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The Headteacher's Blog

Introduction

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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Introduction

Welcome to Year 3!

The Y3 Team includes Mrs Dutton & Mrs de Brouwer (3D/deB), Miss Cunningham (3EC), Mrs Webb & Mrs Watkinson (3W/W) and Miss Roberts & Mrs Noble (3AR). We have three Teaching Assistants who work with small groups and help across the four classes: Mrs Dale, Ms Kania and Mr Swain. Mrs Proctor, one of the School Governors, also helps out in all four classes.

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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Introduction

Welcome to the Y4 blog. We know that the question that children are mostly asked as they leave school is 'What did you do today?' The response is often 'nothing'! Well, here is where you can find what 'nothing' looks like. In our weekly blogs we will share with you what your children have been getting up to and all of the wonderful work that they have been doing. The Y4 team consists of the following teachers: Mrs Shaw and Mrs Drury in Y4S/D, Mrs Smith and Mrs Smith (this is not a typo!) in Y4S/S, Miss Norris in Y4HN and Miss Wall in Y4AW. The children are supported by our teaching assistants too, including Mrs Biggs, Mr Jenkinson and Mrs Tandy. We also have help from Miss Lee, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Flynn and Mrs Wolff. Some of the children are lucky enough to spend time in The Hub too with Mrs Tandy. What a team!

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Introduction

Welcome to the Year 5 Blog page.

The Year 5 teaching team includes our class teachers, Mrs Parker (5AP), Mrs Rougvie and Mrs Jones (5RJ), Miss Reasbeck and Mrs Ridsdale (5RR) and Mrs Holden (5SH). . Many children are supported by Mrs Hill and Mrs Allen (the Year 5Teaching 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

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Introduction

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 Thursday morning teachers are Mrs Farrell, Miss Lee and Mr Jones.We are also very lucky to be helped by Mrs Ainsworth, Mrs Cooper, Mr Jenkinson, Mrs Biggs and Mrs Dawes. 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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14 Dec 2018

Performance Issues

Performance noun

  • how well a person, machine, etc. does a piece of work or an activity
  • the action of entertaining other people by dancing, singing,acting, or playing music:

a performance (mainly uk informal)

  • ​an action or type of behaviour that involves a lot of attention to detail or to small matters that are not important


DfE has published the annual ‘Performance Tables’ this week for end of Key Stage 2 assessments in 2018.

https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/


All the usual caveats must be applied when you read the data – are you comparing like with like, is it progress or attainment that matters, reading or maths, funding – does that matter, disadvantage levels, what does the data hide, why publish average teacher salary, what about the private sector, why are so many Academies excluded, how can you tell if small schools do well if their data isn’t published, Infant Schools have no data, is this a one-year snap shot or a three year average?

Dig back through this blog series and you will find me writing about a question at interview (how would you place the school) and about more important things than scores and gloating.

Well, we still are not top of the table, but we are doing very well, thank you. Out of Sheffield’s fourteen Junior Schools (surely a sensible comparison set) we have the:

  • second lowest absence
  • third highest percentage meeting the 'combined' (reading, writing and maths) expected standard
  • second highest reading progress score
  • third highest writing progress score
  • second highest maths progress score
  • fourth highest percentage for higher standard for 'combined'
  • fourth highest average score in reading, and
  • fourth highest average score in maths,
  • AND all with the fourth largest pupil to teacher ratio.

 

Year 4 thrilled a hallful of parents with the annual pantomime this morning in a demonstration of a different definition of ‘performance’. Huge applause and appreciation was heard and felt because it was brilliant. The story was ‘Cinderella’ but with plenty of twists included. Cinderella was forced to change her life goals once she saw how shallow and desperate the Prince was, and found happiness somewhere else entirely.

The singing was amazing – harmonies and split parts, solos and choruses, actions and dancing. Words were clear as a bell, and jokes were delivered with comic timing.

This was the sort of performance I really wouldn’t mind being judged on.

 

I hope we didn’t make too much of ‘a performance’ in our organisation and control around FOLA’s Christmas discos. These are run by the volunteer parent team, with a good slice of staff support. They want to be safe and sure and confident they have all the bases covered, and so felt the need to have booking tickets available, and to put out an indicative limit on attendance numbers.

We had two very busy events in the one evening and a whole lot of fun was had, but the volume of email, text and message must have added enormously to their stress leading up to opening the doors.

I think they did an excellent job.

 

It’s been another really good week.

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24 Sep 2016

Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s labelled label-maker

As anyone who has watched The Big Bang Theory (E4, just about every evening) will know, Dr. Cooper has a thing with labelling stuff, including his label-maker. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattcornock/9069083283/

We have a label-maker, too. In fact, ours pre-dates his. It was in a drawer, labelled ‘label-maker’, obviously.

While I was off work this week for a couple of days someone learnt how to use it and set about labelling a few things – so far I have spotted, ‘Heads Door’, Heads Door Handle’, ‘Heads Desk’, ‘Heads Table’, ‘Heads Filing Cabinet’, ‘Heads Clock’, ‘Heads Computer Screen’, ‘Heads Tea Mug’, and one on a piece of paper that says, ‘Missing Apostrophe’.

I am not outraged, nor upset, nor baffled, nor disappointed, nor worried at any of this, because it does not show disrespect or waste. It may well show some silliness, but it also shows, in great measure, wit and intelligence, spirit and morale, creativity and thoroughness, and a recognition that the school has a Headteacher who can laugh and likes to do just that.

I wrote a blog a short while back about looking after the healthy minds and hearts of my staff, so that they are in turn healthier, stronger and better able to look after the children in their care. I reckon the laughs they got in setting this up on Friday, and the laughs they will get each time I discover another label (there will be a ‘Heads Pen’ and a ‘Heads Hole-punch’), are part of that process. We aim to be a healthy school, a whole healthy school, in minds and bodies and spirits.

I’ll check the label-maker on Monday to see if it is now labelled.

Anyone who needs things sorting, classifying and labelling – we can probably loan out some staffing and equipment.

 Image result for sheldon cooper

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22 May 2016

We're Cooking on Gas

One of the slightly naughty delights of being a teacher is the freedom to go, just a little, off-piste occasionally, and to find your own way of presenting learning, stimulating responses or garnering enthusiasm for a topic that might otherwise strike as dull for a slice of the class.

It’s ‘Poetry Day’ for most of the school on Monday (23rd May). Year 3 were reading, decoding and writing short poems themselves last week. As last week’s homework was simply to practise the lines of the songs for the Year 3 ‘big assembly’ there was a 20 minute slot after lunch on Friday where I could take my pick. Mrs Dutton had suggested I share a favourite poem or two.

I used:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51JSTXhfx3c

followed by:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=xm2lvgEpthQC&pg=PA158&lpg=PA158&dq=apple+crumble+by+jean+kenward&source=bl&ots=IymJ8HSpqW&sig=fKIB4y36jT3nLZ3AYyZAyFLHo0o&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiO286Rs-7MAhWKKcAKHahBAI8Q6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=apple%20crumble%20by%20jean%20kenward&f=false

The class, every one of them – boys, girls, high ability, less able, EAL, SEN, omnivore, vegetarian and fruitarian, was enraptured by the ‘hook’ and then listened and engaged fully with the poem.

A Golden Buzzer moment!

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27 Nov 2015

Creative Mis-Spellings

Let’s play ‘Only Connect’ – spot the link... Horn-ed Viper, you say?

For four points – Ronnie Barker?

For three points – Ronnie Barker and John Lennon?

For two points – Ronnie Barker, John Lennon and Stanley Unwin?

(Final clue at the bottom)

The Witches scene from Macbeth is the most quoted Shakespeare, apparently – all that ‘fire burn, and cauldron bubble’. No chance of it being ‘Pointless’, then.

I was treated this week when offered the chance to read re-workings by two Year 6 boys. (I know, boys writing! Amazing!). They discussed the original and their in-the-style-of work eloquently and with some real understanding. They had the rhythm just right, the syllabic pattern, the rhyme, the circular end / beginning. And they had well-thought out explanations for Shakespeare’s intent and word selection.

They told me how they had had to think really hard in order to understand some of the unfamiliar language, which is fair. I’m pleased with their resilience, for one thing.

In both pieces I saw examples of creative and original phrases and wording, a nod to Shakespeare’s record as the greatest individual inventor of new words in the English language.

The first had added to the brew, ’a piece of old oak bar’. I explored the words and tried to guess the intention – is the bar suggesting strength, like a steel bar, or perhaps or was it a section of a gate, door or barricade? Clearly the ‘old oak’ was referencing the traditional tree of England, and was perhaps a metaphorical use?

In the second I found, in the final chorus, ‘double, double, toil and rouble’. How politically aware is this kid? Is it a filmic reference to the frequent portrayal of Eastern Europeans as the ‘baddie’ in English language films? By sleight of hand has he deliberately placed an older spelling of the Russian currency in his evil brew to condemn that state's role in modern conflicts?

Clearly we have on our hands two writers who deserve a wider audience and encouragement in this field of cultural expression and invention.

And then I asked them what their intentions had been – was I right in any of my thoughts?

For one point - Ronnie Barker, John Lennon, Stanley Unwin and William Archibald (Dr) Spooner?

The connection is deliberate misspellings – Ronnie Barker wrote many ‘Two Ronnies’ scripts himself including the ultimate, ‘Four Candles / Fork Handles’ sketch. (Six minutes of pure, pure gold.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz2-ukrd2VQ

 John Lennon liked a play on words and a cheeky reinvention through misspelling – his second published book of poetry was ‘A Spaniard in the Works’. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xf2evb_john-lennon-the-wumberlog_creation

Stanley Unwin, of course, made a career out of getting words wrong. His mother hurt herself coming home one day because, she had "falolloped over and grazed her kneeclabbers". http://www.stanleyunwin.com/

And Dr Spooner has his own category of mixed up phrases in the self-named ‘Spoonerisms’. http://www.fun-with-words.com/spoonerisms.html

I’d perhaps awarded the lads a little too much respect, but they were gentle with me and terribly honest. They had intended, ‘old oak bark’, and ‘double, double, toil and trouble’, but spellchecker is a wonderful thing.

I can’t begin to tell you what they put when they meant to add to the infernal brew, ‘ squid's tentacles’, but did make me laugh and wince!

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