Latest news from around the school

Anti-bullying week - odd socks day

Posted on 07 November 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Next week is Anti-bullying Week. This year’s theme is ‘Choose Respect’ and we will be joining in with Odd Socks Day on Monday 12 November.

This day is to raise awareness of our differences, individuality and personal choice. There is no need for any payment – your child should simply wear odd socks and join in the fun!

Thank you for your support.

Congratulations from the DfE

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Mr Roundtree

We’re delighted to have received another letter from the Department for Education to congratulate us on our success in the Year 1 phonics screening check.

This letter refers to the 2017-18 class (the current Year 2 children) – well done to staff, pupils and parents / carers!

Living and learning - Identity

Posted on 04 November 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Our Living and Learning theme this half-term is Identity. Pupils will learn about what makes themselves and others special, valuing the similarities and differences between themselves and others and what is meant by community. This will be taught through our Living and Learning sessions and also a focused week – Anti-bullying week (12 November).

Also this half term, our new school charity will be chosen.  Every year, we nominate a new charity to support. This year, we have been supporting MakeAWish. We decide this on the basis of a Talk Time homework, and then school councillors make the final decision.

Our Living and Learning long term plan details the learning for each year group across the year and you can keep up to date with our weekly Living and Learning statements on the parent noticeboard in the playground and also on the school calendar.  We will begin and end this half term with a focus on manners.

I apologise when I need to.

I say please and thank you.

Staying safe with fireworks

Posted on 29 October 2018 by Mr Roundtree

With the darker nights come a number of events involving fireworks and bonfires, starting with Bonfire night – that’s next Monday, but many people will celebrate over the coming weekend.

Spend some time with your child talking about ways to stay safe. Here’s a list of sites to help inform young people and minimise the risks of harm:

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger

Posted on 29 October 2018 by Mr Roundtree

YoungMinds is a charity set up to make sure children and young people get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.

The YoungMinds crisis messenger service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. Young people experiencing a mental health crisis and need support can text YM to 85258.

They also offer support for parents / carers, too.

Election ready

Posted on 24 October 2018 by Mrs Taylor

The polling station is all set up and ready for the annual School Council elections tomorrow.

Good luck to all candidates.

Raising the bar with the eight Rs

Posted on 24 October 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Ok – so ‘Raising the bar with the eight Rs’ is a poor attempt at some rhyme. Here’s a much better attempt by a Y4 pupil – it’s brilliant! Well done, Daisy!

Learning things is really fun, but sometimes I get stuck,
Thinking about the 8 Rs can really change my luck!

At school when I’m doing a tricky sum, I sometimes feel like crying,
But then I remember to be resilient and it helps me keep on trying.

Taking responsibility for myself is something I must do,
If I don’t do the jobs that are meant for me, I can’t blame you!

If my Mummy asks me to tidy my room, I must not be grumpy or rude,
I must be responsive and do as I am asked with a positive attitude.

In the morning when I come to school, it’s important to have what I need,
I must be prepared and organized so I will be ready indeed!

When Mr Owen asks a question in class and I’m scared to give it a try,
I decide if it’s a safe risk to take, and it is, so I put my hand up high.

Sometimes I can be forgetful and I forget what I’ve been taught,
But if I try and put my mind to it, I can remember much more than I thought!

I love to make art out of unwanted things but I can’t always find the right bit,
But being resourceful and finding a way round I can always find something to fit.

Reflecting is very important as it helps me to think and look back,
I can reflect on what I have done in the past and that keeps me on the right track.

The 8 Rs can be useful for learning and they help me get through my day,
They guide me and lead me and remind me to think, and they always show me the way!

Active travel in October - week three winner

Posted on 24 October 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Well done to our week three winner who made active journeys to school every day last week.

Our active travel section on the website has recently been updated.  Have a look at some of the initiatives we take part in to encourage a happy and healthy start to the school day.

Living and Learning: Confident Me self-esteem and body confidence workshop

Posted on 23 October 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Recently, Year 5 and 6 took part in a Confident Me self-esteem and body confidence workshop led by representatives from Dove and Unilever.

Body image forms part of our Living and Learning later in the year and as children comment they enjoy visitors delivering Living and Learning, we were keen to run this workshop once again.

The Confident Me Workshop is one of the Dove Self-Esteem Project’s programmes.  It addresses issues of body confidence and low self-esteem. The workshop covers topics such as: appearance, beauty and body image and examines how images of models, actors and celebrities are fabricated or manipulated to portray a ‘perfection’ against which our kids often measure themselves.  Most of all, the workshops help young people develop the skills and behaviours that lead to positive self-esteem and body confidence.

Resources are available to parents to support and follow up this learning at home.

Homework matters

Posted on 21 October 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Some of you might have spotted an article in the Sunday Times today about a group of parents who have concerns about homework. As part of the article, the newspaper has carried out research on a sample of 80 schools and their homework policies, including that of Scholes (Elmet) Primary., one of our federation schools, whose policy is almost the same as our own.

Articles like this are not especially helpful, especially when they take only a very short extract from our policy: ‘At Scholes (Elmet) Primary School in Leeds parents are contacted “if homework is of a regular poor standard, or . . . regularly not handed in”, according to the website.’

First, it’s not quite accurate. Our policy says: ‘We will communicate to parents/carers if homework is of a regular poor standard, or which is regularly not handed in.’ It would be extremely rare for us to contact parents/carers specifically about homework. Typically, we would wait until parent-teacher consultations or the annual report and make a comment at that point.

Second, the article doesn’t really present the big picture. Our Homework Policy presents a clear rationale for homework, backed up by research evidence. A review of the research around homework indicates that ‘Effective homework is associated with greater parental involvement and support…The broader evidence base suggests that short focused tasks or activities which relate directly to what is being taught, and which are built upon in school.’ We believe our homework tasks achieve this: Talk Time is almost entirely about developing parental involvement and support in a way that is easy to achieve – ideally sitting together over a meal, but possible even in the car or walking to school; Creative homework is designed to let children demonstrate their learning in a way that suits their own ideas and preferences, and one where families can talk about and be involved in to whatever extent they choose. These two, plus the more traditional Practice Makes Perfect homework, are always based on learning that relates directly to what is being taught in school.

The policy also promotes other activities that will enrich children’s childhood: ‘Whilst homework develops children’s learning and independence, quality family time, play and free time are also important. Homework should not prevent children from taking part in wider activities such as those offered by out-of-school clubs and other organisations. Children develop their interests and skills to the full only when parents/carers encourage them to make maximum use of the opportunities available outside school.’

Third, this article was in today’s Sunday Times. Less than four years ago, the same newspaper published a very different article:

‘ONE of the biggest studies of homework ever carried out proves what every parent has always told their child — knuckling down after school pays dividends. An international study of the homework patterns of 15-year-olds in 65 countries has revealed a clear link between longer homework hours and higher academic performance. “These findings should finally silence sceptics who have argued that homework is bad for youngsters, causing stress and division in families,” said Alan Smithers, professor of education at the University of Buckingham. He called on more schools to take homework seriously by enforcing sanctions when pupils fail to do it.’

It’s a pity that today’s article misses an opportunity to present a more balanced report, even at the expense of referring to its own previous journalism.

Our Homework Policy was developed in consultation with parents/carers. Each year, we consider carefully views expressed in our annual survey – inevitably, some parents/carers feel there is too much but the majority support the current policy.