This week’s message (Friday 08 September 2023)
Posted on 08 September 2023 by Mr Roundtree
Another school year – welcome back.
And, just as importantly, welcome to all our new parents, carers and children, whether in Reception or to those who have join us in other classes in school.
Our first weekly message of the year has 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’re preparing a list for you to print out and have ready to check, too.
Last year’s attendance rate across England was 92.5% – a figure which is considerably lower than before Covid.
We’re really pleased that last year’s attendance at Moortown Primary was 95.5% – let’s see if we can beat that this year.
Read this help helpful guide from the NHS to decide if your child is ill enough to have to miss learning.
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.
Every child in Key Stage 1 and 2 has a Reading Record. Please sign the Reading Record so we know your child has been reading at home. You might also include a comment that relates to how they got on. In the Key Stage 2 Reading Record book, there are activities – one of these is set by the teacher each week. There are other activities for children to engage with in the Reading Record, too.
Your child’s first Talk Time task is published today.
Check out the weekly Living and Learning theme in our school calendar, too – there are more learning ideas here (usually showing on each Monday of the school year).
Each child in Key Stage 1 and 2 has 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.
A uniform develops a sense of belonging, prevents competition and saves money. Wearing school colours helps us to keep up our high standards of behaviour. Please make sure your child is following our Uniform Policy. If we notice any problems, we’ll send home a reminder. A few things come up most often:
Hair: Long hair should be tied back, and hair accessories should be small and simple (this is so that it does not distract from learning and for hygiene reasons)
Jewellery, watches and other accessories: Only plain stud earrings (no more than 4mm wide) and items that are absolutely required by a religion are allowed. Advisors recommend no earrings are worn for PE; therefore, we’ll ask your child to remove earrings before the lesson. This needs to be done by the child. If they’re unable to remove or put their earrings back in by themselves, they must not wear them on the day they have PE.
PE kit: Keep it simple and non-branded – check out page 2 of our policy for a handy guide.
Our school rules
We’ve three school rules:
- We’re respectful.
- We’re ready.
- We’re safe.
Help at home. Talk with your child about the rules:
- Make sure your child knows the three rules.
- Is one more important than another?
- Is there a rule that your child thinks is missing and should be included?
- Make a link between our school rules and home: are there similar rules in your home?
- Discuss these rules and other rules in a wider context, including the country’s laws.
Reading in Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2, once children have become independent readers, they’re involved in the process of choosing what book they read at home. To make sure children read a wide range of suitable texts, we rotate between ‘solo reading’ and ‘group reading’:
- solo reading happens in the first half-term of each term: Autumn 1, Spring 1 and Summer 1
- group reading happens in the second half-term: Autumn 2, Spring 2 and Summer 2
So, this half-term is solo reading – each child in class has taken home their own book.
- Each child’s book is checked by the teacher to make sure it’s appropriate in both content and challenge – please check that your child’s reading a book at what seems like the right level, so they can read it fluently and enjoy it.
- Your child should read the book at home on a daily basis – 10-15 minutes should be the minimum.
- In ‘Book Club’ sessions, teachers may direct children to an activity to complete alongside their reading for that week.
- A signed Reading Record allows parents to communicate with their child’s teacher that reading at home has happened regularly – please make sure your child is reading at home, and add comments in the Reading Record.
- In the weekly ‘Book Club’ session, children discuss their book with their class mates and celebrate a love of reading.
As always, contact school if you’ve any questions or concerns about anything we’ve said here.
Children settled into the new school year really well this week. It’s likely they’ll feel tired after a busy (and hot!) week back. Have a restful, happy and healthy weekend.
Is your child starting in Year 6? You can now apply online for a Year 7 place.
Posted on 07 September 2023 by Mrs Quirk
This week’s message (Friday 21 July 2023)
Posted on 21 July 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This is our last message of the school year. We hope you and your child have had a good one. Thank you for all your support throughout the year – it’s always very much appreciated.
We’re already getting some entries through for our Summer Competition this year. Here at Moortown Primary, we love reading and thought we’d celebrate that this year with the theme of extreme reading. Here’s a couple of pics – one from Moortown Primary and one from Sphere Federation school – we love them!
To enter, email your pics to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 08 September. Enter ‘Summer competition’ as the subject. All entries will be displayed in school, and there are prizes for our favourites.
Talking of reading, check out the Leeds Libraries Summer Challenge.
Our school day
From September 2023, the school day starts at 8.45am and ends at 3.15pm every day. This is to meet the government’s expectation for a minimum school week of 32.5 hours.
In the schools white paper published in March 2022, the government announced that all mainstream, state-funded schools would be expected to deliver a minimum school week of 32.5 hours by September 2023. The white paper was subsequently abandoned. However, an email from the Department for Education this week reiterates this expectation.
The following comes from the Department for Education for all parents and carers to read.
Measles can be very serious and spreads easily. Children and adults who contract measles can end up in hospital or suffer long term health consequences. In rare cases, it can be fatal.
Measles is completely preventable with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The first dose is offered to children at 1 year of age and the second dose at 3 years and 4 months. Measles outbreaks happen when not enough children have been vaccinated and can be very disruptive in educational settings.
Schools are also encouraged to remind parents to check that their children’s vaccines are up to date. You can catch up on your MMR vaccine through your GP whatever your age.
Whatever you get up to, have a very happy and healthy summer. We’ll see you again on Tuesday 05 September – remember the 8.45am start!
Thank you to Roundhegians
Posted on 19 July 2023 by Mrs Taylor
We had a great sports day last Thursday and thanks go to Roundhegians Rugby Club for once again allowing us to use their great facilities.
Have a look at the options for rugby coaching available at the club.
We know the children appreciated it too.
Posted on 17 July 2023 by Mrs Weekes
On 07 July, some of our Y2 children took part in a STEM festival, where they presented a model that they’d prepared as a team. They were all prepared, a bit nervous, but they answered questions from the judges really well and were very passionate about their creation.
They discussed lots of interesting issues including: sources of renewable energy; storage facilities for energy; and many more technical matters! The judges were very impressed with their creations and ideas. Their model even included a motorised element which included coding on an iPad – very impressive.
Thank you to the parents who were involved and who organised it.
This week’s message (Friday 14 July 2023)
Posted on 14 July 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message comes from Mrs Weekes…
There might only be one week to go until the end of term but nothing’s slowing down – it’s all going on!
Just this week, we had another reminder about how amazing our Year 6 children are. Their SATs results were released this week and we’re so proud of all of them. In Reading and in Maths, 94% reached or exceeded the expected standard, and 100% in Writing and in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling. (The national average is around 72% for each subject.) Awesome results – a massive well done to all of the children, to you for your support and all of the staff who have taught them over the past few years. A special mention to one of our pupils who did all of their SATs in hospital – they still got amazing results! (The figures here are subject to change because we may ask for some test papers to be re-marked.) The Year 5,6 end-of-year production was also fantastic – well done to all!
Our Key Stage 1 children have also been busy with end of key stage assessments. At the end of Year 2, 90% of our children are achieving expected level or above in Reading, 80% in Writing, and 87% in Maths. In Y1, 83% of our children reached the expected standard in their phonics.
We’ve had many other highlights this year. We finally got to open ‘The Green’ and many hours of fun have already been spent playing on the grass – it’s so nice having that little bit of extra space. (It still seems a bit of a luxury!) We’ve also had two very successful residential visits: Year 4 children spent two nights at Herd Farm, just up the road, and Year 6 pupils spent a couple of nights at Robinwood in Todmorden.
I’d like to say well done to Miss Goswami, Miss Birch and Miss Needham who have all finished their first two years of teaching . This means they’re no longer regarded as ‘Early Career Teachers’. Well done and thank you for all your hard work.
Also, we say goodbye to Mr Wain, who’s going to teach at Scholes (Elmet) Primary (one of our Sphere Federation sister schools). Thank you to him for all of his hard work and great teaching and good luck with the move.
As you know, we pride ourselves on being a happy and healthy place to learn. We’ve been even healthier this week because it’s been a Health themed week. As always, Mrs Taylor, our Health Lead, has done a great job of organising lots of different things, from yoga to kickboxing. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the children at Sports Day, too (we did miss Mr Roundtree’s commentating, but thanks to Mr Wilks for stepping in so well). Check out our recently updated guides: Mindfulness and Physical Activity. Also, make sure your child completes the health questionnaire alongside you – it’s this week’s homework.
Finally, I’d like to thank the PTA. They’ve worked so hard this year to get things up and running after they were so badly hit during the pandemic – they’re back to being a unit to be reckoned with! Unfortunately, due to industrial action, the Summer Fair had to be postponed but their hard work hasn’t gone to waste as we have a new date in the diary: Friday 22 September. Watch this space for more information.
As the end of term approaches, I hope you all have a great summer and enjoy spending time with your families. Thank you for all your support this year – all of us working together make a great team!
Being healthy themed week: staff vs pupils netball
Posted on 12 July 2023 by Mrs Taylor
At our final netball after-school club, and as it is our being healthy themed week, we enjoyed a hard fought match between the pupils and staff.
The children have progressed really well with their netball skills this term and we hope the Year 6 netballers continue to enjoy this sport as they move to high school.
This week’s message (Friday 07 July 2023)
Posted on 07 July 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message is a short one, starting with a reminder of the our annual Summer competition…
A recent news article caught our eye – front page of The Times (28.06.23):
Here’s an extract from the article:
Young children who love reading grow up to be cleverer teenagers with better mental health, a study has found.
Research by Cambridge and Warwick universities found that reading a lot between the ages of two and nine was linked to better academic performance at secondary school, greater happiness and a reduced likelihood of depression, anxiety or behavioural problems.
Bookish children spent less time on their phones or watching TV. Scans revealed that they had bigger brains.
The research authors stressed the value of parents and carers ‘doing their best to awaken the joy of reading in their children at an early age’. The reaserch suggests that the ideal would be for children to read about 12 hours each week.
Talking of reading…
Here at Moortown Primary, we love reading. Over the Summer holidays, we’ve a challenge for your child… Show us how reading-obsessed they are by sending us a pic of them reading in an extreme place or position.
Here’s someone who’s already getting stuck into some extreme reading. (can’t think who it could be!)…
To enter, email your pics to email@example.com by Friday 08 September. Enter ‘Summer competition’ as the subject.
All entries will be displayed in school, and there are prizes for our favourites.
Each year, the Sphere Federation governors produce a document that outlines their work over the year. Read the 2022-23 Annual Governance Statement.
Finally, in case you missed it, check out Mrs Weekes’ post from a few days ago which describes the themed week coming up next week.
This week’s message (Friday 30 June 2023)
Posted on 30 June 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message comes from the Junior Leadership Team. Before this, just a wee reminder: the last few weeks of the school year are busy (annual reports, productions, sports day…) so it’s a good idea to check out our school calendar.
We are the Junior Leadership Team (JLT) and we’re very excited to let you know what we have been doing this year.
In the Autumn term, we were elected by our classmates to represent their views and enable their voices to be heard. We act as good role models for others by acting maturely and respectfully at all times. We are involved in making decisions on behalf of the school and its pupils eg we were responsible for choosing new playground equipment and markings and selecting the Key Stage 2 Reading Champion.
At the start of the year, we reviewed the Anti-Bullying Policy. We made sure that children would be clear on what bullying looked like and where to ask for help if needed. Another of our early tasks was to select our school charity. Each JLT member led a vote in their classes for their favourite charity. These nominations were discussed in a JLT meeting and then a democratic vote took place. As a result, St. Gemma’s Hospice became our charity this year. We are very proud to have raised over a thousand pounds for St. Gemma’s and £238.30 for Comic Relief. We have done this by organising many fundraising events eg a sponsored number challenge, carol singing outside M&S and a Year 3 /4 production. We could not do this without your generosity or support – thank you.
One of our favourite activities this year was to visit St. Gemma’s Hospice and have a tour of the grounds. We really enjoyed walking in the garden, which was a very relaxing and calming experience.
In the Autumn term, it will be time for the new JLT elections. It will be our time to step down and allow others to enjoy the experience of representing our school and making positive changes.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year.
Happy and Healthy
Posted on 30 June 2023 by Mrs Weekes
Our next whole school themed week, based around ‘Being Healthy’, will be taking place from Monday 10 July. This is the second of two themed weeks in the year.
In our ‘Being Healthy’ week, learning will be based around how to be healthy, physically and emotionally. A variety of events and visitors are planned to help us deliver this key aspect of our Living and Learning education. Children can come in PE kit for the whole week.
As part of the week, you are invited to watch your child take part in our annual sports day which will be held on Thursday 13 July at Roundhegians Rugby Club, LS8 2AT.
Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6: 9.30-11.30am
Reception, Y1 and Y2: 1.30-3pm
D:side will be delivering drug education sessions to all classes. Information, for parents and carers, about these sessions will be available from d:side on Monday 10 July from 8:30am-8:50am. Weather permitting, you will find Dave in the main playground.
This themed week is a good opportunity to think about a healthy way to travel to school. We encourage children to use an active and sustainable method of transport, maybe parking further away from school (Marks and Spencers offer car park spaces to park and stride), scooting, biking or walking to school.
To ensure this is done safely, Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative (Chapel Allerton) will be running a Dr Bike session before school on Tuesday 11 July. Any family members are invited to bring their bikes for a free check and these should be left with their representatives in the main playground from 8:30am. Bikes can be collected at the end of the day.
Can you help?
If your job involves an aspect of health and you can support our ‘Being Healthy’ themed week by coming into school, please contact the office to pass on your details.
We will keep you up to date about events during the week through website posts and Facebook. We are looking forward to a busy, happy and healthy week!