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  • Writer's pictureLaura Lyles

Lockdown 2020 Memories

So, we here we go once more. Words such as bubbles, social distancing, unprecendented, lockdown, restrictions, stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives, sanitiser and stock piling are now a part of our daily vocabulary. Not to mention seeing Boris Johnson more than we see our friends and family with his updates, which rarely bring positive news during these uncertain times.

We wanted to share some of the fonder memories we made during the first quarantine last year and focus on the positive moments this period of time brought. Our staff and students really knew how to make the best of a bad situation - we hope for many more happier memories to share to, hopefully, raise a smile or two as we go through this once more together. We've done this before, we can do it again!

Whether our students are joining us virtually each day, or onsite, we are here to help. Check out our CV-19 page on our website for some useful social stories to share with your young people. We will continue to update everyone using the usual methods and will endeavour to keep our CV-19 page updated also.

Now, grab a cup of tea and let's look back at the 2020 Lockdown!

Clapping every Thursday to thank our wonderful NHS... our students also made lovely art work to display in their classrooms to show their gratitude.

Rainbows were created and placed in our windows to further share our national pride for our NHS heroes, perhaps we should get the colouring pens and paints out once more and decorate our homes again with rainbows.

Our students who board with us got busy with some DIY in their houses, helping choose the colours they wanted and were enthusiastically hands on painting and decorating their rooms themselves. Not all learning happens in the classroom!

We were blessed with warmer climates in the first lockdown, many students took their learning outside and focused on horticulture at home. Connor took to the garden with his DT recycling projects, choosing to use old yoghurt pots to plant his seeds.

Parents and carers began to find their feet with home learning, finding new and interesting ways to teach. Flo and her family decided to try some wonderful tie dying, creating wonderful T-Shirts for her and her brother to enjoy in the sunshine.

Who could forget Mr T's article published on the Special Needs Jungle on managing the risks, link below to refresh your memories;

Some students got hands on 'Adulting Lessons' - mowing the lawn, life learning at it's finest.

Back in the days when Boris thought singing 'Happy Birthday' twice whilst washing your hands would perhaps be sufficient enough. Warm up those vocal chords, sing again and keep on washing... and wearing your maks... and socially distancing... and all the other strategies we later learned were indeed as important.

Our mobile classrooms were taken away and replaced by this fantastic colourful sensory circuit in the front playground, created by Mr O'Neil's own fair hands.

Anyone else missing the beautiful sunshine of lockdown one?

Our wonderful new Art / DT / Science Block was built and completed, and enjoyed by students from September onwards. For a while.

What better place for a Food Tech lesson than in your own kitchen? These students didn't get the banana bread memo and instead made their own fabulous tasty goodies. A positive to be found here for them, they didn't have to share!

Staff, parents and students embarked on their Google Classroom journeys along with the rest of the country. The challenges of juggling work, home schooling, cleaning and the odd spot of parenting was not without it's challenges. We've done it before, and not only survived but thrived - we CAN do it again.

Let us not forget that the purchase of The Rectory happened in amongst this madness! Never underestimate the amount of work going on behind the scenes during all the home learning you've seen above to get this magnificent building ready for the opening to students by September! We look forward to continuing to develop the Rectory and to welcome students from KS2 and KS3 as they continue their Gretton journeys to the upper school site.

PE with Joe Wicks. He's back... which will either fill you with joy or fear. Monday, Wednesday and Friday we can once again jump around in our pyjamas to start the day the Joe way. Maybe. The alternative is Piers Morgan on GMB, each use up very different levels of energy.

Possibly the only creatures to actually enjoy the entirety of the first Covid Lockdown was our pets! It was a party for them every day having us home with them. Never have dog walks been more welcomed for our one hour a day exercise outside, leaping across fields to avoid people and maintain the essential 2m rule... sometimes 1m... then back to 2m again.

This cat wanted to learn closely alongside their human. Then we had the added worry of readapting our pets to being alone in the days when we eventually began creeping outside to return to school and work!

Covid didn't manage to stop some of our students going on their planned trip to Barcelona... and lockdown being announced very soon after. Happy to report they all made it home in time! The last holiday for most of them, the only way to 'holiday' from then on was in the UK. Camp sites & hotels fully booked with everyone wanting a "#staycation"!

Cornwall looking busier than Ibiza in peak season, the peak districts filled with more than just wonderous views, zoos and theme parks being reopened and booked up quicker than Glastonbury!

We got out whilst we could and made the most of our limited freedom at the time.

Mr T and Ellis made an appearance on Sky News when we began to open our doors once more in June. We were all rather excited seeing our very own Gretton site on the tele!

Various attempts at staying amused were made, not forgetting the Teabag Challenge which several classes participated in...

There was only one winner from this challenge, Sawyer took it to another level with his home video sent in. Well done Sawyer, you cheered us up then and no doubt making everyone smile once more watching it again!

Forest School leaders Jessica Rain and Sonia Sunshine set up some brilliant 'at home' tasks for the Spring lockdown, here is a reminder of some of their highlight moments. They both look forward to helping the students this time around with lots of exciting plans in the making. Watch this space!

Achievements! Let alone just achieving by coping with each and every day, our students did phenomenally well in their A-Level and GCSE's last year. With lockdown measures beginning to ease, some students came on site to collect their results. We couldn't be prouder of all their hard work, and the staff and parent/carers who worked so hard to get them there.

Ending our lockdown memories here seems appropriate, we all achieved a lot in the last lockdown.

An achievement for some may simply be getting up, getting dressed and surviving the day. Others may not only get up but clean, cook seven types of foccacia, bake banana bread and still have time for arts and crafts lessons, and that's ok too. Nothing about this situation is normal, you keep doing what is normal for you.

All we can do is pull together, stay at home as much as you can and continue to keep ourselves and others safe. The finish line is in sight this time, try not to compare yourselves to others and do what you need to do to get through it day by day.

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