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.

Animate Tufnell Park

Everyone was on the creative team as the ITC Learning Treat came ot life today.

Everyone was on the creative team as they worked on our ITC Learning Treat.

Amazing scenes were being created – literally – at school today…

Our ITC Learning Treat – which will be revealed in full to parents on Friday 12th February as part of Safer Internet Week – started to come to life.

It starts with art... then what?

It starts with art… then what?

All week, the children in Juniors (years 3-6) had worked in teams, developing stories and ways of animating them. So by this morning, they had all created backgrounds, characters and thought of a tale to tell.

Using a programme called iStopMotion, a camera was rigged to the computer and the kids took a series of pictures (hundreds per film created) to make films of between 30 seconds and a minute in length. They would move the characters a very short distance, take a picture, then move them a short distance further. Put it all together and you have a cartoon.

There was great creative thinking going on as kids came up with stories and artwork. Within teams, they bounced ideas off each other, figuring out how to turn a plan into a movie – which, when they got into the process of shooting pictures, often meant adapting what they had thought up earlier.

Our parent volunteers worked just as hard!  They were essential to the filming process and more are still needed for FRIDAY 15TH JANUARY and to help years 1 and 2 on Thursday 28th January.  Don’t hold back: contact us.

How cool is school?


They’ve got everything an artist needs: pencils, blank paper and time.

“It was wonderful to see all the children so engaged,” said one parent who attended the launch of Tufnell Park’s latest Learning Treat at assembly this morning. “I had to leave for work but I wanted to stay all day!”

The mystery subject is an ITC-based project that will have all the children from years 1-6 involved in making their own stop-go animation films.  The 10-second shorts will be screened at the end of Safer Internet Week, on Friday 12th February (last day of half term), and the show is open to all families for 50p a ticket, to be donated to Childnet.  It’s after school at 3:30pm: put the date in your diary, because it’s already sounding unmissable.

Before then, help from parents and carers is needed to get all those movies made.  If you’ve got any time on Thursday 14th, Friday 15th or Thursday 28th January and you’d like to be part of it, please contact the HSA and we’ll let Ms del Pozo know.  You certainly don’t need to be any kind of expert – the animators from Film & Video workshop are running the project, and will tell you all you need to know.

What the HSA Committee talked about…

…on Tuesday 23rd June.

Carnival! Carnival! Carnival! With the Summer Fair less than two weeks away – it’s on Saturday 11th July – carnival planning is about the only game in the HSA’s town. Loads of people have signed up to help, which is absolutely brilliant because it’s going to be BIG as ever, and everyone also needs a bit of time off to go round the fair with their own kids. Let us know at any time if you don’t mind lending a hand.

Fair poster image for web

Email Anna on tpshsan7@gmail.com, grab one of the committee in the playground, put your name on the chart in the school lobby or look out for parents at the school gate all next week – they’ll be out there, signing up volunteers.

Even if you haven’t done any of that, you could still drop by the next – and final – Summer Fair planning meeting: Friday 3rd July at 2:00pm at school, in the mobile, conveniently leading you into the Nursery & Orion cake sale at 3:30pm.

One day, ALL of these will sell for 50p... but for today, it's only this one.

One day, maybe, ALL of these will sell for 50p… but for today, it’s only this one.

Keep an eye on the PACT folders, too: today they contain a letter about the fair listing things we still need, and attaching books of raffle tickets for families to buy and sell. Once again, our kind sponsors at Drivers & Norris have come up with a splendid first prize: an Apple iPad Air 16GB with WiFi – retailing at around £300 and possible to win for just 50p… if you buy the lucky ticket. It really is a beauty.

Science Week powers on despite school closure

Look at those ices go!

Look at those ices go!

Who would have thought that learning about science was exciting as… er, watching ice melt? But it was a fascinating business for Columba class this morning as the children tested their predictions against real-time melt rates for a range of different coloured ices. This is the second day of a whole-school science extravanza, which has age-appropriate experiments going on in every single class.

Special thanks to the amazing Ms Khan who not only organised and led the whole thing, but has saved Science Week from decimation by the school closure on Thursday.  Thanks to her, the Science Museum has agreed to reschedule that day of their visit to our school for Thursday 9th October.  And they’ll still be coming this Friday – 11th July – as originally planned.  That’s very good news for our children, and for the investment made by HSA Learning Treats.

Finally, thanks to parents and carers who volunteered to help out, despite the enormous number of school activities at this time of year.  Once we sorted out the organisational hiccups, it’s been really good to have you in the classrooms!  Don’t forget to take pictures…

Get set for summer

It’s less than two weeks until this year’s Summer Fair: so much has been done and so much still to do…! We’re still sourcing prizes large and small for the Tombola – bring your donations to school reception – and the donation of a majestic raffle prize or lot for the silent auction is welcome any time.

duck poster finalSpeaking of the silent auction: this is where our parent community’s skills and services go down particularly well.  Can you do a marvellous manicure?  Bake a splendid cake?  Spare some time to babysit?  Show a (kid) visitor round your workplace?  Teach an hour’s guitar?

Other families out there may well donate CASH to the school for your effort, so please… be bold and offer.

Loads of people have come forward to offer help for preparation and on the day, which is really fantastic.  We can always use more!

Email the HSA any time to let us know that you’re available and willing to take a slot running a stall at the fair, to help set up, to take raffle tickets and posters round to local shops… We’ll be happy to hear from you.

Scraping it together

girl_scrapingAn massive thank you to everyone who turned up this blustery Saturday to help with preparations for Give & Gain day. Despite the enormity of beige wall facing us, we got  a lot done and people even managed to make it fun… The community that scrapes together, stays together!

Now for the really big push: Friday 16th May.  We need to borrow plenty of equipment to make maximum use of our volunteers – we can’t have helpers standing idle for want of a wheelbarrow!  Please label equipment with your child’s name and class, and hand it in to school reception.  Or if you’re bringing it on the day, please email us now so we know it’s coming.

The complete equipment list is posted below the photos.


Wheelbarrows (3)
Stiff yard brushes
Stiff hand brushes
Hand forks
Pruning saws
Power washers
Electric screwdrivers
Paint scrapers
Measuring tape
Kneeling mats / cardboard boxes to squash + bin liners if it’s wet
Thick crayon (for marking on wall)
Old-fashioned dustbin lids (perfect circle with a handle on top) and similar circular objects, 30-60 cm in diameter

Parents, show your muscle!

We need all parents, families, carers – and of course, children too – to come and help at the school on Saturday 10th May.  We’ve got to prepare the long boundary wall of the infants’ playground for fresh painting the following Friday.  Please come and scrape off old paint if you can.  We’ll be there from 9:00am and any time you can spare is good.

One of our big boulders is eased carefully into its new home.

One of our big boulders is eased carefully into its new home.

Perfect fit - no rocking or slipping.

Perfect fit – no rocking or slipping.

One of the nursery space hoppers helps out with sizing the bamboo holes (it got a nice bath afterwards...)

One of the nursery space hoppers helps out with sizing the bamboo holes (it got a nice bath afterwards…)

Meanwhile, the Easter Hat Parade gallery is ready at last. Take a look – and (re)witness what Tufnell Park School can create when we all set our minds to it. Now we’ve only got a playground to complete…

Volunteer for Maths Week, 3-7 February

Confused as she is? Let's work it out together...

Confused as she is? Let’s work it out together…

We need parents, families, carers to join in with Maths Week – the first of the school’s three special subject weeks this year. Mr Gulliford – Maths Week Champion – is looking for people to discuss with the children how they use maths and numbers in jobs every day: maths is everywhere!

You can't bake a cake without numbers...

You can’t bake a cake without numbers.

We’re hoping to match at least one person with every single class so that all the children benefit. You certainly don’t have to be an expert – although we’re happy to take experts, too.

Interested? Contact us, or let your class teacher know. But in your excitement, don’t forget the Andromeda / Draco cake sale this Friday. You may need the energy.