News

Latest news from around the school

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…

Big brains

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…

Extreme 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 moortownoffice@spherefederation.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.

Governance

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.

Hello

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!

This week’s message (Friday 23 June 2023)

Posted on 23 June 2023 by Mr Roundtree

We kick off this week’s message with early news of our annual Summer competition…

Extreme reading

Here at Moortown Primary, we love reading. Over the coming weeks, 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.

For last year’s competition, we gave you a few ideas for your happy and healthy smiley faces spotted in unusual places. This year, we’re not giving you any ideas (yet!), but you’ve plenty of advance warning, so get your thinking caps on!

To enter, email your pics to moortownoffice@spherefederation.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.

Our current topic…

…is a Design and Technology one – it’s a great topic to finish the year! The focus for all classes this year is construction (next year, it’s textiles) so children are busy designing and making products.

A key aspect of the Design and Technology curriculum is the understanding that products don’t just get made. Instead, they go through a design process that includes three key elements: evaluate, design and make. Think of this process as a cycle. For example, Sphere Motors want to create a new family car. Before the car is made, they need to evaluate existing products and talk to customers so that they’re clear about what the new car needs to have. They will then design the car and evaluate those designs. They may make a prototype of the car to help them evaluate the designs. Next, they’ll decide on a final design that will go into production and get made. This finished product will be evaluated and the whole process starts again.

Years 1 and 2

Children have been exploring what makes structures stable and strong. Next, they’ll get their design brief: to design and make a new chair for Baby Bear (clumsy Goldilocks has broken it again). Children will design and make their product, using what they’ve learned about strength and stability to help them. Finally, they’ll evaluate the product by testing it and reflect on what they would change about their design to improve it.

Years 3 and 4

Children will use a construction kit called Techcard to design and make a prototype of a go-kart which must satisfy a number of design criteria. They’ll explore how to make strong structures and mechanisms using Techcard before designing and making their prototype. Finally, children will evaluate their finished product by comparing it to their design and testing whether they have achieved the design criteria.

Years 5 and 6

Children have begun the topic by learning about pioneering female designers and engineers.

They then move on to designing and making a moving vehicle which most protect Eggy the Egg in a crash. They’ll need to research and learn about the different safety features that cars use to prevent crashes and protect passengers. They’ll then establish the design criteria and design and make their vehicles. They’ll be using a range of tools and materials to make their vehicles. Finally, children will test their vehicles against each design criteria to see how successful it is. They’ll then evaluate the vehicle based on the results of the tests to suggest improvements.

How can you help?

Talk to your child about what they’ve been learning in class. You could even talk through the three key elements of the design process: evaluate, design and make (check out Sphere Motors, above).

The class news page of the school website is a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.

The school library and local libraries will have some books about Design and Technology which your child will be able to borrow and develop both their reading skills and design knowledge.

Finally, there’s a lot of programmes on CBBC and CBeebies with a Design and Technology focus:

  • Bitz and Bob
  • Grace’s Amazing Machines
  • Junk Rescue
  • Maddie’s Do You Know?
  • The Dengineers

Uniform update

Each year, we review our Uniform Policy. This year, there’s only a tiny tweak about footwear to make things clearer for you: ‘choose shoes that are safe to run around for healthy, active playtimes’.

Talking of uniform, please remember a couple more points:

  • ‘Regarding jewellery, only plain stud earrings (no more than 4mm wide)…are allowed.’ We’ve started to notice more earrings that are bigger and brighter – please save those for weekends and holidays!
  • ‘Advisors recommend no earrings are worn for PE; therefore, we will ask your child to remove earrings before the lesson and put them back in after the lesson. This will be carried out by the child. If they are unable to remove or put their earrings back in by themselves, they must not wear them on the day they have PE.’ – so the start of the Summer holidays is a good time for ears to be pierced.

Thanks for your cooperation.

That’s all from us this week – enjoy a happy and healthy weekend (maybe the whole family will get up to some extreme reading!).

Super skipping

Posted on 22 June 2023 by Mrs Weekes

There were some amazing skipping skills on show at the Year 2 skipping festival yesterday. All the children’s hard work and determination has paid off as we were the winners of today’s competition. Well done to all of the
Year 2 children and all staff who helped to make this happen. #skipping school

This week’s message (Friday 16 June 2023)

Posted on 16 June 2023 by Mr Roundtree

Hot, hot, hot! Despite the weather, there’s still loads of learning happening at Moortown Primary!

We start this week’s message with with an important change…

Our school day

Some time ago, the Government published a White Paper setting out various proposals which included the strong expectation that schools are open for 32.5 hours each week. Following the consultation, the White Paper was cancelled. We assumed the ‘strong expectation’ would also be no more.

Frustratingly, the expectation remains in DfE and Ofsted publications – this wasn’t clear earlier in the year.

This means we need to add five minutes to the school day. We’re going with the overall preference from the parent/carer consultation earlier in the year, which is to add the five minutes to the start of the day. This means our school day from September will be 08.45 – 3.15, every day.

I’m sorry for the confusion and change.

As always, if you’ve questions, comments or concerns, please do let me know.

Testing times

The end of the school year brings with it many assessments, some we have to do and others are to help us keep track of all our pupils’ learning.

The DfE has updated its collection of information for parents. This now includes links to all National Curriculum assessment leaflets for parents, including leaflets for the:

  • KS1 and KS2 national curriculum tests (Year 2 and Year 6 pupils)
  • reception baseline assessment (RBA)
  • phonics screening check (Year 1 pupils, and some Year 2 pupils)
  • multiplication tables check (Year 4 pupils)

In school, we really try to make sure all the assessments are as positive as possible.

Our annual survey

Thank you to everyone who completed the annual survey this year. The survey closed at noon today. We’ve had over 50 responses, almost all extremely positive (for example: ‘This school is a gem… We feel honoured and proud that our child has this wonderful opportunity to be among talented students and looked after well qualified teachers and staff.’).

We’ll spend some time reviewing the responses. Just like in previous years, we’ll get in touch with any individual parent / carer in advance if they’ve raised any specific issue (as long as they’ve provided their name), and we’ll look at some of your suggestions for improvements.

Staying safe in the water

Next week is Drowning Prevention Week. Here’s a few facts to think about:

  • around 44% of accidental drownings happen between May and August
  • 62.4% of accidental drownings happen in inland water
  • accidental drownings takes an average of 402 UK & Irish Citizens every year          
  • lack of confidence and competence in water affects survival rates 
  • more than 46% never intended to be in the water

Spend some time with your child talking about staying safe in and near water.

Have a happy and healthy – and safe – weekend.

This week’s message (Friday 09 June 2023)

Posted on 09 June 2023 by Mr Roundtree

How was your half-term holiday? Hopefully a good one, helped by the nice weather. Now that we’re properly into Summer, remember to make sure your child is protected from the sun (sun cream, hat, plenty of water).

We need to start this week’s message with a correction and end with a reminder.

Sorry!

In the last Friday message just before the holiday, we stated the wrong month for one of a training day. It should read that there’s a training day on Friday 24 May (not June):

We’ve had an increase in requests for some term-time absences. Many of these are linked to the Summer half-term. We don’t authorise term-time absences (see our Attendance Policy). To help next year, we’ve changed the training day to Friday 24 May – this means that you’ve an extra day to use to plan for any holidays.

Thanks to the super-organised parent who spotted the error.

Talking of attendance…

Up to the end of Summer 1 half-term, our whole-school attendance figure is 95.9% – this is a great figure, so thank you very much for making sure your child is at school as much as they possibly can. (The national data for the period from 12 September 2022 to 19 May 2023 is 94.1% for primary schools.)

Here’s how each year group shape up:

  • Reception: 94.9%
  • Year 1: 96.1%
  • Year 2: 96.3%
  • Year 3: 96.0%
  • Year 4: 96.5% – the highest in school, so well done!
  • Year 5: 96.1%
  • Year 6: 95.3%

Please help us

This summer, National Book Tokens is offering schools the chance to receive £1,000 in National Book Tokens. Please nominate our school.

If we’re one of the five winning entries, you’ll also win a £100 National Book Token to spend in your favourite bookshop!

The more entries received for Moortown Primary, the higher the chance we’ll win – so spread the word.

Thanks to the parent who alerted us to this.

Have you completed our annual survey yet?

If not, there’s still time: you’ve got until Friday 16 June to let us know your views. Thanks to those people who’ve already completed it (we’ve had 50 responses so far). It really helps to shape what we do.

Have a happy and healthy weekend!

And they're off ...

Posted on 07 June 2023 by Mrs Weekes

…for two days! Some of our Y6 friends went off this morning to Robinwood in Hebden Bridge. There was lots of excitement and that was just from the staff! I’m sure they will have an amazing time and make lots of memories. Be prepared for the pile of washing when they come back on Friday.