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2012-13 Chairman's report

Ratho Primary School Parent Council

Chairman’s Report 2012-13


This short report sets out the main activities and achievements of the Parent Council in the year 2012-2013.

Family Fun Day

In August last year we decided (jointly with the PTA) to organise a Family Fun Day with the aim of welcoming new parents and children to the school. We were blessed with sunshine on the day and had a good attendance of new and existing parents and children. Teachers and staff also attended and fun was had by all. We now hope this will become an annual event.

Involvement in Recruitment of School Staff

Over the course of the year there have been a number of staff changes and the Parent Council was represented on the selection panels. Members of the Parent Council were involved in the recruitment of Mrs McGlynn as the new Headteacher, Ms Hazel as the new Principal Teacher and Miss Watson as the new Nursery teacher. A huge thanks to Ruth Gillan and Chris Cartwright for the amount of time and effort they put in here.

Garden and Grounds

The secret garden continues to go from strength to strength thanks to the efforts of Shona Johnson and the other volunteers in the garden group. It’s now a really valuable resource for children and staff to use for learning and fun. New volunteers are always welcome and the group gather in the garden from 6:30 every Tuesday.

During the year we also began to develop the use of the school orchard that we planted in March 2011. We held our first Ratho Orchard Day on 25th October with a special assembly, freshly pressed apple juice tasting, and the planting of a new Galloway Pippin tree donated to us by Forth Valley Orchards. Then in February we pruned the apple and pear trees in the orchard and secret garden with help from Kathy Buckner from Ratho Environment Group and the children in P3 and P4.

Village Christmas Tree

Last year the Ratho Action Group said that they wanted to have Christmas lights in Ratho, like many other villages and towns have. The Parent Council decided to try to make this happen but it quickly became clear that the costs of street lights was way too expensive. Undeterred we therefore decided to see if we could get a village Christmas tree.

Thanks to the superb efforts of Emer Grimley, Chris Cartwright and others we managed to secure grants from the Community Council (£50) and Scotmid (£150) to purchase a tree and lights (+ a wee bit left over for future years!) Mrs McGlynn switched on the lights and carols were sung on the ground behind the Bridge Inn. This was a great event to link the school and the wider community and we are already starting to think about how we might do something bigger and better this year.

Inputting to the Development of School Policies and Curriculum

Over the course of the year we have had discussions with Ms Penrose and Mrs McGlynn about a number of topics, including homework, road safety, the implementation of the new curriculum for excellence, child development and support, and, most notably, communication between the school and parents.

Communicating with the Wider Parent Body

Over the course of the past year we’ve taken steps to try to improve our communication with parents and carers at the school. This includes developing a new newsletter and plans to update the website, plus input to the weekly Friday note from Mrs McGlynn.

Relationship with the PTA and the Headteacher

Over the course of the year we have built a strong relationship with both the Headteacher and the PTA. PC and PTA meetings are now held jointly and our meetings have benefitted greatly from Ms Penrose’s and Mrs McGlynn’s input and we look forward to a close working relationship in the future.

Representing the School Externally

Members of the Parent Council have represented the school on a number of external groups throughout the year. In particular, we have attended meetings convened by the City Council for Parent Councils in the south-west part of the city. We have also attended a number of meetings of the Ratho & District Community Council to raise issues of concern to the PC

Postholders and Membership

The role of Chairman of the PC has changed hands a couple of times during the course of the year. Thanks to Bobby Smith for his efforts up to September 2012 and to Ruth Gillan for stepping into the breach on an interim basis between September and February. I hope to build on the good work that they started.

Thanks are also due to Annette Wilson and Christine Paterson for their continuing support as Treasurer and Secretary respectively.

Neil Langhorn

14th May 2013