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Covid19 Daily Update

04.06.20

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.

The Government have announced that the country can move to the next stage of its plan to ease lockdown and that it is safe for schools to open from 1st June.

That means that Grendon is OPEN to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, as well as continuing to be open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

It has been great to see so many smiling faces again! Thank you for following the new rules and routines so well.

We are happy to welcome more children back into Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from now on, but ask you to give us a week's notice if you wish your child to return. This is so that we can adjust staffing and group sizes if necessary.

We are very aware that although we have reduced risk as much as we can, it still exists and is very real. We have a collective responsibility to keep each other safe. We would ask you all, as we will, to follow Government rules about social distancing and meeting people outside of your household. Please don't increase risk for yourselves or anybody else.

Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time.

Please email emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk if you have any urgent issue you need addressing and a member of staff will get back to you as soon as possible.

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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.

Previous Messages to our Grendon Family...

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 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

 

 

SPECIAL FREE RESOURCES

Twinkl are offering free membership to their site in light of school closures.  This is one of the most useful resource banks in the UK and is normally a paid for service. You can sign up HERE using the offer code UKTWINKLHELPS.

PhonicsPlay is another site who are offering free membership during this period. The focus here is Phonics and a little bit each day is brilliant for children to improve their reading and writing. Click HERE to access their site.

BBCBitesize have also started offering free lessons for lots of different age groups. You can check out their DAILY lessons HERE

Music lessons are available from Services for Education. They have sent us a username and password to share with you all. Click HERE and type in

Username: grendonpr
Password: 5yYt2r2n

Suggested Daily Schedule for Children

You can also download a printable version at the bottom of the page.

Before 9am (Wake up)

Time to start the day! Wash, eat breakfast and brush your teeth. Don’t forget to make your bed!

9.00 - 9.15am (Start the day)

Have a chat about the activities for the day.

9.15 - 10.15am (Marvellous Maths)

The Maths learning activities can be found on class pages of the school website.

10.15 - 10.45am (Snack and exercise)

Enjoy a healthy snack and do some exercise. What can you do to stay active?

10.45 - 11.45am (Excellent English)

The English learning activities can be found on class pages of the school website.

11.45 - 12.15pm (Relaxing Reading)

Time to relax! Enjoy reading to yourself or someone reading to you. Where is your favourite spot to read?

12.15 - 1.00pm (Lunch and Exercise)

Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Then have some fun exercising. What will you do to keep your body healthy?

1.00 - 1.30pm (Chore time)

Lend a helping hand! Help with some cleaning, tidy your room etc.

1.30 - 2.30pm (Perfect Project)

Time to get creative! The project learning activity can be found on class pages of the school website.

2.30 - 3.15pm (Spellings, Times Tables and MyMaths

Spend some time doing each of these things.

3.15 - 4.00pm (Exercise)

Get creative! Make up a dance, do some yoga, do a YouTube children’s work out (adult supervision is necessary when online.)

4.00 - 5.00pm (Game time)

Have some fun with board games, puzzles and playing with toys. What is your favourite game? Can you make your own game up?

5.00 - 6.00pm (Dinner time)

Make sure you wash your hands before dinner. What’s on the menu tonight?

6.00 - 8.00pm (Chill out time)

Relax with your family, play, read or watch TV. What's your favourite way to relax?

 

We will post learning activities on our website and will update these weekly. These can be found under the CLASSES tab and can be downloaded and printed off if you want by looking at the bottom of the class page.

In addition, we have also updated the links section of the website with even more fun and educational links to other websites. They can be accessed by clicking HERE or under the Curriculum-Fun Zone tab.

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

You can also contact school directly if you have an urgent issue. We have set up an special email address during this period:

emergency@grendon.bham.sch.uk

Help and Advice for Families

 

NHS Mental Health Support Services

Accordion content

 

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!

Some extra ideas from our Parents and Carers!

Diversity Dance Classes!
Diversity are giving you lessons for free. CLICK HERE

Joe Wicks PE Class
The Body Coach hosts a live PE lessons at 9am. CLICK HERE

Taskmaster for Kids
Alex Horne is setting lots of weird and fun challenges! CLICK HERE

Tidy Up!!
Need a song to help your children be inspired to tidy up?! CLICK HERE

SCARF - Harold the Giraffe
Daily activities from Harold the Giraffe from Life Education. CLICK HERE

Audible
Free streaming of children's books while schools are closed.  CLICK HERE.