Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you have had a good week. I have really enjoyed seeing the children engaging in learning, enjoying playing with their friends and settling back into the routines of the term. I have been really impressed by their increasing knowledge of personal safety and a number of pupils have explained to me who SAPS is (our safeguarding puppet), who keeps them safe in school and what they would do if they needed help in specific circumstances. A number of other pupils have explored different emotions and have used words like ‘scared’ ’frustrated’ and ‘elated’ which a pupil said was ‘feeling more than excited’! Wow!
Many pupils coped very well with having their photos taken yesterday and a number of teachers have commented on the fantastic relationships children are making with the adults in their classes. Some pupils have been joining in with activities they would not join in with last week even asking for ‘more’. Two pupils made a friendship and played chase at playtime. Other pupils have worked hard to develop their eating skills and others have increased their communication through intensive interaction and the Downs Ed. Programme. A new pupil who finds it hard to be in the same space as others has visited class a number of times this week and enjoyed meeting new friends, which is really fantastic. Another pupil who finds it really hard to transition to their bus at the end of the day has got straight on their bus both yesterday and today. Another pupil who finds it hard to not win coped really well in star of the week assembly and said ‘oh well I’ll try again’! This is amazing progress. At the start of term building relationships, understanding new routines and how to keep safe and persisting with activities are essential skills to support learning and it is fabulous that the children have made such a terrific start.
From this solid base pupils have worked hard on number; one pupil taking speckled frogs away in a number song and another doing some fantastic counting in steps, counting forwards and backwards in 2s, 5s and 10s. Another has counted to 100. Others have been developing their writing for example tracing over pre writing shapes and others are communicating more effectively using signs, aided communication systems and symbols. Another pupils has used great describing words such as ‘sticky’ for golden syrup. Others have completed some great phonics work and showed me what they can sound out and blend. Some of our older pupils have even been developing chronological knowledge building timelines back to the time of the dinosaurs! Las t but not least, Giraffes and Wolves classes went to ‘Discoverability Day’ at Hove cricket ground, where they took part in lots of sporting activities (not just cricket!) They all behaved amazingly well and took part in a wide variety of activities. Wheelchair basketball was a firm favourite!
I hope you enjoy hearing about all that the children have been learning and that it gives you a taste of the variety of opportunity they have at school.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) Policy
Thank you to those who gave us their feedback on this. Do please get in touch with either your child’s class teacher or via the school office should you have any more thoughts or questions.
Safeguarding & Child Protection is such an important issue for our children and their families because of the vulnerability of the children that attend Palatine. This is one of the reasons that we have a Safeguarding Spotlight each Friday in the parent/carer mailing. We look to share key information and advice with parents and carers so that we can all work together with the same aim of keeping children safe in school, at home and in the wider community.
Safeguarding relates to many areas of life at Palatine including children’s physical health and safety, mental health issues, attendance, managing medical conditions, internet safety, bullying, the dangers of radicalisation, child sexual exploitation, neglect, domestic violence, relationships and sex education, British Values, stranger danger and road safety among other issues. We feel it is really important to work with parents/carers and with the high quality agencies that support schools and young people so that we can offer a safe environment that allows children to be aware of the risks they may face and how to respond to them safely. Our school curriculum gives children opportunities to explore many of these issues in a safe situation so that we can equip our children with the knowledge, understanding and the right tools to make safe choices.
The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) have a crucial role in taking lead responsibility for child protection issues in school. DSL’s are trained to take on this role with training updated every 2 years with additional training and conferences in between. More information about safeguarding and the Designated Safeguarding Leads can be found on our website or click here.
Online safety will feature regularly in the Safeguarding Spotlight because all of us, including children, spend increasing amounts of time on the internet, using apps as well as learning and socialising using online resources. Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety – A guide for parents can be found on our website or click here.
Finally, Vodafone UK and Andersen Press launched #Goldilocks a couple of years ago, a fairy tale for the digital age to help parents and children talk about social media. You can read the short story here.
As I finish this week you will be pleased to hear that our newest recruit, Nanna, the PAT dog has been a resounding success, with big smiles all round (including from Nanna)!
With very best wishes,