Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you have had a good week.

Great learning!

Lots of wonderful learning has taken place in school this week and a highlight for me was yesterday morning where a number of children who don’t often say hello gave me loud, clear, smiling hellos! We have had some great progress in eating new foods. One child who has never eaten vegetables from his plate in school did so for the first time. He ate carrots and runner beans! Fabulous! We have also had some developments in communication and reading; one pupil has been listening and joining in with her classmates all week and two boys have been holding hands and chatting to each other. Others have asked for more during ‘sunshine circle’ sessions. One child confidently read some instructions to make himself a sandwich. Another worked really hard in intensive interaction and another read a story to an adult. Another child chose her picture correctly and that of two friends! One pupil has been reading his Phonics books independently, only needing help with a couple of words. We have had seen some great developments in friendships this week. Two boys have been working hard on sharing and taking turns and were able to use the turn taking board and timer to share a favourite toy with only a little prompting. Another child took turns with their friend and one pupil was kind to another and offered comfort when they were sad. Children have also been developing their independence skills too, with a number of children asking for the toilet when they haven’t before. A class went out and completed some road safety work really successfully. Two children have let go of adults in the swimming pool for the first time and one child has sat on the bottom of the pool! One child was able to count to 5 verbally and another completed several really tricky patterns. Another child joined in for 15 minutes in maths and reading sessions with their classmates. One pupil touched some squirty cream. And finally another child did some incredible creative writing using phrases like ‘stormy day’ and “sunless cave.” I am so proud of them all and everything they have worked hard to achieve this week!

After School Club

As you know, we have been making preparations to start an after school club at Palatine.  The plan had been to launch this in December as we have had a large number of parents who have expressed their interest in this.  Although everything would have been in place for the planned launch, unfortunately, the increased Covid cases in school and the reintroduction of class bubbles where there have been confirmed Covid cases has meant that we need to postpone the launch until after Christmas; date to be confirmed.  We apologise for the delay but more information will follow in the New Year.

Play Safe, a new national safeguarding campaign (Football Association)

Over the weekend, the Football Association and the NSPCC launched ‘Play Safe’, a national campaign to focus attention on the vital importance of safeguarding in football. At the heart of the campaign are three short films to emphasise the importance of safeguarding for key groups of people, crucially children themselves. Play Safe is not a one-off campaign – there will be a designated Play Safe weekend every season. It will also be used to support other safeguarding-related events during the year, e.g. Anti-Bullying Week, Safer Internet Day and NSPCC Parents in Sport Week.

One aspect of the campaign is prompting parents/carers to ask questions:

  • Do you know your child’s club Welfare Officer?
  • If so, do you have their contact details in your ‘phone, as well as that of the NSPCC?
  • Are you up to speed with your child’s club’s safeguarding policies and procedures?

You should be able to view the club’s safeguarding policy at any time. Do you know the procedure to follow if you have a concern or question, no matter how small?

Do you regularly check-in with your child to see what they are enjoying/not enjoying and why?

More information can be found here.

These questions are relevant for any club or sport that all children of any age are part of and sports clubs should also have and be able to direct you to;

  • A code of conduct for staff, volunteers, parents and children.
  • Safer recruitment practices.
  • Staff induction and volunteer training.
  • Staff safeguarding children training.
  • A social media and photography policy.
  • Guidance on transportation.
  • Guidance on the handover of children.
  • Guidance on teaching one-on-one sports

A guide for parents/carers can be found here. Parents and carers should never be afraid to challenge poor practices, whether it relates to their own child or other children, even if they are seemingly minor concerns. Doing nothing is not an option.

On a personal note I would like to thank you for your support, kindness, flexibility and community spirit this week. In a number of classes things have been disrupted because of Covid and the pace of change has been quick. Your patience and forbearance and kind words have been much appreciated.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

With very best wishes,

Catriona

 

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