Hertford Juniors

Small school big learning

Head teacher's blog

Week beginning 16th July 2018

Final week of school:  I'm sitting at my desk writing this on Sunday 15th July - many different thoughts are passing through my mind as I start to write because this is my final week of school not just the final week before the summer holiday.

Friday last week we spent the whole day learning French. Support staff were heard to say that before the introduction of the programme of Working with Others this would have been the worst day ever, instead it was brilliant. 180 children in mixed aged groups doing 9 different activities while learning new french vocabulary. A day of mixed aged groups, with everyone having fun together is what the school ethos really stands for. 

Over the next 5 days our Year 6 children will work together to produce their final assembly here. They will celebrate their Primary school career. They will thank the adults who have taught them during their time here. Assembly starts at 10.45am. Next week may be the final week but its a final week of celebration.

Monday 11th June

This weekend I received an email which told me our tennis team from Year 4 was 'Best in the City'. I am really proud to be taking the team to Eastbourne to compete against other schools from Sussex. On Friday our Cricket team played in the City finals and came second by only 2 runs. Next week our Year 4 golf team will be going to Crawley to compete against other teams from Sussex because they are 'Best in the City'. Before half term we took part in the Inter Schools Swimming gala and we won. Its a long list of successes for our sportspeople. I am so proud.

 Our motto is 'Small school, big learning.' I think may be it should become 'Small school, big learning and tremendous team spirit'.

Tuesday 8th May

 This weekend has been tremendously busy for school. It may have been a three day weekend but Hertford Juniors was busy and creative. Well done Hertford. We walked the streets in the Children's parade.



We were also proud to be Rap n' Rhymers. BOth these events would not happen without Kay Walton. Our creative queen.

SUMMER 2018 

Welcome back to all staff and children after a reasonably sunny Easter Holiday. I hope that all members of the school community are well rested and enthused about the learning we will be able to do together over the next twelve weeks.

The school looks beautiful, inside and outside, with clean shiny classrooms and bright and colourful grounds.

Classes this week have launched into some interesting investigations. Year 3 seem to be planning some interesting journeys around the area from Hove to Glynde. Year 4 are travelling back in time to Ancient Egypt. Year 5 are visiting the jungle. Our Year 6 children will be concentrating on preparing for the tests they need to do in May which will then help to place them the right classes in Secondary School. Test for Year 6 start Monday 14th May until Thursday 17th May. Alongside this revision Year 6 are learning about life in India.

 Don't forget to check out class learning blogs.



Monday 19th March

This weekend was a tremendous weekend for Hertford Juniors. Two events happened that made me proud to be the Head teacher. 

On Friday 48 of our Year 4 children returned to school and joined 6 staff on an adventure. They hurried back to school and spent the evening singing round the campfire, hunting for treasure and working as a team to build the highest tower. They then snuggled into sleeping bags and slept under the stars. 48 children all on a giant sleepover. It was a huge success. Children who had never been away from home spent their first night away with friends and adults they trust. At 9am on Saturday morning they went home. Tired but happy. Brilliant dedicated staff made sure this could happen.

Later on Saturday as the snow began to fall families started to return to school to take part in our annual ‘dig day’. People dig out weeds, moved wood chip to improve pathways, cleaned out the chicken run and spread compost. The temperature was -2 in the wind yet no one gave up. At 12.30pm we all gathered to eat lunch together. 36 people all chatting and eating hot food. I looked around to see many happy people all supporting their school. Brilliant families from a brilliant community. My job is a good job.

Monday 5th March

This week we will be visited by Lucy and Isabel who are doing an audit with the school to ensure we are helping to offer education with as few barriers as possible. They are 'Poverty Proofing the school day'. 

We know that poverty is a strong predictor of educational attainment with more than 6 in 10 children on free school meals failing to secure 5 good GCSEs. Overall, this means a gap in outcomes of around 27% at Key Stage 4 between those pupils on Free School Meals and other pupils. The unequal outcomes of English education reflect, to a large extent, the unequal outcomes in our society, but we still expect schools to ‘close the attainment gap’. We have very high hopes of our teachers to bring the best out of every pupil and yet the impact of poverty on children is not covered in any detail during a teachers own education and training.

Schools have been given the Pupil Premium to target support to children and young people, to improve outcomes. Schools are free to spend the funding in the best interests of children, but will be judged and held accountable for closing the gap. This has become an increasing priority of Ofsted inspections.

We want to ensure all our children are getting the best of education possible. 


Last week was half term. I hope that all our families did something together that they enjoyed.  This does not have to have been a trip out or even a special day it may just have been time spent eating a meal together or watching the TV. Rest and relaxation is vital to everyone's well being. Let's hope all children and staff return to school rested and relaxed because they had an enjoyable week.

February 2018

Do you follow us on twitter? @hertfordjun

If you don’t please sign up as we do try to share various aspects of school activities on the twitter page.

This week we shared the information about funding cuts and we shared news of staff training linked to DT. Take a look.

Also this week we stayed late on Tuesday and investigated the school environment. We looked at the things which are available to support behaviour and learning in all classes. Over the next few weeks we will share these things here with you.


Hertford High 5 is our image showing our values for the school.

Soon your children will be getting this imagine in books and on stickers.

January 2018

Time passes too quickly. I am starting my 10th year here at Hertford Juniors and I still feel like the new girl. There is always something that crops up that I have never experienced. Having said that it is always good to have new challenges so I'm not complaining.

This month we were pleased to find that the community voice was strong and that community was able to persuade the local council to leave the size of the school alone. The campaigning to save Hertford Schools was successful and our school admission number will remain at 60. Now we need to continue to work to ensure we get more children. Both Hertford Infants and Hertford Juniors are small and if you ask some families they think we are not good schools. Our families need to help us to demonstrate this is not true. As Head teacher I can celebrate the school's achievements but the stronger voice is from children and families. Tell you neighbours that it is a good idea to visit the Hertford Schools because once you come inside you really can see and understand the Hertford magic. Follow us on twitter @Hertfordjun

December 2017

As the term comes to an end along with the year of 2017 I am pleased to be able to reflect on the highs and lows of the school. 

I am proud to be the Head teacher of a good school with pupils who are positively engaged in learning, who value a challenge and who enjoy being together. Relationships are strong in the school with pupils, staff and families.

I am sad that sometimes we don't get it right and that due to the occasional weakness in communication we can have some challenges. I appreciate the support of families who want to move the school on wards so they share their opinions on what we could do better.  

This term has been interesting as parents have been actively engaged in supporting the two Hertford schools in our fight to stay as a two form entry school. The positive support from this huge group of parents and friends has been amazing. Definitely the community pulling together for the good of the schools.

As we enter 2018 I hope we continue to work together to ensure Hertford Junior School is the best it possibly can be.

Friday 24th November

What do I do in a day? I write this question because I am reflecting on work-life balance and as I often plan to do 10 things, I complete 15 but only 2 were on the original list, I am always behind in my work. I do, however, have fun every day and I and lucky to laugh and joke about something with a brilliant group of people.

Over the past 4 months we have not had a school caretaker. So the job has fallen to me. That's ok as I don't believe I should give a job to someone if I am not willing to do it myself. However, when I find myself welcoming the Premises team from Downs Juniors & Infants to the school while I was unblocking the boys urinal I decided enough is enough. I need to put education back at the top of my list.

The Government again has decided not to give more money to support education so the jobs we do will continue to be diverse but whatever the funding is our core purpose is education. Our reason to get up in the morning is education and our reason to continue even when it's hard is because we believe in education. So even if there is no money, no resources and too much to do, I will continue. I love it every day.

Monday 6th November

At the start of the school year I posted the vision statement for the school. Over the term we continue to look closely at the 5 key words that make up our vision. The words are CHALLENGE, CELEBRATE, LEARNING, RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY. Learning is at the centre of everything we do but would not be so strong if we did not keep the other  values in high priority. 

I was proud to be at Brighton Town Hall this week when Jo Wilding presented her petition to the city council. Our families have put together this petition to celebrate the strength of the schools here at Hertford. Let’s hope the council show us respect. Don’t forget to respond to the consultation that B&H are undertaking.

Friday 13th October

The first half term of this school year is just about to end. Staff and children are spending the last hour together reflecting on the learning from the past week and half term. We have a two week break which sounds great but I am concerned that children who find it tricky to settle may be more disturbed than rested.

Today we have been wearing yellow to raise money and awareness of Child Mental Health issues. Many children suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health problems in a class there are likely to be over 5 children with such issues and they need someone to care, they need someone to listen. Over the holiday, we hope all children rest, relax and reflect on how they feel and how they can help themselves to stay strong. If they cant stay strong it's important they know where to go or what to do for help.

Let's help our young people be trouble free. That's what they deserve.

Tuesday 19th September 2017

Our Vision for the school: At Hertford Junior School, everyone is valued and respected for the work they do and the contribution they make to the life and character of the school. We believe in equality of opportunity for all and seek to develop an ethos of understanding and tolerance, where differences are acknowledged and celebrated.

We are committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum and nurturing a love of learning. We value academic achievement and encourage excellence in all things we do. We are also committed to developing personal and social skills and providing opportunities for creative, artistic and physical development.

We have high expectations and challenge pupils to achieve the best they can. We endeavour to promote positive attitudes to learning through rewarding children’s achievements and celebrating their successes, however small. We have very high expectations of behaviour and support children to make the right choices through positive reinforcement of good behaviour and attitudes.

At Hertford, we work as a team. We encourage pupils to develop independence in their learning, but also offer opportunities to work co-operatively and collaboratively. We recognise that children are unique and should be treated as individuals, but strive to promote a sense of collective responsibility and pride towards our school. We aim to offer a safe, stimulating, well-resourced and culturally rich learning environment, which reflects and contributes to the excellent teaching and learning that takes place.

We value the partnership between home and school, and encourage family and friends of Hertford to take an active part in the school. We recognise we have an important role in our community and endeavour to develop links with other schools and organisations who have much to offer our school.


Monday 11th September 2017

School started last week and we welcomed back to school our Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 children. We were also pleased to see 50 new children joining us, 45 in Year 3, 2 in Year 4, and 3 in Year 6.

We welcome back last years staff. Joining us this year we have Ms Charlie Burge in Year 4 (Willow) and Ms Peddy Knowles in Year 5 (Cherry) and Caroline Gorton as support staff.

The staff have worked hard over the holiday to plan an exciting year for your children. Learning journeys are being started with some exciting visitors and visits already planned. We aim to keep you informed as much as possible and always value your input. We look forward to seeing you as well as your children here at Hertford Juniors.

As Head teacher I love to meet with children to hear their thoughts on what we can do at school and also enjoy meeting with parents to work on developments. If you have any questions about school, how we help your child or just want a chat, please call me or grab me at the end of the day and we'll have a cup of tea.

This blog aims to show something about the school and what I, Joan Marshall Headteacher, am thinking about our school and its daily events. I may write daily, weekly or monthly depending on events so please watch this space.