Christmas Newsletter, December 2016

Christmas Holiday Dates
Just in case anyone has a copy of an old list we will be open on the last day – Wednesday 21st from 2.30pm until 6pm.  A mistake on the school holiday website meant this day had to be added later so will not be included in your standing order.  If your child/children attend on that day you will be invoiced in the New Year.  We return on Thursday 5th January 2017.

Afty Raffle
As previously notified we are moving away from the ‘Grand Luxury Christmas Hamper Raffle’ to a more modest raffle of gifts including wines, toiletries, chocolates and maybe a haircut? Or meal for two?  Donations are being accepted now and tickets are on sale.  Your contributions are much appreciated.  Good luck everyone!

Local Foodbank Donations
At this time of year when we tend to over-indulge (speak for yourself was that?!) we should remember all those who are struggling to put food on the table for whatever reason. We are again, collecting for the local foodbank. Contributions include non-perishable foods, toiletries, baby foods and clothing and small gifts.  Once again, your contributions are appreciated – let’s see if we can beat last year’s Afty donation!

Christmas Countdown
In the lead up to the end of term we will be having some festive treats at snack time and snuggling up to watch some favourite Christmas movies!  We have a Seasonal quiz (I’m sure there will be prizes!) planned and no doubt some bopping to Slade and Wizzard etc.!

We have been asking for your views on a couple of policies we are working on.  Namely, a ‘Mobile Phone Policy’ and a ‘Pokémon Policy’.  While certain aspects of the Care Inspectorate standards have been ‘softened’, child safety and wellbeing remains a top priority.  To this end, we would like to ban all mobile phone use within the Afty – this will apply to parents, visitors, staff and children.  So far, we have had positive responses from everyone.  The policy will be sent out to everyone in the New Year.

Pokémon Policy
 Losing Pokémon cards, and unfair sharing/swapping of cards have been causing stress to many of our children (and staff). For that reason, we are asking children not to bring in their cards to the Afty.  We have a selection here children are welcome to play with.  Again, this policy will be available in the New Year.  Thank you for your support and co-operation regarding these two policies.

Janitor Strike
The janitors are continuing their industrial action this week and into January. Please ensure you pick up by 6pm sharp as we need to be out of the premises then.

Afty Funding & Management
One of our ‘questions of the week’ was ‘Do you know how the Afty is Funded and Managed?’.  We were surprised so few parents knew the answer to this!  We are a voluntary organisation, Company Ltd by Guarantee, not-for-profit charity.  Despite this we do not receive any grants or funding except for a subsidised let from the City Council.  All our money comes from you – the parents!  We have a voluntary parent Management Board of Directors who assist and advise with the running of the Clubs.  If you would be interested in finding out more, please get in touch.  The Board meets approx. once per month on a Wednesday evening.

Welcome to our new staff!  Just joined us Geraldine (Geri) and Daniel.  Many of our staff have been working hard to achieve their SVQ Playwork qualifications.  Most should be finished by Christmas.  Congratulations to them!  Not an easy task, as staff are also studying for degrees or have other jobs.

Finally, well done to all of us! Hyndland After School Club, Notre Dame Kids Club and Thornwood After School Club have all been inspected this year by the Care Inspectorate and got amazing grades!

Thank you to all our families and friends, Board members and school staff. We wish you a Merry and Peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  See you all in 2017!