Dear Parents and Carers,

Great Learning

We have had a great first week back in school. The children have settled so well and it has been lovely to see them enjoying learning. A number of pupils have shown increased focus and attention some showing this by answering lots of questions about what they are learning and others by engaging in floor time with their friends. A number of classes have been using the stimulus of the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ for maths, literacy, science, art and PE related activities. Through this some have correctly identified big and small, others drew great pictures and others stretched like ‘French beans’ in PE, including one child spontaneously saying “ooh la la” as she did so! A number of pupils have further developed their phonics knowledge and one child has remembered all the sounds he learnt before Christmas. Other children have shown more independence in their learning – one child moving a parachute up and down independently and without prompting in a Sunshine Circles session and another following instructions with no support in PE. A number of children have made progress in their communication one requesting a snack, another vocalising that they wanted more in a singing session and another starting to use full sentences when they talked. A number of children showed lots of engagement in the immersive room when watching butterflies move across the walls, floor and their faces! Another child made progress in swimming. There has been some really good mathematical work this week with one child doing really well at using a number line to self-correct his number bonds to 20, another attending to a whole maths lesson in his classroom and another touching objects as she counted. Other children have demonstrated beautiful singing and sharing stories.

Palatine in social media

Many of you follow the school on social media and enjoy the photos, videos and presentations uploaded. Please remember not all children in a class may feature and whilst it may be disappointing not to see your child sometimes they don’t want to be photographed or are not in the room when photo is taken, for example. Our main priority in the school is teaching and interacting with the children and our focus will always be on this. Thank you for your understanding.

New build

Some of you will remember that we have been expecting building work in school which was due to start in October. This has been delayed until February and when it does start may have quite a significant impact in the car park. I will be keeping you updated as I receive more information. Whilst we wait for this, if you use the car park please consider whether you could park off site and if you park off site please consider if your child may be able to walk a little further to school. Any reductions we can make in use of the car park by vehicles will really help when the building work starts.

Covid update

We have had two positive cases in school this week in unrelated classes. Please do stay vigilant and 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.

If you who feel you can routinely test using an LFT with your child or for your child this would be greatly appreciated in reducing spreading when people are asymptomatic.

You will be aware that the government has recently changed the rules and guidance around the pandemic. In school we have had to change very little from what we were doing prior to the holidays as we had prepared ourselves for the current circumstances.

Please follow the links below which explain key changes to guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmatory-pcr-tests-to-be-temporarily-suspended-for-positive-lateral-flow-test-results

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/how-long-to-self-isolate/

Key messages are:

Confirmatory PCR Tests

  • From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.
  • This is a temporary measure.
  • Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Anyone who develops 1 of the 3 main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.
  • Under this new approach, anyone who receives a positive LFD test result should report their result on GOV.UK and must self-isolate immediately but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test.
  • After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced and must continue to self-isolate.
  • There are a few exceptions to this revised approach.
  • First, people who are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP) will still be asked to take a confirmatory PCR if they receive a positive LFD result, to enable them to access financial support.
  • Second, people participating in research or surveillance programmes may still be asked to take a follow-up PCR test, according to the research or surveillance protocol.
  • Finally, around one million people in England who are at particular risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 have been identified by the NHS as being potentially eligible for new treatments. They will be receiving a PCR test kit at home by mid-January to use if they develop symptoms or if they get a positive LFD result, as they may be eligible for new treatments if they receive a positive PCR result. This group should use these priority PCR tests when they have symptoms as it will enable prioritised laboratory handling.
  • In line with the reduced self-isolation approach announced on 22 December, anyone who tests positive will be able to leave self-isolation 7 days after the date of their initial positive test if they receive 2 negative LFD results, 24 hours apart, on days 6 and 7.

Self-Isolation:

If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.

If you get symptoms while you’re self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from the day after your symptoms started.

You can stop self-isolating after 7 days if you do a rapid lateral flow test on days 6 and 7 of your self-isolation period and:

  • both tests are negative;
  • you did both tests at least 24 hours apart;
  • you do not have a high temperature.

If you do a rapid lateral flow test on day 6 and test positive, wait 24 hours before you do the next test.

Christmas may well have seen Santa delivering new phones, tablets or games consoles and this simple checklist will help ensure children stay safe;

  • Set parental controls on your broadband to prevent children seeing things they shouldn’t.
  • For smart phones, check parental controls are also set up on the mobile network.
  • Use device settings so you can only download age appropriate apps and games.
  • Set up password control or disable in-app purchasing so big bills are not run up accidentally.
  • Disable location services so children don’t unintentionally share their location with others.
  • Download age appropriate apps you are happy for children to use.

Internetmatter.org have parental controls guides for broadband, mobile, smartphones, social media, search engines and more, click here.

With so many games consoles and devices, Internetmatter.org also have parental control how-to guides for all of the consoles, platforms and gaming apps, including the very latest releases, to help bring us all up to speed on how to set the right level of protection to ensure a fun but safe experience when gaming, click here.

Use of digital technology can improve language skills and promote social development and creativity but it’s not without risks for children.

  • Agree on when and for how long they can spend on devices and consoles and build a healthy screen time balance.
  • Encourage children to use their tech devices in a shared space like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they are using the internet.
  • Remember that social media such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and KiK are not suitable for under the age of 13. WhatsApp is not suitable for under the age of 16.

The risks of social media for children are:

  • oversharing (e.g. personal information, photos, videos);
  • sharing location (e.g. tagging photos with the geo-location, sharing journeys);
  • talking to strangers (e.g. some networks promote chatting to people you don’t know which can result in the risk of grooming or online abuse);
  • sending and/or receiving inappropriate content (e.g. sharing content that is harmful to self or others, sharing memes and images of others without consent – a form of cyberbullying);
  • unrealistic sense of body image or reality (e.g. with so many influencers sharing photos, children can feel under pressure to  conform to the ‘ideal’ body and lifestyle);
  • Obsessive focus on ‘likes’ or comments (e.g. children may be very focused on how many likes or comments their posts get, which can leave them feeling that they are not good enough or as popular as someone else).

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

With very best wishes,

Catriona

Our website is currently undergoing its annual update due for completion September 16th

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