17th November 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
The children continue to inspire us with what they learn and achieve. One child is now eating school dinners. Another drank half a cup of water! Within maths, one pupil ordered magnetic numbers from one to nine and another completed some number sentences independently. Another matched all the colours to the correct colour hoops and matched a range of objects to the 2D shapes independently. Children have worked hard at developing their social skills, one independently following verbal instructions without visual support. A number of pupils have been talking more, including some children talking consistently in longer sentences. Another child has started to play with toy cars.
Best attendance for last week:
Explorers Hub – Leopard class – 100%
Investigators Hub – Turtle class – 100%
Engineers Hub – Husky class – 100%
National Anti-bullying Week
This week has been Anti-Bullying week with the theme Make A Noise About Bullying.
Anti-Bullying week is an annual UK event which aims to raise awareness of bullying of children and young people, in schools and elsewhere, and to highlight ways of preventing and responding to it.
Research by the Anti-Bullying Alliance shows that 30% of children have been bullied in the last year and 17% have been bullied online. Bullying has a significant impact on a child’s life and this can last well into adulthood with adults who were bullied as children being more likely to experience a range of mental health issues. Research even suggests that the long-term impact of bullying can be as bad as that of child abuse.
Learning to understand and manage conflict is an important part of growing up. Bullying is not simply a ‘falling out.’ Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological and can happen face-to-face or online.
Baiting can be used in bullying both on and offline. To ‘bait’ someone is to intentionally make a person angry by saying or doing things to annoy them.
Children with SEND are more likely to experience bullying with research suggesting that 36% of children with SEND experience frequent bullying compared to 25% of those without SEND. The experience or anticipation of being bullied can shape a young person’s sense of self and social relationships and can have a damaging impact on their self-esteem, mental health, social skills and progress at school.
Mencap have provided some advice and support for parents about bullying which can be found here. The Anti-Bullying Alliance has also provided a Parent Information Tool to help parents understand bullying and what it is.
At Palatine, a significant part of the curriculum is focussed on building friendships and developing positive relationships. This starts with our communication curriculum to ensure pupils are able to express their wants, needs and feelings. Our youngest children learn to turn take and share and as the children progress in their understanding, they learn about how to manage friendship difficulties and about how to tell the difference between falling out with your friends and bullying. We use STOP. Please find attached a poster that is up around school which we use to help the children to understand this. This may help you to explain the difference and support them in building friendships at home too.
The sign of the week is angry.
Class closures and partial closures.
We are having a difficult time with staff absence at the moment. Many people are catching bugs and viruses and we are experiencing whole staff teams being knocked out by a bug or virsus. We take as many steps as we can to avoid this:
- we continue to have routine cleaning in school throughout the day,
- school is then cleaned after the end of the day,
- aspects of our curriculum focus on teaching the children how to maintain good hygiene,
- we try to work out staffing plans to enable as many children as possible to come to school.
Often bugs and viruses, however, are airborne and spread at a pace within close environments such as ours.
How you can help:
- If your child is poorly, keep them at home, as this can help reduce the spread and prevent disruption and class closures.
- Please make contingency plans in case we need to close or partially close your child’s class at short notice.
I am very aware that many of our staff work extremely long hours often in the early morning, late evening and at weekends. It is my responsibility to try and reduce their workload and to ensure I look after their health and wellbeing when it relates to work. I know a number of colleagues respond to emails in their own time and I have reiterated to them that there is no expectation that they do this. Should you send an email after school it may not get answered until the next working day. Thank you.
Thank you to those of you who have been so supportive with all the challenges of this week. You have been incredible and we really appreciate it! Some of you have also taken the time to write in some lovely emails or say some kind words whist waiting to drop off or collect your children. We really appreciate this. It means so much. Thank you!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Very best wishes,