This week’s message (Friday 06 January 2023)
Posted on 06 January 2023 by Mr Roundtree
Happy new year to you all – I hope the Christmas break was a happy and healthy one for you. Now that we’ve had one full term in school, this week’s message is a look at attendance for the full Autumn term and information about a parent governor vacancy…
Up to 09 December across England, the attendance rate was 92.7% for all schools and 94.0% for primary schools (this is based on data for schools reporting their attendance figures to the Department for Education).
Up to 16 December, our whole school attendance figure is 95.6% – it’s fantastic that the Moortown Primary data is above national – thank you for helping to ensure your child attends school.
The attendance figure for each year group is similar:
- Reception class: 95.1%
- Year 1: 95.4%
- Year 2: 96.1%
- Year 3: 94.9%
- Year 4: 96.2%
- Year 5: 96.1%
- Year 6: 95.5%
We recently wrote to all parents and carers regarding a parent governor vacancy, and to seek nominations. As the number of nominations received exceeded the number of parent governor vacancies, it’s now necessary to hold a ballot.
We sent an email out this morning giving details about the voting process. Every parent of a registered pupil at school is eligible to vote.
To vote, use the following link: https://forms.gle/
The ballot closes at 12 noon on 13 January 2023. The result of the election will be confirmed on the school websites.
Have a good weekend.
This year’s last message (Friday 16 December 2022)
Posted on 16 December 2022 by Mr Roundtree
Our last weekly message of the year comes from Mrs Weekes.
I hope you all have a relaxing break over the Christmas holidays and get to spend time with your families. We’ll see you back in school on Tuesday 03 January 2023.
I’d like to thank you for your continued support throughout 2022, and wish you happy times over the Christmas holiday period. All the best, David Roundtree.
This week’s message (Friday 09 December 2022)
Posted on 09 December 2022 by Mr Roundtree
Our message this week is has just three points, all of which are important…
Bank holidays and training days
On Friday 25 November, we told you about the additional bank holiday marking King Charles III’s coronation. This will be on Monday 8 May 2023.
This has had a knock-on effect:
- It means all the Key Stage 2 tests (the Year 6 SATs) will take place one day later than originally planned
- …and this means the training day on Friday 12 May is now on Monday 15 May instead.
We know this may cause some inconvenience – as you can see, the situation is beyond our control. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
The dates of the Key Stage 2 tests are now:
- Tuesday 9 May: Grammar, punctuation and spelling
- Wednesday 10 May: Reading paper
- Thursday 11 May: Maths
- Friday 12 May: Maths
Next Friday is a non-uniform day. We love a non-uniform day as a welcome change of routine, but (just like dress-down days at work) we do still have expectations, as set out in our Uniform Policy:
Pupils should dress appropriately and respectfully for school, even on non-uniform days. Clothes are inappropriate if they, for example, glorify violence, feature bad language, are very short (eg crop tops), or relate to age-inappropriate topics (eg computer games). When consulted (18.03.21), junior leaders described this as ‘setting appropriate’ clothing and clothing that is ‘well-judged’. Make-up (other than face paints as part of a specific costume) is not allowed. Flip-flops or high-heeled shoes are not allowed, even on non-uniform days, because they’re dangerous when running.
- aware of the signs and symptoms of these infections
- aware of how you can help to stop the spread of the infections
- reassured that scarlet fever is a common illness and it is usually very mild
- reassured that invasive Group A Strep (iGAS) remains very rare, despite recent headlines
And finally a recommendation… If you’ve time, over the holiday, you might want to see a panto or a show. As well as ones at a theatre, The Storymaker’s Apprentice at Leeds Central Library looks a good one.
It’s a freezing Friday – stay as warm as you can over the weekend. Have a happy and healthy one.
This week’s message (Friday 02 December 2022)
Posted on 02 December 2022 by Mr Roundtree
On Monday, there was an online safety parent workshop – thank you to those who were able to attend. This week’s message reinforces the guidance that was shared. It comes from Mrs Weekes, the Safeguarding Leader across our three Sphere Federation schools…
You may think that we talk too much about Online Safety but the issues and challenges that our children may face change every day. It’s really important to keep online safety high on your radar so that, together, we can keep our young people safe.
Research shows that 44% of six year olds go online in their bedroom. If your child is accessing the internet on their own devices, it’s really hard to know what they’re seeing or what they’re doing. While it’s important that children have time to themselves and have some independence, it’s also crucial that we make sure they’re keeping safe. There are many ways you can do this but here are some top tips:
- Make sure that parental controls are enabled on devices and the household internet; there are many parent guides to help you do this if you’re not sure.
- If your child is using a device, make sure they’re in the same room as you or other responsible members of the family – they shouldn’t be alone in their bedroom.
- Show an interest in what they’re doing online – every now and again, ask them what they’re watching or doing.
- Don’t assume that sites you use are ok – many children are seeing inappropriate content on YouTube so make sure you know what they’re watching.
- Check their devices on a daily basis to see which websites they’ve accessed.
Here’s some further guidance for some particular issues…
Despite the controls you put in place, your child might still view something that’s inappropriate. It’s important that you’re able to deal with this situation if it arises.
- Have an age appropriate conversation and explain that there are some things online that are for adults only and if they see something that upsets them online, they should always come and tell you.
- It may be a good time to help your child think critically about the images they see online and offline.
- Try to give them coping strategies to help them deal with any online content that they’re uncomfortable with.
- Reassure them that they can always come to you and that they aren’t at fault.
- Be prepared that they may have questions about sex and relationships or other issues.
- Discuss the problem with other parents to share experiences and solutions.
- Block any inappropriate content.
Many of our children are accessing social media platforms on a daily basis. If your child has social media accounts, it’s important that you know some facts about these apps.
- Check age limits – the majority of social media have a minimum age of 13 years (WhatsApp has a minimum age of 16 years and TikTok has just introduced a minimum age of 18 years for any live posts).
- Make sure privacy settings are on and that location services are turned off
- Help your child to be a good role model online – think before they post.
- Make sure they know no to share personal information – maybe even create an alias so they’re not using their real name.
- Use a strong password and different passwords for different accounts.
- Don’t accept or send friend requests to anyone they don’t know.
There are benefits and challenges with screen time. Make sure the rules in your house are clear, balanced and work for your family. Here are some suggestions:
- Create screen time rules together.
- Take an active role in their digital life.
- Use tools to manage their screen time and access to media – even as simple as setting a time limit and an alarm.
- Encourage them to be selective in how they spend their time online and offline.
- What’s your child seeing or doing online?
- Who might your child be chatting to online?
- How might their online experiences affect them?
- Check out this guide to social media and how it links with mental health – it links nicely with our current Living and Learning theme (mental health), too.
If you’ve any specific concerns, do ask us. Let’s work together to keep our children happy and healthy in every way.
It's beginning to feel a lot like...
Posted on 02 December 2022 by Mrs Weekes
… Christmas! Who says it’s too early to put Christmas decorations up? Not the children at Moortown Primary.
Mrs Burgess and some of our Y6 friends went to St Gemma’s Hospice to pick up a tree from their Christmas market. It might not be snowing, or that cold, but they sang Christmas songs all the way back to school. Thank you to St Gemma’s for reserving a tree for us.
North East Leeds Cross Country
Posted on 01 December 2022 by Mrs Weekes
Last Friday, some of our older pupils took part in a cross country event. They were fantastic role models and represented Moortown really well. As well as exemplary behaviour, they also showed that they can run too!
Four of the children who took part have reached the final, including a first place result for one of our Y6 friends, so watch this space.
A big thank you to any parent who went along to help and support.
Children in Need
Posted on 25 November 2022 by Mrs Weekes
Thank you to everyone who donated money for Children In Need; we raised £249 which is amazing. Well done everyone and thank you.
This week’s message (Friday 25 November 2022)
Posted on 25 November 2022 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message is in six parts: an important announcement, a celebration, a reminder, a question, a word about Ofsted, and an article to support your child at home.
May’s extra bank holiday and training day
This morning, we’ve received an important email that affects the training day we had planned for Friday 12 May and the Key Stage 2 SAT tests:
An additional bank holiday in honour of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will take place on Monday 8 May 2023. As this date had previously been announced as the first day of the 2023 key stage 2 (KS2) test week in England, a change to the KS2 test schedule next year will be necessary.
Ministers have considered the situation carefully and have decided that KS2 tests will take place in the same week with tests following the usual order but each taking place one day later than originally planned.
This means that the tests will now run from Tuesday to Friday, and this has a knock-on effect on Friday’s training day which needs to be re-arranged. We know this may cause some inconvenience – as you can see, the situation is beyond our control.
We’re exploring ways to overcome this problem (such as to move the training day one day later, too, so it would be on Monday 15 May). We’ll confirm details as soon as we can.
In last week’s message, we talked about the Year 4 multiplication tables check.
Yesterday, the government released data about the 2022 check – the one that our current Year 5 pupils took in June.
Nationally, 27% of pupils scored 25 out of 25. At Moortown Primary, 40% scored top marks.
Nationally, the average score was 19.8 out of 25. The average at Moortown was 22.6.
Well done to the Year 5 pupils for such a great achievement, and thank you to adults at home for helping your child to practise their times tables. (Next step is to continue to practise – a little and often – to maintain that rapid recall!)
Next Friday from 2.30pm, teachers and children will welcome you to the class to share the great learning they’ve been doing during Topic Time.
This is a drop-in session – come and have a look at your child’s topic learning from 2.30pm.
(Parents of children in Reception should look out for other ways they can join in with their child’s learning journey.)
A question of behaviour…
All schools in England are required to have a Behaviour Policy. We’re currently reviewing our Positive Relationships Policy (that’s the name we use for our Behaviour Policy).
We usually ask about behaviour in our annual survey of parents – this year, 100% of of you who expressed an opinion said you were happy with how we make sure our pupils are well-behaved.
During our review, it’d be great to hear from you. If you’ve any particular views or suggestions, please let us know: email@example.com
As you’ll know, we have an outstanding judgement from Ofsted. This was from quite a while ago (2011, to be exact) – the reason for this is that schools judged to be outstanding have been exempt from routine inspections. That’s no longer the case – outstanding schools are now inspected, just like other schools – and there’s now been a full year of inspections.
This BBC article reports that 80% of the re-inspected schools previously outstanding are now rated ‘good’ or ‘requires improvement’ (with a very small number judged ‘inadequate’).
At Moortown Primary, we’re expecting an Ofsted inspection at some point over the next year. We’re confident that whatever the outcome of the inspection, we continue to be a happy and healthy and great place to learn!
Finally this week, a message from Mr Catherall, one of our English leaders, about effective speaking and listening…
Support your child’s oracy
In Sphere Federation schools, we place a high emphasis on oracy: the ability to communicate and express yourself effectively. It’s about having the vocabulary to be able to say what you want to say and the grammatical awareness to structure your thoughts in a logical way.
Oracy is a crucial life skill:
- it increases engagement in learning
- it improves academic outcomes
- it fosters wellbeing and confidence
- it supports transitions and enhances employability
- it equips students to thrive in later life
- if all children develop good oracy skills, it promotes equality in society
How can you help at home?
- Be an oracy role model: model good speaking and listening skills to your
child, and when they’re in ear-shot.
- Don’t ‘dumb down’ your language: try not to avoid using more complex
vocabulary. Instead, use complicated language but then succinctly explain
what it means.
- Complete the Talk Time homework we provide each week: these are a great opportunity to have a conversation and model good oracy skills.
Have a go this weekend!
This week’s message (Friday 11 November 2022)
Posted on 18 November 2022 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message has just four items, two of which are football-related…
Zoom sessions to support your child at home
This term, we’ve been hosting a series of Zoom presentations to help you support your child’s learning at home. So far, we’ve had sessions on phonics and early reading; number; topic; and an introduction to Early Years. If you attended a session, or caught up afterwards by watching the recording: thank you.
There’s a few more coming up, all at 6pm on Mondays:
- Online safety: 28 November 2022
- Key Stage 2 SATs: 09 January 2023 (this one is mainly for parents of Y6 children)
- Key Stage 1 SATs: 27 February 2023 (this one is mainly for parents of Y2 children)
- Reception to Year 1 transition: 19 June 2023 (this one is for parents of Reception children)
If you’re interested in attending, please either send us a message on the School Gateway app or email the school office. We’ll then email the Zoom joining details out to all those who have expressed an interest.
If your child’s in Early Years, look out for the range of sessions specifically for you.
Time to learn times tables?
By the end of Year 4, children are expected to have a rapid recall of their times tables and corresponding tables facts. There’s a national assessment at the end of Year 4 – read more about the multiplication tables check.
Please keep making sure your child practises their times tables – focus on the one that’s being learnt in class. (Check the homework sheet to find this out.) Even if your child’s in Year 5 or Year 6 – after the national multiplication tables check – they should keep practising. We recommend little and enough (and this might include time on Times Tables Rock Stars).
Top tips! Encourage your child with a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer: knowing 4 x 7 = 28 means they also know 7 x 4 = 28, for example. And many people find 7 x 8 = 56 one of the toughest facts to learn, but if you think of it as 56 = 7 x 8, then the four digits in order might help (5, 6, 7, 8).
Whatever your feelings about this year’s World Cup, the Youth Sport Trust has launched a social media competition which aims to inspire you and your child to play together via a series of football-based challenges – they can even be done in your living room. Check out the Half Time Challenge.
Is your child in a football club?
Every week millions of children play football, many of them in organised clubs and organisations. As part of its safeguarding response, the Football Association has created a safeguarding course for parents.
The course is designed to help parents make informed choices about the football settings where they enrol their children. (It might help raise awareness of safeguarding in other sporting clubs, too.) The course can help you to recognise best practice and see where there may be concerns, so that you can report them quickly and effectively. Check out the free course.
What a wet week we’ve had! Let’s hope for a drier weekend. Whatever the weather, have a happy and healthy one.
Junior leaders attend Youth Summit
Posted on 17 November 2022 by Mrs Taylor
Today, our Year 5 and 6 junior leaders, along with other children and young people from local primary and secondary schools, attended the Inner North East Community Committee Youth Summit at the Civic Hall.
We had the chance to meet and question councillors from the Moortown, Chapel Allerton and Roundhay wards and get involved with sharing views about youth activities for our local area.
We were then taken to the council chambers to meet the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Bob Gettings, where he took questions from the children. We learnt lots about his role.
The event was a great opportunity for the children to see how the council is run and give their views on issues in their local community. What great representatives of the school they were!
It was brilliant! We got to meet the Lord Mayor of Leeds.
It was amazing! We got to ask lots of questions and the Lord Mayor and councillors gave really good replies.
I liked hearing about the councillors’ experiences and what they do in their area.
I enjoyed it as you got to have a say.