News

Latest news from around the school

PTA Big Summer Raffle

Posted on 01 July 2021 by Mrs Weekes

It’s been a disruptive 18 months for us all – including raising money for the PTA! So, there’s no summer fair this year but don’t despair, you can still spend some money and buy tickets for the Big Summer Raffle! All you have to do is:

  • click on this link: bigptaraffle.co.uk
  • buy tickets (as many as you like!)
  • enter the school name

 

You could win lots of amazing prizes – go on, have a go! It would be a great way to end the year – you might just win!

This week’s message (Friday 25 June 2021)

Posted on 25 June 2021 by Mr Roundtree

This week’s message has three new messages and a reminder…

Holidays

The 2021-22 school year has been officially shortened by one day to take into account the extra bank holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The 2021-22 school year is 194 days. Leeds has decided that schools will break up for summer on Tuesday 26 July 2022 instead of Wednesday 27 July. This ensures that pupils and staff all benefit from the extra public holiday, even though it falls during the May half term break.

We had a training day booked on this day that we’ve moved. The holidays and training days for next year are all in our school calendar.

Please remember…

…to spend just a few minutes completing this year’s annual survey. The survey’s open until Wednesday 30 June so you’ve still got a few days. Thank you to all the parents / carers who have responded so far.

Staying safe online: FIFA 21

The European Football Championships are well underway. Your child might be reaching for the online game FIFA 21 to virtually recreate the sort of shots, passes and saves they’ve watched their real-life heroes pull off on TV. In the popularity league table, FIFA is the Real Madrid of football games – some seasons are better than others, but it’s never away from the summit for long.

FIFA doesn’t include inappropriate content or violence (apart from the odd reckless sliding tackle!). However, do be aware of risks such as in-game purchases, over-competitiveness and the possibility of becoming addicted. Read more about FIFA 21.

Finally, a short message that we emailed earlier in the week…

Stay safe

The number of pupils absent because of a potential contact with Covid-19 in school has quadrupled in just one week. In our own schools, and in lots of schools around us, there’s been a notable rise in Covid cases – more now than ever before.

Please keep your child at home if:

  • they’ve any of the recognised Covid symptoms
  • they just don’t feel quite right (a headache, feeling sick, particularly tired…)

And an update to this, following an email to schools from Leeds City Council…

As you are no doubt aware, the Delta variant of Covid-19 is now the most prevalent form of the virus in Leeds. The Zoe Covid Symptom Study, the largest ongoing global study of Covid-19, has highlighted that a headache, sore throat and runny nose are now the most common symptoms of the Delta variant, instead of a cough and loss of smell, although fever is still common.

Enjoy your weekend, whatever you and those around you get up to.

Super skills and stamina - you must check this out...

Posted on 24 June 2021 by Mr Roundtree

We know our children are talented in school – amazing artists, marvellous mathematicians, superb scientists. We like to hear about the talents and triumphs out of school, too.

Edris in Year 5 has stunned staff today with her climbing skills. This short clip is so impressive in terms of grip and determination. Check out how high she climbs in this clip – you might get dizzy, it’s so high!

For the past 18 months, Edris has been training four hours each week as part of the Leeds Climbing Academy, a selective squad funded by Sport England to develop UK competitive climbers at grass roots.

Well done, Edris!

It's all change

Posted on 21 June 2021 by Mrs Weekes

A few weeks ago, we shared the news that Mr Owen was moving on to a senior leadership position in a school in Manchester. Following a rigorous recruitment, Miss Needham (currently working in Year 2) has been offered a teaching position.

Since then, we’ve found out that there are going to be a few more changes in September…

Mr Parker has got a new job. As a new father, he has recently moved, and is currently travelling quite a long way each day. He’s now going to be working much nearer to home.  He will be missed for many different reasons including leading the school football team and leading other members of staff in great phonics practice.   That strong accent (you know what I mean) might mean that our phonics pronunciation changes totally!

Miss Rushbrooke is also starting a new job, again much closer to where she lives. She came to us very early in her career and has done a fabulous job teaching in Year 2, Year 6 and recently Year 4.  She is a wonderful and caring teacher and has done a grand job transforming our library into an engaging space that children want to be in.

Finally, Mrs Freeman, who’s been a member of staff at Moortown for many years, is going to go and work in another school within Sphere Federation. Mrs Freeman is excited by a new challenge in a new school, and we’re delighted to still work alongside her in many ways.

Changes like this can be unsettling but at Moortown Primary, we’ve a history of successful recruitment that helps to keep our school a vibrant and forward-looking place to learn. (Indeed, when Mr Owen joined, it was alongside three other new recruits. When Miss Rushbrooke joined us, so too did two others.)

As well as Miss Needham starting as a newly qualified teacher in September, we also welcome two more new teachers:

  • Mr McGriffiths, an experienced teacher currently based in London but returning to Leeds
  • Miss Birch, currently working in a nearby school.

Some of you may also remember Mrs Lake, who worked here a few years ago. Mrs Lake is teaching in Year 1 at Scholes (Elmet) Primary at the moment – we’re delighted that she’ll be returning to share a class with Mrs Taylor next year.

We’re sure that you will join us in congratulating those who have new jobs and wishing them all the best for the future, and in welcoming the new members of our happy and healthy teaching team.

This week’s message (Friday 18 June 2021)

Posted on 18 June 2021 by Mr Roundtree

So, unsurprisingly, lockdown restrictions won’t be lifted on 21 June. This week’s message is mainly about the current topic learning in Years 1 to 6 – Design and Technology is the main driver. We start with a Covid-related point and end with a quick reminder about something else!

Monday’s announcement from the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that current restrictions remain in place. Schools have been advised by the Department for Education to keep current protective measures in place until there is a further announcement on Step 4 of the roadmap. These measures in education settings will remain in place to help reduce transmission of the virus. Subsequent guidance does allow a little bit of flexibility. We’re waiting for more guidance from Leeds Health and Safety advisors to see if any end-of-year events such as Sports Day can happen in some way, although in their typical form that won’t happen.

The rest of this message comes from Mr Wilks, who works at Moortown Primary but is our curriculum leader across all three Sphere Federation schools for Science and Foundation subjects…

Our current topic is all about Design and Technology

Design and Technology is the driving subject for this half-term and it’s a great topic to finish the year! The focus for all classes this year is construction (next year, it’s textiles) so children will be busy designing and making structures, prototypes and products.

A key aspect of the Design and Technology curriculum is the understanding that products don’t just get made. Instead, they go through a design process that includes three key elements: evaluate, design and make. Think of this process as a cycle. For example, Sphere Motors want to create a new family car. Before the car is made, they need to evaluate existing products and talk to customers so that they’re clear about what the new car needs to have. They will then design the car and evaluate those designs. They may make a prototype of the car to help them evaluate the designs. Next, they’ll decide on a final design that will go into production and get made. This finished product will be evaluated and the whole process starts again.

Years 1 and 2 children will be designing, making and evaluating different structures and in doing so, learning about how structures can be strengthened and made more stable. They’ll evaluate real life structures like bridges and towers which will inform their designs.

Years 3,4 children will be creating a prototype of a go-kart using a construction system called TechCard. They’ll evaluate existing products before designing, building, testing and evaluating their own. We will even try to incorporate electric circuits into our designs to power the go-karts.

Years 5,6 children have been set a tricky task of creating a vehicle that can transport an egg (specific tests will be determined by the children) without it breaking. They’ll be using a range of tools (including saws, hammers, drills) to make their product.

In addition to this, children will learn a little about key inventions and designers through history.

Read our Curriculum Statement. On page 17, you’ll find the age-related expectations for the topic. The vocabulary that your child will learn is here:

Years 1 and 2

  • design: a plan or drawing showing what something will look like before it is made
  • design criteria: the things a product must have to be successful
  • design brief: a description of what a new product should do
  • base: the bottom part of an object; the part on which something rests
  • to evaluate: to decide, after careful consideration, how good or bad something is
  • structure: a combination of materials and/or parts to create a 3d shape
  • stable: something that is unlikely to fall down or collapse
  • freestanding: something that stands up by itself
  • to plan: to think about and decide how you’re going to do something

Years 3 and 4

  • product: something that is designed and made to be sold
  • function: the purpose of something
  • design process: the series of steps that need to happen for a product to go from an idea to a finished product
  • design criteria: the precise features a product must have in order to be successful
  • prototype: an early sample or model of a product used to evaluate a design
  • component: a part that combines with other parts to make something eg a machine or a piece of equipment
  • annotated sketch: a detailed sketch labelled with notes (eg dimensions, materials)
  • exploded diagram: a drawing that shows the individual components or parts of a product and how they fit together
  • mechanism: a number of parts or components working together, usually as part of a machine

Years 5 and 6

  • design process: the series of steps that need to happen for a product to go from an idea to a finished product
  • design criteria: the precise features a product must have in order to be successful
  • cross-sectional diagram: a drawing which ‘slices through’ an object to see some of the features inside
  • computer-aided design (CAD): a way of drawing on a computer to visualise designs and simulating them to see how they work
  • innovative: an adjective to describe a new or original idea about how something can be done
  • sustainable material: obtained from renewable sources and do not damage the environment when produced
  • dimensions: measurement of something in a particular direction, eg height, length, width
  • aesthetic: something about the appearance
  • to reinforce: to strengthen or support

Survey

Don’t forget to spend just a few minutes completing this year’s annual survey. We’re always keen to hear your views. Although we can’t guarantee that we can act on every point raised, we do closely consider all the survey results.

The survey’s open until Wednesday 30 June.

 

Last week’s message ended with talk of ice-cream and sunny weather over the weekend. This weekend looks like being a bit different to that – have a good one, all the same.

This week’s message (Friday 11 June 2021)

Posted on 11 June 2021 by Mr Roundtree

What a difference the sunshine makes! It was such a pleasure to enjoy a happy and healthy half-term break with the end to what started to seem like interminable rain.

Surveys

Every year, we invite you to let us know how we’re doing via the annual survey of parents /carers. This year’s survey is now open.

The first part of the survey is about some of the changes we’ve made due to Covid – we’re especially interested to hear your views about homework. The second part is more general and includes statements which you might be familiar with from previous surveys.

It should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete. Lots of the questions need only a tick answer. Most responses are optional so you can miss out a question if you’ve no particular opinions. There are only a few (marked with a red asterisk*) where a response is needed.

We’re always keen to hear your views. We do closely consider all the survey results, although we can’t guarantee that we can act on every point raised (this year, because of Covid, that’s been especially difficult).

The survey helps us to gain a broad overview of how we’re doing. For more specific questions, comments and concerns, it’s always best to speak with your child’s class teacher or Mrs Weekes. The survey isn’t the right forum to raise a very specific point.

The survey’s open until Wednesday 30 June, so you’ve plenty of time to leave your views.

Amazing attendance

For the first five half-terms, our overall attendance figure is 97.6% – that’s a fantastic figure. Thank you for helping your child to attend school as much as they can.

With attendance over 98%, well done especially to Reception, Year 1 and Year 2!

Our new parent governor

In case you missed our earlier message, our new parent governor is Mr Andy Sammons (Candidate 2), whose child attends Scholes (Elmet) Primary.
The election closed on Friday just before the half-term holiday with 89 votes cast overall.

Thank you to both candidates for standing in the parent governor elections.

End of year events

There’s a lot of uncertainty about 21 June – the final date in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. This makes it hard to plan for events and activities such as Sports Day, Y5,6 productions and Leavers’ Assembly. These are all still pencilled in, but we’ll have to wait and see whether they can go ahead as normal or whether they need to be adapted (like having a Sports Day but without spectators) or even cancelled.

Enjoy the weekend. Mrs Weekes and I might both indulge in an ice-cream… one of us rates strawberry as a top choice; the other one always opts for the most unusual flavour on a menu (basil being a recent taste triumph). Can you work out who’s more traditional and who’s more adventurous (at least in terms of ice-cream)?!

More exciting developments

Posted on 09 June 2021 by Mrs Weekes

The school grounds have been a hive of activity during half term (massive thanks to Mrs O’Malley who was on hand to make sure all the work could take place). I’m sure you’ve noticed the amazing new playground equipment at the front of school – some parents were tempted to have a go themselves! It’s great
 to see the ideas of the Junior Leadership Team come to life.
I really like it – the monkey bars are hard but I like a challenge. (Y3 pupil)
It’s amazing; I like the wobbly plank. (Y2 pupil)
It’s superb! (Y5 pupil)
I don’t like it; I love it. I can hide in the tunnel. (Y4 pupil)
 
Before half term, we met with some contractors about the green space at the back of school which is the next phase of development. They’re creating a design to show what it could look like so that we can then decide exactly how it is going to evolve.
 
Finally, the Junior Leadership Team met before half term and came up with a wishlist for new playground markings and they also created a shortlist of names for the new green area – we’ll let you know when that has been decided.
 
Exciting times and more changes definitely on the way!

Our new parent governor is...

Posted on 31 May 2021 by Mr Roundtree

…Mr Andy Sammons (Candidate 2), whose child attends Scholes (Elmet) Primary.

The election closed on Friday and 89 votes were cast overall.

Thank you to both candidates for standing in the parent governor elections.

Mr Sammons’ election note is below:

Fundamentally, the reason why I would dearly love to undertake this role is that I believe in the potential for education to change lives. For me, it is the thing that makes humans unique, and the thing that we must never lose sight of in terms of its ability to give everyone – especially young people – a chance to make the very best of their lives.

As a teacher myself (I am Director of English), I see this every day; as a result, I am ideally placed to understand key educational issues. I feel as though I would have a great deal to offer, as I have played a key role in building an engaging, enriching and ambitious curriculum for my own pupils.

I have one child at a federation primary school, and I hope that my younger child will be given a place too; as parents, we’ve been thrilled with the way that our little boy has settled in and has really started to thrive in terms of his academic progress, but also his social and emotional learning too. To be given the chance to shape and support the school in continuing to grow would mean a great deal to me.

This week’s message (Friday 28 May 2021)

Posted on 28 May 2021 by Mr Roundtree

And we’ve made it to the end of another week! Each Friday, Mrs Weekes and I sigh with relief because we’ve had no bubbles bursting…

…Thank you for helping us by respecting the national restrictions that have been in place, and the changes we’ve made in school. Since the start of the year, we’ve managed over 30 emails from Leeds Health and Safety team, each one typically involving about ten or so changes to our risk assessments. I’m grateful to Mrs Weekes for managing these updates each week.

Staying with the Covid theme for a moment…

Testing positive…?

We’ve been asked once again 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 Saturday 29 May to Thursday 03 June 2021. We need you to do this because your child may have been infectious whilst in school.

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 Thursday 03 June, you can tell us on the first day of the new term (Monday 07 June).

CyberSprinters

CyberSprinters is a free interactive game developed by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – aimed at 7 to 11-year-olds. It’s designed to make learning about cyber security fun and interactive at a time when children might begin to seek more independence online.

The online game sees players become a ‘CyberSprinter’ who’s racing against its own depleting battery power. Users can win battery power by correctly answering questions about cyber security but face losing it if they bump into ‘cybervillains’.

Year 6 residential

We were so happy to be one of the first schools to have arranged one of the first residential trips for over a year! Last week, some of our Year 6 pupils enjoyed a week away, taking part in outdoor and adventurous activities and developing independence and team-work skills. Those who went, a mix of children from Scholes and Moortown, had a great time. Very many thanks to all the adults who went along to support, and to Mrs Weekes (Moortown Head of School) and Miss Hague (Scholes Head of School) for organising this valuable, worthwhile trip away.

Uniform

It’s been easy to let some routines and expectations become a bit slack in the last year. Now that lockdown’s easing, we want to tighten up on a few things related to uniform:

  • long hair should be tied back – it really does affect learning (for example, when children have to keep moving hair away from their face as they lean forwards to write)
  • earrings should be small, plain studs
  • PE kit, worn on PE days, should be white t-shirt, black shorts / tracksuit bottoms and plain trainers

At Moortown Primary School, we’re proud to be members of our school community and we want all our children to feel part of our community and to represent our school. Wearing the school uniform helps us to do this. Read our full policy. 

Have a happy and healthy half-term holiday… Let’s hope the sun shines a bit more than in recent weeks.

Roundhay Adder

Posted on 26 May 2021 by Mrs Weekes

During lockdown, one of our Y6 pupils (and his mum) decided to start making a rock snake outside their house; the idea grew and grew and they received 500 beautiful additions. It became know as the ‘Roundhay Adder’ and it now has taken pride of place in the children’s sensory garden next to Tropical World.
This was started as a way to encourage children to be creative and artistic whilst having to stay at home; it now has a permanent home and is a wonderful reminder that there have been lots of ‘positives’ to come out of the whole Covid situation.
Well done – a fantastic idea and a brilliant end result.