8th December 2023

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been lovely to see so many of you at our open afternoons this week. We hope that you have enjoyed the opportunity to come in and see the learning that your children have done in school over the last term and / or to be with them in the routines of class.

The children have continued to do lots of fantastic learning this week. Lots of children have been making progress in their phonics, with one child singing the whole song. Another focused on phonics in a group session and was able to complete the end of familiar rhymes.

In communication development one child told their adults that they were tired during their class’s feelings session. Another is using two-word sentences. Another has been saying new words and reading symbols to an adult to make requests. One child has been initiating interactions with an adult. In physical development one child attended forest school for the first time in 5 weeks and has been happily accessing different parts of the school and another joined in for a whole PE lesson. Some of our younger children have been transitioning more effectively which enables them to use facilities and try experiences in different parts of the school.

Attendance Focus

Best attendance for last week:

Explorers Hub – Leopard class and Peacock class both with 100%

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.

With the ever increasing cost of living, see what support is available on the Government Help for Households website here.

  • Check what benefits and financial support you can get
  • Find available support if you have a health condition
  • Find advice and financial help you can get with household costs
  • Find out about help with childcare costs

 

The Citizens Advice website also offers a lot of advice and support and the facility to talk to a debt adviser online.

You can also request support from West Sussex Community Hub, including accessing the Household Support Fund. If your request is urgent, for example, you are going to run out of food within the next two days, please phone 0330 222 7980.  Lines are open between 9.00am to 5.00pm seven days a week, except bank holidays, when they are open between 10.00am to 2.00pm.

With Christmas approaching, this can be a particularly difficult time for families for many different reasons.  Our mental health is as important as our physical health and financial worries can affect our mental health. For mental health support, visit Every Mind Matters for expert advice and practical tips.

If you need to speak to someone, you can speak to a trained volunteer at organisations like Samaritans or Shout.

Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (Monday to Sunday at any time)

Shout – you can text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained volunteer.  Texts are free, anonymous and confidential.

National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247

The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428

Action on Elder Abuse helpline: 0808 808 8141

 

Class closures and partial closures

We continue to have a difficult time with staff absence. On some days we have had over 20 staff absent and this can prove impossible to cover.  When this involves a number in the same class this is not safe because many of our children struggle if they are with less familiar adults. These decisions are equally as distressing to us as to you and we never take these decisions lightly. Safety must always be our first priority.

Next week we have our three Christmas celebrations at the church for some of our pupils. These events are a significant undertaking for the school, not least in getting the children to and from the church. Disappointing as it may be, if staffing levels are not high enough we may have to take the decision to cancel events should we risk assess that it is not safe enough for an event to happen. This is as upsetting for us as for you as many staff have given extra time, thought and energy to planning these events.  However, safety must always come first, and I felt advance warning of the possible situation should we have insufficient staff on a given day would be helpful. Hopefully, we will be able to run the three events as planned and look forward to seeing many of you there. I know a number of our children are excited to perform and join in and we are looking forward to seeing them showing us what they can do!

The sign of the week is coat!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Very best wishes,

Catriona

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