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.

“As seen in the Islington Gazette…”

Rarely has Budgens looked so appealing as when depicted by Ursa for December 2016.

Rarely has Campdale Road Budgens looked so appealing as when depicted by Ursa class for December 2016.

Our beautiful 2016 calendars, depicting local scenes and events, are printed and ready at last.

For a full preview, including photos of some of the artists with their work, check out the article about our calendar in the Islington Gazette.  That’s right: the children’s creative output is finally getting the public profile it so clearly deserves.

Calendars are for sale at the school gates and from the office until the end of term – an absolute snip at £5.00 each or three for £10.00.  Thank you, long-term supporters Drivers & Norris, for helping us keep the price so low.


Raffle winners in Wonderland

No matter what they tell you: playing the game may be fun but there's NOTHING like winning!

No matter what they tell you: playing the game may be fun but there’s NOTHING like winning!

What does Momma always tell us?

“Winter Wonderland ain’t over ’til the raffle has been drawn!”

So Friday’s party finally drew to a dramatic close at school assembly on Monday morning, when the winners of the Wonderland raffle were revealed: the cash and the luxury hamper both went to pupils at the school. There was a lot of joy in the room as kids took turns to draw!

The best result of all is that Winter Wonderland made approximately £1,000 to support the school. The exact figure will be published when all the receipts are in. That’s enough (for example) to fund one whole exciting Learning Treat in the New Year. So thank you, all of you, for buying your tickets, and for coming to the party – and if you haven’t had a call to tell you you’re a winner, well, better luck next time.

You can always console yourself by re-living the highlights of Friday’s party. Take a look at the great new gallery on this site (click here).

Cygnus sweets and Music treats

Singing! Swinging! Playing the air trumpet! Delphinus have got it all going on.

Sing! Swing! Play the air trumpet! Ms Brereton gets Delphinus studio-ready.

It’s not news that the mobile’s alive with the sound of music, where Ms Brereton takes her classes: that’s a normal part of school life.

But there’s a new purpose to rehearsals these days, as you may have noticed if your children have come home recently singing the hits of bygone eras. Funded by the HSA, Ms Brereton has taken charge of a brand new Music Learning Treat, which will involve the whole school producing a CD of songs from the last 100 years. There’s a CD cover to design, too, and we expect recording to take place sometime in July, just before the end of term. Keep your ears open…

Eating smarties makes you smart (doesn't it?), so we sell a lot at school.

Eating smarties makes you smart, which is why we sell a lot at school. Buy more if it’s not working yet.

More immediately to hand is the Cygnus cake sale, coming THIS FRIDAY.  Please bring cakes and other goodies to sell, as all the cash we make will go direct to the Reception teachers to spend on whatever their classes need. You’re welcome to bring savoury and fruit snacks, too.  Children do like them.

The votes are in: Whole School Fun Trip coming soon

After all that hard, hard work...

After all that hard, hard work…

...it's time to celebrate!

…it’s time to celebrate!

Remember last year’s Fun Run?

The children were raising money so that the whole school could go on a trip together to celebrate. By March this year, after a lot of research, and of ideas suggested and rejected for being impractical, not appropriate for all ages or – most usually – simply too expensive, the HSA put together four fully costed options on which the children could vote. They were:

Kew Gardens
The London Eye
Ripley’s “Believe it or Not
The (whole) Sobell Leisure Centre for a day

You can see complete details on what was offered by downloading the briefing document sent to class teachers:

Let the Children Vote_Four Options for the Whole School Fun Trip

By an overwhelming majority, the children went for the Sobell Centre and a day of trampolining, skating, gymnastics and sport – with the London Eye a distant second.  Check your child’s class results here:

Cygnus LT London Eye
Cygnus CW London Eye
Delphinus Sobell Centre
Andromeda Sobell Centre
Ursa Sobell Centre
Aquila Sobell Centre
Draco Sobell Centre
Columba London Eye
Orion Sobell Centre
Perseus Sobell Centre
Heracles Sobell Centre

As one happy pupil put it: “You can do all of the other things any time, if you buy a ticket. But getting the Sobell Centre for the whole school really is just once in a lifetime.”

The trip is scheduled for Monday 18th May – check your child’s PACT folder for details nearer the time.

Tufnell Park School loves to cook…

Glossy biscuits for cook book

Is it a fish? Is it a biscuit? It’s certainly a work of art…

…so please try to get those recipes to us by Tuesday 24th February (aka TOMORROW) for our International Evening school cookbook. Don’t forget to tell us if there’s a story behind your contribution – we’d like to include as many of those as we can. In case you’ve mislaid the form, it’s right here:

Cook Book recipe form – print out and bring to school.

When you’ve filled out that one, don’t put your pen down! This week is also your chance to let us know what you want from the redesign of the school lobby and long corridor.  The design teams will be gathering up feedback forms at the end of the day on Wednesday 25th February (THIS WEDNESDAY). Have your say now – download the form here:

Love Your Lobby feedback form – print out and fill in

Winning tickets for the Christmas draw

Hard to tell who's happier: Mr Scarborough or our lucky winner.

Hard to tell who’s happier: Mr Scarborough or the winner of our first prize.

There were plenty of big smiles at assembly this morning as Mr Scarborough announced a string of winners for this year’s Winter Wonderland raffle.

For those of us who went home without a prize, we can take comfort from the fact that all profits go to the HSA to spend on all our kids: the total will be announced here when the final receipts are in.

We’ll be seeing the results of that in some great Learning Treats coming up in the next couple of terms.  Watch this space…

Change of venue – Winter Wonderland planning meeting

Santa-conference-041The final planning meeting for Winter Wonderland is to be held at a Committee member’s home, not at the Tufnell Park Tavern as advertised.  It’s at 8:00pm on Tuesday 9th December.  Email HSA secretary, Lucy, here, to let us know you’re coming, and she’ll send you the address.

Please come along and help get those crucial details ironed out before the big day, on Friday…

Going for gold: playground on the shortlist


Sometimes the grass is greener on this side of the fence.

It seems the judges at the Society of Garden Designers are mighty impressed by our beautiful Infants’ Playground, and they’ve shortlisted Jackie Herald’s fantastic design in the Community Space category.  The ceremony is in January – but with only three finalists, we can’t go home without bronze, silver… or gold.


  • Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Courtyard Garden
  • Tufnell Park School Infants Playground
  • Willow Wood Hospice Sensory Garden

HSA lifts off for another year

Our outgoing treasurer gets ready to head skywards...

Our outgoing co-treasurer gets ready to head skywards…

The HSA’s Annual General Meeting is this Thursday, 2nd October, straight after school in Andromeda class.

Please come. There’s childcare provided in Cygnus and refreshments to keep you buzzing as we discuss what worked best last year and what lies in the year ahead. Mr Scarborough will be there to give the school’s perspective.

This year, we need a new treasurer/treasurers and new trainee chair/co-chair, and we’re also looking for people who’d be willing to lead on individual events – most urgently, the Winter Wonderland. Any role can also be shared by two people: it’s often more fun with a friend! Please consider whether you might be ready to take a turn.

Franky and Sarah, our outgoing co-treasurers, describe their role as follows:

“We have been treasurers of the HSA accounts for four years. We have seen the annual income increase from a few hundred pounds to many thousands per year. It is an exciting and highly involved ‘job’ that requires attention to detail, organization and being involved in all the HSA activities. The role is an excellent addition to a CV as it covers so many financial and administrative tasks.

Between HSA events the treasury role is quiet. However, during busy times such as Summer Fair and Winter Wonderland, all financially-related activities are your responsibility. These are likely to include: paying all invoices, arranging floats, getting a TENS (gambling) licence, reimbursing individuals, counting all funds and banking money. Additional administrative tasks include dealing with the charity commission, BTmydonate and gift aid.

We also produce a monthly account for the HSA Committee, and an annual report for the HSA AGM that is externally audited. These allow us to see where we are with funds and where the HSA can have fun spending what it has earned!

We have thoroughly enjoyed the role of treasurers but feel it is time to hand over to fresh eyes.”