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Covid19 Daily Update

17.07.20

School closed at 3.15pm on Friday 20th March to most children. We have remained open throughout this period to vulnerable children and for the children of key workers. The Government has moved to the next stage and a phased re-opening is now permitted.

Please see the blue boxes below for the latest information.

We are now able to share information about our arrangements for full opening in September. You will find  the following information below:

We are aware that this is a lot of information! Please read it carefully now, and before the children return in September. It is really important that everybody follows the correct procedures and that your children are well prepared for their return.

Please note that term dates for next year can be found on the 'Information' tab of our website.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the school before Friday 17th July and we will answer them for you.

Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time. We very much look forward to welcoming all children back to school in September. We have missed you all and can’t wait to have our school back together again. 

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DAY ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN (17.07.20)

It's the last day of term! It feels very strange to say that with how the last few months have gone, but we have reached the end and we hope you have an amazing summer. Mrs. Ridley has her last few letters for you before we go...

Letter to the children

Dear Children,

Today is a very special day. If you are at home, you may not even realise it, but today is the last day of the Summer term! You should all be very proud of yourselves for all that you have achieved this year and especially when it has been really difficult over the last few months.

I have written to them separately, but I’d like us all to say a huge GOODBYE and GOODLUCK to our Year 6 children. They haven’t had the usual end to their time and Grendon but I am so impressed with their maturity and the way that they have used their growth mindset throughout this time. This is your time to move on Year 6, to take the next step in your lives but please take our WE CAN attitude with you and never forget it! Come back and visit us when you are able to.

I will see the rest of you again in September. There is no need to be worried or nervous. School is still school and teachers are the same! Your old teacher will help you settle back in.

For now, relax and enjoy the holidays! I am very, very proud of you all and look forward to seeing you all soon. Well done everybody!

Stay Safe
Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

For those of you who have been at home since March like the rest of my family, I’m sure that, as it does for them, each day rolls into the next and you may not even be sure which day it is! That makes writing this letter, on what is actually the last day of term, very strange for us all!

It has been a year like no other. I certainly didn’t expect to be ending my first year as Headteacher in this way. But I am and I wanted to take this opportunity to look back as well as to look forward.

However difficult this last few months has been, I am very proud of everything that we have achieved together.  I am proud that we have remained open to children throughout. I am proud that we have been able to provide the level of support that we have been able to and keep in touch with our families. I am proud that we have been able to access additional support for families where needed. I am proud that we have continued with daily updates and weekly work
from home sheets since the first day of closure. I am proud that we have been able to reopen to as many children that wanted to return. 

It has been a real team effort and relationships are now stronger than ever. I would like to thank our site staff, support staff and teaching staff for their unwavering support and their determination to support your children as best we can. Every one of us has had an important role to play and all have done so, just brilliantly. I would like to thank you for taking on the role of teacher while juggling all of your other commitments and engaging with school so well throughout in order to support your children.

I have a few last reminders for you. Remember that although school is closed from today, all the information you need for September is at the bottom of this page and all the signposting to additional support can still be found here. Access to the food bank will continue to open every Tuesday over the Summer for those who have been accessing it. The emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk will not be used from today, although the email addresses for each year group, (for example year2@grendon.bham.sch.uk) will remain in operation again
from September. Please use these or phone school to make an appointment if you need to speak to your child’s teacher next year. Please do not try to speak to them when they come to get children from the playground. Our focus, as it should be, will be to get the children into school safely in line with guidance at that point of the day.

We also have a few goodbyes to say. Miss Gwinnett will be leaving us and I would like to thank her for her hard work and dedication over the last few years. We also say goodbye and thank you to Miss Dainty, one of our lunchtime supervisors and to Mrs Powell, our senior supervisor. Mrs Powell has been right at the heart of Grendon for over 30 years. She has supported several generations of children and has made a huge difference to the lives of many. We wish her all the very best in her retirement - she has certainly earned it!

Finally, I would like to look forward. September will be a challenge. I know some of you are anxious about children returning and I know some children are nervous themselves. I would like to reassure you that we have and will continue to take all possible actions to keep risks low. We will ensure children settle back in quickly and provide additional support this where necessary. I know that, as we have done so far, we can and will make the Autumn term a successful one for all if we work together.

Beyond that, I look forward to continuing to move Grendon forward and build on the positive relationships that are established. Together we can make a difference. I look forward to leading this.

I wish you all a very happy Summer holiday. We look forward to seeing our ‘new’ Years 2, 3 and 5 at 8.50am on Thursday 3rd September and our ‘new’ Years 1, 4 and 6 at 9.00am on Friday 4th September. Remember that children will line up in their ‘old’ playground and spaces for this first day.

With my thanks and best wishes,

Mrs Ridley

We say goodbye to Year Six and you can find a very special video on their class page or in the other news story. We wish you all the luck for the future and hope you remember WE CAN wherever you go.

You can still access all the previous messages, videos and work and these will remain in place over the summer months should you wish to revisit them. The class email addresses will be back in action in September.

Have a great summer everybody, we can't wait to see you again in September.

Previous Messages to our Grendon Family...

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN (16.07.20)

Tomorrow we'll be bringing you Mrs. Ridley's letters so today is the last day we will share with you what staff at Grendon have been up to during the closure.

Over the last few months we've shown you amazing cooks, gardeners, artists, musicians, jugglers and sporting skills. Many of the staff have been fantastic at their chosen skills for a long time but what we really value at Grendon isn't being great at something straight away, it's trying your best to get better. We love failure, it helps us learn and makes us appreciate how far we've come. So today, in our penultimate daily update, we thought we'd show you what you can achieve if you remember WE CAN...

 

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Make sure you return to this page tomorrow for Mrs. Ridley's letters, as well as a very special video by, and for, our departing Year 6s.

See you tomorrow!

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN (15.07.20)

It's been a long time since we've seen you all. We know lots of you are counting down the days until your back with all your friends and can start learning in school again. What we all need is patience and patience can be a difficult mindset to learn. One way of doing it is to think of all the things that need time to grow...

Gardens need time and, if we're patient, we can grow all kinds of wonderful things. Mrs. Harvey's children have been growing runner beans, Miss Pace is growing herbs and tomatoes, Mr Feely has grown cucumbers, Mrs. Collins has a whole vegetable patch on the go and Mrs. Waite-Wright is starting a wildflower meadow.

Mrs. Beedon and Mrs. Fox will be looking for some keen gardeners in the Autumn term to get the Grendon Garden back in order, do you know how to grow plants?

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN (14.07.20)

Today we have a little bit of culture for you! Mrs. Godfrey is an excellent dancer (but we're still not allowed to show you that as she's shy!), however she now trains her daughters to, literally, follow in her footsteps. Would you like to learn some ballet moves...

 

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That is very impressive and takes a lot of practise. There are lots of styles of dance from Ballet to tap dancing to hip hop and even 'Dad dancing'! What's your favourite?

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN (13.07.20)

We are in to our final week of the 19/20 school year so we have one last challenge from Mrs. Ridley for you...

 

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And what a lovely challenge to finish on. Did you see your old classroom? Maybe you saw your new one as well. Remember, all Mrs. Ridley's challenges can be found on our YouTube channel or by going through the 'Previous Messages' below.

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN (12.07.20)

During the lockdown it's been hard to get out and about. The gyms have been closed, lots of sports haven't been allowed and keeping fit has been hard. Fortunately, at Grendon, the staff like to use their growth mindset and come up with lots of different solutions...

 

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So who did you see? Mr Darby has been getting some golf in recently, Mrs. Rainford has been cycling, Mrs. Smith came up with a fitness routine in her garden, Mr. Windsor has been out for a bike ride, Ms. Richardson has covered hundreds of kilometres running, Mrs. Sparkes has been keeping up with her yoga and Mrs. Nock has been playing boules with her family.

What sports have you been playing during the lockdown?

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN (11.07.20)

We are now in to our final week of updates on the website before the summer holiday and, hopefully, a slightly more normal return to school in September. If there are any urgent bits of information then the website will still be your first port of call as we'll update here first.

Today, Miss Wilson has been looking after some very special animals...

 

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Aren't they lovely! Miss Wilson will have to think of a lot of recipes with eggs in if they're going to be laying that many every day! Maybe you can think of some egg-based recipes for her to use and give them to her when you see her next.

Week Sixteen (04.07.20 - 10.07.20)

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE (10.07.20)

We have our Friday letters from Mrs. Ridley...

Letter to children

Dear Children,

It has been so nice to see more of you this week! Your mums and dads have been telling us how much you have enjoyed being back. The teachers have been telling me how hard you have worked, well done!

There is lots of information about school in September in the parent’s letter. You should know who your new teacher is by now and be able to read a letter from them with your report. Mrs Sparkes has been busy making you all a booklet with some photographs of school showing you where you will be in September. Please have a look at these.

When you come back in September, your old teacher will meet you and you will stay with them for the first few days. You will be in your new classrooms though – have a look in the information booklet and see where you will be!

Remember, school might look a little different but the children and teachers are the same. We know Grendon children have great WE CAN attitudes and know that with all of us working together as a team, we will all settle into the new term quickly in September.

Stay safe everyone,

Mrs Ridley

Letter to parents and carers

Dear Parents,

This week has been all change again in school – we are getting very used to that! It has been lovely to see children from Years 2, 3 and 4 returning to school and excited to be in classrooms again. Thank you to you all for following our guidance so well and for your reports about how much your children have enjoyed being back and the positive difference it has made to them.

Thank you too, to all those who have collected reports from us today – it was lovely to see you all again and we are looking forward to all children being back in September. We will post any reports that haven’t been collected today.

Speaking of which, I can now give you a little more detail about September. More will follow next week. We will put individual year group letters on the website on Tuesday, all being well, that will give you the specific detail you need. You will then have the chance to ask questions or clarify arrangements before school closes for the Summer on July 17th.

I’m sure by now you will have heard that schools are to reopen to ALL children on a FULL TIME basis from September. In order for this to happen, the Government has provided schools with detailed guidance about action to take in order to reduce risk and to keep children, families and staff safe. This will mean many changes to the day to day organisation in school. More detail will follow in Tuesday’s letters.

From now on and into the Autumn term, you will hear me ask on many occasions that you read and comply with all the arrangements described, even if it means you making changes to your usual routines. We can only ensure risks are reduced and everybody stays safe if we all play our part. If we have a confirmed case of Covid-19 in school, it is likely that we will have to close entire year groups for 14 days and we obviously want to do all we can to avoid this situation both to avoid further disruption to children’s learning and to your own working arrangements.

As I have said, more detail will follow on Tuesday, but today I can confirm the following arrangements. Please note, year groups below refer to your child’s new year group. For example, if they are in Year 2 now, you will need to look at arrangements for Year 3.

  • Attendance is compulsory from September. We expect children to come to school. We are already working with families on this. Please contact us on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you feel there are specific issues that we need to work to address regarding attendance in September.
  • We will need to operate staggered start and finish times in September until further notice.
  • For Reception, Years 2, 3 and 5 the school day will be 8.50am – 3.05pm.
  • For Years 1, 4 and 6 the school day will be 9.00am – 3.15pm.
  • We realise that this may not be easy if you have more than one child but have worked miracles to ensure we have only 2 sets of times and that they are only 10 minutes apart!
  • There will be 2 teacher days on 1st and 2nd September for staff only. Children will not attend.
  • Children in Years 2, 3 and 5 will be in school from 8.50am – 3.05pm on Thursday 3rd September. They will not attend school on Friday 4th September.
  • Children in Years 1, 4 and 6 will be in school from 9.00am – 3.15pm on Friday 4th September. They will not be in school on Thursday 3rd September.
  • This will give us the opportunity to welcome and settle children and deal with individual needs as they arise.
  • All children in Years 1 – 6 will be in school on a full time basis from Monday 7th September (times given above for specific year groups).
  • Children will be taught by their ‘old’ teacher until Tuesday 8th September. They will be in their ‘new’ rooms. We will run a full transition process during this time.
  • ‘New’ teachers will teach from Wednesday 9th September.
  • Children new to Reception already have information about their start dates and induction process. Please refer to your information from Mrs Foster if this applies to you.
  • The school kitchen will reopen but will initially provide packed lunches and no hot food. These will be free to all children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 and for those eligible from Years 3 -6.
  • For children in Years 3 -6 who are not eligible for free school meals, these packed lunches will be available to buy at a cost of £2.40 a day.
  • The kitchen staff will make these as varied as possible and may include rolls, wraps or baguettes with a choice of fillings each day as well as fruit and cake or biscuits or yoghurt.
  • Children from any year groups can bring their own packed lunch each day if they would prefer.
  • We will collect information about lunch requirements in September.
  • Children will wear full school uniform as normal – this can be ordered from school and collected in September. Please email enquiry@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you would like to order uniform.
  • Children will be working on an ‘Emergency Curriculum’ for the first half term. It is designed to identify and then close gaps in learning. It will be based around key objectives from the previous year and will have a heavy focus on Reading, Writing, Maths, PE and PSHE.
  • After half term in October, children will move onto a ‘Recovery Curriculum’. This will be broad and balanced with the aim of returning to our usual curriculum by Summer 21.

Tuesday’s letters will contain more detailed information about what school will look like, where children should be dropped and collected from, detail routines and rules and share expectations about all of our roles and responsibilities in this process.

Please wait until you have read that information before contacting us with specific queries as they may well be answered at that point. If they are not, please contact school by phone or on either email address (enquiry@grendon.bham.sch.uk or emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk)  and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs Ridley

The final Work from Home sheets are available on the class pages now. Remember, you can still access all the old sheets at the bottom of each class page if you want to carry on practising your skills over the summer holidays.

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN (09.07.20)

There is one thing everyone at Grendon has. And everyone's is important. Do you know what that is? It's our voice. We can use our voices to share what is happening, to ask for help, to make others feel better or simply just to sing. Miss Featherstone decided she'd like to sing a Disney song...

 

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Ok, we have to admit that not all the teachers have a voice quite as good as that! But everybody's voice is important and even if you're not an amazing singer (yet!) you could still use your voice to make the world a better place. What could you use your voice for?

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND TEN (08.07.20)

You may have noticed from all the information in the Blue Boxes that staff at Grendon are very busy preparing for all the things we need to do to finish this year so everyone gets what they need AND making plans for September. It's very hectic!

Being organised is a great skill to have though. Our office staff are particularly amazing at it as they have so many forms to sort, files to organise and jobs to do that the school wouldn't run without them. Mrs. Lewis has been getting organised at home too and made these...

She's ready for Halloween! That's over three months away! We're very lucky to have such great support staff at Grendon and Mrs. Lewis, Mrs, Rainford, Mr. Worrall and all our cleaners and have done an amazing job throughout the partial closure.

Once again, everyone at Grendon is showing WE CAN!

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND NINE (07.07.20)

Aloha kākou! Pehea 'oe?

What does that say?! Of course - it's part of Mrs. Ridley's challenge and says "Hello everybody, how are you?" Can you tell what language it is? We'll give you a small clue - it's a very tropical place in the Pacific Ocean...

And talking about tropical places isn't nice when it's raining so much! Mrs. Smith has come up with the best plan - stay inside and read!

What books do you like to read? There are so many great books to read so remember to share any you discover when you come back to school. If you don't have access to books you could always go to our Library page by clicking HERE and find free audio books to listen to.

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT (06.07.20)

There are now only two weeks left of school which means this is our penultimate challenge from Mrs. Ridley before the holidays...

 

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That's a great challenge! Maybe you could find some languages from really far away places or maybe even look at languages that aren't spoken much anymore - Wales is only an hour drive away and lots of people speak Welsh there. How would they say "Hello everybody! How are you?" there? Or maybe you have a family member, friend or neighbour who speaks a different language.

You have a few languages to choose from - there are around 6500 of them spoken in the world today...!

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN (05.07.20)

After yesterday's exhausting running and tricky maths we thought we'd give you something a little more serene today. Mrs. Sparkes' daughter has been making some lovely summer cards for her friends...

Isn't that lovely? Could you make some 3D cards? Maybe you could make one for your old teacher. Better still, make one for your new teacher and tell them all the things you like to do!

News about transition and what September will be like is expected to come next week, so make sure you check the website and the blue boxes every day.

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND SIX (04.07.20)

We like to celebrate everyone at Grendon. It doesn't matter if you are in Reception or Year 6, which subjects you like or what you look like - everyone is special at Grendon. Some people like maths, others like English, some like PE and nearly everyone loves playtime!

Lots of us like more than one thing too. What do you do, for example, if you love maths and you love running? Ms. Richardson likes to set challenges...

 

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That's a lot of running! Can you work out the answers to her questions? If you do, you could email the solutions to Ms. Richardson on the Reception page.

With tomorrow being Sunday, we'll probably post something that requires a little less energy!

Week Fifteen (27.06.20 - 03.07.20)

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE (03.07.20)

As usual for a Friday we have some letters from Mrs. Ridley...

Letter to children

Dear children,

There are lots of exciting things happening this week!

The first is that on the adults letter it tells you who your new teacher will be in September – ask them to tell you!

Your new teacher has written you a letter that you will find inside your report when you get it next Friday. They tell you a little bit about themselves and what your new year group will be like.

Don’t worry if you feel a bit nervous about this. When you come back in September, you will be with the teacher who has taught you this year for the first few days. They will help you get used to your new classroom before you meet your new teacher.

We are also excited because some of you in Years 2, 3 and 4 are coming back to school on Monday. We can’t wait to see you. I will be in the playground to meet you and show you where to go. Don’t worry if you are still working from home. We will still put work on the website and don’t forget that you can always email your teacher if you want help or just want to say hello.

I am very proud of you all for using your growth mindset and We Can attitude over the last few months. Keep it up everybody. We will see you soon.

Stay Safe

Mrs Ridley

Letters to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

As I write this on Thursday, we are still awaiting further information from the Government about what September will look like in school. We are expecting a press conference later today and after that schools will receive the guidance. We know that children need to be back at school and we want all of our children back with us, so we will then work hard to ensure we can put the guidance into operation. We do expect the guidance to say that ALL children should be back in school. In this case, our usual school hours, (9.00am – 3.15pm), will be in operation and children will wear school uniform. We believe attendance will be compulsory. We should be in a position to give you more information about September in next Friday’s letter.

I am able to confirm arrangement for the end of this term:

  • School closes for all children on Friday 17th July.
  • ‘Work From Home’ sheets on the website will finish on Friday 10th July.
  • There will be no daily updates on the website from Friday 17th July.
  • The emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk email address will not be in operation from Friday 17th July.
  • School will be closed as usual for the Summer. Staff will not be working and won’t be able to respond to any questions or queries during the holidays.
  • There will still be links to other support agencies signposted on the website if you need further help during the school holidays.
  • For families entitled to free school meals, you will receive one voucher on 20th July that will cover the total amount for the duration of the 6 weeks holiday.
  • On 10th July, we are asking those of you with children not in school to come and collect reports, PE kits that were left in school and any certificates that children have received.  Please read last Friday’s letter or see the blue box above if you need reminding about times.
  • If any Year 6 children have got any work for their ‘Memories’ project, this can also be dropped into school on 10th July.
  • Please also return any reading books you have at home on 10th July.
  • We are unable to send children’s work home this year as we normally do at the end of the year.
  • We know some children like to bring a small gift in as a thank you to their teacher at the end of the year. We suggest this year that a short message to the year group email address would be a better way of doing this.

The other exciting news I can give you this week, is who your child’s teacher will be next year! As stated in previous letters, we expect to run a short period of transition in September where your child will initially be with their ‘old’ teacher but in their new classroom.

Old Class and Teacher
(your child was here!)
  New Class and Teacher
(your child will be here!)
RF - Miss Featherstone move to 1P - Miss Pace
RR - Ms. Richardson move to 1C - Mrs. Collins
1C - Mrs. Collins move to 2W - Miss. Wilson
1P - Miss. Pace move to 2H - Mrs. Harvey
2H - Mrs. Harvey move to 3S - Mrs. Smith
2W - Miss. Wilson move to 3G - Mrs. Godfrey
3G - Mrs. Godfrey move to 4F - Mr. Feely
3S - Mrs. Smith move to 4N - Mr. Norris
4F - Mr. Feely move to 5B - Mr. Bache
4N - Mr. Norris move to 5R - Mrs. Rodgers
5B - Mr. Bache move to 6P - Mrs. Pollitt
5R - Mrs. Rodgers move to 6H - Mr. Hedderley

Finally, we are very much looking forward to welcoming more children from Years 2, 3 and 4 back into school from Monday. You should by now have confirmed your place. Please remember to read the letter that can be found at the bottom of the Covid-19 daily update page on our website and share the information booklet with your children so that they can see how school is different at the moment. We look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs Ridley

Remember, you can access the old messages and old letters by using the drop down yellow boxes. Mrs. Ridley's previous letters to Parents and Carers are all in one place so you don't need to go searching!

This weekend marks another slight relaxation of the lockdown with more businesses allowed to open and rules about seeing friends and family changing. However, please remember to maintain healthy practises and encouraging your children to do the same so we can keep moving in the right direction.

The Work from Home sheets have also been updated today and you can also access old ones on the bottom of each class page. Enjoy your weekend!

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR (02.07.20)

With all the rain we've had this week it feels like we will be under water soon! Fortunately, we have a rather talented musician at school who has a song about that. Or is there more than one musician...?

 

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Who knew Mr. Bache had so many talented brothers?! First Miss Featherstone has a twin sister and now Mr. Bache has EIGHT identical brothers. What is going on with our musicians?!

We've had quite the repertoire of songs over the last one hundred and four days, do you have any favourites?

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND THREE (01.07.20)

It's July! Can you believe it?! We'd normally be thinking about transition, getting ready to say goodbye to our old teachers and hello to our new ones. But things aren't quite normal at the moment. Don't worry though, there are lots of plans being put in place and as soon as we can share them, you will see them here!

Today we're thinking about all the small things in the world...

Mrs Sparkes' daughter found this little caterpillar crawling along (maybe eating everything like in the Hungry Caterpillar?) and Mrs. Smith discovered this very rare moth. It looks like a butterfly but is actually a Scarlet Tiger moth.

Have you seen any insects around you? Now it's summer there are a lot out and about from big bumblebees to tiny ants. Have a look and see what you can find.

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND TWO (30.06.20)

It's gone a bit chilly this week! After all that glorious sun we've had, we've not be used to finding our coats and our jumpers again.

When it's hot all we want to eat is cakes and snacks and ice-cream! We've shown you quite a few pictures of food that the staff at Grendon have made but it's all been sweet treats. Today, very suitably for the weather, Mrs. Fox has been cooking something a little more savoury...

Yum! That looks exactly like the type of food to warm you up on a cold day. What do you like to eat to make you feel cosy? Can you cook any meals or help your family prepare the food? What's your favourite? We might be able to pass on your ideas to our kitchen and dinner supervisor team for when you return!

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND ONE (29.06.20)

It's the start of a brand new week and Mrs. Ridley has a brand new challenge for you...

 

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It looks like we're going to have fun with flags this week! Studying flags has a very tricky name - it's called vexillology. Can you answer all Mrs. Ridley's questions and design your own? We can't wait to see what you produce.

Email your work to mrsridley@grendon.bham.sch.uk

DAY ONE HUNDRED! (28.06.20)

It has been ONE HUNDRED days since we were asked to close our doors to most children. This is by far the longest school closure in living memory and it's been a very strange time. Luckily, we have great children and great staff at Grendon and we have been so delighted to see you all using your Growth Mindset and thinking positively during this period and overcoming every challenge.

Mrs. Ridley set you a task to think about what 100 years in the future might look like. The responses were brilliant! We had children talking about robots, others mentioned how we might travel, some even talked about what they hoped would happen and that we might think about our planet more after all this. Have a look...

 

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We'd like to mark 100 days by saying well done, thank you and we're proud of you all. You have all been brilliant and now we're beginning to move back to normal we can't wait to see you all again and start making all of our futures better. We Can Grendon!

DAY NINETY-NINE (27.06.20)

We have another lovely piece of music from Mr Bache today...

 

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Have you been practising your talents during the school closure? The children who have returned so far have been sharing all the amazing things they've been doing so we can't wait to hear from those children who have not come back yet!

Tomorrow is Day 100, we hope you're looking forward to seeing your work in this space!

Week Fourteen (20.06.20 - 26.06.20)

DAY NINETY-EIGHT (26.06.20)

Friday means it's letters day...

Letter to children

Dear Children,

Thank you to all of you who have been working hard on my 100 years challenge. I have really enjoyed looking at, and reading, all of your ideas. Lots of you have suggested that we might all travel by flying cars – now that is something I really am looking forward to! Some of you suggested that schools would be run by robots – now that is something that I am not looking forward to! Don’t forget to check the website on Sunday and have a look at what everybody else thinks.

Next week, we will be able to tell you who your teacher will be for September. Don’t worry about this. We will help you get to know them when you come back and you will probably spend some time with your old teacher too, to help you move up to your new year group in the best way that we can.

See you soon everybody,

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

We are now 14 weeks into school closure and there are still daily challenges that we face and overcome. You will have heard this week about plans to reduce the social distancing rule from 2m to 1m from 4th July. This does not affect school reopening plans. As you will know if you have read our reopening letters, schools were never asked to guarantee that children could be kept 2m apart, but were asked to teach in groups of 15 or less with a whole array of other actions in place to reduce risk. This hasn’t changed and will not change before the Summer.

You may have read on the website that we are able to open more widely for children in Years 2, 3 and 4 who opted in, via our survey, to return to school before the Summer. We are able to do this within the guidance that is currently set out for schools and are looking forward to seeing at least a few more of you before the Summer. I am very grateful to all of my staff who have worked hard to make this happen.

We still have no information about what September will look like, beyond Government promises that schools will be open to all pupils. We are aware that previously statements haven’t always been stuck to and U-turns have been made. As soon as we have any firm information we will share this and our plans with you.

I know some of you will be needing holiday care for your children. I have details of a holiday club run by Central Coaching that you can find at the bottom of this page if you are interested. We will continue to signpost any information that we receive regarding holiday clubs and play schemes.

There are a few end of term arrangements that I can confirm now. Your child will receive an end of year report as usual, on Friday 10th July. If your child is in school, they will be given their report as usual. If your child hasn’t returned to school, we would like you to collect reports from us, in the waiting shelter near the main pedestrian gates at the following time on Friday 10th July:

9.15am – 10.15am Reception and Year 1

10.30am – 11.30am Year 2 and 3

1.00pm – 2.00pm Years 4, 5 and 6

We have PE kits and some items from coat pegs still in school. Children didn’t take these home if they weren’t in school when school closed. Please come and collect them at the times above, when you pick up your child’s report. Again, if children are in school, we will reunite them with their property – as long as they are named!

Some children have been chosen to receive a book prize and a certificate for their hard work over the year. We will text you and let you know if this is the case, but would again ask you to come and collect certificates at the times above if this applies to your child.

Please also take this opportunity to return any reading books that your children may have at home. We will not be able to implement our reading curriculum in September without these books.

Thinking forward to September, some of you are asking about uniform. It is our intention that the usual uniform policy will apply in September. This can be found on the website in the information section (or click HERE). There is an order form on the blue stripe at the bottom of this page. If you would like to order uniform from school, please email school on enquiry@grendon.bham.sch.uk by Monday 13th July with details of your order. You can use the order form to look at sizes, but please do not return this to school as our risk assessment and action plan requires us to be paper free at present. You will be able to collect this in September – more detail will follow.

I can confirm that those eligible for free school meals will continue to receive vouchers over the Summer holiday. As explained before, this does not apply to all children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 who had been receiving a free meal in school under the Government’s universal free school meals scheme. This has not run during school closure. If your circumstances have changed and you think you are now eligible for free school meals, please contact the school office by phone or email and we will be able to help with this.

Thank you to all of you that have visited our pop-up library with your child. Next week, (week beginning 29th June), will be the last week that this is running and this will only be to return books. You will not be able to borrow any.

Again my thanks for continuing to plough through all the information that we are providing and for following our rules and routines so well. Please continue to look at the website daily as this remains our main form of communication during the school closure.

Thank you for your support,

Mrs Ridley

The work on the class pages has been updated too and Year 6 have a special task to do so make sure you check it out.

Today is also the last chance to be sure your work will feature in our 100 Year commemoration on Day 100. Need a reminder? Find Mrs. Ridley's challenge video on Day Eighty.

DAY NINETY-SEVEN (25.06.20)

What a boiling hot day it is. Remember to stay hydrated and to put on sun lotion and a hat if you're out in the sun.

Today, we have more art from Ms. Weller. It's good to keep practising things you are already great at as you get better and better at it. Have a look at this...

To do this kind of art, all you need is a pencil and a piece of paper. It's called a portrait. Can you draw someone in your family? Or you could find a mirror and do a self-portrait. Save your pictures and show them to us when you're back at school.

DAY NINETY-SIX (24.06.20)

Staff at Grendon have been looking at wildlife again and spotting lots of animals on their walks or even from their windows...

Mrs. Sparkes found these swans and their cygnets going for a paddle, Ms. Richardson saw these blue tits getting seeds from her bird feeder and Mrs. Rodgers spotted this deer creeping around outside her house!

Have a look around your home, can you see any unusual animals?

DAY NINETY-FIVE (23.06.20)

Have you been enjoying your den building challenge? I'm sure you've come up with some amazing fortresses! Mrs. Thompson decided to make the most of the good weather and went for a walk with her daughter...

That looks like they've made an amazing start to their den! It also provides quite a lot of shade from the boiling sun.

Finally, another warning that if you want your work about 100 years in the future to feature on the website you only have five days left to send your emails! Don't miss out!

DAY NINETY-FOUR (22.06.20)

It's Monday so we should have a challenge from Mrs. Ridley but we can't find her anywhere today! We've looked in her office, we've checked the playground and even looked in the stationery cupboard! Where could she be...

 

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Oh, there she is! So she wasn't just hiding from us like we thought! Can you complete her challenge this week? Why not send some pictures of your amazing dens to the adults in your class by email.

Also remember, it's the last week to share your ideas of what 100 years in the future might look like. Send them to mrsridley@grendon.bham.sch.uk and they will feature in this space in six days time!

DAY NINETY-THREE (21.06.20)

Sundays are great day to just go for a walk, have some quiet time and relax so you are ready for a new week tomorrow. Miss. Gwinnett regularly enjoys walking and found this scene on one of her treks...

What a beautiful spot. The photo was taken in one of the parks in Moseley. It's easy to forget all the beautiful places we have right on our doorstep. Have you found any places close to you that you didn't know were there before?

DAY NINETY-TWO (20.06.20)

There's certainly a growing feeling that we are beginning to get back to a more normal life with shops reopening and restrictions being relaxed. However, still make sure you're following the rules in school and at home and make sure everyone keeps as safe as possible. Remember, we will tell you about any changes the second we know so make sure not to listen to rumours and we'll give you the real facts when we can.

In the meantime we carry on. Mrs. Beedon has been getting creative in her garden and made this...

What do you think it is? Click here to reveal!

Isn't that really creative! The picture at night doesn't do it much justice because it looks very pretty. Can you see how she made it? It looks like a waterfall of lights.

Can you think of some creative things you could make? Remember, everything you do at home is important so you're not wasting your time and we'd love to see it all when you get back.

Week Thirteen (13.06.20 - 19.06.20)

DAY NINETY-ONE (19.06.20)

It hasn't been the driest week this week but seeing all the smiles in school has certainly brightened everyone's day! Our new normal means that it's letters day...

Letter to children

Dear Children,

I hope that you are still working hard and remembering to look at the website every day - we still have lots of things to show you!

We know that some of you are starting to come back to school but that some of you are still at home. We are sorry that we cannot do all the things that we usually do in the Summer term before you move up to a new year group.

We usually tell you who your new teacher is and you spend some time with them in your new classroom. You will not be able to do that this year. Don’t worry about this. We will tell you who your new teacher is soon and when you are back after the Summer, we will spend lots of time helping you get to know your new teacher and helping you with the work that you might have been stuck on while you have been at home.

We can’t wait to see you all again. Keep working hard until WE CAN!

Stay Safe

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

We are fast heading towards the end of what has been the strangest Summer term on record and I know you will have many questions about what the end of term will look like and what will happen from September onwards.

We currently have many more questions than answers ourselves. Schools are only getting the same information, at the same time as you all do, from the Government’s press conferences. While I understand that this is a new and challenging situation for all, this is making it very hard to plan for the future as we have to act within the boundaries of the guidance that we receive.

I can tell you that 89 families of children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 responded to our wider opening survey last week, with around half of them indicating that they would like their child to return to school before the Summer break if we are able to provide any provision. We are currently working hard to risk assess and decide what we are able to offer. As I stated last week, any offers are likely to be for part time places and probably only for the last two weeks of term from 6th July. We will be in touch with all families who completed the survey early next week to confirm whether or not we can open more widely and what we can offer your child.

I also want to make you aware at this point, that we are planning to close school for all children during the Summer holidays from 17th July. School has been open throughout this period, including during holidays. I am very proud of, and thankful for, my staff who have enabled this to happen.  We are not aware, as I write, of what the Government plan’s for any catch up provision is, but they have said on more than one occasion that schools will close for the Summer.

The Government has not yet told schools how they would like us to open in September. We are aware that this is a frustrating time for you, as it is for us. We know that the Autumn term may have to look very different from the one that we had planned, but will work tirelessly to ensure that we open as widely as is possible.

We know that children will have gaps to close and we know that many of you are concerned that your child is falling behind. I would like to reassure you that everybody has the same concerns, you are not alone. We will devise a curriculum for September that, not only closes gaps in learning, but supports children’s mental health and personal development after such a prolonged period of isolation.

We will let you know soon who your child’s teacher will be for next year. We are aware that we have not been able to run all the transition activities that we would have done under different circumstances. We want to reduce anxiety and make sure children are well prepared for this change. Please reassure your children that we will plan a period of transition for September and will not jump straight into teaching a curriculum that children are not ready for, with staff that they do not know. More detail will be given over the next few weeks.

Finally, can I remind you all, but especially those of you with children attending at present and those hoping to return before the Summer, that school can only stay open if staff and children remain healthy. We have a risk assessment in place in order to keep risk for staff, children and the community at a low level. We all have a responsibility in ensuring that this remains the case. While the Government have and will continue to relax restrictions, please ensure that you follow the most up to date guidance and are not breaking social distancing rules, or mixing with too many other people outside or inside. Please do not put us and yourselves at risk.

Thank you for your continued support,

Mrs Ridley

And, as ever, the Work from Home sheets have now been updated on the class pages. Please tell us if a link isn't working as we can normally fix it very quickly. Also remember that you can speak to your teachers and teaching assistants by using the emails on the class pages.

Now let's hope for a little more sun and a lovely weekend!

DAY NINETY (18.06.20)

The weather isn't getting much nicer is it? It's been quite stormy this week and it can be fun counting the gaps between the thunder and the lightning. The only problem we have is it's raining too much so we have to stay inside more!

Mrs. Sparkes has been stuck inside with her daughter so she has been using some junk modelling skills...

What great animals! Can you make models out of recyclable things? Look for old boxes, pieces of paper and plastic bottles and the only limit is your imagination!

DAY EIGHT-NINE (17.06.20)

There are now ten days left for you to complete Mrs. Ridley's '100 Years in the Future' task if you'd like your work to feature on the website. Send your emails in when you're done and we'll put them all together to see what Grendon think the future might look like.

Today we have another piece of music from Mr. Bache for you...

 

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This week has seen a few more shops open, the football starts again tonight and we can see things are, slowly, beginning to get better. So keep using your Growth Mindset and staying positive and we'll all be back in school soon!

DAY EIGHTY-EIGHT (16.06.20)

How have you been getting on with Mrs. Ridley's latest challenges? Have you been thinking of any of your own?

Challenges are a great way of using our Growth Mindset. It helps us think in different ways and to persevere with whatever we're trying to achieve. A few of the teachers have been trying to work out how they can still have film time with their family as all the cinemas are closed. Do you want to see what ideas they came up with...

Working from left to right, Mrs Foster turned her summer house in to cinema, Mrs Thompson created an outside camping experience and Mrs. Godfrey stayed warm next to the chiminea!

Where else could you watch your favourite films? Could you make a fort? Or maybe turn your bedroom in to a cinema? So many ideas. And what would you watch? And what would your snacks be? There's so much to think about... you can tell us what you came up with when you're back at school!

DAY EIGHTY-SEVEN (15.06.20)

We have a few more children in school today and it's lovely to see some new faces. Remember if you're in years 2, 3, 4 or 5 and you are interested in returning to school IF we can open a little more then you need to complete the questionnaire above by 5pm today.

It is Monday so we have another challenge from Mrs. Ridley. This week the challenge has lots of steps so you have to watch the video before you reveal the clues!

 

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You will need your clues. You can reveal one at a time by pressing each one...

Clue One

Something made of plastic

Clue Two

Something that starts with the letter 's'

Clue Three

Something blue

Clue Four

Something that makes a noise

Clue Five

Something that is a sphere

Clue Six

Something old

Clue Seven

Something that feels rough

Clue Eight

Something taller than you

Did you complete it?! How quickly could you do it? Did you make some of your own clues?

Also, remember Mrs. Ridley's challenge from last week - get your pictures, drawings, videos to Mrs. Ridley and they will feature on the website on Day 100. 

DAY EIGHTY-SIX (14.06.20)

Yesterday we told you about some physical exercise challenges you could do, today we're all about treating yourself too! It's all about balance! Mrs. Godfrey is regularly keeping fit, she's a very talented dancer too but we've not been given permission to show that to you...yet!

However, she has allowed us to show you these amazing treats...

They look very yummy! Although all the takeaway places are beginning to open, it's still good to cook as much of your own food as possible - it's cheaper and healthier.

DAY EIGHTY-FIVE (13.06.20)

After a few rainy days the sun is back and what better way to get moving again that doing a little bit of exercise or challenging yourself to go a little further. That is exactly what Mr. Hedderley has decided to do...

 

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Remember, as Mr Hedderley said, the challenge is against yourself only. Our Growth Mindset tells us we should always be trying to improve so, if you can only do one push up today, you might be able to do two tomorrow!

Let's hope the weather stays nice and sunny for a bit longer so we can do lots of fun things outside.

Week Twelve (06.06.20 - 12.06.20)

DAY EIGHTY-FOUR (12.06.20)

We are now two weeks in to our phased reopening and there are a few changes you need to be aware of. Please check the Blue Boxes regularly and you can also find a few new important documents at the bottom of the page as well as 'What's changed?' information below our daily messages.

Mrs. Ridley also has her usual Friday letters for you...

Letter to the children

Dear Children,

Well, I’ve certainly seen a few more of you in school this week – you have made me smile as always. We can’t wait until we can see even more of you back in school as soon as we can.

Remember that this week, our pop-up library has started. I know you enjoyed choosing your book if you visited. There is also a new website that lets you download e-books to read at home. Click on the link in the blue box and it will take you to our new Library page on the website where you can find out more.

I know that it is getting harder for some of you to keep staying at home. I know you are finding it harder now to continue with all the work that we are putting on the website for you. Please remember that you are all Grendon children and WE CAN! Think about what you can do if you are stuck. Can you ask an older brother or sister? Can you remember something that you already know that will help you? Can you email your teacher and ask for help? Remember, don’t think about what we can’t do…think about what WE CAN do! I am proud of you all.

Stay Safe Everyone,

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

We have reached the end of week 12 of the school closure and I know that it is continuing to be a challenging time for us all. We are creating ‘another new normal’ every step of the way as we react and respond to new developments.

We have slightly more children in school this week and it is honestly a pleasure to see them. They never fail to make me smile! We have 44% of Year 6, 30% of Year 1 and 39% of Reception in school currently, with more children expected back each week.  We are open to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. If you would like your child in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 to return, then please just let us know. We are asking for a week’s notice to adjust group sizes and staffing if necessary, but it would be lovely to see even more smiling faces.

You may have heard the Government say this week that, although they have dropped their plans to ensure all primary school children return to school a month before the Summer holidays, they would encourage schools to open to more children if they have the capacity.

We are keen to look at what, if anything, we could offer children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 before the Summer holidays. To do this, we need to know what the demand for places would be. If you are a parent of a Year 2, 3, 4 or 5 child please could you click on the link below in order to tell us whether you would like your child to return before the Summer holiday IF we were to be able to offer any time in school. ALL Year 2, 3, 4 and 5 parents need to do this – it is a simple yes or no response and the choice is entirely yours. Please reply by 5pm on Monday 15th June.

To be clear, I am not saying that we will be able to have children back. It certainly wouldn’t be a full time place and may even be only for a week. I cannot promise that your child would be taught by their own teacher but we would look to do this wherever possible. Please think carefully before opting in or out. You will not be able to change your mind at a later date as, if we are able, we will base planning around numbers that we collect now. We will not have the flexibility to make any changes at a later date as group sizes and staffing are determined by Government guidance.

If you would like to find out a little more about what school is currently like, scroll down this page and see the heading "What has changed?'. You will also find our Reopening Action Plan and a booklet showing photographs of school that will show you some of the changes in the PDFs at the bottom of the page.

We will let you know what, if any, provision we are able to offer as soon as we are able to.

There is a change with free school meal vouchers that I need to bring to your attention. They have previously been valid for four months. This time has now been cut to two months so please ensure they are spent. If you are entitled, your vouchers are for £15 per week per child. Some schools are issuing these for several weeks together in which case you get a larger amount in one voucher but then nothing for the next few weeks. As we are not providing lunches even if children are in school we will continue to ensure you receive £15 per week. Some schools may now be sending less as they are providing some food in school.

Please continue to stay safe and follow the guidance in place. We need to keep the risk low enough to ensure school can re-open completely as soon as it is safe to do so. We miss you all.

Best Wishes

Mrs Ridley

The Work from Home sheets are now available on class pages as well. Remember, Mrs Ridley's challenge from Monday also asks you to send in your thoughts, pictures and ideas for what the world might look like in 100 years - your work will feature in this space!

DAY EIGHTY-THREE (11.06.20)

On a horrible day like this, when it's raining loads and the sky is grey it can be a good idea to just take a break, relax and do something calming. It's certainly been quite strange at times over the last 83 days so Mrs. McCarthy has been making sure she takes time out to relax...

She has been using mindfulness colouring books and taking a moment to be calm. What do you do to relax and take a breather? Having some quiet time is a great way to recharge your batteries ready to approach a new or hard task.

DAY EIGHTY-TWO (10.06.20)

How are you getting on thinking about what the future will be like? It's hard to not think about Space when we think about the future, it is exciting to think we might be able to visit new worlds or travel in Space. Just over a week ago, if you have been watching the news, you may have read all about the SpaceX and NASA working together to launch a manned rocket into Space. You can see the launch by clicking HERE

At the moment we can't go to Space but as our growth mindset tells us, we just can't go to Space YET. Miss Gwinnett has been thinking about travelling to Space and visiting places like the Moon. She's been learning how to take photos of the Moon and shared these...

It's great to see all the detail of the moon, it's hard to see that just by using our eyes. Have a look in the night sky and see what you spot, there might be a shooting star, there might be a satellite or even a rocket taking the next astronauts in to space.

DAY EIGHTY-ONE (09.06.20)

How are you getting on with Mrs. Ridley's challenge? Remember, your work can be on the website if you send her an email of your drawings, ideas or photos. Have you thought of what the world could be like in 100 years? Maybe you've thought about a brand new invention or what clothes we might be wearing!

One subject which is really helpful for us to think about when considering the future is science. In science we can try out new ideas and learn new things to help us think in new ways. Mrs. Pollitt has been using science at her house...

 

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She got some things wrong! But getting things wrong is good thing! We learn far more by getting things wrong than we do by getting things right all the time. Do you think you could help Mrs. Pollitt understand why her experiment went the way it did?

DAY EIGHTY (08.06.20)

It's Day Eighty! It's such a long time since we've had the school open to all of you and we can't wait to see everyone again. We've spent a lot of time thinking about all the things we have done, or even some of the things we've missed, but today Mrs. Ridley wants you to look forward...

 

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It's great to think of what the future might be like, think of all the ways you could make this world a better place. Remember to email your ideas, pictures or videos to mrsridley@grendon.bham.sch.uk and we'll put as many as of them up on the website as we can on Day 100 (28th June 2020)!

DAY SEVENTY-NINE (07.06.20)

It's been really lovely seeing a few familiar faces in school last week and in Year 6 they were all talking about some of their favourite experiences in class. One of the best moments was the cooking element of their Design Technology lessons and it got Mr. Darby inspired...

Mr Darby said, "The food tasted so good I used the homemade recipe during a recent family BBQ. My favourite food is chicken tikka and steak; during the BBQ we ate both - delicious.  I did not eat all of this on my own though, my family soon came running once it was ready to eat!"

Have you used any of the recipes you learnt at school? Can you remember them? Most year groups did some amazing cooking or baking and we know they were all amazing as Mrs. Ridley tasted all of them and had a big smile on her face!

DAY SEVENTY-EIGHT (06.06.20)

Some days we decide to just have a nice piece of music to share with you. We have a lot of very good singers in the school but two particularly talented musicians in Mr. Bache and Miss. Featherstone. Today, Mr. Bache is playing a piece of music you may recognise from a recent Disney film...

 

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It's also a good message. Some things don't change whatever strange things are going on in the world. Your family is there for you, your friends will be your friends and school will be there to help you in any way we can. Are there any other songs you think sum up this moment in time - you never know, we might be able to put in a request!

Week Eleven (30.05.20 - 05.06.20)

DAY SEVENTY-SEVEN (05.06.20)

It is the end of our first week as a partial reopened school! Well done to everyone involved in opening the school and to all those who have been following the safety guidance, we are very proud of the fact we have been able to open safely to some children as soon as we have.

However, our commitment to providing communication to those not yet at school doesn't waiver and we have Mrs. Ridley's letters as usual...

Letter to children

Dear Children,

I can’t believe it is now June! The sun has been shining and I hope you have been able to spend some time outside.

This time of year is usually a really busy one in school with lots of trips, visits and events to look forward to. We are sorry that you are not at school for this to happen this year.

We have got some exciting changes to tell you about though! We know how much you love to read. I know some of you have been busy trying to learn a poem for my challenge this week but we want you to read even more!

From next week, you will be able to come into the playground to choose a book to take home from our pop-up library if you would like to do so. Don’t worry if you are already in school, we will bring the pop-up library to your classrooms.

We have also found a way to let you download e-books at home. Additionally, Miss Caro has set up a new email address for you to email her and ask for books about something that you are interested in, or by your favourite author, so that you can come and collect them.

All the information can be found on our new Library page under News and Events. Have a look and come and visit the pop-up library if you can. It will be lovely to see you.

Stay Safe

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

As you will have read, we have been open to more children this week. It has been an absolute delight to see the smiling faces and enthusiasm of the children that have returned. Thank you for ensuring timings, rules and routines have been followed. This has ensured that the week has run really smoothly, as you will have seen for yourselves.

We know some of you wanted to wait a little longer and were still considering whether to send your Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children back to school. We are able to have your children back when you feel you want them to return, but now ask you to give us one week’s notice before they return in order for us to confirm times (which may now have changed to those that were allocated for a 1st June start date) and staffing levels. You can contact school by phone or by emailing emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you would like your child to return.

If your child is back at school, can I remind you that normal attendance procedures apply. You need to phone school and report any absence each morning as you would have done previously. We will contact you if this isn’t done. It is vital that we know reasons for any absence.

As we are only currently offering part time places, free school meal vouchers will continue to be provided for those children who are eligible. The Government had said that they would not fund this through May half term, but announced in the middle of half term that they would! This decision was obviously too late for schools to act at the time. We can now ensure that you get these vouchers. On 8th June you will receive a £30 voucher instead of the usual £15 per child per week to cover that week and the week missed over half term. Following that, it will return to a £15 per week payment.

We currently have no information about opening to other year groups unfortunately. We are only getting our information from the Government’s daily press conferences and via the media the same as you do, so I am not able to offer any more information here. Apologies for this.

We are continuing to work very hard to ensure we offer the best possible provision to all of our children during this time. I have two new developments to report here. As you know, we have been in phone contact with many, but not all, of our families throughout school closure. From 15th June, we will call all families of children who are not attending in order to provide further support and information. This may not be from your child’s current teacher as most are in school teaching full time. The call may be from a private number. We will leave a message if you miss the call and attempt to phone you back. It would be great to speak to as many of you as we can.

We also know how important it is to ensure children are reading. We are not able to do this in the same way as we would have done normally, but are launching a new ‘Reading for Pleasure’ drive. You will find more information about this signposted from the blue boxes on the website, so please have a look at our new Library page. We have information and passwords that will allow children to access and download a wide selection of e-books from home and have set up a new email address: library@grendon.bham.sch.uk in order for children to talk about books and engage in a conversation with members of staff about books and reading. We are even launching a pop-up library service. You will be able to come into the playground at allocated times and choose a book to take home and read. Social distancing and hygiene procedures will be in place to ensure this is done safely. Books will then be returned into a book return box and not put back into circulation for a period of time for safety. Children will be able to request books by a particular author or subject by emailing library@grendon.bham.sch.uk before collection. This service will be available from Tuesday 9th June between 1.30pm – 2.45pm and will be a weekly event. Reception and Year 1 will be asked to come on Tuesdays, Year 2 and Year 3 on Wednesdays and Years 4, 5 and 6 on Fridays.

If children are in school, we will visit each group with a library trolley for children to choose a book from if they wish. Social distancing and hygiene practices will be in place to ensure this is safe.

Finally, after a period of consultation. during which no objections were raised, Birmingham City Council have agreed to the formal closure of our Nursery Class that hasn’t been open for the past two years. The age range of school will be changed from 3 – 11 years to 4 – 11 years. This gives us the opportunity to continue to move forward with our plan to work towards offering some form of before and after school provision as we are aware that there is a need for this. This process, as with many, has been slowed by the current situation with Covid-19 but we will continue to take the next steps in this process as soon as we are able.

Many thanks for your continued support during this time.

Stay Safe

Mrs Ridley

We also have the Work from Home sheets back on the class pages and there is exciting news from the Library which you can find under the News and Events tab. Have a great weekend and remember we will be here EVERY day!

DAY SEVENTY-SIX (04.06.20)

Although the weather has made a little turn for the worse lately, it has been a lovely few weeks recently and staff at Grendon have been taking the opportunity to get some exercise in by going for a walk in their local environment.

It's easy to forget what we have a round us but there is a lot to see...

Mrs Sparkes discovered some horses in a field on a walk with her daughter, Miss Wilson has started feeding a hedgehog that visits her every night, Mrs. Smith also discovered some horses while walking a dog and Mrs. Thompson saw these ducks swimming in pond while exploring a nature park with her daughter.

Have you seen any wildlife that you haven't seen before? It's not just big animals too, lots of insects are out at the moment from big fat bumblebees to dainty butterflies that flutter by... Have a good look around you and tell us what you see.

DAY SEVENTY-FIVE (03.06.20)

We have been looking at some of the positives about having time at home and one of them has been starting projects or practising hobbies. Miss Pace has shown you all her amazing cooking skills before and she's at it again...

Even though she is back in school every day teaching her 'bubble' she has taken the opportunity to try out some new recipes too. These look delicious!

It's good if you can think of ways of improving things you are already good at, keep pushing yourselves to try more complicated tasks. If you're a baker it might be trickier recipes, if you're great a sport it might be getting faster or stronger. And always remember... We Can!

DAY SEVENTY-FOUR (02.06.20)

We have more pictures today of people starting a project and working really hard to achieve what they set out to do. We use our growth mindset to help us work around problems and think of new ways of doing things. Look at this project Mrs. Richardson has completed...

You can see from the small picture in the middle what it looked like at the start, what an amazing transformation! Have you made changes to anything since we've been closed? Maybe you've rearranged your bedroom or sorted out your toys. It can be quite nice to get things tidy when you have the time to do it. The classes at school have all had to be changed so they will have to be rearranged one day when you're all back too!

DAY SEVENTY-THREE (01.06.20)

School has reopened to some children and it is lovely to hear stories about what you have been up to during the closure. However, we carry on as normal online too so it's the normal Monday challenge from Mrs. Ridley...

 

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That looks like a lot of fun! You can be as creative as you want and if you make a really neat copy of your poem then maybe we could make a book of them when we get back to school!

DAY SEVENTY-TWO (31.05.20)

Today is the last day of May and the last day of the full school closure. It's a good time to reflect on all the things that have happened and start preparing for the future. Unfortunately, we still won't be seeing all of you tomorrow but hopefully that's not too far away either.

It's been a massive 72 days since we closed our doors to most pupils under the direction of the government. That will the longest time off school all of you have had since you joined - summer holidays are only around 40-45 days. Luckily we have still been able to give you projects and work to do and these will carry on being available until everybody is back in school.

What have you done in your time off? Mrs. Williams has been working hard every day tending to her allotment. She's been creative, she's recycled things, she's looked after nature, she's persevered and she's had a "We Can" attitude! Have a look...

It's a great feeling to see how all your hard work pays off in the end. We can't wait to see you all and for all of you to tell us what you have been doing.

A new stage starts tomorrow but these pages will still be updated until we can see you all again, so keep visiting us to see what's going on. We'll see you soon...

DAY SEVENTY-ONE (30.05.20)

Are you enjoying the lovely weather? It is one of the sunniest Springs ever according to the Met Office. It's also set to be the driest May on record. So our staff have been doing what they need to to keep their gardens healthy...

Mrs. Nock has been getting her family to help, Mrs. Beedon has been making sure all the school plants are well looked after and Miss Waite-Wright has been keeping her plants hydrated too. Have you got a garden you can look after? Or maybe you have some plants in your house that you can care for. You can tell us all about what you have been growing when you get back to school.

Week Ten (23.05.20 - 29.05.20)

DAY SEVENTY (29.05.20)

It is Friday but as it's half term we don't have any letters from Mrs. Ridley or any new Work from Home sheets on your class pages. They will both return next week.

What we do have is a very special video from the staff...

 

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The sun is here and things are beginning to, slowly, get a bit more normal. There is another update in the Blue Boxes above and we open to some more children on the 1st June. We can't wait to see you. For those of you not returning yet, we will keep updating this page so you can see what is going on!

DAY SIXTY-NINE (28.05.20)

We've been talking about the positives of having all this time at home and one of them is certainly the chance to be with our pets more. Lots of the teachers have pets, you may have seen Mrs Pollitt playing noughts and crosses with her cat or Mrs. Suthers taking her pet lizard for a walk in previous messages. Today, we have another video compilation of more staff with their pets...

 

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Do you have any pets? Have you taught them any new tricks? We think some of the teachers have just been missing teaching so much that they've been teaching their pets instead! Although cats and dogs don't have the neatest handwriting...!

Tomorrow we have a very special video for you so remember to come back and see it. Enjoy the sun and stay safe.

DAY SIXTY-EIGHT (27.05.20)

Some of you may know Ms. Weller loves her art, you may have seen her drawing around school. At the moment we have to think of different ways to use our skills, and the time we have, so Ms. Weller decided to take on a big project...

 

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Now we better use our first 'Don't try this at home' of this lockdown - we don't think your family would be too happy if you drew all over the walls! But Ms. Weller can because she is an adult and it's her house.

Can you think of any really big activities you could do that you don't normally have time for?

DAY SIXTY-SEVEN (26.05.20)

Mrs. Ridley has got us thinking about all the things we can do this week. All those things that maybe you haven't done in a while or new things you've never done before. Using our Growth Mindset we can see the positives in all situations.

One example is that it's great time to see wildlife at the moment. The roads are quieter and the animals are all enjoying the peace and exploring more. It also gives us an opportunity to look for wildlife more often. Today, Mrs. Sparkes has been showing her daughter caterpillars turn in to butterflies!

Aren't they beautiful! Sometimes we can get a little bit busy to see the amazing things in the world that are right in front of us. Have you spotted anything near you that you didn't know about before?

DAY SIXTY-SIX (25.05.20)

We hope you are enjoying the very sunny Bank Holiday Monday so far. Remember to take care in the sun and keep yourselves hydrated. Even though it is the holiday, Mrs. Ridley still has her weekly challenge for you...

 

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We also have the answers from the challenges she set you last week. You can still find the video below in 'Previous messages to our Grendon Family' but if you're ready for the answers you can press the reveal button!

REVEAL THE ANSWERS!

 

Enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday and the rest of the week. Remember to keep checking in to see what's happening and for all the latest information.

DAY SIXTY-FIVE (24.05.20)

Over the time we have been closed, we have shown you some of the amazing talent we have at Grendon and we've still not run out of videos and pictures to show you! We've seen lots of amazing pieces of art , baking, challenge solving, creativity and, most importantly, hard work and perseverance.

Today we're returning to some of the music talent we have at Grendon. We're not sure if this is a duet or a trio...

 

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What a lovely piece of music to relax on a Sunday. It's great to see people working around the lockdown and thinking of different ways to collaborate. Can you think of a way of completing a task with someone whose not in your house?

DAY SIXTY-FOUR (23.05.20)

And we start the weekend by wishing everyone who is celebrating Eid al-Fitr over the next two days, a lovely time with your families.

They will be slightly unusual festivities, like all ones have been this year, as we can't go out and celebrate in the same ways we normally do. However, our growth mindset tells us that we should try and think of different ways to celebrate and make the most of every situation.

Mrs. Smith made this lovely image using flowers to help us remember WE CAN!

Have a lovely Saturday and we'll be back tomorrow with another amazing video from some very talented teachers!

Week Nine (16.05.20 - 22.05.20)

DAY SIXTY-THREE (22.05.20)

Today would be the last day of the first summer term normally but it is still the last day, we think, of our current arrangements. Next week is half term so, for the first time since the closure, the school is closing its doors to all children and staff to refresh ready for a possible partial reopening on the 1st June. We await a final decision from the Government and that should be next week.

Today, we have our letters from Mrs. Ridley and the Work from Home sheets are on the class pages as normal. Next week however, there will not be a letter from Mrs Ridley (we have something very very special ready instead though!) or new Work from Home sheets; these will return on June 5th.

Letter to children

Dear Children,

This week has been VERY busy, making plans to have some of you back in school. If you are coming back, make sure you talk with your family about how school will be different. Some things will be exactly the same though, so there is nothing to worry about. We can’t wait to see you.

The most important job I have done this week though, is to put some of the cards, pictures and letters that you have been sending me up on the wall in my office. If you watch my challenge video next Monday, you will be able to see some of them. Every time I am trying to make a really hard decision, I look up at your work and remember that we really do have the best children in Birmingham at Grendon – but shhhhh, don’t tell other schools that, they might be jealous!

As next week is actually half term, I am telling you that you can all have a week off work! Is that a cheer I can hear? After that work will continue as normal on the website. Look out for something new happening after the holiday too – we want to encourage you to read more. After all, Dr Suess says:

The more you read,

the more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

the more places you’ll go!

Stay Safe Everyone,

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

It is now nine weeks since school closed. I know from the responses we have had to the possibility of school reopening, there are still very mixed feelings about how far we, as a country, have moved along the road to re-establishing some form of normality.  I would like to reassure you that the confusion or anxiety that I know many of you are feeling is entirely normal in this situation. All any of us can do, is to make the best decisions we can for our families and I know that this is what you are doing.

For those of you with children in Years 2, 3, 4 or 5 and for those of you making the decision not to send your Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 children back to school, we will continue to provide ‘Work from Home’ on our website that will be updated each Friday. Staff will continue to answer questions, look at examples of work and provide support through the year group email addresses that we have provided. Please email us – it is making teachers very happy to hear from you!  We will also continue with safe and well calls on Monday mornings to some of our families and will try and extend this to other families where we can.

For those of you with children returning to school, you should by now have received your letter detailing the arrangements. Please contact us on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you haven’t.  It is vital that we all stick to the routines outlined. Please ensure your child is in the playground at the time specified. Please do not be early or late. We have ensured that entry and exit times are staggered to avoid mixing of groups, but obviously need your support to achieve this.  Gates will open automatically at specific times to help with this – please remember not to push them!

Please also be aware that, as we are asking you not to come early and as we cannot manage children coming into school at other times, there will be no ‘wet bell’ rung in the mornings if it is raining. Children will only be greeted in the playground at the allocated time. Thank you for your help with this.

Although it is difficult to even know what day of the week it is at the moment, can I remind you that it is, in theory, half term next week! School is closing completely for the first time since Christmas. Website updates will continue as usual. There will be no safe and well calls made on Monday and no ‘Work from Home’ posted on Friday 29th May. You may want to keep this week’s work for after the holiday. There will also be no vouchers from Edenred on Monday, but you should expect these to start again on Monday 1st June.

Finally, I would like to remind you that although we have all of our plans in place, we still do not know whether the Government will give schools the go ahead to open. Please keep checking the website. The blue box above the daily update will contain the most up to date information that we have. It may very well be a last minute decision by the Government, so be prepared!

It seems likely then, that school is about to change again, with us opening to more pupils. We know that this has, and will, involve changing plans and moving to yet another new normal. Thank you for your support during this hugely challenging time. Together WE CAN come out of this and I know that relationships will be stronger than they previously were.  I look forward to the version of the new normal in which we can have all of our children back in school safely.

Stay safe,

Mrs Ridley

Keep checking the blue boxes daily, they will have the most important information in. The website will be updated daily over the half term break and, as mentioned above, we have a very special video coming next Friday. Enjoy the break and stay safe in the sun!

DAY SIXTY-TWO (21.05.20)

Are you finding Mrs. Ridley's challenges really hard? The answers will be appearing in the next few days so keep using your growth mindset and keep trying to come up with solutions.

Today, Ms Richardson has been brushing up on an old talent. Have a look at these...

Aren't they good! It takes quite a lot of practise to be able to make these but they look beautiful. And, as mentioned yesterday, it's Mental Health Awareness week and being kind is one of the most important things you can do - so maybe give a creation you make to a family member or post it to a friend.

DAY SIXTY-ONE (20.05.20)

Most days we give you a little picture and some information about something your teachers, TAs or support staff have been doing. Today we're going to do something a little different...

This week is Mental Health Awareness week (18th - 24th May) with the focus on being kind. So instead of us showing you a picture of something we have been doing, we'd love you to tell us about something you've done to make someone else feel happy. It doesn't need to be big, just something to make someone smile. You can email your teachers if you'd like.

And always remember the Grendon motto, "We Can!"

DAY SIXTY (19.05.20)

How are you getting on with Mrs. Ridley's challenge? They are quite tricky this week. Have you thought of any of your own? Miss Pace has thought of a challenge. Can you see what she has done?

She drew these elephants using one line. Can you follow the line from start to finish? Try drawing a picture without taking your pencil of the piece of paper. It's harder than it looks...

DAY FIFTY-NINE (18.05.20)

It's the start of a new week and we are continuing to make plans for a possible reopening of school on the 1st June 2020 to some children. Please note the Blue Box above and there is a letter that accompanies it at the bottom of the page. You will also note we have added a 'Previous Letters to Parents' section below as well - this is for your convenience should you wish to look at them all in one place.

But back to our current normal and that means it's time for a challenge from Mrs. Ridley again...

 

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Looks like you'll really have to get your thinking caps on for those! Perhaps if you solve them you can think of your own brainteasers to challenge teachers when you get back to school! Have fun!

DAY FIFTY-EIGHT (17.05.20)

Over the time we have been closed we have talked about all kinds of things you could be doing. We've talked about keeping fit, being creative, looking after animals and having fun. Well today, we have some videos that include all of them! Our Year Six teachers have been interacting with their pets...

 

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Mr Hedderley has been training his dog while keeping fit and Mrs. Pollitt has been playing noughts and crosses with her cat! Do you have any pets you can play games with or train to do new things? If you don't have a pet try looking for some wildlife, there are lots of strange things animals do when we're not looking!

DAY FIFTY-SEVEN (16.05.20)

Although there is a lot of talk about schools reopening, at the moment we have to just carry on until we know for definite what is happening. Even though we're still closed to most children, there are still lots of things we need to do at school and the garden is one of them! Mrs. Beedon takes great pride in the Grendon Garden (we have a special place on the website for it HERE) and has made sure she's been looking after all the plants since we've been closed.

And of course it isn't just the plants. What is this?

It's the fairy garden! Got to look after the fairies too! The one at school has been looked after, Mrs. Beedon is looking after this one and Miss Caro has sent in a picture of hers as well...

So we have plenty of places for the fairies to live and play. Can you make a fairy garden? You don't need much space to make a little area for them. Have a go and take a picture to show your teacher.

Week Eight (09.05.20 - 15.05.20)

DAY FIFTY-SIX (15.05.20)

Our usual Friday letter from Mrs. Ridley is now available...

Letter to children

Dear children,

If you are in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 I am sure that you are all jumping up and down with excitement because we think that it will soon be safe enough for you to come back to school. We can’t wait to see you. We have missed you all - school is far too quiet!

Don’t worry if you are in Years 2, 3, 4 or 5 though as we certainly haven’t forgotten you! We will keep updating our website as usual and don’t forgot you can email me on mrsridley@grendon.bham.sch.uk or your teachers (email addresses are on the class pages). They would love to hear from you.

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who filled in the questionnaire. We are listening to what you think and will talk to you all about the results when you are back at school. It certainly shows how proud you are of our school. 100% (that’s all of you!) said that Grendon taught you that ‘We Can’! That made me very proud and shows that you have used your ‘We Can’ attitude and growth mindset all the way through this challenge. You are all superstars!

Stay safe everyone,

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

Well, what a long week this has been following the Government announcement that schools COULD open from June 1st as long as the Covid alert system says that it is safe to do so.

The guidance for schools is available on gov.uk if you would like to read it but I will summarise the main points below:

Schools should reopen to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as well as continuing to be open for children of key workers and vulnerable children from all year groups.

The government acknowledge that primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff.

Schools are being asked to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission by teaching children in small groups, not allowing these groups to mix and increasing cleaning and hygiene routines.

All staff and children attending school and their households will be entitled to a test if they display symptoms.

Where a school has a positive case of Covid-19, the rest of their class or group would be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

The government are strongly encouraging children in eligible year groups to attend however parents/ carers will not be penalised for keeping their children at home. Parents will not be fined for school non-attendance at this time and schools not held to account for attendance figures.

There is no requirement for staff or children to wear Personal Protective Equipment, masks etc. unless an adult is caring for a symptomatic child.

At Grendon, reopening for the children suggested, would mean that we increase the percentage of children in school from 4% currently, to around 49% in one step.

Because we are keen to have our children back in school and are keen to get on and close gaps in learning, we have worked tirelessly all week to try to find ways of making this possible. Our conclusion is that there is no safe way to manage this significant increase in pupil numbers given that staffing levels are reduced (clinically vulnerable adults continue to work from home in line with guidance) and the requirement to teach in separate rooms in groups of less than 15.

We are eager to offer some provision to those targeted year groups though and have found a way to do this in a way that we consider to be the safest possible, one in which we lower the risk as much as we can for your children and my staff. 

If on June 1st the Government gives us the go ahead to open, we can offer all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 a part time place (morning or afternoon session) each day.  This would be in their classroom, with one of their teachers.

I know that this may not be what you were expecting, and I apologise for any inconvenience that this causes. I make no apology for putting the health and safety of your children and my staff at the forefront of decisions being made. We know that by taking this approach, we will have around 25% of children on site at the same time. We know that this is manageable and that we can implement all the stringent cleaning and hygiene guidelines and minimise the number of social interactions in order to reduce the risk for us all. This makes it as safe as possible given current risks for your children to attend school. 

It also gives us the opportunity to increase provision, working towards full time if and when restrictions on sizes of groups and staff attendance are lifted, less children than we expect come back to school, or we have the go ahead to open for other year groups before the Summer.

I will write to all parents of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils early next week, when I am able to confirm details of all the arrangements that are in place to protect us all.

We haven’t forgotten about all the rest of our children in Years 2-5. The plan above allows us scope to arrange similar provision for them if and when the Government allows us to. In the meantime, we will continue to update the website daily and my letters and challenges will continue.  Work from Home sheets will continue to be updated each Friday, although with reduced content for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as the expectation is that children will be in school for half a day.

I would like to thank you again for your overwhelming support during this hugely challenging time. Please be assured that we are doing all we can to work towards having all children in school as soon as we can. I finish by making it very clear that the plan to reopen school to more children remains a conditional one. It will NOT HAPPEN on 1st June unless the Government gives the country the go ahead to move onto Stage 2 of their plan.

Stay safe,
Mrs Ridley

It is a rapidly changing situation at the moment so remember to check back here regularly for the latest news and advice.

Also, it's Friday so the new Work from Home sheets are now available on class pages - enjoy!

DAY FIFTY-FIVE (14.05.20)

We always try to look for positives at Grendon and focus on the things we can do to make the world better. We all know that it's a strange time but it does give us the opportunity to do things we might otherwise not have had time to do. If we can combine those little tasks with making the environment nicer and helping wildlife then it's even better. Mrs. Smith decided it was time to smarten up her birder feeder so the birds had treats to eat...

While she was at it she also decided to smarten up her table so she could watch the birds too! Have you seen any wildlife out and about? Because it's a little less noisy at the moment you may see animals that you normally wouldn't.

Finally, a note to again acknowledge the change of advice from the government this week. School is a hive of activity whilst we do our best to accommodate all the expectations of the government, parents, children and staff and tomorrow we will have a letter from Mrs. Ridley that will set out the next steps. Thank you for your patience.

DAY FIFTY-FOUR (13.05.20)

Once again we start the day by pointing you to the Blue Boxes above. The next stage of the lockdown is a rapidly changing situation and we, as school, are doing our best to make sure we keep you informed at all times. Please check the Blue Boxes regularly, it will always contain the most up to date information as soon as we have it.

However, until further notice, we carry on as we have been. And we have been showing you some brilliant problem solving and cooking this week. Cooking is always a little bit of problem solving as you have to follow a recipe and maybe make changes based on your ingredients or use different tools than the instructions might suggest.

Mr Bache and Miss Gwinnett have been making treats...

Can you guess who made each one? They certainly look very yummy. We didn't know we had so many brilliant cooks in school! We hope you've had chances to practise your cooking skills and the first thing you do before cooking is what we're being reminded to do all the time - wash your hands!

DAY FIFTY-THREE (12.05.20)

How are you getting on with Mrs. Ridley's Challenge this week? There will be plenty of problem solving needed to make your planes fly well. We have to use quite a lot of problem solving at the moment, trying to find new ways of doing things or thinking of clever solutions to problems. Mrs. Harvey had a problem - she'd run out of butter! She could have gone to queue up at the supermarket but she decided on a different way to solve the problem...

Can you see what she did? She had cream and two willing children so she decided to make her own! Are there any foods you've made from scratch rather than just bought them? Tomorrow we might show you some more impressive cooking skills...

DAY FIFTY-TWO (11.05.20)

We'll start the new week by drawing your attention to the Blue Boxes above - these have really important information in and it's important you check these regularly. There was an announcement by Boris Johnson yesterday about the next step in this lockdown but, whilst we await further details, we are just to carry on doing what we have been. And normal for a Monday is Mrs. Ridley's challenge! Let's see what she has for us this week...

 

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That looks brilliant! But you'll also need the paper plane instructions she mentioned and they can be found right here! But that doesn't mean you couldn't try thinking of different designs...

So remember to keep checking in to find out the latest information. Once there are clear directions we will share them with you as quickly as we can. For now, just carry on doing what you have been, completing your work from home activities and, this week, making money carrying paper planes!

DAY FIFTY-ONE (10.05.20)

Sometimes, especially at the moment, things can all get a little serious or sad. So what do you do to try and lighten the mood? Well Mrs. Fox decided it would be a good idea to do a little gardening to make herself feel better and that she'd get her friend Henry to help her. It all started so well...

Silly Henry! At least we know none of you would make such a mess! Have you got any funny stories about what has happened while we've been closed? We're sure you're all behaving perfectly...

DAY FIFTY (09.05.20)

It has now been fifty days since we were asked to close our doors to most children and staff. It has been a very strange time but we have to remember to use our Growth Mindset and keep positive. Mr Bache has created this video to remind us to Never Give Up...

 

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Tomorrow we are likely to hear the next steps we will be asked to make by the Government. We don't know what they are yet and will work quickly to inform you of any changes to how things might work. The best place to find that out will be right here - once we know something, you will! Enjoy your weekend!

Week Seven (02.05.20 - 08.05.20)

DAY FORTY-NINE (08.05.20)

We hope you are enjoying the start of the Bank Holiday weekend and celebrating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Mrs. Ridley still has your letters for you though...

Letter to the children

Dear Children,

The sun is back out! I hope you are managing to get outside and spend some time in the garden or go for a daily walk. It really is good to keep fit and healthy during this time.

I hope that by now you have all had a postcard from me in the post – it took a very long time to write all 365 but it was worth it because I could imagine all of your smiling faces as I was writing to you!  Remember that my challenge for this week is for you to write to me by post or email. Check out the video last Monday if you haven’t seen it.

We hope that you will be back at school soon and are listening carefully to what the Government are telling us about when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, keep up with all the work on your ‘Working From Home’ sheets if you can. Remember – you can send an email to your teacher now if you want to.

We are very proud of you all for doing so well at a time that is very strange. You are all amazing!

Stay safe and see you soon,

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

We are now at the end of the 7th week of school closure, including the holidays. Huge congratulations to you all for everything that you are doing to support your children with their learning as well as to keep them safe.

I hope that you have found the lessons from the Oak National Academy useful. We are only including the links to lessons for a particular year group on the ‘Work From Home’ sheets. Remember that these will not match the ability of every single child in a class. It is ok to select lessons from a different year group if you feel it is more appropriate. Year 6 children can even choose to look at Year 7 lessons if they need a challenge! You can do this from The Oak National Academy website.

Remember too, that you can contact teaching staff on the emails given in last Friday’s letter. They would love to see and hear about some of the things that the children have be doing at home!

In light of the fact that children are obviously online more at this time, I have highlighted the need for you to monitor their online activity. On the curriculum tab on our website you will find lots of useful information about e-safety and this will be added to soon. Please ensure your children are safe online.

For those of you with children in Year 5, we have received information about the arrangements for registration for the optional entrance test for the King Edward’s Grammar schools in Birmingham. Please look at the Year 5 class page and you will find more information above their ‘Working From Home’ sheets.

For those of you receiving free school meal vouchers from Edenred, I hope that this is beginning to work more smoothly than in past weeks. We are doing all we can to support with this, but it is difficult because school cannot control this process. Remember that the week beginning 25th May is half term and that you will not receive vouchers for that week as your children wouldn’t normally have been in school.

Finally, I know that we are approaching the time when the Government will give us more information about how and when lockdown will end and what the ‘new normal’ will be. We, like you, await information about the reopening of schools when it is safe to do so. We will keep you updated here on the website when we know more. Please can I ask you to keep checking the website daily. The school office is not open, so you will not get any information by phoning. The emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk is available for you to use in an emergency, but we will update you all in blue boxes on this page when we have any information. Please do not email us to ask us about reopening dates. I am aware that even when schools are given the go ahead to open, that this will not be in our usual way with all of the children in at all times. I think we all need to prepare ourselves for another ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future. Please help us to manage children’s expectations around this when we know more.

Stay safe and enjoy the bank holiday weekend

Mrs Ridley

The new Work from Home sheets are now available on your class pages. Tomorrow marks the 50th day of the closure so we have a special video to mark the milestone - make sure you come back to see it!

DAY FORTY-EIGHT (07.05.20)

It is the 75th anniversary of VE Day tomorrow and the staff at Grendon have been drawing, making and creating poppies to celebrate. Here is a little video montage...

 

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Have you made anything for VE Day? It might be bunting or a cake or you might just wave a flag! It is a Bank Holiday tomorrow so school is closed to everybody but you will still get your Friday letter from Mrs. Ridley and new Work from Home sheets will be available as usual.

DAY FORTY-SEVEN (06.05.20)

Some of you may be missing playing games or seeing your friends but with all the technology that is available to you there is still plenty of ways of having fun. How can you communicate with people you can't see?

Mrs. Thompson used her growth mindset and wasn't going to allow the lockdown to cancel her Bake Off challenge with her daughter so she thought of a new way of doing it. So the first online version of Bake Off began...

They all did an amazing job! Which one is your favourite? Mrs. Thompson monitored her daughter using Whatsapp so they could all send each other their ideas and show off their final creations as they all did it at the same time!

What things were you looking forward to that you can't do at the moment? This is your chance to use your Growth Mindset and think of a new way of doing it. It could be creating a cinema in your bedroom, you might make your bathroom look like the seaside, you could even turn your bedroom in to a classroom! Be creative and keep having fun.

DAY FORTY-SIX (05.05.20)

The theme of Mrs. Ridley's challenge this week is communication. It's certainly a very strange time not being able to talk to people face to face so we have to use all these different ways of communicating. And what do you do if you're a school full of staff who need to plan lessons, look after children and get things ready for whenever we get back to school? Well, here's a behind the scenes sneak peek...

Lots of the staff have had to learn about new technology too! Can you work out who everyone is?

Like lots of things online, the picture above isn't quite real if we're honest, as lots of those people were in school on some days so it's a collage of them all together! There are a few staff missing but they were working too hard to be on Zoom each time!

DAY FORTY-FIVE (04.05.20)

There will be a lot of fans of Star Wars who are enjoying the day today, but if you don't like Star Wars then don't worry, we have something you will definitely like; Mrs. Ridley's Monday Challenge...

 

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That sounds great! What will you write about? Do you know where the closest postbox is to you? It could be part of your daily exercise to visit a new postbox in your area. Mrs. Ridley can't wait to start receiving all the letters, so get writing all your positive messages!

DAY FORTY-FOUR (03.05.20)

With the weather still not great we're all having to stay inside even more, but it's ok when you've got lots of yummy things to eat! There are so many good cooks at Grendon and it's great to see everyone trying to master a new skills. Look at these goodies...

Mrs. Harvey's children have done a great job! Have you perfected any recipes whilst we have been closed? Cooking is a great way to practise your instruction writing too, maybe you could make a recipe and get an adult to follow it, but don't add anything horrible because you'll have to taste it!

See you tomorrow for Mrs. Ridley's next challenge...

DAY FORTY-THREE (02.05.20)

We have another musical interlude from Mr. Bache now. Can you work out where the piece of music comes from?

 

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I bet a lot of you are missing all your music lessons and choir, we know we are. However, this is a good time to remind you that you don't have to stop practising and learning; Services for Education have given us a username and password for lots of music lessons, whatever your instrument. This information can be found in the Blue box with 'Free Resources' in. So use your time productively and when you get back to school you can impress us all with your musical masterpieces!

Week Six (25.04.20 - 01.05.20)

DAY FORTY-TWO (01.05.20)

It's the first day of May and we have our normal Friday letter from Mrs. Ridley to the children and another letter for the parents and carers. There is some exciting news...

Mrs. Ridley's letter to children

Dear Children,

I hope you are staying safe, working hard and remembering to look at the website each day. Don’t forget that I set a weekly challenge for you each Monday – have a look if you haven’t already. I have been amazed by some of the super talented teachers that have shown their hidden skills this week! Who knew that Miss Featherstone could play the cello so well or that Mr Feely could juggle! Wow!

I know some of you have done some amazing work at home too and from today, you will be able to share this with your teachers by email if you would like to. The new email addresses are at the top of your Work From Home sheets. We can’t wait to talk to you!

Remember that if you are finding some of the work too easy or too difficult then, as Mrs Sparkes said, you can look at work from another year group, use some of the other website links to try other learning activities or just try your best – remember your growth mindset!

I am sorry that we can’t do a lot of the things that we had planned for the Summer Term and that lots of trips and visits are now cancelled. We will do what we can to make up for this, even with Year 6, when school is open again and we are allowed to do more things.

Until then, make sure that you are doing the right thing and following all the advice about how to stay safe. We can’t wait to see you again as soon as we can and we are missing you all.

Stay Safe

Mrs Ridley

Mrs. Ridley's letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

I hope you continue to remain safe and well. It was good to see and talk to those of you who collected exercise books last Friday. A simple conversation is something that we have taken for granted and now very much appreciate in these circumstances.

Speaking of communication, we are listening carefully to what you are saying during this period and are keen to adapt our response accordingly. For this reason, as of now, we have live email addresses for you or your child to contact teachers and teaching assistants if needed. These are as follows:

rec@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year1@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year2@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year3@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year4@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year5@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year6@grendon.bham.sch.uk

We have to manage expectations around the use of these carefully. We are not able to offer any additional work through this forum, (please see links on website for this), or provide one to one tuition, teaching or additional support. However, staff will be able to answer any work related queries or child specific questions. They are also there if children want to share an example of particularly good work or projects that they have completed for their teachers to see or to ask for a few words of encouragement. It will be lovely to hear from you.

Please be aware that staff may not respond immediately and will only respond during working hours. Remember that staff are still in school, planning for and teaching the children we have here as well as planning work for home, making phone contact with many of our families and many other responsibilities. Their workload is heavy. We ask that you keep this in mind when contacting us or waiting for a reply. Please continue to direct any emergency issues and queries to emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk as school leaders will respond to these.

We have also listened to parents views on our work from home sheets on the website. We know most of you are accessing these and think they are helpful and of good quality. However, we know some of you are finding it hard to ‘guess what’s in the teacher’s brain’ and teach from these – this isn’t surprising and we thank you for your efforts. To try and help with this, from today, we will use online lessons from Oak National Academy (set up by the Government to produce lessons for school closure) as part of our work from home sheets. The children will be able to participate in lessons that are delivered by outstanding teachers. The quality is very good and uses methods in line with our school approach. They can be accessed from the work from home sheets as usual.

In last week’s letter, I posted links to our annual questionnaires. Thank you to those that have completed this. The blue box above is still showing this link. Please take 5 minutes to complete this.  It will be available until Thursday 7th May. We really value your thoughts and opinions. Just a word of caution – this is part of our school improvement process designed to move the school forward. Please don’t complete just based on this time in lockdown, as I hope I will never have to repeat this process in the future! Please consider the broader and longer term picture of how the school works in ‘normal’ circumstances.

As mentioned last week, I can now confirm that both residential trips, (St Braviels and Blackwell Court), are cancelled. We have been able to process the refunds for St Braviels and you should have received a Group call saying that these can be collected from school on Wednesday 6th May 1.30pm – 2.30pm. Please observe social distancing requirements. Information about Blackwell Court refunds will follow in due course.

You may also be aware that from September 2020 there is new statutory guidance in place for the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education in school. For us, this means minimal changes to our current programme for teaching Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) in school. However, we are required to consult parents over the content of this new policy. This is obviously difficult during the school closure and we will do this on our website. Please look out for information and consultation to follow shortly. We will signpost this from the blue box at the top of the Covid-19 daily update.

Finally, just to repeat from last week, that I know speculation around the reopening of schools continues. We have no information about this. There is no date confirmed. Anything else is just speculation and not helpful to any of us. When we are given the go ahead to open, we will let you know and do this following the guidance we will be given and in a way that is safest for us all.

Thank you for you continued support, it really is appreciated in these challenging circumstances.

Stay Safe,

Mrs Ridley

Updates continue through the weekend and every day until we're back open. Remember you can still look through old messages below and we hope you enjoy the new work from the Oak National Academy. Have a great weekend!

DAY FORTY-ONE (30.04.20)

Well the weather hasn't improved so we are still looking at all the inside activities we can do. Mrs. Sparkes' daughter has been creating some patterns using an unusual printing sponge, can you see what it is?

That's right, it's the top of a pepper! It's a great idea to use things that might have otherwise been thrown away so you can get multiple use out of them. What else could you use to make prints? If you don't have paint, maybe you could draw around strange objects to make a pattern, remember be as creative as you can be!

DAY FORTY (29.04.20)

Oh no, where has the lovely weather gone? At least we're not all desperate to be outside today! This week we have been talking about hidden skills or learning a new talent. Miss Featherstone and Mr Feely have impressed with theirs but there is another really amazing skill you all have - creativity! This is your time to think of creative things to do or look at ways of adapting activities you used to do. Look at this from Miss Waite-Wright...

She wanted to go bowling so made her own! Her and her daughter numbered 10 bottles and then filled them with different amounts of water to make some harder to knock down than others. She told us she cleaned the 'bowling sock' too!

What could you make inside? Be creative, it's a skill we all have. If it's really good, maybe we'll play your games when we get back to school!

DAY THIRTY-NINE (28.04.20)

How are you getting on with your challenge from Mrs. Ridley? Remember, every daily update is still available below by clicking 'Previous Messages to our Grendon Family'. Here you will find the British Sign Language (BSL) poster you need to break the code!

We have also been talking about hidden talents. We've discovered that Miss Featherstone is an outstanding cellist and now Mr. Feely is getting in on the act...

 

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How very impressive! Have you been practising your talents? We're sure you have loads of them but even if you think you don't then perhaps you could start one. You have all this time to teach yourself a new skill - what would you like to learn to do?

DAY THIRTY-EIGHT (27.04.20)

It's the start of a brand new week and we have a new challenge video from Mrs. Ridley. What do you think she has for us this time...

 

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That looks fun! But you will need the poster to help you break the code and think of your own messages.

It's always great to learn a new skills and even better when that skill can help other people. Keep trying your hardest and having fun!

DAY THIRTY-SEVEN (26.04.20)

There's no denying it's all a little bit strange at the moment, but growth mindset tells us we should be looking for positives or working around a problem. One of the positives we can all think of is how much time it gives us to do things we wouldn't normally have time to do. Some are getting fitter, some are baking and some are busy practising their amazing talents. Can you guess which teacher is doing this...

 

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Did you guess who it was? It's Miss Featherstone! There are lots of talents we have that others might not see. Can you show us some of yours when you're back at school? We know Grendon's Got Talent too!

DAY THIRTY-SIX (25.04.20)

To round off puppet week, we have some more models of animals that could be used to tell stories. These were made by the children who are still with us at school, can you guess what the animals are?

Did you work out what each animal was? There is a pig, elephant, dog, snake, giraffe and lion of course! Which one was your favourite? Could you make an animal using things you have around the house? Remember to save everything you do while we are closed, everyone at Grendon can't wait to see everything you've been making and all the new things you've been learning.

Week Five (18.04.20 - 24.04.20)

DAY THIRTY-FIVE (24.04.20)

We would like to start by wishing all our families observing Ramadan a happy, healthy and reflective month.

It is Friday so the class pages have been updated with new Work from Home sheets. Please remember you can access both this weeks, and previous weeks, work in PDF formats at the bottom of each class page if this works better for your device.

This week we have THREE letters for you! Mrs. Ridley has written a letter to both children and adults as normal and Mrs. Sparkes also has a message for the children.

Mrs. Ridley's letter to children

Dear Children,

I hope you all had a lovely Easter holiday, enjoyed singing the Chocolate Song with Mr Bache and didn’t eat too many eggs! If you did, then I hope you all took part in my fitness challenge and are healthy and ready to go for the Summer term!

Just because we are not in the same building, doesn’t mean that we can’t keep having fun and learning together. Your class pages on the website will be changed each Friday. Look out for the new lessons that you will be able to be a part of that will start next Friday. Remember to click on the red banner each day to see what the teachers are up to…there are some very strange things going on!

It is a very strange time at the moment and like we talked about in school, we might see or hear news that makes us upset or worry. It is normal to feel like this, even the teachers are worried sometimes but we know that we are Grendon and WE CAN get through this together. Remember that the first verse of our school song starts with “When the sky is grey” but by the second verse it has changed to “Now the sun shines bright”. We know that things will get better soon. Remember to talk to an adult if you are worried as they can and will help you.

Finally, I know we are missing you right now and I hope that you are missing us. It is a good time for you to think about how you really feel about school. We would like to know what you think so that we can start to make Grendon EVEN BETTER! If you click on the link below it will ask you some questions about Grendon. Ask an adult to help you do this is you need to.

Children’s questionnaire:  CLICK HERE

We don’t know yet when you can come back to school but we know it will be when we are all safe. In the meantime, look out for my next challenge on Monday.

Stay Safe Everyone

Mrs Ridley

Mrs. Ridley's letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents,

I honestly never expected to be writing a letter welcoming you back for a Summer Term in which, at least for now, most of you will continue to work from home. We’ve all had to adapt very quickly to new ways of working and I want to take this opportunity to say what an amazing job you’re doing in supporting your child’s learning and well-being during this time.

It is definitely a strange and challenging period and it’s ok if you and your child are feeling a little wobbly at times. Remember that we may not be communicating in the usual way, but we are still here with you and for you and together we can get through this.

Just a quick update on arrangements that have been in place since the start of the closure:

  • The website is updated daily. Please click on the red banner.
  • We can be reached on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk in an emergency.
  • Work is set for children weekly on a Friday and can be found on their class pages.
  • Children entitled to free school meals should be receiving emails with vouchers each week.
  • We have a food bank for you to access that can support families if required.
  • We are keeping in touch weekly by phone call with many of our families – please answer the phone on a Monday morning if we call!

For those of you receiving vouchers, I know that the Government free school meals system is still proving frustrating. There are long queues on the website and emails still not reaching you. We are doing all we can to support you, but this isn’t a system that is in school’s control. I can only suggest being patient and trying the website early in the morning or later in the evening when it may be less busy. All families nationally are being directed here, which is causing delays. I can only apologise for this.

I am aware of the huge benefits of using social media at present to keep in touch with family and friends. Please be aware though that your children are really too young to be accessing social media sites at all and certainly without supervision. We know that there were issues around this while children were in school and I am concerned that given current circumstances, there is a risk of your children becoming unsafe. Please monitor their use and do all that you can to keep them safe online.

I am sure that you will be not surprised, but we are sorry to say that the St Braviels residential trip has been cancelled. You will get a full refund as soon as we are able to do this. Details will follow. We await news about the Blackwell Court residential trip later in the year, but my feeling is that this will be cancelled. Again, information will follow as soon as we have it.  I know how disappointed the children will be by this.

Despite all the very strange things that are happening at the moment, we are also conscious that as well as meeting needs presenting at the moment, we need to continue to move the school forwarded as efficiently as we can. I have two updates here. As you know, Mrs Foster was appointed as Acting Deputy Head for the Spring term. She has now returned to her position as Assistant Head at Grendon and I thank her for her support and commitment to me and the school during a very challenging time. Mr. Darby will now take up the position of Acting Deputy Head until we appoint during the Autumn term. As senior leaders, the three of us continue to work closely together as we have done so far.

Normally at this time of year, we would be sending out parent questionnaires and completing children’s surveys in school in order to begin planning for our School Improvement Plan for next year. We are still keen to do this, as I am a firm believer in listening to the views of all stakeholders and recognise the value in this. I also realise that things are far from normal at the moment but would ask you to consider a longer term picture when answering.  The link below will take you directly to an online survey that you then submit. Please take 5 minutes to do this. Your opinion really matters to us. On the children’s letter there is also a link to a survey that they can complete. I would be very grateful if you could support them to do this.

Children’s questionnaire:  CLICK HERE

Parents Questionnaire:  CLICK HERE

We miss the children very much, but at the moment, we understand that we have a responsibility to follow all of the Government guidance, as it is the best way to keep everyone in our community safe. Despite what you have read in the media, we cannot say when school will reopen as no date is set. Rest assured that we will continue doing our best to keep your child learning and our school community connected during this time.

Thank you for your good wishes and continued support,

Mrs Ridley

A message from Mrs. Sparkes

All children are different and learn at different rates and in different ways. This might mean that although you are in a particular year band because of your age, that you are finding the work that is set by your class teacher a little challenging. It is ok to feel like this. What is important is to use your growth mindset and do not give up.

You may not understand some of the work set on your class page but you may understand better the previous years work or even the year before. Just as we would have done in school, you can have access to the other class pages so you are able to work and learn from your level.

There is nothing wrong with exploring the other class pages and having a go at the other class work. This might mean you can do this set of work really well. It might help you build up to your own class work. Remember 'We Can' when we have the right starting point.

Finally, you may have noticed, within Mrs. Ridley's letters, a link to a questionnaire. It is very short but it does help us find out what children and parents are thinking when we can't see you directly. We would much appreciate you taking the time to complete them.

Have a lovely weekend all, but remember updates on this page will continue every day until we're back at school so always check in to see what strange things your adults are up to!

DAY THIRTY-FOUR (23.04.20)

We were going to give you more examples of puppets today but Mr Windsor reminded us that it was St. George's Day today too! So maybe you could make puppets to tell the story of George and the Dragon. Or you could just draw English flags to celebrate.

Telling stories using puppets is really fun, you could even twist the story so the dragon wins! Have fun being creative! If you want to find out even more then you can click HERE for some fun learning and activities.

DAY THIRTY-THREE (22.04.20)

We have some more amazing puppets today. Mrs. Pollitt has been making these colourful animals. Do you know who it is?

Yes, it's Elmer of course! The next question is whether you can work out how they were made? If you look closely you may see some clues. Remember you can make your puppets out of anything you have around your home, be creative! We can't wait to see them all.

DAY THIRTY-TWO (21.04.20)

How are you getting on with Mrs. Ridley's puppet challenge? We're sure you've come up with some amazing ideas. As usual, the staff at Grendon are getting inspired too! Still in the Easter spirit, Mrs. Harvey has been making these with her family...

You can use the puppets to tell stories, sing songs or just tell funny jokes! Remember to lookm after your puppets as we will want to see all your amazing creations when you get back to school.

DAY THIRTY-ONE (20.04.20)

It's Monday so it is time for another challenge from Mrs. Ridley. We're sure you're very tired out from all that exercise last week so what has she got in store for us this week...

 

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We are looking forward to seeing all your creations when we get back to school! Try your best, be creative and surprise us!

DAY THIRTY (19.04.20)

The sun is shining again and we're all back doing our exercises. So much so that the update is a little late today!

Tomorrow marks what would be the start of the summer term in normal circumstances and it's dates like this that can sometimes remind people how strange it all is. At Grendon we are always talking about our Growth Mindset and how it's good to have a positive mental attitude. Some situations can make that harder than others but we strive to do it all the time. Mrs. Godfrey made these with her daughters to help remind her every day.

How are you keeping a positive attitude? What do you do to keep laughing and smiling? We are still learning while we are away from school, these skills we learn now will help us when we face different hard times in our lives.

You're doing brilliantly Grendoners. Just always remember WE CAN!

DAY TWENTY-NINE (18.04.20)

The weather isn't so good today so we're back inside after all the great fitness challenges we've been doing this week. And do you know what's a good way of rewarding yourself from doing lots of exercise? Treats of course!! Miss Gwinnett reminded us there still might be a few eggs left over so what should we do with them...

 

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Doesn't that look yummy? When all the eggs are gone maybe we could think of some healthy recipes for when the weather is lovely again. It's so good seeing all these different people doing different activities, we can't wait for you to tell us about all the new skills you've been learning at home.

Week Four (11.04.20 - 17.04.20)

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT (17.04.20)

Mrs. Ridley's letters will return every Friday from next week. The school has been open as usual this week to select children but we have tried to maintain a more holiday feel for everyone involved.

The next week of homework can now be accessed on the class pages. Please remember to refresh the page if the work seems the same as last week as some computers don't refresh images automatically. All previous homework can still be accessed at the bottom of each page.

Please also take note of the changes to Free School Meals vouchers in the blue box above. The blue boxes share some of our most important information and it is important you read them carefully. Mrs. Ridley is in school every day and will attempt to reply to emails at the above address as soon as possible.

This is also a good time to think about how we use the Internet as adults and children. Is everything you're reading true? It is important at times like this that we look for official sources of information so we don't get worried by misinformation or accidentally spread false rumours ourselves. Two good sources can be found in the blue box below.

Social media is naturally becoming a source of comfort when we can't physically see our friends and family but please remind users how to use this resource safely. For further support, look at our Fun Zone with information on e-safety.

Finally, we'll leave you with this lovely T-Shirt design that Mrs. Harvey made with her children!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN (16.04.20)

So many people have got inspired to keep fit this week! But it doesn't always have to be super stretches, amazing fitness routines or exhausting runs, sometimes it can be just going for a walk. Mrs. Suthers decided to do that and has taken a friend with her...

This is Bowser, who some of you may already know about. He certainly likes a walk and the warm weather! Are you looking after your pets in this weather? Make sure they have plenty of water to keep them hydrated.

Keep enjoying your fitness challenges, we can't wait to hear about them when you're back at school.

DAY TWENTY-SIX (15.04.20)

Mrs. Ridley has really got the staff at Grendon inspired to get moving, which is probably a good thing after all the chocolate eggs we've been eating!

Today, Miss Wilson will show you her fitness routine. Some children may have done this before...

 

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How are your fitness challenges going? It can be as simple or as difficult as you like but it's always a good idea to do a bit every day. Well done everyone, keep it up!

DAY TWENTY-FIVE (14.04.20)

So how are your fitness challenges going? Have you been thinking of lots of different ways you can stay fit? The staff at Grendon have certainly been trying their hardest and over the next few days we'll show you some examples of what they have been doing. First up is Ms Richardson who is starting where all good activities start - with a good stretch...

Remember to be careful if you're doing these kinds of gymnastics in your home! Stay safe and make sure you're looking at what's around you, including furniture, people and windows!

DAY TWENTY-FOUR (13.04.20)

How was your Easter? Have you eaten lots of chocolate and are now thinking maybe you should do something to get fit again?! Well, fortunately, Mrs. Ridley has a new challenge for you this week...

 

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Did you find all the Easter eggs around the website? We will be removing them by 4pm so this is your very last chance! There are SEVEN to find...

DAY TWENTY-THREE (12.04.20)

Happy Easter everyone! We hope you are having a lovely time and enjoying the sun. You may have already been hunting for Easter Eggs, it's a well-known tradition. Another tradition is singing Easter Songs with Mr Bache! So we wouldn't want you to miss out...

 

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Also, the last egg is hidden on the site now. There are SEVEN eggs to find around the website and they will all disappear tomorrow so make sure you note down which pages they were on so you have a chance of winning a prize! The egg that you can find on this page doesn't count so make sure you have found seven elsewhere!

DAY TWENTY-TWO (11.04.20)

What another glorious day it is and we have some lovely news for you today too. Mrs. Elebe has given birth to her baby and both mother and daughter are doing brilliantly...

And in other news, the penultimate egg is now hidden on the website! Remember to note them down as the last one appears tomorrow.

Week Three (04.04.20 - 10.04.20)

DAY TWENTY-ONE (10.04.20)

It's Good Friday today so, as it's the holiday, we won't have a letter from Mrs. Ridley this week. However, you'll be pleased to know that the work from home sheets have been updated and are now available on the class pages!

Yesterday some of you may have noticed, or you may have joined in, with the clapping on your doorstep to say thank you to the NHS for helping us at the moment. There are lots of people who are doing a lot to help us during this strange time. Mrs. Collins' children have been drawing pictures to say thank you...

Could you draw a picture of someone who helps you? It might be doctors, delivery drivers, shop workers, teachers or, most importantly, your family!

Finally today, we can also reveal the next Egg is now hiding on the website somewhere. There are now 5 to find - remember to note down where they are so you have a chance of winning a prize when we get back to school!

DAY TWENTY (09.04.20)

Day Twenty and it's hotter than ever, we hope you are able to see a little bit of sun on a daily walk or doing the exercise you are allowed to do once a day.

We've had lots of lovely art and creative activities and pictures on these pages but today we've got some Science for you! Mrs. Foster has been experimenting with how water makes colours run. Have a look...

Could you do this experiment and make a rainbow? Or maybe you could try a different kind of experiment. Remember, a good experiment is a FAIR test!

And there is now another Easter Egg hiding on the website, can you find it?!

DAY NINETEEN (08.04.20)

It's another lovely day and we're still finding lots of things to do, but what if you're struggling for ideas or getting bored of doing the same things? Well, Mrs. Thompson has made a Chatterbox with her daughter. You can find out how to make one HERE. 

They decided to put lots of interesting activities inside the Chatterbox and then it's a game to see which task they will do...

You can also find the third Easter Egg from the Great Grendon Easter Egg Hunt on the website now. But no clues today!

DAY EIGHTEEN (07.04.20)

How have you been getting on with Mrs. Ridley's challenge so far? If you can't remember what it was, click on the 'Previous Messages to our Grendon Family' tab below this message. Some of our staff have taken on the challenge already! Mrs Sparkes daughter has made some lovely treats and Miss Pace clearly is starting a new career...!

Also the second Easter Egg has appeared on the website! Can you find it, I don't think we'll give you a clue today so you'll have to have a good look... oh, ok, look really closely under all the News & Events tabs. That's it - no more help! Have fun hunting!

DAY SEVENTEEN (06.04.20)

Monday means we have a challenge from Mrs. Ridley. How have you been getting on with your time capsules? Shall we see what she's got planned for us this week...

 

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Also it's the first day of the Great Grendon Easter Egg Hunt! We have hidden the Easter egg somewhere on the site. There will be seven different locations and the winner will get a chocalatey prize! One new egg will appear every day.

We'll be nice today and give you a clue; Where would you find out who works in our school? Good hunting Grendoners...

DAY SIXTEEN (05.04.20)

Well the sun is shining and it's warmed up again so it's a little disappointing that Government advice it still to stay home as much as possible... but that doesn't mean you can't make it feel all summery where you are! Miss Gwinnett has sent us a photo guide of how to make some bunting...

If you don't have access to an outside area, maybe you could decorate your bedroom window or even the bathroom! It's nice to have a project to work on. Remember to ask for an adults help for anything you find tricky or if you're using scissors.

Also today we have news of the Great Grendon Easter Egg Hunt! Every day, starting tomorrow, we will hide this Easter Egg somewhere on the website;

This egg will appear on different pages every day until Easter Sunday. Write down all the places you see it (7 different pages) and tell your teacher when you're back at school. One person might get a chocolatey prize!

DAY FIFTEEN (04.04.20)

It's the first day of the Easter holidays but, as promised, our updates won't stop. Today we have a lovely video from one of our music teachers, Miss Fox...

 

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Come back tomorrow for some news on an fun virtual competition we will be running for the first week of Easter. Have a great day!

Week Two (28.03.20 - 03.04.20)

DAY FOURTEEN (03.04.20)

Today would be the last day of term normally, but it's not exactly normal at the moment! But it's Friday so it is normal to hear from Mrs Ridley and she has two letters again, one for children and one for Parents and Carers...

Letter for Children

Dear Children,

I hope that you are all staying safe and listening to what the adults are telling you to do. It is really important that you do at this time. 

You know that we ask you a lot in school to use your growth mindset and We Can attitude. This week, I had to use mine. I had to do something that I had never done before.  I was asked to talk about our school and our school song on the radio with thousands of people listening. It was very scary and I thought that I couldn’t do it. I was very worried. But then I went for a walk around school. On the walls in your classrooms, I read all of our growth mindset posters and looked at some of your work. I remembered that sometimes you find something hard and are worried that you can’t do it but then you try. And you do it. So, I did the same! I did it! I hope you all listened to what I said on the radio because I was talking to you all. 

I know we are doing things in a different way right now, but We Can and we will see everyone again soon. Year 6, I meant what I said on the radio, we will work out a way of doing all the things that you might miss if we are not back at school. 

For now, go and have a lovely Easter holiday everyone. Eat lots of chocolate, you know I will! I will write to you again after the holidays. 

Stay safe,

Mrs Ridley

Letter for Parents and Carers

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are staying well and looking after your families as best you can in these increasingly difficult circumstances. Can I stress once again, the importance of following Government advice at this time. All of us needs to play our  part. It is our collective responsibility to do so.

School continues to remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers where no other provision can be made. This will continue through the Easter holiday and I would like to thank my staff for their unwavering support with this, when they, like all of us, remain concerned about their own families. 

Can I also take this opportunity to let you know the facts about access to free school meals for your children, which I know has caused some concern:

  • The Government scheme of providing a free meal for all children from Reception to Year 2 is no longer in operation. Children will only get one if they are eligible, as has always been the case for children in Years 3-6. 
  • As promised, we have provided packed lunches that have been available for collection from school during the last 2 weeks.
  • This will stop from today. There will be no packed lunches for collection from Monday 6th April.
  • We now have a voucher code for every child eligible for free school meals. We have contacted you if this applies to you. 
  • After Easter a voucher system will remain in place although this then changes from the Birmingham system to the Government system so we will need to contact you again. 
  • Once this is in place, you will be sent vouchers automatically each week.
  • We will continue to provide packed lunches for children who are still in school and I will speak to individuals about this. 

To summarise, if your child is eligible for free school meals, you should by now have had a code emailed to you. Packed lunches will no longer be available to collect from school. 

To finish on a high note, I hope you have all had chance to watch staff singing our We Can song on our website and have listened to the radio interview that followed. It has been a privilege to talk about our school and your children during this time. The words of the song were their words and continue to mean something to all involved in a Grendon. We Can and we will beat this together.

I thank you for your continued support and wish you all a very happy, (but very different), Easter holiday. We will continue to update our website and work on the class pages throughout this time, although I won’t write to you again until after the holidays. Please keep checking the website for updates daily. 

Stay safe,

Mrs H Ridley

Headteacher

We are not stopping over the Easter break so you will still see updates every single day and, without spoiling the surprise, there are a few really good things coming up so come and visit us every day! Til tomorrow...

DAY THIRTEEN (02.04.20)

The weather is still not great so we're not missing much by being indoors at the moment. That certainly is the case if you've got a good book to read. Mrs Rodgers has been reading 'Paper Dolls' by Julia Donaldson with her daughter. They then decided to make some...

Can you think of a book you'd like to read today? Maybe you could make something based on the story. You could build a castle, create a puppet or maybe even act out the story. We can't wait to hear about your favourite books when you get back to school.

DAY TWELVE (01.04.20)

It's new month! I'm sure none of you were mean enough to play any April Fools' jokes of course! As it's after 12 now, the rule is you've missed your chance, you'll have to wait for next year!

As it's the start of a new month we thought we'd take this opportunity to recap a little bit and remind you where things are. Firstly, under the class pages you'll find weekly work which changes every Friday. Secondly, all previous messages, pictures and challenges can be found under this one on the drop down menu.

Finally, it's important you check in daily. The blue blocks often have important messages, such as the Free School Meals notice that is currently there. It's a rapidly changing situation so it's good to look at the website regularly to make sure you're not missing anything that can help you and your family.

We're missing you all and can't wait to see you all again. Keep smiling and remember "We Can"!

DAY ELEVEN (31.03.20)

Well, we're famous today! Our We Can song has caught the attention of local radio (you can still see it below) and Mrs. Ridley was interviewed by Radio WM...

 

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It's also possible to read a story on the BBC website about it HERE

It's important to remember "We Can!" and to keep using our Growth Mindset to face the challenges we are experiencing at the moment. Well done everyone, keep going!

DAY TEN (30.03.20)

It's Monday and as promised we have Mrs. Ridley's first challenge...

Hi everybody,

I hope that you are all doing ok and staying safe, we miss you. Your teachers have left you school work to do on your class pages  and there are lots of links to other activities if you want more. 

I thought I could challenge you in a different way, making the best of the fact that you are at home by challenging  you do to complete tasks that we probably wouldn’t do in school.

Each week I will record a video that sets a challenge for you to do at home. There will be a new challenge each Monday. You have the whole week to complete it. There will be a prize for any of you that can prove to me that you have completed each weekly challenge by the time we come back to school. You decide how you will be able to prove it to me. 

So, use your growth mindset and be ready for the challenge.

Remember....We Can! Let the challenges begin...

 

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Check back every Monday for a new challenge!

DAY NINE (29.03.20)

Good afternoon! Did you remember to put your clocks forward? Today we thought it'd be nice to have a little singsong so Ms. Richardson has recorded this for everyone but Reception will definitely know the words!

 

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Tomorrow look out for Mrs. Ridley's first challenge post and we'll have news of an interview that will be on radio. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

DAY EIGHT (28.03.20)

It's the weekend! Unfortunately the sun has disappeared and it's a little bit chilly again. So today we're all curling up on the sofa and getting cosy. That's brilliant for Mr Windsor because he now gets to spend sometime with some very special creatures...

Milo and Flynn aren't really practising social-distancing but we think we can forgive them! Do you have pets you are looking after? Have a look outside your window and see how many different types of animals you can see. Does it change depending on the time of day?

Week One (21.03.20 - 27.03.20)

DAY SEVEN (27.03.20)

It's nearly the end of our first week without you all! It's been a very strange week but we have been hearing and seeing lots of positive things too so keep smiling and keep working on all the challenges we have set.

Every Friday Mrs. Ridley will be writing a special letter for Parents and Carers as well as one for the children. You can find them both here;

Letter to the Children

Dear Children,

One of the children who is still coming to school asked me this week what it was like to be a Headteacher.  It is certainly very strange at the moment, because I am a Headteacher without many children in school and I don’t like it at all.

I want to tell you that I am very proud of you all for using your growth mindset and showing our WE CAN attitude.  I am proud of you if you are still coming to school because you have smiled your way through this week. I am proud of you if you are staying at home because I know that you have been on our website and are doing your work – just make sure that you are staying in gold! Teachers have eyes in the backs of our heads, we will be checking!

Please keep looking at our website. Click on the red banner at the top and it will take you to our latest news. I will write to you every Friday. Each Monday, I will be setting you a special challenge for the week with a prize for anyone who can complete all my challenges by the time we come back to school.

So for now, remember to do what the adults are telling you. It is really important and will help to keep you all safe.

KEEP WASHING YOUR HANDS

Stay safe,

Mrs Ridley

Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parents/Carers

Firstly, may I offer you my congratulations if you have survived your first week of home schooling or thank you on behalf of us all if you have continued to work as a critical worker.

I will keep you up to date with everything we know on a Friday, although will of course make you aware of any immediate developments as soon as they happen. I will also write to the children weekly, please read it to them if they are unable to read it for themselves.

We have a number of children remaining with us in school. I am immensely proud of my staff and the children for the way in which they have risen to this challenge and change of circumstance at a time of huge anxiety for us all. The children are amazing and are having a brilliant time.

For those of you at home, we know that you are accessing our website which continues to be updated daily, enjoying what we are offering and doing your best as the nation’s newest ‘teachers’. Your messages of support continue to make us smile. Many thanks for these.

As you know, staff will update work on the class pages on a Friday, ready for the next week. There are many additional opportunities for online learning signposted from our website in the Funzone section as well as in Latest News. We will continue with these updates over the Easter holidays as we are aware that we are all being advised to stay at home. Please continue to enjoy and work through the activities with your children during the holidays if you wish.

For those of you eligible for Free School Meals, the Government has promised us a voucher system. This is not in place yet. Birmingham Local Authority is therefore working to develop its own system that we expect to have details in school today or early next week. It is likely to involve us providing eligible families with a voucher code that they will then login to a website with and access vouchers.  You are likely to need an email address in order to do this so please look in to this if you do not have one. We will post more information on the website as soon as we are able.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for the community spirit and sense of togetherness that we can feel from you all. If we work together and follow the Government advice, “stay at home, save lives, protect the NHS”, WE CAN beat this together. Remember, you can contact us on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you need us urgently and the information you need is not already available on our website.

Stay safe,

Mrs Ridley

Headteacher

You will also be pleased to know the next lot of Work from Home tasks are available on the class pages. Don't worry if you've not quite finished last week's work - this can still be found at the bottom of each class page.

We will be continuing to update this page every day, including weekends, so keep checking back. We'll leave you this week with a collage of pictures we've been sent during the week from our amazing staff. There's a rainbow theme! We have a picture the children who are still at school made, Mrs. Thompson has been baking rainbow cakes, Miss Gwinnett has been making rainbow paper chains, Mrs. Collins has been painting rainbows with her family and Mrs Rainford found a lovely poem to remind you it will all be ok!

DAY SIX (26.03.20)

We have lots of teachers doing work outside in this lovely weather. Mr. Feely has been doing some maths with his children. He said "We have been doing some outdoor maths! We all know that social distancing means that we should stay 2 metres away from everyone but what does that look like in real life?" He decided to try...

So the answer? 2 metres is equal to:

58 pieces of lego

18 tins of food

2 golf clubs

4 chairs

10 Horrid Henry books

28 Hot Wheels cars

129 pieces of Magic Track

What could you use to measure 2 meters? Remember to write down your ideas so you can show them us when you're back in school.

DAY FIVE (25.03.20)

OK, we've changed our minds - we will keep the old messages because everyone is loving looking at them so much! But we'll keep it in a drop down menu below this and you might have a lot of scrolling to do by the end of it!

Today is yet another sunny day, where was this when we were at school? Mrs. Sparkes has been out in the garden with her daughter having lots of fun...

Do you think you could do this? Or maybe just find some interesting insects now the weather is getting nicer! If you're staying inside maybe you could draw as many different insects as you can think of!

DAY FOUR (24.03.20)

It's another sunny day and we hope you have been enjoying the tasks you've been set on your class pages. Just click on classes and you'll find it all there.

Today we received a great book from a parent about Coronanvirus and thought we would share it with you. We've got a PDF version you can download at the bottom of the page or you can watch the video below!

 

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DAY THREE (23.03.20)

We're having a few computer gremlins today which means our update has been a little later than we wanted, sorry! All the staff were in school today getting ready for the next few weeks and making sure we have lots of fun challenges for you while you're away. We've filmed a little video for you to watch below - see if you can join in...

 

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DAY TWO (22.03.20)

Normally you'll only see a daily update and all previous messages will be deleted, but while we're setting up we'll leave a few old ones for you to look at. But not for long! So don't miss out and make sure you check back every day for new challenges, activities or silly pictures and videos from your teachers!

Today is also Mother's Day so instead of setting you a challenge, why don't you think of something lovely you could do for your Mum, Nan or someone you care about. Even if you can't see them today, you could make something for them for the next time you see them. Have a great day!

DAY ONE (21.03.20)

It's day one since we sadly had to close our doors to most children but we're all thinking of you and this page is going to be updated every day if possible.

Mrs. Ridley will be posting messages regularly and lots of our wonderful staff will be sharing what they have been doing or even giving you fun challenges!

First up, Mrs. Pollitt has sent in this brilliant picture of a chalk drawing she has made with her son...

Can you do this? Or maybe you could draw one on a piece of paper and then show us when we're back at school? If we get enough, we might be able to have a massive display of all the great work you do while we're closed!

Previous Letters to Parents and Carers

Please find all the Friday letters to Parents and Carers here. They are the same as the ones above but have been separated for your ease. Please note the dates on them as information may have changed since they were published and questionnaires will have expired. You will also note there is no Week Three or Four - this was Easter. There is also no Week 10 as this was the Summer half term.

Week 17 (17.07.20)

Dear Parents,

For those of you who have been at home since March like the rest of my family, I’m sure that, as it does for them, each day rolls into the next and you may not even be sure which day it is! That makes writing this letter, on what is actually the last day of term, very strange for us all!

It has been a year like no other. I certainly didn’t expect to be ending my first year as Headteacher in this way. But I am and I wanted to take this opportunity to look back as well as to look forward.

However difficult this last few months has been, I am very proud of everything that we have achieved together.  I am proud that we have remained open to children throughout. I am proud that we have been able to provide the level of support that we have been able to and keep in touch with our families. I am proud that we have been able to access additional support for families where needed. I am proud that we have continued with daily updates and weekly work from home sheets since the first day of closure. I am proud that we have been able to reopen to as many children that wanted to return. 

It has been a real team effort and relationships are now stronger than ever. I would like to thank our site staff, support staff and teaching staff for their unwavering support and their determination to support your children as best we can. Every one of us has had an important role to play and all have done so, just brilliantly. I would like to thank you for taking on the role of teacher while juggling all of your other commitments and engaging with school so well throughout in order to support your children.

I have a few last reminders for you. Remember that although school is closed from today, all the information you need for September is at the bottom of this page and all the signposting to additional support can still be found here. Access to the food bank will continue to open every Tuesday over the Summer for those who have been accessing it. The emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk will not be used from today, although the email addresses for each year group, (for example year2@grendon.bham.sch.uk) will remain in operation again from September. Please use these or phone school to make an appointment if you need to speak to your child’s teacher next year. Please do not try to speak to them when they come to get children from the playground. Our focus, as it should be, will be to get the children into school safely in line with guidance at that point of the day.

We also have a few goodbyes to say. Miss Gwinnett will be leaving us and I would like to thank her for her hard work and dedication over the last few years. We also say goodbye and thank you to Miss Dainty, one of our lunchtime supervisors and to Mrs Powell, our senior supervisor. Mrs Powell has been right at the heart of Grendon for over 30 years. She has supported several generations of children and has made a huge difference to the lives of many. We wish her all the very best in her retirement - she has certainly earned it!

Finally, I would like to look forward. September will be a challenge. I know some of you are anxious about children returning and I know some children are nervous themselves. I would like to reassure you that we have and will continue to take all possible actions to keep risks low. We will ensure children settle back in quickly and provide additional support this where necessary. I know that, as we have done so far, we can and will make the Autumn term a successful one for all if we work together.

Beyond that, I look forward to continuing to move Grendon forward and build on the positive relationships that are established. Together we can make a difference. I look forward to leading this.

I wish you all a very happy Summer holiday. We look forward to seeing our ‘new’ Years 2, 3 and 5 at 8.50am on Thursday 3 rd September and our ‘new’ Years 1, 4 and 6 at 9.00am on Friday 4 th September. Remember that children will line up in their ‘old’ playground and spaces for this first day.

With my thanks and best wishes,

Mrs Ridley

Week 16 (10.07.20)

Dear Parents,

This week has been all change again in school – we are getting very used to that! It has been lovely to see children from Years 2, 3 and 4 returning to school and excited to be in classrooms again. Thank you to you all for following our guidance so well and for your reports about how much your children have enjoyed being back and the positive difference it has made to them.

Thank you too, to all those who have collected reports from us today – it was lovely to see you all again and we are looking forward to all children being back in September. We will post any reports that haven’t been collected today.

Speaking of which, I can now give you a little more detail about September. More will follow next week. We will put individual year group letters on the website on Tuesday, all being well, that will give you the specific detail you need. You will then have the chance to ask questions or clarify arrangements before school closes for the Summer on July 17th.

I’m sure by now you will have heard that schools are to reopen to ALL children on a FULL TIME basis from September. In order for this to happen, the Government has provided schools with detailed guidance about action to take in order to reduce risk and to keep children, families and staff safe. This will mean many changes to the day to day organisation in school. More detail will follow in Tuesday’s letters.

From now on and into the Autumn term, you will hear me ask on many occasions that you read and comply with all the arrangements described, even if it means you making changes to your usual routines. We can only ensure risks are reduced and everybody stays safe if we all play our part. If we have a confirmed case of Covid-19 in school, it is likely that we will have to close entire year groups for 14 days and we obviously want to do all we can to avoid this situation both to avoid further disruption to children’s learning and to your own working arrangements.

As I have said, more detail will follow on Tuesday, but today I can confirm the following arrangements. Please note, year groups below refer to your child’s new year group. For example, if they are in Year 2 now, you will need to look at arrangements for Year 3.

  • Attendance is compulsory from September. We expect children to come to school. We are already working with families on this. Please contact us on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you feel there are specific issues that we need to work to address regarding attendance in September.
  • We will need to operate staggered start and finish times in September until further notice.
  • For Reception, Years 2, 3 and 5 the school day will be 8.50am – 3.05pm.
  • For Years 1, 4 and 6 the school day will be 9.00am – 3.15pm.
  • We realise that this may not be easy if you have more than one child but have worked miracles to ensure we have only 2 sets of times and that they are only 10 minutes apart!
  • There will be 2 teacher days on 1st and 2nd September for staff only. Children will not attend.
  • Children in Years 2, 3 and 5 will be in school from 8.50am – 3.05pm on Thursday 3rd September. They will not attend school on Friday 4th September.
  • Children in Years 1, 4 and 6 will be in school from 9.00am – 3.15pm on Friday 4th September. They will not be in school on Thursday 3rd September.
  • This will give us the opportunity to welcome and settle children and deal with individual needs as they arise.
  • All children in Years 1 – 6 will be in school on a full time basis from Monday 7th September (times given above for specific year groups).
  • Children will be taught by their ‘old’ teacher until Tuesday 8th September. They will be in their ‘new’ rooms. We will run a full transition process during this time.
  • ‘New’ teachers will teach from Wednesday 9th September.
  • Children new to Reception already have information about their start dates and induction process. Please refer to your information from Mrs Foster if this applies to you.
  • The school kitchen will reopen but will initially provide packed lunches and no hot food. These will be free to all children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 and for those eligible from Years 3 -6.
  • For children in Years 3 -6 who are not eligible for free school meals, these packed lunches will be available to buy at a cost of £2.40 a day.
  • The kitchen staff will make these as varied as possible and may include rolls, wraps or baguettes with a choice of fillings each day as well as fruit and cake or biscuits or yoghurt.
  • Children from any year groups can bring their own packed lunch each day if they would prefer.
  • We will collect information about lunch requirements in September.
  • Children will wear full school uniform as normal – this can be ordered from school and collected in September. Please email enquiry@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you would like to order uniform.
  • Children will be working on an ‘Emergency Curriculum’ for the first half term. It is designed to identify and then close gaps in learning. It will be based around key objectives from the previous year and will have a heavy focus on Reading, Writing, Maths, PE and PSHE.
  • After half term in October, children will move onto a ‘Recovery Curriculum’. This will be broad and balanced with the aim of returning to our usual curriculum by Summer 21.

Tuesday’s letters will contain more detailed information about what school will look like, where children should be dropped and collected from, detail routines and rules and share expectations about all of our roles and responsibilities in this process.

Please wait until you have read that information before contacting us with specific queries as they may well be answered at that point. If they are not, please contact school by phone or on either email address (enquiry@grendon.bham.sch.uk or emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk)  and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs Ridley

Week 15 (03.07.20)

Dear Parents,

As I write this on Thursday, we are still awaiting further information from the Government about what September will look like in school. We are expecting a press conference later today and after that schools will receive the guidance. We know that children need to be back at school and we want all of our children back with us, so we will then work hard to ensure we can put the guidance into operation. We do expect the guidance to say that ALL children should be back in school. In this case, our usual school hours, (9.00am – 3.15pm), will be in operation and children will wear school uniform. We believe attendance will be compulsory. We should be in a position to give you more information about September in next Friday’s letter.

I am able to confirm arrangement for the end of this term:

  • School closes for all children on Friday 17th July.
  • ‘Work From Home’ sheets on the website will finish on Friday 10th July.
  • There will be no daily updates on the website from Friday 17th July.
  • The emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk email address will not be in operation from Friday 17th July.
  • School will be closed as usual for the Summer. Staff will not be working and won’t be able to respond to any questions or queries during the holidays.
  • There will still be links to other support agencies signposted on the website if you need further help during the school holidays.
  • For families entitled to free school meals, you will receive one voucher on 20th July that will cover the total amount for the duration of the 6 weeks holiday.
  • On 10th July, we are asking those of you with children not in school to come and collect reports, PE kits that were left in school and any certificates that children have received.  Please read last Friday’s letter or see the blue box above if you need reminding about times.
  • If any Year 6 children have got any work for their ‘Memories’ project, this can also be dropped into school on 10th July.
  • Please also return any reading books you have at home on 10th July.
  • We are unable to send children’s work home this year as we normally do at the end of the year.
  • We know some children like to bring a small gift in as a thank you to their teacher at the end of the year. We suggest this year that a short message to the year group email address would be a better way of doing this.

The other exciting news I can give you this week, is who your child’s teacher will be next year! As stated in previous letters, we expect to run a short period of transition in September where your child will initially be with their ‘old’ teacher but in their new classroom.

Old Class and Teacher
(your child was here!)
  New Class and Teacher
(your child will be here!)
RF - Miss Featherstone move to 1P - Miss Pace
RR - Ms. Richardson move to 1C - Mrs. Collins
1C - Mrs. Collins move to 2W - Miss. Wilson
1P - Miss. Pace move to 2H - Mrs. Harvey
2H - Mrs. Harvey move to 3S - Mrs. Smith
2W - Miss. Wilson move to 3G - Mrs. Godfrey
3G - Mrs. Godfrey move to 4F - Mr. Feely
3S - Mrs. Smith move to 4N - Mr. Norris
4F - Mr. Feely move to 5B - Mr. Bache
4N - Mr. Norris move to 5R - Mrs. Rodgers
5B - Mr. Bache move to 6P - Mrs. Pollitt
5R - Mrs. Rodgers move to 6H - Mr. Hedderley

Finally, we are very much looking forward to welcoming more children from Years 2, 3 and 4 back into school from Monday. You should by now have confirmed your place. Please remember to read the letter that can be found at the bottom of the Covid-19 daily update page on our website and share the information booklet with your children so that they can see how school is different at the moment. We look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs Ridley

Week 14 (26.06.20)

Dear Parents,

We are now 14 weeks into school closure and there are still daily challenges that we face and overcome. You will have heard this week about plans to reduce the social distancing rule from 2m to 1m from 4th July. This does not affect school reopening plans. As you will know if you have read our reopening letters, schools were never asked to guarantee that children could be kept 2m apart, but were asked to teach in groups of 15 or less with a whole array of other actions in place to reduce risk. This hasn’t changed and will not change before the Summer.

You may have read on the website that we are able to open more widely for children in Years 2, 3 and 4 who opted in, via our survey, to return to school before the Summer. We are able to do this within the guidance that is currently set out for schools and are looking forward to seeing at least a few more of you before the Summer. I am very grateful to all of my staff who have worked hard to make this happen.

We still have no information about what September will look like, beyond Government promises that schools will be open to all pupils. We are aware that previously statements haven’t always been stuck to and U-turns have been made. As soon as we have any firm information we will share this and our plans with you.

I know some of you will be needing holiday care for your children. I have details of a holiday club run by Central Coaching that you can find at the bottom of this page if you are interested. We will continue to signpost any information that we receive regarding holiday clubs and play schemes.

There are a few end of term arrangements that I can confirm now. Your child will receive an end of year report as usual, on Friday 10th July. If your child is in school, they will be given their report as usual. If your child hasn’t returned to school, we would like you to collect reports from us, in the waiting shelter near the main pedestrian gates at the following time on Friday 10th July:

9.15am – 10.15am Reception and Year 1

10.30am – 11.30am Year 2 and 3

1.00pm – 2.00pm Years 4, 5 and 6

We have PE kits and some items from coat pegs still in school. Children didn’t take these home if they weren’t in school when school closed. Please come and collect them at the times above, when you pick up your child’s report. Again, if children are in school, we will reunite them with their property – as long as they are named!

Some children have been chosen to receive a book prize and a certificate for their hard work over the year. We will text you and let you know if this is the case, but would again ask you to come and collect certificates at the times above if this applies to your child.

Please also take this opportunity to return any reading books that your children may have at home. We will not be able to implement our reading curriculum in September without these books.

Thinking forward to September, some of you are asking about uniform. It is our intention that the usual uniform policy will apply in September. This can be found on the website in the information section (or click HERE). There is an order form on the blue stripe at the bottom of this page. If you would like to order uniform from school, please email school on enquiry@grendon.bham.sch.uk by Monday 13th July with details of your order. You can use the order form to look at sizes, but please do not return this to school as our risk assessment and action plan requires us to be paper free at present. You will be able to collect this in September – more detail will follow.

I can confirm that those eligible for free school meals will continue to receive vouchers over the Summer holiday. As explained before, this does not apply to all children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 who had been receiving a free meal in school under the Government’s universal free school meals scheme. This has not run during school closure. If your circumstances have changed and you think you are now eligible for free school meals, please contact the school office by phone or email and we will be able to help with this.

Thank you to all of you that have visited our pop-up library with your child. Next week, (week beginning 29th June), will be the last week that this is running and this will only be to return books. You will not be able to borrow any.

Again my thanks for continuing to plough through all the information that we are providing and for following our rules and routines so well. Please continue to look at the website daily as this remains our main form of communication during the school closure.

Thank you for your support,

Mrs Ridley

Week 13 (19.06.20)

Dear Parents,

We are fast heading towards the end of what has been the strangest Summer term on record and I know you will have many questions about what the end of term will look like and what will happen from September onwards.

We currently have many more questions than answers ourselves. Schools are only getting the same information, at the same time as you all do, from the Government’s press conferences. While I understand that this is a new and challenging situation for all, this is making it very hard to plan for the future as we have to act within the boundaries of the guidance that we receive.

I can tell you that 89 families of children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 responded to our wider opening survey last week, with around half of them indicating that they would like their child to return to school before the Summer break if we are able to provide any provision. We are currently working hard to risk assess and decide what we are able to offer. As I stated last week, any offers are likely to be for part time places and probably only for the last two weeks of term from 6th July. We will be in touch with all families who completed the survey early next week to confirm whether or not we can open more widely and what we can offer your child.

I also want to make you aware at this point, that we are planning to close school for all children during the Summer holidays from 17th July. School has been open throughout this period, including during holidays. I am very proud of, and thankful for, my staff who have enabled this to happen.  We are not aware, as I write, of what the Government plan’s for any catch up provision is, but they have said on more than one occasion that schools will close for the Summer.

The Government has not yet told schools how they would like us to open in September. We are aware that this is a frustrating time for you, as it is for us. We know that the Autumn term may have to look very different from the one that we had planned, but will work tirelessly to ensure that we open as widely as is possible.

We know that children will have gaps to close and we know that many of you are concerned that your child is falling behind. I would like to reassure you that everybody has the same concerns, you are not alone. We will devise a curriculum for September that, not only closes gaps in learning, but supports children’s mental health and personal development after such a prolonged period of isolation.

We will let you know soon who your child’s teacher will be for next year. We are aware that we have not been able to run all the transition activities that we would have done under different circumstances. We want to reduce anxiety and make sure children are well prepared for this change. Please reassure your children that we will plan a period of transition for September and will not jump straight into teaching a curriculum that children are not ready for, with staff that they do not know. More detail will be given over the next few weeks.

Finally, can I remind you all, but especially those of you with children attending at present and those hoping to return before the Summer, that school can only stay open if staff and children remain healthy. We have a risk assessment in place in order to keep risk for staff, children and the community at a low level. We all have a responsibility in ensuring that this remains the case. While the Government have and will continue to relax restrictions, please ensure that you follow the most up to date guidance and are not breaking social distancing rules, or mixing with too many other people outside or inside. Please do not put us and yourselves at risk.

Thank you for your continued support,

Mrs Ridley

Week 12 (12.06.20)

Dear Parents,

We have reached the end of week 12 of the school closure and I know that it is continuing to be a challenging time for us all. We are creating ‘another new normal’ every step of the way as we react and respond to new developments.

We have slightly more children in school this week and it is honestly a pleasure to see them. They never fail to make me smile! We have 44% of Year 6, 30% of Year 1 and 39% of Reception in school currently, with more children expected back each week.  We are open to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. If you would like your child in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 to return, then please just let us know. We are asking for a week’s notice to adjust group sizes and staffing if necessary, but it would be lovely to see even more smiling faces.

You may have heard the Government say this week that, although they have dropped their plans to ensure all primary school children return to school a month before the Summer holidays, they would encourage schools to open to more children if they have the capacity.

We are keen to look at what, if anything, we could offer children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 before the Summer holidays. To do this, we need to know what the demand for places would be. If you are a parent of a Year 2, 3, 4 or 5 child please could you click on the link below in order to tell us whether you would like your child to return before the Summer holiday IF we were to be able to offer any time in school. ALL Year 2, 3, 4 and 5 parents need to do this – it is a simple yes or no response and the choice is entirely yours.

To be clear, I am not saying that we will be able to have children back. It certainly wouldn’t be a full time place and may even be only for a week. I cannot promise that your child would be taught by their own teacher but we would look to do this wherever possible. Please think carefully before opting in or out. You will not be able to change your mind at a later date as, if we are able, we will base planning around numbers that we collect now. We will not have the flexibility to make any changes at a later date as group sizes and staffing are determined by Government guidance.

If you would like to find out a little more about what school is currently like, scroll down this page and see the heading "What has changed?'. You will also find our Reopening Action Plan and a booklet showing photographs of school that will show you some of the changes in the PDFs at the bottom of the page.

We will let you know what, if any, provision we are able to offer as soon as we are able to.

There is a change with free school meal vouchers that I need to bring to your attention. They have previously been valid for four months. This time has now been cut to two months so please ensure they are spent. If you are entitled, your vouchers are for £15 per week per child. Some schools are issuing these for several weeks together in which case you get a larger amount in one voucher but then nothing for the next few weeks. As we are not providing lunches even if children are in school we will continue to ensure you receive £15 per week. Some schools may now be sending less as they are providing some food in school.

Please continue to stay safe and follow the guidance in place. We need to keep the risk low enough to ensure school can re-open completely as soon as it is safe to do so. We miss you all.

Best Wishes

Mrs Ridley

Week 11 (05.06.20)

Dear Parents,

As you will have read, we have been open to more children this week. It has been an absolute delight to see the smiling faces and enthusiasm of the children that have returned. Thank you for ensuring timings, rules and routines have been followed. This has ensured that the week has run really smoothly, as you will have seen for yourselves.

We know some of you wanted to wait a little longer and were still considering whether to send your Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children back to school. We are able to have your children back when you feel you want them to return, but now ask you to give us one week’s notice before they return in order for us to confirm times (which may now have changed to those that were allocated for a 1st June start date) and staffing levels. You can contact school by phone or by emailing emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you would like your child to return.

If your child is back at school, can I remind you that normal attendance procedures apply. You need to phone school and report any absence each morning as you would have done previously. We will contact you if this isn’t done. It is vital that we know reasons for any absence.

As we are only currently offering part time places, free school meal vouchers will continue to be provided for those children who are eligible. The Government had said that they would not fund this through May half term, but announced in the middle of half term that they would! This decision was obviously too late for schools to act at the time. We can now ensure that you get these vouchers. On 8th June you will receive a £30 voucher instead of the usual £15 per child per week to cover that week and the week missed over half term. Following that, it will return to a £15 per week payment.

We currently have no information about opening to other year groups unfortunately. We are only getting our information from the Government’s daily press conferences and via the media the same as you do, so I am not able to offer any more information here. Apologies for this.

We are continuing to work very hard to ensure we offer the best possible provision to all of our children during this time. I have two new developments to report here. As you know, we have been in phone contact with many, but not all, of our families throughout school closure. From 15th June, we will call all families of children who are not attending in order to provide further support and information. This may not be from your child’s current teacher as most are in school teaching full time. The call may be from a private number. We will leave a message if you miss the call and attempt to phone you back. It would be great to speak to as many of you as we can.

We also know how important it is to ensure children are reading. We are not able to do this in the same way as we would have done normally, but are launching a new ‘Reading for Pleasure’ drive. You will find more information about this signposted from the blue boxes on the website, so please have a look at our new Library page. We have information and passwords that will allow children to access and download a wide selection of e-books from home and have set up a new email address: library@grendon.bham.sch.uk in order for children to talk about books and engage in a conversation with members of staff about books and reading. We are even launching a pop-up library service. You will be able to come into the playground at allocated times and choose a book to take home and read. Social distancing and hygiene procedures will be in place to ensure this is done safely. Books will then be returned into a book return box and not put back into circulation for a period of time for safety. Children will be able to request books by a particular author or subject by emailing library@grendon.bham.sch.uk before collection. This service will be available from Tuesday 9th June between 1.30pm – 2.45pm and will be a weekly event. Reception and Year 1 will be asked to come on Tuesdays, Year 2 and Year 3 on Wednesdays and Years 4, 5 and 6 on Fridays.

If children are in school, we will visit each group with a library trolley for children to choose a book from if they wish. Social distancing and hygiene practices will be in place to ensure this is safe.

Finally, after a period of consultation. during which no objections were raised, Birmingham City Council have agreed to the formal closure of our Nursery Class that hasn’t been open for the past two years. The age range of school will be changed from 3 – 11 years to 4 – 11 years. This gives us the opportunity to continue to move forward with our plan to work towards offering some form of before and after school provision as we are aware that there is a need for this. This process, as with many, has been slowed by the current situation with Covid-19 but we will continue to take the next steps in this process as soon as we are able.

Many thanks for your continued support during this time.

Stay Safe

Mrs Ridley

Week 9 (22.05.20)

Dear Parents,

It is now nine weeks since school closed. I know from the responses we have had to the possibility of school reopening, there are still very mixed feelings about how far we, as a country, have moved along the road to re-establishing some form of normality.  I would like to reassure you that the confusion or anxiety that I know many of you are feeling is entirely normal in this situation. All any of us can do, is to make the best decisions we can for our families and I know that this is what you are doing.

For those of you with children in Years 2, 3, 4 or 5 and for those of you making the decision not to send your Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 children back to school, we will continue to provide ‘Work from Home’ on our website that will be updated each Friday. Staff will continue to answer questions, look at examples of work and provide support through the year group email addresses that we have provided. Please email us – it is making teachers very happy to hear from you!  We will also continue with safe and well calls on Monday mornings to some of our families and will try and extend this to other families where we can.

For those of you with children returning to school, you should by now have received your letter detailing the arrangements. Please contact us on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you haven’t.  It is vital that we all stick to the routines outlined. Please ensure your child is in the playground at the time specified. Please do not be early or late. We have ensured that entry and exit times are staggered to avoid mixing of groups, but obviously need your support to achieve this.  Gates will open automatically at specific times to help with this – please remember not to push them!

Please also be aware that, as we are asking you not to come early and as we cannot manage children coming into school at other times, there will be no ‘wet bell’ rung in the mornings if it is raining. Children will only be greeted in the playground at the allocated time. Thank you for your help with this.

Although it is difficult to even know what day of the week it is at the moment, can I remind you that it is, in theory, half term next week! School is closing completely for the first time since Christmas. Website updates will continue as usual. There will be no safe and well calls made on Monday and no ‘Work from Home’ posted on Friday 29th May. You may want to keep this week’s work for after the holiday. There will also be no vouchers from Edenred on Monday, but you should expect these to start again on Monday 1st June.

Finally, I would like to remind you that although we have all of our plans in place, we still do not know whether the Government will give schools the go ahead to open. Please keep checking the website. The blue box above the daily update will contain the most up to date information that we have. It may very well be a last minute decision by the Government, so be prepared!

It seems likely then, that school is about to change again, with us opening to more pupils. We know that this has, and will, involve changing plans and moving to yet another new normal. Thank you for your support during this hugely challenging time. Together WE CAN come out of this and I know that relationships will be stronger than they previously were.  I look forward to the version of the new normal in which we can have all of our children back in school safely.

Stay safe,

Mrs Ridley

Week 8 (15.05.20)

Dear Parents,

Well, what a long week this has been following the Government announcement that schools COULD open from June 1st as long as the Covid alert system says that it is safe to do so.

The guidance for schools is available on gov.uk if you would like to read it but I will summarise the main points below:

Schools should reopen to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as well as continuing to be open for children of key workers and vulnerable children from all year groups.

The government acknowledge that primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff.

Schools are being asked to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission by teaching children in small groups, not allowing these groups to mix and increasing cleaning and hygiene routines.

All staff and children attending school and their households will be entitled to a test if they display symptoms.

Where a school has a positive case of Covid-19, the rest of their class or group would be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

The government are strongly encouraging children in eligible year groups to attend however parents/ carers will not be penalised for keeping their children at home. Parents will not be fined for school non-attendance at this time and schools not held to account for attendance figures.

There is no requirement for staff or children to wear Personal Protective Equipment, masks etc. unless an adult is caring for a symptomatic child.

At Grendon, reopening for the children suggested, would mean that we increase the percentage of children in school from 4% currently, to around 49% in one step.

Because we are keen to have our children back in school and are keen to get on and close gaps in learning, we have worked tirelessly all week to try to find ways of making this possible. Our conclusion is that there is no safe way to manage this significant increase in pupil numbers given that staffing levels are reduced (clinically vulnerable adults continue to work from home in line with guidance) and the requirement to teach in separate rooms in groups of less than 15.

We are eager to offer some provision to those targeted year groups though and have found a way to do this in a way that we consider to be the safest possible, one in which we lower the risk as much as we can for your children and my staff. 

If on June 1st the Government gives us the go ahead to open, we can offer all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 a part time place (morning or afternoon session) each day.  This would be in their classroom, with one of their teachers.

I know that this may not be what you were expecting, and I apologise for any inconvenience that this causes. I make no apology for putting the health and safety of your children and my staff at the forefront of decisions being made. We know that by taking this approach, we will have around 25% of children on site at the same time. We know that this is manageable and that we can implement all the stringent cleaning and hygiene guidelines and minimise the number of social interactions in order to reduce the risk for us all. This makes it as safe as possible given current risks for your children to attend school. 

It also gives us the opportunity to increase provision, working towards full time if and when restrictions on sizes of groups and staff attendance are lifted, less children than we expect come back to school, or we have the go ahead to open for other year groups before the Summer.

I will write to all parents of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils early next week, when I am able to confirm details of all the arrangements that are in place to protect us all.

We haven’t forgotten about all the rest of our children in Years 2-5. The plan above allows us scope to arrange similar provision for them if and when the Government allows us to. In the meantime, we will continue to update the website daily and my letters and challenges will continue.  Work from Home sheets will continue to be updated each Friday, although with reduced content for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as the expectation is that children will be in school for half a day.

I would like to thank you again for your overwhelming support during this hugely challenging time. Please be assured that we are doing all we can to work towards having all children in school as soon as we can. I finish by making it very clear that the plan to reopen school to more children remains a conditional one. It will NOT HAPPEN on 1st June unless the Government gives the country the go ahead to move onto Stage 2 of their plan.

Stay safe,
Mrs Ridley

Week 7 (08.05.20)

Dear Parents,

We are now at the end of the 7th week of school closure, including the holidays. Huge congratulations to you all for everything that you are doing to support your children with their learning as well as to keep them safe.

I hope that you have found the lessons from the Oak National Academy useful. We are only including the links to lessons for a particular year group on the ‘Work From Home’ sheets. Remember that these will not match the ability of every single child in a class. It is ok to select lessons from a different year group if you feel it is more appropriate. Year 6 children can even choose to look at Year 7 lessons if they need a challenge! You can do this from The Oak National Academy website.

Remember too, that you can contact teaching staff on the emails given in last Friday’s letter. They would love to see and hear about some of the things that the children have be doing at home!

In light of the fact that children are obviously online more at this time, I have highlighted the need for you to monitor their online activity. On the curriculum tab on our website you will find lots of useful information about e-safety and this will be added to soon. Please ensure your children are safe online.

For those of you with children in Year 5, we have received information about the arrangements for registration for the optional entrance test for the King Edward’s Grammar schools in Birmingham. Please look at the Year 5 class page and you will find more information above their ‘Working From Home’ sheets.

For those of you receiving free school meal vouchers from Edenred, I hope that this is beginning to work more smoothly than in past weeks. We are doing all we can to support with this, but it is difficult because school cannot control this process. Remember that the week beginning 25th May is half term and that you will not receive vouchers for that week as your children wouldn’t normally have been in school.

Finally, I know that we are approaching the time when the Government will give us more information about how and when lockdown will end and what the ‘new normal’ will be. We, like you, await information about the reopening of schools when it is safe to do so. We will keep you updated here on the website when we know more. Please can I ask you to keep checking the website daily. The school office is not open, so you will not get any information by phoning. The emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk is available for you to use in an emergency, but we will update you all in blue boxes on this page when we have any information. Please do not email us to ask us about reopening dates. I am aware that even when schools are given the go ahead to open, that this will not be in our usual way with all of the children in at all times. I think we all need to prepare ourselves for another ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future. Please help us to manage children’s expectations around this when we know more.

Stay safe and enjoy the bank holiday weekend

Mrs Ridley

Week 6 (01.05.20)

Dear Parents,

I hope you continue to remain safe and well. It was good to see and talk to those of you who collected exercise books last Friday. A simple conversation is something that we have taken for granted and now very much appreciate in these circumstances.

Speaking of communication, we are listening carefully to what you are saying during this period and are keen to adapt our response accordingly. For this reason, as of now, we have live email addresses for you or your child to contact teachers and teaching assistants if needed. These are as follows:

rec@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year1@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year2@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year3@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year4@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year5@grendon.bham.sch.uk

year6@grendon.bham.sch.uk

We have to manage expectations around the use of these carefully. We are not able to offer any additional work through this forum, (please see links on website for this), or provide one to one tuition, teaching or additional support. However, staff will be able to answer any work related queries or child specific questions. They are also there if children want to share an example of particularly good work or projects that they have completed for their teachers to see or to ask for a few words of encouragement. It will be lovely to hear from you.

Please be aware that staff may not respond immediately and will only respond during working hours. Remember that staff are still in school, planning for and teaching the children we have here as well as planning work for home, making phone contact with many of our families and many other responsibilities. Their workload is heavy. We ask that you keep this in mind when contacting us or waiting for a reply. Please continue to direct any emergency issues and queries to emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk as school leaders will respond to these.

We have also listened to parents views on our work from home sheets on the website. We know most of you are accessing these and think they are helpful and of good quality. However, we know some of you are finding it hard to ‘guess what’s in the teacher’s brain’ and teach from these – this isn’t surprising and we thank you for your efforts. To try and help with this, from today, we will use online lessons from Oak National Academy (set up by the Government to produce lessons for school closure) as part of our work from home sheets. The children will be able to participate in lessons that are delivered by outstanding teachers. The quality is very good and uses methods in line with our school approach. They can be accessed from the work from home sheets as usual.

In last week’s letter, I posted links to our annual questionnaires. Thank you to those that have completed this. The blue box above is still showing this link. Please take 5 minutes to complete this.  It will be available until Thursday 7th May. We really value your thoughts and opinions. Just a word of caution – this is part of our school improvement process designed to move the school forward. Please don’t complete just based on this time in lockdown, as I hope I will never have to repeat this process in the future! Please consider the broader and longer term picture of how the school works in ‘normal’ circumstances.

As mentioned last week, I can now confirm that both residential trips, (St Braviels and Blackwell Court), are cancelled. We have been able to process the refunds for St Braviels and you should have received a Group call saying that these can be collected from school on Wednesday 6th May 1.30pm – 2.30pm. Please observe social distancing requirements. Information about Blackwell Court refunds will follow in due course.

You may also be aware that from September 2020 there is new statutory guidance in place for the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education in school. For us, this means minimal changes to our current programme for teaching Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) in school. However, we are required to consult parents over the content of this new policy. This is obviously difficult during the school closure and we will do this on our website. Please look out for information and consultation to follow shortly. We will signpost this from the blue box at the top of the Covid-19 daily update.

Finally, just to repeat from last week, that I know speculation around the reopening of schools continues. We have no information about this. There is no date confirmed. Anything else is just speculation and not helpful to any of us. When we are given the go ahead to open, we will let you know and do this following the guidance we will be given and in a way that is safest for us all.

Thank you for you continued support, it really is appreciated in these challenging circumstances.

Stay Safe,

Mrs Ridley

Week 5 (24.04.20)

Dear Parents,

I honestly never expected to be writing a letter welcoming you back for a Summer Term in which, at least for now, most of you will continue to work from home. We’ve all had to adapt very quickly to new ways of working and I want to take this opportunity to say what an amazing job you’re doing in supporting your child’s learning and well-being during this time.

It is definitely a strange and challenging period and it’s ok if you and your child are feeling a little wobbly at times. Remember that we may not be communicating in the usual way, but we are still here with you and for you and together we can get through this.

Just a quick update on arrangements that have been in place since the start of the closure:

  • The website is updated daily. Please click on the red banner.
  • We can be reached on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk in an emergency.
  • Work is set for children weekly on a Friday and can be found on their class pages.
  • Children entitled to free school meals should be receiving emails with vouchers each week.
  • We have a food bank for you to access that can support families if required.
  • We are keeping in touch weekly by phone call with many of our families – please answer the phone on a Monday morning if we call!

For those of you receiving vouchers, I know that the Government free school meals system is still proving frustrating. There are long queues on the website and emails still not reaching you. We are doing all we can to support you, but this isn’t a system that is in school’s control. I can only suggest being patient and trying the website early in the morning or later in the evening when it may be less busy. All families nationally are being directed here, which is causing delays. I can only apologise for this.

I am aware of the huge benefits of using social media at present to keep in touch with family and friends. Please be aware though that your children are really too young to be accessing social media sites at all and certainly without supervision. We know that there were issues around this while children were in school and I am concerned that given current circumstances, there is a risk of your children becoming unsafe. Please monitor their use and do all that you can to keep them safe online.

I am sure that you will be not surprised, but we are sorry to say that the St Braviels residential trip has been cancelled. You will get a full refund as soon as we are able to do this. Details will follow. We await news about the Blackwell Court residential trip later in the year, but my feeling is that this will be cancelled. Again, information will follow as soon as we have it.  I know how disappointed the children will be by this.

Despite all the very strange things that are happening at the moment, we are also conscious that as well as meeting needs presenting at the moment, we need to continue to move the school forwarded as efficiently as we can. I have two updates here. As you know, Mrs Foster was appointed as Acting Deputy Head for the Spring term. She has now returned to her position as Assistant Head at Grendon and I thank her for her support and commitment to me and the school during a very challenging time. Mr. Darby will now take up the position of Acting Deputy Head until we appoint during the Autumn term. As senior leaders, the three of us continue to work closely together as we have done so far.

Normally at this time of year, we would be sending out parent questionnaires and completing children’s surveys in school in order to begin planning for our School Improvement Plan for next year. We are still keen to do this, as I am a firm believer in listening to the views of all stakeholders and recognise the value in this. I also realise that things are far from normal at the moment but would ask you to consider a longer term picture when answering.  The link below will take you directly to an online survey that you then submit. Please take 5 minutes to do this. Your opinion really matters to us. On the children’s letter there is also a link to a survey that they can complete. I would be very grateful if you could support them to do this.

Children’s questionnaire:  CLICK HERE

Parents Questionnaire:  CLICK HERE

We miss the children very much, but at the moment, we understand that we have a responsibility to follow all of the Government guidance, as it is the best way to keep everyone in our community safe. Despite what you have read in the media, we cannot say when school will reopen as no date is set. Rest assured that we will continue doing our best to keep your child learning and our school community connected during this time.

Thank you for your good wishes and continued support,

Mrs Ridley

Week 2 (03.04.20)

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are staying well and looking after your families as best you can in these increasingly difficult circumstances. Can I stress once again, the importance of following Government advice at this time. All of us needs to play our  part. It is our collective responsibility to do so.

School continues to remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers where no other provision can be made. This will continue through the Easter holiday and I would like to thank my staff for their unwavering support with this, when they, like all of us, remain concerned about their own families. 

Can I also take this opportunity to let you know the facts about access to free school meals for your children, which I know has caused some concern:

  • The Government scheme of providing a free meal for all children from Reception to Year 2 is no longer in operation. Children will only get one if they are eligible, as has always been the case for children in Years 3-6. 
  • As promised, we have provided packed lunches that have been available for collection from school during the last 2 weeks.
  • This will stop from today. There will be no packed lunches for collection from Monday 6th April.
  • We now have a voucher code for every child eligible for free school meals. We have contacted you if this applies to you. 
  • After Easter a voucher system will remain in place although this then changes from the Birmingham system to the Government system so we will need to contact you again. 
  • Once this is in place, you will be sent vouchers automatically each week.
  • We will continue to provide packed lunches for children who are still in school and I will speak to individuals about this. 

To summarise, if your child is eligible for free school meals, you should by now have had a code emailed to you. Packed lunches will no longer be available to collect from school. 

To finish on a high note, I hope you have all had chance to watch staff singing our We Can song on our website and have listened to the radio interview that followed. It has been a privilege to talk about our school and your children during this time. The words of the song were their words and continue to mean something to all involved in a Grendon. We Can and we will beat this together.

I thank you for your continued support and wish you all a very happy, (but very different), Easter holiday. We will continue to update our website and work on the class pages throughout this time, although I won’t write to you again until after the holidays. Please keep checking the website for updates daily. 

Stay safe,

Mrs H Ridley

Headteacher

Week 1 (27.03.20)

Dear Parents/Carers

Firstly, may I offer you my congratulations if you have survived your first week of home schooling or thank you on behalf of us all if you have continued to work as a critical worker.

I will keep you up to date with everything we know on a Friday, although will of course make you aware of any immediate developments as soon as they happen. I will also write to the children weekly, please read it to them if they are unable to read it for themselves.

We have a number of children remaining with us in school. I am immensely proud of my staff and the children for the way in which they have risen to this challenge and change of circumstance at a time of huge anxiety for us all. The children are amazing and are having a brilliant time.

For those of you at home, we know that you are accessing our website which continues to be updated daily, enjoying what we are offering and doing your best as the nation’s newest ‘teachers’. Your messages of support continue to make us smile. Many thanks for these.

As you know, staff will update work on the class pages on a Friday, ready for the next week. There are many additional opportunities for online learning signposted from our website in the Funzone section as well as in Latest News. We will continue with these updates over the Easter holidays as we are aware that we are all being advised to stay at home. Please continue to enjoy and work through the activities with your children during the holidays if you wish.

For those of you eligible for Free School Meals, the Government has promised us a voucher system. This is not in place yet. Birmingham Local Authority is therefore working to develop its own system that we expect to have details in school today or early next week. It is likely to involve us providing eligible families with a voucher code that they will then login to a website with and access vouchers.  You are likely to need an email address in order to do this so please look in to this if you do not have one. We will post more information on the website as soon as we are able.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for the community spirit and sense of togetherness that we can feel from you all. If we work together and follow the Government advice, “stay at home, save lives, protect the NHS”, WE CAN beat this together. Remember, you can contact us on emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you need us urgently and the information you need is not already available on our website.

Stay safe,

Mrs Ridley

Headteacher

For further information please see:

Government Coronavirus (Covid19) Advice

NHS 111 Online

Worried about how to speak to your children about  Covid19? Worried yourself? This site has some great advice: Place2Be

Test and Trace:

 

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Help and Advice for Families

 

NHS Mental Health Support Services

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PAUSE - Mental Health Support

“Need someone to talk to? Struggling to cope with feelings? Pause is here for you, if you are under 25 and have a Birmingham GP.

We offer a non-judgemental listening ear, self-help strategies plus skills for managing difficult situations and feelings. We are open 10-6 seven days a week.

Drop us an email on askbeam@childrenssociety.org.uk or call 0207 8414470 and we will arrange for one of our friendly team to call you back.

For more info check out https://www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk/


Stay happy, stay healthy and we'll see you all again soon!