7th September 2009

Minutes of Ratho Primary Parent Council Meeting

Monday 7th September 2009 

Attendees: Annette Wilson, Mike Humphries, Graham Muir, Angie Muir, Mrs Walshe (HT), Miss Dignan, Catriona Black, Viv Bowden, Christine Paterson, Ruth Gillan, Cllr Alastair Paisley

Plus: Shona Johnson

Apologies: Pat Robertson, Gillian Brown, Euan Maxwell

1. Notices:

1         Recruitment and Selection – if anyone would be willing to attend the training for this please let Annette know.

2         Parent’s Night -  it was agreed that the Parent Council should have a presence at parent’s night again this year.  This will be co-ordinated by email nearer the time.

3         Contact Details – Annette circulated a form to fill out up to date contact details of all members of the Parent Council.  Please, if you were not at the meeting, ensure that she has your correct contact details.

4         Parent Council Network – there has been discussion across the city about school dinners.  This is ongoing.  Please would everyone speak to their children about what they like/don’t like about school dinners, why they do/don’t have them, and feed back to Annette.

2. School Maintenance:

1         School Roof – The school roof was replaced over the summer holidays.  The initial teething problems now seem to be resolved.  Mike raised the question of the gutters over the HTs office.  This is being looked into.  Please do flag up anything you notice to do with the roof to the school as the work on it has not yet been signed off.

2         Entrance Wall – The wall at the entrance to the car park was initially weakened some years ago, and then more recently vandalised such that it had to be taken down for safety reasons.  A parent has done this for the school.  Unfortunately the school have been informed that a replacement wall must be funded out of the school budget – at a cost of £5 -7,000.  The Parent Council were not happy that this cost had to be met by the school.  Mrs Walshe has discussed with local blacksmiths the possibility of replacing the wall with a metal box section panel fence which would look like the current gate.  Graham Muir to ensure the wall is on the Community Council Walk on Tues 8th September.  Councillor Paisley to look into funding options.  There was also some discussion around the planting of a hedge instead.  Annette to email Susan Brown about concerns of Parent Council.

3         Mains Water – Only one tap in school is available for drinking water.  LW to check that all children are allowed to fill up their water bottles during the day.  Children also to be reminded to take them home daily to be filled up.  School to look into the possibility of having a week of promoting drinking of water to help encourage and inform.  Different ideas muted about whether school should supply/seek sponsor for water bottles, or whether children should bring their own and then have a session in school to customise them.  Could all parents please have a think about whether they could ask anyone to sponsor the purchase of enough water bottles for the school.

4         Outside Tap – an outside tap has been found in the infant playground, under lock and key, along with a power supply.  This has already proved very useful for the school garden.  Thanks Dave!

5         CCTV – The current CCTV system is not great.  It was decided, however that it was not worth the huge costs to install another one.

3. Garden Project (Shona)

Shona gave a comprehensive presentation (with lovely photos) of how the new school garden has been progressed since the last meeting.  A group of parents have been involved last term in tidying up the grass and scraping and painting all the railings.  This continued over the summer along with the formation of a terraced area and path.  Gus has since been in and the wooden structures have been put in place, along with the help of pupils.    If you haven’t had a look at the garden, please do.  It’s coming on brilliantly.  Also, if you now find you’d have time to come along and help just turn up on a Tuesday evening with your gardening gloves!

All the money allocated for the garden is now in the Parent Council account. The £5000 grant from Community Partnership has to be used by the end of September, but an extension of 3 months is being sought. 

Many thanks to the gardening group, and especially to Shona!

On a related subject:

1         The Environmental Group have offered to look after the planters at the school entrance.

2         BTCV are providing 50 volunteers (and £2000) on 30th September to do the following:

- plant wild flowers amongst the daffodils on the way up to school

- paint the tool store and train climbing plants up it

- develop a minibeast garden at the nursery

- re-do the planters in the quiet are of the playground

- re-do the community garden at the back of the community centre – near RASCA.

4. Parent Council Website

Annette showed us how this looks and received lots of very positive feedback.  Thanks to Gillian and Neil Brown.  It can be found at RathoParentCouncil.org.uk.

We will plan to launch this at parent’s night.  Gillian to look into getting an email address which Chair or Secretary can manage any incoming mail and means there’s no need for personal email addresses to be shown.  Photos of members also to be added.

There’s an area on the website for links to other useful sites.  Please let Gillian know of any you find useful – eg: good sites for homework etc.  Also need to put on info about free school meal site and clothing vouchers.

5. Improvement Plan (Liz Walshe)

Mrs Walshe circulated the Standards and Quality Report which is due to go out in school bags on Tues 8th Sept. 

She highlighted the school’s successes and achievements over the past year:

1         Attainment:

Maths             92%  (+9%)

            Reading         91% (+1%)

            Writing           80%  (- 7%)

1         Ratho Action Group established

2         1st Prize and Gold Award – Gardening Scotland Exhibition: Pallet Garden

3         Gala day first prize – Homecoming Scotland

4         Stage 3, Health Promoting Schools Status

5         Science open afternoon / storytelling

6         Outdoor Classroom Programme & Wildlife Rangers


1         Curriculum for Excellence

2         School Garden

3         Recognising Achievement


Work and Life of the School

1         Opportunities for active learning extended through outdoor classroom programme

2         Outdoor developments eg school garden, nursery garden, bird and bat boxes, litter campaign,

3         Pupil leadership skills developed through Wildlife Rangers, RAG etc

4         Growing Confidence – parent group

5         Roof / solar tubes / smartboards Opportunities for active learning extended through outdoor classroom programme

6         Outdoor developments eg school garden, nursery garden, bird and bat boxes, litter campaign,

7         Pupil leadership skills developed through Wildlife Rangers, RAG etc

8         Growing Confidence – parent group

9         Roof / solar tubes / smartboards

Next steps

1         Curriculum for Excellence – involving the children in the planning

2         Continue to provide opportunities for Active Learning.

3         Literacy across learning


Vision & Leadership

1         All staff take on additional responsibilities

2         Pupils take on leadership roles willingly and enjoy the responsibility: RAG, PC, WR, PF, Buddies

3         Greater involvement of parents

4         Links with local businesses continue – RBS, BAA


Authority Priorities

1         Curriculum for Excellence

2         Literacy across Learning

3         Active Learning

4         GLOW


Cluster Developments

1         Literacy across learning – Cluster working party

2         Transition project – energy (to be completed)

3         Active Learning – Co-operative Learning cluster working party.




1         Uniforms – the issue was raised about uniforms which parents are replacing but which still have a lot of wear in them.  Ratho Action Group to look into a way of recycling uniforms.

2         Parent Mail – not everyone has been receiving this.  LW to look into this.

3         Art is now being taught by class teachers.  Children receive 2 sessions of PE from the specialist.

4         Currie rugby club always recruiting – Cameron and Jack Muir to speak to assembly about this.

5         New active schools co-ordinator has not yet started, but will be involved in the school again this year.