News

Latest news from around the school

Junior Leadership Team

Posted on 01 April 2021 by Mrs Weekes

Speeches have been made, votes have been cast and we now have a Junior Leadership Team. This team of children from Reception to Year 6 will replace the existing School Council. They have already had a quick meeting and made their first decision as a group; they have decided that we should lay turf in the new green space instead of sowing grass seed. They based their decision on the fact that turf is useable after a short space of time whereas sowing grass seed would mean a long wait for a useable space.

So, massive congratulations to our successful candidates:

Reception: Ralph & Aaniyah

Year 1: Sophie & Charlie

Year 2: Ryan & Talya

Year 3: Javier & Kian

Year 4: Isla & Olivia

Year 5: Billy & Christina

Year 6: Yusayrah & Will

Well done to everyone who had a go and made a speech; there were some very close results.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Did we trick you...?

Posted on 01 April 2021 by Mr Roundtree

In our weekly message earlier today, we announced the following sad news…

Farewell to Mrs Weekes

We’re very sad to announce that Mrs Weekes will be leaving us at the end of the school year. Mrs Clare April Weekes has been Head of School for some years now and has been a wonderful figurehead for our happy and healthy school. Whilst not suffering fools gladly, Mrs Weekes has earned a reputation as being a firm but fair school leader. Now, exhausted by Covid risk assessments, the day has come for Mrs Weekes to go on to pastures new.

Please be assured Mrs Weekes hasn’t any intention to leave us. Happy April Fools Day!

This week’s message (Thursday 01 April 2021)

Posted on 01 April 2021 by Mr Roundtree

We’ve made it through to the end of the Spring term! This week’s message is a day early because tomorrow’s the start of the Easter break. The first of today’s messages is a re-cap from Monday…

Testing positive…? (repeat from Monday)

As was the case at Christmas and in February, schools are being asked to support the government’s Test and Trace system.

If your child has been attending school this week, we need you to tell us if they get a positive Covid test result in the period Friday 02 April to Wednesday 07 April 2021. So you can give us all the information we need, please use this form or scan this QR code (hover over it with the camera on – a link should appear):

This means we’ll have the information to take the necessary actions, laid down by the Department for Education.

We’d prefer you to use the online form, but if the technology fails you, please contact school: moortownheadofschool@spherefederation.org

If your child receives a positive test result after Wednesday 07 April, you can tell us on the first day of the new term (Monday 19 April).

PCR vs LFD tests

It’s confusing, we know!

A PCR test (a polymerase chain reaction test) is one where the swap is sent off to a lab. An LFD test (lateral flow device test) is one that you can do at home.

Leeds Schools Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team have asked us to make sure you’re aware of the difference.

Apparently, some parents are taking pupils who have Covid symptoms to get a test and then having an LFD test and not a PCR test. Symptomatic people must have a PCR test – an LFD test is not sufficient.

Some test sites are open for different purposes at different times of the day, such as PCR testing in the morning and LFD test collection in the afternoon. It might be that parents aren’t aware of this and have arrived at the wrong time. Please be clear if you’re booking tests or arriving at a test centre that you need a symptomatic PCR test or if you’re collecting LFD tests. 

Pupil premium

Throughout the pandemic, Leeds has seen a rise in the number of children and young people who are entitled to a free school meal.

If a child is entitled to free school meals, schools get over £1,000 every year to support your child’s learning. This is true, even if your child is in Reception or Years 1 or 2 and so they get a free meal, and even if they choose to have a packed lunch.

Find out more about free school meals, and pupil premium to support your child’s learning.

Farewell to Mrs Weekes

We’re very sad to announce that Mrs Weekes will be leaving us at the end of the school year. Mrs Clare April Weekes has been Head of School for some years now and has been a wonderful figurehead for our happy and healthy school. Whilst not suffering fools gladly, Mrs Weekes has earned a reputation as being a firm but fair school leader. Now, exhausted by Covid risk assessments, the day has come for Mrs Weekes to go on to pastures new.

Have a happy and healthy Easter break – and be careful not to fall victim to any April Fools Day jokes…!

Please be clear on what lockdown restrictions are still in place

Posted on 30 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

We’re all working hard to keep our school as safe as we possibly can. Lockdown may be easing, but we have to be careful and sensible about what we do. Nobody wants to return to a full lockdown.

The following comes from the government’s email to schools…

From yesterday, the rules on social contact, business and activities, and travel are changing as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap.

Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the rule of 6) or 2 households are allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

Children are able to access any outdoor childcare and supervised activities. Parent and child groups, for the benefit of children aged under five years, can also take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under five years of age and group facilitators do not count towards the attendee limit). Parent and child groups must be organised by a business, a charitable organisation or a public body.

The ‘stay at home’ rule will end, but many restrictions remain in place. These include mixing with other households indoors. Remember that a support bubble should be one person living alone, and ideally local to you.

Please see the guidance on the COVID-19 response – Spring 2021 (Roadmap) for further information.

Changes are happening...

Posted on 30 March 2021 by Mrs Weekes

As we come to the end of term, just a quick update for you about all the plans for our school grounds.

Regarding the land at the back of school, the contract has been finalised and signed and the tarmac will be laid during the Easter holidays. We’ve also been successful in securing various grants from different companies including Warburtons, Linley and Simpson, and Tesco.

And regarding the front play area, the current School Council completed their final job – a very important one. They’ve decided on the new equipment that’s going to be installed. Hopefully, this work will take place in the Summer half-term holiday.

Exciting improvements for the summer term helping to keep our children happy and healthy!

Testing positive...?

Posted on 29 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

A couple of important messages…

If you’re taking a child for a Covid test, please don’t send any siblings to school.

In fact, if anyone in your household is going for a test, this will be because that person has symptoms. The rest of the household needs to be cautious. They might have caught Covid, but just not displaying symptoms – they could still infect others, so keep them at home.

And for the first few days of the holiday…

As was the case at Christmas and in February, schools are being asked to support the government’s Test and Trace system.

If your child has been attending school this week, we need you to tell us if they get a positive Covid test result in the period Friday 02 April to Wednesday 07 April 2021. So you can give us all the information we need, please use this form or scan this QR code (hover over it with the camera on – a link should appear):

This means we’ll have the information to take the necessary actions, laid down by the Department for Education.

We’d prefer you to use the online form, but if the technology fails you, please contact school:

If your child receives a positive test result after Wednesday 07 April, you can tell us on the first day of the new term (Monday 19 April).

Letter to children and young people from the Secretary of State for Education

Posted on 29 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

The Secretary of State for Education has written to children and young people to recognise the impact of the disruption they have faced over the past year and to thank them for their resilience – read the letter here.

This week’s message (Friday 26 March 2021)

Posted on 26 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

Let’s start the message with a few non-Covid things…

Thank you

We raised £139.98 for Comic Relief last Friday. Thanks to everyone for their contributions to our Red Nose Day.

Junior leaders

Rearranged from earlier in the term, next week, we have elections for our Junior Leadership Team (our new name for the School Council, to bring this group inline with the Senior Leadership Team in school). Democracy is a key feature of life in countries such as ours. We want to promote democracy as a way for people to have a say in what goes on. Our Junior Leadership Team is one of the ways that children are encouraged to take an active part in school life.

The election process allows children to develop an understanding of one of the British Valuesdemocracy, with two representatives from each class, chosen democratically by their peers.

Today’s whole school homework is all about the election and democracy, ready for the elections next Thursday.

We’d like to thank the current school councillors for all their contributions over the last year (remember you can stand again). Good luck to the children who choose to stand in the election.

Recruiting

Our school meals provider, Catering Leeds, are looking for staff to join their teams, working in schools within this area. They pay the Leeds Living Wage (a minimum of £9.30 per hour) and have available part-time roles which are term-time only. If you’re interested, visit jobs.leeds.gov.uk website and complete an application form.

And now, one (just one!) Covid-related thing…

Self-testing at home

Lots of families now have access to home self-testing kits – these are called lateral flow tests. These tests are useful because they help find asymptomatic cases of Covid 19. That means they can sometimes identify that someone has Covid-19, even if they don’t have symptoms.

The tests shouldn’t be used to confirm a positive or negative infection.

If your child has any Covid-19 symptoms, they should isolate at home. The rest of your household, including brothers and sisters, should also isolate. Don’t send any to school. Book a PCR (lab) test.

Negative results from a lateral flow test do not rule out Covid-19 infection. This is especially in the early stages of an infection when the viral load is lower.

Even with a negative result, if your child has symptoms, don’t send them (or siblings) to school.

Also, if doing a lateral flow test, do it carefully. The tests are good at identifying if someone has a high viral load of Covid-19. They never confirm that someone doesn’t have the virus.

And finally for this week…

Here’s the latest Families Leeds & West Yorkshire magazine…

Have a really good weekend, hopefully enjoying some sunshine along the way.

Yorkshire Dance virtual dance workshops

Posted on 26 March 2021 by Mrs Taylor

Yesterday, all classes took part in dance workshops, led by dance artist Ellen, as part of the Yorkshire Dance RE:FRESH dance festival.

From Reception to Year 6, all the children copied, explored and performed different dance moves in their workshops.

While we can’t have visitors in school at the moment, this was a great virtual project we could get involved with.

Here are some comments from the Year 1 children.

I loved it because of all the moves we did.

I loved it because I like all the animals.

I liked to see you smiling.

It was amazing and you were amazing, Ellen.

As part of RE:FRESH, there are performances being screened tonight and on Saturday, as well as workshops and a fun dance challenge. All of the details can be found here.
Yorkshire Dance also have classes, specifically for primary aged children, on Saturdays. Here are the details and booking for the summer term are now open.

This week's message (Friday 19 March 2021)

Posted on 19 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

This week, we’ve had to close Year 5,6 bubbles in two of the three Sphere schools. This is such a shame, but really does highlight that Covid-19 is still out there.

Testing for Covid-19 at home

In one of the situations, the bubble closing stemmed from a pupil who had tested positive at home with a home testing kit (a lateral flow device test, or LFD test). The family then went to get tested again, this time using the central test sites where the tests are processed in labs (a polymerase chain reaction test, or PCR test) and the test result was positive.

This shows the value of doing the home-testing. It helps spot cases when someone has Covid with no symptoms, but can still spread the virus. (These are called asymptomatic cases.)

If a pupil has symptoms of Covid they should get a PCR test. A home LFD test isn’t enough – a negative LFD test for a person with symptoms isn’t sufficient evidence that they are negative. If your child has symptoms of Covid, or just doesn’t seem right in any way, please don’t send them to school.

In the situation described above, we’re grateful to the family for spotting a positive case, keeping children away from school, and therefore helping to stop the spread of Covid.

And a couple of non-Covid news items…

Does your child use Omegle?

You may have read some worrying reports recently about a chatroom website called Omegle. The website has as its tag line ‘Talk to Strangers’ – as you can imagine it’s for 18s and over.

We’ve had some worrying reports that younger children have been accessing this website and may have seen some inappropriate things.

Please check your child’s device regularly.

We’re a happy and healthy place to work!

Moortown Primary is a happy and healthy place to learn, but we’re proud to be a happy and healthy place to work, too.

Every year in the Summer Term, we ask you to complete an annual survey – it’s always good to hear your views. Every two years, we also ask staff to complete a survey – the most recent was in February.

We’re delighted that across all three schools in Sphere Federation, 100% of staff agreed that pupils’ behaviour is good and that pupils are safe. You might think staff would say this, but the survey is an opportunity to ‘tell it how it is’ in an anonymous way, so these outcomes are great.

Other questions related to staff wellbeing and workload; leadership; the curriculum; and assessments. The outcomes in these areas were also really high – typically over 95%.

Typical comments from staff at Moortown Primary are:

  • ‘All staff are vigilant and confident in safeguarding procedures – if they’re not then they ask. The curriculum empowers children to know how to be safe in many different areas.’
  • ‘The Head of School and Head of Federation work very well as a team and are supported well by leaders across the federation.’
  • ‘Over the years, the school has effectively adapted to challenges, especially during the current pandemic, ensuring staff and student’s safety and wellbeing.’
  • ‘Leaders have been really understanding and supportive when I have faced challenging times.’
  • ‘Workload is considered whenever new initiatives or procedures are introduced. Views are sought by teachers before, during and after implementation.’
  • ‘Leaders listen to everyone and if there’s a problem, it will be addressed if at all possible, or there will be a clear explanation if this isn’t possible.’

 

Finally today, I found out that one of the fans of our daily / weekly messages is Mrs Weekes’s mum, so I’d like to say a big hello to her, and a happy Mothers Day to her, and of course to all mums!