1st May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I do hope you and your families are all keeping well.  From the week beginning 4th May the staffs’ staggered Easter breaks are completed and all teaching staff are available via email on their usual working days.

I know some of you have started using teams successfully and it has been lovely for staff to talk to some of the children (and yourselves of course!) I know it hasn’t worked for others so please do contact your son or daughter’s teacher in the first instance if you are having difficulties.

Bank Holidays and half term

School will be closed for both the May Bank holidays (Friday 8th May and Monday 25th May). School will be open over the half term break (Tuesday 26th – Friday 29th May). This is in line with government advice and is for those currently in school over the half term break.

The way ahead

I am sure, like us, many of you are starting to think about transition for next year. We are planning for this to be done differently should we still be closed and / or following social distancing procedures. We will try our best to make this as smooth for your children as we possibly can whatever school looks like in the coming months.

No doubt many of you will also have heard that the government are going to announce the next steps in the process of coming out of lockdown next week. There is much speculation about what this will mean for schools. At this stage we have received no instructions from the government. My job is to plan for reality and keep the community safe within that. I will not ask staff to plan for a number of scenarios just in case as they are working tirelessly to keep school open (be that in the building or at home), completing extra cleaning, utilising social media and video conferencing and providing a variety of bespoke support arrangements to families in individual circumstances. These need to be our priorities for now.   We will continue to keep doing our best to support you through this ongoing situation.

The government introduce new strategies at their daily news conferences so my information is the same as yours and I receive it at the same time. Schools are still provided with a daily school’s update but the announcement of any new actions comes in the daily news briefing the day before we receive this in school. This means it is incredibly hard to forward plan. I want to reassure you, however, that we will do our utmost to make the situation as smooth as possible for you all within the time available to us when we are given any new instructions information from the government.

Free School Meals

For those who access free school meals you will be very aware of the ongoing problems with the system. I know that Kaarina has been in close contact with you to try and resolve this. I again want to personally thank Kaarina for her tireless efforts to deal with this which I know you all appreciate. This week we have found that a solution which is working for some families is that if you send Kaarina your e-code she can download it and then email it to you. Please do email Kaarina with this or if she can help you in any other way in this ongoing situation. 

Wellbeing

Each weekend we are uploading wellbeing content to our Palatine Primary School Instagram and Palatine Friends and Family Facebook pages. We now have a ‘wellbeing’ section on our website which is under the ‘information’ tab at the top of the page. It would be really helpful to the wellbeing team if you could take our quick survey so that we can offer content which you in our community feel you need https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WMBCNQ9 . If there are any parents who would like to get involved with the wellbeing team, we would love your input. Please email Sophie smilner-smith@palatineschool.org if you are interested.

Website update

As well as a new wellbeing section, we now have a ‘useful information’ page, which can be found on the ‘information’ tab. Here we have uploaded links and documents which may help you with sleep, supporting children’s emotions, exercises for adults and managing bereavement. If there is anything else that you need, please contact the school.

We have also updated our home learning resources page to include new guidance from the government and links to websites they recommend for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. To find the home learning page, please click on the ‘information’ tab.

We do hope you all enjoyed the craft resources provided by the friends of Palatine. Please do share photos of the children enjoying these or any other photos of activities you are doing at home to be included on the school webpage. Please send any photos to us at: community.webpage@palatineschool.org  Please, when you email, indicate if you do not want the photos posted on social media too (Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc).

This week we have seen some fantastic learning (writing, using PECS to communicate, crawling through tunnels, making plans of the school) from both our in school learners and our home learners! Well done everyone!

Have a restful weekend.

With very best wishes

Catriona

 

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