News

Latest news from around the school

Every minute counts...

Posted on 11 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Is your child ever late for school? Did you know…

  • 5 minutes late each day = 3 days of school lost in a year
  • 10 minutes late each day = 6.5 days of school lost in a year
  • 15 minutes late each day = 10 days of school lost in a year
  • 20 minutes late each day = 13 days of school lost in a year
  • 30 minutes late each day = 19 days of school lost in a year
  • 19 days lost in a school year is likely to lead to one whole grade lower in SATs across all subjects

Too much screen time?

Posted on 11 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

You might have heard about this research recently. Although it focuses on older pupils, we think it’s just as relevant for primary-aged children: too much screen-time can undermine learning.

An extra hour a day of television, internet or computer game time in Year 10 is linked to poorer grades at GCSE, a Cambridge University study suggests, as reported by BBC on-line.

The researchers recorded the activities of more than 800 14-year-olds and analysed their GCSE results at 16. Those spending an extra hour a day on screens saw a fall in GCSE results equivalent to two grades overall.

The researchers analysed the habits of 845 pupils from schools in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk at the age of 14 years and six months. They researchers correlated the data with the pupils’ GCSEs, taken the following year.

Pupils who did an extra hour of homework and reading performed better than their peers.

On average, the 14-year-olds said they spent four hours of their leisure time each day watching TV or in front of a computer. The researchers found an additional hour of screen-time each day was associated with 9.3 fewer GCSE points at 16 – the equivalent of dropping a grade in two subjects. Two extra hours of screen-time was associated with 18 fewer points – or dropping a grade in four subjects.

Interestingly, a teacher in school accidentally discovered similar results. When teaching about data and statistics, she asked the class how many TVs were in the home. Broadly speaking, those who reported fewer TVs in their homes were children who were making the best progress.

 

Friday football returns

Posted on 09 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Our Friday Football Club is open to everyone in school, from Reception to Year 6. The new season starts on Friday 18 September.

This is a great way to get younger children to learn the basics of football – passing, control and dribbling. The sessions are delivered in a fun and engaging way, ensuring all players get lots of touches of the ball in a non-pressurised activity, encouraging them to use both feet and develop their fundamental skills.

For the older children, they train like the professionals in the unique Total Footballers Clubs; they work through a fun skills and games programme developed by an in-house ex-professional footballer and delivered by qualified F.A. coaches. They’ll learn new skills as well as develop the ones they already have. Most importantly, they’ll have fun doing it with a football at their feet.

Want to sign up? Please follow the online booking process.

Want to know more? Please contact TSC Sports and Dance Coaching on 0113 3226115 with any questions you may have, or ask Paula or Nicky in the school office.

Grammar, punctuation and spelling

Posted on 08 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

The last news post about reading offered you lots of different ways to support your child’s reading. Here are some more ways to help your child whilst reading; these are more related to helping your child’s understanding of grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Word

  • What does … mean?  Can you think of another word that means the same/similar?
  • Which word tells you that… ?
  • Which word describes… ?
  • Find two verbs / adjectives / adverbs on this page.
  • Pick a descriptive word from the text, write it down and, using a thesaurus, write down five synonyms (different words with almost identical or similar meanings) and antonyms (words of opposite meaning) for that word.
  • Write down any words you had difficulty reading.
  • Write down any words that you don’t know the meaning of, then find them in a dictionary and write the meaning.

Phonics

  • Can you write a list of other words with the ‘oo’ sound in (or choose a different sound, depending on sounds in book).
  • Using one or two words from this list, write your own sentence.
  • Can you find these sounds in another book?
  • How many words can you find on this page beginning with ‘c’ or ‘br’ or ending in ‘ck’ (again, choose a letter string that is appropriate – think about what spellings your child has recently been learning).
  • Play ‘I spy’ with words that begin with ‘br’, ‘cl’, ‘dr’ for example.

Punctuation

  • Can you find the speech marks, exclamation marks, question marks, full, stops, commas?
  • Can you write some sentences using some of the above punctuation?

SEAL New beginnings

Posted on 06 September 2015 by Mrs Taylor

As we start the new school year, our SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) theme focuses on New Beginnings.

We have three new members of staff making a new beginning at Moortown, Mrs Wells, Mr McKeon and Mr Lawton, alongside new children joining our school and our new Reception class.

I make someone feel welcome‘ is the first SEAL statement to launch the theme.

New beginnings allows children the opportunity to discuss and reflect on how they or others may feel in a new situation or setting. This SEAL theme offers children the opportunity to see themselves as valued individuals within a community, and to contribute to shaping a welcoming, safe and fair learning community for all.

During the theme, the key areas of learning are empathy, self-awareness, social skills and motivation.

Through discrete SEAL lessons, circle times and across the curriculum, children will explore feelings of happiness and excitement, sadness, anxiety and fearfulness, while learning (and putting into practice) shared models for calming down and problem-solving.

New Beginnings supports the development of a learning community in each classroom where all members feel that they belong. Class contracts, produced at the start of the year, allow children to contribute to how they feel they can achieve a safe and fair learning community.

Reading

Posted on 01 September 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Just as the summer started, the papers were full of articles about ideal holiday reading for adults and children alike. (I think ideal holiday reading is any reading you want to, whether it’s in the holidays or not!)

How many books has your child read this holiday? More importantly, what sort of discussions have you had with your child about what books you’ve been reading, and of course what they’ve been reading. (I’ve already had chats with Mrs Weekes and Miss Valentine about my summer reading. including a great children’s book, ‘Grace‘ by one of my favourite authors, Morris Gleitzman.)

As we approach the end of the holidays, it’s an ideal time to reflect on what we’ve read – and start the new school year off taking a positive, encouraging approach to your child’s reading.

Encourage your child to read anything and everything: a story, leaflet, brochure, comic, flyer, advert… It could be for pure entertainment, or with a different purpose: to use a recipe, make a shopping list, read street signs, or any kind of text!  The more varied reading your child does, the less likely they are to be put off reading a text.  Don’t be too pushy either – texts which are too difficult can put children off (harder books might be best left to bedtime reading); all children should be able to read their reading book 90-95% accurately and fluently in order to enjoy and gradually progress in their reading.

  • Build reading accuracy – as your child reads aloud, point out words they miss and help them sound out and read them correctly.
  • Build reading comprehension – talk with your child about what they’re reading, asking about new words and what new information they’ve learned.
  • Read together every day – don’t forget reading aloud to your child at bedtime reading can count, too!
  • Don’t overlook non-fiction texts – spend time talking about pictures and diagrams.
  • Visit the library regularly – did your child take part in the local libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge (see News article on 13 July 2015)?
  • Use the Internet – find out more about the books your child has read or would like to read next, and just enjoy surfing the internet for facts and figures about whatever interests your child.

Enjoyable, regular and short practice is the best way for your child to progress and learn through reading.  Make sure your child spends 10-15 minutes reading each day and use the guidance below to ensure (s)he is getting the most from every book they read.  The questions will need to be varied according to the book and your child.  The book may lend will to developing knowledge, phonic, punctuation, writing or comprehension skills.

Don’t attempt to try to cover all the bullet points! It might be a good idea to focus on just one of these areas every few days or so, or just choose a question from two or three sections.

Comprehension

  • Did you enjoy the story – why?
  • What happened at the start / in the middle / at the end?
  • Was there a problem?  How was it resolved?
  • How would you have resolved the problem?  Can you think of another way?
  • What would you do if …
  • What was the main idea of the story?
  • Can you summarise the story in a couple of sentenced?
  • Try to predict what will happen before the story ends.
  • Write about a memory or experience of your own that is similar to something you’ve read in your book.
  • Write a letter to someone telling them about the book and your opinion of the book.
  • Construct a time line to fit the story.  Include all the main events

Characters

  • Who are the characters?
  • What do they look like?
  • What kind of clothes do they wear?
  • How did the character feel when …?
  • What kind of mood was the character in?
  • What kind of personality do they have? Kind, caring, nasty, bully, liar, friendly, quiet, noisy …?
  • What does it say in the text that makes you think this?
  • What do other characters think or say about this character?  Why do they feel this way?
  • How does your character treat other people in the book?  How does the character change throughout the story?  Explain and give support for your answers.
  • Can you re-write the story and include your own character?
  • Write a description of the main character – their looks, the way they dress, the way they talk and their personality.
  • Draw and label a character or a setting from a description in the book.

Story setting

  • Where is the story set?
  • Imagine you are in the story …
  • What can you see?  What can you hear?  What can you small?  What can you feel?
  • Can you write a description of the story setting using adjectives?  eg I found myself standing in the middle of …
  • What is the weather like?

Non-Fiction

  • Research the subject further using the internet or local library.
  • Write down in your own sentences some facts you have learnt from the book.
  • Can you think of anywhere we might be able to find additional information about this?
  • What do the pictures or diagrams in this piece of information add to the text?
  • How are these different to the pictures you might find in a story?
  • Can you point out: a heading, sub-heading, caption, diagram, introduction, contents page etc?
  • Why has the author organised the information in this way? (You could refer to sections and sub-sections, bullet points etc)
  • How do you feel about …?  Can you explain why?

 

Reading really matters

Posted on 28 August 2015 by Mr Roundtree

We’re loving the new website to support parents and carers with reading: Read on. Get on.

It contains lots of great advice and help, including story starters and lots of hints and tips. There are links to other useful websites and there is a way for you to check your child’s progress.

Here are some top tips listed on the website. Although it’s all about supporting reading, it’s interesting to see that these tips are ways to support your child’s speaking and listening skills (so they should really help with Talk Time homework tasks, too!).

  • When talking with your child or looking at books together, help them to focus on what you are saying: Turn off the TV, the radio or the mobile. Removing distractions helps your child
  • Get down to the child’s level or bring them up to yours. This helps get their attention. Young children find it difficult to listen while they are doing something else.
  • Say their name first to help them stop and listen. Make sure your child can see your face when you are talking together. The gestures and facial expressions help give clues about what you’re saying. For example, a smile, a ‘thumbs up’.
  • It’s important to talk at the right level for your child. If your child is mainly using one word sentences, use one or two words sentences with them. An example is ‘Find shoes’ when looking at a story page with a picture of shoes.
  • If your child uses longer sentences to talk, use longer sentences with them. Ask ‘Find the man with the black hair’‘, or ‘Where is the rabbit jumping?’
  • Conversations are more than questions and answers. When you talk to your child, try to comment on what they say and do. In the park, say something like “I love going down slides”. Then wait to hear what your child says next.
  • When sharing stories together, comment on what your child shows an interest in. Repeat back to your child what you know they meant, even if they didn’t say it quite right. This helps encourage them to keep trying.
  • Children need time to plan what they are going to say. Say something to your child then wait for them to put their thoughts together before answering. Always show your child that you are listening. This shows them that you are interested and like talking with them.

2015 Key Stage 2 data

Posted on 14 July 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Now that we’ve reached the end of the school year, we’d like to share with you some facts and figures about how well the Year 6 class have performed over the course of their time at Moortown Primary. To help make sense of the data, please bear in mind the following points:

  • We’ve included the equivalent data for all schools in England for last year
  • Level 4 is the expected level; more precisely, a Level 4b
  • All figures relate to percentages
  • ‘W’ refers to ‘working towards’ – where a child’s attainment falls below Level 1
  • As a school, we had no pupils who were absent or not included in the tests / assessments; this matches the national average where so few are absent or not included that the average is 0%, so we’ve not included this data in the tables

Teacher assessments

W

1

2

3

4

5

6

School data (2015) English

0.0

0.0

0.0

6.5

41.9

51.6

0.0

National data (2014)

1

1

2

9

47

39

2

School data (2015) Speaking and listening

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.2

45.2

51.6

0.0

National data (2014)

1

1

2

10

48

38

2

School data (2015) Reading

0.0

0.0

0.0

6.5

29.0

64.5

0.0

National data (2014)

1

1

2

8

40

46

3

School data (2015) Writing

0.0

0.0

0.0

6.5

48.4

45.2

0.0

National data (2014)

1

1

3

11

52

31

2

School data (2015) Mathematics

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.2

51.6

35.5

9.7

National data (2014)

1

0

2

9

44

36

8

School data (2015) Science

0.0

0.0

0.0

6.5

41.9

51.6

0.0

National data (2014)

1

0

2

9

49

38

0

The proportions reaching Level 4 or higher based on teacher assessments are:

  • Reading: 93.5%
  • Writing: 93.5%
  • Maths: 96.8%

 The proportions reaching Level 5 or higher based on teacher assessments are:

  • Reading: 64.5%
  • Writing: 45.2%
  • Maths: 45.2%

Tests

Below 3

3

4

5

6

School data (2015) Reading

0.0

3.2

25.8

71.0

0.0

National data (2014)

5

6

39

50

0

School data (2015) Grammar, punctuation and spelling

0.0

3.2

22.6

64.5

9.7

National data (2014)

6

18

24

49

4

School data (2015) Mathematics

0.0

3.2

41.9

45.2

9.7

National data (2014)

4

10

44

33

9

The proportions reaching Level 4 or higher in the tests are:

  • Reading: 96.8%
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling: 96.8%
  • Maths: 96.8%
  • (There is no Writing test)

 The proportions reaching Level 5 or higher in the tests are:

  • Reading: 71.0%
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling: 74.2%
  • Maths: 54.8%

Disadvantaged pupils

In the cohort are three pupils who are entitled to pupil premium funding. Here’s how they got on in the tests:

  • Reading: one pupil attained Level 4, the other two reached Level 5; all three pupils made three levels of progress since Year 2 (whilst the national standard is two)
  • Writing (teacher assessment – there is no Writing test): one pupil attained Level 3, one at Level 4 and one at Level 5; two pupils made two levels of progress and one progressed by three levels since Year 2
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling: one pupil attained Level 3 in the test (and was one mark away from reaching Level 4!) whilst the other two reached Level 5; there is no Key Stage 1 data so we can’t measure progress for this aspect of learning
  • Maths: all three pupils reached Level 4; one made three levels of progress since Year 2 whilst the other two made two levels

As a summary, the pupils’ attainment averages out at a Level 4a – a high Level 4.

 

Incidentally, this is the last year that schools are required to assess according to levels. Only Year 2 and Year 6 have continued to use levels as a way to assess children’s attainment. It’s not clear yet how the Department for Education will publish from 2016 assessment data for children at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2.

 

2015 Key Stage 1 data

Posted on 14 July 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Now that we’ve reached the end of the school year, we’d like to share with you some facts and figures about how well the Year 2 class have performed over the course of Key Stage 1. To help make sense of the data, please bear in mind the following points:

  • We’ve included the equivalent data for all schools in England for last year
  • Level 2 is the expected level; more precisely, a Level 2b
  • All figures relate to percentages
  • ‘W’ refers to ‘working towards’ – where a child’s attainment falls below Level 1
  • ‘Disapplied’ refers to children who are not counted for some reason
  • The subjects listed below are the core subjects’

Speaking and listening

W

1

2

3 or above

Disapplied children

Absent children

School (2015)

0.0

6.7

73.3

20.0

0.0

0.0

National (2014)

2

9

66

24

0

0

 

Reading

W

1

2C

2B

2A

3 or above

Disapplied children

Absent children

School (2015)

3.3

0.0

3.3

26.7

36.7

30.0

0.0

0.0

National (2014)

2

8

9

23

27

30

0

0

 

Writing

W

1

2C

2B

2A

3 or above

Disapplied children

Absent children

School (2015)

3.3

0.0

6.7

13.3

56.7

20.0

0.0

0.0

National (2014)

2

11

16

30

23

16

0

0

 

Mathematics

W

1

2C

2B

2A

3 or above

Disapplied children

Absent children

School (2015)

0.0

0.0

6.7

26.7

36.7

30.0

0.0

0.0

National (2014)

1

6

12

27

29

24

0

0

 

Science

W

1

2

3 or above

Disapplied children

Absent children

School (2015)

0.0

6.7

76.7

16.7

0.0

0.0

National (2014)

2

8

68

22

 not applicable

not applicable

 

Disadvantaged pupils

In the cohort are three pupils who are entitled to pupil premium funding. Here’s how they got on:

  • Reading: all three pupils attained Level 2b
  • Writing: one pupil attained Level 2c and two pupils reached Level 2a
  • Maths: two pupils attained Level 2b and the third attained Level 2a
  • Speaking and listening: two pupils attained Level 2 and the third attained Level 1
  • Science: similarly, two pupils attained Level 2 and the third attained Level 1

As a summary, the pupils’ attainment averages out at a Level 2b.

 

This year is the last that schools are required to assess according to levels. Only Year 2 and Year 6 have continued to use levels as a way to assess children’s attainment. It’s not clear yet how the Department for Education will publish from 2016 assessment data for children at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2.

 

Summer Reading Challenge 2015

Posted on 13 July 2015 by Mr Roundtree

This year, the Summer Reading Challenge returns with the challenge of breaking records!

It’s really simple to join in and complete the challenge. All you have to do is

  1. Join any Leeds library (including mobile libraries).
  2. Borrow three books and read them. (You could write a short book review on them too.)
  3. You can borrow any book: stories, joke books, information books or even audio books.
  4. Return these (to any Leeds library) and borrow another three books.
  5. That means you need only borrow six books altogether – or more, of course!
  6. Once you’ve returned your second lot of three books, your challenge is complete!

 

We’re hoping to get lots more children taking on the challenge this year and enjoying their reading over the summer. Try not to borrow thick books that you’re never going to finish and make sure you pick books you’re going to be interested in, or, try something new. For any more information, take a look at the leaflet below.