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.
Welcome to Year 3!
The Y3 teachers are Mrs Dutton & Mrs de Brouwer (3D/deB), Mrs Holden (3SH), Mrs Noble & Mrs Finney (3N/R) and Miss Wall (3AW). We have several Teaching Assistants who work with Y3 children at different times through the week: Mr Jenkinson, Mrs Proctor, Mrs Hill, Mrs Allen, Mrs Dawes and Mr Gartrell.
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.
Welcome to the Year 5 Blog page.
The Year 5 teaching team includes our class teachers, Mrs Loosley (5NL), Mrs Rougvie and Mrs Jones (5RJ), Mrs Webb and Mrs Ridsdale (5WR) and Miss Cunningham (5EC). Many children are supported by Mrs Hill, Mr Swain and Ms Kania (the Year 5 Teaching Assistants) who work with children across the 4 classes. 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
We are the children in Y6 at Lydgate Junior School. There are 120 of us and our teachers are: Mrs Shaw and Mrs Watkinson (Y6S/W), Mr Bradshaw (until Mrs Parker returns) in Y6AP), Mrs Phillips (Y6CP) and Miss Norris (Y6HN). Also teaching in Year 6 is Miss Lee (Monday - Y6AP, Tuesday - Y6HN and Wednesday - Y6S/W) and Mrs Grimsley (Tuesday -Y6CP).We are also very lucky to be helped by Mrs Ainsworth and Mrs Biggs. 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....
Mister Quoted (not ‘misquoted’)
I got a text one evening this week telling me I was in the paper, and asking if I knew.
I had to say I was a little surprised; when the Sheffield Star had phoned earlier that day, looking for a quote, I had declined. They were running a story about ‘wider opening’ and the shortage of places for children who either wanted to return to school themselves or whose parents needed them to.
As a rule I don’t comment – the City Council has a publicity team for just such a purpose, and I have no intention of ever stepping out of line. I did not know what side, if any, the newspaper was going to take, whether I would be directly quoted, used slightly out of context, quoted in full, or what. I have a suspicion, perhaps wrongly and unfairly, about the motivation of the printed media (sensationalism, the need to sell copy, the limited space to tell the full story in a banner headline and three paragraphs, and cynicism borne of being a Liverpool Red by birth and upbringing). No comment was given, with a reason provided as simply not having the time.
I did go online to read the article the next morning: https://www.thestar.co.uk/education/key-worker-parents-told-children-cant-return-sheffield-primary-school-monday-2880713
Basically they had a full story from one letter I sent out to parents. It is published also on our website (because we post letters to parents there for reference and easy location) so it is freely available. We don’t slap a big copyright sign on it so they were free to use the text, I suppose. What amused me, though I suppose I could have been cross, was that the article makes it sound like I have provided a host of quality quotes.
They don’t have chapters 2 and 3, because they haven’t checked back, either with me or I guess with whoever provided the story initially – there is more to tell already and I imagine there will be more to come yet.
Since then we have put out a survey to parents asking, effectively, for applications for places from 22nd June. We are open for responses for another 21 hours as I write this. I imagine we are going to be impossibly over-subscribed.
This I already presumed when I completed a return to Sheffield City Council on Wednesday, explaining the peculiarity of our situation – we have no shortage of children to place but a lack of places to put them, and all of them children of critical workers or others in the priority group. On Wednesday I had a telephone conversation with SCC Commissioning, Inclusion and Learning Services on what we need, in terms of premises and staffing, to meet need. I suggested a minimum of 8 classrooms, a hall or two, a second kitchen, about 9 teachers and guaranteed funding to cover the costs for a term – say £150,000. That would only allow us to house the current critical workers’ children demand. To bring all of Y6 back as well we’d need 50% more of everything again.
So the story ‘printed’ in The Star was fair, and I think my writing was fairly good. Only one sentence was manufactured, which I felt wasn’t bad in one whole article. Sadly, incredible as it seems, we cannot safely accommodate all the children in the priority groups – we simply have an very large number (and proportion) of critical worker parents, which combined with our non-expanding classrooms and high pupil : teacher ratio means we do not have the capacity to hold the required number in groups of the size dictated. Yes, austerity has compounded the problem, as has years of relatively low funding, expansion of pupils on roll way over the original design, losing admission appeals, and the lure of a fabulous local community that means so many professional people live in the catchment area.
I shall end on an upbeat note: we have been open ever since schools were ‘closed’, through the holidays as well as the term. We have had more children attend than the average, a greater percentage attend than the average, a greater percentage of ‘vulnerable’ children attend than the average, a greater increase in numbers attending since Sheffield schools were told not to expand than the average increase in Sheffield (I know that seems to make no sense, and yet it is true), and we planned for the second earliest expansion date. Our website has experienced a 300% increase in traffic – year group blogs are as popular as ever, and the Covid-19 FAQ is also popular. We will safely expand further in a week’s time, having learnt from a two-week period with an extra 44 attending. We remain hopeful of another, small, expansion in numbers before the end of term.