24th April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I do hope that this week has gone well for you and your families.

Practical information

As you are aware staff able to work worked shifts to cover the Easter break. The shifts will continue through the next stage both to ensure that I provide all staff with their Easter Holiday and also to meet the government’s social distancing guidance for the workforce whilst keeping the children safe who are in school.

For the week commencing Monday 27th April teaching staff who will be available are:

  • Janetta Gill
  • Emma Crockett
  • Katie Purkis
  • Charlotte Howting (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
  • Alice Luxford
  • Sarah Daneshi
  • Renisha Smythe
  • James Doig (via email)
  • Emmanuelle Dubois (via email)
  • Sarah Richardon (via email)
  • Gemma Meachim (via email, working days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Lauren Lucas (Via email Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Sophie Milner-Smith (via email Monday, Tuesday, in school Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)

Other members of staff will be in school too.

School is at full capacity in regards to the number of pupils we are safely able to look after both in terms of staffing and in order to follow the government’s social distancing policy.

For those with children in school please do be aware that should we have any staff sickness, this will necessitate temporarily closing classes should I not have safe staffing levels available.

For those of you whose children are not in school we are continuing to support with online learning, work packs and social media content. Please do contact class teachers in the first instance if you need further work for your children. I reiterate there is no compulsion to complete any of this. We want to help as best we can so feel free to use as you see fit in your family circumstances. You will be aware that other staff members are also contacting you (our learning mentor Steph Marrett, our family liaison officer Kaarina Dougherty and members of the senior leadership team). Our aim in doing this is to be a listening ear, to offer any practical help we can and to point you in the right direction to other support we know about. Should things be hard at home please don’t hesitate to tell us. We will try and offer any support we can and will use government guidance to support us in doing this.

Thus far we have been very fortunate in regards to balancing all the requirements on us with sufficient staffing; I cannot guarantee this moving forward (if staff are sick for example). I felt you would want to know the complete picture. We are doing everything in our power to follow guidance to keep our community safe, well and supported be they in the building or at home.  Thank you for supporting us in this endeavour.

Teams

As you are aware we have investigated ways of being able to keep in contact with you further as well as to share more resources and enable teachers to be able to have video contact with pupils who might be missing seeing them. We have worked with our ICT support services to set up Microsoft teams. I know some of you have already had contact with teachers through this as we have trialled its use and worked out how we can use it well. From next week, school staff will be able to use this to keep in contact with you. We have attached a parent’s guide to help you find out more about how to use it as well as some visual step by step guides which will help you get set up and find resources that are shared with you. If you have any queries about how to use or face some difficulties in getting it set up, do contact us and we will aim to help you.

Useful information

Over the next couple of weeks we will be updating the website with a ‘useful information’ tab. This will hopefully help you easily find lots of different information that may be of help at this time, including well-being, support for children with different needs, how to access financial support, how to support children with bereavement, advice on learning that can be done at home and so forth.

Free School Meal Vouchers

Kaarina has been working with all of you who are in receipt of these to navigate through the system set up by national government. We share your frustrations over the situation so far and the problems accessing both the website, help lines and vouchers. Kaarina will continue to work with you to find the best ways of moving forward with this. I want to take this opportunity to thank Kaarina who I know has tried her very best to help with this (getting up in the middle of the night on a number of occasions in an attempt to get onto the system and waiting in queue for 5 hours to try and get some support). Thank you Kaarina!

If there is anything worrying you or you need any help at all please do contact us and we will do our very best to help.  Thank you for your continued good wishes and support. Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!

Best Wishes

Catriona

Microsoft Teams for use at Palatine – Parents guide

What is Microsoft teams?

Teams is a platform from Microsoft 365 that enables greater teamwork through file sharing and video conferencing and call functions.

What will I need to use Microsoft teams for?

You will receive a guide that will support you to sign in using your own email account. Teachers will then be able to schedule phone/video meetings with you and up to 4 other people to help you feel connected and stay in touch. Teachers may also share files ad videos with you this way through the file sharing function.

If you have an outstanding annual review that may require more than one person there, you might be invited to a teams meeting for your annual review.

How do I join a meeting that has been set up for me?

Use the guide from TCIT called Teams for parents guide – click here. If you are unsure about following these steps contact your class teacher or the school office via email and someone will be in contact to help you.

How do I access files that have been shared with me?

Use the attached guide called Accessing shared one drive resources – click here. If you are unsure about following these steps, contact your class teacher or the school office via email and someone will be in contact to help you.

 

 

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