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Latest news from around the school

Has your child sent us a postcard yet?

Posted on 13 August 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Over the summer, we’d love to hear from you!

When your child returns to school after the summer holidays, the first topic they’ll be learning will be Where in the World?

To help with this, we’d love it if your child sends us a postcard. There will be prizes for the best-written postcard, and, naturally, they’ll all go on display.

The postcard could be from Spain or Scarborough, a city-break or an outdoor adventure, a day-trip or a fortnight away. More importantly, it could be real or made-up… we might get postcards recounting your child’s adventures in space, even!

Your child doesn’t need to go anywhere this summer to write about what they’ve got up to, so there’s no excuse for them not to join in.

All we ask is that your postcards arrive by Monday 10 September – that’s the start of the second week back (so they could even write a postcard from that weekend!).

The Where in the World? topic will develop the children’s geographical knowledge and skills. The world is a big place that is getting more and more accessible but how much do we know about it? We’ll be swotting up on names of capital cities, countries, continents and oceans (depending on the age of your child). Get out your maps and test each other at home. Who knows all the capital cities in the UK? Can anyone name the five continents? We’ll also develop map skills so get out there and give each other directions to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’!

Annual survey of parents / carers 2018 - results

Posted on 26 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Thank you to all of you who completed the Summer 2018 parents and carers survey. This year, the number of responses dropped a little, from 71 to 58 of you. The responses came from an even spread of all the classes throughout school, which helps to make the feedback balanced.

Below is a summary of what you’ve said. Lots of you added some comments after each question; we’ve included here just one or two that represent typical responses.

This year, for most statements, one (and sometimes two) people have either disagreed or indicated they weren’t sure. The survey was anonymous unless respondents chose to leave a name so we’re not necessarily going to be able to resolve any individual problems (although we will review our provision, as we always do). We really encourage any parent / carer with a problem to speak to us so we can explore the concerns more effectively.

Please do remember that what you say is important to us. We can’t guarantee we can accommodate everyone’s wishes or opinions expressed in the survey, but we do guarantee we consider each one. And don’t forget: if you have any questions, comments or concerns, do speak with your child’s class teacher or to Mrs Weekes, our Head of School. They’re often around at the start and end of the school day.

1. My child is happy at Moortown Primary School.
The results here broadly match those of last year. 74% of you strongly agreed with this, and 24% agreed – this is great! Encouragingly, no respondents disagreed whilst one indicated they weren’t sure.
There were nine comments for this statement, all of which were positive.
‘[My child] loves school. It’s a great thing as a parent to be able to send your child to school happy and excited about the day ahead.’
‘Both children very happy at school – always keen to attend, see their friends, and usually lots to talk about at the end of the day.’

2. My child feels safe at this school.
All but one agreed with this statement, with over 75% agreeing strongly. As with statement 1, one respondent indicated they didn’t know.
We take safeguarding at Moortown Primary very seriously so we’re really happy about this – we’ve nearly always been rated 100% for this statement in the past.
Comments back this up:
‘They are clear about the school rules which help keep them safe, and know what to do or who to speak to if things need addressing. The school tackles potential issues head-on and discusses wider safety issues in an age-appropriate way.’
‘Safeguarding and anti-bullying policies work well.’

3. My child makes good progress at this school.
The same proportion as last year (95%) supported this statement: 60% of you strongly agreed with this, and 34% agreed. Three respondents disagreed.
There was one critical comment. We’re sad and concerned this respondent feels this way. We’d love to be able to discuss this more – please do get in touch if this was you. It’s worth noting that assessment data shows that proportions reaching a higher level are nearly always higher than those nationally, for all year groups we have data for and for all subjects. For example, if we look at outcomes at the end of Key Stage 2, those who reach ‘greater depth standard’ (the higher level) are:

  • Reading: 45% (nationally: 28%)
  • Writing: 48% (nationally: 20%)
  • Maths: 41% (nationally: 24%)
  • Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling: 76% (nationally: 34%)

The remaining comments were broadly positive. Our newest recruit in 2017-18 was delighted to read this, for example:
‘We are thrilled with the progress that [our child] is making in Year 1, particularly with his reading and Maths. Mr Parker and Mrs Tiffany are amazing at ensuring he continues to develop and work to his best ability, in a fun and engaging way. He is always teaching me something new he’s learnt at school!’

4. My child is well looked after.
All but two of you agreed here (97%). The proportion who strongly agreed was even higher than last year (78%).
There were five comments, four of which were positive:
‘All adults at the school prioritise the welfare of the children. All staff seem to understand the individual needs of each child, which reinforces the happy and healthy place to learn. Particular thanks to Mrs Small who has been excellent at helping [one of my children] in increasing resilience.’
‘The school has made exceptional efforts to assist my son…to get the best outcomes possible.’
The one concern raised will be passed on to our staff qualified in first aid:
‘Couple of times child had minor injuries that were not attended to.’

5. My child is taught well at Moortown Primary School.
All but one of you (98%) agreed with this, the vast majority agreeing strongly (81% – over ten % points higher than last year).
With all the comments resoundingly positive, we’re at a loss as to how we might be able to best support the parent / carer who disagreed with the statement, other than to again say please do get in touch if this was you.
‘My child is provided with…assistance and opportunities to help him grow emotionally and academically. The teaching staff work collaboratively and with a passion to deliver the best education they can – stretching to find and acquire additional resources to make a difference.’

One of the things we feel we do especially well at Moortown Primary is recruitment: we’re proud to have recruited teachers who are great in the classroom and also work well with the existing team and naturally fit our ethos of being a happy and healthy place to learn (and to work). This is why we’re especially pleased to see Mr Parker praised again, in this case by two different parents: ‘We are thrilled with the way [our son] is taught. He really admires and respects Mr Parker and Mrs Tiffany as well as all the other staff in school. Teaching is always delivered in a fun and engaging way.’ and ‘[My son] is always singing the praises of Mr Parker he really enjoys his lessons.’ Well done, Mr Parker!

6. Adults in school make sure pupils are well behaved.
The results here are similar to 2017: 62% strongly agreed and 34% agreed. Two respondents disagreed.
Four comments were made. Three are entirely positive, such as: ‘When we are invited into class for end of topic reviews or “watch us while we work”, the behaviour of the children is excellent.’
One of the four comments was less positive, citing a particular incident in school. We weren’t made aware of the incident at the time otherwise we would have aimed to resolve the matter. It may be too late now, but please do get in touch if this was you.

7. Moortown Primary deals effectively with bullying. (Bullying includes persistent name calling, cyber-bullying, racist and homophobic bullying.)
The proportion in agreement has risen this year: 34% strongly agreed and 52% agreed. Nobody disagreed. Over the years of carrying out the survey, it’s become quite apparent that the proportion of parents / carers who indicate they are unsure (this year, 14%) explain the reason for this is that their child hasn’t encountered bullying (‘We’ve had no issues with bullying, so cannot comment specifically’).
We’re not complacent and so we’re grateful for respondents who praised the workshops and website posts about bullying: ‘[I was] also impressed with the workshop and various news articles throughout the year to raise awareness (of cyber-bullying, in particular).’
Incidentally, we define bullying as upsetting or harmful behaviour which is Several Times On Purpose, and we encourage children to Start Telling Other People before it becomes a problem. Please help us reinforce our ‘STOP’ messages at home, too.

8. The school is well led and managed.
77% strongly agreed (an increase on 2017) and 21% agreed; one person disagreed.
All four comments were positive, including:
‘I strongly believe that the management and staff within the school are exceptional.’
‘Very visible and approachable leadership team. Mrs Weekes is always available to talk to if needed. Communication is excellent e.g. at school gate, encouraging parental engagement before / after school, via social media and the website.’

9. The school responds well to any concerns I raise.
55% of respondents strongly agreed and 38% agreed – a slight increase to last year’s figures, although two respondents weren’t in agreement and two others were unsure (although this is likely due to those two respondents not having raised a concern).
Well done to our office staff: ‘School office continues to be excellent in dealing with general enquiries (thanks to Mrs O’Malley and Mrs Russell).’

10. I receive useful information from the school about my child’s progress.
43% agreed strongly with this and 53% agreed. Two respondents disagreed.
Your comments here have been especially helpful. Out of eight comments, four referred to the frequency of the updates. We’re going to act on this by changing when we provide you with the Learning Updates. These were previously given to you at parents’ evening. Next year, we’ll send these home at the end of the Autumn and Spring terms. This means you’ll have an update at the end of Autumn 1 (the parents’ evening), Autumn 2 (the Learning Update), Spring 1 (the second parents’ evening), Spring 2 (the second Learning Update), and then the end of year report in the Summer.
One respondent said ‘I’d like an end-of-year parents’ evening’; whilst we don’t routinely organise for this except for Reception parents / carers, we will do more to encourage parents to arrange a follow-up meeting to review the end of year report.
Thank you for your feedback here; we hope the small changes we make will make a big difference to you.
Don’t forget to also try to attend as many Watch Us While We Work sessions, learning workshops, and homework / topic reviews as you can – these may not directly inform you of your own child’s progress, but they do do help to give a flavour of our standards and expectations.

11. Would you recommend us?
98% agreed that they would (thanks!); one person disagreed.

Finally, we asked you to tell us about things you like and the things we could improve on. Almost twice as many responses listed things people liked than didn’t liked, which is great.
With such open-ended questions, we end up with very varied responses so it’s hard to summarise what was said here.

The things people didn’t like largely echoed things that have already been said – more frequent information on progress, for example. Other things mentioned include issues where we might never reach a consensus amongst parents (such as homework – some want more, some want less) and problems that we’re working on (such as a lack of green space – this is coming – and traffic outside school). Some mentioned things that might be more down to personal preferences (like our website) and others raised things which we’ll definitely consider (tweaking School Council elections, for example).

Similarly, the things people like are varied, but things like the friendly atmosphere, the community feel and our systems to manage behaviour all get mentioned quite a few times.
‘It is wonderful how the children all know each other. Moortown Primary instils a wonderful community ethos and encourages the children to look out for and after each other.’
‘Moortown has always had a family feel. The way staff greet everyone at the gate and say hello whenever they are passing, shows that all staff genuinely care about all pupils, regardless of whether they have them in their class or not.’
‘Great safeguarding measures in place, inspirational teachers and leaders, nurturing environment, school promotes motivation for learning.’
‘The school feels like a village school which is extremely rare in a major city!’

Thanks again for taking the time to complete this year’s survey.

Make-A-Wish skipping challenge

Posted on 21 July 2018 by Mrs Taylor

At the end of the Being Healthy themed week, we wore blue for our Make-A-Wish skipping challenge day.

There was some fantastic skipping on the day with many children challenging themselves with new skipping skills or improving the number of skips individually or with a partner.

Thank you for all the donations for our school charity.

We raised £196 for Make-A-Wish.

 

Balance, Pedal, Go!

Posted on 20 July 2018 by Mrs Taylor

This report highlights that, according to new research by Keep Britain Tidy, a third of primary school children have never been taught how to ride a bike.

We’re happy to say that following the recent Reception balance, pedal, go bike training sessions, 24 out of 30 children can now ride a pedal bike.  Two children missed their final session so the number could be even higher!  Prior to the training, four children could ride a pedal bike.

Well done to the Reception children who remained focussed through their sessions and used determination to achieve this key life skill.

These sessions were funded by our PE Premium and from the staff, parent and pupil feedback, this will be an initiative we will repeat next year too.

We hope the children will continue to develop their riding skills over the holidays – maybe going on a family bike ride; taking part in the Leeds Let’s Ride event on traffic free roads on Sunday 2 September; going along to a Let’s Ride Pop Up ride locally and most importantly using their bikes to travel to school when we return in September.

New school dinner menu

Posted on 20 July 2018 by Mrs Taylor

From September, our school dinner menu will be changing.  This menu, provided by our school meals provider Catering Leeds, will be served until February half term.

Through liaison with Catering Leeds, the vegetable choices and jacket potato fillings requested by the children have been incorporated into the new menu.

As well as on our website, the three week cyclical menu is displayed in the parent/carer noticeboard for you to discuss with your child.   If you would like a printed copy, please ask at the office.

Have a look for the days ahead to make your child aware of what the daily meals are.  All children now make their main meal choice at the start of the day.  This ensures they get their first choice of meal.

School meals continue to be free for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. If your child is in Key Stage 2, please check for eligibility for free school meals. (It’s important to check for eligibility for younger children, too, because school receives additional funding for each child who is eligible for a free meal, even when they’re free in Reception and Year 1 and Year 2!)

If your child would like to start having school dinners, please inform the office. A combination of packed lunches and school dinners is also available.

Children are consulted on school meals through our regular School Council meetings.  Feedback may also be given by speaking to an adult in school or completing a suggestions/comments slip and posting it in their class I want to say box.  We have a few new dishes on the menu which we encourage the children to try.

Thank you to parents who also raise questions and give feedback.  We can then ensure this is passed on to the kitchen staff.

It's gold again!

Posted on 17 July 2018 by Mrs Taylor

At the end of each year, schools are invited to apply for their School Games Mark. The School Games Mark rewards schools for their commitment to and development of competition, school sport and physical education.

We are very proud to announce that our application has been verified and we have been awarded Gold award for the fourth year running.

Thank you to staff who have accompanied children to these events or run after-school clubs this year. Thank you also to Mrs Russell who provides excellent administration of our clubs and sporting events and competitions.

Thank you as well to all parents/carers who have helped with transport and supported at our events this year. Finally, thank you to all pupils who have tried out a new physical activity either at an after-school club or as part of a competition or participation event and to those children who have represented our school so well this year.

Remember to send us a postcard!

Posted on 16 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Over the summer, we’d love to hear from you!

When your child returns to school after the summer holidays, the first topic they’ll be learning will be Where in the World?

To help with this, we’d love it if your child sends us a postcard. There will be prizes for the best-written postcard, and, naturally, they’ll all go on display.

The postcard could be from Spain or Scarborough, a city-break or an outdoor adventure, a day-trip or a fortnight away. More importantly, it could be real or made-up… we might get postcards recounting your child’s adventures in space, even!

Your child doesn’t need to go anywhere this summer to write about what they’ve got up to, so there’s no excuse for them not to join in.

All we ask is that your postcards arrive by Monday 10 September – that’s the start of the second week back (so they could even write a postcard from that weekend!).

The Where in the World? topic will develop the children’s geographical knowledge and skills. The world is a big place that is getting more and more accessible but how much do we know about it? We’ll be swotting up on names of capital cities, countries, continents and oceans (depending on the age of your child). Get out your maps and test each other at home. Who knows all the capital cities in the UK? Can anyone name the five continents? We’ll also develop map skills so get out there and give each other directions to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’!

Does your child play Fortnite?

Posted on 15 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Fortnite is an online video game where players compete to be the last person standing in a post-apocalyptic world. The most popular version is Fortnite: Battle Royale, which sees up to 100 players pitted against each other to stay alive on an island. Players can build and demolish structures, and collect weapons, supplies and armour to help them along the way.

Players shoot each other using a range of lethal weapons, but the brightly-coloured, cartoon-style graphics and lack of bloodshed mean it doesn’t feel too gory or graphic.

To play, the age recommendation is 12 and above due to ‘mild violence’, although you don’t have to provide your age when creating an account, so younger children can still log on easily.

Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to download on PC/Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch and iOS devices (Apple phones and tablets). It’s coming to Android soon.

What are the concerns?

You may have seen news reports or heard concerns raised about the:

·     Communication between players: a chat function allows players to talk to each other either over a headset and microphone, or using messaging. Children could use it to speak to strangers, or it could put them at risk of cyberbullying

·     In-app purchases: players can build up large bills on their parents’ accounts by buying cosmetic items like outfits for your character and better-looking weapons (otherwise known as ‘skins’)

·     Addictive nature of the game: anecdotal stories tell of children staying up all night to play, or falling asleep in lessons after playing for too long. Some commentators attribute this to the communal feel of the game – you can play with your friends – and the game is different every time you play, keeping it fresh.

Read this factsheet for parents / carers to find out more about Fortnite and how you can make sure your child is staying safe when playing.

Living Streets local area audit

Posted on 11 July 2018 by Mrs Taylor

As part of our partnership with Living Streets and during our Being Healthy week, some of our school councillors joined representatives from Living Streets to carry out an active travel audit in the immediate area.  They were looking for barriers that families might face when traveling to school in an active way.

We look forward to hearing all about the findings.

Youth Voice Summit

Posted on 11 July 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Recently, our Year 5 and 6 school councillors attended the third annual youth voice summit for primary schools in the banqueting suite at Leeds Civic Hall. During the event, the children:

  • Learnt how to run effective social action campaigns in their schools and communities
  • Learnt about influential historical and current campaigns such as the suffragettes and American civil rights
  • Learnt about how to write to the government and local council
  • Had the opportunity to come up with their own campaigns and create placards
  • Had a full tour of the Leeds Council Chamber

Their chosen campaign, to work on back at school with the rest of the school council, is all about clearing up litter.  We look forward to seeing how this campaign will develop.