14th July 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you so much for the incredible support you gave us by attending the children’s performances this week. We were bowled over by the numbers of you that came and I know the children really loved seeing you there. They were absolutely incredible and it was wonderful to see the progression through from our youngest pupils who showed they could work together and participate, through to those who had to steel themselves just to be in the room, or bravely try to join in when they found it so hard, through to our sensory learners who fully immersed themselves in the sensory aspects of their performances, through to those who could sign songs, sing entire songs and speak in front of a large audience. That some pupils could remember and deliver a substantial amount of lines was amazing. I know you share my pride in what they all achieved. It was lovely to be able to share it with you.

In other achievements, one pupil wrote an invitation to his family and read it to me. Another showed me the beautiful lion’s mask that he had made. Another made a ‘lost’ poster for a purple Octopus and asked all the adults if they could help find it.

One pupil is doing really well handing over their comfort toys when coming into class and doing well with their learning plan. Another has been doing fantastic talking.  The children in EYFS have been playing beautifully together. Finally, one child met their new class friends and voiced how much they liked them.

“Hi Mum” Scam Alert – we want you to be aware of the phishing scam known as ‘Hi Mum’ continues to circulate through text messages or instant messaging services, such as WhatsApp. The scam involves the impersonation of friends or family members in order to gain access to your personal information. UK consumers have lost millions over the last year due to the impersonation fraud so far this year.  Scammers use informal language to trick parents into thinking they are texting their children; a typical text might read “Hi Mum, I’m texting you off my friends phone as I’ve smashed mine and their phone is about to die, can you WhatsApps (the number) please x.” Scammers will try to use social media to try and find out personal information and may go on to ask you for money by playing on the close relationship you have with the person they’re impersonating.  If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding it to 7726 before blocking the number.  If you’re concerned you’ve given money to a possible scam, contact your bank straight away and report the scam to Action Fraud.

The NSPCC website has lots of helpful resources for keeping children safe including support for children’s mental health and online safety.  The NSPCC has been encouraging every adult across the UK to take up a 10 minute digital training course to help all adults know what to do if child needs help and where to go if you yourself need support.  The free online training course can be found by following the link here.

Attendance Focus

For the week commencing 3 July, the classes with the best attendance were:

  • Explorers hub – Ladybird class with 100%
  • Investigators hub – Panda & Leopard class both with 100%
  • Engineers hub – Koala class

Activ8

After school provision on a Monday and Wednesday will continue in September with Activ8. However, having discussed and reviewed the past few weeks with Activ8, we have agreed changing the sessions to meet the needs of more of our children. The sessions will take a different format. This will be an Activity Hub which will have four zones set up in the Sports Hall; sensory, physical, fine motor and creative with an optional activity in the middle, such as boccia. All other details remain the same in terms of cost and booking places. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

Free School Meal (FSM) voucher summer scheme

Means –tested FSM eligible families will be entitled to a £10.00 voucher per child, per week, a total of £60.00 for the summer holidays.  Vouchers will be issued week commencing Monday 17 July, in the same way as they were for the May half-term.

Community Hub

Those children and families not eligible for FSM will be able to access urgent support for food via the West Sussex County Council Community Hub.  The Community Hub can be contacted on 0330 222 7980 and is open 09:00 – 17:00 seven days a week.

Home/school communication book

Following the recent communication survey for parents and carers and the feedback received, we will be trialing a slightly different home/school communication book in September.  We are trialing it for a term across all classes and will then seek your thoughts and feedback via another quick survey.  We will also get the views of teachers and staff completing the books and make any necessary amendments or adjustments as appropriate. The new home/school communication book will be called ‘Daily News’ and the introduction of some of the tick boxes is designed to provide parents/carers with more of the information that has been asked for in the communication survey and has been fed back from the Parent Focus Group.

Parent Focus Group

We launched the Parent Focus Group last September and we aim to meet half termly. We are continually looking for ways to involve parents and carers as much as possible in the life of Palatine school.  To this end, our Parent Focus Group aims to further develop partnership and communication with all parents and carers.  With some of our existing members moving on because their children are leaving Palatine, we would once again like to invite parents who are interested in joining to email Kaarina at kdougherty@palatineschool.org We are really keen to have representation from all classes and hubs across our school.

As a member of the Parent Focus Group, we would like;

  • your feedback on what is going well as well as what could be developed
  • a willingness to share your views
  • the desire to continue to improve school
  • a willingness to attend as many of the meetings as possible 

As a result of feedback from this group we will also be implementing some changes to our assessment and reporting arrangements next year which will give you more opportunities to see the progress your children are making across the year without increasing teacher workload. More details to follow!

The sign of the week is picnic!

Reminder:

Last day of the summer term: Thursday 20th July 2023

First day of autumn term: Wednesday 6th September 2023

Have a lovely weekend!

Very best wishes,

Catriona

 

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