Latest news from around the school

Momo is a hoax

Posted on 04 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

As you may be aware by now, the concerns around Momo are unfounded: Momo is a hoax. There is no evidence to say that any of the claims are true. Taken from Saturday’s Guardian:

A private company that provides schools with internet safety material has insisted it behaved responsibility by issuing factsheets on the Momo challenge hoax, despite concerns it may have exacerbated the panic surrounding the issue.

National Online Safety produced a factsheet entitled “What parents need to know about Momo”, which many UK schools sent home with children.

The guidance offered straightforward advice on internet safety but also quoted media reports about the Momo challenge in which a “scary doll-like figure reportedly sends graphic violent images, and asks users to partake in dangerous challenges like waking up at random hours and has even been associated with self-harm”.

Children’s charities have said well-intentioned warnings from schools about a seemingly non-existent threat may have inadvertently caused young people to be genuinely scared by what was previously a hoax.

We’re sorry for our part in this. We alerted you last week to the Momo challenge, and we also sent out the factsheet.

Alongside this, however, we did provide some advice that remains really important:

  • Ensure you know what your child can access online
  • Ensure your child understands the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know
  • Tell your children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do
  • Use parental controls to keep your child safe

Who's talking to your child online?

Posted on 26 February 2019 by Mr Roundtree

If you were to glance outside your home and saw your child talking with someone, you’d want to know who. What about who they’re talking to online (even if they’re gaming).

West Yorkshire Police has teamed up with the NSPCC, Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in West Yorkshire to encourage parents and carers to have a five minute chat with children to keep them safe online. The following comes from their website:

A quick discussion with young people about the sites and apps they are using and the people they are talking to online, could help protect them from any potential cyber criminals.

The internet can be an amazing place for children, so they shouldn’t be discouraged from using it, but parents should remind them that people may not always be who they say they are, and they should talk to their parents about what they are doing online.

It can seem daunting for some parents, trying to keep up with the latest technology that their children are using, so the following websites and helplines can offer simple, practical advice on how to keep everyone safe online:

  • NSPCC and O2 helpline – If you have a question about parental controls or concern about a social network that your child uses, expert advisors are available on the free helpline – 0808 8005002

  • Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership

  • CEOP

Please be aware...

Posted on 26 February 2019 by Mr Roundtree

…of a current craze that seems to be spreading online. Read the full BBC news story here.

Momo is a doll figure with bulging eyes and a creepy grin who targets young children on social media.

The doll encourages them to add a contact on messaging service WhatsApp, then hounds them with violent images and dares. It encourages them to self-harm and the ultimate post tells them to take their own lives.

Police say they’re concerned that Momo may be run by hackers who are looking for information.

Their advice to parents/carers matches ours:

  • Ensure you know what your child can access online
  • Ensure your child understands the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know
  • Tell your children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do
  • Use parental controls to keep your child safe

Active travel update

Posted on 25 February 2019 by Mrs Taylor

Here’s an update on our latest active travel initiatives for this half term.

Living Streets WOW Travel Tracker

Meltem from Living Streets visited school for an assembly today to launch a new challenge for our WOW active travel tracker.

Currently, children record how they get to school on the WOW daily online travel tracker and those who complete at least one active journey per week to school (bike, scoot, walk or park and stride) are rewarded with a themed monthly badge.

As this has been a big success, with increased active journeys and less journeys by car, from March, we will be challenging children to make at least three active journeys per week to earn their monthly badge.

There were some queries that were raised at the assembly.

Can your three active journeys be different?

Yes – active journeys include walking, biking, scooting and park and stride so as long as your journeys are any of these three in a week you would qualify for a badge.

What can be included as park and stride?

Ideally park and stride is where you park away from school and walk the final 5-10 minutes to school.  This ensures that areas close to school are free from traffic.  Marks and Spencer has many spaces available for families to park and walk the final part of the journey to school.

Sustrans Big Pedal 2019

Get set… the Big Pedal is back! We’re taking part in Sustrans Big Pedal 2019, the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scooting challenge, that inspires pupils, staff and parents to choose two (or three) wheels for their journey to school.  We would love everyone to be involved.  For the first time, walking (and park and stride) will be counted alongside cycling and scooting.  

This year’s Big Pedal will run for five days, from 25th March to 29th March.

On each day, schools compete to see who can get as many of their pupils, staff and parents cycling or scooting to school then our results will determine our final position in the national league table.

If you need the car to bring your child to school, perhaps you could park and stride the last part (our suggested park and stride site is Marks and Spencer car park).

The Big Pedal will run alongside our year round Living Streets WOW sustainable travel initiative where the children record how they travel to school on our daily travel tracker.

Why we’re taking part

It’s a great way to get more of our pupils travelling to school in an active way.  Also, schools will be entered into a daily prize draw for rewards including equipment and accessories if over 15% of our school community cycle, walk or scoot on that day of the challenge.

What do you need to do?

All you need to do is encourage your child(ren) to cycle, scoot, walk or park and stride to school every day during the event, and join them on their way.


Safe searching?

Posted on 25 February 2019 by Mr Roundtree

Are you confident that your child searches the internet in a safe way? You might have filters set on your internet, and you might have a rule where your child is only inline in the same room as you.

If your child has their own laptop or tablet, you might also want to consider changing the default search engine to

Kiddle is powered by Google and is described by them as a ‘Safe visual search engine for kids’.

Living and Learning: Being me

Posted on 23 February 2019 by Mrs Taylor

Living and Learning sessions are held weekly in class to promote social and emotional aspects of learning and other areas of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). This half term our main theme, from our long-term plan, is Being me and is all around building self-image and self-esteem  
We begin the half term with a focus on manners and in particular covering our mouth when we cough, sneeze or yawn. To promote good hygiene we refer to the vampire technique. By coughing or sneezing into our elbow, germs are not spread into the air or on our hands which may contaminate other things. Don’t forget to ‘use your sleeve to cough and sneeze’.
Here are the weekly Living and Learning statements, to support this learning.
  • I cover my mouth (when I yawn, cough, sneeze).  Get your child to demonstrate the ‘vampire’ method to family members at home.
  • I can say something good about myself.  It’s important that your child can confidently talk about themselves in a positive way.
  • I pay and receive compliments in a sensible way.  Try paying compliments each day to each other! Some children struggle to hear positive words about themselves, but this is important for self-esteem. Try paying (and listening) to praise and compliments.
  • I recognise my talents.  Talk to your child about talents, whether academic, physical, social or emotional. Some of us may have a natural talent, but most have talents that derive from lots of practice.
  • I know the difference between being proud and showing off.  We encourage compliments to be paid – but encourage your children to know the balance between being having self-esteem and showing off.

Living Streets (Moortown group) update

Posted on 23 February 2019 by Mrs Taylor

An update and a call for support (by Friday 15 March) from our local Living Streets group.

Back in autumn we submitted a response to the ‘Connecting Leeds’ consultation for improvements in Moortown. The feedback you provided in our survey helped us to share a number of ideas with Leeds City Council to help make the routes to school safer and more pleasant for all members of the community.
It’s very pleasing to see that a number of suggested improvements have been incorporated into the revised proposals, including:

• Priority for pedestrians at both the entrance and exit of the parade car parks (kerbs to run through with visual priority for people on foot so drivers know to give way).

• Replacing the badly positioned concrete bollards on the northern parade with a continuous low-level fence (to match the south parade) to prevent vehicles blocking the footpath.

• Low-level fencing at Manning Stainton to allow access only via the official dropped kerb and not across the full length of the footway.

• Planters adjacent to the road outside Manning Stainton to enhance the area and prevent HGVs and other vehicles driving and parking on the footway.

• Improved crossing times for pedestrians at the main M&S lights.

• A widening of the public footpath/reduction in road space adjacent to the south parade to allow for the future introduction of a pavement at the shops (not in the scope of this project).

Existing proposed designs for this future work can be found in Moortown Community Group’s Neighbourhood Design Statement (available at


Although the public consultation for Moortown is now complete, there will still be some local targeted consultation with residents and business owners directly affected by the proposals. They will hopefully support the revised proposals too, but there’s also a chance some won’t, particularly if it affects current parking arrangements.
We want to ensure that the improvements for pedestrians many of us have been campaigning for are delivered and a great way to demonstrate your support is to post a comment about the revised plans on Twitter, tagging both Connecting Leeds and Moortown Living Streets Group, or email Connecting Leeds directly if you don’t use Twitter:
Twitter: @ConnectingLeeds + @MoortownLSG
Email: [email protected]
Follow this link to see the updated Moortown plans as well as a number of other local schemes which are now open for public comment (including Alwoodley, Scott Hall Road and Chapel Allerton).

Many thanks once again for your continued support!
Dom Jacques
E: [email protected] T: @moortownlsg

A happy and healthy - and safe - place to learn

Posted on 20 February 2019 by Mr Roundtree

We hear so many scare stories and myths about health and safety that it’s easy to pour scorn on anything remotely related to the topic. However, as a school, we need to know that our buildings and our practices are safe and secure for your child and his/her teachers.

Just like we’re happy to invite a fresh pair of eyes into school to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning, we do the same – invite an expert from Leeds City Council – to check on health and safety aspects of our school.

We’re delighted that our school was judged to be outstanding in terms of health and safety, following a recent inspection (o4 February 2019).

The inspection was really thorough, covering 166 checks and giving ratings of high, medium; low/no priority. The school was rated 99% (a rating of over 90% ranks as ‘outstanding’.)

Moortown Primary is a happy, healthy and safe place to learn!

Moortown Park - volunteers for litter picking

Posted on 13 February 2019 by Mr Roundtree

On Saturday 09 March at 10:00am, a litter-picking session at Moortown Park will take place, organised by the Friends of Moortown Park Committee.

The Chair, Pat Ingle, writes:

Your help is needed please. We are running a Litter Picking event on Moortown Park starting 10.00am on Saturday 9th March and it would be great to see a small army of helpers to make light work of it. Volunteers should please meet at the entrance to the Park from the Parklands Estate (end of Lime Tree Avenue), at the opposite end of the main path from the Shadwell Lane entrance.  Children accompanied by parents will be a welcome addition to the team on the day. We will be joined by our Ward Councillors.

Please wear footwear, gloves and clothing suitable to the conditions, bearing in mind that quite a bit of rubbish is caught in undergrowth. I have some rubbish bags and we will be arranging with the Council for the collected rubbish to be removed promptly the next week. I have just a few pairs of gardening gloves for those without, as well as a small number of litter picker arms.

Please note there are no refreshment or toilet facilities onsite.

Moortown Park has now been open for approaching 2 months and I think we can all agree on how wonderful this new green space is for the community, clearly evidenced by the substantial number of people using the park. I would like to thank the Council and some wonderful individual litter pickers who have already done some of the cleaning up of past rubbish from before and during the development of the park, but it would be fantastic to see the initial clean up completed and the park looking ready apart from the final seeding in the Spring.

I look forward to seeing you at this first community event.

Screen time - an update

Posted on 12 February 2019 by Mr Roundtree

On 04 January, we published a news article called Screen time – to limit or not to limit? which in itself stemmed from a news article Worry less about children’s screen use, parents told.

During the week, the Chief Medical Officer for the UK, published guidance on screen-based activities. The media was full of headlines about screen bans. This wasn’t quite accurate.

The guidance itself had an infographic which helps you think about the challenges of managing their children’s screen use. Amongst other things, it includes advice on sleep, meal times and using features on a phone to restrict time spent on it. It’s also prompts you to consider things you might otherwise overlook – walking and using a phone at the same time, for example.

It’s a short, easy, sensible read – it might even be useful to help you work with your child to set ground rules as to how much time they’re online.