Friends Poll

14th July 2016
Dear parents and carers

You may have read a recent email with a link to a poll on what you would like Friends of Hillcrest to fund now that the renovation of the Key Stage 1 library is complete.
The initial plan was to renovate Key Stage 2 library completely, but the school feel that the book shelves are actually sound and the layout works. Saying that they have agreed to overhaul the library during the summer holidays. They plan to edge the shelves using the house colours (as has been done in KS1 library), as well as repaint the walls. They will also add interest by colour blocking smaller areas of the walls in the house colours. Another addition is to add a mural of a tree (again following the theme of the KS1 library) and involve the children in creating silhouette book character/quotes to hang from the branches (similar to the attached).
The school have brought up the idea of adding a Scrap Pod to the playgrounds, which Friends of Hillcrest could possibly help fund. For those of you who attended the summer fair, you may have seen it in action at the Key Stage 1 playground.

As you have all played a part in donating your time and money to our funds, we felt that it is only fair that you are included in the decision.

We ask that you take a few minutes to read about the 2 options that we can focus our funds on and choose one. The poll will close on Monday, 18 July 2016 and we will inform you of the majority vote via the last school newsletter of the term.

OPTION 1: Complete renovation of the Key Stage 2 library

If you are not satisfied with the quality of the furniture at the library and would like it to be completely refurbished, we will look into a similar design to the recent transformation of Key Stage 1. Assuming we have enough funds, we will work with the school to carry this out in October half term/Christmas Holidays.


OPTION 2: Invest in the Scrap Pod

The Scrapstore PlayPod is a programme which develops children's learning through play. It is a holistic process that transforms play at lunchtimes. There will be two storage containers in the playground (one on each key stage) that will be filled with 'loose parts' which is replaced six times per year. Lunchtime staff receive training (over a six month period covering 'the importance of play, relationships in play, supporting play and reflecting on play') to help embed the programme and ensure that they transform lunchtimes. 


All staff will receive some training and the 'loose parts' will be available in both playgrounds so that all children will be able to access this programme. The school intends to set up a nurture group to ensure that even the most vulnerable children feel confident to access the playpod.There is even a possibility that Sydenham Road Playgroup who use the playground will be able to access it and in the longer term the school may run after-school clubs using it.


The school regularly asks children and parents for suggestions as to what improvements they would like them to make at Hillcrest. One of the responses that they always get is to improve lunchtimes. The school have been fortunate enough to secure funding over recent years to develop the playground which now provides much richer opportunities for children to play. However they are very conscious that these are primarily for those who enjoy sport. The benefit of the Playpod is that it works in all environments with or without grass and takes up very little space. One Head who uses Playpod said, 'What we've noticed is that all children get involved - there's enough stuff in there for them all to play and they don't get fed up with it and  keep finding other things to do.'


There are loads of pictures on the website and we would really recommend interested parents to have a look

Many thanks
Friends of Hillcrest