Parent Council Latest Minutes

Halkirk Parent Council Meeting – Minutes

Tuesday 24 January 2017 – 7.15 pm in Halkirk Primary School Library


Steve Taylor, Chairperson
Leanne Malcolm, Vice-Chairperson
Win Campbell, Co-opted Teacher Member
Michelle Campbell, Secretary
Edith Coghill, Head Teacher

5 Parents/Carers

Nicola Campbell, Victoria Denley-Spencer, Tracy Taylor and Sonja Sinclair

  1. Apologies: Kirsten Johnson (Fundraising), Caroline Holmes (Treasurer), Michelle Cook, Vicky McDonald, Rhona Aitken, Susan McNeill, Gillian Coghill, Sheena Campbell and Hillary Brown.
  1. Acceptance of Minutes 

Proposed: Leanne Malcolm; Seconded: Steve Taylor

  1. Review of Actions from Previous Minutes 
  1. No sink around the gym area has still to be addressed by Highland Council
  2. Boogie Bounce – still no response re the class. However, an alternative Zumba class may be offered to the children – details to follow.
  3. Still no coach for the Inter-school football training.  Tracey Taylor will ask her husband to see if he would consider doing the training after the Easter hols.
  1. Chairperson’s Report

Steve presented a form to be filled in by the Office Bearers from Highland Council, however, unsure why this needs to be completed and will check with the Treasurer for any funding implications.

Discussed the possibility of the Parent Council bank account becoming an online facility.  Will liaise with Caroline to investigate this with the Bank of Scotland.

  1. Head Teacher’s Report

Highland Highlife

A member of staff from Highland Highlife will be coming into the school to do some circuits with the children over the next three Tuesdays.

Swimming Lessons

Awaiting confirmation from the pool on when the blocks of swimming lessons will commence for P4 and P5.  It was agreed that the money that was raised specifically for paying for the bus to and from the pool should be spread across as much of the classes as possible (as this was a fundraiser for the whole school) and that parents should continue to contribute £2.00 towards the cost as previously agreed.

Library Re-vamp

Kirsten applied for a Discretionary Grant via Highland Council and whilst they approved the funding for the furniture – the grant no longer has any money available.

The HDBF will fund towards the furniture, as long as the school fundraises for some of the costs itself.  Extra quotes are needed for the furniture as they felt the total cost was pricey.  Edith will collate more quotes from other furniture companies for comparison.  HDBF will not fund for the paint or carpet.

Kirsten will investigate funding from Tesco to fund the books.

The planning application form has been submitted to HC for the Outdoor Classroom.

Change of School Hours

Michelle raised the latest issue with the schools having longer days Monday to Thursday but a half-day on a Friday as this was announced via Thurso High School.  Edith advised the group that this has not been imposed on the primary schools but is up to each school to decide the hours that it wishes to remain open.  All Head Teachers are having a meeting to discuss this issue this week.

Shoot Bamboo

The new school photographer will be coming in to do the P7 class photo.  This will be the normal panoramic style as previous.  Each class will also have a photo taken and parents will have the opportunity to purchase one if they wish.

Homework and Learning Logs

A survey was completed by each of the children regarding their thoughts on having to do homework with some very interesting points.  It was the consensus of the group that homework should still continue but allow the child to have a longer period of time (home-work issued on Monday to be completed by Friday) so better planning could be made at home.

Merlin Cinema

As the cinema trip was cancelled, this will be re-scheduled for some-time before the Easter holidayInformation will follow in due course.

Dounreay Apprentices

Sonja mentioned the possibility of using some Dounreay apprentices to do some of the work required within the library re-vamp.  Dounreay encourages their apprentices to be involved in Community Projects and this could be something they would consider.

Unwanted Library Books

Any unwanted books from home that could be used in the library are much appreciated.  If any parent wished to do a swap on any of the books, these are available to view.

School Closure

The school is having an issue with their heating and with the recent bad weather – the school had several floods within the building.  The biomass is not working correctly and the existing oil burner is not working as efficiently as it should, which is costly to run.  This is being replaced in Easter.

Curriculum Days

Planned Curriculum/Open days will commence from February to April.  This will be held on morning and afternoon sessions.  The school will try to accommodate times to suit parents as best it can as appreciate not all those parents that work are able to attend.

  1. Fundraising 

Next fundraiser will be the Bingo Night on Saturday 25 February.  The monies raised from this will contribute towards funding the library revamp.

Actions: Contact Phillip Coghill for availability to do the Bingo caller

Michelle to contact Sadie re the bingo machine via the gala

Leanne will order the bingo books

Source prizes from local business and parents

Inform parents and request for helpers

Fundraising Idea

Tracey mentioned that at her school – photos were taken throughout the dress rehearsal at the time of the play of each class, then displayed on the night for parents to purchase.  This could be converted onto a CD and sold as a fundraiser for the school.

  1. AOB

Children Parties

Tracey on behalf of Michelle Cook questioned why the P3 children that are currently in the P3/4 class were not included in the P1-3 Xmas party.  Children are classed as infants at P1-3 and it was felt that they were slightly too young to be in a group with the P5’s.  A question was also raised regarding the school play and that the children should be in their class groups (i.e straight P3) rather than their classes.  Win explained that with the plays, it is easier for them to be with their own class.  However, the Xmas party was probably down to numbers but this request will be considered next year.

Library Bus

Sonja questioned if there was a Library Bus schedule so that parents could be aware when to return books and ensure their child had their library card.  Edith explained that the bus does not always come at the same time and on many occasions the children are either at PE and often miss the opportunity.

The bus itself is very small and getting the children in and out can be quite chaotic.  Leanne suggested that a parent helper could ease the pressure if the day the bus was to arrive was known.

It was suggested that a photocopy of the children’s library card could be kept at school to save the children having to leave the card in their tray when it could be needed outwith.

Adverse Weather – Travel Home

Leanne on behalf of Gillian Coghill raised concerns that with the recent bad weather, the bus was late dropping off the children at home-time (45 mins) and parents had not been contacted to re-assure them that their child was safe.  The bus company is responsible, as a duty of care, to ensure the safety of the children and have contact numbers for emergencies.  The school was unaware of this issue.

Action: Edith will contact the bus company to raise the concern.

Dirt Issue

Victoria Denley-Spencer has requested that the children are kept off the grass and encouraged to play on the tarmac as her child has come home extremely dirty.  It was agreed that a particular area of the grounds, where the children like to play, be out of bounds until after Easter.

Anonymous Issues

Parents who wish to add items to agendas or discuss things under AOB must be prepared to give their names otherwise they cannot be discussed. If parents have any issues or concerns that they feel they wish to raise, parents are encouraged to do so directly with the Head Teacher and not via the Parent Council. Certain issues can be resolved before a PC meeting. The parents and staff have good relationships and we would like this to remain positive.  We want to encourage good relationships with parents by being approachable and certainly hope parents feel at ease to do so.

  1. Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 2 May 2017 at 7.15 pm

Michelle Campbell, Secretary

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