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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22 May 2015

First Position

'How would you position Lydgate Junior School to ensure success in the next ten years?' - question from my interview here two and a half years ago.

My answer was something like, 'Ahead of all the other Primary and Junior Schools in Sheffield.' Flippant of course, but I did extend it with examples of what I meant.

Last night (and I do mean 'night', as the event went on until 9:25 pm) our swimming team stormed to victory in the Primary Schools Gala at Ponds Forge, taking the Shield and medals by a literal and figurative length of the baths.

Some will, reasonably, argue that strong, fit, healthy, advantaged children living on the healthy upwind side of the city should do well in such things, but consider this: as a school we are severely disadvantaged, by funding and location, in developing children's swimming.

The sign on the wall on the poolside said, 'Lydgate'. I took out a pen and ruler and added 'Junior School'. I'm not OCD-suffering or petty; I'm making a particularly valid point. The National Curriculum for PE has an expectation that children will, by the end of Key Stage 2, be able to swim a minimum of 25 metres unaided and in a recognisable stroke. 'By the end of Key Stage 2', note, not IN Key Stage 2. I stress the point because what happens in reality, in most Primary schools, is that the children swim IN Key Stage 2. We are, of course, being a Junior School, entirely made up of Key Stage 2.

Do our children have to swim during their four years here? Well, no, actually. At my previous school we sent our Year 2 children swimming. If they reached the grade they stopped. We took only the children who had not achieved the grade when we put on more lessons in Year 3.

What if the children coming to us had already achieved the 25 metres standard? What if the Infant Schools took them?

And, here it comes, is swimming funded? (Do schools get funding to pay for swimming lessons?) Yes, they do, and so we do. However, and this is part of the ridiculous part, so do Infant Schools even though they do not take their pupils to swimming lessons! Each Primary phase school gets an amount per pupil per year nominally for swimming. It would cover the lesson (but not any transport) if each child had lessons for one year during the six years of Key Stages One and two. But as we only have four of those years here we only get four sixths of that funding. The other two sixths goes to Infant Schools, though they very rarely, and as far as I can find out, never by mutual agreement so as to save the Junior Schools expenditure and time, ever take swimming lessons. That would be like being paid up front to feed children for part of each day but not actually ever feeding them. And for us to feed them all day because we get the burden of being tested on the outcome.

Why don't Infant Schools simply give the money back or give it over to the Junior Schools? Good question... The Infant schools say that Finance (of the local authority) won't let them. And that is stupidly ridiculous.

We do not get funded for transport because going by bus is our choice, it being less than 'reasonable walking distance'. Except we swim at King Edward VII baths down on Clarkehouse Road, a distance of exactly one mile and all uphill on the way back (mixing my measures to say an elevation gain of 100 metres). Do we save money but spend 40 minutes trekking back up the hill in the winter weather, missing half a maths lesson each time? So, we get less than full funding, feel we have to spend more than we would get if full funded because of transport needs, get put upon by Infant Schools not going swimming and yet we still triumph at the Gala.

Of course, if all the local Infant Schools would agree to taking their Year Two pupils swimming every other year, we could take the Year 4s the alternate years, and we would save money, they could spend money they get for swimming on swimming and we could still win the Gala.

Big up us!

It was a splendid event, great fun, well-supported, good example of 'legacy', marvellous dedication from staff and pupils, and very rewarding.

Oh, and there was a Year 6 football team out last night as well, playing in a tournament until seven o'clock.

Big up us!



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20 May 2015

Success Measures

You could wait until the test scores are out (early July), or until the publication of the next batch of Performance Tables. You could hold on a term or so (won't be any longer than that) for our next Ofsted Inspection and report. Or you could have a listen to what goes on in school in this normal week:

Year 3 classes have been hosting Class Assembly presentations for their parents. Each has a good turnout and each is stunning. Not because of hours and hours of practice, which they haven't had, but because of the progress the children have made, because of the massive range of activity they have engaged in, because of the diverse talents on show, because of the cross-curricular ways of teaching and learning employed that truly captures the interest of every learner, because of the inclusive practice that is simply the norm and leads to every child taking part, because of the fun the children had and the obvious pride the parents hold for them.

Year 4 classes have been making 'bug hotels'. Though we share planning in year groups that has been developed by one colleague in each subject we still have variation then on the theme. So we have massive building projects in the wood, and intimate little constructions in classrooms. Despite the clamour for ever higher  standards in English and maths, and possibly because of it, we had hammers and saws out, we had armfuls of proffered collections from home and we have a truly practical, kinaesthetic learning experience. Why did every child behave so well and enjoy the day so much? That would be because it appealed so strongly to them.

Year 5 children have been keeping caterpillars (see their Blog). You could click on YouTube and show a video explaining life cycles, or read a poster, or copy a diagram. Keeping the caterpillars, watching them grow, change, hide away in a chrysalis and then wait for the miracle to happen is real, exciting and deep learning. Insisting that they knew when and how to move the caterpillars into the hatching net meant the children really were reading for purpose.

Year 6 are mostly away, pretty typical after test week, but some 20 children are still here. They are in the wood, being practical, having fun and all present, every one of them, when it would be easy to be absent with parent approval.

Tomorrow after school, when Year 6 return from Edale, they have to choose between going home to bath and bed or taking part in choir, representing school in the football finals or being down at Ponds Forge for a Primary School Swimming Gala. And they will be there in good numbers.

I have seen myths written, watched mathematical artwork completed, heard good RE discussions, listened as instrumentalists have practised, heaped praise on fresh veg takers at lunchtime, sat in to support a pupil-run lunchtime Coding Club, okayed a Talent Show, laughed with delight (and with colleagues) as we saw children dance and twirl on the playground with streamers and pom-poms ...

I'll be at another Admission Appeal Hearing on Friday. What makes our school over-subscribed? See above.

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