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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 our regular volunteers, 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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04 Jan 2017

Training Days - what? Again?

Staff completed their third and fourth training days of the year this week, while the school’s pupils had an extra-long Christmas and New Year holiday.

There are long-established reasons for placing the training days like this, always up against the start or end of holidays. We hope it makes it easier for parents/ carers to arrange childcare, that it gives greater opportunity to take a vacation out of term time by increasing the length of break and number of possibilities, and it keep s the term time itself intact as one block. We always synchronise with our feeder school, but cannot do so with the many Secondary schools that our pupils’ siblings attend. Too many Secondaries and far too many feeder schools unless all would take the same days. And as many are now Academies with full freedom to select their own arrangement of five training days there really is no way to insist on coordination.

We used these two days to concentrate on:

  • The next stages of Rights Respecting Schools work – how we cover all the Articles in our cross-curricular teaching,
  • Moderating writing within and across year groups, leading from the annual John Lewis TV advert - using writing specifically produced by all the pupils for assessment to develop further our own understanding and recognition of ‘working at greater depth’ and ‘meeting the expected standard’,
  • Planning for the teaching of English in year groups, and for mastery maths lessons – so that we share planning skills and roles, ensuring quality provision is continuous,
  • Interventions available in school including Lexia, First Class at Number, Catch up Reading and others – what they can provide, who they are aimed at, what can be expected from them, what they need in order to be most effective,
  • Staff well-being – so that we are fit and well in order to look after our pupils as best we possibly can and as they undoubtedly deserve.

Our fifth and final training day closure is in June, fitted alongside the May half term holiday. This year we will have been able to have one on each of the five days of the working week – helping our part-time staff and hopefully inconveniencing each part-time working parent / carer a little less.

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11 Dec 2015

Words, damned words, and semantics

I was stopped last week by a parent who wanted to chat about his perception of Parents Evening. He felt that his child’s class teachers had not got a clear position on the progress the child had made, and that the language my colleagues had used was vague and not reassuring.

We explored the changes in the curriculum that have only been fully in place since September, and won’t be in the assessment system for at least another eighteen months. He went away somewhat pacified by my assurance that the written reports sent home later in the academic year will focus on progress and not coverage.

The new assessment system is still evolving, much like a newly formed planet emerging from a cloud of gas and particles whirling after the collapse of a star system. The day after the publication of school performance tables (http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=106998) schools across England received links to more documents giving information about the revisions to end of Key Stage assessments for Foundation Stage, and Key Stages 1 and 2. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/interim-frameworks-for-teacher-assessment-at-the-end-of-key-stage-2 and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pre-key-stage-2-pupils-working-below-the-test-standard) .

These are ‘interim’ arrangements, and so we must not get used to them as, presumably, they will change again in 2017. I have mentioned before the new language that we will have to use to inform parents about their children’s attainment – they will either meet or not meet a national standard – a ‘scaled score around 100’. What we have today been told is how we must describe the performance of those children who are working below that national standard.

Keep in mind that this is to replace an out-moded, not fit for purpose, insufficiently challenging system that used ‘Levels’ where the number accorded to a ‘Level’ showed the (not necessarily linear) progression. Schools developed sub-levels to describe better the various shades of progress and this was accepted over time, and subsequently widely used.

Come July 2016 we will be telling parents that their Year 6 child is either working at / has progressed to:

  • Foundations for the expected standard

  • Early development of the expected standard

  • Growing development of the expected standard

  • Working towards the expected standard

  • Working at the expected standard, or

  • Working at greater depth within the expected standard

A quick, cheeky, question – have I put them in order or not? In what order would you place those statements? (And is it me, or does it look and feel rather like the ‘old’ ‘working towards’, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5?)

There’s a whole lot of murk out there still – we are constantly told not to interpret the end of Key Stage guidance to work out what children should be able to do (an age-related expectation) at the end of any other year group. We are told to enter only children for whom the test is accessible, but without knowing the ‘pass mark’ to guide us on whether there is any point or not. We can use the one set of sample papers published to see if children can answer any of the questions, but as we don’t know the minimum mark needed to register a ‘scaled scored’ we are still none-the-wiser. Hopefully clarity will emerge over time.

One slight, but unexplained, change is that schools will have to submit their ‘teacher assessments’ a whole month earlier than in previous years. (We have to send them to DfE as well as to parents.) The deadline just jumped from June 24th to May 27th. I cannot come up with a single good reason. My one suggestion is rather cynical and conspiracy-led: ‘they’ trust teacher assessment more than the tests (but would never admit it), and so want to confirm test outcomes against what the professionals, who have worked with the children for four years and more, think before setting the threshold for the national standard. Or the computer team at the standards and testing agency has a big holiday booked for late June.

And in the meantime, we’ll keep on teaching the children things they don’t yet know but could do with learning. Seems about right. (That would be 'Purposeful People engaged in Disciplined Thought taking Disciplined Action', one of the things remarkable associations do that others don't.)

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