News

Latest news from around the school

This week’s message (Friday 09 September 2022)

Posted on 09 September 2022 by Mr Roundtree

We’re sad to note the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II. She demonstrated and represented important values and behaviours. In school today, we have marked this historic moment with a special assembly and teachers have followed this up with a review and reflection in class.

Our first weekly message of the year continues with some important information for the year ahead at Moortown Primary School…

Dates for the year

Key dates for the school year are in our school calendar. We’ve prepared this list for you to print out and have ready to check, too.

Support your child at home

Like last year, we’re hosting a series of Zoom presentations to help you support your child’s learning at home – the first one is this Monday.

The invitation is open to all parents and carers across Sphere Federation, although we’ve indicated if the session might be more appropriate for particular age ranges. The full list of presentations are:

  • Phonics and early reading: 12 September 2022
  • Story telling: 19 September 2022 (Mrs Wood here at Moortown Primary will read a story over Zoom for your child and you to enjoy – the session is ideal for children in Reception, but children in Year 1 and 2 are welcome to join, too.)
  • Number (KS1): 03 October 2022
  • Number (KS2): 10 October 2022
  • Topic: 07 November 2022
  • Reading and Writing: 14 November 2022
  • Online safety: 28 November 2022
  • Key Stage 2 SATs: 09 January 2023 (This one is mainly for parents of Y6 children.)
  • Key Stage 1 SATs: 27 February 2023 (This one is mainly for parents of Y2 children.)
  • Reception to Year 1 transition: 19 June 2023 (This one is for parents of Reception children.)

All the sessions are at 6pm on Mondays and should last around 30 minutes.

If you’re interested in attending any of these Zoom workshops, please either send us a message on the School Gateway app or email the school office. We’ll then email the Zoom joining details out to all those who have expressed an interest.

Homework

Your child’s first homework task is published today.

Homework is an important part of education and gives you a chance to support your child and find out what they’ve been learning. This doesn’t need to be sitting at home with a stack of worksheets or creating an elaborate project: quality time talking to your child and practising basic skills is enough.

Today, we’ve given each child a new homework book. The book is for your child to practise spellings, writing, times tables and number facts. It doesn’t need to be sent back to school.

This homework guide sets out what we expect children to do and why. Reading, spellings, times tables and number facts are essential for all children to be confident with. The focus of your support at home should be ideally around these areas. Your comments in the Reading Record book (at least once a week) are really helpful for your child’s teacher.

As always, contact school if you have any questions or concerns.

Changes ahead

As you know, Y5 and Y6 have been learning in the hall this week because their old classrooms were demolished! It’s been exciting to see the new modular building being put in place today – they’ve craned it in bit by bit and it’s taking shape nicely. It’ll be a few weeks before it’s completely finished but we’re excited the work is finally happening. Also, The Green (our new grassed space) has been flattened and fertilised and the grass seed will be sown on Monday. It’s all going on!

Mr Wilks took a timelapse to show the assembly of the new building. See how it has taken shape over the day.

Children settled into the new school year really well this week. It’s likely they’ll feel tired after a busy week back. Have a restful, happy and healthy weekend.

Our annual survey 2022

Posted on 18 August 2022 by Mr Roundtree

Every year, we invite you to complete an annual survey of parents and carers. Thank you to the 35 people who completed this year’s survey.

Most of the questions we asked were based on those that Ofsted use for their Parent View. This gives you the chance to tell Ofsted what you think about your child’s school, from the quality of teaching to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour.

We’re delighted that the statements prompted very good responses: at least 97% of those who expressed an opinion responded positively to nearly all the questions, including:

  • Is your child happy at school?
  • Does your child feel safe at school?
  • Does Moortown Primary make sure its pupils are well-behaved?
  • Does Moortown Primary have high expectations for your child?
  • Is there a good range of subjects available to your child?
  • Would you recommend this school to another parent?

We asked if you’re aware of bullying at the school. The majority of respondents were not aware. However, there was a minority who said they were. Our definition of bullying is Several Times On Purpose and our solution is Start Telling Other People. Please do make sure you alert us about any concerns you may have.

We asked if you’ve ever had to raise a concern. We’re pleased that the vast majority who had raised something replied that it was dealt with well – ‘Mrs Weekes will respond to queries and concerns very promptly’ was one comment. As always, please do make sure you raise concerns – your child’s class teacher is usually around at the end of the day, and Mrs Weekes is nearly always at the school gate each day.

The last question was an open-ended one: we invited any comments you may have. There were 18 comments here, and the majority of these were positive – thank you.

Moortown is such a family orientated, caring yet high achieving school. Both of our children are thriving at Moortown and love attending school. The teachers are committed to our children and we feel like they really care about their wellbeing and help them reach their potential. Mrs Weekes is a constant presence and is so approachable and supportive. We feel so lucky that our children attend Moortown.

We’re keen to keep improving. We’ll review the suggestions, which included comments about communications (too many?) and more opportunities for creativity. Mrs Weekes will also make sure staff are aware of the praise they’ve earned.

Thank you to those parents / carers who completed the survey.

As always, please contact us with any questions, comments and concerns during the school year.

Have you entered our Summer competition yet?

Posted on 06 August 2022 by Mr Roundtree

Stay alert to happy and healthy faces all around you…

We want to see your pics of hidden smiley faces in your surroundings: a walk in woods or a play on the beach might include creating a smiley face, for example! Here’s our suggestion (look for the smiling face!)…

…but we’re sure you can do better!

Look out for things around you that show a hidden smiley face – a happy and healthy face – or encourage your child to create their own from things around them (pebbles, leaves, Lego…). (Just avoid obvious and intended smiling faces like the ones featured in the Breeze list of summer dates from last week’s message – they’re too easy to spot!)

To enter, email your pics to moortownoffice@spherefederation.org by Friday 09 September. Enter ‘Summer competition’ as the subject.

All entries will be displayed in a happy and healthy display in school, and there are prizes for our favourites.

Our Summer competition

Posted on 25 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree

We’re a happy and healthy place to learn!

Over the Summer weeks, we want you all at home to stay alert to happy and healthy faces all around you… and take a pic of any hidden smiley faces in your surroundings: a day out at the beach might include creating a smiley face, for example! Here’s our suggestion (look for the smiling face!)…

…but we’re sure you can do better!

Look out for things around you that show a hidden smiley face – a happy and healthy face – or encourage your child to create their own from things around them (pebbles, leaves, Lego…). (Just avoid obvious and intended smiling faces like the ones featured in the Breeze list of summer dates from last week’s message – they’re too easy to spot!)

To enter, email your pics to moortownoffice@spherefederation.org by Friday 09 September. Enter ‘Summer competition’ as the subject.

All entries will be displayed in a happy and healthy display in school, and there are prizes for our favourites.

This week’s message part 2 (Friday 22 July 2022)

Posted on 22 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree

The bulk of our last message of the school year comes from Mrs Weekes. Before that, we’ve an updated uniform policy. Also, we’ve been asked by Leeds City Council to provide you with some important information…

Uniform

Most parents and carers stock up on fresh uniform over the summer holiday, so we want to let you know about our updated policy now.

This year, we’ve been trialling something we introduced in Covid times: wearing PE kit on PE days. Overall, we like this: it increases time for PE (no changing into kit) and there’s less lost property. However, we’ve seen some deviation from our uniform policy on PE days with lots of branded tops and shorts sneaking in. Take a look at our helpful guide for what is acceptable and what isn’t. We hope you’ll agree that the changes should actually save you money and be much more convenient for you.

Prevent

This letter is to help raise your awareness of the dangers of radicalisation and to let you know where to get more information, advice and support if you do have any concerns. This leaflet provides a summary about the Prevent programme and how, through the ACT Early website and Support Line, those who are vulnerable to radicalisation can get the help they may need.

And now over to Mrs Weekes…

It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of the summer term. It’s been a hot and long week but we’ve made it. As always, it’s been a busy year, particularly following the pandemic, but it’s also been very successful. Y6 and Y2 have completed their end of Key Stage assessments. They worked really hard and the results are very positive – well done to all of them and to all the teachers who have worked tirelessly to help them make the progress.

We’ve been busy behind the scenes with ‘The Green’ – you may have noticed that there’s a bit of a difference at the back of school beyond the temporary fence. A company has been in this week to clear it. The next step will be level it out and get some turf sorted. It’s great to see the actual space and get an idea of what it looks like.

In contrast, and with a great deal of frustration, we’ve been told of likely delays with the replacement for the Y5,6 building. We’re working hard to explore solutions, but it’s a possibility this may have to be delayed.

Thank you for all your support with PTA events this year. It’s been lovely to be able to build up events over the year and finally have friends and family in school to support us again. Profits from this term are nearing £1900 which is amazing. This includes Freeze Pop Friday and the Summer Fair. A fantastic comeback!

Finally, it’s time to say goodbye to some of our Moortown family. Mrs Burke is hanging up her Reception toolkit and retiring while she can still enjoy it. She’s looking forward to cheaper holidays, staying in bed longer, drinking real ale and doing what she wants when she wants. (More seriously, she’s planning to take on quite a bit of charity work and we wish her all the best with that.) I’m sure you will join me in sending best wishes and luck for the future and her next exciting venture. We also say goodbye to Year 6 – they’ve been great role models throughout their time at Moortown Primary: great learning behaviour, positive attitudes and hard working. We’ll miss Mrs Burke and all of the Y6 children.

With departures come arrivals: we’re excited to welcome Miss Goswami (Y5) and to welcome back Mrs Wood and Mrs Boulton (Reception) joining us in September.

Have a fabulous summer – stay happy and healthy and remember to enter our summer competition. We’ll see you back in school on Tuesday 05 September.

This week’s message part 1 (Tuesday 19 July 2022)

Posted on 19 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree

It’s the last week of term. This week, we’ve two messages.

This first one kicks off with a thank you to all of you who worked with us, sending your child into school despite the extreme temperatures. We worked hard to ensure the children remained as comfortable as possible – on the whole, I think we succeeded!

The rest of this message has contents that come from other organisation, but which you may find helpful, especially the first item…

Using A&E?

Leeds Teaching Hospitals are experiencing extreme demand for services. They’re seeing increasing visits to paediatric emergency department with needs that may be better met in other ways.

With consistent, accurate and trustworthy healthcare advice, the West Yorkshire Healthier Together website is available to support families to decide if a visit to A&E is appropriate.

The information on the site has been reviewed  by local paediatricians, GPs and clinicians across the region to ensure it aligns with current practices and procedures.

You can use the quick links, search bar, or menus to find clear advice with easy to use traffic light guide, red, amber, green found in the parents/carers section. This will help to identify when, where, and how you should seek help for your poorly baby or child.

Parent and carers can also look through the site for practical guidance such as ‘should my child go to school’.

Music summer club

Leeds City Council and ArtForms are hosting free music summer clubs this August, with a range of music activities for children in Leeds aged 8 and above.

The sessions will take place between 08 and 10 August at Horsforth School. Read more.

Child friendly Leeds

This July marks the tenth year since the launch of Child Friendly Leeds. To mark the event, you and your child might want to attend the Our Leeds Wishes Display | Leeds Inspired this weekend.

Look out for our final message of the school on Friday.

Extreme temperatures - an update

Posted on 18 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree

We’ve coped with the high temperatures really well today. Measures we’ve taken included circulating classes around so they’ve all been in the coolest rooms for part of the day and short playtimes but staying in the shade. We’ve checked in with each teacher frequently to check things are ok. The thick walls of a Victorian school building have really helped, too.
Despite the forecast for higher temperatures tomorrow, we’re confident we can cope for the full school day.
However, like today, there’s the possibility that we will invite you to collect your child early in the afternoon.

Extreme temperatures forecast

Posted on 17 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree

We all know about the extreme temperatures forecast for the first part of next week. The Department for Education is not advising that schools close; instead they have issued guidance to schools.

Please note there is a possibility we may need to close early, or invite you to collect your child from 1.30pm. We’ll let you know if this is the case as soon as we can.

Apologies: we haven’t advised on this earlier as we’ve been waiting more guidance and continued monitoring of weather forecasts. (And a lot depends on the day: a strong breeze, like today, will help make the next couple of days bearable, if there is one.)

In case you missed Friday’s message, the guidance sets out sensible points to follow – make sure you consider each of the following:

  • make sure your child comes to school with a large bottle (it could have water previously frozen)
  • your child should wear a sun hat and loose, cool clothing (we’re relaxing the rules around school uniform – replace uniform items with things that are cooler eg open sandals rather than shoes, uniform shorts with lighter PE shorts – try to stay as smart as possible)
  • your child should be wearing Factor 50 sunblock when they arrive at school and may apply more during the day

In school, we’ll take as many actions as we can. These will include indoor lunchtimes, avoiding vigorous activity, and avoiding being in large groups in one indoor space for a longer time.

This week’s message (Friday 15 July 2022)

Posted on 15 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree

It’s our penultimate message of the year… This one’s a short one, but with two links to something longer if you’re interested…

Before we start the message, a note about extreme temperatures forecast for the first part of next week. The Department for Education is not advising that schools close; instead they have issued guidance to schools. The guidance sets out sensible points to follow – make sure you consider each of the following:

  • make sure your child comes to school with a large bottle (it could have water previously frozen)
  • your child should wear a sun hat and loose, cool clothing (we’re relaxing the rules around school uniform – replace uniform items with things that are cooler eg open sandals rather than shoes, uniform shorts with lighter PE shorts – try to stay as smart as possible)
  • your child should be wearing Factor 50 sunblock when they arrive at school and may apply more during the day

In school, we’ll take as many actions as we can. These will include indoor lunchtimes, avoiding vigorous activity, and avoiding being in large groups in one indoor space for a longer time.

Governance

Governing bodies aren’t required to produce an annual report; however,  Sphere Federation governors believe communicating with our school community is important. Check out their annual governance statement.

Summer Fun

Breeze is for all children and young people aged 0-19 from Leeds (and their families) who are looking for positive things to do. Although Breeze is run by Leeds City Council, the information they list comes from all sorts of organisations and partners working positively with children, young people and their families in Leeds, not just the council. Check out the 27 days of fun: Breeze in the Park.

Have a good weekend. Next week, look out for the return of our Summer competition!

This week’s message (Friday 08 July 2022)

Posted on 08 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree

It’s a busy time of year in school. Sports day, productions, reports… This week, you should have received an end-of-year report for your child – if you haven’t, please let us know.

At this time of year, you might be already thinking about uniform for next year. This week’s message starts with a reminder that we’ve updated our school uniform policy

School uniform

Due to a recent change in guidance about school uniformwe’ve recently updated our school uniform policy.

Wearing a school uniform brings with it many benefits, and everyone following the policy brings a sense of fairness.

There’s no change as to what uniform is required in our policy: as has always been the case, branded items are available, but they’re optional. As well as having at least three suppliers for branded items (with different price ranges), you’re able to purchase generic items from a range of retailers, giving you choice and value for money. Second hand uniform items can also benefit parents / carers and, by extending the life of items, are more sustainable. Some items may be available in school (unclaimed and unnamed lost property at the end of term) or at the Leeds School Uniform Exchange.  Check out the website for more information on suppliers and the policy.

We do expect all children to follow this policy, including wearing the correct kit on PE days.

Thank you for supporting us with this.

TikTok

Last week’s message mentioned TikTok. Here’s an extract from a weekly email we receive from a safeguarding expert:

A few days ago I spent a rather disturbing half-an-hour on TikTok… Clicking in to TikTok Live was worse than I had thought it would be… there were a number of video streams that I think should concern us from a safeguarding perspective. Livestreams from the school bus, school playgrounds and even from tutor time in classrooms. There was even a group of primary aged boys trying to out-swear each other while they waited for the bell.

Check out these parents’ guides: one from Common Sense Media and one from Internet Matters.

Some summer reading

You might like to read the latest edition of Raring2go. It’s got lots of ideas for the Summer holidays.

Some summer support 

The approach to providing free school meals during holidays has changed in line with government guidance. 

As a result of this change in government guidance, Leeds City Council has decided to support those households in receipt of council tax support. This will include most households receiving free school meals but this will no longer be the driver of eligibility. More detail on how the council is spending the funding can be found here.

Anyone in urgent need of support for food, rent and other household bills can contact the Leeds Welfare Support Team. Details are available at: Help with food and bills (leeds.gov.uk). The Healthy Holidays scheme will also continue to provide support during the summer holidays to those most in need.

The forecast is looking good… Have a happy and healthy weekend!