Headteacher's Blog.

Nut allergies and healthy packed dinners

We know parents are very keen to ensure their children eat well. Can parents who provide their children with a packed dinner please remember that these should be healthy and should not contain chocolate bars.

In addition, can you please not send your child to school with any nuts or nut based products. It is not uncommon for schools to have one or more children who is extreamly allergic to nuts. Even things like nutella can have a real impact!

Thank you for your cooperation on both matters.

Short video with information for parents on returning to school September 2021


Updated information about our Curriculum Intentions and Homework

August 2021

We have updated, or refreashed, our pages about our curriculum and homework expectations. We hope it will provide further clarity on the work we do in school and how you can support us in ensuring your children reach their potential.

With regards to the curriculum, we have made our curriculum intentions more prominant and we will be refering to these frequently over the course of the year. They are:

  1. Every pupil is a Reader:

Pupils are confident with their phonics and can use this to access age appropriate texts fluently. They use their reading for pleasure as well as to widen their knowledge and acquire skills independently from a range of sources. At Thorogate School, teachers will promote the development of, and love for, reading at every opportunity and the environment will be rich with quality texts to support learning across the curriculum and wider.

2. Every pupil is a Mathematician:

Pupils are confident with their sense of number and can use mental and written strategies to calculate and solve problems. Number bonds, time tables and arithmetic (including proportions) form the foundations for problem solving. At Thorogate School, teachers will encourage the use of concrete apparatus and models to visualise and communicate strategies for solving problems, moving into exploring abstract concepts when appropriate.

3. Every pupil is a Communicator:

Pupils will use oracy, drama, writing, art, sport, models and sheer enthusiasm to communicate their ideas to a range of audiences including children, parents, teachers and ‘the world’. At Thorogate School, pupils will be given opportunities through a variety of experiences to express themselves individually and collectively.

4. Every pupil is proud of themselves.

At Thorogate School pupils will develop an attitude of resilience and pride by being encouraged to self-reflect on both their mistakes and successes. Pupils become ambassadors for mutual respect, facilitating cooperative learning.

5. Every pupil is a Global Citizen.

Pupils will have a sense of cultural, historical, geographical and social belonging in the worldwide community and take responsibility and pride in their actions, reflecting on how they impact on the world at large. At Thorogate School, we will encourage pupils to reflect on the wider world through our curriculum and what role they have as individuals, especially their impact on the environment.

6. Every pupil is digitally accomplished.

Pupils understand how to keep themselves safe in the digital age, reflecting on their digital presence and interactions. They use digital devices effectively to enhance their lives (including school learning) to maximise their progress towards the next stage of their education. At Thorogate School we will promote the use of digital devices, predominantly - but not exclusively - through Google Workspace via the use of Chromebooks. Every aspect of their development will be enhanced through, but not dominated by, the digital world.

In reception (YR), Y1 & Y2 we expect pupils to read to their adult at least 3 times per week and the adult to complete the reading records. Spellings are provided for pupils to learn. In addition, online games are available (see below).

In Y3 & Y4 we expect pupils to read to their adult at least 2 times per week and the adult to complete the reading record. Spellings are provided for pupils to learn. Pupils should complete 1+ Bedrock session at home (15 mins) and practice their times tables using TTRS. IXL is available to them and we recommend 15+ questions per week.

In Y5 & Y6 we expect pupils to read to their adult at least 2 times per week and the adult to complete the reading record. Spellings are provided for pupils to learn. Pupils should complete 1+ Bedrock session at home (15 mins) and 30+ IXL questions (between 5 to 15 minutes). ReadTheory is available to them.

Vaccination in Rotherham

Vaccination opportunities are still available to all age groups 18 years plus, for 1st and 2nd jabs.

These are still through either the booking line or pop up/ walk in clinics.

  • Pop up info - Rotherham CCG Facebook page

  • BOOKING LINE 0300 303 52 58

The Rotherham booking line will be open at the following times:

Monday to Friday – 9am to 8pm

Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm

Y2 Glee Club

Our current Y2 Glee love a performance - have a look to the right --->

2021 - 2022: School calendar, social distancing and bubbles.

A reminder about the school calendar, which can be found by following this link.

Last day of this term: Tuesday 20th July.

First day of next term: Thursday 2nd Sep.

There is much in the news about social distancing and we continue to get new guidance and subsequent amendments. There is no doubt that everyone will have a different view. All valid.

At this stage, we anticipate the following:

  • Opening and closing of school will revert to pre-pandemic times: no staggered starts or finishing times. 08:45 - 15:20.

  • Break fast club will restart. 08:00.

  • To start with, we will keep "bubbles" in school, but these will be extended to two classes. Split play times & dinner times. These are internal organisational issues that will not impact on parents.

  • We will keep after school clubs aimed at specific year groups. After school clubs will not restart until week commencing 13th Sep. Details will follow in Sep.

In the meantime, please continue to wear face coverings on the school yard unless exempt.

Parent & Carer Digital Wellbeing session


Ms Ann Foxley Johnson did an online session on Digital Wellbeing for our parents and this can be accessed by following the link below:

Extra 10 minutes playtime


It is really wonderful to see the pupils and staff making the most of the extra 10 minutes playtimes. The games are well thought out and get the pupils both active and interacting with each other. In many ways it will be a shame to see this return to 'normal' in September.

Art Club

May 2021

Art Club are super proud of the their mud rock Polar Bears!

Mrs Hicks and her team of messy makers have made amazing characters.

Glee Club

May 2021

Glee Club is all about the performance. The Y2 pupils have enjoyed working towards their performance , bringing together all the sequence of moves they have been working on.

PSHE lessons for Y6, Y5 & Y4

May 2021

As we develop our PSHE programme we are working hard to keep our parents informed about the content. Below are the Knowledge organiser for Y5, Y5 & Y4.

Year 4 Changing Me Knowledge Organiser

Year 5 Changing Me Knowledge Organiser

Year 6 Changing Me Knowledge Organiser

Recommended Reads

May 2021

Pupils have selected new titles to be bought for the school reading stock. They are so excited to have the new books and are delighted to have the opportunity to read them!

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Computing in Y5 and Y6

Supporting their learning in geography and design technology.

Y5 are learning to use DigiMaps to locate their own home and also to navigate from one place to another.

Please parents, help your children learn their full address and home phone number!

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Y6 are investigating basic controls using Crumble. They will be controlling various outputs such as lights and motors. This is the start of learning computing skills which they will be applying in their DT project.


Well done to our Bedrock Champions

It is always great to read good things about our pupils. Bedrock is a vocabulary and reading comprehension learning programme used in KS2. Our pupils are in the top 20 primary schools in the UK for progress! Keep it up.

Great to see them having fun

Wednesday 12th May 2021

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Thank you for your feedback on PSHE & RSHE


On Monday 28th April we had a well attended virtual G-Meet regarding the statutory introduction of PSHE and the non-statutory RSHE (sex education).

Miss Lamont presented the details of the Jigsaw program clearly, which will be the main vehicle for delivering PSHE at Thorogate School. Jigsaw was chosen after spending a great deal of time investigating other resources. It was felt that Jigsaw was the right pupil focussed resource for us.

The contribution from parents was appreciated and a summary of the meeting can be seen below. We have adjusted our approach as a result. Anecdotally, pupils and staff are already enjoying Jigsaw and we expect it to have a positive impact on our school.

I have also displayed the Changing Me Knowledge Organisers below which gives you the opportunity to review what will be learnt by your children after May 1/2 term.

Minutes from the PSHE & RSHE Parent Consultation

202104 PSHE & RSHE Parent consultation.pdf

Changing Me Knowledge Organisers

Jigsaw Knowledge organisers.pdf

PSHE & RSHE Parent consultation


PSHE & RSHE consultation

We have a parent consultation on the Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) education & Relationship, Sex and Health Education programmes that we are using on Monday 26th at 18:00.

This will be a virtual consultation with Miss Lamont presenting the programme supported by Katy Battersby and Paula Kellett as school governors.

A link for the meeting will be shared via Dojo on Monday 26th.

In the meantime, you can inform yourself prior to the meeting via our website (there is a link below) which has the majority of the information (some resources are copyright protected so we cannot share them on the website). Alternatively, you can email Miss Lamont, Katy or Paula via office@thorogateschool.co.uk with any questions.


Mr Barnett & #TeamThorogate

Thorogate tries whole school Jerusalama

(whilst staying COVID safe in class bubbles)

Bling your bike on Red Nose Day


A massive thank you for the £195 currently raised for Red Nose Day from our generous community.

Well done to all the Design a Helmet entrants. They were absolutely brilliant every single one of them.

Our active travel champions Alyssia and Thomas picked both winners of the £30 vouchers and a winner from each class. This was a very difficult job for them due to extremely high standard.

The winners were -

KS1 £30 voucher - Jaime Y2

KS2 £30 voucher - Luke Y4

FS2 - Harper

Y1 - Jason

Y2 - Thomas

Y3 - Skylar

Y4 - Layla

Y5 - Amelia L

Y6 - Harrison

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A moment in time .....

Its great to have them back.

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Jerusalema - can you do this?


A Happy Song for returning to school - Rob Green: Life goes on


20 mph speed limit outside schools


Safer Streets

Please consider signing Mr John Healey MP's campaign for a 20 mph speed limit outside schools.


Active Travel - well done all of you!

We have finally been awarded with our Silver Modeshift Stars plaque!

Thank you to the 64 parents who completed the Active Travel Survey months ago, Mr Bedford does not stop mentioning how supportive you have all been. It really is appreciated. This has really helped gain Silver Award and is a massive part of us applying for Gold Award.

We are sure by now you have seen the big banner outside the school gates with some amazing drawings from some of our children.

We have also been given 2 stunt scooters for the children to use in school as a thank you for being one of the best Active Travel schools in the South Yorkshire area.

Mr Bedford has grand aspirations to be awarded the Platinum Award, skipping the Gold! No matter what the Award - I think Mr Bedford is doing a fantastic job for your children.

Coming soon:

  • Dr Bike on Tuesday 9th March: bring your bike to school leaving it at the bike shelter and Dr Bike will undertake basic servicing (notes will be left if larger jobs are required).

  • Bling your Bike Friday on 19th March (also Red Nose Day): ride your bike to school and have the opportunity to 'bling' it with ribbon and other festivities, encouraging healthy ways of travelling to school.

Again, well done to all participating parents and pupils!

Mr Barnett, Mr Bedford & #TeamThorogate

They think its all over

Please please please do not start behaving as if the pandemic is all over.

Just because children may be at school together does not mean households should start mixing at home. No matter how tempting.

As a school community, you have been amazing. You have responded to the current situation fantastically. Taken responsibility.

As a result, together we have been able to keep our children safe.

At school, we will be refreshing our message to the children, with hand hygiene being the most important factor. As the number of children in school increases, teachers start talking about the time it takes for hand washing, something we will continually need to be creative with. The constant wiping down of surfaces. Managing split playtime and dinner times.

Please do not allow mixing of households after school. Stand firm in our joint endeavours against this virus.

World Book Day 2021 - Thursday 4th March

Next Thursday, 4th March, marks World Book Day.

As this year will be slightly different to usual, we will be celebrating this day slightly differently too!

Instead of dressing as a book character this year we would like children who are learning at home to dress in their uniform and children who are in school to dress as though they are home. No costumes needed. As usual, bring into school your favourite book.

During the day, there will be a live session booked (apart from FS2) so that children at home and in school can be together. More details will be sent via your class teacher.

Book tokens will be given out too so that you can either buy a £1 WBD book or use the token towards buying another book.

Kind regards

Miss Shillito

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I'm fine - really?

The standard response to someone asking how you are seems to be "I'm fine". If this is the case, I must be the only weak one around. Because I'm not fine. I may be coping, at times only just, but I would not describe myself as being fine.

This time of year is difficult at the best of times, with long nights and short days usually compounded with weather that does not encourage the use of the outdoors. The thing that usually keeps me going is the thought of the things I will be doing as the weather gets better. Visiting places, visiting people. Making experiences. I am still trying to do this, but it is all shrouded in doubt at the moment. There is some great news coming through such as falling infection rates, falling number of deaths and the amazing vaccine rollout that appears to be so successful. I would add the prospect of school being open to all pupils soon on that list too! Yesterday the weather was much better - I was out on my mountain bike in the morning and then on my motorbike in the afternoon. I felt much better, even if exhausted.

I have recently been sent two documents aimed at school staff, but I will share them with you for those that like to read. I particularly liked the section Control Your Emotions in Teaching in 2021:

Acknowledge everything

  • What can you do to experience your feelings without getting stuck in them, or avoiding them?

  • Give Your Feelings A Label

  • Turn Your Thoughts Upside Down

  • Do Something to Boost Your Mood

Be present

‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why it’s called the present.’

Here are some tips to help you to be present:

  1. Stand outside, if you can or open a window if you can’t go out and close your eyes.

  2. Take notice of what you can now hear. Birds, insects, cars, no cars.

  3. Breathe in. What can you smell? What can you feel with your fingertips? Now what are you feeling?

  4. Focus on what’s right in front of you, without distraction.

  5. Look around you and see things for the first time.

Be emotionally honest

Tell the emotional truth about yourself and people around you will know where you’re at. Here are some examples:

  • I love you

  • I’m very proud of the person you’ve become

  • Thank you for always being there for me

  • I always love spending time with you

  • I’m frustrated I can’t go dancing

  • I’m scared I’ll get ill

  • I’m sorry for shouting at you

  • I appreciate the work you are doing to keep this community safe

  • I feel overwhelmed trying to juggle so much, please can you listen to me

  • I don’t need to be fixed, just heard

Two articles well worth reading if you are interested in well-being, including your own.

February 1/2 term

I think that everyone is ready for this 1/2 term - pupils at home and in school, parents and staff. Everyone has been working soooo hard and dealing with their own context to the pandemic. I hope everyone is able to take some time to enjoy each other and their 'bubble' this week.

A massive thank you to all the parents who responded to my shout-out for comments about their child's teacher. The response was emotional. I know it provided a real boost to the staff at a time when they really did need it. It is too easy to focus on the media stories who think that teachers are sat around doing little - I do not need to assure you that the truth is very different!

Well done to all parents. Working at home with your children is a challenge and a pleasure. You are all amazing. There are still a few parents we need to 'nudge' about getting feedback to teachers. Please reach out to your child's teacher regularly. Tell them what is going well and what is not, including how they can support you. If the teachers do not hear from you, you may well get a phone call from me to chivvy you along.

The number of pupils attending school has increased to an average of 86 children a day this last week. Listening to the news, it is likely that school will be open to all pupils from Monday 8th March 2021. Please get in contact if between now and the wider opening of school if your circumstances change as key workers or if you find you or your child is struggling with home education. We are here to help and support.

There have been some wonderful highlights this week in school. Children meeting each other online, laughing and disagreeing on debates. The examples of pupil writing I have seen this week have been awe-inspiring, from every class in school. Whilst staff have muttered under their freezing breath children have shrieked in delight as they have charged around the playground playing games. But I have included two photographs from Y1: one showing the pupils learning how to use Chromebooks and the other showing them how to play the glockenspeil. Both show not only the talent of our pupils but also that of our staff!

I hope you all have a wonderful 1/2 term and look forward to seeing you soon.

Stay safe.

Mr Barnett & #TeamThorogate

Together we can get through this

If there is one thing we have all learned these last months, it is that 'lockdown', in whatever form, is hard. It is hard for the children. It is hard for the parents. It is hard for school staff.

We have had some lovely messages to the school staff for the extraordinary efforts that they are putting. Thank you.

One of the best messages I can give to parents is this lovely video by Jaz Ampaw-Farr . Follow the link and watch the clip. You are all awesome and you can do this.

Mr Barnett and #TeamThorogate