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.
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
Jacky Carstairs Cllr Roger Guy Margaret Walker Jess Kerek
Holly Clark opened the meeting and welcomed those present.
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
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
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.
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
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.
This was provided by Carol Opdahl:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Holly thanked Ian Jones who had stepped in as P5 rep after the departure of Jonathan
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
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
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.