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 teachers are Mrs Dutton & Mrs de Brouwer (3D/dB), Miss Hayden (3RH), Mrs Holden (3SH) and Miss Wall (3AW). We have several Teaching Assistants who work with Y3 children at different times through the week: Miss Mahon, Mr Bartholomew, Mrs Dawes and Miss Kania.

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 the Y4 blog. 

The Y4 team consists of the following teachers: Mrs Purdom in Y4JP, Mrs Smith and Mrs Smith (yes, that's right) in Y4SS, Mrs Wymer in Y4CW and Mrs Drury in Y4JD. The children are also supported by our teaching assistants: Mrs Proctor, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Mulqueen, Mrs Allen, Mrs Hill and Mr Gartrell. We have help from Ms Reasbeck, Miss Lee and Mrs Grimsley too. What a team!

We know that the question children are mostly asked when they arrive home is 'What did you do today?' The response is often 'nothing'! Well, here is where you can find out what 'nothing' looks like. In our weekly blogs your children will share with you what they have been getting up to and show some of the wonderful work they have been doing. Check in each weekend for our latest news.

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Welcome to the Year 5 Blog page.

The Year 5 teaching team consists of: Mrs Loosley (5NL), Miss Cunningham (5EC),  Mrs Ridsdale and Mrs Webb (5W/R) and Mr Bradshaw (5BB).  The children are also supported by our teaching assistants: Mr Swain, Mr Jenkinson, Mrs Hornsey and Mrs Allen. We have help from Mr Jones, Miss Lee, Ms Grimsley and Ms Reasbeck too. What a fantastic team!

Our PE days are Tuesday (indoor) and Wednesday (outdoor): the children need to wear their PE kits for school on those days. 

Spellings are sent home every Monday, to learn ready for a spelling dictation each Friday. 

Homework books (maths and SPaG) will be sent home once a week - the days will be decided by the class teachers who will let their classes know. They will have a whole week to complete the homework tasks. 

In our weekly blogs, the children will share some of the things they have been doing at school. Check in each weekend for the latest Y5 news!

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 Shaw and Mrs Watkinson (Y6S/W); Mrs Rougvie and Mrs Jones (Y6R/J); Mrs Phillips (Y6CP); and Miss Norris (Y6HN). Also teaching in Year 6 are: Miss Lee (Thursday in Y6R/J); Mrs Farrell (Thursday  in Y6HN); Mrs Grimsley (Thursday in Y6CP); and Mr Jones (Thursday inY6S/W).We are also very lucky to be helped by Mrs Hill, Mrs Mulqueen and Mr Gartrell. 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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13 Dec 2020

Mucky – the conflict between active play, keeping clean, scrapes and grazes, and limited cash resources

It has been about five years since we invested heavily (for us), and used a tidy grant from a sport-promoting charity, to carpet and equip our lower playground.

It has been a huge success overall; the drawbacks and negatives exist, but on balance a huge success. We have reduced injuries hugely, with relatively few children ever scraping the skin off their knee or needing to wash gravel out of a cut. PE is a much better quality, especially ball / invasion games where the bounce is truer and control is easier to apply. The goals and nets allow (and enable) a wider and continuous range of games and sports, without daily transport of heavy equipment. The carpet very nearly makes all-weather and all-year use possible. The three storage units mean we have balls, bibs, bats, sticks, cones, markers and racquets all to hand. The posts are secure and safe, and are seldom ever an obstacle. We saw pupil engagement increase immediately, and it has remained at that enhanced level until now.

We do face problems, however, and one of these leads me to apologise to parents; your children frequently come home dirty – legs and clothes – from playing at break or in lessons on the lower playground. The surface is now clogged with silt and broken-down leaves to the extent that any ball bounced on the surface rebounds with muck attached. This means dirty hands, legs and faces, and dirty shirts, trousers, shoes and tops. I have been teaching Y5 and Y6 PE this half term (basketball and football units), and I have to admit that getting dirty has been inevitable if you engage at all in the lesson. I had to wash my trainers as well as the trousers and top I was wearing on Thursday morning.

We have been aware of the particular issue all term, and have investigated potential solutions. We guessed at possible approaches, then thought better of wading in and so took professional advice. It is not looking good / easy / cheap to solve.

1: Sweep it off – comes with the risk of damaging the carpet, and does not address the problem that the silt is ingrained. Sweeping, whether by hand or mechanically, would only do the surface muck. We looked at hiring commercial pitch cleaning equipment to do this.

2: Wash it off – it was suggested we could use a industrial-scale carpet cleaner effectively; it would spray the surface and suck up the mess. This would, we believe (and on advice) only add to the current wet mess.

3: Cover it with tonnes of new, clean sand – which would, we are told, simply mix with the mess and give a very temporary period of improvement only.

4: Spray the surface with a compound that is used to protect outdoor surfaces such as tennis courts – unfortunately only suitable for painted concrete surfaces.

5: Lift it all off, disposing of the current carpet and all the underlying bedding-in sand (and polluting silt / muck), install drainage all round the edge of the playground, and at several key points across the playground, resurface with a suitable play surface. Impossibly expensive – we suspect we cannot afford the removal alone, as shifting tonnes of carpet, silt and sand will take considerable work hours and much machinery (and a fair few skips). We simply do not have that sort of money, but we do appreciate that we have, inadvertently, got ourselves into this position. A second grant, to make good what is going bad, is unlikely but we will investigate the possibility.

We are experiencing a wet period in the year that is exacerbating the problem, but we will have to address the issue seriously before too long. We must continue using the playground or lose half our playtimes, half our PE and half of our out of hours activities. So for now, I have to continue to apologise and beg your understanding.

If anyone does have expertise in the area, and a fund that would go most of the way to cover costs, we would really like to meet you.