News & Updates
This page holds all of our latest information, policies and arrangements in relation to the on-going pandemic.
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All the information you need can be found HERE
LATEST LETTERS FROM MRS. RIDLEY (15.01.21):
Letter to the Parents
Dear Parents and Carers,
I need to start by thanking you so much for your support with our Remote Learning Strategy this week. Staff and children, both in school and at home, have loved seeing each other at the zoom meetings and many of you have commented on how even a brief explanation at the start of the day has helped your children engage more in their learning. I am so impressed with all of our new skills – we have all certainly used our growth mindset this week to try and make this work! Thank you all so much.
Please do not worry if your children haven’t yet managed to join our zoom meetings. We do understand the pressure that we are all under at the moment and realise that this may not always be possible. We would like to help and encourage wherever we can though, as we have seen for ourselves this week the value of seeing our children and the impact that it has had on home learning. If devices or Internet access are stopping your children joining these meetings and accessing the our learning programme described in last week’s letter, please do email us on email@example.com. We do have a few laptops left to loan and are able to work with mobile phone providers to increase data allocations during this time.
You will get one email from us daily with the links for both the morning and the afternoon meeting on. We ensured during the Autumn term that we collected and tested our emailing system and asked you to let us know if you weren’t receiving our emails. Despite this, we know that there have been a few issues this week which we have worked hard to resolve. Please contact the school office if you are still not receiving our emails. It is important to note that we will only hold on file one email address per child. If you need the zoom link to go to another family member because they are supporting your child at home, please forward the link yourself. We can’t collect many different email addresses for each child! Remember that to join the zoom meeting, our code of conduct requires you to join with your camera on. We can help you with this if needed.
We have enjoyed seeing your children’s work each day. Thank you for sending it in. Can I remind you to send one email each day to the year group email addresses on the class page e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org and not to reply to the zoom email invitation address. This will ensure the right members of staff see and can feedback on children’s work. Also please collect work and send one email a day rather than each piece of work separately as it is easier for us to look at. We are doing our best to respond as quickly as we can to your emails. Please be aware though that we will only respond during working hours and that my staff, (as you are), are trying to juggle many responsibilities at the moment, including teaching in school, looking after their own children who may be at home as well as responding to remote learning. Please bear with us if you don’t get a reply instantly.
Many of you have commented how much better our home learning is than during Lockdown 1 and this is certainly the case. It is a very new process for us all, we are learning with you! It will continue to improve and evolve as we go. As such, I am pleased to direct you to a new section on the ‘Classes’ tab of the website labelled ‘Phonics Lessons’. This will build over time allowing Reception, Year 1 and some Year 2 children to access phonics video lessons each week taught by our own staff. Please see Miss Pace’s letter that follows for more details.
We have also started our Safe and Well phone calls with families this week which most of you will get fortnightly. These calls are primarily to check that you are all ok, but we will obviously answer questions relating to home learning as well. Please be aware that we will only make one call to each family. If you have more than one child, only one member of staff will call you, but will ask about all of the children. This ensures we are not bombarding you with calls at a time when we are all juggling so much. Please let us know during these calls if there is any support we can offer you.
I am pleased to let you know that the Government has now decided to re-open it’s voucher system for children entitled to benefits related free school meals. This will be through the Edenred provider that we used during the Christmas holidays. Vouchers will be emailed directly to you if your children are at home and are not receiving a meal in school. We are yet to receive the go ahead in school to order these, but have been told that the system will be operational from 18th January. You will receive £15 for each eligible child per week, although it may be that you don’t receive the vouchers until the following week. I will update the website with the most up to date information if it is before my letter next Friday. You will not receive vouchers for the weeks that we have already completed, (4th January and 11th January), as the voucher system wasn’t in use and schools were advised to issue food parcels as was explained in my previous letters.
I will finish right back where I started with more thanks! On 4th January, we were given less than 12 hours to shut school, re-open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children and switch to remote learning for everybody else. The response I have had from staff, parents and children has made me very proud (again!) to be the Headteacher at Grendon. Everybody has played their part in ensuring we move forward together. My sincere thanks to my staff for all of their hard work and their commitment to moving far out of their comfort zones in order to get to grips with the demands of home learning, and to you, for making this work in the best way that you possibly can. Please be reassured that your best is absolutely good enough.
Letter to the children
Well, I have to say how impressed I am, (as usual), with you all this week! You have certainly shown that you have a We Can attitude and used your growth mindset to join your zoom meetings. It was so lovely to see you all – you made your teachers smile! Some of them even cried but they told me that was because you had made them so proud and happy!
Your work has been amazing, keep sending it in for us to see. I might even pop into some of your zoom meetings next week to say well done if I see anything that is really fantastic!
I have a job especially for our Junior Leadership Team this week, but any of you could join in and help if you would like to. You will remember that last year we replaced the rotting wooden play equipment in the Year 3 and 4 playground. We had new outdoor gym equipment which you love. I know that Junior Leaders wanted us to get some new equipment in the front playground as well, to help us keep fit and healthy. The pirate ship, bridges and stepping stones are very old and need replacing before they become too unsafe for us to use. Junior Leaders were going to work on ideas for this this term. If you have any good ideas or suggestions for what we could have in the front playground then please let me know. You can email me any ideas, designs or suggestions to email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Stay safe everyone
If you have further questions or need anything clarifying please ring school on 0121 474 2460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org