Cycling Tour of Britain comes to Oldham tomorrow
September 13, 2019, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Headteacher

Please read the letter above for details.

Latics Holiday Club in October half term
September 13, 2019, 12:36 pm
Filed under: Headteacher

It’s a long way off, but we shall be offering a free holiday club, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to pupils in Key Stage Two on Tuesday 29th October (half term week), courtesy of Oldham Athletic Community Trust. Forms to sign will be given nearer the time, but places can be reserved via the comments link here.

Years 3 and 4 Reading Contest
September 13, 2019, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Headteacher

Pride is at stake here: which of the classes on the Years 3 and 4 corridor can do the most reading this weekend?

It’s our Roald Dahl day today, our Julia Donaldson day on Monday, and I have challenged these classes to see which can read the most.

To register the number of pages read, parents or carers should simply write in the home school book how many pages their child has read this weekend, initial it and return to school for 9 a.m. on Monday.

Their teachers will add up the scores and the winning class will win an extra playtime- as well as having had a right good read!

Walk To School Week/ Traffic
September 13, 2019, 11:49 am
Filed under: Headteacher

Hey with Zion and St. Edward’s will both be having a “Walk To School Week” commencing 30th September. More details will follow, here on the school blog, in a joint newsletter and via local media.

We are trying (again) to do something to ameliorate the traffic issues around our schools which present safety concerns and frustrate many. As car ownership increases pretty much each year- now approximately double what it was when the schools first opened- the problem seems to grow. Measures have been taken- lines on the road, traffic calming on Acorn Street, signs up, the camera car comes along when it can… but the problem persists.

Mr. McMahon (St. Edwards’ headteacher) and I have met today with representatives from the Oldham Council and from Transport for Greater Manchester, and Councillor Hewitt has spoken to Sir Chris Boardman about our particular difficulties. We plan to try (again) to improve road safety around our schools, in ways which are beneficial to the full community.

A representative from Transport for Greater Manchester will attend our Parents’ Evening on 24th October to allow parents to provide direct input to the decision making process.

Oldham’s Road Safety department is aware of our work- both schools are proactive in encouraging good road safety practices among the children- and Oldham’s Highways Department is very aware of our peculiar context of two schools in a cul-de-sac.

Currently somewhere between 35 and 40% of our pupils walk to school, and if we can facilitate a bit more walking, that will undoubtedly help matters.

I don’t want it to come down to a straight, binary choice of: “Do we prioritise pedestrians or vehicles?” I am well aware that some travel too far to school to make walking possible, also that adults travelling to work straight after dropping their children at school may need to stay dry.

I am also well aware that there is not going to be unlimited funding to change roads.

However, walking is good- our Reception class has walked to Lees Library today, two of our infant classes have walked along the Medlock Valley this week. So if we can, together, come up with ways to get more children safely walking to school and thus improve the traffic and safety of all, it will be worthwhile.

I shall continue to work with St. Edward’s, with Oldham Council and with Transport for Greater Manchester; I believe there is funding potentially accessible from The Mayor’s Challenge Fund, and Sir Chris Boardman may be enlisted to play some role in this. Please- if you have opinions or insights which you would like to share, either write them down for me to present for you, or come along on Thursday 24th October to meet with the TfGM representative in our school hall.


Latics season tickets
September 13, 2019, 9:10 am
Filed under: Headteacher

Hey with Zion has been given 30 free season tickets, courtesy of our status as an Oldham Athletic partner school. We we are making the tickets available free of charge, for individual matches, to Hey with Zion families.

Parents wishing to borrow some season tickets for particular matches should let me know and I shall lend them, subject to availability.

I shall only hand the tickets direct to parents/ carers, as they are clearly worth a considerable sum of money.

SATs and statistics
September 10, 2019, 3:39 pm
Filed under: Headteacher

Statistics come out from time to time looking at performance of primary schools over time. Here are some of the latest for Hey with Zion, compared with recent years. They show a good, positive picture.

Of course, they record just test scores in English and Maths- we all know these are important but so are other things too.

Hey with Zion Key Stage Two SATs, the last few years

% reaching the expected level:

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Reading 87 98 95 90
Writing 87 90 88 90
Maths 95 98 95 95

This shows the overwhelming majority of our children “pass” SATs; nationally, the figure has risen to around 75%, so we are some way above the norm.

% working at “greater depth”- the highest assessment

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Reading 23 29 38 29
Writing 15 27 23 22
Maths 54 29 35 34

This shows that we have a little more children than the national norm figure (around 25%) who work at greater depth. We see our writing standards improving with our recent use of core texts and greater attention to editing by the children, so think that will show an upturn in these figures in the coming years.

Scaled scores:

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Reading 106 109 109 107
Writing 103 104 103 108
Maths 110 108 108 108

This shows we are consistently some way ahead of the national norm, which has risen over time to around 104/ 105.

Progress scores:

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Reading + 4.9 + 2.7 + 2.6 + 2.4
Writing + 3.4 + 0.8 + 0.8 + 1.8
Maths + 8.2 + 2.1 + 2.3 + 2.8

Here the national norm is approximately zero: many schools score negatively, whereas all of ours are positive. We are probably in the top 15% or so of schools for this. The 2016 scores, in my opinion, are anomalous.

Cross curricular learning
September 10, 2019, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Headteacher

Hey with Zion is flattered to have been included as a case study school in a Geography teacher training book recently published (see below). We have been included on account of our work merging learning in different subjetcs.

Examples given in the book include teaching percentages (Maths) while investigating international trade (Geography) and data handling processes (Maths) related to traffic issues (Geography). Other examples are learning about World War Two (History) when reading e.g. War Horse or Private Peaceful (English), and Art and Science about volcanoes when reading a book about ancient Pompeii in English.

We find linking the subjects where feasible and natural allows for enhanced engagement from the children and a deeper context to their learning.

Waterhead Academy Open Evening
September 9, 2019, 11:35 am
Filed under: Headteacher

I have been asked to advise you that Waterhead Academy’s open evening will be on 26th September, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Attendance Prizes
September 9, 2019, 11:29 am
Filed under: Headteacher

We shall again be offering £40 toy shop vouchers for good attendance this year: any child achieving 97% or higher attendance this school year will be eligible to join the draw for 2 vouchers: one for the younger half of school, one for the older half.

Last year’s winners were Erin and Michelle.

Extra curricular clubs
September 9, 2019, 9:18 am
Filed under: Headteacher

Our extra curricular activities and clubs this half term are as follows. All clubs which have a cost attached are offered half price for those children for whom we receive Pupil Premium funding.  


Choir run by Oldham Music Centre staff (Years 3 to 6) 3.30 p.m. to 4.15 p.m. FREE


Science Club run by Oldham Regional Science Centre staff (Years 5 and 6) 3.30 p.m. to 4.15 p.m. Cost: £8 per half term (PP: £4)

Dodgeball run by Oldham Athletic staff (Years 4 to 6) 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Cost £6 per half term (PP: £3)


Running Club run by Miss Seton-Jones (Years 3 and 4) 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. FREE

Film Club run by Mrs. Machin (Years 1 and 2) 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. FREE

Chess Club run by Mr. Glover (Years 3 to 6), 12.50 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. £6 per half term (PP: £3)


Multi Sports run by Oldham Athletic (Years 2 and 3) 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Cost: £6 per half term (PP: £3)

Football Club (Years 5 and 6) run by Messrs. McConnell and Wild (Years 5 and 6) FREE

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