Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you have had a good week. I would like to start by thanking all parents and carers where school has been disrupted in the last couple of weeks due to Covid cases and staff shortages. Your willingness to be flexible, work with us and cope with changing arrangements at short notice has been much appreciated! I am so grateful that we have such a positive and team spirited community at Palatine. Thank you all!

Great learning!

The children have continued to do some great learning this week. One class where some staff needed to be at home engaged in a virtual zoom treasure hunt which they really enjoyed! It is great to see how flexible the children can be in how they learn. Other pupils have been making great progress through the ‘song of sounds’ phonics programme, recalling individual sounds and some blending and segmenting words too. Other pupils have made progress in their maths with one pupil counting forward and backwards from 5 with less support than previously. One pupil independently drew and wrote to create a ‘wanted’ poster for the Gingerbread man. Another pupil has been using her timetable and symbols throughout the day really well. We have had some terrific progress in PE and swimming too with one pupil doing some great jumping and another swimming the width of the pool on his back. In other classes there has been lot of engagement and vocalising within swimming sessions too. One pupil has started to sing in musical mats. Some pupils have been working really hard on their physical and sensory skill development this week, one pupil touching different objects, one working hard on their hold and release and another reaching for toys in a sitting and kneeling position. Another child did really well at standing using a hoist. It has been fabulous to see that some of our youngest pupils are walking into school from their buses with less and less adult support. A favourite moment of mine was when one of our year one pupils was quite happy to walk in chatting with an older pupil no longer needing to stay and chat and find snails with me on the way! I even heard him say ‘you go that way and I go this way’ when he went through the door! A pupil who has been finding it hard to access class managed to stay in class for the whole day on Wednesday and another pupil engaged in an activity for 40 minutes which is fantastic!

Online Safety

Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet.  It can happen across any device that’s connected to the web, like computers, tablets and mobile phones.  It can happen anywhere online, including: social media, text messages and messaging apps, emails, online chats, online gaming and live streaming sites.

1 in 5 internet users in the UK are children and they can be at risk of online abuse from people they know or from strangers.  Types of online abuse include: cyberbullying, emotional abuse, grooming, sexting, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation.

For adults and children, there are lots of fun and interesting things to do on the internet, and the internet became essential for many of us during Covid lockdowns for work, home learning and keeping in touch with family and friends. However, during last year’s lockdowns, the NSPCC saw a 60% increase in contacts from people worried about children experiencing online sexual abuse.  The NSPCC also report that 1 in 3 young people have seen something worrying or nasty online and just under half of young people have been exposed to online pornography.  The NSPCC provide lots of advice and support regarding online and mobile safety which you can access here.

Remember to set parental controls and explore your child’s online activities together whether that be games they are playing or films/programmes they are viewing. Lots of platforms have chat functions that let you talk to people you don’t know.  Make sure to check the communication features on the apps and games your child uses and explore the safety features available.  If you are giving children an internet enabled device for Christmas, set parental controls beforehand.

Please note we have had another class go into an outbreak bubble this week. Please do stay vigilant and please do not send your children into school if they are at all unwell. Sickness, diarrhoea, runny noses, dizziness, headaches and seeming “a bit under the weather and not themselves” have all been symptoms children who have tested positive have experienced. So please do look out for these as well as the cough, temperature and loss of taste and smell that are the listed symptoms. Do not send your children into school if they are suffering from any of these, where possible take them for a PCR test, keep in touch with us and let them recover. Please can I remind you that if your child has taken a PCR test because they have symptoms they must not come to school whilst you wait for the results. If we all follow these guidelines we are more likely to prevent Covid spreading which in turn disrupts classes and can necessitate class closures. Thank you so much for your help.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

With very best wishes,

Catriona

 

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