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.

Yours sincerely,
Stuart Jones

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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 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.

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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 Ms Reasbeck and Mrs Drury in Y4RD. The children are also supported by our teaching assistants: Mrs Proctor, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Hornsey, Mr Jenkinson and Mrs Wolff. We have help from Mrs Farrell, Miss Lee and Mrs Grimsley too and some of the children are lucky enough to spend time in The Hub with Mrs Allen. 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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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

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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....

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17 May 2020

Are we opening? I’m sorry, but we don’t know yet

It’s all very well Government making big announcements with dashing headlines (Schools to reopen from 1st June) but when they don’t do the detail until later, and when that detail covers only half the possibilities, and when it misses a few of the fundamentals that apply to schools in some contexts it is saying too much far too quickly.

I know that this sounds like a moan, but it is meant as an explanation of why we have not been able to make definitive statements yet, a whole week after the Prime Minister made his announcement to the nation.

The supporting guidance for schools actually only came out on Tuesday, and then was updated on Wednesday and again on Thursday.

Quite rightly, and with great foresight,  our Local Authority lead advised us not to dash to plan or to inform parents as anything we planned was quite likely to be supplanted by revisions and new information. He was right.

The guidance is based around the mythical average Primary School – which may well not actually exist – but certainly does not reflect our context very well. We have 3 times the national average of ‘vulnerable’ pupils attending daily. We have five times the national average of key workers’ children attending. We have 484 children on a site built for 360. We already have staggered lunchtimes. We have, effectively, one entrance and exit. We are a Key Stage 2 only school – that has transition in and out. We have over a quarter of our parents indicated as ‘key workers’, about 20% more than average. We are one of the lowest funded schools per pupil in Sheffield and accordingly have one of the highest pupil:teacher ratios – we have the lowest staffing capacity to absorb absence. We have half our classes taught by job share teachers – about 25% above average. We have just one hall and two playgrounds but 16 classes – so we cannot have every class outside learning and not mixing. We are over=capacity and over admission number and in two year groups we have classes of over 30 pupils.

All these factors make planning wider opening harder here than at an ‘average’ school. (There are many locations where it is going to be more complicated, near impossible; schools with even higher numbers of key and crucial workers, for example.)

Right now I do not know for sure who comes first – some Headteachers disagree with my interpretation of the guidance – children of key workers or children in YR, Y1 and Y6 or ‘vulnerable’ children. I do not know if we are supposed to effectively reserve places for all those children. I do not know for sure if we are implementing social distancing measures (2 metres apart) or a ‘contact bubble’ approach of keeping groups separated. I do not know for sure what to do if we cannot accommodate a whole set of children (the guidance has said (and not said) that no children should be in on a rota basis. Presumably offer all or nothing – the guidance just doesn’t say the ‘nothing’ option.) I do not know what the LA could do to find us extra teaching spaces to put groups of children or extra staff to teach them. I do not know or certain that we will be able to provide meals, or to serve them over an extended staggered lunch break. I do not know how many of my staff will be assured by restated guidance on shielding arrangements over critical health vulnerabilities.  I do not have a workable, reasonable plan yet on how we would address a situation where someone fell ill with symptoms while at school. I do not know how we could possibly continue to provide materials to support home learning if all our teaching staff are engaged in teaching groups of up to 15 children all day each day. I do not know what we do with the 16th child – some of our classes have 31 children, so if we divide in two, where does the 16th child in a group go if groups should be no more than 15?  I do not know how we arrange staggered starts and ends to each day when there will be sibling links within groups so children will arrive together and need to leave together. I do not see how we are keeping adults apart outside the gate. I do not have an effective method of seeing parents’ enquiries being answered when we are guided (by the Guidance) to not allow parents onto the site except with an appointment.

And all that needs sorting before we start wider opening and before we communicate plans to parents.

Then there is the on-going and summer term activity we are getting Y6 back to do – to meet the staff at the destination schools, to go on day visits, to explore a new curriculum and a host of other transition tasks. We have yet to state fully exploring how ay of this might be done while at the same time limiting contacts outside each group. The Guidance says Secondary Schools will not host Primary pupils (not ‘may not’, but ‘will not’).

I’m sorry, but right now it feels like the things I do not know outnumber the things I do by a factor of 3 (on average). It is not an answer that inspires confidence and that is why I have not been communicating this to parents this week.