Latest news from around the school


Posted on 05 December 2016 by Mr Roundtree

It’s easy to think your child is safe once they’re indoors. And it’s easy to think your child will always be responsible and safe online.

However, most older children and young people can be on-line, meaning they’re not quite so protected as you might think. And it’s easier than you think for a child to make a choice that they wouldn’t do in person.

Increasingly, we’re being told of problems on social networking sites. These include grooming.

The ‘zipit’ app is a download from Childline for iOS and Android. The app aims to help young people safely respond to requests for inappropriate images by sending back a ‘joke’ image. Using it might help your child maintain some credibility as well as staying safe.

Safeguarding in sport

Posted on 05 December 2016 by Mr Roundtree

The continued disclosures in football have rightly started a national conversation about the sexual abuse of children by people in positions of responsibility.

Talking to your children about sexual abuse?

The BBC published an article last week, ‘How do you talk to your children about sexual abuse?’ which is a good summary of the different ways parents can have conversations about keeping safe with their children.

FA captains’ video raises awareness

Captains of three England football teams have taken part in a film about how to keep children safe in the sport. The video for the NSPCC and the FA explains how parents and children can raise concerns they may have about adults working in football.

Don’t forget we published an article with advice about safeguarding in sport back in October, too.

PE and Sport Premium funding

Posted on 04 December 2016 by Mrs Taylor

We are required to publish details of  how we invest our PE and Sport Premium funding.

What is the Primary PE and Sport Premium?
The government provides funding to improve provision of physical education and sport in primary schools. This funding is ring-fenced and therefore can only be spent on provision of PE and sport in school.
Each school receives £8000, plus £5 per pupil on roll. This gives us a total each year of about £9,000.

For 2016-2017, our grant allocation is £8910.

How will we invest this at Moortown Primary School?
At Moortown we have developed a provision plan to ensure this funding is invested (rather than ‘spent’) to maximise the long term impact of our PE provision for pupils and staff. The funding is invested in various ways and the impact of these initiatives is closely monitored through assessment of children’s skills, staff and pupil feedback, uptake of clubs etc. At Moortown Primary, we pride ourselves on being a happy and healthy place to learn.

Our 2015/16 PE provision plan is now fully evaluated with impact from last year’s investment.

Our 2016/17 PE provision plan detailing proposed investment is also published.

Physical activity - the facts

Posted on 30 November 2016 by Mrs Taylor

In August 2016, the Government released its Childhood Obesity Strategy. This document outlines actions which will address the rising rates of childhood obesity.

Yorkshire Sport Foundation have produced the following poster with statistics and key information from the strategy.


We continue to monitor and improve our physical activity provision (see our current PE Provision Plan (pe-and-sport-premium-2016-2017) and our previous PE Provision Plan (pe-and-sport-premium-2015-2016).

Childline - on the web

Posted on 28 November 2016 by Mr Roundtree

This year is the 30th anniversary of Childline. It’s often thought that Childline is just a phone number, but their website is full of useful information in different formats. If you haven’t looked at the site, check it out, and encourage your child to visit, too. Remind children that they don’t have to be be in distress to find the Childline information helpful.

Why do children contact Childline?

The two most common reasons children contact Childline are low mood/unhappiness and family relationships. Childline made 4,005 referrals in 2015/16 on behalf of 3,609 children to external agencies, a 7% increase in referrals since 2014/15. There was a 49% increase in referrals about mental health since 2014/15. (Source: How safe are our children 2016, NSPCC, 2016)

Safeguarding in sport

Posted on 28 November 2016 by Mr Roundtree

Sport is a terrific way for young people to develop their physical skills, team work and confidence. Thousands of people give up their time to coach and encourage youngsters, but occasionally incidents of grooming and abuse occur. Ensuring that children in sport are as safe as possible is much more rigorous than ever before.

Following last week’s disclosures by Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart about the abuse they suffered as young footballers, the importance of effective policies and procedures has been brought into sharp focus. We have to remember that the abuse of children by adults they trust can occur in any context.

The NSPCC have dedicated resources for safeguarding children in sport.

Below is a Moortown Primary news story from 01 October on this subject:

It’s important that you check that any sports club or activity that your child attends has your child’s safety as its priority. Even if the club seems professional, there are four key questions that you should ask to make sure that they have all the necessary safeguarding measures in place:

1. Can I see your safeguarding policy?
A good organisation or club should have up-to-date safeguarding procedures in place and be happy to show you copies.

2. Who is your Welfare Officer?
The club should have a designated Welfare Officer who is responsible for dealing with any safeguarding concerns that may arise.

3. Do you follow safer recruitment procedures?
Every organisation providing sporting activities to young people must ensure they have the correct recruitment processes in place which includes interviews, references and have undertaken the appropriate police checks for their volunteers and staff.

4. How do you promote the welfare of children and young people?
The club should be able to demonstrate how they actively promote safeguarding. This includes listening and  responding to the views of children and young people.


Don’t be afraid to question. A good and professional organisation will already have procedures in place and will welcome the chance to demonstrate that they are providing a safe environment for your child. Download this leaflet for further guidance on safeguarding in sports.

From Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Board website.

What children say about bullying

Posted on 17 November 2016 by Mr Roundtree

We’re reaching the end of anti-bullying week (although, of course, every week should be an anti-bullying week!).

At Moortown, there is very limited bullying – in fact, children frequently tell us there is none at all, which is great. Even so, it’s still important to prepare your child if they encounter bullying. Please discuss at home how harmful bullying can be, and encourage them to start telling other people.

A report by the NSPCC describes the nature of bullying experienced by young people contacting Childline. Its key findings are:

  • Bullying is the second most common reason for boys and the third most common reason for girls to contact Childline. It makes up 9% of all counselling sessions (25,740 sessions in 2015/16).
  • In a quarter of counselling sessions about bullying, children also talked about mental health and wellbeing issues.
  • Last year, Childline provided more counselling sessions about physical bullying (4,723 sessions) than online bullying (4,541 sessions).
  • However, there has been an 88% increase in counselling about online bullying over the past five years.
  • In 2015/16, there were 1,420 counselling sessions with young people talking about bullying on social networking and gaming sites, up 34% on the previous year.
  • Of the children who contacted Childline about bullying, 12% said they had not told anyone else about it.
  • The young people who had told someone else were most likely to have told a parent (31%), a teacher (30%) or a friend (16%).
  • Childline delivered over 300,000 in-depth counselling sessions to children and young people in 2015/16.
  • Overall, Childline provides more counselling sessions to girls than to boys.
  • Although Childline provide more counselling sessions about bullying to girls, it is a more common concern among the boys who do contact them.
  • Due to the confidential nature of the Childline service, young people do not always disclose personal information, such as their age and gender.

'Power for good'

Posted on 09 November 2016 by Mrs Taylor

Next week is national Anti-Bullying Week.


The theme this year is ‘Power for Good‘ with the following key aims:

  • To support children and young people to use their Power for Good – by understanding the ways in which they are powerful  and encouraging individual and collective action to stop bullying and create the best world possible.
  • To help parents and carers to use their Power for Good – through supporting children with issues relating to bullying and working together with schools to stop bullying.
  • To encourage all teachers, school support staff and youth workers to use their Power for Good– by valuing the difference they can make in a child’s life, and taking individual and collective action to prevent bullying and create safe environments where children can thrive.

Our school definition has recently been reviewed by the School Council and remains unchanged.

‘Bullying is when you hurt someone, physically or emotionally, several times on purpose.’

We also encourage children to use their ‘Power for Good’, if they were to experience or witness bullying, by using another STOP message, start telling other people.

In class, children will discuss these aspects of bullying:

  • Our definition of bullying (above)
  • Types of bullying – cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and belief, special educational need and disability
  • What to do if children experience bullying. The key message is to tell someone (start telling other people)

Recently the School Council responded to this question, ‘What would you do if you were bullied‘?

  • ‘Start telling other people – tell someone who I trust and who I can talk to.’
  • ‘I would tell someone I trust (family member, member of staff or friend).’
  • ‘If I were bullied, I’d tell my parents, a friend, a teacher and if nothing changed I would phone ChildLine (08001111).’
  • ‘I’d tell a teacher, maybe a friend and put in a worry in the ‘worry box’.  Also, I’d tell a parent.’
  • ‘I would tell anyone I trust: my friends, my mum or dad or a member of staff.  They could sort it straight away.’
  • ‘I’d tell my mummy and daddy.’

All classes have access to their class SEAL box or a whole school worry box where they can tell an adult any concerns about bullying or any other issues.


For further support, bullying resources can be found at…




How much do parents really matter?

Posted on 05 November 2016 by Mr Roundtree

A new book, Do Parents Matter? by Robert LeVine and Sarah LeVine, will be published in the UK next year. It was previewed in The Times last week (29 October 2016, summarised below), and it sounds really interesting. After almost five decades of research, the authors, both acclaimed anthropologists, say parents have far less influence than we think, but they do stress two things parents can do to ensure their child is happy and healthy.

The book’s purpose, arguably, is to reassure. Parents these days are bombarded with advice on what they should and shouldn’t do to raise healthy and well-adjusted children. They are often made to feel they are falling short in some way – being a parent can be a role filled with anxiety.

So, Do Parents Matter? The authors conclude that yes, parents do matter, but not as much as we would think.

The couple have spent their working lives looking at parenting practices across the globe. Children can be happy in a variety of conditions, ‘not just the effort-intensive, cautious environments so many British and American parents drive themselves crazy trying to create’ they say in their book.

In other societies, parenting practices that we in the west would regard as neglectful or even cruel can still result in happy and healthy adults. For instance, many western working mums feel guilty about leaving their children in nurseries or with childminders. Yet communal childcare is the norm in other parts of the world; in some places, toddlers are routinely sent away by their mothers after weaning and taken care of by their grandmothers and other women.

In the UK and America, parents engage toddlers in discussions about what food they would like to eat or what clothes they would like to wear. Elsewhere in the world, parents teach their youngsters to follow commands without talking back, the first step in learning about obedience and respect.

Whilst western parents tend to cosset toddlers and try to shield them from the nasty parts of life, in other parts of the world parents believe children’s development can be helped by these things. The authors tell the story of a three-year-old Inuit girl living in the Canadian Arctic. Although the girl was loved and well taken care of by her parents, they constantly challenged the child with extreme, adult questions like ‘Why don’t you die so I can have your nice new shirt?’ This is seen as an Inuit strategy to get children to realise that life is uncertain and capricious, and that they will have to work through a lot of conundrums. The authors don’t suggest anyone does this, but include the example to show that there is a huge variety of ways to teach children about moral relationships.

Another contrast is around responsibility. Modern western parents don’t give children a lot of responsibility, believing that early childhood should be play-based. In Africa and Latin America, however, children aged five or six might be expected to care for a baby or herd animals; in the Pacific islands, three-year-olds are given scaled-down machetes and at five carry heavy loads of firewood.

The LeVines’ message is that children usually turn out fine, whatever the expectations placed on them and the contexts they grow up in. They do, nevertheless, identify two behaviours they see as essential for raising well-adjusted children:

  • physical affection, whether from a parent or other responsible adult, and
  • confidence to know that they are the grown-ups and whilst they may not always know best, they do know better than a child.

'sat' or 'sitting'...?

Posted on 05 November 2016 by Mr Roundtree

Yesterday, we received this email from Elle Wild, author:

I am home schooling my child, who is in Year 4 in Canada, and have been following your very useful notes for Moortown school to keep my son on track with the UK curriculum, as he was schooled there for the last 4 years.

I just wanted to give you a heads up that you’ve included a grammar error in your homework for Nov 4th.

The sentence should read, “My cat is seated on the sofa”, not “is sat”. The cat sits, the cat is seated, the cat sat, but the cat should never “be sat”. It’s a confusion of present and past tense.

I hope you won’t mind the comment terribly, and please permit me to say that I am very impressed by the careful planning evident in your weekly reports.

We’ve replied with the following:

Thank you for your email. In particular, thank you for using our site to support the home education of your son. The grammatical issue to which you refer is quite a tricky one, in that it is becoming more and more wide-spread, and I’m sure you’ll know that language is an ever-changing thing!

Part of the cause here is that Moortown Primary and most of the staff are from the north of England (Moortown is in Leeds), as raised here. To exacerbate this, the teacher in question – who’s a fantastic teacher, and one who is passionate about grammar, providing professional development for staff in other schools – is from the north east (not quite Geordie, but heading in that direction), a point raised here. And it may also relate to the deeply embedded class system, ‘sat’ being more working class, as noted here.

That’s not to say you weren’t right in highlighting this to us because of course you’re completely correct here. We do like to be accurate and this will certainly provide food for thought!

Grammar can be tricky, but the internet is a great way to clarify confusion! One of our favourite sites is Grammar Monster.

Find out more about Elle Wild’s new book, Strange Things Done.

PS We’ve corrected the homework article!