Latest news from around the school

Quick Sticks

Posted on 01 March 2016 by Mrs Taylor

Fifteen children (and several adults) set off from Moortown Primary early on the morning of Friday 26 February as part of forty teams competing in the Quick Sticks hockey competition at the Sportspark Weetwood. Fifteen hockey players (and several other adults…) returned. A fast-paced day of teamwork and good sportsmanship, with plenty of goals scored, leads us to look forward to the next Quick Sticks event!

We also look forward to working with Leeds Hockey Club back at school.

Thank you to all parents who helped with transport for this event.

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Be curious!

Posted on 01 March 2016 by Mr Roundtree

There’s a great day coming up soon at the University of Leeds…

Ever wondered what happens in a university? Ever been curious as to what studies and research are done in Leeds and where they lead to? Now is your chance to find out and feel immersed in the vast array of exciting things that go on at the University of Leeds.

Have a go at activities such as knitting a 3D sculpture, finding out more about joint replacements, looking at the effects of energy generation on the human body and having your face 3D scanned.

  • All age groups are welcome
  • 10am – 4pm Saturday 19 March 2016
  • Free parking available
  • No need to book, just come along to the free event.

Visit the website to find out more.




Well done to all

Posted on 24 February 2016 by Mr Roundtree

On Monday morning, we noticed a smell of gas from the cellar in school (this is located below the front building of the school).

We followed advice from Transco which was for all children and staff to leave the site. We did this straight away. We have plans in place for situations like this so we were well-prepared; set out in the plan is for people to walk to Highfield Primary.

In the event, Transco arrived really quickly – as a school, we are a priority – and, following checks, advised us that children could return. Children had only just arrived at Highfield.

Through all of this, staff remained calm and concerned, with children’s safety as a priority. In addition, children were well-behaved, as always – it helps that we carry out regular fire drills so they are well-prepared.

Transco has identified the problem and we are getting it fixed as a matter of priority.

Our next SEAL theme - Getting on

Posted on 21 February 2016 by Mrs Taylor

For this half term, our SEAL theme Getting On covers four main aspects:

  • developing the social skills of friendship
  • working well together in a group
  • managing anger
  • resolving conflict

A key resource for children to refer to during this theme, and at other times, is Peaceful Problem Solving.  This is a useful resource to encourage children to sort out their own problems.  You may wish to talk through this with your child(ren).



When group work takes place in school, some questions for children to consider are:

  • Did everyone take turns?
  • Did everyone listen to what other people thought?
  • Did each person have chance to tell the group what they thought?
  • If people had different ideas could the group reach a compromise?

The key areas of learning throughout this theme are empathy, managing feelings and social skills.

We start our weekly SEAL statements with a focus on manners, I don’t interrupt (with my mouth or with my hand).

Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile comes to Leeds

Posted on 21 February 2016 by Mrs Taylor

The Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile is back – and it’s coming to Leeds.

Yorkshire Sport Foundation will host a Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile on Sunday 20 March.

Setting off from Woodhouse Moor, the Yorkshire Sport Foundation Leeds Mile event offers a 1 mile, 3 mile or 6 mile route.

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School Council elections

Posted on 11 February 2016 by Mrs Taylor

It’s was a busy morning at the Moortown Primary School polling station with all classes taking part in our School Council elections.  We’ve had a record number of children choosing to stand as candidates including the majority of the current School Council.  Candidates prepared and delivered some great speeches to their class earlier this week in preparation for the election.

With a number of very close results, the winning candidates were announced in our assembly this afternoon.

Well done to our new school councillors – we are sure you will represent your class well.

The first meeting will be held after the half term on 01 March and one of the initial decisions to be made will be how we can support Sport Relief.
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Homework review

Posted on 10 February 2016 by Mr Roundtree

One of the ways we make sure Moortown Primary has the highest standards is by carrying out lots of regular monitoring and evaluating. This includes:

  • observing lessons – a chance to see teaching and learning in action across a whole lesson, or at least most of it
  • learning walks – a tour around school to spend about 5 – 10 minutes in each classroom
  • book scrutinies – checking pupils’ books, so that we can monitor things like children’s progress across the year and teacher’s marking
  • surveys – these include parent surveys in Summer and pupil Feedback Forms twice each year

A lot of the monitoring and evaluating we carry out is by our own staff, but we also like to welcome people from other schools so we know we have an objective opinion. Recently, for example, the headteacher from a local school conducted a learning walk around our school, and then I visited her school to do the same (visiting other schools can be really helpful, too). On Friday, a local authority advisor is visiting to carry out book scrutinies in Maths and English with Mr Wilks and Mr Owen.

Recently, we conducted a review of homework in school. To this this, we gathered together three Homework Books from all the classes and placed them all in a row so we could evaluate progression across the classes. We then looked more closely at progress within each book.

Because homework is something that you have a direct connection with, we thought you might like to hear our conclusions.

What is progress like across all year groups, from Y1 to Y6?

To do this, we looked at whole-school creative homework (on a health theme), November 2015.

Teachers felt there was progress across the year groups. Whilst it didn’t always appear very obvious, closer look at content showed more knowledge and/or skills (eg presentation, grammar, more accurate scientific facts) being demonstrated as children got older, and that this knowledge and/or skills was from a wider range of subjects, so children are making links across subjects more readily.

Teachers noted that older children tend to do more digital homework – it appears that for older children there is a wider range of creative approaches.

Teachers noted that parents were more involved with younger children’s homework, whilst older children carried out their homework more independently.

Some teachers felt there wasn’t a significant difference in terms of progression, but this might stem from the greater independence.

What is progress like within year groups, from September to January?

Teachers looked at the same child(ren)’s homework book, comparing from September to January.

Because of the range of homework activities and the open-ended nature of creative homework tasks, it was often hard to identify in-year progress. There were some good examples of books where handwriting and presentation improved, and some other examples where the length of the homework was increasing over time.

Other aspects which improved over the first half of the year include spelling, grammar, content, creativity.

What is the content of the homework like?

The quality of work produced varied depending on the motivation of the child. Teachers noticed some children whose homework doesn’t reflect their attainment in school – where homework is impressive, there is often evidence of parents’ support without them actually doing the task. (There were some instances when homework was actually of a better standard.)

Teachers felt there was a good balance of tasks and subjects. One teacher noted that English might not feature as often as some subjects, so teachers agreed to be even more aware of this. Another spotted a series of Creative tasks, and so again, teachers agreed to be aware of getting a balance over time.One teacher noted that the importance of quality homework should be emphasised. Our current homework reviews on Wednesdays in class are the best opportunity, but teachers agreed to explore ways to reinforce homework even more.

It is not our policy to provide written feedback (the homework review sessions have been observed by the headteacher and by parents this year, and they provide a good time to review and reflect). However, some teachers do mark homework, and do so very well.

How do we meet the needs of individual pupils?

All teachers were able to describe times when they vary homework tasks to meet the needs of pupils. Sometimes, this might be around a similar learning theme and other times the task might be completely different.

Differentiated tasks appear to be more likely when the homework is Practice Makes Perfect. Teachers agreed to continue to differentiate to meet needs and interests – even for open-ended tasks. Also, they were instructed to be aware of the range of contexts at home and consider alternatives when some tasks might prove difficult / impossible eg research tasks.



Is your child safe on-line?

Posted on 09 February 2016 by Mr Roundtree

Today has been Safer Internet Day and children across the country have been learning about how to stay safe online.

At Moortown Primary, we know how important staying safe is, and we know you’re always keen to promote ways to stay safe at home, too. Safe and responsible use of the internet is something which is growing and growing in importance – we hear so many shocking stories in the media – so please do take an active approach at home to promote your child’s online safety.

First of all, are you aware that social networking sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook have a minimum age requirement of 13? (For some sites, it’s older.)

E-safety is a key part of our curriculum for both Computing and Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE). Read the age-related expectations for e-safety and digital literacy.

As teachers and parents, we’re aware of the ways in which the use of social media, online gaming and the internet have become part of young people’s lives. We embrace the educational and social benefits of these new technologies and encourage responsible internet use. We’re also increasingly aware of the potential dangers and opportunities for misuse these technologies offer. Key to promoting online safety is open and honest discussions about the sites we’re using and the ways we’re using them – keep the dialogue open with your children about their internet use.

The following list contains lots of ideas and resources to help you to promote online safety – tell us if you know any more good resources. These links are always on our website’s online safety page.

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) has published a short, really helpful guide for parents and carers whose children are using social media. The guide includes practical tips about the use of safety and privacy features on apps and platforms, as well as conversation prompts to help families begin talking about online safety. It also contains pointers to further advice and support.

A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friend’s house. To support parents in creating a family agreement, Childnet International have put together some free advice and a family agreement template.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance has joined forces with internet security company McAfee to produce a series of videos on the topic, looking at how and why cyberbullying occursadvice for children and young people to protect themselves and tips to pass on to parents about steps they can take at home.

This video from Common Sense Media gives students five basic rules for engaging with social media, including switching on privacy settings and turning off location tracking features that harvest data (parents might be interested to watch this Guardian video which explores this in more detail).

Common Sense has also created videos explaining how the most popular apps and sites work, so if you have ever found yourself wondering what SnapchatVine and Instagram are, these are a good place to start your education.

For younger children (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2), there are a number of picture books available online (and in print), including the tale of Digiduck, who shares a nasty picture of a friend, and Smartie the penguin, who runs into trouble with his new computer.

The ever-brilliant Horrible Histories tackles similar themes in a sidelong way, with Lady Jane Grey clicking a dodgy link and getting spammed; a prudish Victorian lying about his age and stumbling across scandalous content (ladies without gloves); and Guy Fawkes learning a valuable lesson about privacy settings as his plot fizzles out.

Other resources are:

  •  This site provides a whole host of useful ways to keep your child safe, with useful pages of advice, key advice, hot topics and tips for discussing online safety.
  •  Lots of useful advice for parents on a range of issues including cyber bullying, online reputations and online grooming. There is also a link to a useful ‘guide for parents’.
  •  Useful articles on a range of current e-safety issues and new apps and websites including Minecraft, Snapchat and ooVoo. New articles are added regularly.
  •  The official site of the National Crime Agency’s CEOP (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre), containing advice and useful information and a link for reporting online abuse, exploitation or inappropriate images.
  •  More links and advice for parents and children including resources linked to Safer Internet Day.
  •  NSPCCs own website with lots of safety advice including video to watch with your children and a link to their work with O2.
  •  Lots of e-safety advice including a section specifically for pre-school and primary.

School Council Elections

Posted on 08 February 2016 by Mrs Taylor

Following in-class election speeches this week, our School Council elections will take place on Thursday, 11 February. All children have the opportunity to vote at our polling station using the following instructions.

Before voting, please read the following:

  • Vote once for one person.
  • Place one X only on this ballot paper beside the name of the candidate you have chosen.
  • Do not write or mark anything else on the ballot paper; if you do, your paper will be invalid and your vote will not be counted.
  • When you have marked the ballot paper, fold the paper and place it in the box provided.


Results will be counted on Thursday and our new School Council will be announced at the end of the day. This will be made up of two children from each class with the highest number of votes.

Good luck to all our candidates.

Learn more about the new tests for your child

Posted on 05 February 2016 by Mr Roundtree

You’ll be aware that there have been lots of changes in education in the last few years, including a new curriculum with greater expectations and assessment without levels.

There are also new end of key stage tests (commonly called the SATs) coming up in May. Children in Year 2 (end of KS1) and Year 6 (end of KS2) will be the first to sit these new tests.

Find out more about the Key Stage 1 tests: watch this short video and/or read this booklet.

Find out more about the Key Stage 2 test: watch this short video and/or read this booklet.