Updates regarding the impact of Coronavirus on our school can be found below.
Additional information from the DfE about asymptomatic testing
Undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus. Parents and other adults in households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles.
If you have any queries about the tests, and you live in England, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.
Children of primary school age (and below) without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.
Testing is voluntary but strongly recommended to all who are eligible. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates.
Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other.
Our local home test collection sites are:
Nelson Street Carpark, Lancaster
Caton Park and Ride, Lancaster
Lancaster University Sports Centre
Friday 26th February 2021
Mr Kendall's letter about full re-opening can be read below.
Stay safe, be happy .
Tuesday 23rd February 2021
Yesterday, it was confirmed that schools could re-open to all children from Monday 8th March. I'm sure that this is terrific and welcome news for you all . I hope to be able to write to you towards the end of week with details on how the re-opening will look.
Wednesday 10th February 2021
Since there isn't a newsletter or an assembly this week, I thought I would just drop you a quick note to, first of all, say THANK YOU! It has been a very challenging term and we all had to learn to do things differently very quickly. We've all experienced some anxiety these past few months but we've all shown how resilient we can be as well.
A couple of things before school closes tomorrow:
Even though there are fewer children in school at the moment, please can I ask that when walking around the school site that you please wear a face covering and that you maintain a safe distance from each other (especially if we are a little tardy in opening the doors and you are waiting). I have noticed a few congregating groups outside of school and this concerns me greatly; for the time being please just drop off and go to work. This helps keep everyone in our school safe.
Finally, if your child develops Coronavirus symptoms on Friday or Saturday, it is absolutely crucial for you to let me know the outcome of the test in order for us to comply with the Government's 'Track and Trace' protocol. The best way of contacting me is through email on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please have a super rest of the half-term break and we will see everyone either 'at-home' or 'in-school' on Monday 22nd February (and hopefully we will know more soon about re-opening and getting us all back together).
Stay safe, be happy.
Tuesday 2nd February 2021
Over the past few days, we have received a number of letters, calls and emails about home learning. First of all, thank you for finding the time to get in touch and for talking to us about your concerns. I will try to be as helpful as possible but it appears that some of you are struggling and think we are asking too much of you whilst others are complaining that we aren’t doing enough!
Perhaps it may be useful to know that our remote learning plan complies with the Government’s expectations (which state that we should be providing around 3-4 hours of learning each day). As a school, we would, of course, tell you that learning is important but as a Dad myself, I want to also say that family is more important than anything and that learning cannot and should not become a battle at the expense of family life. We would hope that your child will access the live Zoom lessons (this contact between home and school is really important) but would ask that you only do as much as you can manage with all the other work being provided. I have no problem with you choosing to miss some work in favour of baking a cake together or going on a family walk – those things are really important too. But, if you really do need more work, please get in touch with your child’s teacher and we will email some printable work packs and the offer of a Classroom Secrets Kids subscription is available to you all (if you sign up, we will refund the £5).
Please know that we know how hard it is at home and we are full of admiration for you and we think you are doing a brilliant job! It is really important that if you are struggling with anything to reach out and talk with us and if you do think we could be doing anything differently, please send those ideas my way as I would love to hear them.
Thursday 28th January 2021
Following yesterday’s news, it has now been confirmed by the Department for Education that the earliest schools will begin to re-open to more children will be on Monday 8th March. We recognise that this is longer than originally expected and that this also means a few extra weeks of home-learning. We can do it!
Those of you who are receiving Free School Meal vouchers at home may be interested to know that if you selected 'M&S' for your voucher, 'M&S' will top the voucher up with an extra £5. Not a bad deal if you can get to Marks!
We’ve been really conscious about the lack of ‘phonics’ based reading material for our younger children. I have today arranged to buy all our phonics readers as eReaders which we will set up as quickly as we can.
We are really sorry for the website issues over the past couple of days. We have spoken with Lancashire County Council and they are hopeful that they have fixed the problems.
We would very much appreciate home learners keeping in touch with school if anyone in their household becomes symptomatic (and indeed tests positive for Coronavirus). This will help us ensure that our daily statistics, required from the DfE are as accurate as possible.
And finally, schools are not required to stay open over the up-coming half-term holiday and so we plan to close as planned on Thursday 11th February.
Thanks once again for everything you are doing. Stay safe, be happy.
Thursday 21st January 2021
We need a huge favour from our 'at home' parents! At our staff meeting last night, teachers reported frustration at how some children are conducting themselves during their Zoom lessons with some children talking, getting up and walking around, watching the television, and completing work of a really poor standard. We are trying ever so hard to ensure that the children at home continue learning (but we can't manage behaviour in the same way as we do in school). So, please would you ensure that your child treats their online lessons with as much effort and positive behaviour and attitude as they would do in school. It would be helpful if you could set them up in a quiet space to learn (definitely with the TV off and their mobiles away) and I've asked teachers to mute the children once lessons begin. Your support in enforcing that they stay on mute unless called on or in a breakout room would be really helpful as would ensuring that they focus on the teaching for the whole lesson (just like they do in school). We don't want them to think that this is not important.
Teachers are putting in lots of effort in setting work which mirrors what is happening in school. We can't afford for our 'at home' learners to fall behind those in school so the work set must be completed to the same standard as in school. Teachers have been returning work to be redone.
Thank you for all you are doing to support home learning and we know it isn't easy. We think you are doing a fantastic job - keep going because you are making a difference.
As with all of this, if there is anything we can do, please don't hesitate to ask.
Monday 18th January 2021
'In-school' learners in Milepost 2 (Years 3 and 4) are welcome back into school from tomorrow. It will be good to have them all back in school. Please, however, do not send your child back into school if they display any of the Coronavirus Symptoms.
Thursday 14th January 2021
Today’s update starts with a Zoom top tip for you all. It is possible to always “pin” the teacher to your screen (pinning it will stop the frustration of ‘speaker view’ swapping whenever anyone else makes a noise). There should be three dots in the top right-hand corner of each participant’s tile, click this and select ‘pin’. I hope this helps 😊.
We are hopeful that we have solved the video upload problem. If you navigate to our ‘Class Pages’ webpage and scroll to the bottom you should find a new link called ‘Video Resource Centre’. The direct link is here:
Once there, you will find each teacher listed together with a playlist of lesson videos they have uploaded.
Next, a kind parent has let me know that Amazon is offering free Maths books, available to download straight to the kindle or iPad. Type in “free maths” in the search bar (on the Amazon site) and they come up. Add to your basket and check out as normal (but they are free!) Thank you, Mrs Spence!
Many of you will have been following the news about food packages for children on “benefits-led” free meals. I am so pleased that Lancashire’s packages were not like any of the ones featured on the news (I thought ours were pretty good). However, the Government has now confirmed that we can return to the voucher system (used in Lockdown 1) and so from next week, Mrs Hanratty will start re-issuing these to all our free school meal families who are learning from home.
Please try to make our assembly tomorrow. It starts at 2:30pm. The Zoom codes you will need are:
Meeting ID: 841 1421 5516
I know that the news is reporting lots of other things to do with mass testing in Primary Schools. Rest assured that once we get official information and guidance, I will let you know what’s happening.
Tuesday 12th January 2021
Just a few updates and reminders today 😊.
Teachers are reporting another positive day of live online lessons. I’ve also received loads of positive emails from parents; thank you for taking the time to write. I think we’ve struck a good balance and achieved a realistic expectation for us both. Over the upcoming weeks, we will supplement the virtual lessons with other links (for example, we’re sending you a link today to a virtual Cricket Taster and we have arranged for Misa, our Mandarin teacher, to Zoom into Key Stage Two classes live from China – this is beyond exciting – and our Reception Music teacher, Mrs Hughes, will Zoom in as well!)
I’m working on the video upload issue. We discovered that the video files were too big to upload to the website and I didn’t want to use a (very) public platform such as YouTube. We have sorted a solution and I am hopeful this will be ready in a few days.
It is important for the children to continue with their maths and spelling badges. Please support your child with these ‘basic’ skills and when you think they are ready for their ‘alls” just get in touch and I will arrange a Zoom with them.
We were delighted to be able to loan laptop computers to most of our ‘at home’ learners. Please get in touch with Mr Vose (our IT Technician) with any questions; he is the most patient person in the world (after all, he sorts us teachers out all the time!) and he will be more than happy to help you out.
Mrs. Rigby is getting her Relax Kids hat on and, as well as being let loose on Twitter, she has recorded some videos to help us get through these rough times. You can find them here:
That’s it for today. Stay safe; be happy!
Monday 11th January 2021
Quite a few updates for you all today.
You will no doubt have heard that we have had our first confirmed case of Covid within Milepost 2 (Year 3 and 4) and now that bubble has closed. All the children are now working from home. I’d like to say a huge thanks to the parent concerned for letting me know as soon as they could and apologies to the rest for you for intruding on your Sunday. In a testament to our amazing staff, Miss Gornall and Mrs Cronin spent yesterday getting everything ready for remote learning to begin from today, with their Zoom timetable starting from tomorrow. The children may return to school on Tuesday 19th January.
I do need to talk to you about numbers in school. The national agenda is to reduce the number of possible contacts, to drive down rates of infection which will reduce pressure on our NHS. I am really bothered by the number of children we currently have in school. We have gone from around 15 children in school during Lockdown 1, to over 110 in school today. We are following the ‘system of controls’ as advised (and this is reducing risk) but I worry that there are still too many people in the building. I know that we are under immense pressure by employers, but can I please ask you to carefully consider if there is anyway – anyway at all – that if you currently have a place in school that you can work it so that your child can stay at home. I know that some of you have done this already and this is massively appreciated and means the world. If you can, this will drastically reduce the pressure on us, it will help us stay safer and in turn, it will save lives. Thank you if you can help.
Mr Fern and I joined a few of the live Zoom lessons today – I am super proud of our teachers and uber impressed with the children (they were like ducks on the water!!). For a first attempt, I don’t think anyone could complain. As we all expected, we encountered a few problems. The first was lost Zoom links. I’ve asked teachers to pin the Zoom codes to their class pages on the website. This should help with this (you’ll be able to click and go!) We’ve also come a little unstuck with uploading the recordings to the website. We are working on it and will resolve this issue if we can.
Mr Vose is working on getting laptop computers for the families who requested one. He is hoping they will be ready tomorrow. If you enquired after the deadline, we will do our best. Whilst we are talking about technology. I have a load of data SIM cards looking for good homes. If a SIM card would be helpful, please get in touch and you can have one.
Last lockdown, Classroom Secrets Kids (CSK) was offered free to all our families. Unfortunately, the company isn’t offering this, this time. A CSK account costs £5. If you would like to subscribe, school will happily refund you the £5. I know lots of you accessed CSK during the last lockdown and want to again. If you do subscribe, let Mrs Hanratty know and she will arrange for the money to be reimbursed. We’d recommend CSK as a good online learning tool (the teacher version is used extensively by our teachers).
Free-school meal children who are now working at home can collect their food boxes from school from tomorrow (and every Tuesday from next week). The contents look amazing (see the attached picture). In addition, school will be adding in a loaf of bread and 4 pints of milk.
Friday 8th January 2021
Well dear friends – WHAT. A. WEEK.
Let me start by saying ‘thank you’. This has been a very complicated and challenging week, but we can only get better and stronger. As we close this first week of Lockdown 3, I think we are in a really good place moving forward. Children who are in-school are working well and everything is ready to go for our home-learners. I was reminded during one of the teacher’s Zoom assemblies this week about our Grosvenor Park British Values – those such as thoughtfulness, adaptability, communication, co-operation, resilience and respect. We’ve had to work on those massively this week and no doubt moving forward as well. See, there is learning in every event!
There are no huge updates for you today.
Our first whole school Zoom assembly seemed to go well!! Thank you so much for joining in; I’m sure we will evolve what we can do but it was amazing to see so many of you!
Remote learning zoom lessons should begin next week. I’m sure there will be ups and downs as we all get used to the technology and the platforms. Be easy-going with us; things will get better day by day. Just so you know, if your child doesn’t attend the Zoom lessons, we are going to try and get in touch to check that everything is ok.
Next week, Mr. Fern will be in school, whilst I work remotely (but I hope to see you all in assembly on Friday afternoon).
Thank you once again for all your help and support. Please have a good weekend.
Stay safe; be happy.
Thursday 7th January 2021
I was able to join a few of the “home-learners” Zoom gatherings today. It was so good to see so many of our children and teachers. Please bear with us whilst we iron out the technical issues – this is brand new for lots of us!! I overheard one of our Reception children say how much they wanted to be in school – I am so sorry that you can’t be.
We’ve decided to record the Zoom teach sessions and upload them to the website. This will allow you to access the sessions if you aren’t able to join the live Zoom or to review the teaching. I will shortly update our GDPR notice to reflect this. Hopefully, this resolves the few issues and queries we’ve had about clashes with other classes etc.
Thank you for letting us know if you need help with technology. If you need to borrow an iPad from school, please will you let me know by tomorrow. Mr Vose, our IT Technician will try to sort these out for you next week. I can’t promise everyone one, but we will do our best.
We are continuing with our whole school assembly each Friday afternoon and we invite all our home learners to join us. Assembly will start at 2:30pm.
Please use the same link/codes each Friday (the link has been pinned to the coronavirus update page on the website).
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 841 1421 5516
Unfortunately, the Key Stage One Fruit scheme has been suspended during the lockdown. I’m working on an alternative but for the time being if you want to send your child in with a mid-morning snack, that would be fine (but we’re also using up those cookies from before Christmas J).
Year Six children (and their parents) will no doubt be happy with the news that SATs have now been cancelled for this year. We are assuming this will be the same for all other statutory assessments but I will confirm once I know more.
The Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant Scheme is still running. This has been introduced to support people who are struggling to afford food and other essential items due to financial hardship caused by C-19. Residents can apply through this link:
Mrs. Rigby has been set loose on Twitter again!! This was the highlight – and lifeline – for many families' last lockdown. Go and check it out. Teachers in school will continue to tweet as much as they can.
And finally, some sad news to let you know about. Ms. Reynoldson has now left us L. She has worked for our school almost from the day it opened she got married over Christmas (congratulations!) and is moving away. Recent events have allowed her to leave slightly earlier than planned.
Wednesday 6th January 2021
Have you seen our new website!!?? We’ve spent quite a bit of time on it, so I really hope you enjoy having a look around. How frustrating was it that the switchover happened on Monday night when I really needed it!!! Teachers will get around to uploading stuff to class pages when they can. If you would drop me a message if you spot any mistakes, I’d really appreciate it J. If our old website is cached on your browser, just press F5.
I will start to put any lockdown updates onto the website (just like I did during the last first lockdown). We can’t use the homepage in the same way, so these will be placed here: https://www.grosvenorpark.lancs.sch.uk/coronavirus-updates/ ). I’ll do my best to also send things out on ParentPay and a reminder text. It might be worth subscribing to our Twitter feed as well.
For all those children working from home now: if you need any resources (I’m thinking paper, pencils, whiteboards etc.) please would you give the office a call and we will arrange for the things to be provided.
We would really hope children at home would continue to try for those special badges. If parents could continue to test at home that would be really helpful (we would normally allow two attempts per day on one table or spelling list). When your child is ready for their “alls”, get in touch and I will sort out a Zoom to do it with them.
We are continuing with our whole school assembly each Friday afternoon and we invite all our home learners to join us. Please use the same link/codes each Friday.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 841 1421 5516
Finally, if any of you would benefit from borrowing an iPAD or laptop from us, please get in touch (I can’t promise, but I will do my best). I also can provide a data SIM card if this would be helpful (my stock is limited but I have a good supply right now).
I think that’s it for now. Stay safe; be happy.
Tuesday 5th January 2021
Thank you for your patience and understanding with our closure today. As you will hopefully appreciate, having the recent news thrown at us at 8pm the day before was an obstacle too high to hurdle.
The school staff have been engaged today in a variety of tasks planning a successful way forward for both the children who are working in school and those who, once again, are learning from home. We expect the current situation to be reviewed around the February half-term. Unlike last time, children working in school will be undertaking actual schooling and we are aiming to replicate this as much as possible for our home learners.
Children learning from home
Most children are now home-learners.
For this week, you will find that a range of activities, tasks and work to tide the children over for the rest of this week have been loaded to the school website (go to children > class pages, select your child’s class and then find the link to ‘home/remote learning’). You will receive an email invite for your child to join a couple of short Zoom gatherings. During these Zooms, teachers will simply be “touching base”, saying hello and outlining the work for the next couple of days.
From Monday we will be activating our Remote Learning Plan (which we have slightly tweaked from the plan issued to you in September). Teachers working from home will arrange two (group) Zoom sessions with your child each day. These will be live and interactive lessons. You’ll receive the Zoom codes on email. Additional learning, which will mirror what their peers are doing in school will be uploaded to PurpleMash (your child should know their username and password but if not, please contact Mr. Vose our IT Technician on email@example.com and he will happily forward this to you). Work completed on PurpleMash will be sent back to the teacher for marking.
Teachers working from home are:
Reception Mrs McGurk, Mrs Collins and Mrs Price
Milepost 1 Miss Douglas and Mr Wilson
Milepost 2 Miss Burrow, Miss Dempsey, Miss Callan and Miss Long
Milepost 3 Miss Lovett and Miss Taylor
Each Friday there will continue to be a whole school assembly which your child will be invited to join on Zoom.
If you will struggle with accessing online learning, please get in touch as we may be able to move your child to a paper-based approach. We may also be able to provide some support by loaning you technology and/or providing a data SIM card. Again, please get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.
Those of you who are entitled to Free School Meals will receive information shortly on the support you will receive.
Children working in School
It was impossible to offer all of you who applied for a Key Worker Place a place as we simply didn’t have the spaces available. We were faced with an almost impossible task which I know has upset a few of you. If you have been offered a place, your child must attend school full time to ensure continuity for their learning. Part-time attendance isn’t an option. Places must be accessed or will be forfeited and the place offered to another child.
The school day, including all the routines, will be exactly the same as before Christmas. The school day times are the same, children should arrive in school at the usual time and go to their usual places. The Walking Bus will continue to operate as will Breakfast and After-School Club. Children will be expected to wear their full school-uniform. School meals will be arranged as normal.
Teachers in school are:
Reception Mrs Birkett
Milepost 1 Mrs Pugh
Milepost 2 Mrs Cronin and Miss Gornall
Milepost 3 Miss Seddon
During drop-off and pick-up only one parent should accompany the children onto the school grounds (and please wear a face covering).
I know it has been difficult to get hold of me today, but please keep trying and myself or a member of the Leadership Team will get in touch.