Castlehill Parent Council Minutes of the Castlehill Primary School Parent Council Meeting held at 19.00 hours on Monday 31st May 2010 in the School Staff Room. PRESENT: Holly Clark Lorna Blair Karen Brown Carol Opdahl Karen Milne Elaine Rees Mandy Heggie Lesley Knox Anita Petrie Lisa Gilroy Liz Gibson Lesley Howie Frank Bowness Margaret Curry Lyn Prestwood Ian Jones Cllr Bryan Poole Cllr Margaret Kennedy Brenda Steffens Gayle Doran APOLOGIES: Jacky Carstairs Cllr Roger Guy Margaret Walker Jess Kerek WELCOME Holly Clark opened the meeting and welcomed those present. PREVIOUS MINUTES The previous minutes for the meeting held on 1 st March had been sent out electronically and were approved by Holly Clark and seconded by Linda Anderson. The minutes for the extra meeting held on 4th May were approved by Carol Opdahl and seconded by Holly Clark. CREDIT UNION PRESENTATION Frank Bowness and Margaret Curry from North East Fife Credit Union and Lyn Prestwood, a Fife Council development worker, had come to provide information on setting up a credit union in the school. Lyn provided us with a background history of credit unions and said a new Fife Council initiative was to promote saving among children by getting them to open a savings account with a credit union. Frank added that the North East Fife Credit union runs in this area and has done so since 1999 where members can open a savings account to which they have instant access if they wish to withdraw their money. The money saved by the members is invested by the credit union in a high interest rate bank account and members receive a dividend each year. If Castlehill decided to go ahead then a group of volunteers would be required to help run the facility in the school and training would be provided by the credit union to do this. It would also be hoped that children could take part in the running of the credit union with appropriate supervision. Essentially a collection point would be established at the school with a regular time for the collections set. Once a child had started an account then they would bring in their money along with a paying-in slip which a parent or guardian would have to sign; the parent or guardian would also have to sign a withdrawal slip if the child wished to take out money. The child would then have a book to keep track of their savings. It was felt the idea of operating a credit union was good in theory but there were a few concerns raised which needed looked into. Ian Jones was concerned this could have income tax implications for the parents of the children using these accounts. Karen Milne was concerned that the collection of money could be disruptive to the school day. Lesley Knox was concerned there could be problems with money to be paid in being mislaid by children. It was therefore decided the best way forward was that a further meeting should be set up to look at this in more detail with Carol Opdahl and the representatives from the NE Fife Credit Union attending along with Ian Jones representing the Parent Council and Karen Milne representing the teachers. It was also felt the parents/carers should be asked if a credit union was a facility they wanted to see offered by the school. COMMUNITY SPEEDWATCH Councillor Poole provided information on a 3-month pilot scheme which is to go ahead in this area where members of the community can work in partnership with police to help tackle speeding. Volunteers would receive training to work in pairs and log speeding vehicles in targeted areas - Castlehill/Ceres Road may be considered as one of these targeted areas. It is hoped the scheme will act as a deterrent for speeding and lead to better driving behaviour. A meeting will be held at Cupar Police Station on Wednesday 2 nd June at 6.30pm where more information will be provided. It is hoped that representatives from community councils and school parent councils will attend. PARENT COUNCIL LEAFLET/COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS The leaflet detailing the work of the Parent Council had been handed over to Carol Opdahl from Linda Anderson. Copies of the leaflet were distributed and it was asked by Carol that suggestions for changes and additions be made at the next meeting. The leaflet would then have the necessary changes made and be distributed to parents/carers both electronically through the new e-mail pilot scheme as well as paper copies to those without e-mail. GROUP FOR PARENTS/CARERS OF PS1/PS2 CHILDREN Gayle Doran and Brenda Steffens had been invited along to tell us of a new group they are currently setting up. They want to provide an independent group which would promote communication between the parents/carers of the children in the PS1 and PS2 classes and also provide a social network for the children, some of whom might find social situations difficult. The children in the PS1 and PS2 classes are from a wider catchment area so can come from the villages and towns around Cupar. Most of the children in these classes come in by bus or taxi each day and so the parents/carers do not have the same opportunities to meet up informally. Carol Opdahl suggested the group open up to the parents/carers of other children receiving additional support in the school and will provide information on the group in an upcoming school newsletter. SCHOOL ASSOCIATION AND SUB GROUPS REPORTS Lesley Howie said the recent May Fayre had proved very successful and had raised £1900. The next event to organise will be the P7 Leavers BBQ and also the association will be providing dictionaries to be given to all the P7 leavers at prize giving as well as books for those leaving PS2. Mandy Heggie and Lesley Knox reported that the Nursery Liaison visits will be made this week to the nurseries and playgroups around Cupar. They had made up a welcome folder to show children and will also take soft toys dressed in the school uniform. Karen Milne reported that the inspection for the 3 rd green flag will go ahead in October after being postponed due to the summer flood. The new pupil members of the Eco Committee will be elected before the summer holidays and the next Eco meeting will be 21st June at 3.15pm. SCHOOL REPORT This was provided by Carol Opdahl: Management Change Carol Opdahl has taken over as acting headteacher and it is no longer necessary for the post to be advertised. Anne Welsh from Buckhaven Primary has taken over the post of upper years DHT full-time and Anne Coggans from Leuchars Primary will take over the early years DHT post from August 2010. Open Afternoon This had been very successful and the feedback sheet given out had gained a majority of positive replies. A few replies had asked for more structured activities and so it was felt that more information on the purpose of the open afternoon should be given out to parents/carers before the next one. It was also suggested a display board of the last open afternoon should be made for parents to view. Active Schools Murray McBain the active schools co-ordinator is looking for volunteers to help provide sports coaching in the schools – anyone interested should see Carol for more details. Childcare in Cupar The after school club at the YMCA, Cupar is to be closed the three days that school is off next week which has led to parents having problems getting childcare. Play Area The building of the new play area is well under way and should be completed in a few weeks. A triangular planting area will also be provided at the site for the school to use. Recent News The provision for next year looks like 18 mainstream classes and 2.5 PS classes. One class will have a probationary teacher. The letters for the new P1 to arrange their school visits will go out tomorrow The new school lunch menu has led to a decrease in uptake and some changes have since been made. The notice board is back at the school entrance and will be updated. Primary 1 took part in a Shell Science Workshop today along with helpers from P6. Margaret Walker is working on updating the school website. AOB Holly thanked Ian Jones who had stepped in as P5 rep after the departure of Jonathan Staal. Anita Petrie complained on the increase in dog fouling around the school grounds and Karen Milne suggested that the dog warden be contacted to monitor this again. Karen Brown asked if it was necessary to have such a large number of school buses to take children home at the end of the day as they were having to park on the road due to there not being enough room in the bus bay. Carol Opdahl replied that this was the amount decided upon by Fife Council and approval for the buses parking on the road had been received. Holly had received an e-mail from Kenneth Greer informing her of engagement sessions that are to take place giving information on Fife Council budget cuts and the new Curriculum for Excellence. These are drop-in sessions and there will be one held at Bell Baxter on Thursday 24th June from 5pm to 7.30pm. All parents/carers and teachers are welcome to attend. Holly will send round the e-mail to everyone to provide more information. DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING The next School Council meeting will be held on: Monday 20th September 2010 at 7pm This will be the Annual Welcome Meeting held in conjunction with the School Association.
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