Minutes of the Netherlee Parent Council Meeting – 13th September 2017
Debby Biddles (Vice Chair)
Apologies: Alison McCosh, David McLeish, Ellie Murphy, Ruth Alexander, Fiona Leatham, Jane Thomson, Cllr Annette Ireland, Cllr David McDonald, Cllr Stewart Miller, Cllr Alan Lafferty
Observers: Lynn Sweeney (DHT), Linda Bell (PT), Adam Capek
DB welcomed everyone to first Parent Council (PC) meeting of this school year. DB noted that Nick Addington and Debbie O’Shea have stepped down from the PC. DB thanked both Nick and Debbie for their help and support to the PC over the years.
DB advised that copies of the minutes will be sent to the councillors who represent the school catchment and are fully supportive of the school and PC meetings. It was unfortunate that the first full council meeting had been scheduled for the same night as this PC meeting therefore the councillors are unable to attend this evenings meeting.
DB informed attendees that in order to keep the PC meetings to an hour, then some discussions may be parked and dealt with separately, as appropriate.
DB outlined the role of the PC and some of the responsibilities, which are:
· Critical role in supporting Joanne Scott (JS) and her team at Netherlee Primary
· To gather and promote parent views over a cross section of parents
· Report back to JS with information and opinion on new and current initiatives in the school
· Appointment of senior staff – three parent councillors are validated to be included in the senior staff recruitment process
DB then asked attendees to introduce themselves to the meeting.
Minutes from AGM – Wednesday 17th May 2017
Proposed by: TS
Seconded by: BE
Summary Improvement Plan
JS reported the Improvement Plan for 2017-2018 was now on the school website for all parents to see. Over the next three years the main focus would be on:
· Expressive Arts – Art & Design
o Develop a Skills Framework and curriculum map that will identify the progression of learning and excellent learning opportunities across the school from Nursery to P7.
· Social Subjects
o To review the learning and teaching of social subjects i.e. Vikings, Romans and look to refresh these areas of social subjects i.e. geography skills.
· Playful Pedagogy
o Research innovative practice related to playful pedagogy learning in early years. Take appropriate steps to enhance our youngest pupils’ learning experience in a positive way and secure what we do well.
· Pupil Equity Funding
o Further develop, enhance and adapt our strategies and ways of working to ensure that all children are being well supported to make the best possible progress and that identified children demonstrate improved attainment.
o Netherlee Primary has received £31K as part of this government initiative, and are committed to using this well. A new teacher has been employed and the SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) will be used to classify children who will benefit from this teaching focus. The funding is available for three years and JS said that at the end of the funding the extra teaching staff will remain.
o The school will continue to embed numeracy strategy and moderation in children’s attainment and all staff participate in this. There is national moderation going on with a staff member involved in this so it will be good to measure Netherlee against other schools.
· Nursery School
o Adult child interaction – development of high quality interaction and effective talking and listening skills to improve children’s articulation of their learning.
o Quality Assurance and Self Evaluation – develop enhanced quality assurance monitoring strategies to improve self-evaluation.
o Creativity/Digital Skills – developing creativity through the improvement of digital skills of staff and children.
JS advised that National Assessments will begin in the 2017-18 school year across Scottish schools. For Netherlee these are likely to be held after Christmas. Tests will be held for Primaries 1, 4 and 7 and S3.
This will be a standard assessment in reading, writing and numeracy and will be completed online. This will not be flagged up as a test to pupils and information on tests will be given back quickly. A link will be given to parents to showing the progress of how children are assessed. JS indicated that the tests will be adaptive to the children and the answers given, i.e. if the questions seem too easy then more difficult questions will be given and vice versa. This approach means that pupils will have different questions from their peers. JS said it would be very interesting to see the results from these new tests.
The new National Assessments will not immediately replace the ERC Standardised Tests and both sets of tests will be run in parallel for a couple of years. This is so that there can be a comparison and build-up of historical data for the new tests before stopping the ERC Standardised Tests.
JS reported that math’s week in the school had been very successful, especially with it being run so early in the session. Positive comments had been received from the recent numeracy handout sent out to parents.
JS said that the performance from all stages was excellent and she was pleased with how the children are responding to the challenges given to them. The challenge for the school now was to keep the standard up. JS also noted that the P7 presentations in maths week were excellent.
JS said that a meeting had been held on Tuesday 12th September 2017 with parents and staff to go over the Digital Learning curriculum. The meeting was very positive and parents got a good flavour of what children are learning and parents seemed to be very supportive of where the school is going with digital learning.
Leaving School Arrangements
TS commented that the letter issued outlining alternative exits for the school seems to have made improvements for children exiting school at home time. JS said that parents are happy to help and this move has alleviated the congestion for children leaving school. Also encouraging parents to stand back has helped in this matter.
JS commented that there is still some work to be done to alleviate some congestions points within the morning queues.
JS commented that a letter was sent out to parents prior to the summer holidays requesting that people local to the school keep an eye out for any signs of vandalism.
On the whole, the level of vandalism over the summer was low, however there had been some vandalism on the roof of a small meeting room where a bin lid had been used to smash approximately 60 tiles on the roof of this room.
AM said that if any vandalism was observed to call 101 and the caller will then be directed to the appropriate department. More calls made regarding vandalism would gain a better response to the issue.
JT asked if the letter could be shared with parents again requesting that they are vigilant about vandalism in and around the school.
There was a big focus on road safety last session and Lynn Sweeny and Jodie Osborne have taken over the Road Safety Initiative for this session.
There have been a number of reported near misses of children in the car park at Netherlee Pavilion. JS said that Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) had now been appointed from P4 to P7 and the aim was to put the onus on parents and carers to park responsibly. There are still too many risks being taken parking on zig zags and double yellow lines. Police, local councillors, environmental health and the fire service have all shown support for parking responsibly.
DB said that last year Councillor Mary Montague secured £10k for upgrading to the car park at Netherlee Pavilion. DB has spoken to the Roads Officer at ERC and he should shortly be providing options for using the funding in the car park. These may be to:
· Build a path on the pavilion side
· Painting lines in the middle of the car park to indicate no parking in the middle
Once options are received these will be shared with the PC.
Currently the car park is still under East Renfrewshire Leisure Trust, therefore wardens cannot issue parking tickets. It is hoped that the car park will be moved under the remit of ERC Roads Department.
DB said that the JRSOs will continue to be supported by the PC and will aim to link in with Road Safety Week.
Last session there were three winners of the road safety poster competition. DB will get these printed and positioned around the school.
DB reported that she had been contacted regarding the lollipop man located on Linnpark Avenue and that he had positioned himself too far down the road at the entrance to the staff car park. DB said that she had spoken to Lorraine Lowrie who has spoken to the lollipop man who has now moved further up the road. It was agreed that it is better that he is positioned between the staff car park and corner of Clarkston Road, as being too close to the junction was quite dangerous.
DB also said that Lorraine Lowrie discussed getting cones to use on the roads at home time and the cones could be stored in the school.
LS shared information regarding a letter she had received from Mark Ruskell MSP who is looking to introduce a bill to reduce the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph around all schools in Scotland. DB requested a show of hands to support this, the response was positive.
JT said she could provide more research on reducing the speed limits around schools. DB welcomed the provision of this research.
ACTION: JT to give research information on reducing speed limits around schools to DB
AM said she would like to influence driver behaviour and put this out across the school community and, if appropriate, to advise and suggest safer car parking areas. Discussion was held on whether this was appropriate to ask other parents to be involved in this, i.e. peer pressure and indicating that it is anti-social to park irresponsibly around the school and car park. JT said that First Avenue had a lot of turning cars would be wary of showing this as a safe alternative path and should be indicated that this can be a busy road to cross.
It was proposed to put out a refresher information sheet to be mindful of parking and promoting ‘Park and Stride’. It was agreed that this could be taken up by the JRSOs for Road Safety Week and get children to reinforce this.
ACTION: JRSO to issue refresher information sheets
DB asked that if anyone else would like to be on the JRSO forum then to contact her.
Any Other Business
Information Sheet for Planned Trips
DB said that a small number of parents had requested an information sheet for planned trips and costs throughout the school year. JS said that it was difficult to plan the activities in advance for the full school year as the staff need to plan trips and respond to any changes to proposed excursions.
LB said that plenty of notice is given to parents and that the cost of trips/excursions are tried to be kept to a minimum and that the school does pay for trips where no payment is requested from parents and this information is not always shared. It was agreed that it would be good to inform parents when activities are subsidised by the school.
The area in front of the mural is being obscured by the plants. LC suggested a gardening club be formed to clear the plants and trim them back. JS said that ‘Tidy Friday’ could be used to do this. There are still some funds left in the bank for the Mural and maybe these funds could be used for the upkeep of the mural.
A request had been made for the school website to be updated more frequently and could be more efficient and useful. JS requested that feedback be sought on the website. JS indicated that it is no one person’s job to update the website. It was commented that Netherlee Primary School’s website was functional and easy to navigate.
FD commented that she found it hard to find newsletters on the website.
It was noted that the Twitter feed is kept up to date.
ACTION: DB asked attendees to give feedback on the website, please email feedback to DB at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date of Next Meeting
Wednesday 8th November 2017