What the HSA Committee talked about…

…on Tuesday 19th May 2015

Cupcakes, lobby walls - you name it, we'll put smarties on it.

Cupcakes, lobby walls – you name it, we’ll put smarties on it.

A stream of “thank you”s were high on the agenda: to all parents who helped out at the fantastic Give & Gain day on 15th May (there were SO MANY of you!) and to our corporate supporters – Jewson, Santander and Chris Stevens – as well; and in particular, to Andromeda and Cygnus parents Rachel, Patrick and Adam for leading design and execution of the new-look corridor and lobby. Replacement furniture and a new IT installation are still to come, but the space is already truly transformed.

Is this the face that shipped a thousand lunches? (Well, it's one of the faces - thank you ALL involved!).

Is this the face that shipped a thousand lunches? (Well, it’s one of the faces – thank you ALL involved!).

Also, a massive thank you to everyone who helped make the extraordinary whole-school trip to Sobell Centre on 18th May happen, and happen so successfully: most notably Carolyne (mum of Emma and Luke) for kicking it off and our co-Chair Fiona for seeing through every detail. The school’s kitchen staff, chef John and Caterlink area manager Noel also went all out to help make the day special, as did the lovely instructors and staff at the Sobell.

The forthcoming Summer Fair (Carnival!) on 11th July necessarily took up most of the meeting’s discussion. Look out for the next HSA newsletter in your children’s PACT folders for full details of the stalls that are planned and what we need to make the fair another huge success. It’s certainly never too late to come up with an idea for a stall or activity of your own. And it can’t be said too often: we will always, ALWAYS need more face-painters than we have! Please volunteer – older siblings are also warmly welcome to help.

Even before the fair, the rest of this term is choc-a-block with HSA activity. Tuesday 16th June is recording day for the Music Learning Treat – a CD of songs from across the span of the last 100 years. Entries for the CD cover competition are on display in the school lobby: go in and take a look. They’re wonderful – hard to believe that someone is going to have to choose just one…

On Friday 19th June, national “Empty Classroom Day”, we’re focusing on ecological water use in honour of our volunteer team from Thames Water, who are coming to help build the foundations for the school’s Early Years forest school. Rain chains, soaker hoses, drip irrigation… there’s a whole new vocabulary to be learned.

The annual children’s Fun Run is the following week, Thursday 25th and Friday 26th June. Carolyne (again) and HSA resources manager, Becca, have kindly responded to our appeal for new parents to organise the event now that Fun Run instigator and brilliant long-term HSA supporter, Sara, is moving on.

And to end with another thank you: thank you Anna, mum of Freya in Aquila and Evie in Cygnus, for stepping up as HSA secretary. Anyone on the email list can expect to hear from Anna soon…

Sobell so fun so fantastic day

You have to be at least 11 years old to use the gym at Sobell... and ONLY 11 years old to enjoy it quite so much.

You have to be at least 11 years old to use the gym at Sobell… and ONLY 11 years old to enjoy it quite so much.

The children of Tufnell Park should be sleeping soundly tonight. Today – all day – was the long-awaited whole school Fun Trip to the Sobell Centre, and what a riotous good time it was.

The Sobell Centre is cavernous, with facilities for an amazing variety of sporting activity tucked around many an unexpected corner. Equally amazing was to see Tufnell Park School fill it: familiar red t-shirts on every court, playing basketball, badminton, football (indoor and out), doing gymnastics, judo, trampolining, ice-skating, gym workouts and just plain jumping for joy. The lovely staff could not have been more helpful, relaxed and welcoming, and made absolutely sure that our kids had a brilliant time. We’re truly grateful to all of them for a wonderful day.

A big thank you is also due to our kitchen staff and their supervisor, Noel, who went more than the extra mile to provide packed lunches for a special Sobell indoor picnic. And let’s not forget the effort made by all our children at last year’s sponsored Fun Run, which funded the whole experience – including extra treats at lunchtime and lollies for the journey home.

More photos in due course: here’s just a taste of what went on.

What the HSA Committee talked about…

…on Tuesday 21st April 2015

BIG DECISIONS were made at the Tufnell Park Tavern on Tuesday night: namely, the theme of this year’s Summer Fair. It’s Carnival! Think music, neon feathers, games and parades, fiesta, madness and perhaps a hint of Rio in anticipation of summers to come… Put the date in your diary: Saturday 11th July.

Time to get out the feathers again: the theme of this year's Summer Fair is Carnival.

Get out the feathers: the theme of this year’s Summer Fair is Carnival.

Thanks very much indeed to everyone who gave up their Tuesday evening to help plan. We need lots more help to make the dreams real, so please watch out for further meetings and sign up your support. Got an idea for a stall you’d like to run? Happy to help out on one of the rides? Make instruments and headdresses with the kids? Can you juggle? Please let us know! And we can never, ever, ever, ever have too many face-painters – particularly not at Carnival time.

News of other HSA projects this term:

Yay, Fun Run! Help us make it happen this year.

Yay, Fun Run! Help us make it happen this year.

The Children’s Fun Run needs a parent to lead it: come on, you sporting dads and mums! The last Thursday and Friday in June are pencilled for the event, which has always been fantastic for whole-school participation and an exciting physical challenge for the kids, as well as the HSA’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Whoever steps forward will have plenty of support from people who’ve done it before, but it can’t happen without someone to lead and co-ordinate. Contact the HSA for more details of what’s involved.

All hands to the paintbrushes on Friday 15th May, Give & Gain Day. The business volunteers who signed up to our project have had to pull out so we’re still looking for a partner, but whatever happens we’ll go ahead with parent power. Check whether your own employer allows “community days”: if so, they may be willing to release you (and some of your colleagues!) for a fully-paid day to help make our lobby and long corridor beautiful. If it’s impossible for you to take a week day off, perhaps you could come and help prep for Give & Gain Day on the weekend before the 15th. That’s Saturday 9th May: please come along, as we’ve a lot of wall to rub down! The designs themselves are to be revealed at assembly on Tuesday 28th April, and parents/carers are very much invited.

Watch the PACT folders, too, for requests for parents and carers to accompany the Whole School Fun Trip to the Sobell Leisure Centre on Monday 18th May. And there’s also a second Give & Gain project on Friday 19th June, involving a team of volunteers from Thames Water’s Inspection Division in building a den for our nursery.

Finally, the HSA urgently needs a new SECRETARY. It’s a really good way of getting involved in an important role without being overwhelmed by responsibility. You need to manage our email list and messages, schedule monthly meetings, send out agendas and take minutes – plus occasional related jobs, such as sending “thank you” notes to the many people and local businesses who help us. You do need to be able to come to the meetings. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.

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.