Parent Council & PTA Update – February 2012

Click this image to view the PDF version of the latest Pencaitland Parent UpdateIn this Update…
Parent Council Membership
Homework Survey
Sound System Funding
Residents of the Glebe
Dates for Your Diary
Spring Term PTA news
Spring Fayre Update

Alternatively, view the PDF version now or print it out to read later.

Parent Council Membership

Sarah Kurt-Elli, Chair Pencaitland Primary Parent CouncilWe are very happy to welcome Maureen Egan on board as our newest member of the Parent Council and you can read more about all your parent representatives here. Our aim is to represent all the parents in school as best we can. If you have any issues, comments, questions, ideas or feedback about any aspect of school life then we would love to hear from you. You can speak to us in person or send us an e-mail and we will discuss it at one of our regular meetings. We also want to help keep you up-to-date with what is happening in school through the blog and our newsletters. Here are some of the things the Parent Council have been working on:

Homework Survey

In November we carried out a Homework Survey (as part of the schools Homework Policy Review) to allow parents to have a say in how homework is approached at Pencaitland. Homework can be a major link between home and school and judging by our response rate is something that parents feel strongly about!

We have been trying to find ways of listening to the views of all parents across the school (not just a vocal few!) and so we ran an on-line questionnaire, gave out paper questionnaires, held a daytime and an evening focus group for parents as well as a focus group with the Pupil Council. We had a fantastic response – so a big thank you again to everyone who took part. These views have been collated by the Parent Council and you can read a short summary of them here.

Staff have already met to discuss these findings and a new school homework policy will be drafted. This will be looked at by staff and the Parent Council first, after which the whole parent body will have a chance to see and comment on the draft. This may feel like a lengthy process, but we hope that by taking some time and involving teachers, pupils and parents, we can get the homework policy right.

Sound System Funding

The Parent Council have recently been successful in securing a grant from LEADER funding for £1,500 towards the long-awaited sound system for the school hall. The PTA have kindly agreed to fund the remainder of the project, which should now be going ahead in the very near future. This should make a huge difference to the regular performances that the children give.

Residents of the Glebe

Over the years there has been anger and upset felt on both sides (by those who live in the Glebe and families attending the school) about the on-going issues of dogs barking at the school gate, dogs fouling and parking problems.

I am aware that recently there has been a rise in tensions. Although this is not strictly speaking a School issue, it does affect school parents and the Parent Council will therefore discuss this at our meeting on the March 26th.

If you feel that you can offer practical suggestions or can see a way forward to try and improve any of these situations, then it would be really helpful to hear from you before the meeting. Please let your thoughts be known, so that the Parent Council can act on your behalf.

Dates for Your Diary

Technology week will be held the week starting 12th March and the children will be participating in a number of different activities with a focus on Technology.

The week will end with another Grandparents Day on Friday 16th March which this time will have a particular emphasis on technology. It would be great if grandparents could bring something from their own childhood with them to show to the children.

Do you want to know how the school makes sure that all the children receive the same quality of education? The school will be organising a Curriculum Evening on Assessment and Moderation on Tuesday 6th March 6:30-8pm. The aim is to offer parents more information about new assessment approaches and reporting procedures in school.

Sarah Kurt-Elli
Chair, Pencaitland Parent Council

Spring Term PTA news

The PTA team are getting back in gear for lots more fundraising this term. But first we have to spend the staggering profits from last term! We are looking to survey as many parents and children as possible to find out where they would like the money to be spent within the school. We plan to have a team of PTA people with clip boards in the school playground next Wednesday and Thursday, or alternatively you can fill in the reply slip to the flyer, respond to the post on the school blog, or simply email to let us know your views. We look forward to hearing from you!

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to Janis and the PTA calendar team. We sold 183 school calendars before Christmas and made a profit of over £1,300. I think there is just one left if anyone would like it! Thank you to the teachers and pupils for all their fantastic Olympic artwork – we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you also to all the local companies who have supported the Calendar with their adverts.

New this term

  • The playground artwork has been completed and will go up in the school soon.
  • PTA funding has been given to the pupil council for the purchase of a new storage shed for new playground toys.
  • The PTA French club are hoping to offer taster French sessions with each class.
  • The newly completed upper area library has been stocked with £600 of new books
  • Angela Cook is trialling new curtains for classroom areas affected by bright sunlight within the school.

We are in need of:

  • Parents to plant the newly delivered tree’s into the school grounds.
  • Parents with a love of sewing who might consider making new stage curtains (materials provided!).
  • 20 Volunteers to marshal at the 10K fun run on the 24th March.
  • Parents with extra plants and/or time to assist with the replanting of the nursery planters now situated in the school playground.

Fundraising this term

Friday 2nd March: PTA Family Ceilidh with the Andrew Warren Band.
We are in the process of confirming venue and time – flyers will be out soon.

Saturday 24th March, 2pm: PTA and Playgroup Fun Run
10K, 5K and family 3.5K fun run and 10K bike trail. Should be a fun afternoon, Poster and registration forms have been sent out via email this week, flyers will follow shortly. Anyone requiring a registration form please contact: Charlotte Taylor on 01875 340987 or

Marshals wanted! We need 30 marshals to run the event so if you would like a ringside seat please get in touch! Entrance for the Fun Run: 10K (ages 15yrs and above) £10, 5K (ages 11yrs and above) £10, family 3.5K run and 10K bike trail (no age limit, under 11yrs require accompanying adult) £2 per person. All proceeds to be split between the PTA and Pencaitland Playgroup, registered charity number SCO0003.

Spring Fayre Update

Date: SAT May 26th

We’re looking forward to presenting you with a frenzy of activities, gory science, fabulous food & big bargains! The PTA really enjoy this event & love that pupils & parents get so involved in running the day.

We are looking for toy & book donations, lucky dip & tombola items & home baking, but this year we would also appreciate your help with raffle prizes. Anyone with a skill they are willing to offer as a raffle prize please let us know, we’d be very grateful. We’re also looking for traditional prizes, e.g. vouchers or donated items. The raffle can raise £800-£1000 & this year we hope to sell more tickets than ever!

Anyone happy to help sell raffle tickets or to be involved in organising the spring fayre, please contact, everyone welcome!

Charlotte Taylor
Pencaitland Primary School PTA Chair