12th January 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

The children have had a fantastic week in school. A number of children have read to me beautifully and confidently. Some of my favourite moments in school are when children are able to do something with confidence and away from their classroom because it shows that they have consolidated and generalised a skill and can use it in a variety of contexts. Some children have been reading and learning about ‘The Gruffalo’ this week and have been using lots of words to describe the characters in the book and have been writing sentences to retell the story. As part of the Explorers Hub’s learning about fairy tales, two children did some amazing independent drawing of the Three Bears. In Maths, three children counted in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. One class had a fantastic first swimming session.  One child joined in with P.E, walking along the bench with adults. Another child has been attending to adult directed tasks.  Finally, this week saw the start of our Year 6 PATH meetings where the children attend their annual reviews with their parents where appropriate. It has been lovely to hear them talk with confidence and pride about what they can do and what they want to be, which this week has included train drivers and teachers!

Attendance Focus 

Explorers Hub – Peacock class and Polar Bears

Investigators Hub – Turtle class

Engineers Hub – Llama class

Update to absence reporting procedures

Nationally, there is currently a strong emphasis on attendance in the Department of Education and in turn schools. Regular school attendance and arriving on time ensures children can access all learning opportunities and social interactions and in so doing, this helps children to achieve as much as they are able to.

For a small group of children an Arrival and Departure plan supports them with managing the transitions to and from school at a less busy time. These are agreed with school and are a great example of our community working together to successfully support pupils at an individual level.

Equally, we know there has been a lot of sickness in the school community; coughs and colds as well as sickness and diarrhoea and we, of course, do not want children to come in when they are poorly. We also have children with complex medical conditions who are not able to attend as much as they would like.

It is important that we follow school procedures when this happens because it supports us in managing absence across the school and means we can work together and support you by signposting you to specific professionals that we may be aware of.

Please call the school absence line if your child is not going to be in school and to call on each day of your child’s absence. There is the facility to leave a voicemail message outside of school hours.

If your child is not in school and we have not heard from you, we will attempt to contact home by phone. We will continue to call the telephone numbers, in order, on your child’s contact list. There must be at least two up-to-date phone numbers on the contact list. If we cannot make contact regarding the absence, it will be marked as unauthorised on the register.  Please let us know immediately of any changes to the contact details we hold.

Many children have medical appointments during the school day which are necessary and unavoidable. Where possible, if an appointment is in the morning, please bring your child into school afterwards or if it is an afternoon appointment, consider sending your child into school in the morning. We know that this is not always practical, especially if appointments are not local, but where possible, please send your child to school. Like other schools, we will now request evidence of the medical appointment; either a copy of the appointment letter or a screenshot from your phone of the appointment.

Please do contact Kaarina if you are not clear on anything related to absence or would like advice on your specific circumstances. At Palatine we work in partnership with parents and carers and we understand that our children face particular challenges around their health. Likewise, we appreciate your support and understanding when we have difficulties staffing classes because of outbreaks of illness. Our aim is to have clear workable procedures that help us to manage ill health and enable the children to be in school as much as possible. Thank you for your support and help with this.

Safeguarding Spotlight 

West Sussex Wellbeing has information and advice for anyone over 18 who lives and/or works in West Sussex about local support on a range of issues to help keep you healthy and well.

There are a range of resources, support and people who will listen for help with emotional wellbeing and mental health at Your Mental Health West Sussex and West Sussex Wellbeing

Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship. It can involve a single incident or a pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading or violent behaviour. If you are concerned about your own, or someone else’s situation, please click here.

Every Mind Matters has tips for improving mood, sleep and dealing with stress.

West Sussex’ cost-of-living advice pages include information on practical and financial help and support with the cost of living crisis.

The sign of the week is bus! 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Very best wishes,

Catriona

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