26th April 2024

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Please note this is quite a lengthy communication this week containing information to support us in ensuring the children can have an enjoyable and rewarding summer term.

The children have had a great week at school. On Monday Bamboozle Theatre came in to perform an interactive show for a number of our classes which was fabulous. The children were engaged and calm during the performance. One child engaged during the whole performance (40mins) and even touched the instruments! A number of children went to Field Place Park and behaved really well. Another went on the bike at Cycall. Children have been completing some great work in forest school and one child transitioned really well from their classroom to the forest school area. One child walked really well to the area and another used their PECS to communicate that they wanted to go. Children have also made progress in their communication. One child was able to tell me what they thought they needed to help them, another has been making requests independently and one child independently requested a resource they needed. One child said their teacher’s name in an intensive interaction session and another asked to use the toilet independently. A number of children have also increased their focus and attention skills engaging in more learning and demonstrating positive attitudes towards it. One child joined in with an adult-led learning task not of their choosing. In learning across the curriculum one child has been using the role play area and dressing up clothes. Another enjoyed some messy sensory work and another completed some beautiful sewing. Finally, two children have become ‘best friends’ and are showing their kindness by sharing toys with each other and initiating their own play.

Attendance Focus

Regular school attendance supports children’s progress, wellbeing and wider development. School can facilitate positive peer relationships, which contributes to better mental health and wellbeing.

Best attendance for week commencing 15 April:

Explorers Hub – Leopard class, Peacock class & Zebra class, all with 100%

Investigators Hub – Koala class with100%

Engineers Hub – Sloth class

 

School visits and visitors into school

Throughout the school year teachers work hard to plan extracurricular activities:

  • to support the children’s understanding of their learning;
  • to widen their experience of the world;
  • to excite and engage them;
  • to develop their social, communication and safety skills.

This week, for example, some have accessed a trip to the fire station, others have been to a park and others have experienced a theatre production in school.

Children in our school:

  • have a wide variety of different and individual needs;
  • are at different stages in their development;
  • are in classes of differently aged children.

This means that not all experiences are appropriate or safe for everyone within a class or hub group. It also means that within a trip or experience children will need different levels of support. That is why a variety of events are planned across the year to try and cater for all.

The teachers have a responsibility to be ‘in loco parentis’ (in place of a parent). In the UK this means while children are in school, teachers are legally in place of a parent. Within that responsibility they need to assess the risks and make decisions to ensure they can keep the children safe. Ultimately, they make the judgement call. These experiences take a significant amount of extra work and planning and require that we have sufficient staffing on the actual day.

We aim that by the end of their time at school with us all children will have had a variety of different experiences. These will not look the same for each child. We are in the process of writing a list of what experiences we want all pupils to experience during their time in Palatine and we will be asking for you ideas that later in this term.

In the meantime, we ask that you support the teachers when they make these decisions. You can do this by understanding that they need to be able to assess what they think is right for all the children in a specific context. This will ensure that these trips and events can continue to take place. Thank you!

Social media and home school communication

From time to time, you may have concerns, worries or frustrations about a matter in school and when such circumstances occur, we want to know about it and look into the situation in order to resolve things as speedily as possible. Please speak to your child’s class teacher or email them asking they give you a call rather than expressing your concerns online.  You can also speak to our Family Liaison Officer or a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Posting a concern or opinion on social media will not resolve the matter and sometimes posts can cause unnecessary worry for other parents/carers.

In ensuring that staff and children are protected at all times, please refrain from posting negative comments, using inappropriate language, and not naming or tagging other children in posts.  We are all working in partnership to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children and we all want to be strong role models for them.

The use of apps such as WhatsApp can spread misinformation, moreover, it can bypass the necessary safeguarding and data protection checks that we work so hard to use.   Adding or commenting on posts can mean that a child’s confidentiality can be broken which is contrary to normal GDPR requirements. There is no substitute for the continued existence of face-to-face communication channels or telephone calls that allow contact which creates trust and professional working relationships between parents/carers and school.  There is a lot at stake if this relationship breaks down.

I have reminded teachers that there is no expectation that they will respond to emails outside of working hours. They will also not be able to respond whilst they are teaching. If you wish to discuss a matter email them or leave a message with the front office. Ideally request that they phone you at a time that is convenient as a verbal discussion is much better than a chain of emails. I have a duty of care to our staff as well as the pupils and it is important that they are able to switch off from work when they are at home. Thank you!

Parking

We have had a number of complaints about parking on Palatine Road and neighbouring roads. Please do not park at the very end of road turnings as this obstructs the view for cars and vehicles turning out of the road.

The Highway code (rule 250) states: Cars, goods vehicles not exceeding 2500 kg laden weight, invalid carriages, motorcycles and pedal cycles may be parked without lights on a road (or lay-by) with a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) or less if they are:

  • at least 10 metres (32 feet) away from any junction, close to the kerb and facing in the direction of the traffic flow
  • in a recognised parking place or lay-by.

This is also important in ensuring the children are safe on their journey to and from school.

Support Groups

There are many agencies that can support children and adults with their mental health.  Key agencies are listed below.  Please speak with Sophie Milner-Smith or Kaarina Dougherty if you would like any further guidance about how to access help.

Beat 0808 801 0677 (England)  www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk

Offers information and advice on eating disorders, and runs a supportive online community.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) 0800 58 58 58 www.thecalmzone.net

Provides listening services, information and support for anyone who needs to talk, including a web chat.

MoneyHelper 0800 138 7777 (English) www.moneyhelper.org.uk

Provides free and impartial money advice.

Shout 85258 (text SHOUT) www.giveusashout.org

Confidential 24/7 text service offering support if you’re in crisis and need immediate help.

Trussell Trust tel:01722580180 enquiries@trusselltrust.org

Supports a network of over 1,200 food banks and users can search for local food banks.

Cruse Bereavement Care 0808 808 1677 www.cruse.org.uk

Information and support after a bereavement.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

Free 24-hour helpline for women who have experienced domestic abuse and violence, with all female advisors. Also offers a live chat and can help to find refuge accommodation. Run by the domestic violence charity Refuge

Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Confidential advice and support for men who have experienced domestic violence and abuse by a current or ex partner or family member.

Mental Health UK https://mentalhealth-uk.org

Website containing links and guidance to support mental health and wellbeing.

West Sussex WellbeingWest Sussex County Council is providing 12 months free access to Gro Health – a leading NHS certified app to support your health and wellbeing.  For more information go to www.grohealth.com/west-sussex

Adur & Worthing Wellbeing are offering free, friendly advice and support if you want to stop smoking. Visit www.adur-worthingwellbeing.org.uk or call 01903 221450

 

The NSPCC is a fantastic place to find help and support.  There are lots of resources and it signposts to other charities or support networks.  They cover issues such as mental health, divorce, tantrums, working from home. Click here.

 

Place2be offers parenting advice from child mental health experts with practical tips on how to support children’s wellbeing and behaviour.  Click here.

 

Action for Children offer help and guidance, in person and through online services to support families and care-givers. Click here.

 

The sign of the week is yoghurt.

 

Dates for this term:

  • Wednesday 22nd May: Parents Evening
  • Saturday 15th June: Summer Fair
  • Monday 17th – Thursday 20th June: Sports week – the children will take part in some sporting events within this week and there will be a Sports Day for some classes for whom it would be appropriate. More details to follow.
  • Friday 21st June: INSET day (school closed for pupils).
  • Tuesday 16th July: The Snail and the Whale whole school topic celebration
  • Friday 19th July: Year 6 leavers celebration

 

After half term there will be various transition sessions for some of our pupils and details of that will be provided nearer the time.

Please keep these dates free in your diary. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at these different events.

 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Very best wishes,

 

Catriona

 

 

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