This week's message (23 July 2021)
Posted on 23 July 2021 by Mr Roundtree
And we’ve made it…
It’s been a tough year in lots of ways, but we’ve seen highlights along the way.
The vast majority of children have coped really well with the disruption and with home learning – we’ve seen some very encouraging outcomes in end-of-year assessments. For some, it’s been a bit more unsettling – you’ve worked with us in helping iron out problems along the way. We really appreciate your continued support.
A couple of tips for summer activities…
The next six weeks can be a long gap for children. It’ll really help if your child reads often – just a quarter of an hour or so every other day, for example. (Even watching a bit of telly will help if you turn on the subtitles!)
Of course, the holiday’s a great chance to get out and about. In eight parks across Leeds, plus the city centre waterfront, take part in an augmented reality (AR) Dinosaur Safari! Each safari features up to nine AR dinosaurs, offering routes of between 1-3 kilometres. Take a photograph of yourselves with a roaring T-rex or swooping pterodactyl as you chase around the park!
The Department for Education has asked us to promote this support, too…
The department has launched an information site for parents, to support children of all age ranges and abilities catch up on lost learning from the pandemic. The site features advice and support for parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as well as programmes, resources and activities for children and young people this summer. Further information can be found on the education catch-up for your child homepage.
And a couple of other links…
- You can read governors’ annual governance statement – a review of the year from the perspective of the Governing Body.
- For parents of children in Year 6 moving to secondary school, some advice which you might find helpful.
Our thoughts are with any children self-isolating today – what an unfortunate, unsettling end to the school year. We’re really looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Very best wishes to our Year 6 children (and one or two others) who leave us as they continue their learning journey – we’ll miss you, and parents and carers, too. Very best wishes to Mr Owen, Mr Parker and Miss Rushbrooke, all moving on to new jobs in new schools – we’ll really miss you, too!
Whether you’re staying at home, going on day-trips, or taking a few days away, we’d like to wish you all a happy and healthy summer. Thanks for all your support across a tricky year. See you again on Monday 06 September.
Thanks to Roundhegians
Posted on 20 July 2021 by Mrs Taylor
We are very grateful to Roundhegians Rugby Club for hosting our sports days once again this year and allowing us to use their excellent facilities.
Roundhegians have a variety of rugby training sessions, from under 6 through to under 17, and these sessions will resume on Sunday 5th September.
For more information, please contact their chair of junior rugby, Chris Fongwah (email@example.com).
Key Stage 2 Sports Day
Posted on 20 July 2021 by Mr Roundtree
This morning, we hosted the Key Stage 2 Sports Day. Sadly missing our Year 5 friends who are self-isolating, the children in Years 3, 4 and 6 competed in four teams.
In what was a hugely enjoyable series of races, we saw sporting prowess, jovial victory jigs, and Mrs Taylor win the egg and spoon race (due to having to disqualify Mr Parker and Miss Wilson).
The results are:
- Red Team 38 points
- Green Team 84 points
- Blue Team 90 points
- White Team 84 points
Well done to the Blue Team!
Having won the Key Stage 1 heat last week, the Blue Team are the overall winners of the 2021 Moortown Primary Sports Day!
The overall results are:
- Red Team 64 points
- Green Team 104 points
- Blue Team 138 points
- White Team 118 points
Once again, a big thank you to Mrs Taylor for organising the events so well, and to Mrs Weekes for managing the risk assessments.
This week’s message (Friday 16 July 2021)
Posted on 16 July 2021 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message is in two parts: next week (England moves to step 4 of restrictions easing on Monday), and next school year. We’ve tried to keep the messages simple, using a Q&A style…
Will you be completely back to normal?
No. With one more week left in school, the Leeds Health and Safety team has advised that we should continue with the Covid measures we’ve in place. This means we’ll continue with the staggered school day and bubbles.
If there’s a positive case, will you burst a bubble?
No. The advice we received yesterday sets out what happens. If a child tests positive, they (or parents) will be contacted directly by Test and Trace. This is so that you can tell the tracers who close contacts are. (Good luck with finding out from your child the names of people who were within two metres for a period of 15 minutes!)
What about a bubble that burst before Monday?
They must complete the full ten day isolation period.
What if someone has symptoms?
They should stay at home and book a PCR test. If your child has any symptoms – or just doesn’t seem their usual selves – please keep them at home until you have the results of a PCR test.
There’s lots of confusion about what’s happening next week, and aspects of ‘Freedom Day’ don’t seem to make sense for people. We’ve always followed Leeds and national advice, and we’ll continue to do that for the last week of term. Thank you for continuing to do so, too.
Will you have a return to the normal start and end times?
Yes. The normal times are 8.50am start and 3.15pm finish. Although the staggered school day has had benefits, there are lots of reasons we won’t continue this. These include:
- it’s very hard to coordinate for families with more than one child
- we want children to have the opportunity to play together with friends from other classes – having staggered times for the school day but fixed times for breaks would mean very long or very short sessions rather than the carefully planned school day we normally enjoy
- it’s hard to track if all pupils are arriving on time
One of the benefits has been a reduction in traffic congestion. We know this is a hassle, but – like other schools – our advice would always be to try to walk, cycle, scoot to school. If you have to drive, park further away and walk the last bit of the journey.
We’re hoping to get lots of after-school clubs back up and running, too.
Will you continue to allow children to wear PE kit on PE days?
Yes. We’re going to trial this for another year – it saves time and reduces lost property. You’ve told us you prefer it, too. Please make sure your child’s PE kit follows the uniform policy.
Yesterday was St Swithin’s Day. If we really are due to enjoy 40 rain-free days, then this weekend should be the first of a few good ones. Enjoy.
Key Stage 1 Sports Day
Posted on 15 July 2021 by Mr Roundtree
Glorious weather. Sporting spectacles. Elite athletes of the highest calibre.
Nothing could stop the Year 1 and 2 pupils enjoying Sports Day (not even the necessary Covid caution).
The results are:
- Red Team 26 points
- Green Team 20 points
- Blue Team 48 points
- White Team 34 points
Well done to the Blue Team!
The scores will be combined with next Tuesday morning’s Key Stage 2 Sports Day for the overall winning team. At this event, we’ll welcome two adults for each Year 6 child only. We’re sorry – other people will be asked to leave. (We know this event takes place after the government’s final easing of restrictions, but we’ve been advised to continue to follow our risk assessment and existing plans.)
A big thank you to Mrs Taylor for organising today’s event so well, and to Mrs Weekes for managing the risk assessments.
Who's going where?
Posted on 15 July 2021 by Mrs Weekes
At this time of year, we’re normally planning for the children to visit new classrooms and meet their teacher before September. As we’ve got such a high number of children self-isolating, this isn’t possible this year. All of the children have been told who their teacher is going to be next year and there is a buzz of excitement around school which is great.
As we’ve a number of new teachers joining the team, I’m taking this opportunity to tell you who’ll be teaching each year group from September:
|Year Group||Teacher 2021/22|
|Year 1||Mr McGriffiths|
|Year 2||Mrs Taylor & Mrs Lake|
|Year 3||Mr Wain|
|Year 4||Miss Birch|
|Year 5||Miss Needham|
|Year 6||Miss Wilson|
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the school office.
This week’s message (Friday 09 July 2021)
Posted on 09 July 2021 by Mr Roundtree
Next week is our Being Healthy themed week. It’s all about being healthy, both physically and emotionally. This week’s message is all about the themed week…
Due to the current restrictions, we’re limited to the events and visitors we can host but we’ve still got many activities planned for our children to enjoy. The learning forms part of our Living and Learning curriculum to ensure our pupils are happy and healthy.
Pupils are invited to come in PE kit (in line with our uniform policy) every day of the themed week. Please make sure the PE kit is in line with our Uniform Policy. (By the way, do check out the link: you’ll notice we’re going to continue to allow children to wear their kit on PE days for 2021-22 as a long-term trial – this decision is based on your feedback.)
Sports day events will take place during the themed week. Sadly, this year we’re limiting the spectators attending. To restrict the spread of the virus, your child will still take part in competitive events, but within bubbles, so distanced from other classes. We know for many of you this is a highlight of the Summer term. We’re sorry to disappoint, but we’re sure you’ll agree it’s better to take this cautious approach.
Over the last few months, all classes have been taking part in the Skipping into Summer project to develop and improve skipping skills. We’ll be having a celebration day at the end of the themed week for our children to share these skills.
This themed week is a good opportunity to continue to think about healthy, active ways to travel to school. We’ll be encouraging children to use a sustainable method of transport, maybe parking further away from school, scooting, biking or walking to school.
We’d love to hear about your child’s physical activity achievements outside of school so please ask your child to share these with us so we can celebrate their achievements and efforts. (In case you missed it, have you seen this amazing, active achievement from one of our Year 5 pupils?)
We always like to hear the children’s views about being healthy so this week’s homework is to complete the online annual health questionnaire.
Getting enough sleep helps us all to feel happy and healthy. Welcome to Sweet Dreams is an audio play which follows the interstellar adventures of Ivy and her toy rabbit, Bun Bun. Check out the podcasts for families and for children, too – they’re presented by ex-Blue Peter presenter, Zoe Salmon, who introduces leading sleep experts and guests all talking about how to get a great night’s sleep. There’s also an interactive game.
Finally, to support this learning at home, you might want to take a look at the following health resources…
- Change4life – for easy ways to eat well and move more
- Eat Well for Less – tips for healthy meals
- Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families, MindMate and Every Mind Matters – mental health support (including ideas for self-care)
- Healthy Sleep Tips for Children, The Sleep Council and Childline Tips for Better Sleep
We hope your child enjoys and achieves in our Being Healthy themed week.
Posted on 07 July 2021 by Mr Roundtree
At Moortown Primary, we’ve been working hard to juggle two key priorities this year:
- keep making sure we’re as Covid-secure as we possibly can be (despite the bubbles bursting recently, we’ve been successful at this compared to other Leeds schools)
- keep making sure we find ways to continually improve teaching and learning (that’s why we ask your views each year in our survey, with specific questions this year about homework, for example, and that’s why we’re making the change to teaching Latin as the statutory foreign language taught in our school)
Linked to the latter, we were keen to invite an advisor in to school recently (all done in a way which followed our risk assessment to make sure we were as Covid-secure as we could be). The advisor – an independent consultant and also a trained Ofsted inspector – carried out an evaluation of how we teach reading at Moortown Primary.
Here’s some of the feedback:
Pupils enjoy the library provision and love to get new books. They all expressed positive feelings about reading.
Pupils demonstrate a mature use of vocabulary as a result of intentional teaching. For example, a reception child was heard to accurately use the word ‘squabble’, whilst a child in year 3 used the word ‘euphoric’ and could justify its use.
Reading has a high priority in school. Leadership of reading is strong.
Class teachers play a key role in fostering a love of reading, they have been given support in how to be a reading role model.
Learning environments evidence a focus on reading and vocabulary development, including some subject specific technical language.
All lessons are characterised by positive relationships. Well established routines ensure strong learning behaviours and attitudes.
Posted on 05 July 2021 by Mrs Weekes
We’re looking forward to classes returning to school this week after periods of self-isolating at home.
Year 2 have returned today; Year 1, Year 3 and Year 5 return tomorrow; and Year 4 and Reception on Friday.
Thank you for all the positive messages about how well this brief but turbulent period was managed – we really appreciate your continued support. It was especially good to hear that live Zoom teaching went well.
After any period of time away from school, including holidays, it’s natural for some children to feel a little anxious about returning to school. As always, adults in school will be sensitive to this and offer as much support as we can – just like in the long lockdowns we’ve had. Teachers will be flexible in their teaching to allow time for emotional aspects of learning. The phased return of classes might help too.
We continue to follow all the aspects in our comprehensive risk assessment to do as much as we can to contain the virus.
This week’s message (Friday 02 July 2021)
Posted on 02 July 2021 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message begins with the Latin word for ‘hello’, because we’ve some news about a change to our curriculum next year…
From September, children in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) will learn Latin as the Foreign Language part of the National Curriculum. This might come as a bit of a surprise to some of you, with many wondering why switch to an ancient language. Here, we present three reasons, but there are plenty of others.
Learning some Latin will support learning other languages in the future. About 80% of words in Romance languages such as French, Spanish and Italian come from Latin. The Latin for ‘bread‘ is ‘panem‘. Learning this means your child should more easily recognise and remember the word for bread in French (pain), Spanish (pan) or Italian (pane).
Linked to this is what your child will learn when they move to secondary school. In Year 7, your child might learn French, or Spanish, or German… in most cases, there won’t be much choice, and different secondary schools offer different languages for Year 7 students. Latin provides a really useful basis to learn other languages. (And most secondary schools start from scratch anyway, so Latin will be a good grounding.)
A third reason is that learning some Latin will help to enhance your child’s understanding in English, too. About two thirds of English words are derived from Latin, so your child will be more confident when they come across a new word in English if they can recognise parts of it. Here’s an example. The Latin word for ‘father’ is ‘pater‘, which gives us lots of English words, such as paternal, patronise and patriarchy. ‘Mother’ is ‘mater‘ – what words derive from ‘mater‘?
We’ve spoken to a few parents about this already, and the reaction has been really positive. If you’d like to find out more, we’re hosting a live Zoom discussion next week: 6pm on Thursday 08 July (we’ve deliberately avoided Wednesday in anticipation of some important event that night – it’s coming home…!). If you’d like to attend, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally this week, a big thank you to all of you who completed this year’s annual survey. We’ll spend some time over the next few weeks looking at the results, and we’ll update you later in the year.
Quia nunc vale!