News

Latest news from around the school

This week’s message (Friday 23 February 2024)

Posted on 23 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

We hope you all managed some sort of break last week, the half-term break. This half-term has quite a few events coming up…

Number facts challenge

It’s time for another Number Facts Challenge, our annual sponsored maths challenge. The challenge is in two parts:

Today, children in Years 1-6 did a Maths challenge in class. On Wednesday 28 February, they’ll do the same challenge again to see if they can beat their score. (Reception children join in the challenge on Wednesday.)

Polish those number skills and get practising over the next couple of weeks and see how much money we can raise. Any money raised will be split between our school charity, the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF), and PTA.

Happy sponsoring and thank you for your support.

World Book Day

World Book Day is on Thursday 07 March. At Moortown Primary, we love to celebrate reading. This includes celebrating World Book Day each year, although we don’t always dress up (we do this every other year).

It’s that time again! We invite children to dress up as a book character. Whether it’s someone from a fairy tale or fantasy, a character from a comic or Harry in Hogwarts, your child is invited to celebrate their love of reading.
As always on days like this, this is a choice. If you or your child would prefer not to dress up, that’s absolutely fine.

Supermarkets are stocked up with World Book Day outfits but often you can dress up using clothes you already have or can borrow for free.

Also, and especially with younger children, please make sure costumes are practical. For example, all-in-one outfits are really tricky when a Reception child needs the toilet, and princess shoes aren’t ideal for running around at playtimes!

Comic Relief – Red Nose Day

Also coming up is Red Nose Day, which is on Friday 15 March. Each year at Moortown Primary, pupils select a new school charity. As you know, this year, it’s the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF).

Alongside some fund-raising for the CHSF, we mark a small number of other events, including Red Nose Day. This will be a non-uniform day. There’s no expectation to donate, but if you’d like to, your donation would be appreciated.

We realise that’s a lot going on. Please remember, participation and donations are voluntary for these events.

Attendance matters

At the start of each half-term, we like to celebrate the fantastic attendance at Moortown Primary. Our current attendance figure (right up until the end of Spring 1) is 96.8%. The national figure for primary schools for the same period is 93.7%.

Well done especially to Year 3 with a figure of 97.8%. Other classes are not far off, too.

We’re really proud of our attendance figure. Thank you for making sure your child gets to school as much as they can.

This week’s message (Friday 09 February 2024)

Posted on 09 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

The Spring 1 half-term has been a short one, and a busy one as ever. Wrapping up the half-term were parent-teacher meetings – thanks for attending the meeting to find out more about your child’s learning.

Holidays and training days 2024-25

While it seems we’re stuck in winter – certainly so with the snow yesterday – it’s worth looking ahead to brighter days! All the holidays and training dates for 2024-25 are confirmed – check out our school calendar if you want to start planning ahead.

Reception maternity cover

As I’m sure you all know, Mrs Wood is pregnant and is due to begin her maternity leave shortly. We’re delighted to have arranged for another teacher within Sphere Federation to take over – we’ll have more details about her replacement soon.

Leeds Parent Carer Forum

The Leeds Parent Carer Forum is the way that the local authority and health partners engage and co-produce directly with parents and carers of children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). In Leeds, this is a very new organisation. We’ve been asked to share their promotional flyer with you.

School policies

Finally for this week, Sphere Federation governors have asked us to remind you that most policies are available on our website – the Policies and Other Points page. If you can’t find what you might be looking for, please do ask. Your views on any of the policies are always welcome, too.

On a similar subject, please ask if you’d prefer paper copies of anything on the website.

Thank you for your continued support, as ever. Have a happy and healthy half-term holiday.

World Book Day themed menu 2024

Posted on 06 February 2024 by Mrs Quirk

Leeds Catering Agency, our school meal provider, will be running a special themed menu for World Book Day on Thursday 07 March 2024. Please see the menu below.

World Book Day menu 06.03.2024

 

Wear Red Day - an update

Posted on 05 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Friday was Wear Red Day. At the time of writing the weekly message on Friday, we’d raised £97.68. Including donations made later, we raised £111.03.

The money raised goes to our current school charity: the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund in Leeds.

If you and your child donated, thank you.

This week’s message (Friday 02 February 2024)

Posted on 02 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

If you and your child made a donation for our Wear Red Day. At the time of writing this message, we raised £97.68 – thank you. It was great seeing the different creative styles pupils added to their uniform today!

Living and learning

Living and Learning is our name for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and other provision which helps to support the personal development of children at Moortown Primary.

Each week, we have a different Living and Learning theme – check out our Calendar to read about each week’s theme (it’s usually showing on each Monday). This week’s theme has been I know how to seek help.

We all need to seek help from time to time. Make sure your child knows it’s ok to ask for help. Explore different situations when you and your child might both need to seek help. What could the situation be (friendships, online problems, tricky situations when out and about…)? Who could they seek help from? How would they do it?

Linked to this week’s theme is STOP. Here at Moortown Primary, STOP stands for two things to do bullying:

  • the definition: hurting someone physically or emotionally Several Times On Purpose
  • the solution: Start Telling Other People

Remind your child of the STOP acronyms.

Your feedback

Thanks to all who have visited us recently, whether that’s for a Reception Stay and Learn or last Friday’s Watch Us While We Work session. Thanks also to the parents who completed our new online form for their feedback.

The children were completely engaged and behaviour was impeccable!

 

I loved watching all the different strategies that were used and will be using them at home.

We really appreciate your suggestions for improvement, too.

Contact details

A quick reminder…

If you’ve got any new contact details for you or other contacts, please remember to let us know. We need up-to-date details for the people on our lists in case of emergencies. (The people on our lists are the ones you gave us when your child school – in most cases, this will be three different people.)

Reception survey

Another reminder…

If you’re a parent in Reception, please do complete our short survey. Your feedback is really important to us. the survey’s open for another week.

We hope you have a happy and healthy weekend, whatever you get up to.

Chess Champ

Posted on 29 January 2024 by Mrs Weekes

One of our Y3 friends had an amazing weekend! This young man was competing in a chess competition in Ilkley.

He was playing against children from different areas including Leeds, Bradford and Manchester; he played 6 games and won 5 of them, meaning that he came 3rd overall. Amazing!

Well done!

This week’s message (Friday 26 January 2024)

Posted on 26 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

This week, we’ve messages about measles, free school meals and a couple of forthcoming events in school. Before that, a thank you…

Watch us while we work

For parents and carers of children in Years 1 -6, this afternoon we’ve had another Watch Us While We Work session – the second of the year. Thank you if you were able to come to school to find out ways to support your child at home.

Based on parent feedback, we’ve a new feedback form for planned-in visits like this – things like Watch Us While We Work, Topic review sessions and Reception Stay and Learns.

We’d love to hear your views.

Measles

This comes from the Department for Education (DfE):

There have been recent localised outbreaks of measles centred around the West Midlands. There is a risk of further outbreaks in other areas unless urgent action is taken to increase Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination take up in areas with low MMR vaccine rates.

Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools. The best protection against measles for children and adults is to get both doses of the MMR vaccine. It is never too late to have these vaccinations.

Read the NHS advice for parents and carers.

Read the DfE has published an Education Hub blog with guidance on measles and the MMR vaccine for parents.

Free School Meals

Circumstances can change for anyone, as the enormous impact from the pandemic continues to prove. Some families can suddenly find themselves trying to cope with a new financial strain and pressure, perhaps as a result of a stressful new situation: separation, loss of a job, decreased working
hours, illness etc. If your household income is low or has recently decreased, your child may well qualify for Free School Meals.

Find out whether you’re eligible.

In addition to securing free school meals, your child would also become eligible for pupil premium funding. This provides us with extra money that we use to support children.

Finally this week, a couple of events coming up…

Wear Red Day

Our school charity this year is Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Wear Red Day is an annual fund-raising event to support the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, its patients and their families.

We know our children wear red as part of their regular uniform every day. Today is still a uniform day, but we invite children to come to school wearing a bit more red than usual – red socks, red hat, red shorts…

This is an optional event. We welcome any donations, all of which will go towards our charity.

Safer Internet Day

This is on Tuesday 06 February. We’ll be making the day in school, but you might want to check out some resources to use at home.

Have a great weekend!

This week’s message (Friday 19 January 2024)

Posted on 19 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Early in each half-term, our weekly message centres around the current KS1 and KS2 topic. The message comes from Mr Wilks, who leads on foundation subjects (see page 7 for what foundation subjects are).

What is this half-term’s topic?

This half-term, we’re historians and will be developing our understanding of Britain’s past and the wider world.

I love history. It’s one of my favourite subjects to teach. There are so many amazing stories and characters from the past and although the people and events we study can be separated from our own lives by thousands of years, there are lots of relevant connections we can make with the world today. Children will use enquiry skills to answer questions about the past that require opinions. They’ll be ‘time detectives’, using sources of evidence to help them answer these questions.

Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary that they’ll learn, use and apply across the topic. See pages 22, 23 and 24.

Years 1 and 2

In this topic, children will learn about how shopping has changed over time. They’ll develop chronological understanding by sequencing events in their own lives before learning about how shopping was different during their parents’ and grandparents’ and great grandparents’ childhoods. They’ll look at similar products from different times and try to sequence them chronologically using logical reasoning. They’ll use photographs and other sources of evidence to identify changes and similarities on the high street over time. They’ll learn about the history of a local shop, Marks and Spencer, and how it has changed over time.

The key historical concept which we’ll explore in this topic is trade. Trade is the exchange of goods and services, initially for other goods and services, and then for money.

Years 3 and 4

Children will learn about the Roman Empire and its invasion of Britain. They will examine how life changed for the people living in Britain at the time of the invasion. They will learn about the Celtic warrior, Boudicca, and how she resisted the Romans. Children will also consider what we know about Boudicca, how we know it, and whether we can trust it.

They’ll learn about the amazing inventions and advances that the Romans brought to Britain. Finally, they’ll find out why the Romans left Britain and who the Anglo-Saxons were.

There are two key historical concepts which we’ll explore in this topic: empire and invasion. An empire is a large group of countries or states ruled by an emperor or empress. An invasion is when a country or region is invaded by an armed force. 

Years 5 and 6

In this topic, children will learn about Viking Britain and an Early Islamic Civilisation centred around the city of Baghdad around 800AD.

During this period of time, Baghdad was the largest city in the world and was the centre of the world’s trade routes. Trade between Vikings and Baghdad happened and provides a real link between these two societies.

Through studying the Vikings, children will again learn about how people invaded and settled in Britain. Invasion is also relevant as it brought an end to the Islamic Golden Age.

The Islamic Golden Age was a period of great innovation. Learning and knowledge was key to their success. They built the world’s first hospitals, universities and observatories, as well as studied writing from scholars around the world. The contrast with Viking Britain during the Dark Ages is stark!

There are three key historical concepts which we’ll explore in this topic: trade, invasion and innovation. Trade is the exchange of goods and services, initially for other goods and services, and then for money. An innovation is an improvement or replacement for something. An invasion is when a country or region is invaded by an armed force.

Help at home

Talk to your child about what they’ve been learning in class. The class news page of the school website is a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.

Find some books from the library which match what the children are learning. This will be quite easy for children in Key Stage 2 as there will be plenty of books about Roman Britain and Viking Britain. You should also be able to find some about the Islamic Golden Age. For children in KS1, you may find it more difficult to find books about shopping over time. However, any book that looks at how an aspect of life has changed over time will be good. For example, you may find KS1 history books about toys and games, houses, transport, holidays. These will all help your child to sequence chronologically and explore similarities and differences.

Watch television shows about history. Horrible Histories is great – regardless of your age!

Children's Heart Surgery Fund

Posted on 17 January 2024 by Mrs Taylor

This week, Lauren from Children’s Heart Surgery Fund came to visit.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund is our new school charity, voted for by the Junior Leadership Team, and we learnt all about their work and how our donations will support the charity over the next year.

Here are some of our Junior Leaders with Lauren.

 

This week’s message (Friday 12 January 2024)

Posted on 12 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Welcome to our first message of 2024! It seems a little late to wish you a happy new year, but we’ll do it all the same: best wishes for a happy and healthy 2024. This week’s message has quite a few things, but we’ve tried to keep them fairly short…

Dates for your diary

This Spring term is a short one – just five weeks in Spring 1 and just a day short of six weeks in Spring 2. As always, please check our school calendar to know what’s coming up (amongst other things, a Watch Us While We Work session in Years 1-6 and Stay and Learn sessions in Reception, plus parent-teacher meetings).

Did your child get an electronic device for Christmas?

…If so, then do make sure parental controls are all in place. Here’s a handy guide from the NSPCC.

Attendance matters

Our whole-school attendance for the Autumn term was 96.9%. How does your child’s class compare with that figure?

  • Reception – 94.9% – that’s an amazing increase since Autumn 1 (91.5%)!
  • Year 1 – 96.7%
  • Year 2 – 97.6%
  • Year 3 – 97.9% – well done!
  • Year 4 – 97.9% – well done, too!
  • Year 5 – 96.9%
  • Year 6 – 96.1%

We know that winter is one of the peak times for adults and children to come down with mild illnesses such as colds, coughs and sore throats.

Your child should stay at home from school if they’ve a high temperature (fever) and are unwell, and wait until it has passed before going back.

If they’ve just got a runny nose, sore throat or slight cough – without a high temperature – your child should still attend school. Children should stay at home if they’ve a high temperature (fever) or if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting – this helps stop the spread of stomach bugs.

If in doubt, check the NHS site: Is my child too ill for school?

Read this BBC article for five top tips to help.

The national attendance rate for Autumn was 93.2%. We’re proud that our figure is quite a bit higher here at Moortown Primary. Thank you for knowing that attendance counts.

DT: Cooking and nutrition

We sent this message earlier in the week, but in case you missed it…

Our updated long-term plans for Cooking and Nutrition were introduced at the beginning of this school year. Last term, your child took part in a practical lesson where they did some cooking in school and were able to eat what they had made. Hopefully, they’ll have come home and told you all about it!

So we can continue to offer this to all children in Years 1 to 6, we’re asking you for a small voluntary contribution towards the cost of ingredients. This will help to cover the costs for the full year – that’s three recipes. We suggest a contribution between £3 to £6, although we really appreciate anything you can offer. Payment for this can be made online on the School Gateway app.

By the way, please remember to tell us if your child has an allergy so that we can adapt the recipes we’ve planned.

The Big Ambition survey

We’ve mentioned this before, too, but we’ve been asked to communicate a final reminder which comes from Dame Rachel De Souza, the Children’s Commissioner for England…

I have been overwhelmed by the response the survey has received so far. More than 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers have participated, making it one of the largest surveys of its kind, but I want to give even more people the chance to have their say.

Complete The Big Ambition survey. It closes on Friday 19 January.

Finally, I don’t often offer a personal recommendation, but a highlight of the holidays for me was a trip to the cinema to see Wonka – I loved it! Have a good weekend, whether that involves a cinema trip or whatever you and your family get up to.