Latest news from around the school

New school meal menu

Posted on 28 June 2017 by Mrs Taylor

The new school dinner menu, from our school meals provider, Catering Leeds, will be introduced in September and continues until February half term.

As well as on our website, the three week cyclical menu is also displayed on our dining room window for you to discuss with your child. Have a look for the weeks ahead to make your child aware of what the daily meals are.  If you would like a printed copy, please ask at the office.

School meals continue to be free for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. If your child is in Key Stage 2, please check for eligibility for free school meals. (It’s important to check for eligibility for younger children, too, because school receives additional funding for each child who is eligible for a free meal, even when they’re free in Reception and Year 1 and Year 2!)

If your child would like to start having school dinners, please inform the office. A combination of packed lunches and school dinners is also available.

Children are consulted on school meals through our regular School Council meetings.  Feedback may also be given by speaking to an adult in school or completing a suggestions/comments slip and posting it in their class SEAL box.

Thank you to parents who also raise questions and give feedback.  We can then ensure this is passed on to the kitchen staff.

Election of a parent governor

Posted on 27 June 2017 by Mr Roundtree

A parent governor is required to fill a vacancy on the governing body of Sphere Federation.

If you wish to offer yourself as a candidate to become a parent governor, please read the following, which describes the role and outlines some key characteristics desired for a new governor and the process of becoming a governor. Nominations should be emailed to by Friday 07 July 2017. Alternatively, you can submit a paper copy to any of the school offices.


The governing body’s three core functions are:

  • Ensuring clear vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Head of Federation to account for the educational performance of each school and its pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of each school, ensuring money is well spent.

The schools in the federation are Scholes (Elmet) Primary School, St James’ CoE VC Primary School, and Moortown Primary School.


The governing body would benefit more from new governors with expertise in one of three areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND);
  • Experience in HR and performance management;
  • Competency in educational data analysis.

Governors will also need to be able to understand their role is strategic and not operational; build relationships with a range of people; work as part of a team; question and challenge; make connections between different types of information; and represent the three schools and their community.

Expectations of governors is high. Governors need not be experts in the field of education but they do need an interest in the welfare of our children across all three of the federation schools, and the time and willingness to get involved in strategic oversight. Our parent governors are appointed for a term of four years, and are expected to attend termly evening meetings of the full governing body; sit on one sub-committee and attend termly meetings; regularly visit each Sphere Federation school formally for monitoring purposes; visit each school informally at least once a year; read and digest papers and governance information regularly; and commit to attend training and development courses relevant to the assigned governance role. All governor appointments are subject to a valid enhanced DBS check and disqualification criteria.

Training and support will be available to help you develop into this role. This will include compulsory external induction training and in-house mentoring and support.

To find out more about the role, please see the governance section of the school website or read the DfE’s Governance Handbook and Competency Framework.

For further details, please contact Mr Roundtree at or Rachel Greenhalgh, Chair of Governors, at

Nomination form

If there are more applications than vacancies, we will hold an election and parents will be sent a voting paper in due course. The information you supply as part of your nomination will be circulated to parents to help them decide who to vote for. Your personal details will not be distributed.

Nominations should be emailed to by Friday 07 July 2017. You can submit a nomination by hand or by email. The information we need, and sample wording, is as follows:

To the Head of Sphere Federation:

I wish to nominate myself as a candidate to be a parent governor of Sphere Federation.

I am the parent of … at … school.

I do / do not include a personal statement.

Please print name and address. (Please note the address details will not go out with the ballot forms.)

Personal statement (in no more than 200 words)

Write a few lines about yourself: what you do and what your interests are will help other parents decide who to vote for. Here are a few suggestions of areas you may like to give information on:

  • Experience you have which may be useful, particularly in relation to the skills the governing body is looking for
  • Family e.g. number of children, ages, which school in the federation they attend
  • Interests e.g. voluntary work, hobbies
  • Why you would like to be a governor
  • Anything else you would like to say

Please note that this statement will be typed for you.

Staying safe in the summer

Posted on 26 June 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Summer time, and particularly the summer holidays, can be full of hazards and risks to manage. Here’s a round-up of some resources to help you keep your child safe this summer time.

Water Safety

Beach Safety
Shore Thing (RNLI)

Sun Safety
Teenage Cancer Trust
Cancer Research

Railway Safety
Network Rail – Primary school resources

Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)
Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)

Protection from sexual abuse
Whilst it’s an uncomfortable thought, parents need to ask questions of any childcare provider, play scheme or holiday centre children’s services, about how they prevent their workers harming a child. The NSPCC has a useful video about the prevention of sexual abuse in particular and what adults can do to ask organisations about how they keep children safe.

Does your child use SnapChat?

Posted on 26 June 2017 by Mr Roundtree

SnapChat has a stated minimum age restriction of 13 years old. Despite this, we know some primary children do use it.

Last week, SnapChat launched a new feature. SnapMaps allows users to see the location of their contacts. This feature allows others to accurately pinpoint where you are. There are three possible privacy settings:

  • Ghost mode, where only you can see your position;
  • My Friends mode, where any contact can see your location; and
  • Select Friends mode, just those who you choose can see you

ChildNet have posted a thorough explanation of SnapMaps and how to ensure users stay safe – this is well worth a read if you know your child uses the app.

For more general advice, Family Share have produced 10 things parents and kids should know about the SnapChat app.

Water safety advice

Posted on 21 June 2017 by Mrs Taylor

Following from our Staying Safe themed week and in association with National Drowning Prevention Week, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has released the following water safety advice.

As the Summer months are approaching and with more good weather on the way, young and old alike should be aware of the dangers of open water.

An open water source may look like a good way to cool down on a hot day, but every year, in the UK, around 400 people die from drowning as a result of an accident in or around water.

Nationally, the emergency services respond to over 100,000 water-related rescues, and flood events every year.

Reservoirs may look tempting to take a swim in but they can be killers and we’d like to raise awareness of these risks amongst young people. Cold water shock can lead to hyperventilation, increased blood pressure, breathing difficulties and heart attacks plus water temperatures remain just as cold in summer as in winter.  Yorkshire Water have produced Cold Water Kills video to reinforce this message.

A summer safety message from the Royal National Life Saving Institute (RNLI), ‘Float to Live’, is a hard-hitting video, with advice on how to react should you become stricken in cold water.

Everyone who falls unexpectedly into cold water wants to follow the same instinct, to swim hard and to fight the cold water. But when people fight it, chances are, they lose. Cold water shock makes you gasp uncontrollably and breathe in water, which can quickly lead to drowning.

If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, the message is to float until the cold water shock has passed and you will be able to control your breathing and have a far better chance of staying alive.

Safety Advice for Dog Walkers

  • Avoid throwing sticks or balls near water for dogs – they will go after it if they think you want it back even if you’ve thrown it too far or into dangerous water
  • Never enter the water to try and save a dog – the dog usually manages to scramble out
  • Even dogs that like swimming can usually only swim for short bursts
  • Keep and eye of your dog and don’t let it enter the water if it’s older or tired
  • If your dog loves the water keep it on a lead and make sure you have control to prevent it jumping into hazardous or unsafe areas
  • Remember the wet riverbanks, steep edges or jagged rocks can make it hard for a dog to scramble out and be a slip risk for owners
  • Don’t lean into water and try and lift your dog out – you can topple in
  • Dogs can have cold water shock too
  • If your dog has struggled in the water it may have inhaled water and should see a vet as dogs can drown after the event if water has entered the lungs

What to do if someone falls into deep water

  • The first thing to do is call for help – straightaway. Call 999, ask for fire service and ambulance. The emergency services will need to know where you are. Accurate information can save precious minutes. If you have a smart phone and have location services or map tool enabled, this can help.
  • Don’t hang up – stay on the line but try and continue to help the person if appropriate.
  • Never ever enter the water to try and save someone. This usually ends up adding to the problem. If you go into the water you are likely to suffer from cold
  • Can the person help themselves? Shout to them ‘Swim to me’. The water can be disorientating. This can give them a focus.
  • Look around for any lifesaving equipment. Depending on where you are there might be lifebelts or throw bags – use them. If they are attached to a rope make sure you have secured or are holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in.
  • If there is no lifesaving equipment look at what else you can use. There may be something that can help them stay afloat – even an item such as a ball can help.
  • You could attempt to reach out to them. Clothes such as scarves can be used to try and reach or a long stick. If you do this lie on the ground so your entire body is safely on the edge and reach out with your arm. Don’t stand up or lean over the water– you may get pulled in.
  • Be mindful that if the water is cold the person may struggle to grasp an object or hold on when being pulled in.

SEAL theme - Changes

Posted on 04 June 2017 by Mrs Taylor

We start this half term with a focus on manners.

Our SEAL statement is I cover my mouth (when I yawn, cough, sneeze).

For coughing and sneezing we have referred to the vampire method of sneezing into your elbow rather than a hand.  After introducing this method a few years ago, it is great to see children now doing this without reminders.

During this half term, we start to think about changes the children will experience in school in terms of moving class, key stage and even school.

This SEAL theme tackles the issue of change and aims to equip children with an understanding of different types of changepositive and negative, and common responses to change. The key ideas and concepts behind this theme are:

  • Change can be uncomfortable, because it can threaten our basic needs to feel safe and to belong
  • Change can also be stimulating and welcome
  • Both adults and children can experience a range of powerful and conflicting emotions as a result of change – for example, excitement, anxiety, uncertainty, loss, anger, resentment
  • Worries about change can be made worse by uncertainty, lack of information, or misinformation and lack of support from others
  • People’s responses to and ability to cope with change are very variable, and might be influenced by individual temperament, previous experience of change, and the nature of the change – chosen or imposed, expected or unexpected, within our control or out of our control

Some children may welcome most forms of change and dislike routine and predictability. Other children may find even small changes very difficult.

Perhaps you can support your child’s learning by discussing at home any current and future changes, too.

Happy and healthy half-term

Posted on 27 May 2017 by Mr Roundtree

It’s the half-term holidays!

There are lots of things going on in and around Leeds. To find out more, check out Breeze for what’s coming up right across the city for children and young people. Visit Leeds lists lots of events listed, including their Top 5 suggestions. Leeds City Council‘s own website is certainly worth a look, too.

Whatever you get up to, have a happy and healthy half-term holiday.

See you all again on Monday 05 June.

Staying Safe week so far

Posted on 24 May 2017 by Mrs Taylor

Our themed week has been jam-packed so far with visits from NSPCC, d:side drug education, Moortown Fire Service, Leeds City Council Road Safety team, Canal and Rivers Trust and Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative.

Children have also worked with different classes to take part in safety carousels including food safety, sun safety, water safety, first aid, safety in the home and the importance of safety helmets.

Ask your child about all the learning they have experienced so far.

Still to come is One Day Creative (e-safety drama workshops), local PCSOs, Dogs Trust and an outdoor adventure day for Year 6 at Yeadon Tarn.

Year 5 and 6 parents are invited to watch the e-safety workshop showback at 2:30pm on Thursday.

The weather has certainly helped to encourage lots of children to travel to school in a sustainable way on foot, by bike or scooter.  There are two more days to register your journey to school to be in the prize draw for vouchers for each class.





How do we respond to children's concerns after events such as the Manchester attack?

Posted on 23 May 2017 by Mr Roundtree

This morning, we woke up to the dreadful news of the terror attack that took place in Manchester last night. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those that lost their lives and the many people that were injured as a result of the atrocity.

Your child may be upset or worried about news events such as this one. The following may be helpful websites may be useful:

Childline presents a general overview of worries of the world, and this includes attacks, extremism and bullying.

BBC Newsround advice is more specific to the Manchester attack, offering simple information and advice for a child or young person who is upset.

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. There’s a link on their homepage to this leaflet on supporting a child after a frightening event.

Winston’s Wish is another charity that supports bereaved children. They’re offering specific advice on how to respond to children and young people affected by the media coverage of the incident in Manchester.

Safe travel to school

Posted on 19 May 2017 by Mrs Taylor

During our Staying Safe themed week, children are encouraged to test out their learning of being safe in their local environment by travelling to school by scooter, bike or on foot. Children will be learning about road safety and the safe use of scooters and bikes as part of their learning during the week.

Plan a safe route to school, keep safe by wearing a safety helmet if biking or scooting, keep safe in the busy school grounds and safely store your scooters in the scooter pods and bikes in the storage area by Year 3 and 4.

If you do bike to school, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative will be running a Dr Bike event, from 8:30am on Tuesday 23 May, in the main playground.  Bring along your bike for a free bike safety check (parents and carers too!).

All children who bike, scoot or walk to school during the themed week should complete the slips (available in class) each day and post them in their class tube to be in the draw for 7 x £10 Love2Shop vouchers.