March 2016

RATHO PRIMARY SCHOOL RATHO SCHOOL VOICE


Minutes of meeting on Tuesday 15 March 2016 at 7pm
 
Present: Rachel Lytollis, Neil Langhorn, Michael Lloyd, Lisa McCarthy, Jackie Wake, Emma Hughes, Donna Dack, Lizzie Booden, Claire Baker and Karen Borthwick 
Apologies: Christina Enever, Louise Lloyd, Annette Wilson, Melanie McAllan, Gillian Fraser, Sam Mitchell, Stacey O’flaherty, Kirsty Mann, Jen Rogers, Helen Morris, Vicki Wallace, Michel Gebre, Leanne Horsburgh, Debby Smith, Ruth Gillan, Jayne Smith and Morag MacLachlan

1. Head Teacher’s update 

  • Staffing: 
    • Mrs Hall/P1b – interviewing for maternity leave tomorrow. Hoping to let parents know outcome by the end of the week. 
  • Class organisation for next year:
    • There are approx. 37 NEW P1s (after the summer) 
    • The Council has allocated the school 9 teachers. 
    • Classes will be – P1a, P1b, P2, Comp 2/3, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7 
    • The composite class would follow Council policy, i.e. based on age
    • Miss Lytollis will share the logistics closer to the end of term 
  • Business Support Re-design: 
    • Across Edinburgh, the council are reducing business support costs by 30% over next few months. This affects Nicola, Annie & Claire, but we are not sure how yet. This is just for awareness at this stage. 
  • Parent/Carer survey results: 
    • Rachel provided the following summary of results… 
      • 96% OF PARENTS/CARERS SURVEYED EITHER AGREED OR STRONGLY AGREED THAT THEIR CHILD ENJOYS LEARNING AT SCHOOL 
      • 84% OF PARENTS/CARERS SURVEYED SAID THAT OVERALL THEY WERE HAPPY WITH THE SCHOOL. 
      • MAIN POINTS OF STRENGTH- 
        • FRIENDLY AND APPROACHABLE SCHOOL 
        • STAFF WHO EMBRACE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE LEARNING 
        • SUPPORTIVE SCHOOL THAT VALUES COMPASSION AND KINDNESS 
        • COMMUNITY SPIRIT AND LINKS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL 
        • COMMITTED STAFF 
      • MAIN AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT- 
        • EXTRACURRICULAR PROVISION COULD BE BETTER 
        • STAFF TURNOVER 
        • COMMUNICATION OF PROGRESS
        • BEHAVIOUR POLICY, MAINLY IN THE PLAYGROUND 
        • HOMEWORK 
        • PLAYGROUND IMPROVEMENTS 


2. School grounds/playground – some (positive) news 

Following some negotiations we have options to consider: 
  • We can push for a security fence that doesn’t completely secure the entirety of the new building (as this was what was previously proposed). 
  • Or, we can take £15,000 towards grounds/playground enhancement. We could use this as seed money and apply for grants to match these funds. 
There is no rush to decide and we have this in writing. From discussions at the meeting, no-one feels we should rush for a fence at this time, till we see how security stands up over the summer, as historically this is when problems arise. 

Action: Neil to apply for £1K funding to help us work out the planning phase for grounds/playground development, so we don’t dip into £15K. It doesn’t have to be matched, but it does have to be spent by March 2017. Closing date next Tuesday. 

Note
• Claire asked why the side gate, near the secret garden is always locked. Kids are jumping the fence beside it and it's getting damaged. 
• Trim Trail is going back in this weekend. 

3. Charitable Status 

At a previous meeting one of our members suggested RSV apply for charitable status so we could claim gift aid on donations, thus enabling more funds to go to the school. The following concerns were raised: 
  • Workload on treasurer 
  • Legal liability for directors 
  • Clarity on tangible benefits i.e. what would we be able to claim gift aid on.
Jackie advised that there is a local charity holding an event tomorrow night which could help provide us more info if anyone would like to go.
http://www.evoc.org.uk/course/setting-charity-free-evening-workshop/ 

Unfortunately SPTC and OSCR were not able to help answer questions on tangible benefits, only the mechanics of how to set up a charity. 

Action: Lizzie can’t make meeting but will do more research on this. 

4. Film club 

We only have 22 registrations so far for our first screening this Saturday morning. We are hoping to get more walk-ins on the day. Feedback has been time slot clashes with other clubs. We can aim for a Sat PM slot next time. We are using this one as a pilot and will learn from it; there are no outgoing costs.

Action: Can everyone please help spread the event details, so we get more people? - Pre-order your tickets/seats @ https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom/rsv-saturday/ 


5. Farmers Market 

Chris Welander was pleased with how the event went and said the children were a credit to themselves. He passed on his thanks to RSV parents for their time and support. An amazing £498 was raised which will go towards playground development. 

6. Bag2School 

Ratho Eco Warriors are taking this fundraiser on as it involves recycling unwanted clothes for re-use. Collection date is 10 May. A note has gone out in the schoolbag so no-one throws away anything too early. 300 Bags are in the school office and will go out after Easter holidays with a letter. Should be some spare bags, but if you need extra use a bin bag and label it as Bag2School. 

7. Sports day café 

Without wishing to adversely impact Andrew’s café, can we plan ahead for a Sports day café? Yes. 

Action: Jackie, to book Starbucks coffee for Friday, 3 June [Done]. 
Action: Emma, to organise café team. Claire, Lizzie, Jackie volunteered to help (dates permitting). 


8. Emotion Talks Sequencers (Charts in the playground) 

Rachel advised…the charts you see in the playground (one in the infant playground and one in the upper school playground) are 'Emotion Talks Sequencers'. 

Emotion Talks is a resource which all the staff (and children) have been trained in using recently. It encourages children to explore the range of emotions that can be experienced and how they can affect people's behaviour. We are trying to encourage the children to recognise what triggers certain emotions and how they can lead to certain behaviours. If the children can talk about these things, they can work on strategies to feel better. 

We have found this to be really helpful in the playground as this is often where certain triggers can cause behaviours we don't like. We have trained up our 'rights knights' to be peer mediators if something happens and to use the sequencers to talk through what has happened to resolve playground issues immediately, rather than having them spill into the classroom. 

We have found the resource to be hugely beneficial and if parents would be interested in finding out a bit more we could offer an information session. 

Action: Rachel, to look into an evening session on ‘Developing emotional intelligence’ for parents and carers. 


9. Wine Tasting 

A later date was preferred for this event, to give time to advertise with Easter being in the way. 

Viable venue options so far: 
  • Community Centre lounge - capacity 35 - No charge - Fri night availability 
  • Bowling Club - capacity 70+ - Possibly no charge, awaiting confirmation - Sat night availability
  • Ratho Golf Club - capacity 55-60 - £50 charge (reduced price) - Fri or Sat night availability No cost for wine expert. Ticket price approx. £5 - £10 per head, depending on quality of wine. Try to get largest venue, to enable more profit. Quiz and raffle also part of the fun/fundraising. 
Action: Jackie, to contact church hall as an option and work with Emma on poster/advertising. 

10. Quiz 

No updates at this time. Will put on the agenda for next meeting.


11. School Lottery (2nd draw) 

£139 banked so far for the school, remainder set aside as prize money. Take up has been slow. Winning ticket this month is no. 15, in name of Pauline Cowe, mum of Kara Cowe, in the Nursery; (witnessed by Emma Hughes).

Action: Jackie, to contact winner and re-advertise lottery in Friday note and RSB FB page. 


12. Bank account & Treasurers update 

Bank account update: 
The new account is up and running and seems to be working well with online access to statements. Michael has been completing the forms to become a signatory and we need to ensure he also gets internet access and main addressee for the account. We will endeavour to have this in place by the AGM next month. The current balance is £3750.65. The school have received a cheque that virtually emptied the old PTA account for £5129 as requested at last month’s meeting. The old accounts are both in the process of being closed. Annette will complete the paperwork for the PC account and have this checked before the AGM, and handover our accounts in full to Michael and officially stand down next month. 

13. Active Schools co-ordinator update 

A form should come out in the schoolbags this Friday with all the clubs the kids can sign up for after Easter.

Tom advised (via email)… 

With rebuilding the program back up there’s only Thursday after school with Gym Hall availability. I was thinking of running a rugby club as we have a lot of curriculum rugby delivered by Currie Football Rugby Club. Also, Neil Rae, P3 teacher is interested in delivering touch rugby. He still has another commitment outstanding currently. 

Due to the lack of hall space after school I’m was thinking of developing the following clubs; 
  • Clubgolf - I’ve had an offer from Ratho Golf Club to run a Clubgolf after school club. This would be at the golf club with their volunteer coaches (mostly retired head teachers!). 
  • Cycling - The school have just been awarded 12 new bikes and helmets from Cycling Scotland. We could utilise these for a club. It would need a highly qualified individual to lead this which make it a little more expensive than the standard £2 per session. 
  • Fencing - I still haven’t met with the Currie-based fencing instructor yet. Due to how much he costs and the maximum number of participants the activity can safely accommodate it would likely cost around £3.50 per session. We’d look at running this as a breakfast club. 
  • Canoeing Club - Very embryonic stage this one! My colleague from Craiglockhart Primary (also by the canal) mentioned to me today that they’re starting a canoeing club with a new development officer. Maximum 8 participants per class. Thought it might be good way to make use of the canal. 

14. AOB 

  • Draft constitution – This has been distributed to RSV membership. Please feedback any comments to Neil, so we can formally agree it at next AGM. Donna suggested that needing 2 of 3 posts present at every meeting was a bit tight. Perhaps 3 of 5 posts 
  • Online PLPs – Neil has been in touch with parents from another school and feedback is glowing. This will be discussed at the next meeting. 
  • Chair stepping down – At the AGM Neil will step down and a new chair appointed. The role could be a commitment for a year. A vice chair role has been put forward. Lizzie suggested an update in the Friday note might be appropriate to open it up to wider parent body. Neil advised the best bits about being chair were…getting to know a lot more of what’s happening at the school; getting to know the staff and getting stuff done. Neil is happy for anyone to contact him with any questions. 
  • School website – the school website is currently down and is being rebuilt over the Easter holidays. The new site will be much more user friendly. 

Action: Jackie, Mel & Emma to provide RSV content to Claire for new school website, including new RSV logo and when up and running close down old RSV website. 

15. Next Meeting 
Next meeting provisionally set for 7pm, Tuesday 26th April for our AGM in the community centre.

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