September 2014

Minutes

          RATHO PRIMARY SCHOOL

          PARENT COUNCIL & PTA

          Minutes of joint meeting on Tuesday 2nd September 2014 at 7pm & PC meeting following

 

 

Present: Neil Langhorn (“NL”), Mrs McGlynn (“CM”), Annette Wilson, Chris Cartwright, Lisa McCarthy, Ruth Gillan, Miss Hazel, Mrs Humphries, Mrs Smith, Joanne Simpson, Elaine Martin, Jackie Wake, Leanne Horsburgh, Emma Hughes, Morag Dalton, Sarah Chisnall (“SC”), Kay Somerville, Stacey O’Flaherty, Karen Borthwick, Kirsty ? & Christine Paterson.

Apologies: Councillors Bill Henderson, Ricky Henderson & Dominic Heslop & Melanie McAllan.

 

Joint meeting

          1. PC Update (NL)

 

NL thanked everyone who helped with the Family Fun Day, which seemed to be very successful.  The PC/PTA newsletter is progressing and now needs input from the PTA.

          2. PTA update (SC)

 

The next major events are the Race Night on Saturday 25th October and the Christmas Fair on Saturday 6 December.  The PTA meet monthly.

          3. Head Teacher Update (CM)

 

  • School Improvement Plan: CM spoke about this as contained in the Summary issued to parents & carers.  Some highlights of the Standards and Quality report for the session 2013-2014 are: ongoing assessment of the children’s progress; introduction of a values system; the Food & the Environment project; a whole school spelling policy; the revised school reading policy; revised Personal Learning Plans; progress made on maths learning last year; the modern languages project; RAG work, led by Miss Hazel; new after school clubs including needlecraft & ski-ing; raising attainment in literacy, maths and reading.
  • Some initiatives for the current session (ie the Improvement Plan for session 2014-2015): continuing with the revised reading policy; raising attainment including through SEAL strategies (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning); ipad minis for P7s (1 per child, which can be taken home); seeking to achieve level 1 UNICEF Rights Respecting School; creating class charters and house charters; a whole school assessment framework; a progressive programme in listening and talking; enhanced transition and trials of portfolios for P7s to take to High School; continuing with the Food and the Environment project; developing science teaching; implementing the Bounce Back resource (about building resilience in pupils).
  • Enhanced transition: CM has made the point that there should be equality of consultation and of opportunity for our children. A senior Council person is now involved in managing the pilot project and CM has been pressing for an update.
  • Rising roll: there will be an open evening at school on Thursday 25th September at 6.30pm for parents to come along and see what the plans are, and to meet with Council architects & planners.  The plan is still for a two storey standalone building containing four classrooms. The decision to proceed or not is to be made in January 2015, on the basis of the projected roll for 2015/2016 at that point. If approved construction will start in March 2015 over 20 weeks to be ready for August 2015.
  • Nursery capacity: the nursery may be full by January 2015 meaning that some 3 year olds living in Ratho may in future not be offered a place here (there’s no legal requirement for that to happen). If concerned about this the PC could write to the Council.  Nursery capacity at Ratho is unlikely to be increased.
  • Congestion around the school gate before start of school in the morning: could an expanded waiting area be created for parents, within one end of the infant playground? CM will look at doing this.
  • Fridge for milk: to avoid warm/lumpy milk!

 

PC meeting

          4. Enhanced transition

NL will email the Council contact about this.

          5. Dog fouling

 

CM is waging another war on dog fouling, involving a visit from the Dogs Trust, putting up more posters and bringing in the Council Dog Warden. Councillor Bill Henderson is looking into providing more signage.

          6. Class Dojo

 

CM explained that this is a positive behaviour mechanism used by the class teachers. The system can also be used for contact between the class teacher & parents/carers, although that is not principally what the school is using it for. NL asked that the school provide more communication about initiatives like this when they are introduced so that parents understand why they are being used and how they should work.  CM will add some information to the Friday note.

          7. Homework

 

Having done a straw poll among parents, NL asked for more information from teachers about the school’s expectations as regards homework. All teachers confirmed that homework should not be burdensome and if there’s a problem, parents should get in touch with the class teacher (the simplest way is to write a message in their child’s homework book).  CM will reissue the school homework policy and will put some information about homework and this discussion into the Friday note. She will also speak to class teachers to make sure they communicate expectations clearly to parents.

          8. AOB

 

  • The PC hopes to be involved once more in Book Night, scheduled for Thursday 13 November.
  • Anyone with suggestions for the PC agenda going forward should get in touch with NL.

9. Date of next meeting

 

Thursday 23rd October at 7pm.

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