Latest news from around the school

Tremendous times tables

Posted on 17 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

You may have read recently about government plans to introduce a times tables assessment for children in Year 4 – the ‘check’ will be compulsory in 2020. The cost of this new test is estimated to exceed £5.2million. Whether you think the new test to be necessary or useful, it goes without saying that children knowing their times tables can really help not only in Maths lessons but in everyday life.

We’ve been carrying out our own assessment of our pupils’ times tables recall for some time now, in the form of a short test of 25 questions each term. Pupils have recently done the Spring test – with great results!

Year 2

We only tested x2, x5 and x10, in-line with national age-related expectations for children in Year 2. The average score was 20.4 and 80% of children got 20 or more of the questions correctly.

Year 4

By the end of Year 4, children are expected to be able to recall all multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12 and our test checked 25 random facts.

Children scored an average of 21.9 out of 25 with 77% of children getting 20+ questions correct. Last year, the same children scored  only 16.2 as a class average, with only 13% reaching 20 or more. We’ve still got one more term to improve further.

Year 5:

Our Year 5 children scored an average of 23.4 out of 25 and 93% got 20+ questions correct. This is a significant improvement on their performance in a similar test at the end of Year 4, when the average score was 21.0 and only 69% had a score of 20 or more.

Year 6:

As you might expect, our Year 6 children did even better. The average score in the recent test was 24.5 out of 25 and 100% of children scored 20 or more in the test – a really impressive result.

We’ll need to work harder to ensure our Year 4 children in 2020 are fully prepared for the times table assessment that is planned. However, it’s reassuring to know that our children in Year 5 and Year 6 keep improving their performance (possibly raising the question why not assess the tables facts in a later year group). All our Year 6 children leave primary school with a thorough grasp of their times table facts.

This spreadsheet can help your child test themselves – but before they do, practise together:

  • count in things that link, like 2p coins for x2 and 5p coins for x5, and 4 wheels on a car so 4 wheels (1 car), 8 wheels (2 cars), 12 wheels (three cars) etc
  • count forwards, backwards in 3s, 4s or whatever
  • look for patterns in the times tables (like the digits all add up to 9 when you multiply by 9)

West Yorkshire Cross Country Championship

Posted on 16 March 2018 by Mrs Taylor

This week, Grace, one of our Year 6 pupils, took part in the West Yorkshire Cross Country Championships, competing against pupils from Calderdale, Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.

Grace qualified for the finals by coming 14th in the Leeds championships.

She faced the finest runners in the county and out of a field of nearly 150 runners, Grace came a fantastic 32nd place – the 12th Leeds finisher.

Well done to Grace on her great performance!

Moortown play park consultation

Posted on 15 March 2018 by Mrs Taylor

  • Would you like to find out more about the proposed play park on the land at the rear of school?
  • Would you like to comment on the proposed play equipment suggested in the design?
  • Maybe you’ve seen equipment in other parks that you’d like to recommend.

Helen Forman, a design officer from Leeds City Council, will be visiting school tomorrow to consult with our School Council.  After that, all children will have chance to see the proposals in an assembly.  Helen is keen to hear their views as the future users!

From 3pm, there will be chance for parents and carers to see and comment on the proposed designs.

We hope to see you there.



Parents fined £24m

Posted on 15 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Ok, ok… A fine is £24 million is pretty hefty for one set of parents!

£24 million is the total that parents/carers across England and Wales have been fined for failing to send their children to school during the past three years. Read the news story.

Leeds is one of the local authorities that issue the most fines. Leeds has increased the number of fines each year in the last three years.

Our school attendance policy is clear: we do not authorise unnecessary term-time absences and we will refer unauthorised absenteeism to the authority for a penalty notice.

Thank you for making sure your child attends school as much as they can.

Body image resources

Posted on 12 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Body image is an increasingly important issue for children and young people as they continue to be bombarded with images of ‘reality’ TV stars (what reality?!) and others.

Dove have produced resources to support parents in developing self-esteem in their children.

When we think of the impact of concerns about how teenagers look, we don’t always consider how boys feel. There is growing evidence that boys do care deeply about how they look, and it can be something that makes them feel bad. The Boys’ Biggest Conversation is a campaign to encourage teenagers and young men, across the UK, to talk about body image and the effect it has on their mental wellbeing.

Helping with homework...?

Posted on 11 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

You might have heard about this news story this: UK parents help less with homework.

Parents in the UK are much less likely to spend more than an hour per day helping with their children’s homework compared with parents in other countries, a survey suggests.

A survey of 27,830 parents in 29 countries found only 11% of UK parents spent an hour per day helping their children, far behind 62% in India.

Our Homework Policy is designed to best meet the needs of our pupils and their parents / carers. To help, we refer to research on how effective homework is.

Our Talk Time homework is intended to promote good speaking and listening skills, and quite often to raise awareness of moral issues such as whether or not animals should be kept in captivity. To get the most from Talk Time homework, turn the telly off and have a conversation around the table whilst eating your evening meal – you don’t need to spend extra, separate time to support your child! Encourage your child to use ambitious words, useful phrases and full sentences. Some sentence structures that can work well are:

  • What are your views on …?
  • I hear what you’re saying. However, …
  • That’s a good point, but …
  • Furthemore, …
  • In conclusion, …
  • I believe that … because…
  • Another reason is …

Creative homework is an opportunity for your child to choose whatever they want to demonstrate some learning. For example, I can show what I know about food chains. Your child could present all their learning in so many different ways, from a diagram with notes to a story or comic strip. Parents’ and carers’ role is to support, encourage, help… but never to take over and do the homework! So, there’s no need to sit down and do the homework with your child – you could be getting on with some other household task. The fact that your child and you and both actively doing something can be a really good way to promote positive attitudes.

The other type of homework is Practice makes perfect. The work should be fairly straightforward for the child as there should be no need for new learning, so just some encouragement from you is needed. However, it would be a great time to get your child to teach you – they should be able to explain the key points or processes! Also, you might want to check what your child has done – not a big job.

Don’t forget that the most important things you can do at home to support learning are to be positive and encourage your child, and to make sure they read regularly, practise their spellings and practise some simple Maths – counting, number bonds (to start with, two numbers that make 10, like 3+7) and their times tables.

Living and Learning - a body image guide for parents and carers

Posted on 09 March 2018 by Mrs Taylor

This term, our Living and Learning theme is Being me.  Part of this learning is all about body image.  This parent and carer guide has been designed to give practical ideas to support your child in building their emotional resilience in this area.

Dodgeball winners

Posted on 09 March 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Congratulations to the Year 5 dodgeball team who won the PE Partner North Leeds cup heat and have successfully gone through to the Leeds dodgeball final.

Supporting your child: staying safe online

Posted on 09 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Mrs Weekes is the safeguarding lead across Sphere Federation. She has prepared this PowerPoint presentation for use at parent workshops. It’s worth a read to make sure you play a part in supporting your child online.

If you’ve any questions, comments or concerns about online safety for your child, do get in touch with the Head of School.

Snow update

Posted on 08 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

We still intend to open. At the moment, we have a minimum of staff in school. Please keep your child at home until 10.30am if you can.

Other staff are en route. Travel conditions are slow and very challenging at the moment.

Snow conditions aren’t improving but snow is forecast to ease at 9am and stop at 10am.