Latest news from around the school

Think you know...?

Posted on 11 December 2015 by Mr Roundtree

An updated version of Thinkuknow, the child internet safety website for parents and carers, is now live at

The new site is still in a trial period. It offers a completely refreshed suite of articles and guidance on all aspects of child internet safety. Please do have a look around the new site. You might also help by completing the user survey (this appears as a pop up when you visit) – your comments and ideas will help shape the final content and improve resources and support to families.

Families can visit to access advice and support on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse, both online and off. Articles provide guidance on topics as diverse as:

  • challenging harmful sexual attitudes and promoting positive behaviours;
  • helping a child with autism negotiate life online;
  • supporting a child who has been sexually abused; and
  • dealing with a range of online issues such as sending nude selfies and viewing pornography.

Users will find films, downloadable guides and useful links to support organisations. Families can also use the website to access the CEOP Safety Centre where they can report abuse and exploitation direct to Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

Bedtime reading

Posted on 10 December 2015 by Mr Roundtree

We like these top tips to promote bedtime reading from Book Trust.

Although these are specifically for children who are starting to read by themselves, there are plenty of tips to support children of all ages.

(The Book Trust’s advent calendar is brilliant, too!)

Health highlights

Posted on 29 November 2015 by Mrs Taylor

Our health themed week has been filled with visitors and learning, providing a variety of experiences for the whole school.

  • ‘It was really educational and fun.’
  • ‘I enjoyed health week as there were so many activities.’
  • ‘I learnt a lot about sugar in foods. I learnt about drugs: good or bad.’
  • ‘One of my highlights was judo.  We learnt different skills and it has now inspired me to take classes out of school.’
  • ‘I did learn a lot and now I am even healthier than before.’
  • ‘I learnt how to cope with emotional health.’
  • ‘I learnt how to make sure I have my 5 a day.’
  • ‘I learnt how to choose the right food.’

We would like to thank the following for their support with our themed week:

Finally, thank you to all staff and pupils who have fully engaged with all the learning throughout the week.  Take a look at the Class News sections of the website to find out what each class have been doing.  We have enjoyed a fun-filled week.

For further information about keeping healthy have a look at change4life, KidsHealth, NHS choices, Leeds Let’s Change and Leeds Let’s Get Active (for advice on more local health issues).

And an extra note from Mr Roundtree: Thanks, once again, to Mrs Taylor for organising such a wonderful themed week.

One of your 5 a day for free

Posted on 26 November 2015 by Mrs Taylor

Our weekly fruit tuck shop runs on a Tuesday playtime. It’s for Key Stage 2 children, with a charge of 20p per portion and a pre-payment option available.

Today, as part of health week, all children, including Reception and Key Stage 1, were invited to an extra tuck shop free of charge.  This gave children who might not normally come to the tuck shop the chance to try it out.

It was great to see everyone enjoying a fruit-filled playtime.

tuck shoptuck shop3 tuck shop7


Healthy packed lunches

Posted on 26 November 2015 by Mrs Taylor

As it is health week, copies of our Guide to Healthy Packed Lunches have been given out at lunchtime today as a reminder for children who choose to bring a packed lunch to school.

We encourage at least one piece of fruit or vegetable in packed lunches and snack items occasionally, as a treat, but aim for healthy options.  Lots of learning has taken place in health week looking at quantities of sugar in drinks and the importance of drinking water to keep hydrated.  We therefore encourage water which is freely available for packed lunch children.

There were also some prizes for healthy packed lunches.

packed lunchpacked lunch2

What's for breakfast in your home?

Posted on 26 November 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Porridge? Cereal? An egg and toast?

It’s Health Week and a timely reminder about the importance of enjoying a healthy breakfast before school.

A new study has revealed that primary pupils who eat breakfast are up to twice as likely to do well at school as those who do not.

In particular, the research showed a strong link between a healthy breakfast – such as cereal, bread, dairy products or fruit – and doing well at school.

The study of around 5,000 pupils was led by a team at Cardiff University and looked at performance in Key Stage 2 teacher assessments.

Supporting your child

Posted on 24 November 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Learning workshops are a chance for you to find out more about the best ways to support your child’s learning at home. The last of these workshops took place last night – a Maths one.

Once again, parents and carers who came were very positive:

  • ‘Discovering the Maths videos on the website and knowing the expectations for times tables for different year groups was good.’
  • ‘Very useful session and well-delivered. Will help reinforce learning at home.’
  • ‘I’ve now got a better understanding of the on-line resources and the language to use at home. I’ve a clearer understanding of what [my Reception daughter] will be doing now. It was well-structured and delivered.’

Thank you to Mr Owen and Miss Rushbrooke for running these sessions – much of the feedback chose to praise them:

‘I enjoyed listening to both teachers highlighting the teaching and ideas in school and how to support at home. Thank you for offering your time.’

Whilst this was the last learning workshop, we have other events coming up to support your child at home:

  • Homework open afternoon, 2.40pm on Wednesday 02 December – parents/carers of children in Years 1 – 6 are invited into the classroom to help you to be aware of the standards of homework in your child’s class; it will also give you an insight into how we give feedback to your child even if the homework does not appear to be marked.
  • Core skills open morning, 9.00am-10.30am on Tuesday 08 December – we invite all parents/carers into school to see some Maths and English teaching and learning taking place, and then to review what was observed with Mr Roundtree and/or Mrs Weekes (those who came last year found it helped to know what was happening so they could talk more with their child about their learning, and it raised some expectations, too!).
  • Reception phonics teaching, 9.00am-9.30am on 20 / 21 / 22 January – the second chance to see how your child is learning these essential skills to support reading and writing; over the course of the three mornings, all Reception parents/carers are expected to attend.
  • Core skills open morning, 9.00am-10.30am on Wednesday 27 January – a second invitation for parents/carers to see some Maths and English teaching and learning taking place.
  • Topic open afternoon, 2.30pm on Thursday 17 March – you’ll get a chance to share in the review of the Big Topic on Life which will be coming to its end (parents/carers are welcome, too, although Reception children will not necessarily have joined in on this whole-school topic).
  • Reception phonics teaching, 9.00am-9.30am on 27 / 28 / 29 April – the third chance to see how your child is learning phonics; again, all Reception parents/carers are expected to attend on one of the mornings.

It's all about health

Posted on 22 November 2015 by Mrs Taylor

This week is the first themed week of the year and it’s all about health.

Over the week classes will work with different visitors to school including:

There will be lots of learning in class too – hand washing, body image, emotional health, 5 a day and much more. Keep an eye on our class news pages to find out more.

On Monday 23 November, 3:00-3:30pm, there will be an information session for parents, led by d:side, where you can find out more about the drug education sessions delivered to each class this week. No need to book – just come along.

Phonics feedback

Posted on 20 November 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Mrs Burke and the other Reception staff were delighted to welcome nearly all parents / carers into the classroom this week to watch the Reception children learn phonics – so important in developing reading and writing skills.

Parents who visited either on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday gained an insight into the general teaching that goes on in Reception, but more specifically learnt about how we teach phonics and how they should support their child’s learning at home:

‘It was useful to see the step-by-step process in which the children are taught so that I can attempt to support in a similar fashion at home. It was helpful to hear the language used in context (grapheme, phoneme etc).’

‘Very informative and well-organised. Definitely helps with how to support at home.’

Lots of parents left impressed by the children’s learning behaviour:

‘I was happy to see how well the children are engaged.’

Finally, we asked how we can make these sessions even better. We had a couple of suggestions – a longer session was suggested, and the session a little bit earlier in the year. We’ll consider these, although in previous years we’ve tried different things and this seems about right for most people. One parent suggested that we should remind others ‘that phonics is not the be all and end all’ and that we should ’emphasise the importance of reading for fun’ – we agree. The purpose of the session was kept quite specific, but Mrs Burke will include some reminders about this in subsequent newsletters because we certainly want to promote a love of reading.

Thanks again to everyone who came along. The next sessions are on 20, 21 and 22 January.

What is 'mastery'?

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Mr Roundtree

Mr Owen welcomed quite a lot of parents to the two workshops he ran on Monday (one at 2.30pm, one at 6.00pm). Once again, the feedback was really positive – parents who came appreciated the information and Mr Owen’s relaxing, friendly and clear delivery style. One parent summed up the session well by describing it as ‘really informative with useful handouts and great delivery’ and went on to conclude, ‘Pleased Moortown offer these workshops for parents.’

Other comments include:

  • ‘Convinced by the concept – I now understand it. Really stimulating.’
  • ‘Mr Owen is very passionate about his job and very good at ensuring parents understand concepts.’
  • ‘Great explanation of the teaching that is happening in school. Really helpful to see how you are supporting children in this way so that we can do this at home, too.’

I’m really pleased to read so many comments such as the last one – these workshops are intended to help you support your child at home.