February 2016


Minutes of meeting on Tuesday 9 February 2016 at 7pm

Present: Rachel Lytollis, Chris Welander, Carol Nicolson, Neil Langhorn, Lisa McCarthy, Jackie Wake, Emma Hughes, Christina Enever, Lizzie Booden, Louise Lloyd and Karen Borthwick
Apologies: Michael Lloyd, Annette Wilson, Melanie McAllan, Gillian Fraser, Sam Mitchell, Stacey O’flaherty, Kirsty Mann, Jen Rogers, Helen Morris, Donna Dack, Vicki Wallace, Michel Gebre, Leanne Horsburgh, Debby Smith, Ruth Gillan, Jayne Smith, Claire Baker and Morag MacLachlan

1. Online Learning Journal update

Carol gave a presentation covering a new proposed Online Learning Journal. This is already in place in the Nursery and she demonstrated how it was working at another Primary School. While the group could see some advantages to the new system, some concerns were also identified around visibility of progress or lack there-of.

Action: Neil to get PC contact at other school, to discuss how online learning journals are working for parents. Rachel to discuss comments raised with staff at session planned to flesh out plans for PLP and to come back to future RSV meeting [in April?] to confirm detailed proposals for how the system might work for Ratho.

2. Fundraising planning

The most popular fundraising ideas (from our quick poll on Facebook) were: 
  • Cinema nights—Information has been gathered on licencing requirements. Emma will follow up with Nicola Mowat re booking out the school hall and projector. Emma was thinking about March for the first film.
  • Wine tasting—Jackie to look into options for this and report back at next meeting. Carol made a fun suggestion of a wine tasting quiz, where you had to guess the country and grape of a number of different wines. Dates to be confirmed, but April/May time may be an option.
  • Family quiz—Christina to look into options for this and report back at next meeting. Christina suggested making it more of an interactive quiz, where you have to do things, rather than just have knowledge. Dates to be confirmed, but Christina suggested June as an option.
  • School lottery—Our first winner is Emma Hughes, with winning ticket number 7 (confirmed by Christina). Jackie to publicise first winner (hopefully with photo), next draw and re-issue lottery forms for remaining rolling draws.
  • Farmers’ Market (4 March, 10:30 – 12)—Chris advised parental involvement would be welcomed. He advised there would be space for additional stalls if required e.g. Anna Barry, Harry Potter stall. There would also be space to host a café in the P7 classroom and Rachel confirmed it would be welcomed as it might keep visitors on site longer.
Action: Jackie to speak to Andrew, at the café, to make him aware of plans for this and the possibility of something similar on sports day [Done].

There seemed to be little appetite to put on a separate Spring Fair this year and a preference to expand the farmers market.

3. Bank account & Treasurers update

Bank account update: 
  • A full Treasurer’s update will be given at the next meeting but Neil confirmed that we currently have approximately £4,000 in the RSV account, once the PC & PTA balances have been combined and existing commitments are taken into account. 
  • Neil proposed that RSV pay for the new wooden nursery furniture as requested to a value of £2,645 and that we set £400 aside for a P7 party/trip – this was AGREED
  • Neil noted that the cost of the playground/woodland signs was slightly more than expected when discussed in September (i.e. £168 against £150) and asked for permission for RSV to fund this higher amount. This was AGREED
  • Neil also proposed a new procedure be agreed – whereby the RSV account signatories be authorised to confirm contributions to items that have been previously agreed within a 20% tolerance of estimated costs, up to a maximum variance of £100 – this was AGREED
  • We are still (slowly - apologies) progressing with getting Michael added as a signatory. 
  • Helen Morris has paid final amount into PTA account and we await a cheque to move funds to the new account. 
  • Old PC account now has 0 balance and Annette will progress account closure.

4. Active Schools Co-ordinator Progress Update
Tom is making good progress across various activities. Tom provided a progress update (via email): 
  • Athletics – A coach from Harmeny AC will be starting a multi-event athletics club for P3-P7 on Friday afternoons (1430 – 1530) after Easter. This will be linked with the athletics club. 
  • Gymnastics – I’ve met with Emily Turnbull, a very experienced coach living locally. We’ll be looking to setup a P1-3 club (45mins) and a P4-7 club (60mins) on Wednesday afternoons. She’ll need an assistant coach to allow numbers of up to 20. They’ll both need to put onto payroll so after the Easter break would be a realistic timescale to start this. 
  • Basketball – The SW Edinburgh club has just linked me in with an experienced coach who currently coaches the Wester Hailes high school teams. It’s highly likely that he’ll deliver basketball for P3-7 golden time on Fridays starting after the February break and we’ll look to build off that to start a P3-7 basketball club after the Easter break on Fridays (straight after school). Graham Shaw, a parent at Ratho who works for Basketball Scotland would like to run a supplementary basketball skills session before school, potentially on Tuesdays. 
  • Climbing Club – Teachers, Neil Rae and Heather Tumblety require their instructor training to deliver this. The school is supporting them to this. When this club can go live is largely dependent of the course and assessment dates. In the meantime they would like to run an after school or lunchtime bouldering club. I’m meeting a member of Edinburgh Council’s Outdoor Learning Team tomorrow to complete a risk assessment for this activity. It should be fine and we should be able to run a club in this activity shortly.
  • Dance – I’ve met with Step It Up Dance Company. They offer a range of classes but I was thinking of these two;
    • STAR STEPPERS – The children will learn a different style of dance each week in class. Styles include ballet, Jazz, Street dance, cheerleading, Hip Hop, Breakdance, African, contemporary, creative and lots more. The children are able to take class in a style of dance that they would not have thought of trying before. It allows the children to identify what kind of dance they prefer performing. There is also the chance of fusing/mixing up styles of dance such as African and ballet and coming up with something brand new.
    • FUNKY FITNESS – This class is a fun fitness to music class involving games, circuits and different activities focusing on being more active each week.
    • NB. Star Steppers for P1-3 and Funky Fitness for P4-7, straight after school on Mondays starting after Easter. 
  • Touch Rugby –P3 Teacher Neil Rae is still at needlework club. Once we have a volunteer to take his role at needlework he’ll be able to setup a touch rugby club. We’ve had some positive correspondence with the coach development officer at Currie Rugby Club to create school to club pathway and integrate with rugby activity at Balerno High School. I know I had said that we’d be aiming for a post February start time for the new clubs but I think after Easter we’ll have the after school programme looking fairly similar to how it was before the summer.

5. AOB

  • P1-3 Playground – Lizzie highlighted the stark difference between the Nursery outdoor play area and the P1-3 playground. This comment came from a child. This would be a good focus for a future meeting. It was AGREED to discuss this at the next meeting in March. 
  • Charitable status – Jackie & Ruth are researching whether it is worthwhile for RSV to register as a charity. This will be allocated time for further discussion at a future meeting.

6. Next Meeting

Next meeting provisionally set for 7pm, Tuesday 15th March. Jackie to look into alternative date/days to allow people who can’t make Tuesdays to attend.

PLEASE NOTE: NEW MEETING DATE: Thursday, 17th March 2016.