered/been cajoled into making flapjacks to serve. Please come along if you are able to, or post a note to me via email or pig hole with your ideas, thoughts to be added. Every idea suggestion is always welcome. If you are new to the school it’s a good way to get a sense of how events at Park come into being.
Sign-up sheets are on the notice board. It would be great if all parents could begin to think about their contributions and ideas towards the fair.
At this point I think it is useful if I just remind us all and especially as we have so many new parents at Park what really works when we think about how we can individually help.
This is our major fund raising event and we ask that all parents contribute:
1. Cooking for the Fair Give at least 1 dish
2. Giving time during the fair Give 1 hour time-slot commitment
3. Giving time setting up or dismantling the fair Give 2 hour time-slot commitment
There is also help needed in the planning parts of the fair. This works when a parent decides to take on a main co-ordinator role. We have some of the roles filled but still need others.
If you are new to the school and would like to take on a co-ordinator role I have a stream of information on hand to guide and assist you. It's not as daunting as the list below seems. I'm just packing as much information into one email as I can.
Main Co-ordinator Roles
Raffle Co-ordinator - URGENTLY NEEDED
2 parents organizing seems to work best
We need someone fairly quickly to offer up their commitment as all of the preparation is in the contacting local businesses and asking for donations before the fair. Please speak to me and I can guide you on your way.
Cafe Co-ordinator - Rachel
A team of helpers is required
Help will be needed with Strawberry picking (usually the day before at Home Farm), Strawberry preparation on the morning of the fair. Creation of the cafe the night before ie tables & chairs set up, crockery brought down from the fundraising cupboard. Setting out of food, cakes. Creating a tea/coffee tent. Offering up time in serving throughout the day. Washing up throughout the day.
Pizza Oven & Pizza making Co-ordinator - Dale
A team of helpers is required
Dale will organize up to the fair, but is unable to be there on the day. Usually Julia makes the dough and grates the cheese. Emma makes the sauce, runs the creation of the Pizza's in the kitchen and Rob mans the Oven with a team. All up for grabs on the day speak to Dale if you want to help out or take over the running of this part of the fair this year.
Entertainments Co-ordinator - Kate Daws
A team of helpers/contributors is required.
Richard will be setting up the PA again this year and keeping it all flowing. If you have any wish to help out offer up your skills please let Kate know. Perhaps you have an idea to help run a kids talent show or have some performing skills that you want to create/offer on the day. Whatever way you can get involved.
Setting up and Decorating Team Co-ordinator - Andy
A team of helpers is required.
Andy will be helping with the planning, but is unable to be there on the day.
Having a team of Parents getting together and creating the space the day before. Collecting table & Chairs, putting up bunting, sorting out the electrics for the Cafe and Entertainments area
Childrens Games and Stall Co-ordinator -
1 Parent as Games Co-ordinator and 1 parent as Stalls Co-ordinator is required.
Usually lots of children come up with ideas of running a game or setting up a stall. Also be great to have someone leading some events for the fair. In the past we have had Donkey Derby's, face painting, hair braiding etc. Any ideas and of course someone to take this role on.
Also, we thought it might be a good idea to run a
Nearly New Jumble and Book Stall
Need someone who is willing to get this organized.
Setting up a donation area for parents to make contributions and or course running the stall on the day with a team of helpers.
Heidi & Simon will be running a Pimms Bar again this year and Derryck will be running a food stall again this year.
Other Stall ideas - Please feel free to offer up your thoughts here.
Healing Area Co-ordinator - Kirsty
Kirsty will be setting up a Shiatsu area and Kathy has offered her skills in massage for the day. If you want to add your skills then please contact Kirsty or myself.
Please find some time to get back to me, don't worry about me being inundated with responses with ideas and suggestions no matter how small an idea, it just helps get everything moving along nicely.
I shall leave it there for the moment.
A couple of notes from the Estate
Parking- People coming onto the Estate for any event can use all the overflow car parks as they have been fitted with ticket machines so are not for the sole use of permit holders.
In addition Dartington will provide a minibus service during busy times for people who have parked at the Shops during the Work Day and the Strawberry Fair weekend. On those weekends other events are happening at the same time and it would be advisable to leave plenty of time for parking. If all the main car parks are full then vehicles will have to use the parking at the Shops and either walk or take the minibus provided up to the main entrance.
A day of doing at Dartington- 19 May 10-4 This is a free day of activities at The Shops at Dartington.
Parent Council Member
As you may be aware Park does not have a board of Governors but the Council of Management. The Council oversees the general running and direction of the school. There are usually 2 elected parent members at the meeting which happens once every half term on a Tuesday (5-7pm). Ross has come to the end of his term and is stepping down. I would like to thank him for his support and insight during these meetings and the time he has committed to it. If you would like to join, Council nominations should be returned to the office by 14 June. Voting if required will take place on Wednesday 19 June 3-3.30 and Thursday 20 June 9-9.30- Dates to be confirmed. For more details contact Heidi or Ross.
Please leave the kitchen as you would like to find it. This includes putting the milk away, wiping surfaces by the kettle and washing up your cup.
End of the day play
It has been wonderful to see families staying to play at the end of the day and enjoying the school grounds together. I hope we have many more evenings to enjoy that. However, when the last member of staff leaves please do not be upset if they ask you to leave too. This is a health and safety matter and we hope that you will understand and find some other beautiful place on the Estate to continue playing. The tap in the far corner of the field is not for use after school.
Blitz the Nitz starts 20 May.
Blitz the Nits next week and over half term. Please check your child’s hair every day during this time- even if 1 person does not do this the nits will return!! If you need advice please collect some information from the office.
We have had many enquiries into the Secretary post and 11 applicants. The interview panel consists of Inge (Chair of Council), Anne (Council Member), Drum (Chair of Finance) and myself. The interview will be on 21 May. This should allow some time for the new person to shadow Pauline. I am very happy to say that Pauline will continue to provide the school with her bookkeeping skills next year and come to finance meetings wherever possible.
We have had a lot of enquiries about the Learning Support Assistant job too. The interviews will be 5th June. Inge, Mark and myself will be part of the interview panel with Ben watching them work with children to provide feedback on this. I am confident that we will find the person that the school needs.
Ofsted Parent View
Last September I invited you to give your views about Park School to the Ofsted Inspectors through a website called Parent View. I would like to invite you to do this now if you did not manage before. Your views and opinions are extremely important. Parent View gives you the chance to tell Ofsted what you think about our school. Parents View asks your opinion on 12 aspects of your child’s school, from the quality of teaching, to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour. Please follow the link http://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/ I also have hard copies of a questionnaire in the office if you would find this easier. All replies are kept in sealed envelopes and kept confidential for the Ofsted Inspectors. We are anticipating an inspection in the near future and would value your feedback.
Remember all children in the main school need a bike in school after half term! If you have an old one that your child has grown out of why not bring it to school this term to give/sell to another family. Any unsold/not given bikes must be taken away by half term. Thank you.
Please see the letter from the Director of Public Health and flier in your pigeon holes regarding measles and the MMR catch-up campaign.
The dates for next academic year are-
Autumn Term- Term begins, Monday 9th September, Education Day Friday 18th October, Half Term 21st October – 1 November, term ends Friday 20th December.
Spring Term- Term begins Tuesday 7th January 2014, Education Day Friday 14th February, Half Term Week beginning 17th February, term ends Friday 4th April.
Summer Term- Term begins Wednesday 23rd April, Bank Holiday Monday 5th May, Education Day Friday 23rd May, Half Term Week beginning 26th May, term ends Thursday 17th July at noon.
Dates reminder-not all dates are here due to child protection. please see hard copies in you pig. holes
12 June- Parent Teacher Meetings 3.30-5.30.
13 June- Parent Teacher Meetings 3.30-5.30.
6th July- Strawberry Fair 11-3pm.
9 July- Pizza Oven Day.
17 July- Leavers Ceremony 11-12. Term ends at noon.
Finally a warm welcome to Solomon who has joined the Early Years. Solomon’s parents are Amelia Dubieniec and Andrew Turner.
Teacher in Charge
Phone number and email address
To aid communication the school publishes a Parent phone list for parents and members of the school community.
The school office and certain members of the school community e.g. Parent group coordinators, may prefer to send you some information by email if you are willing. Please would you sign below to indicate your agreement to your phone no. and email address (if relevant) being used for these purposes.
I would prefer not to receive information by email □ (Please tick)
Signed:............................................ Print name:.............................................Date:......................