Food spectacular at the Family Feast

DD jolly farmers of Tufnell Park get ready for dinner.

Do you think salad’s on the menu?

Family Feast on Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day in just about every way. Abundant crops, glorious sunshine – perfect for washing muddy spuds in tubs of cold water – and many hands available to share the work: all great ingredients for camaraderie.

Thank you, everyone who came along.  And thank you, particularly, to the parents and staff who first designed a four-country menu around the veggies that the children had grown, and then set us all to work on the day. (Of course, they themselves worked hardest of all.) It was so much fun, and the meal was absolutely delicious.

Perhaps best of all, this cross-cultural gardening and cooking project – an HSA Learning Treat, made possible by grants from Thames Water Community Fund and Santander Community Fund – has helped inspire ongoing gardening and cooking at the school as part of the curriculum next year.

In advance of the full gallery – these things take time! – here are a few images that capture the times we had.  Thank you, Fiona Cushley, for the pictures.

Further news from this blog is that the author has officially changed: we’re incredibly grateful to Rachel, mother of Francesca, for stepping up as blog-master so that Leonie can retire after three years at the keyboard.  In fact, Rachel’s been writing the HSA posts since Easter as part of a seamless handover, and will take sole charge from now on.  Please help her out by sending in your photos… we always, ALWAYS need them.

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.

Fresh & Fruity Sport Relief raises £107.00

A little help from our local business friends... the fantastic guys at Fam on Fortess Road (aka "Best Greengrocer In the World") were super-generous with their donation for Sport Relief.

A little help from our local business friends… the fantastic guys at Fam on Fortess Road (aka “Best Greengrocer In the World”) were super-generous with their donation for Sport Relief.

Despite a grey and chilly day that seemed to call for hot chocolate and pies rather than fresh fruit platters, there was still joy to be had at the snack stall after school today.

The call for healthy food brings out the genius in parents…  those frozen yoghurt cupcakes fooled many a hungry child!

Thanks so much to everyone who helped to organise and who donated food.  £107.00 for Sport Relief represents a whole lot of snacks sold (214 portions, to be precise) and a lot of sourcing and chopping.

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.

All around the World Book Day…

Our bold leaders set the tone for a fantastic fun Book Day.

Our bold leaders set the tone for a fantastic fun Book Day.

What a day it was! The classrooms thronged with characters sprung from an enormous range of reading materials. Everywhere there were children comparing notes on who they were and where they came from. Talking about books… it’s the whole point.

The after-school poetry and music event zig-zagged through the world from England through Bangladesh to Turkey, Somalia to Columbia and Wales to Georgia, returning only for pretzels from Germany and an English jam tart.

If you’d like to delve deeper into our twin themes of world food and language, take the time to go and examine the wonderful, witty food-related art displays in the hall that were created just for the occasion.

And thank you, everyone who contributed snacks for the international snack sale, which made £196.93.  That’s a Tufnell Park Snack Record.

Before we close the cover, let’s flick once more through the day’s events…

Sweat & glory at the Football Fundraiser

Staff team share an emotional moment: it's a game of two halves, and they won all four of them.

Staff team share an emotional moment: it’s a game of two halves, and they won all four of them.

Once again, the girls’ football team showed us how it’s done – this time with a fantastic, high-spirited, high-energy fundraiser that raised £240.01 for equipment, kit and costs.

Many thanks for the massive support given by parents, kids and staff: the “Lucky Number” game sold out (that’s £100 right there), football-themed face-painting was a treat and the healthy snack stall was laden with goodies thanks to your generosity. For those who missed the auction, that authenticated, signed photograph of Arsenal went for £15.00, after a brief but ferocious contest.

Best of all, it was truly excellent fun.  And with the football mini-tournament (Boys vs Girls, Staff vs Kids), stellar coach Naomi may just have started a Tufnell Park tradition…


A very merry Tufnell Park Christmas

Christmas comes in all sizes.

Christmas came in all sizes on the way to school on Friday.

So… term ended spectacularly Christmassarily: jumpers, jumpers everywhere, with legion lights, baubles, robins and reindeer.  It was as if good taste had never been invented – fun and fabulous! – as well as raising a lovely chunk of money for Save the Children, MacMillan Cancer Support and Make a Wish, in equal measure.  In the New Year, we’ll be able to tell you the exact size of the donation.

The day – and the term – finished with the Tufnell Park Nativity: an altogether excellent production this year, with particularly lavish sets and costumes, great singing and very impressive delivery from all the speaking parts. For all of which, the HSA can claim pretty much no involvement – except that they are, of course, your children – and that photographer and parent, Michael Preston, kindly sent us the pictures, so you see them here first…

“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.


Feel the Force that is Wonderland

They're not printed on the raffle tickets... but some great last minute raffle prize donations are still rolling in...

Keep buying those raffle tickets, and bring in your cash and stubs. Some great last minute prize donations (such as Star Wars tickets, above) are still rolling in…

After a great meeting in the school lobby today – thanks so much to all the many people who came – Winter Wonderland is looking in truly terrific shape for next Friday.

Dads – don’t be shy!  The volunteer crew is currently overwhelmingly female and the involvement of all parents and carers is genuinely welcome! If you haven’t signed up to help and you’d still like to, please go ahead and contact us, or look out for the giant sign-up sheet at the school gate.

Although of course, the most important thing of all is just to enjoy the event with your child.

As last year, every child will get a chance to visit Santa’s Grotto on a class-by-class basis – it’s the only way to fit 320 children’s visits into a two-hour schedule.  Gather outside the back doors of the hall (a lovely elf will be waiting for you). To make sure you don’t miss your child’s slot, please study the schedule below:Santa's Schedule - Winter Wonderland 2015




Great result for Children in Need

The school welcomed a lovely new head for the day today - very generous with the Head teacher's awards.

The school welcomed a lovely new head for the day today.

Well done, Tufnell Park!

The grand total for our fundraising efforts on behalf of Children in Need came just a tenner short of £400 today.

The after-school snack sale and balloon cartooning brought in £162, despite being crammed into the lobby as the weather turned unreliable. During the week, “Guess the number of sweets in the jar” plus the madly popular “Head for a Day” draw raised £228 (£227.78 to be precise).

Thanks to everyone who contributed cash, cakes, time and effort – particularly Diane, for her tireless all-weather ticket-selling at the gate.