Latest news from around the school

Results from the 2016 annual survey

Posted on 09 October 2016 by Mr Roundtree

Thank you to all the parents / carers who responded to this year’s annual survey.

This year, we used an online survey which is used in our other Sphere Federation schools. This has meant looking at the results and communicating them to you is much easier (although it might have contributed to the slight drop in respondents to). We’ve removed some statistical information about the mean, the variance etc, and we’ve removed children’s names, but nothing else. Read all the results and comments here. This contains our responses, too; we’ve not responded to every single comment – just a selection.

The results are overwhelmingly positive – perhaps more so than ever before. 100 % of respondents agreed with the following statements:

  • My child is happy at Moortown Primary School.
  • My child feels safe at Moortown Primary School.
  • My child is taught well at Moortown Primary School.
  • Moortown Primary makes sure its pupils are well behaved.
  • Moortown Primary is well led and managed.
  • I would recommend Moortown Primary School to another parent.

All but one respondent agreed with the following three statements. This might be the same person, or different people. Either way, we encourage you to get in touch if unsure.

  • My child makes good progress at Moortown Primary School.
  • My child is well looked after at Moortown Primary School.
  • Moortown Primary responds well to any concerns I raise.

It was around homework, bullying and learning updates that we got more varied responses.

  • For homework, some people want more and some want less – we’re pleased that 87% agreed that homework was pitched about right.
  • Regarding bullying, responses often indicate people are unsure of how we tackle it – the comments this year (as in previous years) explain that this is because their child hasn’t encountered it.
  • Finally, around receiving updates about their child’s learning, 11% (just four respondents) were unsure whether this was valuable or not. This might have something to do with the move away from levels that were so familiar to both parents and teachers, and it might have something to do with a move towards teaching for greater depth. Whatever the reason, we remind the four respondents, and all parents / carers. that teachers will be happy to see you pop in for some informal, quick chats, and for you to arrange a longer meeting if you’d like one.

Moortown Primary continues to be a happy and healthy place to learn. Parents and carers are an important part of our close and supportive community. Thank you, again, if you responded to the survey.

Staying safe in sport (and other clubs)

Posted on 01 October 2016 by Mr Roundtree

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.

Improving your child's reading skills

Posted on 01 October 2016 by Mr Roundtree

The Department for Education recently released measures showing how children have progressed from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2. Expected progress is zero, with anything above that being better than expected and negative numbers showing less than expected progress. Overall, we’re happy that Moortown’s progress remains better than many schools. In Writing and in Maths, the progress measure is 1.4 and 2.0 – this is really quite secure progress.

In Reading this year, progress was also positive, but by less than Writing and Maths: 0.3 – a little above the expected level. We’d like it to be higher. We think the Reading test was extremely hard this year – something widely reported and commented on in the media and social media. It also raises the importance of reading and discussing what is being read at home. Some of our children struggled for three main reasons:

Some children struggled to read the whole text. This flags up how important regular reading at home is to build up fluency.

Others struggled with how difficult the texts were to read. One was an extract from a newspaper, whose intended audience is adults, not 11 year olds! This flags up the importance of encouraging your child to read often, and to read a variety of texts, from fiction to non-fiction, comics to newspapers (but always prioritise reading for pleasure – far more important than a snapshot of reading skills that is the SATs test).

Third, the actual test questions were tough. They testing children’s knowledge of quite tricky words and ability to infer ‘impressions’, a word used more than once in the test. Teachers always encourage parents and carers to be listening to their child read and talking about what is being read, even when a child is quite a fluent reader.

For your awareness, here are a couple of questions from the test, about warthogs and dodos:

“…milled around in bewilderment” (page 8) Explain what this description suggests about the baby warthogs.
What does “rehabilitate the image of the dodo” mean? Tick one. a) restore a painting of the dodo b) rebuild the reputation of the dodo c) repair a model of the dodo d) review accounts of the dodo

Some of the words and phrases used in the texts included ancestors, impressions, inscription, ‘parted company’, ‘offered themselves up’, oasis and parched – not impossibly hard to work out, but perhaps a step up from what your child might be reading at home.

(It’s not all about a Year 6 test, though! Previous news posts have noted that research shows children who read lots develop into adults with greater social and emotional skills.)

Local press

Posted on 30 September 2016 by Mrs Taylor

Our new multi-use games area (MUGA) featured in the Yorkshire Evening Post this week.


Scoot the Route

Posted on 29 September 2016 by Mrs Taylor

We’ve had a great response to the Scoot the Route scooter promotion this week with lots of names in the draw for one of our five prizes tomorrow.  There is one more chance tomorrow.


We’d love to see the children continue to use their scooters, alongside walking and biking to school, to prevent congestion, improve safety and have a happy, healthy and active start to the day!

Yorkshire's Rio Heroes

Posted on 25 September 2016 by Mrs Taylor

Welcome back Yorkshire’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes with a special homecoming parade!  On Wednesday 28 September, a carnival atmosphere will take hold of Leeds as the athletes are welcomed home in true Yorkshire style.











A host of athletes have confirmed their attendance, including triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee; World, European and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft, MBE; diver and gold medallist Jack Laugher; and rowers Andy Triggs Hodge and Paul Bennett who both claimed gold.

There will be a lively parade, with samba bands, brass bands, colourful performers and of course open top buses and vehicles carrying the athletes. Parade celebrations will start at 5.15pm, and we would love to see the people of Yorkshire come out in force to line the city centre route and cheer on these inspiring men and women.



Wonderful website

Posted on 19 September 2016 by Mr Roundtree

A really thoughtful email arrived in our in-tray over the weekend…

Just want to say thank you for a great school website with lots of learning resources.
I came across your website when I was searching for spelling tests for my 5 year old daughter. I am very impressed with the extensive range of learning tools on your site. This will help me teach all my children.
I am from London and will be sharing your school website with my children’s school, hoping they can improve their current webpage.
Thanks once again and keep up the good work.

We’re happy that children, parents / carers and sometimes teachers benefit from using what’s on the website, whether they have a direct connection with our school or not.

'Scoot the Route' 26 - 30 September

Posted on 19 September 2016 by Mrs Taylor

Next week, we’ll be supporting Leeds City Council’s ‘Scoot the Route’ initiative to promote scooting to school to help reduce congestion at the school gates and encourage pupils to lead more healthy active lifestyles.

We will be running a competition throughout the week whereby children will be issued a ticket (below) at the gate if they come to school on their scooter.  They need to complete the ticket and hand it in to the office.  All tickets will then go in to a draw on Friday 30 September where children have the chance of winning one of five £10 Love2Shop vouchers.


Don’t forget you can park your scooter near the bike storage area using one of our new scooter storage pods.


It's Gold again!

Posted on 18 September 2016 by Mrs Taylor

The School Games Mark is a Government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community.  Schools in England are able to assess themselves across bronze, silver and gold levels of the mark based on participation in competitions, extra-curricular sporting activities, sports leadership and local club links.

Once again, we’re proud to receive a Gold award!

Thank you to all pupils, parents and staff who continue to have such enthusiasm for participation.






Great learning behaviour

Posted on 16 September 2016 by Mr Roundtree

I’ve enjoyed spending the morning looking around all the classes. I’ve seen some great teaching and some great learning!

In Reception, children are very settled and already displaying some really good characteristics of effective learning. These are really important – more than simply being able to count to really high numbers, for example – because they are the foundation stones on which future achievements are built. There are a lot of siblings in the class, so I already know quite a few of the children. One child has even offered to teach me some Irish dancing – being Irish myself, it’s a skill I’m particularly looking forward to acquiring!

The Year 1 classroom looks great. The door has been removed (by the caretaker from one of the federation schools – thank you, Robert); this means we have a smooother transition from the areas of provision in Reception to a slightly more formal environment in Key Stage 1. The children made so much progress last year and, based on what I’ve seen this morning, will do equally well this year.

Year 2 pupils were busy finding nouns in their reading books. Someone gave me a really helpful definition – it’s something you can see, hear or touch. (You can sometimes smell or taste them, too!) They were enthusiastic about finding as many as they could. Why don’t you spot some on your journey to or from school next week!

Mrs Wells and the Year 3s were concentrating on their multiplication tables – they played ping pong, a quick game you can try at home or in the car: starting from zero, just count as confidently as you can in 2s, 5s or whichever table is being learnt, but the challenge is to alternate between each person. It was good to see the children concentrate hard.

When I visited Year 4, the children were all engaged in a carousel of different activities: reading (and talking about their reading) with Mrs Freeman, enjoying some comics, reading silently, playing a flag game (it’s the Where in the World topic, after all!), and reading with Miss Hale (the teaching assistant). It was good to see so much concentration with so many different things going on – clearly, Mr Owen and Mrs Freeman have got some good routines in place.

Mr Catherall’s classroom looks amazing, with lots of learning prompts for the Where in the World topic and for Maths and English. His class was also busy, taking part in another learning carousel. I was especially impressed by Pohnum and Pavan, whose learning behaviour was impressive and were very much engrossed in a dictionary challenge. I was also pleased to see a large group busy reading and analysing First News. (It’s a great newspaper for children; we subscribe at school, but why not subscribe and receive a copy at home, too!)

Finally, Miss Rushbrooke and the Year 6 children have all entered their second year working together – a smooth and productive transition. Always a mature, enthusiastic cohort, this year looks like being even more impressive for them as they work so well together. The classroom looks impressive, too.