News

Latest news from around the school

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.

Living Streets update

Posted on 12 December 2018 by Mrs Taylor

We are pleased to work alongside the Living Streets local Moortown group to support our aim for children to make healthy, active and safe journeys to school.  Here is an update from the group.

A BIG THANK YOU!
Both Living Streets UK and Living Streets Moortown would like to say a big thank you for all the noticeable improvements you have helped to bring about on journeys to and from school this year:
• Reduction in parking in Allerton Avenue (which is access only for residents) and on the double yellow or zig-zag lines adjacent to the school
• Reduction in vehicles mounting the pavement near to the school
• Reduction in vehicles parked with engines idling
• Increase in the number of families opting to Park & Stride from M&S* when driving is unavoidable

* M&S has 200 free 2-hour spaces available and the short walk to school is much safer and more enjoyable with fewer cars passing through key crossing points on the routes to school (such as Allerton Avenue and the
shopping parade entrance & exits).

This is fantastic progress and with continued support from all the families at Moortown we’ll see further improvements in air quality, safer ‘vehicle-free’ pavements and more families choosing to make and enjoy active trips to school.

OUR CURRENT PRIORITIES
While all the improvements we have seen around the school gates are encouraging, there is still a lot to be done. Cars, vans and HGVs continue to be driven up footpaths and recently there appears to be an increase in drivers passing through the main M&S lights while the green man is on so please be mindful of this when crossing.

We are already campaigning to deal with issues like these and the great response we had to our recent survey of parents and carers has helped us to submit a feedback document to the ‘Connecting Leeds’ consultation – a proposal to improve bus and other sustainable travel options in Moortown. We recently met with a representative from the project and are hopeful that some of the suggested pedestrian improvements will be incorporated into the scheme which is due to be delivered next year.

THE YEAR AHEAD…
The Moortown Living Streets Group is still in its first year, but we already have some exciting plans for 2019, including a project to monitor local air quality as well as some great ideas to get Moortown moving!
➢ Register to get involved or receive news here
➢ Access info on walking to school here

Thank you once again for you support to date – it’s making a real difference and we’re keen for that to continue throughout the year ahead.
Season’s Greetings!
From everyone at Moortown Living Streets Group
E: [email protected] T: @moortownlsg

Living and learning: New Childline website - Speak out Stay safe

Posted on 10 December 2018 by Mrs Taylor

Staying Safe is one of our Living and Learning related themed weeks this year, taking place in February.

As part of the NSPCC’s Speak out Stay safe programme, Childline has launched a Speak out Stay safe website aimed at children under the age of 12.  This provides age appropriate content on topics including: bullying, family, friends, feelings, school, abuse and staying safe. It also includes games and therapeutic tools for young visitors to play and express how they are feeling.