News

Latest news from around the school

Leeds Children's Mayor

Posted on 08 October 2015 by Mrs Taylor

Every year, year six pupils in primary schools are invited to enter the Leeds Children’s Mayor programme. Pupils write a short manifesto saying how they would improve Leeds if they were the Children’s Mayor. The manifesto must be based on one of the 12 wishes for a more child friendly Leeds.

cflOur entry this year, titled safe and independent, is by Ahmed.  Here’s his manifesto.  Good luck Ahmed!

If I was Children’s Mayor of Leeds, I would like to create a system which would mean certain shops have a poster on their window that shows the child walking past that it is safe in there. This means that if the child is scared about someone following them or doesn’t want to be out alone they can go in there and know that they are safe. This also follows one of the ‘12 Wishes for a more child friendly Leeds.’ This wish says that all Children and young people can make safe journeys and easily travel around the city.’ This is what would happen if I was Children’s Mayor.

To continue this manifesto, I would like to highlight that I am a strong leader and, as an observant member of year 6, I can listen and see problems. Furthermore, I can use my supportive fellow students, friends, and family to find solutions to problems. Plus, I would like to think I am a kind and caring person. Also, my older brother is part of a group for children and young people who deal with issues regarding children for the whole of England so I have learnt a lot from him and have gained experience about how to deal with problems like child poverty and unhappy children.

I would also like to put in place a special council made up completely by children and chosen by children. I think this is important because, as kids, we know what is best for us and what we really need.  We should be able to make or at least have a say in the important decisions that concern us. Like my other point, this also supports the statement, ‘Children and young people express their views, feel heard and are actively involved in decisions that affect their lives’ and the fact that we will be allowed to participate and shape our lives according to decisions that we as children have made agrees with this wish. It also would mean the wish ‘Children and young people are treated fairly and respected’ is also fulfilled.

I hope I have the chance to become a candidate for Children’s Mayor for Leeds and I hope I am able to make a difference.

Let's keep happy and healthy at school!

Posted on 05 October 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Every so often, we receive a health and safety bulletin from Leeds Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team. The most recent one has some useful advice that you can follow at home, and encourage your child to follow everywhere. Below is an extract…

The winter is nearly here and with it will inevitably come Norovirus, more commonly known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’. This bug thrives in warm atmospheres where there are a lot of people concentrated in one place – like schools, which are the perfect breeding grounds and are often some of the worst hit places with staff and pupils becoming ill. The illness itself often comes on quite quickly and can last a few days.

Although it cannot be eradicated completely, there are some ways schools can attempt to reduce numbers and hopefully avoid a full outbreak.

This is some of the guidance from Public Health England to reduce the risk of contamination / outbreaks:

  • Regular thorough handwashing – use soap and warm water, rubbing front and back of hands and between fingers, rinse carefully with water and then dry hands thoroughly. Washing your hands properly should take at least 15 seconds – or about the length of time it takes to sing ‘Happy birthday to you’ twice through!
  • Hand-washing is especially important after going to the toilet and before touching any food.
  • Children need to be encouraged to wash their hands by being shown how to do it properly and having a good example set for them by adults.
  • If you have a cold, use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, throw used tissues away as soon as possible and wash your hands. Try not to cough and sneeze directly into your hands and wash them immediately if this is unavoidable.

At Moortown, we encourage the ‘vampire method‘ if we’ve no tissues nearby!

 

Reading Workshop

Posted on 05 October 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Just a small number of people attended the Reading Workshop this afternoon.

“An enjoyable and very helpful workshop. I’m leaving with some good ideas and new ways of helping my son with his reading.” (Year 3 parent)

In the 2015 Annual Survey, 82% of you agree that adults in school explain how to support your child’s reading at home. We want this to be higher and have arranged for more workshops this year than ever before. Please try to come. To help, Mr Owen and Miss Rushbrooke are arranging some repeat sessions to start at 6pm – we hope this means more of you can attend.

Workshops coming up…

  • Grammar and writing (2.30pm on Monday 12 October 2015)
  • Maths (2.30pm on Monday 19 October 2015)
  • Learning in Reception and Year 1 (2.30pm on Tuesday 10 November 2015)
  • What is mastery? (2.30pm on Monday 16 November 2015)

…and look out for the evening workshops, too!

 

Thinking of a career in teaching?

Posted on 01 October 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Are you thinking of a career in teaching? If you are, you’ll be interested in School Direct Primary and School Direct Early Years with Early Years Teaching Status.

Come to the information evening on Wednesday 21 October from 6.00pm to 7.00pm at Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School, LS28 6AB.

Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School on behalf of Noctua Teaching School Alliance is pleased to
announce that it has been selected by the National College of Teaching and Leadership to offer places
on the School Direct routes into teaching.

We offer three School Direct routes:

  • School Direct (Salaried)
  • School Direct (Fee Paying)
  • School Direct (Early Years)

The entry requirements differ for School Direct (Salaried) and School Direct (Fee Paying). A salaried
trainee must have at least three years of paid employment prior to beginning the course. School Direct
(Early Years) is a fully funded course. Further details will be given at the information event.

At the information event we will:

  • Begin with a short presentation at 6.00pm to explain the courses in more detail, including entry
    requirements and course programmes
  • Give opportunities to talk to current and previous trainees as well as course leaders.
  • Present information about how to apply.

For further information or to book a place at these events please email:  admin@noctuateachingschool.org.uk

www.noctuateachingschool.org.uk

Happy and healthy... and busy!

Posted on 24 September 2015 by Mrs Taylor

A group of our Year 3 pupils were part of over one thousand children from across Leeds who took part in the Rugby World Cup Big dance Big sing event in Millenium Square.

Singing and dancing to the RWC theme tune ‘World in Union’, the event was to celebrate the upcoming RWC matches in Leeds this weekend.

  • ‘I loved it and I tried my best.’
  • ‘It was exciting when we did the dance.’
  • ‘I enjoyed using the rugby balls for the dance and singing the song too.’

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Earlier this week, our three lucky ticket winners to Saturday’s RWC match at Elland Road were announced.

Other upcoming events planned are the children’s Brownlee triathlon and another trip to the RWC fanzone in Millenium Square to take part in rugby activities and meet author Tom Palmer, who is writing a live story during the RWC.

 

 

Annual survey results 3

Posted on 24 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

In this, the final review of this year’s Annual Survey, we talk about your responses on page 2 of the survey. This part asks more open-ended questions about key areas of school life. This year, we asked about the different subjects of the curriculum because there have been so many changes introduced by the Department for Education over the last year or so.

Maths

“Mathletics is a fabulous way for children to learn.” (Year 4 parent)

We’re delighted that Mathletics has proved to be so popular. Children tell us they enjoy it, and your responses help us to know this is a valuable investment so that children can practise at home, too. Aspects of Mathletics you praised include the competitive aspects, the certificates and the ability to practise at home so regularly, whether doing the teacher-set activities or not. One of the reasons we’ve invested in Mathletics is that you’ve told us in the past you’d like more ways to support your child at home, especially in Maths. Other schools ask parents to fund this by making a donation; we’ll continue to fully fund this, partly by using a small amount of pupil premium funding, for as long as we can – certainly another year. One or two of you made some suggestions (including an alternative to Mathletics which help develop greater understanding) or put forward points to act on (such as appropriate times to post the activities) – these comments will be passed to Mr Owen, who leads on Maths in school, or to the relevant teacher for a particular child.

There were two concerns raised: the increase in screen time amongst children and the feeling of pressure to answer questions quickly. We agree these are valid concerns. Regarding the first, children don’t spend a great deal of time in front of computer screens at school, and when they are, it’s always active learning rather than passive viewing (studies suggest there’s a crucial difference in terms of health and attitudes). Regarding the latter, it’s true that one element of Maths is some rapid recall of facts and responses to calculations; it’s not the whole aspect of Maths, however, and we encourage you to try different ways to promote Maths skills if this pressure is excessive for your child – we can give you suggestions if you ask.

Whilst we prompted you to comment on Mathletics, we were also interested to read your responses about Maths in general. There were just a few.

Amongst these, requests for more challenge in Maths came up twice – I do encourage you to attend our workshops on Maths (19 October 2015 at 2.30pm) and on What is Mastery? (16 November 2015 at 2.30pm). The last one is especially important to help communicate the shift primary schools are making in response to the National Curriculum and expectations set out by the Department for Education and Ofsted – briefly, there is a move away from rapid progress to more secure learning where children will remember and better able to use and apply their skills. For higher attaining pupils, we need to explore ways of providing more depth to their learning with challenge in different contexts.

The other responses were a request for more Maths to be included in creative homework tasks (a great idea) and more worksheets (something which many education and Maths specialists might disagree with, but we’re open to the idea; in Year 1, we are trialling a new Maths scheme from Singapore which includes workbooks, and in Year 5 and 6 last year, based on parents’ feedback, we introduced weekly Practice Makes Perfect homework which often features a worksheet).

English

Lexia is a programme to support skills in English which is made available to all Year 1 and Year 2 children and some older children who need the extra support. Whilst we prompted you to comment on Mathletics, we didn’t do so for Lexia. Despite this, quite a few of you praised it which we’re really pleased with as it confirms the decision to invest in this programme to raise standards even more in phonics and wider literacy skills.

“My daughter enjoys using Lexia and practising her targets. This really motivates her to do more and improve her English overall.” (Year 1 parent)

It was also great to read praise for First News, a children’s newspaper we’ve begun to subscribe to.

“Reading ‘First News’ has led to some good conversation at home so that to gets a big thumbs up.”

Overall, people praised various aspects of English – some say their child loves how we teach grammar, others enjoy reading comprehensions and so on.

Of concern for a couple of parents was the lack of reading books sent home at the start of the year in one particular class – this problem was sorted a few weeks into term and I want to take this opportunity to apologise. This year, Miss Rushbrooke is working hard to promote reading in our school – she’s started by promoting the library service’s Summer Reading Challenge more than we’ve ever done before (and with great effect: from five people completing the challenge in 2014 to at least 17 this year) and her next big job is improving the quality and availability of books in the library (that’s why you may have seen quite a few books being sold at the start of the year – guidance is that books over a certain age should be disposed of so children access up-to-date books). Teachers have also improved their reading areas in school wherever possible.

Other points raised were more use of the library (and Miss Rushbrooke’s on the case with this one!) and not having time to finish guided reading books (thankfully, this parent left their name so we can sort this out in future – we agree this is not good). Finally, one parent asked for more guidance around choosing appropriate books out of school (again, that parent left their child’s name so we can speak directly and explore ways to solve the problem).

Topics

Of the 39 completed surveys, 31 contained comments in this section (eight had no comment).

Only one contained a criticism: “Some topics have been boring and not varied enough.” The remaining 30 comments were positive. Many noted that they help to really engage their children and stimulate discussions at home (“We know what the topic is about due to the increased questions and interest in that topic at home.”) and the variety they bring (‘The topics vary the learning.”)

A few parents suggested more Science-based topics. Lots of the mini-topics (the shorter, two week topics) have a strong Science focus. Also, in the Spring term, is a whole-school Big Topic called Life, which covers lots of biology.

Lots of parents cited particular favourite topics, and even more responded to the prompt to suggest other topics – thanks for these suggestions, which will be passed to Mr Wilks and Miss Valentine who lead on this area of teaching and learning. We can’t promise every suggestion will be taken up, but they will help to form a ‘bank’ of ideas for teachers.

Find out more about our curriculum.

(PS We won’t be repeating the medicine theme as part of the Time Travel topic – far too gruesome for Year 3!)

Other learning

The same number of completed surveys had comments in the final box, which asked for general comments about learning, but which featured some prompts such as themed weeks and Hobby Half Days. Both of these were subject to lots of praise – that’s great news, and we’ll make sure we say a big well done to Mrs Taylor, who organises the themed weeks; Miss Valentine, who organises the Hobby Half Days; and to our support staff, who lead many of the Hobby Half Day activities.

“My son loves the themed weeks as the children mix with other years for their lessons. Hobby half days are great – he loves to do different things in lessons which aren’t normally taught.” (Year 5 parent)

Themed weeks and Hobby Half Days are times when visits and visitors to school are frequent. These were also praised.

“My daughter has really enjoyed some of the new physical activities she has been introduced to – for example, she has raved about the boxing session… she enjoyed and found useful the visit from the police during the themed week.” (Year 1 parent)

A few parents also praised PTA events in this section for the events which they put on. They mentioned the trip to the panto and the movie nights – well done and thank you to all who actively help out in the PTA (and others are always welcome).

There were no critical comments here, just some suggestions which we’ll try to respond to:

  • don’t consider changing the amount of homework
  • more singing and dancing
  • themed weeks around the arts and more arts-based activities during Hobby Half Day

 

Thank you to everyone to responded and gave us your views. Please don’t wait until next year’s survey if you have any questions, comments and concerns – tell us whenever they arise.

Annual survey results 2

Posted on 23 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

The previous news article described your responses to each of the fourteen statements at the start of the Annual Survey. Of the 39 responses, the vast majority of you indicated that you agreed with the statements; only two people disagreed with just four statements. Here, we describe the general comments you made.

Excellent school at all levels: high academic achievement, superb community spirit and good fun. I feel my child is stimulated, pushed to learn more but enjoys every minute of the day. I think the success of the school is that everyone is enthusiastic and follows a consistent policy / approach. (Year 4 parent)

We’re really pleased with this comment and think you’re right that the enthusiasm and consistency are key factors in our success.

Of the 39 responses, just under half made no comment at all. Of those who did make a comment, very many were entirely positive. Most of the other surveys contained a simple suggestion only; for example, “My son would like an after-school cooking club” or “… a science club”.

At Moortown, we like to be as open and honest as possible. We’re not perfect, and not complacent either. Here’s a list of things which some of you identified as could be improved.

Clubs and extra-curricular activities

Three people suggested a cookery club. We have had one in the past, and would love to run one again. Clubs such as this rely on a member of staff volunteering to run it, or we buy in the services of an after-school provider. We’ll continue to encourage staff to consider offering their culinary skills, and we’ll investigate (again) costs of external companies (in the past, we’ve found these to be expensive). Another solution – would one or two parents like to volunteer? We’d be delighted if they did!

One person said their child would like a science club. Unlike cookery, we’ve not had one of these. Sadly, like cookery, these can be expensive to recruit an outside agency. We think this could be popular amongst children so we’ll certainly continue to suggest this to staff to lead, and we’ll continue to monitor the potential cost.

One parent expressed concern that due to Mr Catherall’s new role and following the departure of Mr Baynes, there might be fewer competitive sporting activities. We know this is important to many parents and in recent years we’ve made a concerted effort to increase the number of sports events. To replace Mr Baynes, we have recruited Mr Lawton who has a lot of experience in sport; he’s running a lot of after-school clubs this term. Mrs Taylor, our Health Leader, has also bought into the services of the local authority’s Active Schools programme – we hope this will provide at least as many competitive sporting activities and other opportunities for physical activity.

Other clubs suggested were choir, gymnastics and sewing, and a coding club for younger children. Do bear in mind our reliance on adults to lead the club and enough children to sign up – without either, we can’t run a club. However, like the other suggestions, these will be passed to Paula and Nicky who help to organise the clubs.

School dinners

Three parents said they were unhappy with aspects of school dinners. This is a tough aspect of school life to sort out. Here are some of the challenges we face:

  • the introduction of universal free school meals for all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 meant a significant rise in demand for a school dinner and therefore a lot of re-thinking of routines
  • (the imminent U-turn on this policy?)
  • the kitchens at Moortown Primary are very small
  • trying to manage expectations around portion sizes and how much / what we should insist a child should eat

One parent was unhappy that some foods run out, especially because their child is in Key Stage 2 and therefore they pay for them. They encourage us to adopt a new system and look to what happens in other schools. Please be assured that there is always a main course with vegetables, and a dessert, available. Nevertheless, we’re concerned and unhappy about this, too, and have looked at electronic ordering: as each child comes into the class, they choose their lunch. Some staff have visited another school to observe, but were concerned that this took up valuable learning time. For now, we’re monitoring food availability closely. We’ve also established that the classes who are last to have their lunch vary each week, so in the rare event that a certain food runs out, across the year it’s not the same class who have a more limited choice.

Another said that the standard of the meals has fallen. This also concerns me and we really encourage any parent to speak with Mr Roundtree and Mrs Weekes if this concern remains. The parent makes a link with the problem and the introduction of free school meals for younger children. There might be some truth in this as the catering agency we (and most schools) use, Catering Leeds, did struggle to recruit enough staff to cope with demand. Another factor later in the year is that our regular cook, Mrs Appleby, was absent due to illness for a lengthy period. This year, more staff are having a school meal on a regular basis and they’ve so far reported that the food is good. We’ve noticed some children don’t seem to choose their food wisely and end up with meals they don’t like – it might help if you talk through the menus at home.

The third parent expressed concern about portion sizes – and had already spoken with Mr Roundtree meaning that this issue was solved quickly. This year, we’ve made clearer than ever before to catering staff that we expect each child to have two portions of vegetables / salad, and made clearer to our own lunchtime assistants who clear up that we expect children to eat this.

Communications

A few parents this year, and in previous years, have asked for more information around expectations. We knew a new National Curriculum was coming, so didn’t respond sooner, but we’ve added a new page in the Learn More section dedicated to describing the expectations set out nationally for children from Year 1 to Year 6. (Also published are expectations for a typical child in Reception, along with lots of other information, perhaps most importantly about characteristics of effective learning, a key aspect of Early Years.)

“I’d like more updates on the website…” was one comment made, alongside another praising the support on the website: “Clear guidelines and support for homework on the website. Great communications…” We are aiming to gradually increase the frequency of class news posts, but you’ll understand teachers must ensure they have a healthy work-life balance, too. I know that overall you appreciate the news posts – and the website is often cited as best practice to other schools. Ultimately, we’d like to aim for lots more on-line and fewer (or no) newsletters. You’ll agree that balance is needed to suit varying preferences and lifestyles.

One parent asked for more parents’ evenings at the end of the year. Traditionally, we offer parents’ evenings in October (to review the previous year and offer initial comments about settling in and progress), and then another in February (when we discuss progress in the year so far) – at both, teachers should always talk through ways to support your child at home. These are followed by the end of year reports. A third parents’ evening is offered to all, and more and more parents decide they’d like to take this opportunity to review the year – we’ve encouraged this parent to do so.

Finally, one simple and important suggestion has already been solved – we hope! “Would like better communication of multiplication tables to be learnt and tested on…”. As well as this information being available on-line, there’s a space in our new Learning Lists books for this to be noted (please note, tables are learnt and tested from around mid-Y2 only). You can also find out what tables are expected in the age-related expectations tables – a new page on the website.

Other comments

Of the other comments, only one parent raised each point and they varied so much. As a result, we’ve not listed them all, typically because the comment was contradicted by a greater number of other parents.

One parent expressed concern that homework is not always marked by an adult. Look out for the open afternoon on Wednesday 02 December at 2.40pm. This is an opportunity for you to get to know more about how we review homework. In the past, some parents / carers have also expressed concern that the homework in books did not appear to be marked – at the workshop, we want to show you that marking is not the only way to provide feedback (and in fact may not be the best way – more and more research suggests the instant, direct feedback we provide, and assessment from peers with the class, can as effective or even more so). In this session, you’ll see teachers and pupils review and celebrate the creative homework of the class.

Finally, a parent was disappointed with the school trips that had taken place in the year. We don’t know what year group their child was in so can’t easily respond to this. In Year 6, we don’t have expensive trips as we are aware that the Summer residential approaches. In Year 4, we’ve just introduced an additional residential. When we do organise trips, we rely on your voluntary donations so that they go ahead, and need to be sensitive to this pressure on family finances. Coach travel is increasingly expensive, too, so we do have a lot of visitors come to school 0- already this year, we’ve welcomed West Yorkshire Playhouse actors. We’re sorry the parent felt disappointed and will keep an eye on the range and quality.

Moortown Primary continues to provide a warm community feel. My son is very settled and his confidence has grown year on year due to the support and nurturing environment that the teachers and support staff have provided. Many thanks! (Year 5 parent)

The community atmosphere of the school is long-standing – people often describe the school as like a village school in both looks and feeling.

 

The third and final feedback about the surveys will review your comments about English, Maths, topics and other learning – coming soon.

Annual survey results 1

Posted on 21 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Thanks to those of you who completed the Annual Survey in the summer term. The number of completed surveys fell to just 39 this year – we hope those of you who chose not to return the survey remain perfectly contented! Remember, if you ever have any questions, comments or concerns, please do speak with an adult in school.

Here, we present a summary of the main part of the summary: the 14 statements on page one:

My child is happy to come to school. 95% agreed and two respondents weren’t sure. We’re delighted that we continue to be a happy and healthy place to learn. Visitors almost always remark on what a happy school we are. Thank you to all staff for this – they are always positive and pleasant, and this helps to ensure our children are, too.

My child learns a lot in lessons. As above, 95% agreed and two weren’t sure. Another high result, which is great. Of course, we’d like this to be 100%. In this particular survey, one respondent was anonymous so we can’t respond directly to address this uncertainty, whilst the other has a child who we know was being challenged a lot – perhaps the child had recently said one particular lesson was easy and the parent / carer had been influenced by the remark. We encourage anyone who is unsure to make sure they speak to their child’s teacher if they have a concern – don’t leave it until the end of the school year when it might be too late! You should also try to attend the open sessions in school where you can watch the teaching and learning process. 

The school helps my child to do as well as (s)he can. 82% agreed; 15% were unsure; one person disagreed. We have two open mornings when parents / carers are invited into school to watch teaching and learning: 30 minutes in one class, 30 in another followed by 30 minutes to review what was seen and ask questions with Mr Roundtree and Mrs Weekes. Please, if you’re unsure, try to attend these – they’re on Tuesday 08 December and Wednesday 27 January, both from 9.00am to 10.30am. Parents who attended last year were impressed with the teaching and the behaviour management systems we have in place.

I know how well my child is doing at school. 82% agreed whilst 18% were unsure. Last year, we moved away from assessing with levels and this might be the main reason why there is a higher than usual number of you who are unsure. We hope the way we’ve decided to communicate your child’s attainment will be clearer this year. You’ll be told at parents’ evening (Monday 19 or Tuesday 20 October, and Monday 08 or Tuesday 09 February) and in the end of year reports, and can get updates whenever you want to by speaking with your child’s teacher. We encourage as many of you as possible to attend the ‘What is Mastery?’ workshop (Monday 16 November, 2.30pm), which will help to explain the government’s shift in emphasis away from rapid progress to more secure learning with greater depth.

Adults in school explain to me how to support my child at school. As above, 82% agreed; 15% were unsure; one person disagreed. This year, we’ve got more workshops and open sessions than ever before – if you’re unsure about how to support your child, do try to come to as many of these as possible. And if you can’t, then there’s more support and guidance on our website this year, too – check out the Calculations and Expectations pages to start off with. Of course, we can’t explain how to support your child if you don’t speak with us or check the website, so please tell us if there are other ways you’d like to support your child.

Teaching at this school is good. 92% agreed and three respondents weren’t sure. We’re pleased with this result. Like before (we can’t stress this enough!), if you’re unsure or have a concern, then try to attend the open mornings, or speak with Mr Roundtree or Mrs Weekes.

Teaching at this school helps my child to develop skills in communication, reading, writing and mathematics. 100% agreed. We’re delighted that you all agreed with this, arguably one of the most important statements.

I am happy with my child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. 90% agreed; three of you weren’t sure and one person disagreed. We support spiritual, moral, social and cultural development to an extent that other schools have been inspired to use some of the same planning processes and ideas we use at Moortown Primary. Our last Ofsted inspection was a while ago, but spiritual, moral, social and cultural development was judged to be outstanding then – we’ve not neglected it since. Check out the SMSC page in the Learn More section to find out more about what we do. We do want to assure everyone we take this aspect of school life very seriously. Please speak with Mr Roundtree or Mrs Taylor, who oversees SMSC, with questions and comments.

Behaviour is good at Moortown Primary. 92% agreed and three weren’t sure. We’re proud of our Relationships and Behaviour Management Policy – it focuses on pupils’ choices (we label choices as good or bad; we never label pupils in the same way) and rewards positively and frequently; perhaps most of all, it’s consistent right across school. Visitors praise behaviour of our pupils all the time and our policy and processes, such as the warnings system, are often copied by other schools. In the past, as with this year, those who say they are uncertain often say this because they’re not around during the school day to observe the behaviour. (It’s also worth remembering that children quite often have a tendency to mention to their parents when someone has been given a warning – it’s more ‘news-worthy’ – rather than what is far more common: good choices!)

Behaviour is good in lessons. 82% agreed and the rest were unsure. Parents and carers often tell us they choose ‘unsure’ as they don’t get to see what it’s like in class, which is understandable. Do try to attend the open mornings (Tuesday 08 December and Wednesday 27 January, both from 9.00am to 10.30am). Last year, those attended commented on the excellent behaviour from all pupils.

The school deals with all types of bullying well. 85% agreed and the rest were unsure. Like the comments about behaviour, parents and carers often tell us they choose ‘unsure’ as they haven’t encountered a problem with bullying: ‘Unsure about bullying as it’s never been an issue with my child’ was one comment this year. We’re not complacent, however, and are conscious that bullying might arise amongst any group of children in any school, including ours. We use two useful phrases here: Bullying is when someone is hurt physically or emotionally ‘several times on purpose’ and pupils should ‘start telling other people’ if they fall victim to bullying, or witness it. Please help to support this – and remember to be vigilant at home to on-line bullying, too.

My child feels safe at school. 100% agreed. That’s a great result, and one that is consistently 100% over the years.

I am happy that my views will be listened to. 82% agreed and the rest weren’t sure. We do listen to your views, and will always try to act on them if they are reasonable and useful. We can’t act on requests for extra homework for specific children, or authorise term-time absences for specific families, or allow siblings to leave early because another child has an appointment – these are possibly the three most common areas for views to be expressed. We follow policies strictly and consistently and want the best for all our children and staff – this is the fairest way. If there’s a situation where you don’t feel your views have been listened to, speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance; failing that, speak with Mrs Weekes or Mr Roundtree; failing that, you might decide to submit to governors a formal complaint – you should follow this path, though. Thankfully for all concerned, most concerns can be sorted out easily and happily for all.

I am happy with the after-school clubs on offer. 82% agreed whilst 15% weren’t sure and one respondent disagreed (but didn’t offer reasons or suggestions). We’ve asked you for specific comments about after-school clubs in previous Annual Surveys. The conclusion then – as it is now – is that we can’t please all of the people all of the time – however much we’d like to! We’re pleased to have only one parent / carer indicate they were unhappy with the clubs. This parent, whilst anonymous, did indicate that their child was in Year 1. The range of clubs does vary each term and they does rely on a good level of uptake if they are to run. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for a club – or might even want to volunteer to lead one – contact Paula or Nicky in the office.

 

Of the 39 completed forms, only two parents / carers indicated that they disagreed, and they did so for a total of four statements:

  • The school helps my child to do as well as (s)he can.
  • Adults in school explain to me how to support my child at home.
  • I am happy with my child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • I am happy with the after-school clubs on offer.

We’d love to find out more about the reasons why these parents disagreed but there were no additional comments that expanded on the points. Regarding the first two points, I do encourage them – and as many of you as possible – to come along to the workshops (where teachers talk through ideas to support your child and ideas to do at home) and open sessions (where you can spend time watching English, Maths, topic reviews and homework reviews) – feedback from parents last year concluded these are great in supporting learning, and that adults in school were doing a great job in teaching the classes. Dates are in the diary (and were on the newsletter) so you can plan ahead, and we’ll send reminders out, too.

Newsletters

Posted on 16 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

This term’s newsletters have been emailed and paper copies will be sent home later this week.

This year, we’ll publish the newsletters on the website, too. Here are the first half-term’s…

Reception provide their own newsletters and lots of photos, top tips and news on their class news page.

Rugby world cup activities

Posted on 15 September 2015 by Mrs Taylor

As the Rugby World Cup approaches, Roundhegians are organising activities for both children and adults at their local facilities.

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