Dear Parents and Carers,
Yesterday evening we received the sad news of the death of the Queen and the coming days may be difficult for people across our country. Within our school community this will lead to differing reactions. For many of our children this is not something they understand and we will ensure we keep to our routines as usual. For others this may bring back sad feelings from their own lives and staff will support pupils for whom this is the case and will of course communicate with you as necessary. For our community as a whole this may also be the case. Please do find the bereavement information on our website should this be helpful. https://palatineschool.org/supporting-pupils/#bereavement. The educational psychology service has also produced a leaflet of advice on how to talk to children about death (at their developmental level) which I have attached.
For others of our pupils, who will have heard the news or people talking about the Queen, they will want to think about her and learn about what she did and we are providing opportunities for this in assemblies and circle times as appropriate to the pupil’s stages of development and understanding.
Whilst there will be a period of national mourning, Buckingham Palace and the government are not suggesting that schools close during this time but use the time in school to provide support, time to reflect, and also time to celebrate the life of Her Majesty. Over the coming days we will receive more information on plans for schools in regard to the funeral arrangements which we will share with you as they are provided to us.
Please do contact the school office should you have any further questions.
The children have had a fantastic first week back in school. Many exciting things have happened! In the Engineers Hub the children have found evidence of an alien spaceship in school and have seen video footage of a teacher who used to work here from space! This has led to some wonderful writing including the creation of a new word “adultnapped” by one pupil. Our Investigators have met a pirate which they were very excited about and our early years pupils are settling into school incredibly well, walking nicely around the site and sitting down for circle times. This is fantastic! Some of our pupils are transitioning around school well and to the toilet. One pupil who has complex communication needs is pointing to things that he wants with support. He also went and got his marmite symbol from his PECS and gave it to an adult to request marmite on his toast. One child has become more tolerant of wearing their clothes. Another has eaten their lunch in the dining hall and another has been able to tell an adult when they needed the toilet. Other pupils who have previously found it hard to learn in their classrooms are doing amazingly well at learning with their classes. A group of our young pupils all helped each other to build a marble run tower and took turns putting their marble down. Others were amazing with sharing and taking turns on the ‘rollercoaster’ (I hasten to add we don’t have a theme park version of one in school)! Some children have created some beautiful art work and one member of Gecko class made a very complicated Gecko using pipe cleaners, lolly sticks and paper. Some pupils initially found it hard to walk to their new classroom but have come on in leaps and bounds, increasing the independence with which they can do this every day. All of the pupils are working hard on building new relationships, coming up with class charters and showing that they know how to be kind. They have had a fantastic first week in school and we are incredibly proud of what they have achieved!
Autumn term dates reminders
- Friday 18th November: INSET day (school closed to pupils)
- Friday 16th December: End of Autumn term:
In school, the safety and wellbeing of all our children is a priority. 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, sex and relationships 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.
As parents and carers, your first point of contact if you have any concerns or need help is to talk to your child’s class teacher. If you have concerns for the welfare of a child or family, please ask to speak with a member of the school Safeguarding Team –
Charlotte Howting & Frances Hodges are the designated safeguarding leads
Catriona Goldsmith & Kaarina Dougherty are the deputy safeguarding leads
Help might be needed for yourself or your family, or another family. We encourage you to speak with us as soon as there is an issue, as it is often easier to solve any problems at an early stage. This information also applies if you are worried about a pupil outside school e.g. at weekends/ evenings, at home and in the community. You can talk to staff and be assured we will try to help wherever possible.
The safeguarding team can make referrals to other agencies for support, as well as help to put a package of support in place for families who are suitable for something known as “Early Help”. Early Help brings in agencies that can offer more specialised support in a co-ordinated way and involvement is voluntary. Be reassured that you will be kept informed, you will be involved in planning and your wishes will be taken into account every step.
In more serious cases, where neglect or serious harm may come to a child, the school safeguarding team will make the necessary referrals to Children’s Social Care in line with the school Child Protection Policy, which is accessible in our “Policies” section.
Have a lovely weekend
Very best wishes