MERRYLEE PARENT COUNCIL MINUTES
24 JANUARY 2022 6.30PM – 8.00PM
Note the full minutes are distributed to parents via Seesaw
1.Actions from previous meeting
- Colette agreed to discuss with the teachers whether parents could see their children’s jotters ahead of telephone consultations: UPDATE: Colette spoke to the teachers about this and concluded that work would be shared on SeeSaw rather than risk it going missing
- Colette to include information on Educational Recovery in the imminent School Newsletter: UPDATE: this was included in the last newsletter
- Stephen to follow up on this and ask when the assessor is coming to assess moving the lollipop man from Clarkston Road to Mochrum and Langside junction: UPDATE: the lollipop man is now in place in the new area
- Colette to send photos of the pumpkins to the PA in order to thank Morrisions’ Crossmyloof: DONE
- Carried forward: Yvonne to take forward oral history project about Covid: UPDATE: on reflection, this carries risk of raising trauma given how fresh it all is, so we will leave this for now. Yvonne is happy to offer training in oral history approaches more generally.
- Carried forward: Yvonne to work with Colette and Mrs McElhone to create a parent survey about views and knowledge of Hillpark: UPDATE: this is now in progress
- Carried forward: Cara to coordinate with Colette on an opportunity for children to meet herself and fellow Hillpark Chaplain colleague: UPDATE: this will happen in the next couple of weeks
- Carried forward: Colette will pick up with Yla on the weed killer issue and contact the Council to find out why this has happened: UPDATE: Colette has made contact
2. Headteacher Update
No changes in school in terms of Covid. The school is continuing to follow all the guidance including extra ventilation, so please continue to wrap children up warmly. Mrs Provan sends her thanks for making her last few days so memorable. Mrs Pearson, one of the school chaplains, is retiring at the end of May. She has a long association with the school and Colette thanked her for all she has done. Mrs Mort has done an amazing job organising school clubs for every age and stage across the schools, working closely with the Active Schools Coordinator. Colette also thanked the parents who run the Saturday morning football club, which is back up and running. It will no longer be possible to contact teachers via Seesaw – this is a safeguarding issue as teachers have not always seen messages in time about changes to pickup arrangements. This has been communicated via Seesaw along with details of how to convey messages to the school. Colette also gave a reminder that all absences and appointments should go through the school office or to the absence line. Colette thanked the parent council for their work in getting the lollipop man moved: this will hopefully help as there has been a complaint from the tennis club about parents driving into the car park.
Questions on Headteachers Report
There was a question regarding whether Mrs Provan will be replaced: Colette said that the post has been advertised but it is difficult to fill these posts at the moment. There was a follow-up question about whether parents could help with administration – Colette advised that parents can come in if it is pre-arranged and all COVID guidance is followed. She will follow up if there is an opportunity to do so.
Covid recovery funding
All schools were given additional recovery funding at the start of the year. The money must be spent by mid-February or it will be lost. Catriona ran through the ideas that have been shared with staff:
- raise attainment in numeracy eg materials, family packs for learning
- additional reading materials
- outdoor learning
- developing the playground
- family learning events or workshops
- storage of outdoor equipment
- developing the IT room into a digital hub
Additional suggestions made by the PC were:
- more books for the library
- music lessons
- more trips to the theatre
- equipment/lessons in hockey
- Buddy Bench in the playground
- outdoor chess sets
- science equipment eg weather vanes, water gauges, weather station
- contemplation/quiet area
- outdoor drama club
- after-school gardening club
- orienteering club
- outdoor music equipment
- outdoor waterproof kit for younger kids
- Urban Jungle eg pruning the willow
- Trim trail groundworks – more slabs
- Bus trips to the Burrell (opening March 22)
3. PA Update
Yla gave an update. Christmas decorations were hugely successful and there was fantastic parent involvement in making resources that can be used year on year. The raffle was also a huge success. Last week the allotment move was finalised: all resources have been moved onto school ground and the PA is looking for storage so that parents can access equipment at weekends. Merrylee Greenfingers has put together a consultation on how their Keep Scotland Beautiful funding should be used, and will send it to Colette. Rebecca is keen to reschedule the session she was going to do on sustainability and food growing. Lots of v positive comments have been received about Billy the lollipop man being moved: this is a real relief for parents. Parents are keen to volunteer to help school in any way.
The next PA meeting takes place on Wed 26 January.
- School meals
Parents have been raising issues regarding the availability of hot food, food being cold, portions being small and queues being too long. Colette advised that the service was four staff down at the start of the year, which did cause difficulties. She noted that the catering service is spread across Limetree nursery and OLA as well as Merrylee so it is a challenging job. A new system will shortly be introduced allowing parents to choose their child’s meal in advance: the school will communicate about this shortly. Rotas are in place to try to ensure it’s not always the same classes who are last into the lunch hall. Children are always in and out within twenty minutes so they have half an hour to play outside. There are now support staff in to support lunches which has sped things up. ACTION: Colette will discuss the issues raised with the catering managers. She also noted that all the catering staff are excellent with the children and always ensure that everyone has had something to eat.
- Couper library
The Couper library reopened today after being closed for almost two years. Parents are encouraged to make use of it and hopefully it might be possible to arrange class trips to the library at some point when staffing allows, as many younger pupils will never have been inside.
The issue of litter was raised: some parents feel this is getting worse. There was a discussion about whether parents could help to address this, perhaps through the Eco Committee. ACTION: Colette will raise with the Eco Committee.
- Active travel
The Parents for the Future group is planning a walking and cycling bus, such as has been established in Shawlands. Glasgow City Council rules require that this takes place as part of a Parent Council. Clara would like to take this forward and to find out about what insurance is required. ACTION: Clara will represent the PC at an upcoming meeting about this and will report back. ACTION: Carolyn will check whether our insurance through Connect would cover this.
- Social media
Stephen thanked Rubina for her excellent work in managing the PC’s Facebook page.
- Parent Council meetings
Agreed that Parent Council meetings would continue to take place via Zoom for the moment.
5. Date of next meeting: 9 May 2022