What the PTA talked about on 10 May 2017

At our meeting on 10 May we discussed ideas for future learning treats – we have already agreed to fund a Shakespeare themed treat for the Autumn term, but as the Sobell Trip has been postponed for this term due to building works, we are looking at funding another science based learning treat for after half term.  There were some other great ideas discussed for learning treats for 2018, including something to mark the centenary of World War 1.

The Summer Fair planning is coming along well, with lots of ideas for stalls – your class rep will be asking you to help out with setting up/running the stall allocated to your class.

Before that, the next big event in the calendar is the Fun Run, on 8 and 9 June. The Fundraising Page will soon be live, so please sponsor the children, all of whom will be running as many laps of the school playgrounds as they can in 20 minutes to raise funds to pay for even more activities to make our school an even more fun and exciting place to be! All offers of help for the day are gratefully received.

Drivers & Norris have again kindly agreed to sponsor this year’s summer fair. They have agreed to provide us with £30 for each board put up to promote the fair.  If you would be willing to have an estate agents’ board placed outside your home please contact the PTA. Boards will go up roughly a month before the fair, and will be taken down immediately afterwards. If you live in a rented property, please be sure to clear it with your landlord first.

Many committee members will be standing down from their positions at the end of their term in the autumn, so we are on the hunt for more helpers. Please do attend future meetings to see what we get up to.  The next meeting takes place in the Tufnell Park Tavern cafe at 8pm on 21 June. Please come along.

Cake sale to raise funds for years 3/4 this Friday 10 February/PTA news

Please donate cakes and snacks and/or come and buy them from the after school cake sale on Friday 10 February.  This time it’s run by middle bay years 3/4 to raise funds for a class treat or trip of their choice so please support them.





The main issues discussed at the PTA meeting in the Tufnell Park Tavern on 1 February 2017 were:

  • The next exciting learning treat will be a visit from “Bang on!” who will do a performance for the children and then 1 hour workshops with all classes (reception 45 minutes) using upcycled musical instruments and percussion.
  • Ideas are wanted for the summer term’s learning treat so please get in touch.
  • The idea of class reps for each class every year.  The parent or carer would act as a point of contact between the all parents/carers for each class and the PTA.
  • The school trip to the Sobell centre – date to be confirmed but it is happening.  We need a volunteer to coordinate the day. Can you help?
  • The date for the school summer fair – 8 July. The theme this year will be circus!
  • It was agreed that all funds raised from easyfundraising will go towards the purchase of books for the school (to supplement those that the school already provides).

The next PTA meetings are on 15 March, 10 May and 21 June, all in the Tufnell Park Tavern.  We really need more participants, the meeting on 1 February was attended by a very small committed group but more people are needed.  Last year we were not able to organise as many learning treats or events as we would have liked, as we did not have enough people to help run them.  WE NEED MORE HANDS ON DECK!  Please get in touch or come to our meetings if you can.

We will also be sending out a survey soon by email to find out people’s view on how the money raised by the PTA should be used. If you are not already on our email mailing list and would like to be, please contact us.

Last but not least you might have noticed from our website that we are now officially the Tufnell Park PTA.  Do make sure you go to our homepage and follow us if you don’t already.



AGM news, tomorrow’s fundraising Thursday and Halloween dressing up day

Parents, carers and teachers enjoyed tea and cake, a round up of last year and exciting plans for this year at the HSA Annual General Meeting on Friday.  The minutes summarising the discussions can be found here

Dates for your diary for the next 2 weeks are the spooky treats sale TOMORROW Thursday 20 October to raise money for the Early Years classes (fundraising Thursday this time as Friday 21 October is an inset day) and Halloween dressing up day on Monday 31 October, the first day back after half term. £1 voluntary donation to raise money for the HSA.

Family Feast this Sunday

This Sunday 17 July, come to school and help the children pick and eat the vegetables that they have been growing all term. Family and friends are welcome.  Wear clothes suitable for gardening that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty.

In the school hall we’ll use the vegetables to prepare food from Turkey, Somalia, Bangladesh and the UK.  Snacks, drinks and extra ingredients are all provided.

The plan is as follows:

10am ish: kids harvest vegetables

by 11am: cooking will have started

12:30ish: we hope to begin eating

13:30ish: clearing up

Here are some photos of the vegetables being planted, where it all began:


End Bay Madness lives up to its name and makes £240 in the process

Or £239.48 to be precise. End Bay pupils, give yourselves a big pat on the back for such a fantastic event.   It really was madness and a whole lot of fun.  Thank you to the teachers as well for getting so involved, and all the supportive parents and carers.  It was a team effort to be really proud of.

Here’s a selection of the activities they organised…


What a fantastic turnout and there was plenty for everyone to do

Such a fantastic turnout and there was plenty for everyone to do

What the HSA Committee talked about…

…on Friday 6th May 2016.

Most important of all, the committee voted in a new Co-Chair.  Emilie, mother of Ellie in Cygnus, joins the team just in time to seize the reins from Co-Chair Mags as she goes into labour.  At last she’ll be able to concentrate on that new baby without worrying about the Summer Fair: thank you, Emilie, for saving the day. Please, let’s all help Emilie as much as we possibly can.

Cowboys & cowgirls - get down to the Tavern on Wednesday night!

Cowboys & cowgirls – get down to the Tavern on Wednesday night!

Speaking of the Summer Fair, the next planning meeting is on Wednesday 18th May at 8:15pm, Tufnell Park Tavern. Come along and sign up to shoot those tin cans or lasso that bronco – whatever it happens to be. The importance of large numbers of volunteers  – that’s YOU – cannot be overestimated at this stage.

Learning Treats was a big agenda item. Teachers’ ideas for curriculum enhancement have come flooding in, so with a healthy bank balance in front of us the committee approved £900 for Shakespeare in Schools (requested by Ms Khan, Year 6) and £500 for a poet/ wordsmith for Black History Week in October (requested by Ms Heery, assistant head). We were intrigued by the promise of a whole school maths/ puzzles workshop, proposed by Mr Shuttleworth (Year 5), and have asked for more information about that. Other treats on the table for the next school year are a musical composition treat, and emotional intelligence workshop and something, something, something to engage the children in recycling. Keep thinking…

The Juniors will get some cheery tables a bit like this.

The Juniors will get some cheery tables a bit like this.

Other expenditure that was approved included £800 for colourful new picnic tables for the Juniors’ playground… and petty cash for flowering plants around the Learning Mentor’s chill-out shed.

Speaking of plants… Santander-funded gardening with Tom continues all around the grounds and seems to be gradually gathering impact on the whole school community. Our vegetables from Family Farm Day are growing well and are augmented weekly by fresh planting involving each class in turn.  If your child hasn’t had a go yet, they will.



What the HSA Committee talked about…

…on Wednesday 9th March.

It was great to see so many parents from this year’s Reception classes show up for the meeting – and a Cygnus parent, Irene (mother of Meadow) has stepped up to organize a healthy snack stall for Sport Relief on Friday 18th March. Thank you, Irene, the day is duly saved. Please, everyone, help her out by donating as many tantalizing-yet-sportingly-nutritious refreshments as you can muster (okay, popcorn is fine! And fruit kebabs never, ever, ever lose their appeal).

Don't be a Messi eater for Sport Relief...

Don’t be a Messi eater for Sport Relief this Friday…

...Go a whole bunch healthier with Cristiano.

…go a whole bunch healthier with Cristiano and the Tufnell Park Healthy Snack stall.

The HSA committee is still thin on the ground, though: more people are needed to take charge. Clearly, plenty of parents from the new intake are now thinking seriously about how they might like to get involved, which is great. For a start, do come along to the Tufnell Park Tavern on Wednesday 20th April at 8:00pm for an informal get-together with drink and food provided.

We’ll also be detailing vacancies widely and regularly from now on – in PACT folders, on the HSA noticeboard at school, by email and on this site. For instance, there must be SOMEONE on our parent body who can design our twice-termly, two-sided, A4 newsletter…! If you’ve never seen one, that’s because production has stopped until a designer can be found.  Here’s what they used to look like before the parent who designed them left (we’ve still got the writer):

HSA half-termly newsletter June-July 2015

Has anyone out there got InDesign at home? Could you do your own version? Get in touch!

It also became clear that lots of parents still do not know about this blog, or that you can follow us on faceBook. Please, if you ever talk to a Tufnell Park parent who declares themselves baffled about school events, urge them to check it out. They need never be in the dark again.

Our kids showed on Friday afternoon what brilliant little gardeners they can be - bring them along on Sunday 20th March at 1:30 to plant crops in the earth they've dug.

Our kids showed at Give & Gain last Friday afternoon what brilliant little gardeners they can be. Bring them along on Sunday 20th March at 1:30 to plant crops in that freshly-dug earth.

Other big agenda items included Family Farm Day (Sunday 20th March from 1:30pm), and the first Summer Fair planning meeting, 2:00pm on Friday 27th April in the school lobby. A final decision was made about the Summer Fair theme: “Cowgirls & Cowboys” – yeeeeehah!

Finally, there was a lively discussion about possible Learning Treats for this year and next. It’s a great shame that we’ve only managed one so far in 2015/16, compared to three each year in 2013/14 and 2014/15. With luck, some of the great ideas people came up with – ranging from recycling and the environment to orchestral music – will come to speedy fruition, if there’s a parent championing the cause.

What the HSA Committee talked about…

The clock is ticking... someone needs to relieve our pregnant popcorn sellers of their duties - soon!

The clock is ticking… someone needs to relieve these blooming popcorn sellers (aka HSA Secretary and Chair) of their duties – soon!

…on Wednesday 3rd February 2016.

Recruitment to the HSA committee was much on everybody’s minds, with a co-Chair position still vacant and our current Chair and secretary both requiring maternity leave in the very near future (May and March respectively). Other committee members have been in position for several years and would be happy to step down by the end of this school year to let new parents run things their way.

The HSA has had to curtail several of its activities this year for want of people willing to step up and organize. We have only been able to lay on one of our usual three Learning Treats – the spectacular Animated Movie-Making (ITC) Learning Treat that came to fruition on Friday 12th February. And we have not been able to re-run the super-popular family Bingo night we had last year.

Sports Relief 2014 - the danceathon and healthy snack stall were a triumph...

Sports Relief 2014 – the danceathon and healthy snack stall were a triumph…

...Will we be able to run anything for Sports Relief this year?

…Will we be able to run anything for Sports Relief this year?

Sports Relief is coming up on Friday 18th March and there’s still no volunteer to run a healthy snack stall or any other event on the day: it can’t happen without someone to take the helm.   Contact us now if that person could be you.

Please volunteer your help if you’d like to see the HSA continuing to organize a programme of events that genuinely enrich the life of the school. Better still, come along to a meeting: the next one is Wednesday 9th March at 8:00pm in the Tufnell Park Tavern (cafe section).

Plenty of events do still remain on the agenda. The long-planned gardening and cooking project – titled “Family Farm & Feast” and supported by Santander’s community fund – will be launched at the after-school event on World Book Day, 3rd March. It’s a project to grow, harvest and cook enough vegetables and herbs to make a giant meal using the recipes of four nations, which participants will then eat (of course!). You’ll be hearing plenty more about that in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, please put these crucial Farm & Feast dates in your diary:

Friday 11th March – Give & Gain Day. A team of 20 volunteers from two different businesses are coming to prepare the school grounds for the Farm & Feast project. Let us know if you can help out with the garden work or refreshments (donating or helping serve).

Sunday 20th March – 1:30-4:00pm – Family planting afternoon: sowing the vegetables that we’ll cook in July.

Sunday 17th July – 9:30-2:00ish – Family harvesting, cooking and feasting day.

After the Easter holidays, there are plans for an HSA social evening of the pizza-and-drinks variety – no fundraising, no agenda, just some free food and fun.

Theme for Summer Fair 2016?  How Wild do we want our West to be?

Theme for Summer Fair 2016? How Wild do we want our West to be?

At school, the annual children’s Fun Run will return on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th June (the week after the late spring half term holiday) and the date of the Summer Fair is Saturday 9th July. No theme has been decided yet but at this meeting, the Wild West proved immediately popular… Come to the meeting on 9th March if you want to cast your vote.

What the HSA Committee talked about…

…on Friday 15th January 2016

Amazing concentration and teamwork went into the making of the children's animated movies.  See the results on Friday 12th February.

Amazing concentration and teamwork went into the making of the children’s animated movies. See the results on Friday 12th February.

Our first meeting of the year was all about dates.  We’re looking at a super-busy couple of terms and we’re going to need plenty of parents and families to help make everything happen in Tufnell Park style.

Put these in your diary:

Wednesday 3rd FebruaryHSA meeting and drinks. The next committee meeting is open to all as usual, so come along to the Tufnell Park Tavern at 8:00pm for a drink and a chat with other members.  We’ve often been asked to provide some social time along with the meetings, so we won’t knuckle down to business until 8:30pm.

Friday 12th FebruaryAnimated Film Screening for Safer Internet Week. Surely every parent in the school knows by now that our children in years 1-6 have been making short animated films – a Learning Treat funded by the HSA.  They’re to be screened at the end of Safer Internet Week, aka the last day before half term, at 3:30pm.  Don’t miss!

Children's and parents' poetry in many languages was the highlight of last year's World Book Day, too.

Children’s and parents’ poetry in many languages was the highlight of last year’s World Book Day, too.

Thursday 3rd March – World Book Day. We’re anticipating a dress-up day for the kids with a global literary theme, followed by an after-school celebration of language, literature and food from around the world. Again, the start time is 3:30pm – watch this space.

Friday 11th March – Give & Gain gardening day. Business volunteers will be braving the changeable early spring weather to help get the school’s growing areas ready prepped for a wonderful gardening and cooking project. We’ll need lots of help from parents to look after our guests and lend a hand themselves.  If you can wield a hammer or a spade and you fancy some mud and rain in a good cause, book this day off work now

Let's get those kids juicing again!

Let’s get those kids juicing again!

Friday 18th March – Sports Relief. The recent Football Fundraising Friday made £155.00 on healthy snacks alone without a cake in sight.  Can we pull off something similar for Sports Relief this year?

Sunday 20th March – Santander Gardening Project begins… Families from throughout the school community are invited to come along and plant crops on Sunday afternoon for harvest later in the year.  It’s a fantastic, term-long project funded by Santander bank’s community fund and you’ll be hearing plenty more about it in weeks to come.

What the HSA Committee talked about…

…on Monday 16th November.

Oooo... the posters went up all round school today and it's time to start feeling Christmassy all over.

Oooo… the posters went up all round school today. It’s time to start feeling Christmassy all over.

Winter Wonderland Winter Wonderland Winter Wonder… – it had to be, at this time of year! The party is on Friday 4th December, a week earlier than usual and only three weeks away.

Come to the final Wonderland planning meeting on Friday 27th November, 2:00pm in the school lobby.

Sign up to help on a stall at the party, so that no-one (except Santa) gets stuck in one place for the whole afternoon.

Lend us an artificial Christmas tree for Santa’s grotto – you can take it back at Going Home time, we promise!

Bake or buy cookies, cakes and Christmas goodies to donate for sale at the Wonderland Cake Stall.

Buy raffle tickets (coming home in PACT folders shortly) and/ or sell them to your friends – they will thank you when they win that £100 cash prize.

He'll be back - with treats for all you GOOD little girls and boys.

He’ll be back – with treats for all you GOOD little girls and boys.

Come along to the party from 4:30pm on Friday 4th December. There’ll be singing, dancing, the jolly old man in red, a cash draw, prizes galore, crazy Christmas make-overs, hot dogs and hot chocolate and fragrant hot wine, the ever-popular dress-up photobooth, a whole room of “snow” to jump in and demented amounts of glow-in-the-dark fun.

The HSA did some other business, too.

A Tufnell Park School Calendar for 2016 is already in production and, with 12 original class artworks depicting “Tufnell Park Scenes”, it’s going to be really wonderful. With luck, it will be on sale at Winter Wonderland… or very shortly after.

Looking forward to early Spring, we’ll be launching a fantastic gardening, growing and cooking project with a £4,880. grant from Santander’s Community Plus fund. This will involve several community days at school, so please watch this space for your chance to get involved. Thank you so much, HSA co-treasurer Carolyne (and Santander employee) for alerting us to a wonderful opportunity and submitting our application on the HSA’s behalf.

Finally, after carrying out research into the origins of our name – Home School Association – the committee voted overwhelmingly to change us back into a PTA, probably from September. There are some technicalities to sort out before a re-launch but at last we’ll have the advantage of people knowing what we are….