August 2016



Minutes of meeting on Thursday 25 August 2016 at 7pm

Present: Rachel Lytollis, Chris Welander, Jackie Wake, Emma Hughes, Neil Langhorn, Annette Wilson, Vicki Wallace, Sam Mitchel, Cath Darlington, Helen Morris, Morag MacLachlan, Cecile Robertson and Jen Adams
Apologies: Lisa McCarthy, Michael Lloyd, Christina Enever, Louise Lloyd, Lizzie Booden, Claire Baker, Karen Borthwick and Michaela Muir

1. School Grounds Improvement

Rachel confirmed the focus will be on improving the infant playground. Unfortunately, Gus Egan from Earth Calling could not attend tonight’s meeting (at short notice) but will come along to the next one to talk us through the options. Neil & Chris are planning on visiting Blackhall School, to see their playground. Anyone is welcome to come along to this. Neil reminded us that the grant he secured for planning had to be spent by end of September.
  • Neil to try and negotiate an extension to the planning grant.
  • Neil & Chris to arrange visit to Blackhall School playground and communicate out for anyone else interested in going along.
  • Jackie to confirm date of next meeting where Gus Egan can attend.

2. Head Teacher’s Update

  • School Roll – Currently 248 kids (nursery to P7), 118 kids (P1 – P7).
  • Staffing – New staff are settling in. Also advertising for a pupil support assistant (19 Hours), with interviews on 12/9.
  • Breakfast Club – Currently costs £1.50 per day, starting at 8am. There has been a slight drop in numbers, but not substantial. It will be reviewed again at Christmas time, but it’s currently
  • looking viable. In answer to a couple of queries, Rachel advised:
    • Yes, the older kids are allowed into the big ones playground during breakfast club hours and no, there is no supervision at that time.
    • Not sure if childcare vouchers can be used to pay for breakfast club. Nicola Mowat would be best placed to advise
  • Uniform – If children are entitled to Free School Meals (FSM), they are also entitled to:
    • Free Breakfast Club
    • Assistance with school uniform.
Tip: It’s good for the school if people register for what they are entitled to, as funding applications often look at the number of FSMs registered. 
  • RAG: Ratho Action Group (RAG) meets on a Friday morning at 10:45. We are looking for more parent reps to come along and support the kids.
  • School Website: This is still down. Claire Dixon is building it (during overtime). Vicki asked if any parents’ skills could be utilised to help Claire.
  • NEW electronic learning journals: A parent information evening will be held on 15 Sept, 6 – 6:30pm. Teachers have started populating it, so that when it goes live for parents, there will be a least one comment there for each child (aiming for 5 comments per term, 20 per year for each child). Following the information evening, parents will be emailed Login details.
  • School improvement priorities for 2016/17: Rachel summarised the leaflet that went out to all parents and advised that staff will meet a couple of times a term in working parties to progress these areas. She advised that parents input and views would be welcome.
  • In terms of building Scotland’s Young Workforce, RSV asked if parents from a range of occupations could come in to talk to the kids. Helen offered to talk about midwifery.
  • Jackie to contact Nicola re use of childcare vouchers with breakfast club.
  • Jackie to ask Claire if any parents can help with school website to get it finished.

3. (Parent) Class Reps

Both this year’s class reps and Rachel thought the newly established Class Reps had worked well in its first year. Sam noted that it was a reasonably easy role to take on, that didn’t take up much time. Everyone agreed they would be happy to continue in the role, but we should open it up to see if anyone else would like to be involved. Carol Nicolson is also in discussions with an afternoon
nursery mum about taking on this role. It was noted that not all parents are on Facebook, in terms of taking part in parent group discussions. Helen advised she communicated out to everyone in her year, to raise awareness of the group, but asked for folks to advise her if they wished to be consulted in a different way. We can use similar wording for other years once we have all the class reps in place for this school year.

 Jackie to ask Claire to include ‘class rep recruitment’ in the Friday note.

4. Fun-day

Organising the School Fun-day has thrown up a few issues which were discussed at the meeting. In the end those present decided to cancel the fun day event this year and start planning a low key
welcome event in the spring next year, to take place within a couple of weeks of school starting.

  • Jackie to advise Lizzie & Christina.

5. Fundraising

Current activities/ideas discussed:
  • School calendar & tea-towel: Kids have started creating self-portraits which Aongus will then start scanning in. (Jackie & Aongus currently)
  • 3 Dec - Christmas Fair: Looking at Sat 3 Dec, but awaiting Dave’s return to confirm. Vickie passed out last year’s planning document and will look to recruit more people/new blood and ideas to help organise this year’s event. (Vicki, Lizzie, Michaela & Jackie currently)
  • 7 Oct - Film night: Film TBD. Annette noted that Scouts are not in that night and not to worry about clashing with Cubs. More Friday cinema nights to be scheduled, whenever we know the Scouts are not in the hall. (Emma & Jackie)
  • NEW Family Photography session: Mixed views, on whether this would be a success or clash with Tempest school photos. Need to find best date and suitably free venue to host. Not sure it would be done at the school as would eat into free let time. Agreed worth looking into more (Lizzie & Jackie)
  • NEW Xmas cards: Mixed views, on whether it would be a success or whether parents are spending less on cards these days. Rachel said the school would support getting the kids to make Christmas cards in October. Agreed worth looking into more. Jen offered to find out scheme used in her last school, which also made thank you cards.
  • NEW Sponsored read-a-thon: Rachel happy to take this forward with Neil Rae, to look at overall plans for book week.
  • Bag2School: It was suggested we try a twice a year pick-up. E.g. Pre-Christmas Clear-out and the Spring Clean-out. Jackie to look at dates.
  • NEW Selling 2nd hand school clothes (at Xmas Fair): Jackie to discuss with Claire Dixon. Note: Annette & Emma offered to wash prior to sale.
  • Annette asked what are we fundraising for this year? Jackie to pull together 2015/16 info for Rachel and take guidance on school's priorities at the next meeting.
  • Jackie to provide Rachel with the financial priorities provided by the school to RSV last year.