Anne Forsyth welcomed everyone and Gillian Boyle proposed the Approval of the Minutes from Council Meeting on 29th October 2015. This was seconded by [ ].
- Playground Developments
- Boyle advised that some initial plans had just arrived but were yet to be fully reviewed. It was emphasised these were simply to provide food for thought in order to establish what the priorities should be.
Discussion ensued re the purpose of the space and how best it should be utilised. C. Jamieson said there was no significant issue in terms of water lying in the area and that there were a range of ideas to be looked at in terms of what could be put in the area. Suggestions include a Muga, open learning space, tangle tree, rubber surfaced covered area, etc and ideally space for the whole school to assemble. Costs will vary significantly depending on what is chosen but to deliver a whole project similar to that described could cost £80 – 100, 000 (ex VAT).
- Houston asked whether given the weather it was wise to build on the hill area which could become very muddy and slippery. C Jamieson advised that these were initial thoughts and the priorities were still to be agreed. He explained that it was likely that the development would take a phased approach as it was also dependent on adequate fundraising.
- Stewart said that maximising the space should be a priority especially in terms of PE. C Jamieson advised that if there was to be an area for all school children to be able to access for play, consideration would have to be given re the flow of children out to the grass area and that this would need supervision. J Devlin confirmed that children are taken outside for PE when the weather permits but the grass does take time to dry out.
- Forsyth raised that there was a need to consider both short term and long term plans for the area. It was agreed that the sub group for playground developments would look at how best to prioritise the options and would perhaps canvas opinion from parents. C.McLaughlin felt that priority should be given to prioritising facilities that were currently unavailable such as the proposed amphitheatre.
- Houston asked what the plans were to raise the funding required and how long it was expected to take. C Jamieson advised that during a previous fund raising venture a few years ago for the charity LEPRA, fundraising had raised £7,000 in one day, the highest to date, and that the PSA had around £10,000 funds – although much of that is already committed.
G Boyle raised that it was likely that there would be grants available but it was important to understand what the planned approach was as this would influence what grants could be applied for.
- Devenney asked why parents should be funding this when there is an alleged £980m Scottish Government under-spend which should be available to all.
C Jamieson advised that a bid had been submitted to Whitelees but that all fundraising avenues had to be explored. A Forsyth advised that ERC would be asked if there was any under-spend funding available.
G Boyle noted that accessibility was important and may also help leverage funding. C Houston suggested contact was made with Grounds for Learning who have innovative ideas for outdoor spaces. D Heraghty felt the approach should be to clarify priorities, cost those priorities and then plan their delivery. J Stewart raised concern re the raised step in the Junior playground being a health and safety risk with one accident already. C.Jamieson noted that there had only been one incident and at this time it would not be planned to change the step though incidents will of course be monitored.
- Boyle noted that an application had been submitted to Tesco for a grant to build a trim trail in the Junior department playground.
C Houston asked for clarification re how the development was to be taken forwards. G Boyle confirmed that a sub group consisting of herself, J Harkins and 2 others from the PSA would be leading on this. C Houston agreed to assist the group.
- Year of Mercy
- Jamieson advised that the Year of Mercy had been launched in the school and that SCIAF had invited the school to formulate a plan for parents, the parish and the school. Mrs Baker er has created a calendar of events and there are many Catholic Education Week activities on offer. The school celebrated the Year of Mercy with a procession and a visit to the Cathedral.
- Forsyth volunteered to be involved in progressing plans for the year. G Devenney asked how often a school priest comes in to offer confession. C. Jamieson confirmed that the priest did come in to offer confession to those preparing for sacraments but acknowledged that it was less often than in previous years.
J Devlin underlined the need for both parents and school to put an emphasis on confession, as did J Stewart who suggested that during the Year of Mercy, year groups could be taken to the all day confession .
C Jamieson agreed to consider this and said he would feedback to Mrs Baker. However the logistics of 400 children and very busy priests were challenging.
- St Ninians Cluster
- Jamieson advised that at the end of February there would be a visit from the East Renfrewshire Education Thematic Review regarding transitions from age 3 to age 18. It will take over 3 weeks to complete, it is likely that PC and PSA chairs will be involved and he will report back on it.
- Achievements and Successes
Positive feedback was given on the following areas:
- The successful trip to Locherbie Manor – J Devlin highlighted that on every trip the children are praised for their behaviour and manners and they are a credit to both the school and the parents.
- The increase in the use of twitter was well received
- The new format information evening, though further options are to be explored to improve attendance
- The cooking classes have been well received
- The Christmas fete was recognised as a success
- 8. Headteacher’s Report
- Advent and nativity planning underway
- Parties and the P7 disco are being planned pre Christmas
- Glenwood nursery will be utilising the Junior department for their nativity
- The kitchens in the Junior department are being renovated and will take 12 weeks and be ready in Spring 2016, along with a new street area.
- The Choir has had a busy and successful few months
- St Mirin won the house trophy
- G Boyle raised that PE appears to take a back seat while Christmas rehearsals are underway
- C Jamieson agreed but said if the weather allowed they did try and get outside
- M. Cumming said that when weather was bad the children often did fitness in the classroom using the white board.
- P McCann advised that netball and basketball do still take place even when the weather is poor.
- C Houston raised that the school should provide 2 hours of quality indoor PE each week and that it should be monitored how often they are missing this.
- Both C Jamieson and G Boyle agreed that monitoring was a good idea.
- J Stewart mentioned that given the above, perhaps a sheltered PE area should be prioritised in the play ground development plans
- Next meeting – 28th January 2016
- Jamieson, G. Devenney, Gillian Boyle, Anne Forsyth, Jacqueline Stewart, Callum Houston, Denis Heraghty, Jo Heraghty, Christine McCudden, Joe McLachlan, Chris McLaughlin,
Michael Harvey, Mary Moore, Marie-Claire Darroch, Michelle Hynes Fiona Bryant, Pauline Hessett, John-Paul Sheridan, Ishrat Bashir, Afzal Shaikh, Clare Bowes