Latest news from around the school


Posted on 21 January 2019 by Mr Roundtree

The latest edition of #DITTO magazine has been published. #DITTO is a free online safety (e-safety) magazine for schools, organisations and parents to keep you up to date with risks, issues, advice and guidance related to keeping children safe online, with a view to enjoying and learning about technology.

This edition includes articles on secrets, passwords and Fortnite.

More marvellous comments about Moortown

Posted on 18 January 2019 by Mr Roundtree

On Tuesday, a Local Authority advisor (who happens to also be an Ofsted inspector) visited Moortown. We invited him in because we’re always keen to get a second opinion on our practice and to be offered any suggestions to keep getting more and more effective. The visit involved visiting four classes in school (Y1, Y2, Y3 and Y5) and looking at Writing and Maths books in Y2, Y4 and Y6. The advisor’s report is really positive. Here are some comments from it.

The lesson observations evidence that without exception, teachers have high expectations of the children in their care. They each demonstrated good subject knowledge and an age appropriate awareness. Subsequently, children across the four observed year groups behave well and were attentive and responsive to the teacher.


Teacher pupil relationships in this classroom are secure. Children responded to the ‘3,2,1 stop’ command with immediacy and it is clear that the children are happy and comfortable in the teacher’s care.


…the… teacher’s enthusiasm was infectious… The [reading] lesson, led from the hall… was managed well… All pupils engaged with the activity well and competent questioning from the teacher enabled pupils to demonstrate their understanding. At a later visit to the classroom where children were completing a summary paragraph about a web page, the same teacher zest was evident. The children were entirely focused on the learning and when challenged could explain the purpose of the exercise and the learning. The use of an ‘erm’ game engendered a great deal of controlled exuberance from the children who are clearly enjoying this style of teaching.


Outcomes had been clearly modelled and when asked, the children were able to explain their learning. The use of mood photographs had been neatly aligned with the school’s current Living and Learning statement and was effective in providing the children with a purpose to write.


Looking at books from alternate years clearly evidenced the impact of teaching on progress with work becoming more sophisticated as they advance through the school. Without exception and in both English and maths books, the work is aligned to the age related requirements of the national curriculum.


In each year group, high demands in productivity and neatness are evident in English books. Opportunities to write at length are particularly impressive in Y4 and Y6. In Y4 for example, pupils are given the freedom to change characters or settings based on their reading, researching and planning from high quality texts. These opportunities allow the most able to demonstrate their flair for language whilst even the lowest ability perform well in advance of what would have been expected… Such challenge is ensuring this group in particular are making excellent progress. The same can be echoed in Y6 where exercises are planned to add value to learning. The complexity of sentence structure and use of evocative vocabulary for the middle and higher ability Y6 pupils is extremely impressive. Meanwhile, through the demand and expectation to keep up with their peers, the progress of the lower ability pupil was equally impressive.


Without being overly demanding of teacher’s time, marking and feedback is of the highest quality. The use of symbols to indicate where pupils should edit or improve their work is met with purple pen action that clearly has an impact on learning over time.


In Maths, the pace of teaching is effective in embedding learning. Positively, the demand for even the least able to access the same body of learning as their more able peers is having a definite impact on their progress over time.


…there is evidence to show that even the most able are challenged to their limits. And without exception, the requirement for pupils to correct errors or respond via same day intervention is another positive driver for accelerating the progress of the many rather than the few.

The report also contains three useful, but quite specific, recommendations which we’ll work on.

Fantastic Foundation Stage!

Posted on 15 January 2019 by Mr Roundtree

We want to keep getting better and better. One of the ways we sustain great outcomes for our children is that we work closely with LA advisors so we benefit from ‘an extra pair of eyes’ and their specific skills and expertise.

Just before Christmas, an Early Years expert visited our Foundation Stage classes. Here are just a couple of extracts from her report:

A rich range of provision to promote mathematical learning was clear across different areas of the setting both inside and out.

Children were seen this morning displaying high levels of engagement in self-chosen activities.

Following the visit, it was also a privilege to be asked to share some good practice in our schools with other teachers at a Leeds maths conference.

Themed menu

Posted on 08 January 2019 by Mrs Taylor

Catering Agency, our school meal provider, will be running a special themed menu on Friday 18 January.  Please contact the office, by Friday 11 January, if your child would like a school meal on this day (no action needed if your child normally has a school meal on this day).

Screen time - to limit or not to limit?

Posted on 04 January 2019 by Mr Roundtree

You might have heard about this news story: ‘Worry less about children’s screen use, parents told‘. In it, there is guidance from leading paediatricians who say there is little evidence that screen use for children is harmful in itself.

That’s fine, but it’s important to read beyond the headlines…

While the guidance avoids setting screen time limits, it recommends not using them in the hour before bedtime. We often see children in school who look tired and struggle to concentrate. There’s lots of evidence to show that missing out on sleep can be really bad for your health. Our advice is don’t let your child take an electronic device to bed.

Equally, while the researchers choose not to recommend screen time limits, it does, recommend that families negotiate screen time limits with their children. These should be based on individual needs and how much it impacts on sleep, as well as physical and social activities that your child is involved with. Our advice is that this should involve parents/carers deciding what content they watch and for how long they use the devices. For older children (those at high school, for example), greater freedom over screen use can be introduced, but this should be gradual and under the guidance of an adult.

Experts say it is important that the use of devices does not replace sleep, exercising and time with family. You wouldn’t want your child to exist solely on one type of food at the expense of others – you’d want them to benefit from a balanced diet. Our advice is consider electronic devices as one part of your child’s life, but not the only part – a ‘balanced diet’ of activity.

The review of evidence found associations between higher screen use and obesity and depression. Experts at University College, London, said it was not clear from the evidence if higher screen use was causing these problems or if people with these issues were more likely to spend more time on screens. However, the fact remains there is a strong link that parents and carers should be aware of. Our advice is consider electronic devices as part of a ‘balanced diet’ of activity that is talked about and kept open about the positives and drawbacks of electronic devices – don’t let it become a solitary activity.

Stemming from the research is a series of questions to help families make decisions about their screen time use. Our advice is to be honest when you reflect on these questions, perhaps having an open family discussion (and be ready – your child might talk about the time you’re on-line, too):

  • Is your family’s screen time under control?
  • Does screen use interfere with what your family want to do?
  • Does screen use interfere with sleep?
  • Are you able to control snacking during screen time?

Dr Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), has said: “We need to stick to advising parents to do what they do well, which is to balance the risks and benefits.” Parents should consider their own use of screens, if screen time is controlled in their family, and if excessive use is affecting their child’s development and everyday life, he added.

Living and Learning

Posted on 24 December 2018 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 we have two main themes, from our long-term plan.
  • Drug, alcohol and tobacco education (DATE) 
  •  Keeping safe and managing risk
Our Staying Safe themed week (w/c 04 February 2019), including Safer Internet Day,  will be part of this learning.  More information will follow about this.
We begin the half term with a focus on manners and in particular interruptions.  Children will consider what is a valid interruption, for example an emergency and what alternatives are there to interrupting?  Children across school are encouraged to use our brain, buddy, boss system to try to avoid interruptions.  This means they would first think themselves.  Then, they could try asking a friend and the final option would be to ask the adult.  This encourages the children to become independent and take responsibility.

Here are the weekly Living and Learning statements, for this half term, to support this learning.

  • I don’t interrupt (with my mouth or my hand).
  • I can make things better.
  • I know what a drug is.
  • I know how to seek help.
  • I make safe choices, including online.
  • I can assess my own risks.

Keeping active

Posted on 24 December 2018 by Mrs Taylor

As part of our commitment to being a happy and healthy school, we’re always looking at ways to increase our pupils’ physical activity both in and out of school.

The government’s childhood obesity plan has set out the ambition for all children to achieve 60 minutes, or more, of physical activity every day (30 minutes in school and 30 minutes outside of school).

In response to this aim, we’ve compiled a physical activity guide suggesting out-of-school physical activities available to families in our local area.

The information on the guide is correct as of November 2018.  Keep an eye out on our news and class news pages where will promote any new activities throughout the year.

We’d love to hear feedback about any activities you or your child try based on this guide.


Learning updates

Posted on 19 December 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Going home with your child (Year 1 to Year 6 only) today are the end-of-term Learning Updates. These ‘mini-reports’ aren’t new – we’ve used these before during parent-teacher meetings.

This year, we’ve listened to what you said in the annual surveys: you asked for more frequent updates on your child’s learning. As a result, we’ve tweaked when we do things a little so you now get an update at the end of most half terms:

  • Autumn 1 (the parent-teacher meeting)
  • Autumn 2 (the Learning Update)
  • Spring 1 (the parent-teacher meeting)
  • Spring 2 (the Learning Update)
  • Summer 2 (the end of year report)

If you’ve any questions, comments or concerns about the report, please contact your child’s class teacher.

Wake up Shake up leaders

Posted on 19 December 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Thank you to our KS2 WuSu leaders who have led our daily WuSu physical activity this term and taught us lots of new routines.

Thank you to Mrs Charlesworth who has helped to run our WuSu after-school club where they have created all of the routines.

Next term, we will be running a KS1 and KS2 dance /WuSu club which will lead into a dance festival after Easter.


How do you manage your child's screen time?

Posted on 12 December 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Many of you mention your concerns about your child being in front of a screen for too long. Also, children tell us they’re often on-line when at home.

Digital devices have become commonplace during family time in most homes. However, studies show that screen-free activities have a positive impact on children’s development and health in a wide range of areas, including social skills, physical exercise, sleep and academic performance.

Read the full article from Action for Children – it’s really helpful and interesting! It includes top tips on creating screen-free playtime that will aid your child’s development at all ages.

Children who use any screens for over seven hours a day are starting to show signs that their brain cortex is thinning prematurely… The researchers have also determined that kids who spend over two hours a day on screen time score lower on thinking and language tests.

Read the full article.