6th November 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

What a first week back we have had!  I have written to you rather a lot this week so I will keep this short and sweet!

Thank you for supporting us in wearing face masks and keeping your distance. I am so pleased you like the clear fronted masks which all members of staff have so that the children can see us talking. Please can I remind you that all parents (who are not exempt) need to wear them from next Monday. You may see some staff without them too and that is because they are exempt. As many of you, who drop off and pick up, will be aware, the children have taken to their staff wearing masks really well and are not fazed by it at all. Staff do not need to wear masks in the classroom but in communal areas such as the lunch hall.

We have worked to devise new resource allocations for the next few weeks to ensure staff that cover teacher’s planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time are covering a smaller range of classes. This inevitably means that some classes will not be able to access some areas such as the hydropool. Thank you for being understanding of this and bear with us whilst staff get used to the new timetables.

As I wrote earlier this week, if staff are ill or staff have to isolate because they have been contacted by track and trace this puts pressure on staffing and may make it unsafe to have all classes in. This may mean that we need to contact you in a morning to say that a particular class is closed. We will do everything we can to avoid this. The good news is that we have trialled staff teaching from home this week and for some classes this works really well. One pupil read to their teacher over the internet today and then wrote down the questions they needed to answer!  Inevitably for others who need much more hands on support this will not work but in those classes teachers in this position will be planning and holding online meetings with their team to support the organisation of and assessment of learning. Staff at Palatine are very experienced and trained to be able to continue to run learning when colleagues are absent so we do hope the plans we have in place will enable school to run smoothly and as normally as possible.

I take this opportunity to remind you that we have staff INSET day on Friday 13th November which we are aiming to run utilising the internet too so school will be closed to pupils that day. Thank you so much for working with us. I want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe, happy and learning in school.

Very best wishes




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