1st December 2023


Dear Parents and Carers,

The children continue to make great progress in school. This week a couple of our older children have shown significant progress in their regulation and communication skills and it has been lovely to be part of this. Some other children have also made progress in their communication and listening including a number who are interacting really well within their hello sessions and one who is asking for the toilet independently. One pupil has progressed in requesting help using gestures and another is using more of the adult’s names to ask for what they want. Others have been using symbols really well. Some of our younger pupils have made progress in their transition, managing to go to new parts of the school with key adults. Others have made progress in their focus, with one of our younger pupils focusing on a game for over 5 minutes, including sharing with a peer within that. Another showed anticipation in taking part in the different sections of ‘row, row, row your boat’.  Another tried the nest swing for the first time and seemed to really enjoy it. Others have been doing really well within phonics sessions too.

School events

In common with other schools, throughout the year, we have several events for you to attend. These events are held in order that you can be involved in school, to build community and to develop the children’s performance skills as part of the school curriculum (if it is a performance for example).

However, in our setting where we have such a wide range of pupils with a very diverse range of needs it is extremely difficult to have events that are suitable for all. The planning, organisation and delivery of such events is incredibly complex and time-consuming. We always try to strike a balance between what is right for the children, what is workable and what enables parents and carers to feel involved. It is not possible to have events that will meet all these requirements for all children. We are very aware that for some of our pupils seeing their parents or carers in school or attending a very busy event is difficult or even distressing. Therefore, we try our best to consider this in the planning stage and staff will phone parents (of children we feel will find it too distressing) prior to such events to discuss this and explain why they may not be involved. Sometimes we will get this wrong, it is not always easy to predict how a person will react in each circumstance. However, we do our very best.

Last year after discussion with the parent and carer focus group we were made aware that parents would like more opportunities to see their children’s work. Therefore, we have added in an ‘Open Classrooms’ event which many other primary schools offer.  We are aware this is not ideal, however, in response to parent and carer feedback we felt it important to give it a try. We cannot run further events out of school time, for example, because of ‘directed time’ requirements, whereby head teachers can only direct a specific amount of time within a teacher’s working week. Please be aware this event is a trial for us to assess if it is workable in our setting. Your son or daughter’s teacher will be in touch (or already has been) if they feel this will be too disruptive for your child and for some classes this will be true for the entire class.

Likewise, if you feel your son or daughter will find it too difficult, there is no obligation to attend. Please do have a chat with your class teacher. Such events may not fit in with child care or feel comfortable for you. Please do not feel that you must attend, there is no obligation to. This event is for your benefit and there is no expectation that you should come if it is not beneficial to you.

We are aware that for a very small group of you with two children in the same hub this will be trickier because of the short amount of time we can run this for but for safeguarding reasons we need parents to stick to time and come on their allotted day.

Throughout the year we ask that you attend your child’s annual review and any event in which your child is performing (if they do not get distressed at seeing you in school). It is great when you can attend our after school parents evening too. Other than that, we do not expect you to come to anything and any events are there for you to come to if you would like and if it is suitable for you or your child.

All events are subject to sufficient staffing numbers to maintain safety within school.

Thank you for your understanding and for working with us. Please do contact school if you would like further information.

Attendance Focus

Best attendance for last week:

Explorers Hub – Peacock class

Investigators Hub – Stingray class

Engineers Hub – Sloth class

Please remember to call the school absence line on each day of your child’s absence; there is the facility to leave a voicemail message outside of school hours.

At Palatine, we aim to prepare our children for a future in a world which is shaped by technology.  The online world provides many opportunities; however, it also presents risks and challenges.  Being online can be positive for children, including those with additional needs.  So much of our communication now happens online, either by messages, in a game or through a video call, however, we all play an important role in helping children have positive experiences online. With Black Friday taking place recently and many of us making progress with our Christmas shopping, many children and young people may receive a new device, whether that’s a tablet, phone, or games console. Getting a device can be exciting but there are a number of things to remember to ensure children stay safe online at this very exciting time of year.  Attached is the December Online Newsletter with some helpful tips.

The sign of the week is sad. 

Coffee Morning

Join us for the last coffee morning of 2023 on Wednesday 6 December 9.30am – 10.45am.

Free School Meal voucher scheme – Christmas holiday

West Sussex County Council have confirmed that families of means tested Free School Meal (FSM) eligible children will be entitled to a voucher for each FSM child during the upcoming Christmas school holiday.  Eligible families will be entitled to a £15.00 voucher per FSM child, per week.  These will be issued to families in the usual way before 12 December.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Very best wishes,


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