Hello! We had the last meeting of 2020 on Monday night and it was great that so many from our parent community joined us on Teams. It’s been an unusual year, but we have all adapted and kept going, so roll on 2021!
 

Head Teachers Update

Mr Urquhart gave us an update on the progress with the new school. The contractors are aiming for the school to have SMPS pupils from October 2021 whilst Deanbank is being refurbished, and then be open to Primary 1 pupils enrolling in the “new” school from August 2022. The details of the transitions are still being discussed and he will keep us informed. 

All PE continues to be outdoors, and outdoor learning continues.  Initially the focus was on health and wellbeing but now the focus for outdoor learning will lean more to linking with the curriculum and digital learning.  

The one-way system at Comiston Road appears to be working well and after the holidays the House drop of times will most likely be swapping around to keep it fair for early/later starts. 

The toilets at Comiston Road were discussed too as apparently toilet seats are missing and they are often left in an unhygienic state. Mr Urquhart informed us there is a supply problem with toilet seats, and he will look into the state of the toilets with the Comiston Road team. 
 

Accommodation Team Update – Deanbank works

This has been a serious cause for concern and the Parent Council has received many emails from parents regarding this.  The accommodation team and Co-chair have been in touch with the contractors to discuss the temporary heras fencing and the impact on the children. They have been assured that permanent hoarding will be erected within the next month as a priority. 

The scaffolding on Deanbank building itself will remain until Deanbank is refurbished as part of the new school build. Soon there will be larger scale building with steel works and cranes but the contractors have committed to limit works at pick up and drop off times and parents need to be confident that there will be no risk to our children. The accommodation team will be meeting with the contractors monthly, so if you have any concerns or questions please get in touch: accommodation@sm-pc.org.
 

Transport Team update – Quiet Route

The Quiet Route that was discussed at the last Parent council meeting was considered at the Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday 12 November. Prior to that meeting, James Gillespie’s, Bruntsfield, Sciennes and St Peter’s sent a written deputation supporting the proposal to the Committee. Voting on the route was referred to the full Council meeting on Thursday 19 November. Since the route was discussed at Parent Council there have been some changes which remove any new restrictions on through motor traffic south of Cluny Gardens. The proposal also now  includes a modal filter halfway down Canaan Lane, which if included in the scheme, would significantly help with reducing traffic on the road.

On the Canaan Lane issue, the Astley Ainslie logistics manager has been contacted to ask about their transport fleet potentially avoiding using the road as a cut through at drop-off and pick up times, which they were receptive to. In addition, the Council has also been asked to consider delaying bin collection times to later in the day and avoiding busy school drop off and pick up times.  The aim of these interventions are to reduce traffic and keep our children safe. Please remember Canaan Lane is closed to all traffic, at all times, unless you are a resident. 

For more information regarding the quiet route please see https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cycling-walking/explore-quietroutes/1. You can also contact our transport subgroup on transport@sm-pc.org.


Fundraising

Our 2021 Calendar is now at the printers and it has been a huge success with over 210 orders being placed! We are hoping for a profit of around £2000! That’s amazing!

Enormous thanks to Alice Nelson for organising and designing the calendar once again. Let us hope that we have lots of post-COVID social events to put in it for 2021! Thanks as well to all the local sponsors who have helped us raise valuable funds for the PC. A big thank you as well to Emilia Robdelo for coordinating the Christmas Cards this year, which is another important fundraiser for the PC each year. Keep your eyes peeled for more Christmas activities which will be advertised through Classlist. 
 

Classlist

You might have heard or already have signed up to Classlist. This can be done via the App or website. Due to COVID we are having to adapt and think about other ways of communicating with the parent body and of raising money to enrich our children’s school experience. We hope that by introducing Classlist we can streamline our communications. 

It is a platform where we can keep you updated on the parent council, send emails regarding fundraising activities, and keep you posted on important updates. We hope that clubs will be able to communicate to you through this too. Rather than emails about club start times, you can receive information from your clubs group. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pay for your club through here too – no more BACS transfers or cheque books! Socially, instead of what’s app you can message your child’s class or make a private message group if you are trying to organise a party etc.  

Classlist will greatly help with our fundraising events too. Since we can’t have a winter fair or collect money at the school gates you can donate safely and easily through classlist. Already you will see there is the St Andrew’s Day Highland Fling!  You can donate to encourage the dancing by “buying a ticket”.  

Obviously, this is new to us, and you, and we have had to implement this pretty quickly so bear with us if there are teething problems.  We would really welcome your feedback if things are or are not working well. Also, if you would like to get on board and help us manage this new communication method, we would be very grateful for your help – please contact fundraising@sm-pc.org or comms@sm-pc.org.

Clubs

Massive thanks to all on the Clubs team for all their hard work behind the scenes to get clubs up and running again.  As always more help is needed.  We need volunteers for convenor roles for Gym club, Spanish club and the Deanbank choir.  If you can help, please get in touch – clubs@sm-pc.org.

🚨 URGENT APPEAL – Parent Council Chair/Co-Chair Needed! 

Olly and Brendan our wonderful Co-Chairs will be leaving the role at the end of this academic year as they will no longer have any children at SMPS. As there are only a few meetings left we are urgently asking for one or more volunteers to take over this very important role. Without someone in the chair (or co-chair) role, the Parent Council must unfortunately fold. This would be a disastrous situation for the school and the parent community, so we would really ask anyone who is interested in making a difference, and who can commit a few hours each month to emails (and the odd video call), to get in touch with us so we can discuss the role with you. It’s a hugely rewarding role and we would encourage everyone who is interested to have a non-committal chat with us.  

The sooner we can start the handover the smoother the transition will be. Thank you in advance. Please contact chair@sm-pc.org.
 

🗓 Next SMPC Meeting

Our next parent Council meeting is on 18th January 2021, 18:45 – 20:30.

As always we welcome as many parents as possible to attend! Our Parent Council is run by volunteer parents who do their best to try and help enrich our children’s lives. If you think you could help at all, or would like to know more about our subgroups, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email (chair@sm-pc.org), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/southmorningsidepc), or via our website at https://sm-pc.org

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