News

Latest news from around the school

Wearing PE kit to school - which days?

Posted on 03 September 2020 by Mrs Weekes

Hopefully you have read the information in the Autumn for all – Key Info Moortown, which also has a link to our uniform policy.

On the days your child has PE, they should come to school in their PE kit. (Track-suit bottoms instead of shorts would be good on colder days. Footwear : black/brown/grey/white flat shoes which are safe to run around in.)

Footwear on PE days could be children’s ‘school shoes’ which are often a ‘trainer’ style anyway, if you want to avoid having to buy 2 pairs of shoes.

Please find below the days each class has allocated PE times, which will be taught outdoors, wherever possible.

  • Reception (Mrs Burke): Wednesday & Friday (from week beginning 28 September)
  • Year 1 (Mrs Freeman & Mrs Taylor): Tuesday & Thursday
  • Year 2 (Mr Parker): Tuesday & Friday
  • Year 3 (Mr Wain): Tuesday & Thursday
  • Year 4 (Mr Wilks): Wednesday & Thursday
  • Year 5 (Mr Owen): Monday & Thursday
  • Year 6 (Miss Wilson): Monday & Wednesday

A summer message (03 September 2020)

Posted on 03 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Today, our teachers are all back, busy preparing classrooms and lessons. We’re all looking forward to welcoming your child back on Monday 07 September.

This morning, we’ve virtually met with colleagues across our federation to consider the key elements in Maths that we need to teach lots of so that children can successfully catch up and consolidate their learning. Later on today, we’ll do the same for Reading.

From next Monday, there are staggered starts and ends to the school day to help social distancing. Read more about this in our Autumn for All guide.

Unlike June and July, we won’t be asking every parent if they’ve been social distancing, but we do need you to be careful to respect the current government guidance. We therefore encourage you to do what you can to reduce the number of contacts your child has, follow the guidance, and socially distance where possible.

In terms of dropping off and collecting your child, for example, you might want to restrict this to someone in your household or someone who regularly visits. Walking to school rather than using a car would be better as the virus is harder to catch in the open air.

Please aim to stick to your allocated drop off / collection time, too, so the numbers of people around school are as low as possible.

One new point in the Autumn for All guide is to make sure that someone from your own household is available to collect your child quickly if they’re at school but displaying symptoms of Covid-19 (or have any other, more ‘normal’ illness, like a cold, too). You might want to discuss this with your employer.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all again.

A bigger happy and healthy place: expanding the playground

Posted on 01 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree

We’ve some great news about expanding our outdoor play space…

Our local councillors – Councillor Hamilton, Councillor Shahzad and Councillor Charlwood – have offered to support the development of more space at Moortown Primary to make our school an even happier and healthier place to be. The councillors are part of the Inner North East Community Committee which has recently agreed to donate £10,000 to school in order to develop the play space.

The extra land was part of the old Yorkshire Bank playing field. Some of the land was used for new housing, some for Moortown Park, and some was donated to school. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to sort out various aspects of the development – it’s more complicated than you might think! However, with this donation, we’re now very close to starting the first stage of the development of the land: extending of the playground at the back of the school. We’re aiming for this to be tarmac so that our children have more year-round space to play on at breaks and lunchtimes. Later on, we’ll develop other areas of the land with grass and other planting.

Also good news is that we’re hoping to get the work done at cost price from Colas Ltd as part of their community pay back scheme. Thanks to Cllr Shahzad for helping to arrange this.

We’re grateful to Councillor Hamilton and Councillor Shahzad for visiting our school just before the summer holiday, and we look forward to welcoming our local councillors back again so they can see the benefits of the funding. Thanks again to all three councillors for their support.

A summer message (01 September 2020)

Posted on 01 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree

It seems strange to still be on holiday when most schools across the country have re-opened already. (And I always think the Scottish summer holidays, which are all of July and the first half of August, work better with the UK’s weather, too!) In any case, we all hope you’ve had a good holiday – no doubt it was affected in some way by Covid-19, but hopefully you still made the most of things.

Teachers have two training days this week – Thursday and Friday. This means we can all be fully prepared and confident for the Autumn term, and it means that when the Leeds Autumn term officially starts on Monday 07 September, your child can start straight away, with no delays for a training day. We know you’re keen to have your child back at school.

We’ve made a few small changes to our Autumn for all guide for school in September – nothing major, just updates to some website links and an update on the period of self-isolation from seven to ten days if you think you may have the virus.

Have you checked out the whole-school picture book we’ll all be reading in the first couple of week? After the fall: how Humpty Dumpty got back up again is a great read, and one that has a message for us all in recovering after a calamity. Reading this with your child might really help your child to start school with confidence and some familiarity about what’s happening. (There are a few different YouTube sites where the book is read, too.)

Enjoy the last few days.

A summer message (21 August 2020)

Posted on 21 August 2020 by Mr Roundtree

We hope you’re all having a good summer.

By now, you’re probably starting to think a little about your child returning to school in September – we’re open for all children from Monday 07 September.

This advice might help – seven tips to support your child. (There’s advice for secondary-age students, too.)

One of the pieces of advice is ‘pack right, pack light’: ‘Your school will have been in touch to let you know what your child should and (more likely) shouldn’t bring in – such as stationary, bags, PE kits, bottles and lunch. Make sure you have checked what they need, in order to make your child’s day easier.’

Our Autumn for All guide for school in September should help you with that – check out the key facts section.

Enjoy the rest of the summer break as much as you can.

Annual surveys - what you told us

Posted on 06 August 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Thank you to all of you who responded to this year’s annual survey. It came at a difficult time for many of us (the height of lockdown), so we’re really grateful to all of the 66 parents / carers who took the time to tell us their thoughts.

We made the survey a little shorter this year, and some of the statements we used are a bit different – this was to match new statements that Ofsted use.

We’re proud to say that the feedback continues to be really positive. 97% or more of parents/carers who expressed an opinion agreed with the following statements:

  • My child is happy at Moortown Primary School.
  • My child feels safe at Moortown Primary School.
  • The school makes sure its pupils are well-behaved.
  • My child does well at Moortown Primary School.
  • There is a good range of subjects available to my child at this school.
  • My child can take part in clubs and activities at this school.
  • My child has SEND, and the school gives them the support they need to succeed. (This statement only applied to a small number, and of that number, 100% agreed.)

A few other statements also gained a very positive response -94% or more agreed with them:

  • The school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year.
  • When I have raised concerns with the school they have been dealt with properly.
  • The school lets me know how my child is doing.
  • The school supports my child’s wider personal development.
  • I would recommend this school to another parent.

90% of those who expressed an opinion agreed with ‘The school has high expectations for my child.’ This is a high number but we’d like it to be higher. We do believe we have high expectations and the 2020 end of Key Stage 2 assessments show this: almost three times as many Moortown pupils reach ‘greater depth’ level in Reading, Writing and Maths combined, for example. We’ll keep working on how to best provide opportunities for challenge.

Another statement related to bullying: ‘My child has been bullied and the school dealt with the bullying quickly and effectively’. The vast majority of you reported that your child has not been bullied. Of those who raised a concern, most reported that it had been dealt with quickly and effectively. At Moortown Primary, we take bullying behaviour very seriously. We have two messages: the definition (Several Times On Purpose) and the solution (Start Telling Other People). If you feel there’s a problem with bullying in our school, please do talk with us about it.

At the end of the survey, we invited comments. We received 22, almost all of which were entirely positive – thank you. Here’s a few representative comments:

  • ‘An all-round lovely, caring, hardworking school. Both staff and pupils make it what it is.’
  • ‘Great learning environment and inspirational teachers.’
  • ‘An absolutely great small school with hard-working, committed and approachable staff and some very talented teachers. Thanks for all the hard work and care.’

A few people also singled out our efforts during the school closure:

  • ‘Particularly impressed with the material and advice for home schooling at the moment. The material provided has allowed us to manage all our commitments. It has given my daughter structure with enough resources and flexibility to enjoyably complete her task.’
  • ‘It’s been a difficult [year] but all staff seem to have dealt with the changing situation really well, and in particular the communication has been great.’

We’re very grateful for the suggestions for areas to work on, too. Here are four we’re definitely working on:

  • Languages: ‘Would be useful in preparation for secondary school for languages to be taught earlier and more frequently.’ / ‘Would be good to see more language lessons from an earlier stage.’ – We agree. In fact, we’ve put plans in place for this to happen straight away in September, when all children from Year 1 to Year 6 will have Spanish lessons. (This goes beyond the National Curriculum requirements to teach a foreign language from Year 3.)
  • Cleaning: ‘Whenever I come to pick my child at home time or after the clubs I can see that the toilets are extremely filthy.’ – We’re sorry you’ve experienced this and it’s not good enough. Alongside temporarily increasing cleaning during the current pandemic, we’ve addressed this particular issue longer-term by increasing cleaning hours so this can take place during the school day, every day.
  • Communicating home: ‘It would be helpful to be told more about what the children are learning each week – especially for the younger years. The photos on class news are great but more ‘real time’ information, perhaps even ahead of time so we can discuss at home would be appreciated.’ – Thanks for this. We know this sort of suggestion comes from a genuine desire to support your child’s learning at home. Our teachers work hard and we need to strike a good balance between communicating home and teachers’ workload. In 2019-20, we’ve produced some long-term plans and curriculum expectations. These should help to illustrate what children are learning and when. (A word of caution, though: we’ve had to tweak them in readiness for Autumn for All, when all pupils return to school.)
  • School dinners: ‘My child feels the portion size is not enough and he is always very hungry after school. Is it possible that we give something to top up with something rather than completely giving him a packed lunch?’ – We’re assured by our catering service that portions are appropriate to the age of the child. We’ll raise the concern with our provider. In the meantime, please speak with Mrs Weekes about this.

Moortown Primary continues to be a happy and healthy place to learn. Parents and carers are an important part of our close and supportive community. Thank you, again, if you responded to the survey.

A summer message (20 July 2020)

Posted on 20 July 2020 by Mr Roundtree

It’s the first day of the summer holidays – we hope they’ve started well.

We’re not sending daily messages over summer, but do look out for the occasional one – they’ll usually be important updates about school in September.

Summer was for some pupils. Autumn is for all.

We’re really looking forward to welcoming back all the familiar faces on Monday 07 September (except for our Year 6 friends, of course, who move on to secondary school after the summer).

This message is a link to the latest Families magazine which is a summer holiday issue. It’s got lots of resources and ideas to help you keep your children entertained, busy and productive during the long break including fun learning ideas, sourcing books, learning to draw, safe socialising and screen free activities.

Read the magazine here.

 

Our daily message (17 July 2020)

Posted on 17 July 2020 by Mr Roundtree

It’s the last day of the school year and this is our last daily message. At least, we hope it’s our last as we look forward to the Autumn term, when hopefully much has settled down…

We started sending out messages just before schools closed, in the week beginning 16 March. Sometimes there were three or four in a day, and there was never really any time when it didn’t feel there was something useful to share. For all your appreciation about the daily messages, thank you.

Schools closed on Friday 20 March for all but a few children. Since then, we know you’ve worked incredibly hard with home learning and all the other stuff that takes up your days. It’s been a tough ride. For all your great efforts, thank you.

During the period when schools have been closed, it’s true that some of you made suggestions, raised concerns and sometimes voiced your frustrations. In normal times, we’re always keen to hear your questions, comments and concerns, and in these challenging times, we were grateful you raised things in a positive, friendly way. We acted on as many as we could – and we’ll continuing to act on these. For all your constructive feedback, thank you.

It’s also fair to say that for every one comment like that, we received a good deal more which praised what we’ve been doing. They’ve really boosted us as we went through our own lockdown lows. For all your support, thank you.

Summer

Over the last few days, we’ve provided you with a list of summer camps and other activities and some more more holiday challenges. Check out the the Breeze website for activity ideas, too.

The long summer break can be quite challenging. This Self care Summer Primary resource has fun activities designed to help children look after their mental health and wellbeing. It also signposts them (and you) to additional support if needed. There’s a version for young adults, too.

Over the summer, if you experience difficulties and need advice or support, information is available from Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership. Alternatively, you can contact your local Early Help Hub: lauren.dunstan@leeds.gov.uk  or 0113 3785996.

September

Yesterday, we sent you our guide to school in September. We hope you find it useful. It might seem long, but there are only two pages we especially want you to know about before September – the key information on page 3 and 4.

Later on in the guide, we mention the whole-school picture book topic that children in Years 1 to 6 will do. We’ve chosen After the fall: how Humpty got back up again. Younger children will enjoy thinking about the Humpty Dumpty story and what happened next. Older children will see the analogy between Humpty’s fall and recovery and Covid-19 and how we can recover from this. If you anticipate your child feeling anxious about their return to school after such a long period, it might help if they’re familiar with the story they’re going to be thinking about in school, so they can feel confident and reassured as they settle back in to school life. You could buy the book or listen to it read online.

 

Ok, I’m off to sit in a darkened room for a while…

The teachers, support staff and school leaders all wish you a happy and healthy summer. Stay safe, stay sane and see you in September.

A goodbye to our wonderful Year 6 children

Posted on 16 July 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Forget watching EastEnders repeats! Turn off the football (it’s not the same without live crowds, anyway)! Instead, watch this…

…40 minutes of heart-warming messages as we say goodbye to our Year 6 children, and they say goodbye to Moortown Primary. Bet you can’t watch it without a smile on your face (and even perhaps a tear in your eye!).

 

For all the support over the years, thank you to all the mums, dads, carers and other adults at home. We’ll miss you, too.

Miss Wilson writes: ‘It’s been an absolute pleasure to teach every single one of your children. I am extremely proud of the amazing young people they’ve become and can’t wait to hear about their fantastic futures. Thank you for all your support over the last two years. Please pop in to say hello whenever you can because I’ll miss you all lots!’

Very best wishes to our Year 6 friends as they leave us, hopefully to go on to even happier and healthier futures.

Our daily message: School in September (update 3, 16 July 2020)

Posted on 16 July 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Today’s message is an important one about school in September…

Autumn’s for all pupils – read our guide to school in September.

We’re really happy to finally be able to welcome back all our pupils to school – and to welcome some new faces, too! We’ll have lots of things in place to keep making sure our school is a happy and healthy and safe place to learn. We’ve closely considered lots of different aspects to make sure the new school year goes smoothly.

There are four sections to the guide. The first section (on page 3 and 4) contains the key information that you need to know – things like school start and finish times, for example. Please make sure you read this so you’re up-to-date with the things we’re doing a bit differently.

If you’ve any questions, comments or concerns, then as always, do get in touch.