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 & Miss Roberts (3N/R) and Miss Wall (3AW). We have four Teaching Assistants who work within the team: Mrs Dale, Mrs Allen, Mrs Dawes and Mrs Proctor.
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 Parker (5AP), 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 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
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 Phillips returns from maternity leave in Y6CP), Mrs Loosley (Y6NL) and Miss Norris (Y6HN). Also teaching in Year 6 is Miss Lee (Monday - Y6CP, Tuesday - Y6HN and Wednesday - Y6S/W) and Mrs Grimsley (Tuesday -Y6NL).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....
The Numbers Game - or what happens if you spend too long looking
Can I start by saying that his Blog Post has been produced at no cost to the taxpayer? I have done all the research, all the reading, and calculating, processing, sifting, questioning, comparing, writing and editing in my own time, on my own PC, using my own electricity, telephone line and broadband. I wouldn’t want you to think I was wasting school’s income on trivia and blind alleys.
I have written before about how our school’s income compares to that of other schools, and as we get closer to setting a new budget I am going there again. Successive Ministers for Education have talked about the issue for the last 20 years, and the Chancellor announced a consultation to happen this year, so it clearly isn’t just me.
So, as it has been a topic of conversation and deliberation for so long, how are we getting on?
There are some differences that are really hard to explain and to justify, and the differences between school types within the Primary sector baffle me. In Sheffield we have a mixture of Infants, Nursery and Infants, Juniors, Primaries, and Nursery, Infant and Juniors (sometimes known as ‘through Primaries’). There will be some individual school differences in funding level due to social deprivation (Pupil Premium), size (pupil numbers), rates, buildings ownership arrangements and so on. So I removed those factors, and then added them up and averaged them out. Surely, across a city as big as Sheffield there should be parity between these three parts of one sector of the education system?
The average income per pupil for Sheffield Infant (including Nursery and Infant) Schools was £3,909.87.
The average income per pupil for Sheffield Junior Schools was £3,596.08.
And the average income per pupil for Sheffield Primary (including through Primaries) Schools was £3,969.68.
I understand Infant Schools’ income being higher due to staffing ratio requirements in Nursery and capacity guarantee issues around provision for 2 and 3 year olds. But shouldn’t the figure for Primary Schools then be between Infant and Junior?
I am aware of the potential impact of the flat sum given to each school regardless of pupil numbers. This ‘small school protection’ payment allows each school to carry out the statutory duties that apply regardless of how many pupils you have. In Sheffield it is £150,000 per school. (No idea what it is elsewhere in the country as local authorities do not have to publish the detail of their school funding formulas.)
When you remove the £150,000 from each Sheffield school’s income and recalculate the average income, we get:
Infant - £3,111
Junior - £3,068
Primary - £3,483.
That £415 per pupil per year difference would increase our income by 13% or by £235,608 a year.
My data set is limited, however, and I acknowledge the fact. Getting to the funding schemes for Academies is really difficult. They are not funded via the local authority and so the funding formula used to derive their income is not shared with us. According to the DfE, Academies should publish this on their websites. I’ve just spent 20 minutes trying to find it from five Primary Academies in Sheffield and failed. On the DfE’s site you can get the Academy’s funding report, but these are usually about an Academy chain or ‘umbrella’ and so income for single schools is impossible to extract.
In days gone by Ofsted made a judgement about ‘value for money’ in their school inspections. So I had a look at this. The Performance Tables let us compare our school with 150 ‘similar schools’, selected by algorithm on the DfE Tables site. Not one that performs better than us is within 75 miles of our site. We rank joint 18th in pupil performance against these 150 ‘similar schools’. If you select all those ahead of us, and level with us, and then click on compare, and then on the 20 schools button, then finance and finally sort by clicking the top of the income column in the finance page, you find we were lowest funded per pupil. That’s got to be ‘VFM’, surely?(Am I being selective in my use of data? Try the next twenty schools, those twenty who performed below us - we got less income per pupil than every one of them as well.)
The next lowest got £88 per pupil more than us (£42,240 per year for our school size). The two highest funded are both within the M25 and so do need to be able to meet the higher costs of outer or fringes of the capital. One is similar in size to Lydgate Junior School. Its income per pupil is 65% higher than ours. Costs aren’t that much higher near London, are they? (In fact, the Tables pages allow us to see the average salary of the teachers, and theirs is just 17% higher than ours. Class sizes are no smaller – 23.1:1 against 23.3:1, so it’s not that either.)
The finance report for one Academy in Sheffield has not downloaded in the time it has taken me to compose this Post. That’s not on purpose, is it?
I have not moved my school forward on any front in this study, nor changed any public or political opinion. I should, perhaps, resolve to stop considering irrelevant, immovable, unequal numbers. It could ’do my head in’, as the youth of today have probably stopped saying.