Dear Parents and Carers,
There has been much excitement in school this week with trips to the aquarium for some Investigators and to The Science Museum in London for our Engineers Hub, who were full of excitement about what they saw and interacted with during the day. They behaved beautifully and were a credit to our school. The Christmas season is well and truly upon us and children have been excitedly creating festive hoops to decorate the hall with and enjoying many winter themed activities. Some of our younger pupils and others with more complex needs have worked hard in developing their artistic skills in Christmas related activities. One pupil has really progressed in drawing. In developing social skills the whole of early years sat beautifully to eat their lunch yesterday and a number of children have developed their communication this week. One pupil used the word ‘happy’. Another is using longer sentences without prompting. Another is using new words on a daily basis. Pupils are also working hard on their physical skills walking further in their walkers, standing with less support and working hard in rebound. A number of children have developed their independence skills; showing more understanding of their daily routines, participating in independent play with more focus, engaging for longer in activities and transitioning more effectively. One pupil was able to match the shapes in a game on the interactive whiteboard without any adult help. Finally, there have been some lovely moments of kindness and friendship this week. One young man made bracelets for all of his friends and when I complimented one of his friends on what I described as his lovely turquoise bracelet, he replied ‘it’s not turquoise it’s teal!’ Another of our older boys helped a classmate with more complex needs to lunch. Two of our girls got off their bus, greeted each other and took each other’s hands to walk to class. Another of our older pupils held a door open for an adult walking through. Two pupils played on the swings together and signed ‘more’. It is wonderful to see the care the children are taking of one another!
A huge thank you for your support in the classes that have been heavily impacted by staff absence this week. Your understanding and kindness and that you are so willing to work with us even at cost to yourselves is hugely appreciated. Palatine is truly a community and that we work together sets us apart! Thank you!
There are many bugs going around including Covid, Flu, Tonsillitis, Scarlet Fever, Strep A and the usual colds and tummy bugs. If your child is displaying any symptoms of these or is not themselves please keep them at home to recover. I know it can be hugely disappointing for some to miss out on end of term activities. There are many pupils that are more vulnerable to these illnesses and we want to keep everyone as well as possible and to avoid the disruption to routine and consistency that can occur when high numbers of staff become ill. Thank you!
Following the award of the governments’ Household Support Fund to help support vulnerable households and individuals with essentials, West Sussex County Council is pleased to announce that families with Free School Meal eligible children will once again be entitled to a voucher for each FSM child during the upcoming Christmas Holiday period.
FSM eligible families in West Sussex will be entitled to a £15.00 voucher per child, per week, to cover the two-week school Christmas Holiday period. For simplicity, you will be issued with one £30.00 voucher per FSM eligible child.
For schools in Adur & Worthing, Southern Water have decided to fund additional vouchers for FSM eligible children this Christmas to the value of £30.00 per FSM eligible child. Eligible families will receive these additional vouchers in the same way as those issued by school. No personal data has been shared with Southern Water.
All vouchers will be issued week commencing Monday 12 December.
Holiday Activity & Food Programme (HAF)
Children and young people aged 4 to 16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals can take part in free clubs over the holidays and enjoy a free nutritious meal as part of the scheme. To find out more visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/HAF
One such holiday club is The Outdoors Project, more information can be found at www.theoutdoorsproject.co.uk
To find out what is available near to where you live visit https://familyinfoservice.westsussex.gov.uk/SynergyWeb/PublicEnquiry/Enquiries/Search.aspx?searchID=171 type in your post code and how far you are able to travel
If you are unsure about whether your child/children may be eligible for benefits-related free school meals, visit https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/schools-and-colleges/free-school-meals/ where you can check the eligibility criteria and apply
Those children and families that are not eligible for FSM will be able to access urgent support for food via the WSCC Community Hub. The Community Hub can be contacted on 0330 222 7980 and is open 9:00 – 17:00 seven days a week. Further information can be found via the West Sussex County Council website.
Help for Households – find out what support is available to help with the cost of living, including income, benefits, bills, allowances and childcare. Click here.
For the week commencing 28th November, the classes with the best attendance were;
- Explorers hub – Ladybird class
- Investigators hub – Gecko class
- Engineers hub – Crocodile class
We look forward to welcoming many of your to our Christmas celebrations at St Andrews in the early part of next week. These are celebrations rather than performances! I do hope you enjoy sharing in them with us!
Have a lovely weekend!
Very best wishes,