Many hands make light work at Family Farm Sunday

It's not as if beverages weren't supplied...

It’s not as if beverages weren’t supplied… but this way looks more fun!

There was an amazing turnout for the Family Farm afternoon on Sunday, making short work of the planting and other tasks and leaving time for lots of play… and snacking.  Take a look at the great pictures from Michael Preston, Fiona Cushley and others.

Thanks to all the families who came along – and to the many brilliant school staff who showed up on a Sunday, too. So many people have helped to bring this massive project to fruition, and there will be plenty more to come.

Please make sure that Sunday 17th July is in your diaries NOW.  It’s the final Sunday of the summer term and from about 10:00am, we’ll be harvesting and cooking the crops that we’ve planting – making a wonderful Sunday dinner for everyone there.  Watch out for more details nearer the time.

Give & Gainers dig the way…

With giant sleepers to be sawed, Tufnell Park's unstoppable grounds manager showed the volunteers how.

With giant sleepers to be sawed, Tufnell Park’s unstoppable grounds manager showed the volunteers how.

Have you thought about how much spinach we’re going to have to plant next Sunday to feed everybody at our feast in July? We have!

We’re going to need plenty of extra raised beds, and those we have required repair. We had hoped that the Thames Water engineers who volunteered at the school last June (led by Andy Ollard, husband of our own Kim in Cygnus) might return in March, but another charity had already snapped them up.  What to do?

Enter teams of volunteers from the offices where two different Tufnell Park parents work: Santander and BMJ. Both companies have Corporate Responsibility programmes that include “Give & Gain” volunteer days, for which they allow their staff to use a working day to help out charities and community organisations.

The parents applied on Tufnell Park’s behalf… and 20 cheerful and hardworking volunteers turned up at the school today to dig, saw and carpenter the extra space we’ll need for our major growing project beginning next weekend.

We can’t thank them enough – nor all of the parents and staff (with special freelance help from Ms Pavey) – who planned, lent, cooked, calculated, ordered goods and worked in so many ways to make the day a success.

Start farming… there’s a feast to come

Kids will be gardening all next term - and parents are invited to get in on the action, too.

Our kids will be gardening all next term – and now parents are invited to get in on the action, too.

Sunday 20th March, 1:30-4:00ish-pm, is Family Farming Day at Tufnell Park.  Everyone at school is invited to come along in warm/ waterproof/ doesn’t-matter-about-the-mud clothes to plant the crops that we’ll harvest and eat at the end of July (the Feast).

There will be cake, hot drinks and other refreshments to help keep us cheerful, whatever the weather: do come, and help the children kick off a fantastic, term-long gardening project that will involve them all.  If you missed the leaflet on World Book Day, take a look at it here:

Family Farm & Feast – download flyer here

We need to make room for a LOT of potatoes this year.

We need to make room for a LOT of potatoes this year.

This Friday, a team of 20+ volunteers from the workplaces of two Tufnell Park parents are giving their time and muscle to get the school grounds ready before the project begins. Raised beds will be mended, new ones introduced and low-maintenance irrigation systems put in place to help keep veggies watered over the weekends and holiday breaks.

All this costs money, in addition to the grant from Santander raised by the HSA. If you’d like to contribute, you could sponsor this year’s Weight Loss Club, which has already raised almost £1,000.00 towards gardening and healthy eating at Tufnell Park.  There are just 24 hours left to make your donation before the website closes….


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.