8th September 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back to the new school year. It has been fantastic to see the children again and to meet our new pupils. I am really proud of how they have settled despite the heat. It was lovely to see so many of you this afternoon and I do hope you enjoy seeing their class rooms and meeting staff at our ‘meet the teacherevent.

Each week there will be a safeguarding spotlight designed to support parents and carers in deepening their understanding of topical safeguarding issues that may affect our children, your families or members of the local community.  Each month, there will also be an online safety newsletter with the most up-to-date information to help you keep your children safe online.

Safeguarding children and promoting their welfare is everyone’s responsibility and our top priority. Every single person who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.

The Safeguarding team 

If you have any concerns about a child’s welfare or safety, please speak to a member of the safeguarding team.  They oversee and co-ordinate all aspects of Palatine’s work to ensure that children are kept safe.  They regularly attend training to ensure their skills and knowledge are up-to-date and in turn, train school staff with essential information.  The Safeguarding team are:

  • Charlotte Howting – Assistant Head & Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Frances Hodges – Assistant Head & Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Catriona Goldsmith – Headteacher & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Kaarina Dougherty – Family Liaison Officer, Senior Mental Health Lead & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

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 coordinated 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.

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 of the website.

Everything that we do at Palatine has the children at its heart. We have a comprehensive safeguarding curriculum at school which teaches our children, in an age and stage appropriate way, how to stay healthy and safe in different situations, both in and out of school.  We use our puppet Saps to help explain to our children how to stay safe and he will often go into classes to support with keeping safe lessons.

Attendance Focus

Recognising the importance of attendance and continuing on from last year, each week we will share with you the names of the classes with the best attendance from each hub. We will start this next week.

Activ8

After school provision on a Monday and Wednesday until 4.15pm will recommence on Monday 11 September with Activ8 and is open to all children.  The sessions take the format of an Activity Hub with four zones set up in the Sports Hall; sensory, physical, fine motor and creative with an optional activity in the middle, such as boccia.   Please see the flyer sent out on MCAS for more information including how to book your child in for sessions.

Home/school communication book

Following feedback from parents and carers last year, we will be trialing a slightly different home/school communication book this term.  We are trialing it for a term across all classes and will then seek your thoughts and feedback via a 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. 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       

The sign of the week is school! 

Have a lovely weekend!

Very best wishes,

Catriona

 

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