Dear Parents and Carers,

The children have had another fabulous week in school. I have been interviewed by a number of children who asked me questions clearly and with confidence. They thought up some really interesting questions including ones they made up on the spot. Other pupils have worked really hard on their independence, developing their skills in transitioning round school, engaging positively with new adults and going out on the minibus for the first time. Lots of children have made progress in their turn taking, sharing and in the development of their communication skills. Some have used their PECS books and communication grids well, others have been making increased vocalisations and using new words. Some pupils have been choosing toys and songs to engage with and some have increased their skills in explorative play. It has been really nice to see one pupil who finds it hard to be with others engaging with other children on the roundabout. Children have been making friends and one of our early years’ pupils comforted another child by giving them a train. Another pupil asked a teacher for help before getting upset when something hadn’t gone his way. In maths children have made progress in number work, using clocks and accessing maths learning more independently.  A number of pupils have made progress with eating and toileting. One pupil created a fantastic display of artwork for an ‘Over Sea, Under Sea’ display in her class.  Many pupils have made progress in the development of their literacy skills, one pupil reading 16 key words to label the human body and sticking them all in the right place on his diagram. Another pupils wrote a fantastic description of a pirate.  It is wonderful to see the range of progress pupils are making across their learning.

Reminders

Monday 19th September: State funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth 11. School is closed on this day.

Dietary Information

We are aware that many of our children have special diets and sometimes there are changes in this. Therefore, in order to ensure we have the most up to date information on all pupils please complete the dietary information form that will be sent out to you by Tuesday 20th September. Thank you for your cooperation with this.

Parent Focus Group

We are excited to be able to invite you to express your interest in a new and very important initiative for Palatine.  We are always striving to find ways to involve parents and carers as much as possible in the life of our school.  To that end, we are launching a Parent’s Focus Group.  The mission of the group is to act as a focused sounding board for future ideas, broadly discuss issues that need resolution or give cause for concern and give constructive feedback.  The remit for the group would be to meet half-termly with at least one member from the Senior Leadership Team to discuss and provide ideas and work towards finding solutions that promote the excellent work, communication and reputation of our school within our families and the wider local community; we never underestimate the power of ‘parent voice’ which can be stronger than ours in certain situations.  The group will not be a forum for individual complaints and issues; these must be addressed through your child’s class teacher in the first instance and then through the usual channels of escalation and ultimately our complaints procedure if needed.

We are looking for parent/carer representation across all of our classes and therefore, we would like to start by asking that you let Kaarina, Family Liaison Officer know if you would be interested in being part of this group.  Please email kdougherty@palatineschool.org by Friday 30th September.

Depending on the level of interest we have we may have to rotate members on a six-monthly or annual basis.

Coffee mornings

Our coffee mornings are a great way of getting to know other parents and share experiences.  They are hosted by Kaarina, Family Liaison Officer, so you can ‘pick her brains’ too if there is anything you want to ask her about pretty much anything!

Our first coffee morning is just for parents/carers of new children that have joined us this term into any year group.  Please pop in and join us for coffee and cake on Wednesday 21 September from 9.30am – 11.00am.  There is no need to book, just turn up at reception on the day.

We will then resume our coffee mornings for all parents/carers on the first Wednesday of the month with the first being on 5 October from 9.30am – 11.00am.

 You don’t have to book, you don’t have to come to every coffee morning and you don’t have to stay for the duration if you don’t want to.

 Accessing Public Services Toolkit Workshop

We are very pleased to let you know of a workshop that will be running on Thursday 29 September 2022 from 10am-12.30pm.  We are hosting this in conjunction with the charity Cerebra via Zoom.  There is no charge.

The aim of the workshop is to support families who might be encountering difficulties in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. The workshop isn’t about giving legal advice or solving individual issues, but about general strategies that parents can use to get the services that they need for their child and family. By the end of the workshop, you will be able to:

  • Identify commonly occurring problems facing families accessing services and recognise different types of dispute
  • Come up with problem-solving approaches to these problems
  • Use a number of template letters when corresponding with public bodies

If you are interested in attending this event, then please let Kaarina know by calling or emailing at kdougherty@palatineschool.org by Wednesday 21 September

The news has featured extensive coverage of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and as her funeral approaches, the coverage will continue.  At this time, our own memories may be drawn to those we have lost and this is true of both adults and children.  Bereavement and grief can be unpredictable and feelings we think have been left behind can sudden re-surface.  It was only two years ago when we were hit by an unprecedented global pandemic that resulted in loss for many.

If you are upset or feeling intense emotion, it is really important to talk to someone, a friend, family member or professional.  It may also be helpful to limit your exposure to the news and social media to try and give yourself a break from this for a while and try to undertake activities that support your wellbeing. Do activities that you know make you feel better, try to get plenty of sleep, eat healthily and take regular exercise.

Some information, support and resources that you may find helpful for supporting children can be found at

Child Bereavement Network https://childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/  – Advice on supporting children and young people

Winston Wish https://www.winstonswish.org/ – Advice on supporting children and young people

Cruse https://www.cruse.org.uk/understanding-grief/grief-experiences/collective-grief/ – Advice for adults

 If you are looking for someone to talk to about your mental health at this time, you can access a range of information on Mind’s website  https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/advice-for-supporting-those-struggling-with-the-death-of-her-majesty-the-queen/

Mind has a confidential information and support line available on 0330 123 3393 (lines open 9am-6pm, Monday – Friday)

Have a lovely weekend

Very best wishes,

Catriona

 

 

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

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