Snow update (Tuesday)
Posted on 09 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
Forecast is for some light snow, but we plan to stay open for children of key workers and children who may be vulnerable in some way.
Today’s message (Monday 08 February 2021)
Posted on 08 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
A friend texts me regular messages of positivity. Her most recent one was ‘Days getting longer and flowers coming up.’ We can’t control much of what’s going on at the moment, but we can look out for signs of good news and hope.
As normal on Monday, we start the week with a new Living and Learning statement: I make safe choices, including online. This links with Safer Internet Day 2021. Tomorrow, we’ll have a message from Mrs Taylor, one of our Living and Learning leaders; and, later in the week, we’ll have the third message from Mrs Weekes, our safeguarding leader. First though, we have our assemblies for the week…
- the Moortown Primary assembly is led by Mrs Weekes
- Miss Hague leads the Scholes (Elmet) Primary assembly
- the St James’ CE Primary collective worship is led by Mrs Rowley
Visit our Online Safety page for more support.
Talking of Living and Learning…
The last two weeks of Living and Learning and assemblies has had respect as a theme – respecting yourself and respecting communities. Visit the Living and Learning virtual library for links to great books on a related themes. Amongst others, there’s a shelf dedicated to similarities and differences, black history, and being proud of who you are.
And something completely different…
The BBC recently launched Blue Peter on YouTube. They’re uploading videos to it that are suitable for 5-11 year olds. The Blue Peter team writes: ‘We have world record breaking challenges, arts and crafts, environmental videos, cooking and baking how tos, inspirational films, gaming, celebrity appearances, dance routines and music performances. We also feature ways of getting a Blue Peter badge, behind the scenes footage and extra content about our incredible presenters Adam, Lindsey, Mwaksy, Richie and Henry the Blue Peter dog… and don’t forget to watch the live programme on CBBC at 5.00pm every week, or on BBC iPlayer.’
It prompted a conversation amongst staff about their all-time favourite Blue Peter presenter… Mrs Weekes opted for Peter Purves and Mrs Burke chose his co-presenter at the time, John Noakes. Miss Wilson’s favourite was Matt Baker. Mr Wilks had a crush on Katy Hill. Mr Owen is torn between Katy Hill and Konnie Huq. My favourite was Sarah Greene back in the early 1980s. Who was your favourite?
Finally, don’t forget that we’re now offering Morning Help Zooms from 9.30-11.30 each school day. Read more about this on page 4 of our Home Learning Guide – and contact us for the Zoom details.
Posted on 08 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
Forecast is for some heavy snow showers, but we plan to stay open for children of key workers and vulnerable children.
Today’s message (Friday 05 February 2021)
Posted on 05 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
Mrs Weekes is the Safeguarding Lead across all three schools in Sphere Federation. Last Tuesday’s message was the first of three from her about helping to make sure your child is safe online. In her second message, she looks at how you can give your child independence but know that they are safe…
- Can they chat to strangers?
- Can they video chat or ‘go live’?
- Are their posts public?
And this part of today’s message comes from the local authority…
Parenting can be a tough job at the best of times, but over the past few months, parents’ resilience has been tested in every way.by the Children and Families Public Health team to link parents up with support, offer ideas for managing stress and tips for taking care of their children’s mental and emotional wellbeing. You may wish to share this with your pupils’ parents and carers.
Have a happy and healthy and safe weekend.
Today’s message (Thursday 04 February 2021)
Posted on 04 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
It seems everyone’s finding this lockdown so much harder, and for so many different reasons. Nevertheless, we’re aware of some great learning taking place at home…
Our teachers forward on some of the emails that you send, updating school about how the home learning is progressing – these are great to read. Especially important is to make sure your child’s class teacher is sent some of the writing that your child’s doing at home, because writing is a harder one to assess and give feedback on at home.
Last week, Mr Owen, who’s leading the Y5,6 home learning writing sessions, published some ‘Remarkable writing‘ – scroll through our news posts to Thursday 28 January to find this in case you missed it.
This week, Mr Catherall, leading the Y3,4 writing sessions, has published some ‘Newsworthy writing‘. That was on Tuesday 02 February. Another news story not to be missed.
Well done to all of the writers featured.
Make sure you send your child’s writing in to the class teacher. Look out for Mr Gathercole’s news story featuring Y1,2 writing next week!
Today’s message (Wednesday 03 February 2021)
Posted on 03 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
During one of the home learning sessions, has your child ever ‘got stuck’? If so, our new feature of home learning should help…
From tomorrow, there are now two ways that your child can Zoom in to school.
Our afternoon review Zooms remain. For most classes, they start at 2.00pm. The afternoon reviews are an opportunity for your child to review and reflect on their learning with their teacher and other children in their class. They’re also a chance for some social time – seeing friends from their class. One parent told us this week ‘the daily zooms are great…they are generally used for a wellbeing check and a review of work done that morning. This often motivates [my children] to get their work done which is helpful and supports any learning… We expect the girls to attend as we feel it is an important part of their day and allows them to remain connected’.
New from tomorrow are morning help Zooms. These are for individual pupils to contact a Sphere Federation teacher with a specific question or problem to do with their home learning.
They’re a bit like turning up at the doctors without an appointment…
- drop in at any time between 9.30 and 11.30 in the morning
- the teacher will be able to help with a learning problem that’s specific to the day’s learning (sorry – this isn’t the platform to talk about wider home learning issues like motivating your child or time management – email your child’s teacher for help with this)
- in case someone else is waiting, the drop-ins are limited to about five minutes maximum
- this is for individual pupils, not groups
- generally speaking, the older the child, the less we’d expect a parent / carer to be need to be involved (but a parent should be present, as per policy)
- your child will have to wait a while in the Zoom waiting room, just in case the teacher is with another child or is busy teaching the children in school
- if the waiting list seems too long, then we’re sorry and you may need to leave the Zoom and try again later (or email your child’s teacher instead)
- your child should visit the right phase for their year group – this means that they might be Zooming a teacher from one of the other Sphere Federation schools, but it’s about helping with a specific problem rather than staying in touch with your child’s own teacher
Posted on 02 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
From Mr Catherall, who is leading the Y3,4 home learning writing sessions…
I hope you’re all happy, healthy and safe. I wanted to share with you – and celebrate – some of the awesome writing that’s been sent in by children across our federation. Home learning is tough. There are many challenges, for children and adults, but these superstars have been ready, resourceful and resilient learners. (Can you remember the other 8Rs for learning?)
In the Y3,4 phase, we spent last week building up to writing our own news report about a (made-up) volcanic eruption. This links to our geography and science learning.
Here are a small selection of the wonderful examples we’ve been sent in from all three schools. If you’d like to send yours in, I’d love to see it (send me an email – email@example.com).
From my class at Scholes (Elmet)… I love the varied sentence starts in this one (Late on Friday night, On Saturday, In the escape).
We’ve got a budding journalist at St James’ CE… I really like the news report structure here.
Back to Scholes (Elmet) for some another great piece… This time, I really like the main news section (the first paragraph in bold) because it’s exactly like you’d read in a newspaper or online.
Some amazing writing from Moortown… I love the expanded noun phrase (the orange, glowing liquid) and the vocabulary (predicted, nightfall, terrified) in this one.
Another super piece of writing from my class at Scholes (can you tell I’m proud?!)… There’s a lot to celebrate here – particularly the vocabulary (menacing, catastrophic, awoke, ear-splitting, historic)…
Back at Moortown for another great example of journalistic writing… I particularly enjoyed the use of questions to engage the reader and the way this writer has presented their news report in the style of a newspaper.
Another impressive report from Scholes… In this one, I love the vocabulary (citizens, fled on foot, vast amount).
Whatever writing you’ve managed to do at home, well done! After the last lockdown, writing was one of the few areas that we noticed children hadn’t progressed in. Try to help by completing at least one of the writing lessons each day (and always keep a focus on handwriting).
Today’s message (Tuesday 02 February 2021)
Posted on 02 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
The first part of today’s message comes from the Sphere Maths Leader…
We’re proud to have a Maths Mastery teacher in our team. As well as leading Maths across the three Sphere Federation schools, Paula Allaway works for West Yorkshire Maths Hub, working closely with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. Paula writes…
The quick recall of addition and subtraction facts, and multiplication and division facts (times tables) is really important for all children. The ability to recall these facts quickly (rather than taking too long working them out) helps children to answer questions in lots of areas of Maths much more easily.
If these facts are learnt and stored, rather than being calculated or counted, they require less activity from the brain. Essentially, memorisation frees up working memory space to allow children to focus on learning new mathematical ideas and applying mathematics to solve problems, and not the facts themselves.
Without times tables facts, many future Maths topics are more difficult to learn. Daily practice, in short bursts, really makes a difference. If you’re finding it hard to fit in all the lessons, some days, you may want to prioritise practising number facts over the daily White Rose lesson.
It’s another snow day…
As we’ve said before, deciding whether to close or not is a tough decision to make. The Heads of School were all up extra early today to check with staff about whether they can safely travel to school. Admin leaders were also up early, ready to communicate as soon as the decision to close (or stay open) was made.
We made the decision based on two main factors: the current weather and the forecast. When the call was made, it was snowing heavily and the forecast was that it would continue to snow heavily until noon. We also checked with other local schools.
The situation is made harder right now because we can’t mix children or staff – they have to stay within their bubbles.
Thanks for your understanding.
We’re closed today
Posted on 02 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
We’re closed today because of the very snowy conditions and the forecast that this will continue throughout the morning.
Key staff in school (that is, enough for each bubble) would struggle to get into school safely.
Please check out our Home learning page.
Today’s message (Monday 01 February 2021)
Posted on 01 February 2021 by Mr Roundtree
And we’ve reached February! We kick off the week in our usual way…
…with links to the school assemblies. Last week, the theme was respect, including self-respect. This week, we develop that by thinking about respect in the context of communities. This links with the Living and Learning message ‘I respect my communities and other communities’.
- Mrs Weekes leads the Moortown Primary assembly
- the Scholes (Elmet) Primary assembly is led by Miss Hague
- Mrs Rowley leads the St James’ CE Primary collective worship
Your child can watch the assembly at any time during the week. It would be great if you follow it up with a conversation at home about respect and community:
- What communities do you belong to?
- How do you show respect within these communities?
- What other communities are there?
- How do you show respect towards these communities? Why is this important?
Last Monday, we featured a link to a newspaper article about the stresses of home schooling. Following his, we featured some top tips to try to help you with this, and we shared some more on Friday. This weekend, the same newspaper had more guidance that you might find useful: ‘Learn to say ‘I don’t know’: teachers’ tips for parents weary of lockdown 2 schooling’.
By the way, in case you hadn’t spotted it, we’ve added a link on the homepage of our website to take you straight to home learning – it’s in the orange banner just below the pics.
To help you a little more, look out for a new initiative to help with home learning coming later this week.