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 three Teaching Assistants who work within the team: 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....
On the Sunday before Christmas I get to attend the Carol Concert at St. Columba’s Church in Crosspool. It has become a traditional Christmas invitation, and I am invited to give a Reading, along with other significant members of the local community.
There is a warmth in the welcome and a true community spirit in the event. The congregation is actually a combination form two churches in Crosspool. Accompaniment for the Carols is given by Tapton Wind Band (including some of our ex-pupils playing songs they were knocking out four years previously at St. John’s on our Concert evening). Readings are given by a local Councillor, staff from both Lydgate schools, the Chair of Crosspool Forum and poignantly a representative of a refugee charity here in Sheffield.
There are young people in the congregation who are current and past pupils at our school, and it was obvious that parents appreciated me being there and making my contribution. School is a central figure in the local area and our children contribute highly to the feel of the locality.
At school last week I was continually referring to the simpler messages of Christmas – that it is at its heart a simple story of hope and promise based on the lowly birth of a child. Three times I came back to gift giving and stressed that it is not the extrinsic cost of a gift that matters but the intrinsic value. In ‘in the bleak midwinter’ the ‘voice’ asks in the last verse what she or she can give, poor as they are? In the story of the Christmas significance of the Poinsettia we find an impoverished street child offering a posy of weeds as gift to the baby as it is all she has. And in the final reading we heard how Mohammed, an asylum-seeker living here in Sheffield, does voluntary charity work as he sees there are others in greater need. What can we give? We can give from the heart and of the heart.
This Christmas I am giving to all my family gifts I have made, with love. I remember a friend once explaining why her homemade bread was better than shop-bought. Simply, she said, it was because she kneaded in some love. Give love this Christmas, and find and share peace.
Last Sunday, the last before we all start getting excited in school about Christmas, the Sunday before Advent, is known as ‘Stir-up Sunday’.
Its secular tradition is that it is the day that the Christmas Pudding should be mixed and stirred, and have it first steaming. The pudding gets reheated on the big day. The Anglican Church, however, uses words from the book of common prayer, "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people," in services that day. The people of the Church are asking to be whipped up, to be filled with energy, to be turned up in the fervour of their faith. They are asking for faith that gives them the confidence to proclaim their beliefs, encourage each other and seek a better world for all. ‘Ah, go on, go on, go on,’ as Mrs. Doyle would say.
In School Assembly this week I brought back out a poem I have used before, and used to have on display. It begins, ‘Be warmly angry. Be hotly angry, but do not boil away’. And it concludes with, ‘Keep on making a difference until things are different’. I was stressing to the children how we should not be deterred from a passionate belief just because others might disagree, discourage or misunderstand. I explored this sort of anger, and how it is not a violent emotion. It is a passion that drives action, and a determination that campaigns until just change is brought about. I suggested that, in such circumstances, we should keep on either until we are convinced or we have convinced. (As Vic and Bob would say, we shouldn’t let it lie.)
And then on Tuesday afternoon (in lesson time, because we invest properly in it, giving time for sixteen children and two members of staff to attend) we had our first School Council of the year. These wonderful, energetic, junior campaigners have ideas, and a list was made that will become the agenda for future meetings:
Notes about playtimes:
- Playtime rota - is it fair? Some say that they have only had 2 go's on something, when others have had more.
- Cover for the slide so that they can use it when it rains.
- Not being allowed to run on the boat.
- Have whole year groups on bottom yard so that you can play with your friends.
- A way of controlling the slide so that people don't push or go down the slide too soon.
- More play equipment.
- An inside space to go when its cold outside.
- Y5 quiet area near the hall/music room stair doors.
- Resurfacing around the boat.
- Playtime and lunchtime buddies. Inspired by Harry Banks' 'Fun Patrol'
Notes about lunches:
- Have a pasta pot option, where you have plain pasta then add a sauce (3 options) and add a topping (2 options).
- Somewhere to queue for lunches because it gets cold standing in the winter.
- Outdoor shelter for eating packed lunches.
- Many, many food suggestions (and complaints) – to talk to the man from Taylor Shaw who has been in to talk to Governors.
Sir Humphrey might suggest that, allowing the School Council to choose its own agenda, and to invite adults to attend to be quizzed, is, ‘very courageous, Head Master’. I think it is enabling the conversation to match the manifestos of the candidates.
I hope that they will be stirred-up with passion, and be warmly angry on the issues that matter to them. Here comes the next generation and their issues, for, eventually, the youth will inherit the Earth and they might as well have a voice that is heard as soon as they can put words to their thoughts.
‘You don’t do much in the last weeks of term, anyway; just watch a few films.’
This is sometimes given as a justification for absence in term time for family holiday. How far from reality it is.
Just this last week we have seen:
- A Year 6 class assembly, much appreciated,
- The (whole) Year 4 Pantomime Performance, greatly acclaimed,
- A dress rehearsal for a Year 3 audience, admired,
- Bread baking in Year 5, using children’s own added ingredients, delicious,
- Baking in Year 6 (croissants), very impressive,
- Foodbank collection, really impressive and gratefully received,
- Christmas School Dinner served to around 300 pupils, massively popular,
- Christmas Service at St. Mark’s, Broomhill, featuring choir, wind band and hand bells, nativity and art club, wonderfully inspiring
- FOLA disco, times two, big fun,
- Year 5 science at King Edward VII, quite interesting,
- Measuring and calculating perimeter in Year 3 maths, pretty useful,
- Focused SP&G work in Year 6, following test analysis, filling gaps in learning,
- Swimming lessons in Year 4, life skill building,
- Spelling, handwriting, PE, music, art, writing, paired, guided, shared and individual reading , RE, assembly, and so on as normal.
Yes, there might be a film in a year group, and a party, and perhaps an afternoon of Christmas-related Art and Craft. These are rewards, social occasions, engaging, and staffed. We hope we have ‘worked hard and played hard’ all term long, and we will be teaching right up to the last day of term.
We’ll start teaching again on the very first day of the new term: there is no time to lose or lost.
Call it what you will, but the spirit of charity, of love, of Christmas was certainly clearly with us this week. We held our second collection for the local Food Bank, which is based at St. Thomas’s in Crookes. The scale of the giving and collection became powerful, showing an outpouring of generosity, love and compassion.
This was giving, quietly done, avoiding the clamour of drums, bells or cymbals. Children and adults alike came, gave and left without seeking any reward. And the collection grew, and grew throughout the week. It filled the trugs we put out, then the baskets, then the bins and tabletops and worktop.
There was no ‘British Value’ on show here, as charity and neighbourliness knows no state boundary. Nor was this an act limited to the Christmas Christian festival. Yes, children of Christian backgrounds and faith gave, honouring Jesus’ teaching that we should love our neighbour as we love ourselves. But Jewish families supported the campaign also, in the same quiet way, teaching us about ‘Tzedakah’: to give donations anonymously to unknown recipients. Muslim children demonstrated by their actions one of the ‘five pillars’ – Zakat: paying alms or charity to benefit the poor. Sikhs also believe that a place in God’s court can only be attained if we do service to others in this world, as they were taught by the Guru Granth Sahib. Similarly Hindus are taught that they must help the poor as a way of building up good karma for themselves. Buddhists believe that by helping others they cease to be selfish and to move on the way towards enlightenment. Members of the British Humanist Society give money and/or time generously and regularly to an average of 6 charities each. Humanists tend to plan their giving rationally and selectively, but most also respond generously to emergency appeals and street collections. The most popular causes are those connected with social welfare. And those of no faith gave too, also demonstrating the spirit of sharing, community and love for others.
On Friday, at our Christmas Big Sing, we sang the Carol, ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, based on a poem by Christina Rossetti. The final verse goes like this:
‘What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him -
Give my heart.’
I believe that, by the giving to the Food Bank we have witnessed this week, we have also witnessed people giving their hearts to others, and to God.
Thank you for your support, and be sure that you have done good work this week.A very happy Christmas to you all.