ARDROSS PRIMARY SCHOOL
Minutes of Parent Forum Meeting held in Ardross Primary School
Tuesday, 15th September 2015 at 2.30pm
Present: Gemma Dunnett (HT) Paco Morera Apologies: Frances Bell
Catherine Allison (CT) Abigail Walker
Fiona MacLean Shirlee O’Reilly
Kelly Falkiner Kerry Kerr
Isla Graham Amanda Kelly
Lynne Adams-Stevenson Pamela Munro
Mrs Dunnett opened the meeting by thanking everyone for coming and for the excellent turnout.
Fancy Dress Disco
Mrs Dunnett informed the meeting that once again the school were hoping to hold a Halloween Party for the school. She has spoken to the children from both Ardross & Newmore Primaries and they are enthusiastic, but said that she would like to hand the organisation and running of this back into parent control. Shirlee & Kelly offered to make a list of those willing to help; items required for the party, and co-ordinate whom does what. School will send out a note for parent responses. The date was set for Thursday, 29th October from 6-8pm and it was agreed that once everyone was inside, the door would be locked for security reasons until the end of the party.
Mrs Dunnett then brought up the subject of another Winter Fayre this year and asked the meeting for their thoughts on fundraising. As the Fayre made just over £1,000 for school funds last year it was agreed that it is worthwhile doing. Mrs Dunnett said that again, we could do with some parental involvement and would be happy for any parents to volunteer to come into school and help the children make goods on a Friday afternoon. She reinforced that school has Citizenship Afternoon each Friday all year round and parents are welcome to come and join in with the children. Mrs Allison did ask that no younger siblings are brought to these afternoons please as the class then becomes too distracted and we then have a problem of youngsters being around scissors & sharp objects, etc. It was agreed that Fiona would book the Ardross Hall for Saturday, 5th December for this event. Kelly will again advertise the Fayre on Facebook and we will also promote it locally to sell tables and encourage custom.
Parents also mentioned that they would like plenty of Christmas Cards available to purchase, particularly made by their own children.
Mrs Dunnett then raised the idea of a Sponsored Walk, perhaps for spring-time, as it has been almost 2 years since we did anything like that. Paco said if we would agree to turn this into a “Dog Walk” then he would be happy to help organise it and his Veterinary Practice data base could be used to invite people to join in. He would require a couple of months’ notice to organise this but also promised to make “Spanish hot chocolate” for after the walk as an incentive! Paco suggested using somewhere like the Evanton Woods for this event and it was agreed that probably a Saturday would be best after Christmas. The school will follow this up with Paco.
The meeting also agreed that the Summer Sports & Fair day in June had been good fun and a great success and should be done again next year. This is also a decent fundraiser for the school.
Mrs Dunnett asked the meeting for feedback on the current situation with the school bus. Kelly said that she is not happy to put her daughter on the school bus home as she never knows what time Jessica will get there. It was agreed that the usual driver takes a lot longer to do the route than any stand-in driver and this has caused problems. A stand-in driver can drop children off at home 20 minutes before their parents expect them. Frances also sent a note into school to say she was finding the picking up/dropping off times for her children extremely erratic and difficult to manage.
Mrs Dunnett asked if anyone had taken it further again with the transport office but the consensus of opinion is that there is no safe route to school and, if parents keep complaining, the transport office have suggested the bus may be removed completely as most of the children have concessionary seats anyway.
Isla said that whilst things were not perfect, the parents have no option but to “get on with it” if they want to keep the bus.
Learning Logs/Parent Assessments
Mrs Dunnett has recently put out a paper survey on this subject to all parents. As she is still waiting on most of these to be returned, it was not appropriate to discuss further at this time. Once all the results have been collated Mrs Dunnett will get back in touch with parents with a workable solution.
Lynne asked if the Learning Logs were a requirement of HMI & something that every school must do. Mrs Dunnett responded that they have been developed for Ardross/Newmore Primaries with the hope that they would give parents a greater insight into their child’s work and what is expected of them. It is also of great benefit to the school to have regular input/responses from parents and children.
Mrs Dunnett assured parents that the school will continue to endeavour where possible to get homework to pupils on the promised day. She promised that children will never get something home that hasn’t already been covered in class and that homework is always aimed at that particular child’s ability that they should be able to complete.
Mrs Allison said she was aware that some children and parents were a bit “stressed” with e.g. having to do a class talk. She explained that this should not be happening and that children should not have to complete lots of research or reading for a talk, but more to think of it as they would a ‘show and tell’ session.
Mrs Dunnett remarked that obviously a bit more is expected as the children move up the school but it should never be too traumatic. Talks are a requirement in all schools as part of children’s Literacy & Learning and should help a child gain confidence in speaking to an audience.
Amanda supported this by saying that this work in Primary school helps children enormously when they reach the Academy. As part of the English exams in Secondary school, class talks equal one third of a child’s overall mark, so confidence in this is extremely important.
Any Other Business
Amanda said that she was making bunting for the school to be used at sports days/fetes etc. and appealed for any donations of fabric for this – particularly bright stuff if possible. Fiona can add this onto Newsletter too.
Other ideas for fundraisers were tea towels & calendars with the children’s artwork on them and also shopping bags. Mrs Allison/Lynne will look into the purchase price of larger bags to decorate but it was agreed that any Christmas themed decoration should be avoided for this so that we would sell more. Kerry suggested making wood type ornaments like those done previously by Nursery; this will be looked into.
The meeting then closed at 3.30pm and Mrs Dunnett thanked everyone for attending.