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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

Latest Curriculum Topics List

Introduction

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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Introduction

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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Introduction

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

Latest Curriculum Topics List

Introduction

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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18 Oct 2019

When tempers fray

Sadly this week I have had to consider replacing some signs on our school front doors.

Long ago I successfully argued that the red notices informing visitors that ‘Smoking Is Not Allowed On These Premises’ were superfluous as everyone knew the fact and no one ever tried to smoke on the school site. I made the point that we did not have a separate poster for all the other things that were not allowed – the trading of sheep, the grazing of cattle, laundering money, stealing school’s resources, selling cigarettes to children, and so on. I also won the day over removing the sign provided by the City Council that said aggression or verbal abuse shown to staff would not be tolerated.

After a week that contained some overly emotionally-charged exchanges I am going to examine my previous stance and consult on what we should overtly declare and expect. It seems it may be necessary to spell out once more what will not be either accepted or tolerated. I completely understand the emotional capital involved in being a parent, but I also understand the vulnerability of the teacher to abuse.

Many Health Centres and Practices have policies on display, and many are available to read online. More than one or two schools have similar ‘zero tolerance’ policies published online. Sheffield City Council has revised what was a customer care statement into the current ‘Customer Commitments’ statement. Now this is a well-worded and balanced document because it spells out what the customer can expect from Council staff while also saying what Council staff need from customers. Communication in meetings, on the telephone and via electronic media is a two-way thing after all.

I will take a measured approach to introducing a code or statement of expectations. I will start by discussing reasonable expectations for professional school staff and school functions before discussing what school expects from parents and other visitors. It is absolutely fair that all staff understand and agree the reasonable expectations that can be placed on our behaviour before we try setting expectations for others.

This discussion will start with Sheffield City Council’s ‘Customer Commitments’ because I think they can be applied to every sector of the Council’s work. School staff will look at both sets of expectations and I hopefully accept the expectations of them as much as they will back expectations of school visitors.

I want to be sure that we are neither hypocritical nor elevating our needs above any other groups – why should my staff be any more protected than the children we work with, for example? And if we state that all staff should be free from aggressive behaviour directed towards them shouldn’t we ensure that the same is true for all children?

Finally, I turned to the RRS Charter and looked for appropriate Articles that say what rights the children should enjoy. Article 12: Every child has the right to have a say in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously. Article 19: Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment. In the original form (adult-speak) these two Articles ensure that a parent can give us their views on their child’s education but also that they do so in a way that does not abuse or mistreat the employee.

Sheffield City Council Customer Commitments

NAHT Zero Tolerance Poster

Blackheath Primary School Zero Tolerance Policy

Zero Tolerance Signs (Amazon)

UN Children’s Rights poster

If that all sounds rather negative I will just mention that SCC’s Customer Commitments give eleven promises to customers while having only three requirements of customers in return. We will, likewise, promise more things than we expect in return.

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04 May 2018

Differing Opinions

It’s been a confusing week in parts, with feedback that contradicts.

One set of parents insisted that we are too soft on poor behaviour and that we need to be seen to be much harder on anything that hints of bullying. (Their son felt we simply didn’t do anything about his complaints.)

The very next set of parents were deeply concerned that their child had been admonished the day before and felt that school’s discipline was far too harsh. (Their son was worried about coming back to school that morning because of our severe sanctions.)

The truth is that we try to be consistent, but we do not operate with a set list of fixed responses to specific actions.

We believe that, once get past a child’s initial and sometimes inevitable denial of action or responsibility, they know that what they did was wrong (or right) and they do not need us to go on and on about it. If they quickly and honestly accept that their actions were wrong then we move on rapidly. Is that ‘soft’?

But we are thorough and determined. A child who seeks to deny and defy, obscure or be outraged, will find us to be utterly stubborn, and willing to dedicate an age to uncovering the truth. This process is itself uncomfortable and often enough of a sanction to have imposed – a child might easily squirm and struggle and want to avoid that feeling in future. Is that ‘soft’?

And holding a child to account, ensuring that they do not get away with a blanket denial of something reported by a member of staff, is that being too ‘hard’? If we allow a child to get away with the denial they come to believe it as true, and to expect to blame others rather than accepting responsibility for their own actions. Only by accepting that personal responsibility can someone hope to change for good and for themselves.

We never, simply never, impose a sanction that is dangerous, difficult or humiliating. We might use sanctions that are proportionate, appropriate and, sadly, called-for. Isn’t that part of learning?

What we are looking for is for children, when they have done something wrong, to own up and apologise. And that is not too much to ask, is it?

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13 Apr 2018

Collective Worship, Summer term 2018

I understand that our themes for Collective Worship, and a perceived imbalance towards Christian themes, were one of the issues raised by a few parents in their response to the recent Ofsted Inspection questionnaire.

The list below shows what I intend to cover this term. Some have a clear Christian basis, some a faith element only, and some might be seen as totally secular – more ethos and social than ‘worship’.

Being Determined

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

 

Discipline

Training and strengthening by saying, ‘no’ to temptations.

Tolerance

I have a dream, that one day…

Cooperation

Tug of War

Honesty and Truthfulness

http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/242/a-tissue-of-lies

Reliability

Nemo

 

 

Caring

Protective Clothing

Patience

William Wilberforce (abolition of the slave trade)

Happiness

The dog, the goose and the jar

Understanding

God Understands Everything

Love in Faith

Why smiles matter / how smiles make a difference

Revolution - change

Making a difference, making things better and better

New Horizons

Leaving and moving on

 

The simple answer as to why we (schools, not just this school) still have a daily ‘act of worship’ is because the Law requires it. ‘Assembly’ has been the tradition, but ever since the 1944 Education Act schools have been required to provide some form of ‘worship’. The most recent requirements and clarifications are looking old, at 24 years ago, but the lines of the 1994 DfE circular still apply.

As long ago as 2004 the then Chief Inspector of Schools, David Bell, stated that 76% of Secondary Schools were failing to meet their legal requirement on daily acts of worship. If three quarters are not doing what the law requires (but are not being closed down / taken over / locked up / named and shamed) why do we bother? As is most often the case there is a really lengthy answer available that covers education policy history, a chunk of politics, school inspection reports, Law, practice, differences of opinion, accountability, responsibilities, and the needs of our school community. There are dozens of reports and research articles available from academics and secular and non-secular organisations.

The simple answer is in our recent Ofsted Report:

https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/106998

School Short Inspection Report,

Lydgate Junior School

Leaders are determined that pupils should achieve well both academically and as rounded individuals who are respectful and make a positive contribution to their school and community. The curriculum ensures that pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is given high priority. Consequently, pupils demonstrate tolerance and respect for others and they value being able to contribute their ideas and suggestions.

Ofsted, April 2018

Pupils ‘demonstrate tolerance and respect’. The curriculum ensures ‘that SMSC development is given high priority.’ Our Collective Worship provision therefore adds to the development of our pupils and is in part responsible for their continued outstanding behaviour.

We do it because it works.

 

If you want to know what the legal requirements are for schools it is covered by Circualr 1/94, found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/collective-worship-in-schools

Circular number 1/94

Religious Education and Collective Worship

All maintained schools must provide religious education and daily collective worship for all registered pupils and promote their spiritual, moral and cultural development.

Local agreed RE syllabuses for county schools and equivalent grant-maintained schools must reflect the fact that religious traditions in the country are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of other principal religions.

Collective worship in county schools and equivalent grant-maintained schools must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.

DfE 1994

 

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23 Dec 2017

Shaping Relationships Education

The Secretary of State for Education has announced the intention to make Relationships Education and, possibly, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education mandatory in all Primary schools.

The DfE has launched a consultation to ask for your views on how the content of the subjects and how the current guidance on sex education should be updated. Your comments will, says the DfE, be used to help the department ‘further refine their thinking and proposals’.

The Department for Education is first considering how to update the existing guidance which, was last updated in 2000. The new guidance will ‘support schools in delivering the new subjects of Relationships Education at primary (and Relationships and Sex Education at secondary), as well as, potentially, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE)’.

Currently Sex education (also known as Sex and Relationship Education) is only compulsory in maintained secondary schools. Primary schools have to have a policy on the teaching of sex and relationships, but this policy may be to NOT teach it. Many do choose to teach it, but the picture is not consistent across the country. Academies and free schools are encouraged to teach it as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) is a non-compulsory subject in state-funded schools and can encompass many areas of study. All schools are encouraged to teach PSHE and this expectation is outlined in the introduction to the national curriculum.

The decision to make Relationships Education compulsory was taken because children need support to navigate growing up in an increasingly complex and digital world. Whilst the internet is a mostly positive development in our lives, it does present significant challenges. With the visibility of social media, the prevalence of cyber-bullying and the risk that children learn about relationships from untrustworthy sources – the evidence was compelling that young people need support to make the right decisions and keep themselves safe and happy.

The consultation simply asks for your top three subject areas to be covered in each of Relations Education and PSHE.

You have until 12 February 2018 to give your views.

https://consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rse-call-for-evidence/

 

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27 Oct 2017

A Problem Shared

When we talk Child Protection and Safeguarding we often refer to ‘Protective Factors’, things that are most likely going to work to keep children safer. There are many of them coming from or related to school:

  • Healthy peer groups,
  • School engagement,
  • Positive teacher expectations,
  • Effective classroom management,
  • Positive partnering between school and family,
  • School policies and practices to reduce bullying,
  • High academic standards,
  • Consistent discipline,
  • Language-based discipline,
  • Extended family support,
  • Mastery of academic skills (maths, reading, writing),
  • Following rules for behaviour at home, at school, and in public places,
  • Ability to make friends,
  • Good peer relationships,

and probably many more.

Long-term readers of this blog may remember a display I posted about last year, one of the interactive boards I like to put up in the lunchtime entrance area. I asked the children to tell, in thought bubbles, who they could ask for help.

This week, in a similar way, I asked them who they would talk to if they were unhappy at various times in the day. Once we got past the teaching requirement (I needed to model better how to use a tally, and the classic five-bar gate) the results are interesting. There is a lot of children here who would actually resolve their unhappiness themselves, many who would rely on friends, lots who would turn to staff, plenty who find strength in family members, and quite a few with the confidence to call on anyone handy or well-placed.

Clearly the respondents have many ‘protective factors’ established and know to use them. This is very encouraging for us, and indicates strong, healthy, relationships with peers, family and school staff.

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