28th May 2012



Minutes of meeting on Monday 28th May 2012 at 7.30pm

Present: Bobby Smith (“BS”), Ruth Gillan (“RG”), Annette Wilson (“AW”), Neil Langhorn (“NL”), Christine Paterson (“CP”), Helen MacGregor (“HM”), Ms Denise Penrose (“DP”) & Mrs Sarah Hall (“SH”).

Note: Councillors were not invited to this meeting as it purely concerns internal PC/school matters.

1. The PC’s role in communication

We wanted to discuss the role which we as a PC can play in communicating between the parents and the school.

AW has looked at other schools’ PC websites. Some PCs are much more active than ours. At Bruntsfield for example the PC acts as a conduit for parents’ concerns and/or queries. DP advised that as we are quite a small school, she would prefer that people come direct to her.

There was some discussion about what is the purpose of a Parent Council. It was noted that our constitution is on the PC website. The PC website is not well-signposted on the School website and it was agreed that it could be more prominently linked from the front page. There is also a new local website (“ourglen.com”) which could have a link to the PC website.

How can the PC combat the fact that eg parents talk about school issues in the school library? As a PC we could facilitate better communication. People generally are not aware of much that the PC does.

RG suggested that parents tend to think that their points about the school are trivial and so do not wish to bother the school with them.

DP advised that at her previous school there was a very active PC with various sub-groups eg a Communication sub-group, an Out of School learning sub-group, a PTA sub-group etc. Each fed back on their activities to the main PC. There was also a termly newsletter highlighting what had been achieved. Parents were encouraged to contact the PC or the school with any concerns they had.

Going forward, DP would like the PC to support the school and help develop the curriculum etc.

AW thinks that as a PC we should be more active and engaged.

A relaunch of the PC was discussed.

We might also want to look again at our constitution.

As a start, AW suggested that we:

  • organise a night for new P1 parents; and

  • have a logo/photo competition to improve our website.

Other points discussed included whether we are active or passive? If we were a more active PC, that would probably help with recruitment. What we do should be refocused and clarified eg how do the PC and PTA work together? At the moment the PTA usually ask the teachers for ideas as to what the money raised should be spent on. They try to have specific targets for their fund raising eg saying this fund-raising event is to raise money for X project.

Setting up some focused sub-groups might help the PC to recruit parents who would like to be involved in a specific issue, but who do not wish to attend meetings generally. Possible sub-groups suggested for our PC were:

  • Communication

  • Fund-raising (ie PTA)

DP advised that she is currently preparing the school Improvement Plan. This is where she looks at what the school will be focusing on improving in the next 12 months. Ideas for sub-groups may come out of this eg DP suggested a sub-group on Homework and would also appreciate one on ICT. At her old school, sub-groups ran for as long as they needed to.

AW suggested that ideally any relaunch of the PC should take place with effect from the start of the new term. It was noted that we could use Sports Day on 25 June for a relaunch event.

The PTA next meets on 12 June and AW will attend that meeting. HM can speak to the PTA then about what was discussed this evening.

Ultimately it was agreed to organise a family fun day event for parents & children new to the school on Saturday 18 August from 2pm to 4pm. It will be a drop in event. AW offered to work on preparing invitations for this and on planning it.

2. Homework survey

What is the purpose of homework? Extending the children’s learning; creating a dialogue on learning; letting parents see what and how their children are doing at school.

DP thought the survey was very useful. Thanks to RG for her hard work on this.

For example, it was interesting for the school to see that some parents do not like the learning grids. The idea with these is to give the children personal choice. Perhaps that needs to be explained better.

GLOW is currently being developed further and will be changing so the school has been asked not to use it at the moment.



Action points

  • NL raised the need for cutting of the grass in the orchard. DP will get Gus to chase this up. It was noted that in the new PC, there could be an orchard sub-group.

  • Did the school receive a delivery of trees from the Woodland Trust? DP will check.

  • RG asked that the teachers remind the children to drink water in school during warm weather.

  • DP explained that she wants to buy “flip” video cameras for the school to be used in class. These cameras have a USB connection and can be plugged in to existing classroom hardware to show recorded video. DP ideally wants one per classroom because the idea is that the camera is there ready for use and when a filmable even occurs, they can easily be picked up and used, by teacher or children. The purchase of the cameras is to be funded through the PC with a top up from the PTA. They can be purchased through the school finance system. Both Sony & Kodak make appropriate cameras. The cost is £78 per camera, with £12 for a memory card.

  • The Tesco schools vouchers are being used to purchase IT and playground equipment.

  • AW will attend the P1 induction meeting on Wednesday 6 June if she can. RG is also available.



4. Date and time of next meeting

Monday 3 September 2012 at 7pm. Graham Civis of Balerno PC will be invited to attend.