News

Latest news from around the school

Letter to children and young people from the Secretary of State for Education

Posted on 29 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

The Secretary of State for Education has written to children and young people to recognise the impact of the disruption they have faced over the past year and to thank them for their resilience – read the letter here.

This week’s message (Friday 26 March 2021)

Posted on 26 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

Let’s start the message with a few non-Covid things…

Thank you

We raised £139.98 for Comic Relief last Friday. Thanks to everyone for their contributions to our Red Nose Day.

Junior leaders

Rearranged from earlier in the term, next week, we have elections for our Junior Leadership Team (our new name for the School Council, to bring this group inline with the Senior Leadership Team in school). Democracy is a key feature of life in countries such as ours. We want to promote democracy as a way for people to have a say in what goes on. Our Junior Leadership Team is one of the ways that children are encouraged to take an active part in school life.

The election process allows children to develop an understanding of one of the British Valuesdemocracy, with two representatives from each class, chosen democratically by their peers.

Today’s whole school homework is all about the election and democracy, ready for the elections next Thursday.

We’d like to thank the current school councillors for all their contributions over the last year (remember you can stand again). Good luck to the children who choose to stand in the election.

Recruiting

Our school meals provider, Catering Leeds, are looking for staff to join their teams, working in schools within this area. They pay the Leeds Living Wage (a minimum of £9.30 per hour) and have available part-time roles which are term-time only. If you’re interested, visit jobs.leeds.gov.uk website and complete an application form.

And now, one (just one!) Covid-related thing…

Self-testing at home

Lots of families now have access to home self-testing kits – these are called lateral flow tests. These tests are useful because they help find asymptomatic cases of Covid 19. That means they can sometimes identify that someone has Covid-19, even if they don’t have symptoms.

The tests shouldn’t be used to confirm a positive or negative infection.

If your child has any Covid-19 symptoms, they should isolate at home. The rest of your household, including brothers and sisters, should also isolate. Don’t send any to school. Book a PCR (lab) test.

Negative results from a lateral flow test do not rule out Covid-19 infection. This is especially in the early stages of an infection when the viral load is lower.

Even with a negative result, if your child has symptoms, don’t send them (or siblings) to school.

Also, if doing a lateral flow test, do it carefully. The tests are good at identifying if someone has a high viral load of Covid-19. They never confirm that someone doesn’t have the virus.

And finally for this week…

Here’s the latest Families Leeds & West Yorkshire magazine…

Have a really good weekend, hopefully enjoying some sunshine along the way.

Yorkshire Dance virtual dance workshops

Posted on 26 March 2021 by Mrs Taylor

Yesterday, all classes took part in dance workshops, led by dance artist Ellen, as part of the Yorkshire Dance RE:FRESH dance festival.

From Reception to Year 6, all the children copied, explored and performed different dance moves in their workshops.

While we can’t have visitors in school at the moment, this was a great virtual project we could get involved with.

Here are some comments from the Year 1 children.

I loved it because of all the moves we did.

I loved it because I like all the animals.

I liked to see you smiling.

It was amazing and you were amazing, Ellen.

As part of RE:FRESH, there are performances being screened tonight and on Saturday, as well as workshops and a fun dance challenge. All of the details can be found here.
Yorkshire Dance also have classes, specifically for primary aged children, on Saturdays. Here are the details and booking for the summer term are now open.

This week's message (Friday 19 March 2021)

Posted on 19 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

This week, we’ve had to close Year 5,6 bubbles in two of the three Sphere schools. This is such a shame, but really does highlight that Covid-19 is still out there.

Testing for Covid-19 at home

In one of the situations, the bubble closing stemmed from a pupil who had tested positive at home with a home testing kit (a lateral flow device test, or LFD test). The family then went to get tested again, this time using the central test sites where the tests are processed in labs (a polymerase chain reaction test, or PCR test) and the test result was positive.

This shows the value of doing the home-testing. It helps spot cases when someone has Covid with no symptoms, but can still spread the virus. (These are called asymptomatic cases.)

If a pupil has symptoms of Covid they should get a PCR test. A home LFD test isn’t enough – a negative LFD test for a person with symptoms isn’t sufficient evidence that they are negative. If your child has symptoms of Covid, or just doesn’t seem right in any way, please don’t send them to school.

In the situation described above, we’re grateful to the family for spotting a positive case, keeping children away from school, and therefore helping to stop the spread of Covid.

And a couple of non-Covid news items…

Does your child use Omegle?

You may have read some worrying reports recently about a chatroom website called Omegle. The website has as its tag line ‘Talk to Strangers’ – as you can imagine it’s for 18s and over.

We’ve had some worrying reports that younger children have been accessing this website and may have seen some inappropriate things.

Please check your child’s device regularly.

We’re a happy and healthy place to work!

Moortown Primary is a happy and healthy place to learn, but we’re proud to be a happy and healthy place to work, too.

Every year in the Summer Term, we ask you to complete an annual survey – it’s always good to hear your views. Every two years, we also ask staff to complete a survey – the most recent was in February.

We’re delighted that across all three schools in Sphere Federation, 100% of staff agreed that pupils’ behaviour is good and that pupils are safe. You might think staff would say this, but the survey is an opportunity to ‘tell it how it is’ in an anonymous way, so these outcomes are great.

Other questions related to staff wellbeing and workload; leadership; the curriculum; and assessments. The outcomes in these areas were also really high – typically over 95%.

Typical comments from staff at Moortown Primary are:

  • ‘All staff are vigilant and confident in safeguarding procedures – if they’re not then they ask. The curriculum empowers children to know how to be safe in many different areas.’
  • ‘The Head of School and Head of Federation work very well as a team and are supported well by leaders across the federation.’
  • ‘Over the years, the school has effectively adapted to challenges, especially during the current pandemic, ensuring staff and student’s safety and wellbeing.’
  • ‘Leaders have been really understanding and supportive when I have faced challenging times.’
  • ‘Workload is considered whenever new initiatives or procedures are introduced. Views are sought by teachers before, during and after implementation.’
  • ‘Leaders listen to everyone and if there’s a problem, it will be addressed if at all possible, or there will be a clear explanation if this isn’t possible.’

 

Finally today, I found out that one of the fans of our daily / weekly messages is Mrs Weekes’s mum, so I’d like to say a big hello to her, and a happy Mothers Day to her, and of course to all mums!

Let's rock for Red Nose Day!

Posted on 15 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

Hello to all of you Times Tables Rock Stars

This Friday is Red Nose Day and the people at TTRS have come up with a great challenge to raise some extra money for Comic Relief.

 

Prices for a new nose start at 50,000 coins so we’d best get saving.

We’ve got until Friday –  Red Nose Day. Let’s do our bit to help the nation reach that £5,000 target.

TTRS Tournament winners (wb 08 March)

Posted on 15 March 2021 by Mr Wain

Hello again to all of the Times Tables Rock Stars out there,

How are we all settling back into school? I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as all the teachers are!

BREAKING NEWS:

The results are in. We have our ROCK STARS OF THE WEEK.

Recording an average score of 1490, the winners this week are Y3!

That’s now four times in a row – AMAZING!

Which class will knock Y3 off top spot this week or will they claim their fifth successive victory?

Now that we’re back in school, there’ll be opportunities to play in class as well as at home. Give your teacher a nudge as the week goes on if you’ve not yet had a chance to play. If you’d like to play at home and would like a reminder of your login details, let your teacher know.

All the best TTRS!

This week's message (Friday 12 March 2021)

Posted on 12 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

It’s the end of the first week back. Children have settled very quickly and teachers report they’re really keen to learn, which is great news. We hope the change to your week has been welcome!

Teachers also say the children, especially younger ones, have been tired, which is understandable – you can help with this by making sure they’re getting a good night’s sleep (the NHS recommend 9-12 hours for a 6-12 year old).

A word from Mrs Weekes

At the end of the first week back, with all the children back in school, I can definitely say it’s been busy, exciting and – in many ways – like we’ve never been away. After working at home during lockdown, it was lovely to be back at the gate seeing everyone coming in. On Monday, the children literally skipped in with smiles on their faces (and then all the parents skipped out – literally in some cases!). I think everyone in my house has already noticed a change in my mood as I’m so glad that we’re fully open again.
Thank you for continuing to follow our guidance and routines in school. The staggered beginning and end of the day is working well, particularly when everyone is punctual and keeping to their allocated times. Please remember that only one adult does the ‘pick up’ and ‘drop off’ so that we reduce the amount of people on site as much as possible.

I’d also like to say a huge thank you to the children – their behaviour has been excellent and the atmosphere around school has been calm but with a healthy buzz of excitement!

Are you claiming income support?

The virus has been tough for us all. Some of you might be claiming income support to tide you over. If you are, please register your child for free school meals, even if…

  • they don’t actually have a school dinner
  • they’re in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and so they get a free meal already

This is because for every child registered, we get an extra £1320 this year. Make a claim here.

We can use this extra amount to help pay for all sorts of resources that can benefit your child and their class.

Parent-teacher meetings

Just before February half-term, we’d normally have parent-teacher meetings and provide you with a Learning Update. We’re still planning to have parent-teacher meetings, but these will be in the last week of this term (week beginning 29 March – check the school calendar for the dates) and will be via Zoom, the same as last time. We’ll email you more details shortly.

Red Nose Day

…is next Friday. To mark the occasion, we’re having a non-uniform day and inviting children to wear some red. There’ll be a bucket to collect donations as you enter school. (Even though it’s a non-uniform day, pupils should dress appropriately, so no revealing clothes, high-heeled shoes or make-up – this is in line with our uniform policy.)

Staying safe

In emails from the Department for Education this week, one message is very clear: ‘England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law, and follow the rules in the national lockdown: stay at home guidance.’ 

Please do keep following lockdown rules – we all so desperately want this lockdown to be the last!

Enjoy your weekend (including Mothers Day!).

Today’s message (Monday 08 March 2021)

Posted on 08 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

It’s finally come – all the children are able to be back at school, where they belong.

There were lots of happy faces this morning as children returned to school. Some children might be feeling a bit nervous but within a few moments, they’ve settled quickly. (Some teachers were feeling nervous, too – they’ve also settled well!)

Well done for the great support you’ve provided in terms of home learning and making sure your child has been happy and healthy. This lockdown’s been tough so we’re sure things can’t have been easy. And thank you for the great support you’ve provided to us, too – your encouraging and appreciative messages have been really welcome.

Has your child got a cough? A high temperature? A loss of taste or smell? Or not feeling quite right in some other way? Please keep your child at home if they’re not feeling ok, even if they’ve done a lateral flow test at home with a negative result. 

This is because these tests quite often show ‘false negatives’ – this is when a person who has Covid-19 has a negative result.

So why use a lateral flow test? Where the tests do show a positive result, there’s a strong chance the person has Covid-19, so they’re useful to identify people who aren’t showing any symptoms.

This is the last of the daily messages. From now, we’ll send occasional messages in the week and we’ll continue the weekly message each Friday.

By the way, have you noticed the messages appear on Facebook and Twitter now, too? That’s one of the outcomes from the behind-the-scenes work on our website which took place over the half-term.

Congratulations to Mr Parker

Posted on 07 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

As school reopens to all our children, there’ll be a teacher missing on Monday.

That’s because Mr Parker and his wife welcomed their baby boy into the world very early on Sunday morning. Congratulations to both of them.

So, Year 2 will have to wait a little longer to see Mr Parker.

As he starts his paternity leave, Miss Rushbrooke is returning from her maternity leave so she will be teaching Year 2, along with Miss Needham, while Mr Parker spends time with the new arrival.

Today’s message (Friday 05 March 2021)

Posted on 05 March 2021 by Mr Roundtree

And we made it! After nine weeks, we’re sooooo looking forward to seeing you all again next week.

Just like the Spring-Summer closure, we know things have been tough for you – in many ways, tougher. We’re sure you’ve done a really good job in supporting your child’s home learning journey.

We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive comments you’ve sent us – these have really helped get us through this period.

This week, we’ve been communicating some key information about Monday 08 March and onwards. The information is all in this guide – do check it out. It’s quite long, but we’ve tried to make it easy to use – the first two sections are the most important.

Some children have told us in Zooms or phone calls that they’re worried they might’ve missed some of the learning. If your child has raised this concern, please reassure them. We’ve re-organised our curriculum to help with this (Section 3 of the guide provides an overview of this).

This letter comes from Leeds City Council: ‘we are asking you to do everything you can to keep rates of transmission down both within our communities and within schools’. (Sections 2 and 5 of the guide provides guidance about how you and your family can do exactly that.)

We mentioned yesterday that children should come wearing their PE kit on PE days, as in Autumn. Here’s a reminder of those days:

  • Reception: Wednesday, Friday
  • Year 1: Tuesday, Thursday
  • Year 2: Tuesday, Friday
  • Year 3: Tuesday, Thursday
  • Year 4: Wednesday, Thursday
  • Year 5: Monday, Thursday
  • Year 6: Monday, Wednesday

Enjoy the weekend with the light at the end of the tunnel shining on you and your family.