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What people say about Sidegate

Our thanks go to everybody who says such lovely things about our pupils and staff. Here are some examples of the wonderful messages we receive:

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Schools’ Concert at Snape and felt I had to congratulate you and all involved, but especially Mr Howden and Mrs Heaven, on Sidegate's performance.  The singing was very good but the colour, the movement and the obvious enjoyable on the part of the children made it not just an outstanding performance but THE outstanding performance of the evening.  Year 3 Grandma

Just a little note to say what a lovely Wednesday afternoon/evening I had watching the KS1 Production and the Winter Concert.  I was so impressed with all the effort that went into both events.  The concert was beautiful and you have some very talented ‘Sidegatians’.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything of that quality from a primary school before and indeed I think you probably knock spots off many secondary schools.I’m so glad my children get the opportunity to do such activities – it’s what makes Sidegate special. Reception/Y1 Parent

I was speaking to my son's class teacher about the comments he had made about the PSHE day at the beginning of term and would like to share these with you.  At home time, on the first day of the Spring term my son said to me "Mrs Jones talked about dyslexia in class today." This led to a conversation where he told me how Mrs Jones had told the class that my son had dyslexia and that she had included him in the discussion by asking him questions and asking how he felt. She also explained to the class that while he was able to offer his ideas and ask interesting questions verbally, having dyslexia meant that he found written work a big challenge and that was why it took him longer to complete it.  When my son had finished telling me about this I asked him how it had made him feel to talk about dyslexia in class and for his classmates to learn about it. A smile spread across his face and he said "Happy! Now they know why I find some things tricky."  I wanted to say thank you to you for providing this opportunity to learn about and discuss dyslexia in class as it was a positive experience for Joe and gave his self esteem a boost.  Y3 Parent
Dear Mrs Hicks, I wanted to say thank you for all your help with my son.  Since he has started to receive ‘talking time’ at school he seems a lot less worried and angry and most importantly less sad and depressed.  He is now able to explain his feelings to me and why he feels frustrated with some things.  We’re lucky to have such great support at Sidegate – thank you! J
Thank You I would like to thank you and your fantastic team of staff for all you have done for my three children.  Since joining Sidegate in 2013, my son has had the most amazing time; he has been taught by passionate, dedicated teachers who have embraced his creativity and nurtured his enthusiasm for the arts, and has been given so many wonderful opportunities. I have seen my son grow in confidence and become a young man with a thirst for knowledge and well prepared for High School.  My daughters too have had a fabulous year with Mrs Heaven and Miss Smee; both absolutely love school and have made excellent progress and adore their teachers.  In short, what a fabulous school. Thank you "Team Sidegate" for all your hard work, your passion and for giving my children the most fantastic all round education. I honestly couldn't ask you for any more.  I hope you all have a very well deserved relaxing Summer break.
Olympics Sports Day Just wanted to drop you a little e-mail to thank you and all of your staff at yesterday’s sports day, a lot of work behind the scenes must have gone on and the day seemed to run smoothly with all of the children being very well behaved. My son leaves the school next week and I just wanted to say that he has been extremely happy from the beginning, when in reception all the way through until now. I cannot fault anything.  He has always gone into school happy and has very worked hard, achieving well in all he has done.  Ms Coleman and Mr Barwick have both been great with my son during both years 5 and 6 and giving him many opportunities.  There are many other teachers who have also been amazing and he has been lucky to have so many good teachers throughout his time at Sidegate. Thank you once again and I hope you enjoy a deserved break over summer.  Y6 Parent

Summer Concert
Wow!! What an inspiring evening.  It never fails to bring a tear to my eye. As usual a fantastic array of talent and a well organised concert. 'Refuge' just about finished me off!

Hi Danny, 
Just wanted to express my thanks and admiration for last night.. the children sounded amazing.. truly.  What you bring to their lives is joyful.  I am so very happy to be able to help.  Warmest regards 

Simba's Pride
Just wanted to say well done to everyone involved in the performance, it was amazing.  The costumes, face painting and scenery were great.  The acting, singing and music were really professional. The kids were a credit to you all.  
Thank you for all your hard work.  A proud parent

Oh my goodness - literally had tears in my eyes last night.  Well done for an excellent production.  The scenery, singing, makeup, acting, music, dancing - everything was just brilliant.  Wish I had recorded it. Please pass on my congratulations to the production team - it was obvious they had worked so hard - as did the children - absolutely brilliant performance.  Y6 Parent

Arts' Festival - We received so many fantastic comments on the Arts' Festival held on 24th June.
  • Amazing!  I really enjoyed seeing the variety of beautiful art on display
  • Wonderful - thank you so much for sharing with us.
  • Lovely looking at the art with the sound of the choir through the open window.
  • Fabulous!  You should be very proud cultivating a school of artists.
  • What a fantastic variety of work - wonderful!
  • Stunning display of talent and creativity.
  • Fabulous!  So much work!  Really appreciated the opportunity to wander around looking at all the children's work.
  • Beautiful, inspiring artwork.  I particularly enjoyed the Y3/4 art club and the 'eyes' drawings - fabulous.
  • Nice.
  • Wonderful work.  A very lovely display.
  • Loved all the artwork, very creative and bright.
  • Wonderful.  Thank you for sharing with us.
  • Just wonderful!  Amazing talent.
  • Excellent work, very moving. 
  • Well done everybody.  Absolutely wonderful.  Original, clever and imaginative.
  • What amazing work - I am very impressed.
  • Could only stay until 10:30am but great organisation and a fun morning.  Wish I could have stayed.
  • I have been amazed by the talent from all the year groups!  All the children have done brilliantly and should be so proud of themselves.  I cannot pick a year group as they have all been amazing.   Hoping there will be another day like this showing the children's talent and work.  Well done Sidegate children and staff.  Thank you for an amazing day.
  • What an amazing day!!  Mrs Ryder and Mr Howden are such an asset to Sidegate.  An absolute job from start to finish.  Well done children, you have worked incredibly hard.
  • Art work was tremendous - especially animals!  Stained glass windows of course!  Music and dance - wonderful.  Year 4 singing and the dance to the River Song - the list is endless.  
  • I really enjoyed all the performances I saw while waiting for reception to sing.  I heard the Year 4 singing - it gave me goosebumps!  What a wonderful idea and a great celebration for all the children.
  • Well done to all the staff and children.  Please keep this an annual event!!  Everything was amazing.  I especially enjoyed the PhotoEast project which my children participated in and enjoyed.  Year 4 Riverdance was beautiful and Dylan has a beautiful voice.
  • The whole school, teachers and pupils, made us go 'wow'.  The amount of work and the depth.  The war poems were very moving and showed the extent of the teaching of the subject.  So much work on the walls, art work all excellent.  Very well done.
  • Where do I start!  Fab day at Arts' Festival.  The stained glass window is beautiful and it was fantastic to be able to appreciate and see it in its glory from inside the building.  It will now be part of the school history and something the children can be very proud of.  The children's art work and all the topic areas covered throughout the years - I am grateful that you have shared with us parents/guardians.  We see snippets of these fabulous topics on social media but to see it for ourselves has blown us away.  Such amazing art work on display, professional productions presented to us, the variety of topics covered, the hard work from the musicians/choir (the flute player and recorder session was excellent).  The imaginative stories written and presented around the school.  It was really event that lots of hard work has been accomplished all through this school year and the children have enjoyed learning.  Thank you very much for sharing and giving us the opportunity to enjoy close up.
  • We would like to say how much we enjoyed sharing the day with you all on Friday.  You have some extremely talented students.  The variety of arts that were on display was amazing.  Seeing my son singing his heart out was wonderfully.  It actually made me cry!  So many people have told him how good he was and that is a positive boost for him.  Thank you for giving children the chance to shine.

The Arts' Festival made me very proud and grateful to be a Sidegate parent and I went home feeling inspired to respond.  It's one thing seeing your own children's work arrive home at the end of the year, but another entirely to see the collective efforts of the whole school displayed together. I absolutely love how you advocate for the arts when it really would be easier not to. I know many parents feel the same.

I got to put my feet up on the sofa with a cup of tea and put a few words on paper to express that. I'm glad to have been an encouragement to your amazing, hard-working staff. Please keep doing what you all do so well.

Sidegate Arts’ Festival: A Response

Why Not Me?


Thank you, Sidegate, for believing

That this tapestry you’re weaving

From experiences of every kind

That soften hearts and broaden minds

Enriches what our children learn

Far beyond the skills to earn a living

And teaches them a love for giving

So much more than what they take

To leave their world a better place

Because, “What is life if full of care,

They have no time to stop and stare?”

At what’s around them and respond

With sculpture, movement, rhythm, songs

And drama, painting, photographs

That make them think or stir a laugh

In the face of bleak, tough days

When troubles lurk and clouds loom grey

And help them discern a better way

To break through boundaries they perceive

The ones that only make them grieve

For what they woefully wish could be

And instead ask “Why not me?”

Thank you, Sidegate, for believing

That this legacy you’re leaving

In our children’s souls and hearts

Deposited there through every arts

Experience you give them

Genuinely equips them

To know the power of shaping words

That will be read or maybe heard

Presented on a once blank page

Or delivered confidently from the stage

Where every silence, every sound

Has meaning that can be profound

That gives a voice to who who they are

And want to be

But all that’s wrong with what they see

And the change they know is a possibility

When they dare to consider “Why not me?”

Thank you, Sidegate, for believing

That humankind’s deepest grieving

And all we long to celebrate

Are worthy whether small or great

That the practice of art as emotion expressed

Brings out every single thing that’s best

About humanity

Enables debate with empathy

And listening compassionately

To something new and something strange

And something that may challenge and change

Our children’s views and their opinions

And so the basis of future decisions

And fabric of their lives eventually

When they resolve with courage “Why not me?”

Thank you, Sidegate, for believing

That the education our children receive here

Can be so rich and varied and broad

That they’re too interested in life to be bored

Or apathetic or give up hope

Because their curiosity’s piqued

They have questions to probe

And they know how to examine closer

Or step back to consider

Whether that bigger picture

Is so black and white as they first thought

And the friendships that they sought

Become strong as leather

For having experienced these moments together

Of a performance delivered with confidence and flair

Or artwork displayed where all can share

In the marvel and wonder of the world where we live

And they can learn to give

And accept a compliment

And banish the critic that tries to prevent

Them from ever even beginning to see

That great things are born when they think “Why not me?”


Thank you, Sidegate, for believing

That it’s worth the effort of retrieving

Something of value in a system that’s leaving

Good sense out of all we instinctively know

About how children learn best and how children grow

A sense of worth, a sense of adventure

That life isn’t for wasting, indentured

To what’s measurable, provable, tangible, sure

And the knowledge that learning is not like a door

They’ll close behind them one day and not look back

But an ally for life who’ll be there when life tacks

One way or the other, for better or worse

And give them a brand new perspective and thirst

For the things in life that matter most

that prevents them looking to others to boast

An ally to nurture and encourage them to be

Willing to start the change they’d love to see

With the simple vocabulary

Something must happen, so “Why not me?”

Thank you, Sidegate, for believing

You have potential for achieving

Something above and beyond the norm

In every child with every form

Of talent, gift, ability

In each of them you chose to see

The person that they’ll one day be

So thanks for all the extra hours

The field that hosts both sports and flowers

Thanks for the bright corridors

That inspire from ceiling to floor

So much more every day than lessons alone

Thanks that you don’t stop when you get home

Investing in your unique vision

To bring it alive with courage and passion

Thanks for modelling hard work & play

And sharing life’s joys along the way

Thank you that none of this comes at the expense

Of the basic skills that they need to make sense

Of the everyday stuff of life

And responsibility

But always enriches their skills in this too

It’s like you somehow always knew

What assemblies, concerts and plays could do

For the whole person

And community

Thank you too for inviting us in

For share days and sports days and everything

That celebrates the children’s vitality, vim

And allows us that moment to shed a tear

For our pride in all they’ve achieved this year

And how they’ve changed and blossomed and grown

In a way that they’d never have done on their own

Thanks for topping up your coffee,

For facing each challenge, for breathing deeply

And steeling yourselves for what’s yet to be

Things you aim to achieve

But still only dream of seeing

And thanks in the face of uncertainty and fuss

Believing anything’s possible, so “Why not us?”

A Parent - June 2016

Thank you
Please may I pass on my thanks for all the work that you and your teachers have done to support, encourage and nurture my son, 
The time with you all has passed so quickly but I am so proud of everything all of his teachers have done to help him. He has really enjoyed his time with you and leaves you this year with the skills and ability which will support him in his next chapter at high school.  My son has always loved his sports so please can you pass on a huge thank you to Mr Barwick for his work on PE.  Y6 Dad.

 I just wanted to say thank you for organising SATs so well.  L really enjoyed the breakfasts and the visit to Holywells and never once said it was a stressful time.  Thank you.  Y6 Mum
Y6 Latitude Visit
…… and then you think things can’t get any better and Mr Howden manages to arrange a trip to Latitude!
I am so proud of the fact J and R have been to Sidegate.
Obviously no idea how R has got on and never seen her so exhausted, but just want to point out how great Mr Jewell (and Ms Coleman for Maths) have been in handling the SATS particularly in the light of the news reports which R does follow.
In spite it being challenging I was surprised that R has really enjoyed the  week. She has been lucky to have such good teachers.
Thank you, R's Mum

Year 6 SATs
Just a quick note to say "thank you" because my daughter has really enjoyed SATs week (although to be fair she is especially looking forward to the visit to the park tomorrow!!)  So please pass on my thanks to the staff involved, including those who got up early for the breakfast club!! - we thought this was a really nice thing for the children to do.

I feel the media has caused too much negative coverage of SATs which I am sure has made some children unnecessarily stressed, so I thought I would provide you with some positive feedback.  We decided as a family that we would "embrace"  SATs as, regardless of what people/the media says, my daughter needs to know what is covered in these tests for high school. Having this attitude meant she took SATs in her stride and wasn't overly nervous about them, hence actually enjoying the overall experience.
Mayan Workshop
The enthusiasm of the students was infectious and the quality of their drama was outstanding.  It was a pleasure working with them. Robert (Big Nose) Southworth - Past Productions
KS1 and KS2 Discos
Please pass on my thanks to KS1 and KS2 for their superb dancing at last nights disco.  They were also very polite when asking for requests.  Thanks.  Jeff Allum (Helping the PTA, DJ'ing at the Disco)

1st March 2016 - Y6 Le café français! 
We were really impressed with the children. They were so well behaved and seemed happy to have the opportunity to speak some French. I am sure this is something that will be repeated over the years. 
Sue Woolliams, Head of French at Northgate

29th January 2016 - RE Day 
My daughter seems to be having a great time in Year  6.  She came home on Monday particularly chatty having really enjoyed RE day.  I thought the what she described was really rounded, interesting, knowledgable and fun.  Thank you!  Yr 6 Parent.

29th January 2016
What a brilliant morning, I do love working with the school, the pupils and staff, you are all so welcoming and creative. Lovely results today, I look forward to seeing photos. Attached is the invoice. Many thanks for asking me back.  Artist working with Y6.

 14th January 2016 - Hygiene Assemblies

Many thanks for allowing me to conduct our safe hands puppet show during 2 of your assemblies, last Thursday.  I can honestly say that throughout both the assemblies, that the children’s behaviour was fantastic. They were very attentive and polite while I was speaking and when I asked questions, they were extremely knowledgeable.
I have never experienced this high level of behaviour from any other school, where I have carried out such presentations. The children are a credit to the school. This is proof of the level of commitment and professionalism given by the staff, at Sidegate.  Many thanks again for this pleasurable experience.  Paul Rivett, Rose Hygiene.
14th January 2016 - Yr 4 Owls Assembly

A huge "Wow" to Owls for their class assembly.  It was amazing!  Yr 4 Parent

15th December 2015 - Carol Service

Good Morning, 
I feel I have to send you this email to congratulate you & the school's music department for the superb concert last night. The children's choir is such a credit to your school. Singing certainly gives you happy children , the look of pleasure & pride on their little faces was priceless . Thank you so much for a most enjoyable evening. 
Y3 Grandparent.

12th December 2015 - Grandparents' Party

We would like to thank you and all the staff who made the Grandparents' Christmas party possible.  The amount of work and organisation was impressive and the tea, coffee and juice providers did a magnificent job.  The children were awesome.  Polite, well behaved, talented and happy.  They are a credit to you and the staff at Sidegate; you have given those young people confidence in themselves which will equip them for the rest of their lives.  It was such a pleasure to see how easily the pupils chatted to the teachers and I heard on of the guests say how surprised she was that the teachers knew all the children's names.  So thank you again for an unforgettable occasion.
Proud Grandparents.


10th December 2015

Dear Mrs James
Re: Winter Concert
I wanted to express our thanks and congratulations for a fantastic evening last night. 
It is such a lovely opportunity for all of the children involved, and they really rose to the occasion. The standard of performance was amazing, and they all enjoyed themselves so much. I wanted to thank you and your staff for all of your very hard work in putting together the evening and for all of the preparation that went into it - no mean feat at this time of year! I hope you were all as pleased with the evening as the audience and the children were.  Wishing you all a peaceful and happy holiday.
Kind regards Y5 Parent.

3rd December 2015

We are relocating in the New Year and wanted to say what a privilege it has been for our children to attend Sidegate Primary School.  We will always be grateful for the schools nurturing environment and good education standards.
Y3 Parent.

November 2015 Cougars Assembly

I came to watch this morning and was once again amazed at the content of this.  The children had so much to remember and did so well.  Beautiful music too.  As always, Mr Ferrier said a few words at the end and was so positive which is so encouraging to everyone. Y5 Parent.

12th November 2015

A huge WOW for the Year 2 Great Fire of London share evening.  What a fantastic experience for the children to re-enact their own Great Fire!
Thank you to all the staff involved.  Y2 Parent.

20th October 2015

Hi Wendy,

I just want to thank you and Mr Ferrier for taking the time to do tonight's presentation on "life without levels". All I know is that I am consciously incompetent, and relieved that you guys are teaching my children, and not me!!! M and J love going to Sidegate, and I have every confidence that you are giving them a great start on their educational journey.  All the best, In admiration, S

October 2015
For all of Sidegate Primary School!  
My child has been unwell and I wanted to say a big, big thank you for all of the support, both physically and emotionally that my son and our family has had.  
I feel very much that without all the wonderful staff involved we would not be in such a good place with his education and our family life.  Sidegate has not only worked hard for my son.  The school has supported myself and my older child as well. Y2 Mother.

25th September 2015
I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in helping X through his very hard year. Special thanks to Sam Hicks & XX to whom without your perseverance, dedication and ongoing support would have made X's smooth integration back into school so much harder, if not impossible. Even now after just a few weeks back this term I can see a huge improvement in his confidence. He speaks about being back in with his classmates and new teacher with a genuine joy that you just can't fake. I can't thank you all enough for what you've done for X. You have literally brought him back to his old self again. I have no doubt now he will continue going from strength to strength moving forwards in his education and this is solely down to all your hard work. Please can you forward this message of thanks along with my gratitude to XX, YY & ZZ. Please also ensure that along with those directly involved that you also pass this "massive pat on the back - job well done"  on to the powers that be (i.e - all your bosses). We are all to quick to complain about a bad service but we rarely take the time to compliment those on a job well done. Thank you. Grateful Father.

24th September 2015
Thank you for having me into your school this week, the last three days have reminded me of everything great about why I work with children.  John from Act on Info (Year 5 "Play in a Day" teacher).

July 2015
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working here.  Rabbits class have been wonderful to work with and I have been made to feel very welcome.  It has been a great year and it has been lovely to watch the children learn and develop throughout the year.  Thank you for being so lovely to work with.  Volunteer from Ipswich School.
22nd July 2015
Dear Wendy & Matthew,
I'd just like to say what a super performance of Joseph Yr 6 put on last week. I was fortunate to get a lift in to see it and wasn't disappointed!
Such a huge amount of work by everyone, not least the children, had gone into it. The singing throughout was fabulous.
Please pass on thanks and appreciation to everyone involved.
I've also heard that the BBQ, Disco and 75th celebrations were "lovely".
I believe there will be a few tears today!
Hope everyone has a good Summer holiday break.
Best wishes, Sue Thomas, Governor

13th July 2015
Dear Mrs James and Ms Coleman
I don’t think X will have mentioned this to any of the team at the school but this weekend she had three exams within 24 hours: Piano Grade 1, Viola Grade 1 and Ballet 2.  Were not a remotely musical family and she has really pushed herself to get there.  The timings were really unfortunate but she seems relatively positive about them now she has completed them (she had a bit of a meltdown before the piano). Anyway a really big thanks to the school for allowing the time and funding for X (and Y) to do the viola lessons, it is a huge opportunity for them and they have really enjoyed it.  Mrs Taber has also been amazing with them.
Proud Mum
12th July 2015
Our daughter X is in year 4. I just wanted to say how impressed we are with how much energy Mr Howden and Sidegate have put into music and performing arts. X takes part in choir and the school band and really enjoys it. Not only does she enjoy it we can really see a substantial improvement in both her singing and playing her flute. We thought the summer concert was really lovely and the Oliver performance too and feel very lucky that X has been given the opportunity to take part in these so thank you to you, Mr Howden and Miss Heaven for the amazing work that you do.  Best Wishes Proud Mum.

25th June 2015
I just want to record in writing how impressed I was with the pupils who came here for a visit on Tuesday. They were a real credit to Sidegate Lane Primary; so polite and well behaved, asking very intelligent questions and really engaging with the archive material that we got out for them.  It was a pleasure to introduce them to our work here and I found the enthusiasm with which they approached their investigations truly inspiring. As you said historians in the making.

Best wishes Bridget Hanley, Collections Manager, Suffolk Record Office.

 24th June 2015

As our son prepares to leave Sidegate Primary School and move on to secondary provision we feel compelled to share the experience we have had at Sidegate.

X, who has a diagnosis of ASD with extreme anxiety joined Sidegate in January 2015 having been failed by his previous school and by the education system as a whole.

Whilst at Sidegate, X has displayed some extremely challenging behaviours as a result of his ASD/anxiety but despite this he has been treated with genuine care and compassion by all members of staff.  The school have gone to great measures to meet his needs and enable him to access an education suitable for him, whilst at the same time providing support for us as a family.

Throughout the short time we have been at Sidegate we have witnessed an excellent team at work and in particular the leadership, effective communication and the ability to work closely with outside agencies whilst always keeping the child’s needs at the centre has been impressive to say the least.

In an education system under so much pressure to meet targets in attainment and attendance it has been a privilege to have been involved with Sidegate, knowing that they are prepared to put time and effort into children whose needs are complex and most importantly to believe in those children’s potential.

Yours sincerely

Mrs X

 30th April 2015

Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I have enjoyed working with the Sidegate SSC children for the Forest School sessions, and how impressed I have been with the attitude and behaviour of the children. This is definitely one of the best behaved classes I have worked with from any school – mainstream or special – and they are a real credit to the school. It really has been a joy to see the children engaging with the environment, and thriving in their own unique ways in forest school.

Best wishes

Bec Edgar

Environmental Education  Team Leader

Green Light Trust

1st May 2015
Dear Mrs Coleman
Just wanted to say a big thanks as R has REALLY enjoyed the election topic.  She is usually very quiet but she has been talking constantly every evening and has really loved every minute.
R's mum

17th April 2015

Thank you for bringing such enthusiastic & imaginative students to our workshops today. The staff here all enjoyed working with them & we hope they enjoyed the day too.
Elise Hardy
Enquiry Officer
Ipswich County Library

28th March 2015:
Hi Wendy

I am a member of the St. John's 'Open the Book' team and wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Easter assembly yesterday.

I was particularly impressed with the children's singing. All the children sang with such obvious enjoyment and their enthusiasm was infectious! They obviously knew the songs well and made such an amazing sound - it was really impressive.

The Easter bonnet parade was also wonderful, the children had obviously spent so much time and care on their creations and it was a joy to see them all taking so much pride in their work.

Thank you for continuing to invite us into the school, it really is a privilege.

Kind regards

Emma Allinson, St John's Church

26th March 2015:
Dear Mrs James, 

I came into Sidegate school yesterday to give a talk to the three year 5 classes for Maths and Science at work week. I talked to the children about being self-employed, about computer science, computer games, bits, bytes and binary (with a bit of Taylor Swift and Minecraft thrown in for good measure)

I'm just writing to say how impressed I was with the children in all three classes. Their behaviour was impeccable - they listened very attentively and asked some truly brilliant questions. One girl in Mrs Jennings class even noticed a mistake in one of my binary numbers and corrected me! I got five children to stand at the front of the class and represent binary 0 and 1s by standing up or sitting down and they did an excellent job counting all the way up to 31. 

The atmosphere in all three classrooms was superb with lots of children volunteering information and talking about what they’d done with Scratch, Raspberry Pi or other systems, but they always put their hand up before speaking and were very polite. They did extremely well on the worksheet I gave them too (attached). 

I was extremely impressed with their attitude and the way they did the exercises - budding computer scientists every one! 

I hope you all have a good Easter break.

Mr Paul Skirrow, Parent

26th March 2015

Dear Danny & Jane

I wanted to write to thank you for your input today at the Heads' conference.

Your reflections were truly inspirational and I know that Wendy was very proud that you were there representing Sidegate School.

You are both a credit to the Leading Active Learning programme - it has been a real privilege to work with two such positive, energetic and committed colleagues over the last year.


Marilyn Toft, The Active Learning Trust

 18th March 2015
Dear Danny,

Nice to meet you briefly and to hear of the good work you're doing.  I wanted to reiterate how impressed I was with your group: how attentively they listened, how imaginatively they contributed and what a delight it was to feel their excitement about the music.  They must one of the best behaved groups I've ever presented to, as well!  I really hope they will continue getting these kinds of enriching musical experiences, as I'm absolutely sure it will help awaken talent and musicality that might otherwise lie dormant.

Your schoolchildren were a credit to you.  Good luck with future music-making!

All the best,
Jon James, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
11th December 2014
Dear Mrs James

I just wanted to say a big thank you for another wonderful concert last night. It was really lovely that you mentioned Ellie's music scholarship to her new high school and made a special mention to Jemima about leaving. It was very thoughtful of you and I was very touched.

Mr Howden did another fantastic job. It's great to see how all the children have really progressed and it was very enjoyable evening.

Both Ellie and Jemima will definitely continue learning their instruments at their new school but they will really miss Mr Howden. In the meantime we have the CD as a special memory!

Kind regards
Li Crane
9th December 2014
Dear Mrs James
I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed the "Grandparents' Party" organised and arranged by the teachers and pupils of Year 6, on Monday. Please pass on my thanks to them all. It was great to see how much fun the children were having and how enthusiastic they were. I know how much the staff have to do to coordinate such a big event. A very big well done to all.
With three grandchildren at Sidegate, we have nothing but praise for what your school is doing for them all.
With grateful thanks,
Doreen Golding 

23rd July 2015
Dear Mrs James,

I just wanted to write to thank you and all the staff involved with X over the last three years. I know that she has presented challenges at times, but she has loved coming to school every single day and that is something that myself and my husband are so grateful for. Because X doesn't really communicate through speech it is unfortunately very hard for us to know how she feels about what she has done when she is away from us, but she has always gone into and come out of school with a big smile! We are particularly grateful to Mr Randall, Mrs Nightingale, Miss Smith, Mrs Luness and Miss Warne for all their hard work and help, not least with getting X at place at Beacon Hill.
Enjoy the break, and best wishes to you and Sidegate for the future,

X's parents
21st July 2014
Hi Mrs James


I wanted to send you this email as I’m sure so many people are very quick to moan and complain but never as quick with praise.


My son X is in year 1 and has spent the year with Mrs Z..


I’m sending this email to say how happy I have been with the work and support that X’s teacher Mrs Z has given him and ourselves. She has had a massive influence on the progress he has made at school. X has responded very well to Mrs Z and is very fond of her.


You don’t realise until you have children what a difference their teacher can make, especially to the children who have struggles. I think that X’s school year could of gone in a very different direction if he had not been given the help from Mrs Z. She has worked hard with him and his achievements are proof of this.  


It feels very nice to be leaving the school year on a positive and looking forward to September.


So, please can you pass on mine and my families thanks to Mrs Z and we hope that you all have a good summer holiday.


I would also like to mention Sam Hicks and send our thanks to her for the support she gave us last year.  


Many thanks

X's mother

16th July 2014
Dear Mrs James, Staff and Governors of Sidegate Primary School,

I would like to thank you for your time and the warm welcome I received when I visited your school this week as part of local collaboration between schools.
I particularly liked the imaginative and carefully crafted wall displays and recognised the obvious enthusiasm of the staff. The dress rehearsal of Oliver! was beautifully acted and I enjoyed watching the children grow in their roles. Please pass on my thanks to your pupils; their pleasant and polite manner was a joy to see and a credit to you and your staff.

We would like to welcome you back to our school next term. As a small rural Church of England School, we are in very different settings, however, we would be happy to show you our practice and share our strengths.
We look forward to welcoming you.

With best wishes,

Jo Kidby, Headteacher, Nacton CEVC Primary School

 July 2014
To the staff at Sidegate Primary School,
O is leaving Year 6 this year and we wanted to extend our thanks to the teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff who have contributed to her success and enjoyment at the school.
O came to Sidegate part way through Year 2 and very quickly settled in. She's had some fantastic teachers/support and has particularly benefited from the excellent music and sports in recent years. I can honestly say that she has flourished aver the past 4 years.
With many thanks.
Mr & Mrs C

28th June 2014
Dear Mrs James

I would like to say thank you for the extra special day N had at school yesterday.

She enjoyed the CD recording in the morning - what a great thing for the children to do.

She has enjoyed working towards enterprise day this week. The children were enthusiastically making their pom pom pets when I helped in Robins on Wednesday. The event on Friday afternoon was lovely. The school was buzzing and the children seemed to enjoy selling the things that they had made.

N and I really enjoy the annual events like Enterprise day and Sports day. It is nice to see the whole school taking part together. N likes remembering what she did at these events in previous years and gets a real sense of growing up as part of the school.

Thank you to yourself and the teachers for the extra time and energy spent in organising these events, as well as other special events held this year which have enriched N's school year (bums on bikes, Sports relief, art murals ......)

It is much appreciated.

Best wishes

JR (mother)
14th December 2013
I attended your splendid Winter Concert (as a grandparent) last night and I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed it.  Even though some of the children have only recently started to play their instruments they produced some wonderful and heart warming seasonal music. The choir was excellent and the children all seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Your staff and pupils are a all a credit to your school.
Regards – and Merry Christmas
David Isaacs (Charlotte Hunt’s granddad)