September 2016

RATHO PRIMARY SCHOOL 
RATHO SCHOOL VOICE 


Minutes of meeting on Thursday 22 September 2016 at 7pm 

Present: Rachel Lytollis, Neil Rae, Jackie Wake, Emma Hughes, Neil Langhorn, Vicki Wallace, Michaela Muir, Karen Borthwick, Morag MacLachlan, Cecile Robertson, Rachel Woods, Jennie Edmondson, Leanne Horsburgh and Christina Enever 

Apologies: Lisa McCarthy, Michael Lloyd, Louise Lloyd, Lizzie Booden, Sam Mitchel, Claire Baker, Annette Wilson, Helen Morris, Gillian Fraser and Jen Adams 

1. Staffing update 

Miss Gordon (P6) is back covering Monday & Tuesday. A supply teacher is currently covering Wednesday – Friday. 

2. STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) 

Chris Welander is the lead on this. He has started work on a timetable, inviting ambassadors to come into the school. If any parents would like to be involved, please contact Chris. 

3. Restorative Behaviour Approach 

There is a working party looking at this, which Chris Welander is leading. Additionally, there is a new approach city wide, around building resilience, which goes hand in hand with this. It involves the same lady behind he ‘Raising Children with Confidence’ course, offered a few years ago and it encompasses the ‘emotion talks’ sequences as well. If any parents would be prepared to sit on this group, or feed into it, please contact Chris. This would be much appreciated. 

4. Family Engagement 

Rachel Lytollis is this lead on this. This covers a few areas such as getting ‘open afternoons’ back on the calendar and ePLPs, which the school has received quality feedback from already. It also includes an audit of the homework policy and looking at what other schools are doing. If any parents would be prepared to feed into this group, even if they can’t make the meetings (usually 3:30 – 5pm), please do get in touch with Rachel. This would be greatly appreciated. 
Actions: Rachel L to look into a follow up communication to ensure everyone has now received their ePLP login and has managed to access the system.

5. 1+2 Languages Programme 

This is not on the improvement plan as the plan is to continue offering French and Spanish. A parent also supports the teaching of French, while a Spanish teacher may be able to teach P3-7 on Mondays. Amy Dixon, an early years’ practitioner working in the school nursery, also offers an after school club in French for P1-2.
Note: P3 onwards do get more French as part of the curriculum.

6. Music e.g. recorders 

Although a significant investment was made in the past to purchase recorders, these have not been used across the whole school in the last year or two. The school would like to tap into more specialists, to offer a range of instruments such as ukulele being offered to P4 & P5. Next school year, the focus will be on Expressive Arts. 
Note: Violin trials take a while to get through, so there can be a bit of a wait for kids to hear the results. 

7. School Admin post-box 

A post box is being investigated, to reduce disruption to the office staff, with drop-offs of completed forms etc. As it might contain cash or cheques it would have to be secure and emptied regularly. Being detachable might also be worth considering, so no nasty surprises left over-night. 
Actions: Rachel L to discuss with Gus & Nicola, to see what would work best. 

8. School website 

The school website is still down. Claire Dixon has been working on new content, which a team of parent volunteers will help input. 

9. Key dates document 

This document is in the process of being checked. Hopefully it will be distributed to parents very soon. 

10. Playground improvement 

No new playground developments are allowed to go ahead until Council create a new compliance document. In terms of timeline, the message is hold off till Christmas. Neil has negotiated an extension to the planning grant, but it’s not open-ended and there is likely to be a problem if this extends into the next financial year. Rachel will keep us updated. 

11. What are we fundraising for? 

Jackie met with Rachel & Nicola, to understand the school’s priorities this year. This was circulated round RSV membership ahead of today’s meeting, inviting feedback or alternative priorities from parents. Only positive feedback was received backing the school’s suggestions. 

12. Online payments 

To make it easier for parents (finding exact money or writing cheques) and easier for the office collating payments for RSV fundraisers, (such as the lottery & calendar orders etc), Emma has been investigating an online payment option. PayPal looked like the best option, though Christina warned of hidden costs. Christina also suggested that a chip and pin device was not needed. The option of individuals making direct payments into the RSV bank account was also discussed briefly, but would create more work for the Treasurer tallying up many smaller transactions and PayPal was viewed as an easier option for parents anyway. 
Actions: Emma to look into hidden PayPal costs. 

13. Community Council Nominations 

Nominations were invited for anyone wishing to represent our group (RSV) on the Community Council. Jackie Wake, current RSV Chair was nominated and seconded by Neil Langhorn, the previous Chair. 

14. Parent Class Reps 

Now Class Reps are in place, we should get in touch with teachers to introduce ourselves. 
Actions: Jackie to draft something for Reps/school. 

15. EMF Marathon Festival, Junior Race 

If more children enter this event, on Sat 27 May, there is a chance to win £150 of sports equipment for the school. Entry is £12.50 per child. There are various race lengths depending on age e.g. age 6- 8 is 1.5K. The children could also be sponsored as part of a school team. 
Actions: Michaela to liaise with Miss Sandeman & Miss Tumblety, re how best to promote this within the school. 

16. School Year Transitions 

This falls under Family Engagement (point 4 above) and is an area the school would seek to improve. If any parents would be prepared to feed into this group, please contact Rachel.

17. Homework 

Concerns were raised over the volume of homework e.g. consisting of 5/6 components and homework not being the same across the whole year e.g. differences in P3 and P3/4 homework set. This also falls under Family Engagement (point 4 above) and is an area that is under review. If any parents would be prepared to feed into this group, please contact Rachel. 

18. Christmas Fair Date is confirmed – Saturday, 3rd Dec, 2-4pm. 

Many volunteers have come forward, but we still need more. The main areas are covered – café, tombola & grotto (though Santa is still to be booked). 
Note: Christina offered a good quality Santa Costume and possibly some other stuff & equipment for the grotto. 

There will be a school calendar and tea towel stall next to the RSV stall. If anyone is interested in a stall, please get in touch with Vicki, who will confirm cost e.g. 15% of takings and the donation of a raffle prize. In terms of school participation it would be good if the School Choir could be involved. For teachers, they could wear the Velcro Christmas jumper and have balls thrown at them again, though they are welcome to come up with an alternative.

Next meeting to discuss Xmas Fair in more detail, including all new ideas is 10 October, 8pm in the Bridge Inn – all welcome. 
Actions: Rachel L to discuss Choir participation with Miss Sandeman & Miss Forrester. 


19. School Calendar 

Many of the children’s self-portraits have been created and scanned in. We are missing P5’s and a few teachers, which we have passed onto Claire in the school office. There will be a stall at book night (10 Nov) and pre-orders will be taken again, similar to last year. 
Actions: Emma to look at options to include more colour in the calendar without incurring high print costs e.g. colour cover, colour-in pictures within, colour paper etc. 

20. School Lottery 

This has been delayed while we look into an online payment option, but should be up and running shortly. To make it more fun, ping pong balls have been purchased and will be numbered up for the draw (which will be filmed & shared). Rachel is open to RAG members being involved in the draw. 

21. Film Night 

The next film night is 7 October, showing the new Jungle Book film. 

22. Family Photography Session 

Dates are being finalised and venue to be confirmed. 


23. Sponsored Read-a-thon 

Rachel L & Neil R are still to discuss, but in essence this could tie in with book week. 
Actions: Rachel L/Neil R to advise how this could work before next meeting, to allow time to set up sponsorship. 


24. Book night café 

Book night is 10 November and there will be a café again, so baking and parental assistance will be needed. 

25. Xmas Cards 

Jen made up a pack for each class, with covering letter and date Xmas card designs need to be completed by – 10 Oct. Rachel agreed this date seemed reasonable and took packs to share with teachers. 
Note: some parental assistance may be appreciated on this task, especially with younger kids. This could be organised via Class Rep. 


26. Secrets Room 

Jennie ran through a particularly successful fundraiser at her previous school, which was well received. This will be discussed further at the next Xmas Fair meeting. 

27. Bag2School Dates 

Dates below were discussed and agreed, but can be amended if need be: 
  • Christmas clear-out - Bags delivered 10 Oct (pre-Oct break) with uplift scheduled 23 Nov. 
  • Spring clear-out - Bags delivered 26 Mar (pre-Easter break) with uplift scheduled 26 Apr. 


28. Spring-time Fun-run? 

The school could consider a fun run within the school grounds, on a dress-down Friday. Entry could be by donation (i.e. their dress down donation). There could be a race element for faster ones, fancy dress prizes and additional obstacles for fun. 

29. Second-hand school clothes 

These are donations, rather than lost property. They could be left out at parents’ evenings and other school events for parents to look through. Payment could be by donation. 
Note: advise parents to pass 2nd hand school clothes to school, rather than Bag2School recycling scheme. 


30. Ratho’s Got Talent 

This event will be happening again in March 2017. After the October holidays and running up to Christmas, there may be an option at golden time, to work with children and test out skills etc. Then after Christmas there will be auditions, and following that 6 weeks of intensive training for the show. There will be more prizes this year, for more varied acts. So not just the singers winning. More volunteers are needed to help run it. Please get in touch with Christina or Annette if you can help. 

31. Next Meeting 

Tuesday 25 October, 7pm in the Community Centre. 
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