Governors Despatches Autumn Term 2013

20th December 2013

It has been a fun week in school with parties and carol singing and a few visits from Father Christmas himself.  The children have been really excited and the day cannot come soon enough for them.  Remembering it is not what you know but who you know - A special thanks to Graham for sorting this!

I have undertaken a book scrutiny in Year 6 and the level of work has significantly improved in just one month.  We always knew they could do better.

Ladybirds nursery have been over for their Christmas lunch.


Our new finance lady has been in – she seems a good person to work alongside.

I have also spent time with Miss Roberts sharing planning ideas for the afternoon sessions.  It was a really useful session.

The school Christmas fun is well and truly over and now it is time to spend some time with close family and friends.  I hope you all have a magical festive period and look forwards to working with you in the new year. 


16th December 2013

Can you believe it – one week to go before Christmas and it is still 12 degrees.

I am sure you can guess that we have one or two tired children and one or two very excited children – not to mention adults.

  • We now have had our WIFI upgrade and have superfast internet connection.  Yippee!
  • The children have sang as part of the Christian Service and also at the golf Club.  They sang really well and all who heard were impressed.
  • The Rotary Shoe box appeal was extremely popular and the school council were stunned by the response.  They managed the situation extremely well.
  • Our trip to the theatre to watch Christmas Carol was a great adventure.  I thought it was a little too scary but I was most certainly in the minority of 3 (2 of those being children).  We earned many comments about our exemplar behaviour.   
  • The fire extinguisher take has been undertaken.
  • Alison has attended a Sims provision mapping course and has been overloaded with options and ideas.
  • Our annual Christmas lunch was a great occasion and most plates were empty very quickly.  Shirley and her team cooked over 200 meals that day.
  • The Christmas disco rocked with the schools new DJ set.  Our year 6 DJ’s Alex and Jack were overwhelmed by the kit and really sounded like professionals. 
  • The Christmas gifts went down a storm as the children carefully selected items for their loved ones. 
  • Longton Association are really working hard and fundraising is building to ensure we are able to offer that little something extra.  We are really feeling the benefits of their labours and it is a great team of parents.
  • We have had one applicant for the Assistant headteacher role.  It was a very strong application so we move forwards to interviews next week.


The school carol service is next Friday 20th December at 1.30, we would love to have you join us.  It is a great way to get yourself in to Christmas Mode.  All in attendance are invited back to school for light refreshments (brew and biscuit!)

8th December 2013

It has been a great start to December this week, the tree is up, carols are being sung and cards posted. 

- We have met with St Wilfreds Primary to continue with our creativity project.  An action plan has now been drawn up.
- Helen has attended the change for life session to support us with our sports funding and we have finally got round to ordering some new football nets – huge thanks to Mr Harrison for sorting this.
- The ECO school have led an assembly and have also managed to get a few freebies from Berry’s so that they can build a ‘bug hotel’!  Obviously, Berry’s are feeling the Christmas spirit!
- The Y2 and Y3 production was held over two nights and was absolutely magical – it brought a smile to everybody’s faces and the children clearly felt amazing.  We have had loads of positive feedback.  Thanks Miss Roberts and Mrs Fletcher.
- Our school choir led by Mrs Bolton enjoyed the festive atmosphere whilst they sang at the Longton Lights Switch on.  Well done Gill.
- Our Y4 children performed a woodwind concert for the children in KS1.  It was most enjoyable.
- The Y6 enjoyed cup stacking in the beyond sports activity this week.  Alex would achieve an Olympic gold medal if it was an Olympic sport – he was incredibly fast.
- Our staff meeting was led by a member of the sports partnership, it was meant to be an introduction the new kS2 curriculum.  It was not well delivered and we felt we could have done better ourselves.  Not good.  I will make sure I pass this on at the next steering committee meeting in January. 
- Year 4 have really enjoyed their trip to Smithills.  In the absence of Mr Orritt, it went ahead because Mrs Caunce took the lead and we therefore cannot thank her enough.
-  Miss Stevenson our Y4 cover teacher seems to be asking all the right questions and the children are responding well to her. We will give her until after Christmas before we formally observe her but I can’t resist popping in to see how things are going.  I feel confident in her appointment. 
- Our Year 5 children and their reception buddies have been working together looking at war artefacts.  With thanks to Mr Duff, they even got to ‘bounce’ around in an army Jeep.

29th November 2013

- Today we have interviewed for a cover teacher for Y4.  We have appointed a lady called Miss Stevenson.  We will strive to make sure she settles in quickly, gets a handle on each child and that she fits in to our team. 
- Iain has attended the Deputy forum and listened to ideas about the new curriculum.
- Alison and Rachael have been to St Wilfreds Primary to look at the creative work that they do.  They were both really impressed with the schools sketch books.  Something Rachael has wanted to set up for ages.  Representatives from St Wilfreds are coming to us next week. We have a grant of £1200 for each school to support this collaboration.
- John has had his subject release time and has attached the Geography cupboard with the new curriculum in mind.  
- Chris Coxhead kindly came to school to go through our building plans.  It was a really useful and interesting visit and I will most certainly take note of his sound advice.
- The choir went to St Oswald’s to practise for the Longton Lights switch on. They sounded like a choir of angels and behaved equally well.
- Janine and Sharon have been on dyslexia training – both found it useful and will share the info at the next TA meeting.
- The Winter Warmer was a huge success (Thank you Santa!).  This year it was well supported by parent helpers running stalls etc. and parents and children spending.
- If your contact details are not on or not correct please can you email me the correct version as soon as possible so that I can distribute the completed and tick this job off my to do list.


22 November 2013

~~Another week in Longton looks like this:

- Harry and I had a chat with Neil regarding his Govs Induction.
- Parents Evenings have gone really well.  Just one unhappy parent in Y1 which seemed to be about the fact they don’t have time to do the homework and they can’t read their year 1 child’s writing.  Teachers in this class are trying to support the family and keep a positive open door policy.
- Electrical items have been PAT tested.  Just one thing highlighted, a broken socket under a heater in the hall.  This fault has been logged and we await it to be fixed.
- Beyond sport continues in school with the sports funding that has now arrived.  The children are enjoying it.
- Julie Glynn Educational Psychologist has been in school and worked with a family.  We now move forwards with a signed CAF and an agreement that we can pay for a person to come in and work with the little boy.
- I have undertaken the Financial Benchmarking for this year.  Oh the fun I had.  I will share it with you in good time.
- I have fully analysed the raise online and will again share that with you shortly.
- Spellbinder, a performing arts group, came in to school and created a lovely awe and wonder moment for the children.
- Maths observations show that the teaching was good in two classes and outstanding in one.
- Multisport took place as an after school club and during Friday afternoon some children enjoyed the change for life course – again part of the sports funding.
- Iain, Sandra and Alison undertook maths in the new curriculum training.
- Y5 went to the Preston Museum to experience the ‘secret war’.  They had an amazing time and said it was the best trip ever.  Not bad for £4!
- Our Teaching assistants had their first meeting in which they all share good ideas and support each other with interventions.  This is being led by a TA following her appraisal.  I have not had a chance to get feedback yet.
- The Longton Association organised a non-uniform day to raise stock for the Winter warmer. The parents are very generous and we now have lots of chocolate in school! 
- It is with sadness that I must inform you that Mr Orritt is unwell and has been signed off sick by his doctor.  Myself, Gill and Neil interviewed supply teachers on Friday but none fit the bill so we will try again this Friday.  In the meantime Mrs Ainsworth (our part-time Y1 teacher) will cover the class.  Her class is being taught by a student and or Mrs Robinson.

Just to point out the obvious.  It is almost December.

15 November 2013

Hello, Hello, Hello

It does appear that the cold weather has finally arrived, a chill has certainly been passing through school and the heating is on.

  • I pass on good news that Mrs Caunce has another grandchild that is fit and healthy.  She is delighted with little baby Thomas.
  • Remembrance day was once a gain a memorable experience.  A few children went to the dedication of the new memorial at Hutton.  The others all dressed up and enjoyed a day of war time activities and food.  Photos on the website.
  • Today the heads team and the school council raised over £200 for children in need by planning a non uniform day and various activities.  They are delighted with their efforts.  I best not tell you too much because they will want to tell you at the full govs.
  • The heads team planned and delivered the celebration assembly in church really well.  The sound system even worked – yippee!
  • The boiler has been serviced!
  • Sketch club and fit club have restarted and are once again very popular – thanks to Mrs Ainsworth and Mrs Robinson.
  • Monks and Austin Watson have been to price the extension but we don’t have a guide price yet.
  • Beyond sport continues with our Y6 children – they are enjoying it very much.
  • The NSpcc have been to school to talk to children.
  • Literacy observations have taken place and have been very positive.
  • The staff meeting this week related to maths and assessment and marking in maths.
  • Mrs Ainsworth discussed what we need to do as we begin on work in achieving the arts mark.


I hope you have a fun weekend and that you are enjoying reading your govs info.  If you want any other piece of info please just ask.

Thanks to all who have met up with the link person.  If you email the brief report I will circulate for you.


18 October 2013

Hello on this wet October Friday.

So what has been going on in lovely Longton:

  • Mr Coxhead and Y6 undertook a class assembly which was well received by parents.  It revolved around the Lancashire Cotton Mills.
  • Two dinner ladies have been on a play leader course.  They both said that it was really good.  We have arranged a meeting to discuss next steps etc.  They have a follow up session next term.
  • The lady from finance has made her final visit!  The items mentioned at the resources meeting have been highlighted.
  •  The fire alarm has been serviced.
  • Priory have been in to dance with our y4 children.
  • Appraisal meetings are well underway with new objectives being agreed.
  • Updated trackers are in.  We have a few areas of focus.  Girls maths in Y6 has reappeared and a few boys are not writing as we would hope in year 6.  We will ensure we tailor teaching to the needs of the children.  In Feb if it is still evident Mr Pearson will help with additional classes in the afternoon.
  • Mrs Moxham has had a day out in London to work with a team on the development of y6 tests, levelling etc.  she has given brief feedback and we have scheduled a more detailed one next week.
  • The football netball team, cross country team and maths team have all competed well this week.
  • The staff meeting around science levelling was well received.
  • I have been to a local to school has undertaken building work themselves.  We went through the ins and outs and I feel confident in undertaking this process ourselves. I will contact 3 builders next week and get the ball rolling – exiting.
  • Myself and Mr Pearson also went to another school to look at the data tracker they use.  Ours is not perfect.  However, I was not really sold on theirs either.  So for now I think ours has the most benefit and we will stick with it.


04 October 2013

I hope that you are all well and that you have had a good week.

A week at Longton looks a little bit like this:

  • We have shown a few prospective parents round for next year.
  • I spent Monday with the adviser team for their training day.  It had a few useful snippets which will help our school.
  • Mrs Robinson has returned to school.
  • Mrs Pratten has been to an EYFS tracking course.  She said there were some really good bits that will help her create the relevant grids etc.
  • A number of children enjoyed film night and seemed to enjoy it.
  • We have met with the school nurse to write a care plan for a child who has perthes disease.
  • Mrs Fletcher has been on a y3/4 new literacy session as part of the local support group.
  • Mrs Moxham and Mr Pearson have attended a briefing for the new Ofsted framework.  I am sure they will share it with you in the near future.
  • We have two girls in y6 who seem to be friends but one of them says the other is mean to her.  We have set systems up to find out what is going on and are keeping in regular contact with their parents.
  • Observations have started for appraisal.  2 outstanding one in KS1, one in Ks2 and one good in KS2.
  • I have been to one of my adviser schools and spent two evenings helping two others shortlist for a deputy role.
  • Ewan is really helping with things in the office which is freeing up Linda to get on with other things.



27 September 2013

Oh my, oh my, I feel like my feet have not touched the ground this week.  It has been somewhat busy.

But Hey ho the sun is shining and it is the weekend.

Staff appraisal started this week.  TA’s have been briefed on the new format for them and new objectives have been set for most teachers.  A few are to be completed next week.

We had a spelling show come in to school which was well received and enjoyed by all.  A little snippet has been put on the school website.

We have a child in Year 6 who has said she feels that somebody is being mean to her.  Another child in the class.  I have spoken to both children and they now have a person they should speak to each day.  I have spoken to one set of parents and have an appointment to meet with the other next week.

Julie Glynn has been in to offer her much valued guidance as an educational psychologist.  We will continue to use her services throughout the year.

I attended the schools forum which did not really shed light on very much – well not that needs to be shared.

Teachers and TA have completed the next stage of the care and control – handling children session.  It was a real fun session- it is not every day you get to strangle your deputy and vice versa for him.  It was really valued by all who attended but let’s hope we don’t have to put it in to action.

I have been to local heads cluster meeting – I am to attend these this year.  Let’s see if I make it.  Iain also attended the deputy one.  We planned a number of joint CPD opportunities which will really benefit us all as we plan for the new curriculum.

John has been on a grammar course today so I have not had news if it was any good.  I am sure it was.

We have also had to take the unusual step of excluding a child for a fixed period of 5 days.

Well that is all I have to report – I think! For now – perhaps!

Hope you all have a fun time in the sun


20 September 2013

Hello, Hello, Hello

I hope you are all well and have had a good week.

Life at Longton as always has been busy and productive.

A local school has just been inspected despite the fact they had a deferral letter saying they would not have an inspection.  Something we should keep in mind.  When the school asked why this has happened the lead inspection claimed deferrals were obsolete!!!

I attended a breakfast briefing on how to update our rose considering the Ofsted changes.  It was really useful.

Our staff meeting was the second in a three part series of how to deal with inappropriate classroom behaviours.  This weeks was not as informative as the previous week but we did extract a number of useful tips.

Our year five children have now been buddied up with the reception children.  They have both been excited about this.

There have been a few occasions recently which has made both myself and Linda have limited trust in our current finance officer.  We have therefore requested a replacement and have been assured this will be addressed promptly.

The school kitchen has had food hygiene inspection and has been awarded top marks.  Yippee.

Meet the teacher has taken place and once again many parents attended.  The feedback has been positive.

The SLT has met to formally agree the whole school development plan.  This will be forwarded to you for the full govs.

Mrs Robinson has been off work due to some surgery she has had to endure.  She is well and will hopefully be back with us shortly.

Mrs Cowburn has also had an operation and will be off work for about five weeks.  Mrs Walker will be used to cover her hours in reception in the morning and Mrs Caunce will cover in the afternoon.

Mrs Fletcher has slipped in school and has possible badly sprained or possible broken her wrist.  She is still in school but she is feeling the pain.

This week, for y2 to y6, it has been check-up week.  This happens three times a year so that we can track the progress of all our children and support in places if there is a potential gap, difficulty.  You will get a detailed update of the outcomes shortly.  EYFS is ongoing and Y1 do it a little later in the term.

Today, I have attended a ‘Headteacher well being program’ for the local head teachers group.  It was good to be able to talk with the other head teachers but it was also really apparent the stress that some of them appear to be under.  I therefore thank you sincerely for the support you  offer both myself and the school because it clearly makes a significant difference to the wellbeing of our school.

If you would like to spend a morning/afternoon/day/week etc. seeing what we do please let me know.

Apparently the weather will be nice for the weekend.

I hope you make the most of it.


13 September 2013

Well hello, the term is whizzing by.

This week I have contacted my adviser schools, by phone, and attended the first adviser meeting of the year.

We have received confirmation that we have gained the Primary School Science award – silver.

We have finalised a holiday club to run in school for £45 per week, 9 – 3.30.

We have also arranged for a dance school to run a street dance session each week in school.

All staff,  dinner ladies, teachers, TA’s have attended a session on care and control – the legal aspects.  It was a very good session and worth every penny.  There is a follow up in a fortnight.

The site supervisor has been on COSHH training.

A dentist has visited year one to educate the children about good brushing.

Our two looked after children are in school.  They are obviously a little agitated but are lovely children – who eat an awful lot!

We applied for a creativity bid to be a lead school and support others.  We have been successful and receive £1500 to undertake this.  We are likely to spend the money on another fabulous opportunity which we are looking in to which will ensure each class has a free theatre trip – they just need to pay for the coach.

We have looked at apprentices again but have not got the right feel.  We have gone with employing an upper 6 pupil at Hutton, who just happens to be their head boy.  We felt this would provide Linda with some regular support but it gave us the freedom to tweak the role and see what we need.  He will progress to university next September and we could try somebody else if it works or leave it.

So what is happening in the world of education – our pay policy has to be revised, again, in line with the new teachers pay.  Work must begin on ensuring everyone is ready for the new curriculum for Sept 2014.  A local school has been inspected even though they have received a deferral letter saying they would not be inspected until at least summer 2014. The ROSE (Ofsted paperwork) has changed again – in line with Ofsted requirements.

Rock and River is booked we are doing climbing and a problem solving activity for two hours then enjoying a BBQ.  It is going to be really good and I am looking forwards to it.  If you have not let Linda know your intentions please can you and can you also let her know if you are a vegetarian/don’t eat BBQ.

06 September 2013

Well here we go – the term has started and it has been a good start.

I hope you have all had a good summer break and that you did not miss the emails too much.

We have all returned fit, well and refreshed and school seems very settled.

  • Miss Wendi Roberts, our new teacher, seems to be taking things in her stride and has said that she has had a good week and that everyone has been tremendously helpful.  The children speak positively about her.
  • Throughout school we have 5 new children that have been made to feel welcome and feedback from parents has been positive so far.
  • We have two children starting next week.
  • We also have an appeal taking place for a place in a class that already has 30 in it.  They have moved to Longton from a different country and have no transport to get them to another school.  The local authority undertake this process because we are a county school.  If the place is given this will need a great deal of organisation.
  • In an attempt to help our parents out we have managed to arrange a holiday club for our children.  It costs 12.50 per day or £40 for a full week.  It can be this price because it is run by a non-profit organisation. It will start in the October holidays.
  • Due the disruptive behaviour of a child in school and the fact we are having the two children coming in to school.  We have arranged for a behaviour consultant to come to school and go through strategies etc.  We also will undertake a set of sessions to train us in ‘care and control’ the legal elements and how to physically restrain.  Those in attendance will gain a qualification – for legal reasons this is important.
  • Our reception children have come in well and the transition to school has been successful.  Rhona, as the lady that runs preschool, now also works in reception as the TA, this was great for the children and their parents because they already know her.  Unfortunately, she has just been told she is having an operation and will be off school for a few weeks. L


Contact the School

Longton Primary School

School Ln

Main Contact: Linda Masterson

Tel: 01772 612 495

SEN Contact: Sue Hothersall

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