Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you have had a wonderful holiday and been able to enjoy lots of time outside and with your families in the lovely weather we have had.

A few reminders for the start of term (please refer to the end of term newsletter for full details).

New Car Park layout

  • With effect from 25 April the orientation of the car park will change.
  • The movement around the car park will be reversed.
  • If you must access the school site follow all road markings and observe the speed restriction of 10 MPH.
  • Please park off site if you can. Please ensure you have the correct resources and support systems in place to safely walk your children to cars off site. Even if you have had a car parking permit to date consider parking and walking as cars will need to join the queue of buses in an out of school so this is likely to cause you delay.
  • Minibuses will park in groups immediately outside the school and on the slip way adjacent and all other minibuses/taxis must wait at the ‘STOP WAIT HERE’ mark, in a queue, until instructed by a member of school staff to move forward. This will only happen once all children from ALL 5 buses/taxis have been dropped off.
  • Following drop-off, minibuses/taxis will follow the red route back along the driveway and exit school.
  • If you have a parking permit and it is unsafe for you to park off site and walk in you will follow the red route marked on the map given out before Easter and join the queue – you will not have preferential right of way over school transport.
  • You will be able to access the middle car park marked in black but space in this will be limited and there will be delays.
  • Once you have dropped off, parents will be instructed to exit the car park. Do not move your vehicle until you have been told it is safe to do so because the children will be alighting from their buses on the opposite side of the vehicles. When you move off taking care to look to the right for pupils/minibuses/taxis and then left to exit the driveway.

COVID

We will be continuing with our ongoing routine measures:

  • Cleaning the school 3 x a day
  • Teaching the children how to wash their hands and manage coughs and sneezes
  • Keeping school well ventilated with plenty of fresh air
  • “Catch it bin it, kill it” messaging and teaching will continue.
  • Staff will no longer be completing twice weekly testing
  • Staff have the option to wear masks in public spaces and will be advised to do so if they have mild respiratory symptoms and are well enough to work

What should I do if my child is poorly with respiratory symptoms?

  • Children with mild, respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or slight cough, who are otherwise well can come to school.
  • If your child has symptoms of a respiratory infection such as COVID and is not feeling well (often children show this by being cuddlier, more lethargic, and tearful or in displaying more challenging behaviour than usual) they should not come to school and stay at home.
  • If your child has symptoms of a respiratory infection such as COVID and has a temperature they must not come to school and stay at home until they feel better and no longer have a temperature.
  • If your child has diarrhoea or sickness they must not come to school for 2 days since their last episode.
  • If your child tests positive for COVID they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test. After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, they can come back to school.

Symptoms of COVID (people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID 19 –Gov.uk)

  • Continuous cough
  • High temperature, fever, chills
  • Loss of or change in your normal sense of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • Muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • Not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • Headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • Sore throat, stuff or runny nose
  • Diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick

Please help us to minimise disruption by keeping your child at home when they are not well enough for school and / or when they are displaying these symptoms.

Staffing

As I reported in the newsletter at the end of last term we, in common with many schools, had experienced significant staff absence due to Covid. Again alongside many other schools we are also experiencing difficulties with recruitment (for example, people accepting a job and then not showing up on the first day). In common with all work sectors Covid has also caused people to reconsider their lifestyles and this has also led to some staff retiring sooner, others moving area and others retraining and taking promotions outside of the education sector and so forth. Therefore, all these factors together have made it challenging to maintain the consistency of staffing we would like in school this year. So from time to time you will notice staffing changes within school. With over 100 staff in school this may be more noticeable than in school settings with a much smaller workforce. Please do understand these circumstances are beyond our control.  We are doing everything we can to avoid changes for the children and we do our very best to support the children when we do have to do make changes. If you ever have a concern please approach your child’s class teacher in the first instance. Thank you!

 Emergency planning

Please return the form sent out before the Easter break concerning your working patterns to help us with our future contingency planning! Many thanks.

I am looking forward to seeing all the children on Monday. The teaching staff have worked hard to plan a fantastic, fun filled term where the children have great opportunities to learn and progress. We are excited to see what they achieve and to be part of their learning journey. Thank you for working with us and for your ongoing support and positivity. The staffing team at Palatine really appreciate working with you and your children.

With very best wishes for the term ahead,

Catriona

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