The Headteacher's Blog


Welcome to Lydgate Junior School.

We aim to ensure that all children receive a high quality, enjoyable and exciting education.

We feel that our school is a true reflection of the community we serve. Lydgate children are well motivated and come from a range of social and cultural backgrounds. Within the school community we appreciate the richness of experience that the children bring to school. This enhances the learning experiences of everyone and it also gives all pupils the opportunity to develop respect and tolerance for each other by working and playing together. We want your child's time at Lydgate to be memorable for the right reasons - that is, a happy, fulfilling and successful period of his/her childhood.

Yours sincerely,
Stuart Jones

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Welcome to Year 3!

The Y3 Team includes Mrs Dutton (3JD), Miss Cunningham (3EC), Mrs Webb & Mrs Watkinson (3W/W) and Miss Reasbeck & Mrs Drury (3R/D). Mr Jones teaches 3JD on Fridays. We also have three Teaching Assistants who work with small groups and help across the four classes: Mrs Dale, Ms Kania and Mr Swain.

We will use this blog to keep you up-to-date with all the exciting things that we do in Year 3, share some of the things that the children learn and show you some of their fantastic work. We hope you enjoy reading it!

The Y3 team.


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Welcome to Y4.
The team consists of the following teachers: Mrs Farrell and Mrs Ridsdale, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Hardy and Mrs Smith, Mrs Shaw and Mrs Smith and last but not least Mrs Finney. We also have help from Mrs Lee, Mrs Flynn, Mrs Hill, Mr Jenkinson and Mr Swain. Some of the children are lucky enough to spend time in The Hub with Mrs Allen and Mrs Tandy. What a team!
In our weekly blogs we will share with you all the exciting things that have happened in our classrooms be it learning or any magical moments. Watch this space!!!

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Welcome to the Year 5 Blog page.

The Year 5 teaching team includes our class teachers, Mrs Parker (5AP), Mrs Rougvie ,Mrs Jones (5R/J), Miss Roberts (5AR), Mrs Holden and Mrs de Brouwer (5H/deB). . Many children are supported by Teaching Assistants who work with children across the school. Our Year 5 teaching team aims to create a stimulating learning environment that is safe, happy, exciting and challenging, where each pupil is encouraged to achieve their full potential.

As a parent or carer, you play a massively important role in your child's development and we'd love to work closely with you. Please feel free to make an appointment to see us if you want to discuss your child's attitude to learning, their progress, attainment or anything else that might be on your mind. We'd also love to hear from you if you have any skills that we could use to make our Year 5 curriculum even more exciting. Are you an avid reader, a talented sportsman, a budding artist, a mad scientist or a natural mathematician? Would you be willing to listen to children read on a regular basis? If so, please contact your child’s class teacher. Similarly, if you have a good idea, a resource, a 'contact' or any other way of supporting our learning in year 5, please let us know.

We are working very hard to ensure your child has a successful year 5, please help us with this by ensuring your child completes and returns any homework they are given each week. If there are any issues regarding homework or your child finds a particular piece of homework challenging, then please do not hesitate to come and speak to us. In order to help improve your child’s reading skills, increase their vocabulary and develop their comprehension skills, we also ask that you listen to your child read and ask them questions to ensure they have understood what they have read.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on the exciting things that we do in year 5 through our year group blog.

The Year 5 Team

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We are the children in Y6 at Lydgate Junior School. There are 120 of us and our teachers are: Mrs Purdom, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Loosley and Mrs Wymer. Our Monday and Tuesday morning teachers are Miss Lee and Mrs Grimsley.We are also very lucky to be helped by Mrs Ainsworth, Mrs Cooper and Mrs Hornsey. We use this space to share all of the great things that are happening in our classrooms. Join us each week on our learning journey....

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12 Jul 2017

Everything Must Go!

What have a golf umbrella, a blue bucket, a bath towel, a karate suit (red belt), a cycle helmet, and a plate from an orienteering course in common?

Answer: They are all sitting in our uncollected pile of un-named Lost Property.

I could have added to the 'miscellaneous' list a SHU baseball cap, two watches and one walking boot.

94 items just from the central collection of Lost Property, or one for every fifth pupil in school. There's some quality kit in there as well - Helly Hansen coat, Karrimor running bottoms, tops from Zara Kids. Some of it is obviously similar to the rest - blue sweatshirts are blue sweatshirts, after all, but much is unique and I would have thought they would be easily noticed as 'lost', searched for and found.

We will return everything that is named. We will display everything else. We will appeal to the children to identify and take everything that is theirs. We will walk them past the collection, plus items held elsewhere in school. But the remainder will go at the end of term.

Lost Property of this scale does make us wonder about the spare spending capacity of our pupils' families - it is another indicator of low levels of 'disadvantage', I suppose.

Everything must go - free to a good home - please come and take a look and take some things to reclaim or recycle.

... (Read More)
05 Jul 2017

Not a 'Healthy Snack'

I'm not going to publish a list of what is and isn't a 'healthy snack',

but a Moaom Stripe is definitely not one.

One 25g chew has 17% of the daily recommended sugar intake.

I've been picking up wrappers from the playground before school this morning.

My problem with a sweet that contains real fruit juice?

At 8:30?

With so much sugar?

So many of them?

No protein.

I don't think so.

... (Read More)
29 Jun 2017

A Weighty Issue

How many of our pupils do you think would be overweight or obese?

Do you think it would be so many that we might want to focus on it as an issue?

Recognising that we have reasonably affluent parents, the majority of whom have an active lifestyle themselves, an educated parent body, the majority of whom have ‘professional’ status in employment, the great outdoors on our doorstep and no end of sporting and active opportunities freely available locally and in the city, and parents who are willing to put in the effort needed to support their children’s involvement in regular clubs and groups, we might expect a low figure, certainly lower than national and city-wide averages.

Would 28.2% of our Year 6 pupils reported (National Child Measurement Programme outcome 2016) as overweight or obese surprise you?

That’s 33 children in each year group, or 132 across the whole school.

The list of sporting activities we put on or provide access to is pretty extensive. We promote many local clubs and other opportunities. We are signed up to the PE Pledge of 2 hours per week PE as a standard. Our school meals hit every nutritional standard. Your packed lunches are sound. We host a cooking club. We grow fruit and vegetables on site. Children are health-aware and conscious.

But we still show 28.2% as overweight or obese.

(A quick bit of balance – Sheffield city-wide average is 33.9% and the national average is 34.6%.)

Might we want to focus on this as an issue? It depends, doesn’t it, if we are content to be just better than average.

So here’s a heads-up on things we are already talking about:

  • •   The Daily Mile
  • •   Inclusive activities targeted at specific groups including Pupil Premium grant attracting pupils, out of catchment, non-engagement, sports averse, over-weight
  • •   Cutting out play time snacks
  • •   ‘Banning’ certain snacks from school,
  • •   ‘No cake, No sweets’ policies,
  • •   Weight management programs such as Alive and Kicking ( and the school-based STOP,
  • •   Family information interventions such as ‘HENRY’ and ‘Start Well Sheffield’ (
  • •   Including cooking in the formal curriculum,
  • •   Fit Bit challenges,
  • •   Man v Fat Football (,
  • •   Issuing Pedometers to count steps / movement during the school day.
... (Read More)
25 May 2017

What it takes to win (Swimming Gala Winners 2017)

Quirky and interesting observations / facts from the swimming gala:

The annual Primary Schools’ Swimming Relay Gala took place tonight at Ponds Forge.

Obviously I’m delighted and proud of the team that took 97 points from a possible 100, and won the Shield for the first time in the history of the competition.

The event is run in two Divisions of ten schools each, with an annual threat / reward of relegation / promotion between them. Two years ago we were swimming in Division B, last year we were ‘Most Improved School’, and this year we topped Division A with a race to go. Fantastic.

Seven races won, and second place in the other three, with swimmers from all four year groups.

One wonders, then, what the secret is to becoming the top swimming school in Sheffield. A glance at the score board revealed one striking fact – five out of the ten schools in Division A are Junior Schools. This wouldn’t be at all striking if it wasn’t also for the fact that only 14 out of 135 Primary phase schools in Sheffield are Junior only. There should, at that rate, be only one in that top ten Division.

It would appear from this that your school is five times more likely to be good at swimming than it should be if it is a Junior School.

... (Read More)
20 May 2017

Trained Teachers Fail Test

Last week I wrote about the statistically unlikely (third in five years) external check of our end of key stage 2 test processes and system. This checked on the security and proper administration of reading, punctuation, grammar and spelling, arithmetic and mathematical reasoning tests. Clean bill of health, you might remember.

This week we have heard that we will also have external moderation of our Year 6 teachers’ assessment of writing.

We again have no worries about this, because:

  • We have focussed on this for two years,
  • We have led in the local school cluster on moderation,
  • We have taken external training for our literacy team on writing at ‘greater depth’,
  • We have kept aware of interim guidance,
  • We have a colleague involved in city-wide moderation training and locality moderation work,
  • We have continually given staff time to work on this area,
  • Senior leaders have stayed involved in the process and showed how it important to them,
  • Resources (including staff and time) have been given as fully as we can,
  • Our colleagues have agreed with colleagues across the local cluster of schools,
  • We have joined activities across the cluster in all four key stage 2 year groups.

However, there has been some doubt, ever since the changes to assessment expectations from the ‘new’ curriculum and the ‘new’ assessment system itself, about anyone’s ability, confidence and accuracy in reaching judgements.

The process as it currently stands is that teachers have to identify enough evidence across the curriculum that a ‘pupil can’, independently, meet all the required statements at a stage in order to be said to ‘meet the expected standard’ or to be ‘working at greater depth’.

The moderators were, at last this year, provided with some nationally provided training materials (and a very short timeline). They got to undertake some briefing and then work through three portfolios from three pupils. They had to decide if there was sufficient evidence to award one of the judgements, or if to say that a child had not yet met the expected standard. You’d hope, like I would, that, after training, all the moderators / teachers (all Year 6 teachers or literacy leads in schools, and all put forward by their Headteachers as knowing what they are doing) would take the test and pass. All they had to do, after all, was score 3 out of 3.

Oh, if only it were so simple. The TES website this week broke the following story of how the training hasn’t actually led to that outcome

‘Data uncovered by TES suggests the government has failed to ensure the “more consistent, reliable approach” to moderating teacher assessments of writing it promised following last year's Sats chaos.

Two-thirds of moderators trained for this summer incorrectly assessed pupils’ work when tested earlier this year’.

And it gets worse:

‘Responses from 101 local authorities also revealed large variations in the proportions of moderators managing to correctly assess all three portfolios of pupils’ work – ranging from 6 per cent in Sheffield to 100 per cent in 13 other authorities.’

If trained moderators cannot get it right, what possible hope is there for the rest of the profession?

2,547 team moderators were trained nationally. There are around 11,000 Primary schools in England. That’s at least 8,500 without a trained moderator in-house.

I do like to explain the theory of cognitive dissonance to colleagues and student teachers. It explains how, immediately after teaching in a Higher Education setting, knowledge and understanding of a taught topic was found to have regressed in comparison to before a lecture or teaching session. Psychologists suggest that it takes a while for learners to internalise new learning, especially where it challenges previously held belief and comprehension. Maybe the moderators were simply tested too soon after training – it was a rush job by all accounts, and the re-test with a new portfolio even more so (over one weekend in term time so it was on top of normal workload).

One wonders what score untrained Y6 teachers would get.

I am, typically, highly respectful of colleagues’ knowledge, position and role. But, if I don’t like the report after our moderation visit in June, I might just challenge on the grounds of, ‘do you actually know what you are talking about?’

... (Read More)