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Pulteneytown Academy Index  Schools & Education

Pulteneytown Academy
Newsletter 18 September  2006

Dear Parent

Newsletter – 18.09.06

Dates for your Diary

  • Tuesday 3 October – Cake Day 35p
  • Friday 6 October – Pink/Blue day – see Pupil Council news
  • Friday 6 October – school closes for holiday
  • Monday 23 October – school opens for Term 2
  • Sunday 29 October, Tuesday 31 October – Halloween event (see PSA news)
  • Tuesday 31 October, Wednesday 1 November – Parents’ Appointment Evenings

Attendance Procedures – the revised procedures are working well and as a result your children are accounted for at all times ensuring their safety.  As a reminder, parents are asked to telephone 602649 between 8.15 and 9.10 each morning if their child is going to be absent from school or warn in advance of any planned absence.

Curriculum News – our involvement in the Highland Literacy Project has now begun and we have a visit from one of the team on 28 September.  I am planning information evenings for P1-3 and P4-7 at the beginning of next term.  Dates and details in the newsletter after the October break but I would urge ALL of you to attend.

Homework – sadly a number of children are not completing their homework tasks on time or to an acceptable standard.  I would urge parents to check their child’s school bag and ensure they complete these tasks to the best of their ability.  Children who repeatedly do not hand in work on time will be held on detention at break and lunchtime to complete this work and will be given an additional task to carry out at home as a punishment.

Triathlon – Congratulations to our athletes who did very well at the competition last weekend.  It was lovely to see so many parents there for support.  Details and photographs can be seen on the reception wall.

PSA – My thanks to the 5 parents and 5 members of staff who attended the AGM last week.  This was a very poor turn out which was a disappointment.  The committee this year will be Chairperson – Mrs F Gunn, Secretary – Mrs H Cormack, Treasurer – Miss E Sutherland, Committee – Mrs R Black, Mrs C Godart-Darmady, Mrs P Coghill, Mrs L Harper, Mrs J Budge, Miss L Wark.  

At the meeting I explained that this would be the last year of the PSA as we know it, as during this year the new legislation comes into force and all School Boards and PSA groups will merge.  All parents will automatically become part of a Parent Forum and will be represented by a Parent Council.  They will assume part of the role undertaken by School Boards, but retain the informality and fund raising aspects of the PSA.  I will pass on information as to the implementation of this legislation as soon as I am aware of details.  Parents can, of course, gain information from the parents’ website www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk

PSA has agreed to fund gym bags (see below) and incentive stickers for all classes including nursery as these make such a difference in keeping children enthusiastic.  They would also like to provide entertainment for children at Halloween and would like to decorate the hall on the Sunday before Halloween.  If you can manage along on Sunday 29 October between 1 – 3 p.m. then please come and lend a hand – no specific talent required.  Details will be given in the next newsletter.

Gym Kit Bags – to try and encourage all children to have their gym kit with them every day the PSA has agreed to buy kit bags for all children.  These will be black with a yellow school badge and should arrive by the October holidays.  All children will be expected to bring this to school EVERY MONDAY MORNING and take it home on Friday so that shorts and tee shirts can be washed and put back in the bags for Monday.  If a child loses a bag they will be expected to pay £3.50 for a replacement.  It is very important that children get into the habit of having gym kit with them every day as the school moves towards the national directive of providing 120 minutes of physical activity each week in school.

Tesco Vouchers – we will be collecting these and there is a box in reception for children to put them in.

Child Protection – please find a detailed green leaflet for information.  Extra copies of this leaflet are available in reception.

Pupil Council News – I have been asked to include this letter to you.

Dear Parent,

We think that it would be a good idea to raise money to help people with Cancer by having a pink and blue day on the last day of term, 6 October.  Children will pay 20p for each blue or pink item of clothing and are not allowed to wear football tops.  Can you please help us by baking cakes or biscuits with pink or blue decoration, which children can buy for 20p.  Children will also get to play on the Bouncy Castle for 20p.

We will let you know how much money we raised.

Thank you from the Pupil Council.

Car Park – despite increasing the number of parking bays so that there are enough for all, a number of parents cannot seem to grasp what their use is for and still insist on parking in the most ridiculous places increasing the risk to your children.  Don’t leave this up to me alone.  As parents, it is you who are parking in a thoughtless way and increasing the danger to children.  It is time for you, as parents, to do something about it.  Speak to those who are parking in a selfish, dangerous way and maybe then they will get the message. 

Sadly it is also you, as parents, who are driving far too fast past the pedestrian entrance when the children are leaving the school.  SLOW DOWN!  Take your time, it only takes a few seconds longer to drive slowly.  If you knock down and kill a child you will spend the rest of your life wishing you had taken a few more seconds.

Pedestrian Footpath – Please be warned that this is in very poor condition and it is unlikely to be replaced in the near future.  The state of the children’s toilets inside the building is much worse than the path and is a higher priority for me if there is any available money.  If you find it is dangerous to bring buggies and the like down this path, then please use the other entrance to the school, which is safer.  I will remind children regularly to take care on this path especially during the winter months.

Inhalers and other Medication – I am aware that some children in school have inhalers with them and do not know what medication they should be taking and when.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that both children and staff are aware of what should and should not be taken.  Our policy is quite clear that any medication should have a written note from parents to accompany it and this should be handed into the office for administration, but we have never enforced this with inhalers as we assumed that children who carry their own inhaler would know what to do with it.  To be positive, anyone who has indicated any medical condition on their family update sheet will be contacted and a written protocol will be drawn up.  School and parents will keep a copy of this and parents MUST inform us if there are to be any changes.  Parents will be asked to come in and complete one of these forms for any child who has to take any medication in school.  As this may take a few weeks to get sorted out, Carole will start with younger children and work towards upwards.

Head Lice – while there have been no cases reported to me this term, it is important that you remain vigilant and check your child’s head on a regular basis.  Pharmacists can now provide free prescription medication for the treatment of head lice in children without the need to visit your doctor.

School Handbook – Over the years the content of this has changed as school are given instructions of what has to be included and I am concerned that our handbook has become so full of ‘educational jargon’ that it is no longer as parent friendly as I would like it to be.  The Handbook is for you and it is important that all can understand the message we are trying to give you.  If not, then we are failing to communicate in a very important way.  Rather than yet another questionnaire, I would prefer to spend some time with a few parents to review the content and language of this document as I think this would be more useful.  If you would be willing to do this for a couple of hours one evening in early November then please get in touch and put your name forward.  I am really looking for people who do not work in education in any way as the aim is to get rid of the ‘education jargon’ not to add to it.

Next Newsletter – Tuesday 24 October.

Yours sincerely
Head Teacher