Where next?


Over the last few weeks you will have heard many news stories about returning to school, but the bottom line remains the same – we do not know when and how this might happen yet. I have been having lots of conversations with other Head Teachers who all have similar concerns regarding social distancing and how schools can do this effectively, not only in the classrooms but at pick up and dropping off times, in the playground or the dinner hall.

The most important thing is to make sure that everyone who comes onto the school site remains and feels safe, whether this is you as parents and carers, the children or the staff, whilst at the same time abiding by the Government’s guidelines.

As staff we are all thinking about how we could manage this and I am hopeful that Birmingham City Council may offer some guidance so that all schools are operating in a similar way. Obviously your opinions and concerns are vitally important to us and how successful any return will be.

If you have any comments or worries your input would be helpful at this very early stage of planning and will be taken into account and relayed when future meetings take place.

Thank you.

A message from staff

A message from Mrs Gaynor

Happy Easter!

I am sure many of you will have seen this video, but I just felt it was a good way to think about where we are at the moment. It is such a strange and scary situation but everyone is just praying that there will be an end in sight and it will soon be safe to get back to ‘normal’, whatever that normal might look like. Take care, be kind and look after each other and we will be back together soon I hope – and definitely eat chocolate! 😉

Worried about completing school work?

I have adapted this from something I read and thought it may ease some of the worries you may have about your child’s education at this difficult time.

Lots of people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by everything that’s happening. This includes the work being sent home from school for your child. So I wanted to try and reassure those of you who are concerned. A few points to note first:

1) This is not home schooling. This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting on the whole world. Let’s keep perspective. Home schooling is a choice, where you considered, you plan for it and you are your child’s school teacher in whatever form you choose. This is, at best, distance learning in very difficult circumstances.

2) Schools had no notice, no preparation time and we were NOT told to ‘continue to plan lessons as normal and just send them home’ – that’s NOT possible. If it were, we’d all be out of a job!

3) It is absolutely not possible to manage a normal school day with a primary aged child and work from home at the same time. The very idea is nonsense. If you’re trying to do that, stop now. You can certainly have activities where your child learns, but your focus is your job, and survival. Again, unprecedented. Stop trying to be superheroes.

So, a few FAQs:

– My school has sent home lots of physical work. Pages and pages, hours and hours. How am I supposed to get through it all?

You’re not, don’t try. Your child’s teacher spent a couple of hours in utter panic gathering things to send home so they could say they did their best and there wasn’t a lot of complaints that enough didn’t go home. It’s not a competition, or a race, it’s unlikely the teacher will even manage to look at it.

– My school keeps sending home links and emails with more work. How do I make it stop? Ahhhhhh!

See above. These are suggestions and ideas because we are worried we’re not offering enough. Use them if they suit you, don’t if they don’t suit.

– Someone in my child’s class has everything done and we’ve barely started. Will they fall behind?

Even if everything were equal in terms of support, time and number of children (which it’s not) all children learn at different rates. In the class there’s a wide range of levels in all subjects, there’s different paces and there are many children working on differentiated levels of work. It’s almost impossible for teachers to differentiate at the moment, so you don’t have to do it either. Your child will not fall behind as the activities are not about learning new things. If children could all learn new concepts without specific teaching, we wouldn’t need teachers.

– How can I get three different lots of work done with 3 different kids of different ages?

You can’t, stop trying. If they’re old enough, try to get them to do little bits independently. Otherwise try to do something they can all engage with, reading a story together, some free writing, baking etc.

You are doing enough. You are loving your children and supporting them through a difficult time. Look after yourself. Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Don’t let this be something that stresses you. Only you can control that by accepting it is in your circle of control, you are the primary educator and this is all your call. Above all continue to talk to your children and reassure them that things will eventually return to normal.

Look after yourselves. Mrs Gaynor

A very odd week ahead …

We_Can_Do_It_J Howard Miller_publicDomain_320wHi everyone, I did not intend to write a week ahead today as, obviously, we do not have a normal school week ahead to look forward to.

Instead I just thought I would take time to reflect on what, for many, has been the oddest of Mother’s Days when there has been concern about whether we should be going out or visiting friends and family, restaurants, bars and cafes are closed, no visits to the cinema or public places and perhaps a matter of time before our parks and open spaces are closed.

It is indeed a strange and worrying time but please remember to think about the messages we are giving children so that they remain calm, try not to let them become involved in conversations that you as adults may have about your concerns and continue to remind them about washing hands and social distancing.

I hope and pray it will not be long before we are together again as a whole school and we can then join year 6 as we celebrate their achievements with us over the last 4 years!

Take care everyone!


A message to our school community

Well, it is the end of the strangest, and busiest, week ever. We have tried hard to keep ahead of a very quickly developing and changing situation and I do apologise if some of our requests and messages have seemed confusing at times. Who would have thought that we would ever be placed in the situation that we are now?

It was with real sadness that we closed the doors today after the final day with the children. As you are probably aware we are remaining open to offer childcare to key workers and I would like to say ‘thank you’ to staff who will still be coming into school and providing care and support whilst also planning work for Home Learning. You are an amazing group of people!

Please look after yourselves in these difficult times, take care and be kind to each other. I will see some of you during this time I know, but I am really looking forward to us coming together as a fantastic whole school community again soon.
Keep safe and take care care.

The week ahead …

1509362185-datesGood morning!

I hope everyone received the letter about Coronavirus that went home on Friday. I wanted to reassure parents that we are following the guidance from the Department for Education regarding the illness.  Please continue to encourage children to wash their hands regularly, as we are doing in school, and to be careful when touching others. It is quite hard to get the message over to the children without them becoming worried so we have utilised a drip-drip method through class teachers rather than making any big announcements in assembly. As you can imagine the advice we are receiving is being updated regularly and we are currently trying to keep ahead of it.

We are also thinking of what actions we might take if schools do close to ensure children are occupied productively at home – watch this space. We have cancelled large gatherings of parents, such as assemblies and workshops but have taken the decision to proceed with parents evenings as these meetings are one to one, I will advise staff tomorrow to ensure seating arrangements leave at least 1 metre between. If you do not feel you can attend or are worried then please speak with your child’s teacher and we can rearrange something at a later date. We have also cancelled any further visits to Elliot House.

Monday –  After school Cookery and Science clubs, session 3.

Tuesday – Year 4 should be going to the Sea Life Centre today – we are taking advice from them but at this stage they have advised that school visits are going ahead.  Lunchtime sports. Year 5 have cricket coaching this afternoon so please make sure kits are in school. No clubs tonight as it is the first of the parents evenings.

Wednesday –  Lunchtime sports activities. Choir after school, session 4.

Thursday –House assembly. Lunchtime sports activities. Second parents evening.

Friday –  Lunchtime sports activities and gymnastics after school, session 4.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

The week ahead …

12208370_1503335163295321_7248594920430779249_nGood morning, I am hoping this week will be a little calmer after our fun filled book week last week!

Monday –  After school Cookery and Science clubs, session 2.

Tuesday –  Lunchtime sports. Year 5 have cricket coaching this afternoon so please make sure kits are in school. Drama club after school, session 8 and year 6 revision.

Wednesday –  Lunchtime sports activities. Choir after school, session 3.

Thursday –Year 3 have their English Inspire workshop this morning for parents, tea and coffee will be available after you have dropped the children. Lunchtime sports activities.

Friday –  Lunchtime sports activities and gymnastics after school, session 3. It is also Sports Relief today – children can wear sports clothes for a donation of £1 to Sports Relief (payment online), in the afternoon we will be joining together with the Infants to walk a mile. Special sporting challenges will also be going on at lunchtimes throughout the week.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

The week ahead …

unnamedGood morning! We have a really full week this week as we are celebrating books in style with an amazing Book Week, read on to find out more …

Monday –  We are launching Book Week with an assembly for the children followed by an afternoon reading session where children will get to hear some favourite books read aloud by staff. After school Cookery and Science clubs, session 1.

Tuesday – Today we are inviting parents into the classrooms for a reading session – parents can either wait in the hall for teachers to take registers or wait outside classroom doors. We do hope lots of you can join us for this. Lunchtime sports. Year 5 have cricket coaching this afternoon so please make sure kits are in school. Drama club after school, session 7.

Wednesday – Year 3 will be visiting Kings Norton Library this morning. This afternoon the children will be treated to a performance of Beauty and the Beast by a theatre company. Lunchtime sports activities. Choir after school, session 2.

Thursday –Today everyone will be dressing as a favourite book character with a parade of costumes in the afternoon. Year 4 will be visiting Kings Norton Library. Lunchtime sports activities.

Friday –  Years 5 and 6 will be reading with the children in years 1 and 2 this afternoon. Lunchtime sports activities and gymnastics after school, session 2.

At different points during the week we will also be having DEAR time – this stands for Drop Everything And Read!

It sounds like a great week ahead! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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