This week’s message (Friday 08 March 2024)

Posted on Friday 08 March 2024 by Mr Roundtree

After World Book Day yesterday, let’s kick off this week’s message with a word from Mrs Latham about Early Reading…

Early reading (for parents of younger children)

Children learn to read during daily phonics lessons which are taught using a carefully sequenced, systematic phonics programme in Reception and Year 1.

Alongside this, there are Reading Practice groups four times each week. Children read the same book (a ‘real’ book, not an e-book) every day and the aim is to build fluency, prosody (expression) and comprehension throughout the week. The books are for practice. The words closely match the phonics that have been learnt in school. After the four reads in school, children can then celebrate their reading by reading the same text as an e-book at home.

Alongside these practice books, children should also have a book to read at home for pleasure. These books don’t match the learning at school – they’re best to read aloud together to enjoy.

We’ve now invested in some additional Fluency Reading books that follow on from this programme so that children can continue to develop reading fluency. They’re very appealing – children are thoroughly enjoying reading them. Take a look at them.

Help at home by listening to your child read out loud every day or reading out loud to them.

Publication: KS2 tests information leaflet for parents (for parents of older children)

Ahead of the end of Key Stage 2 national curriculum tests and teacher assessments in May, the Department for Education has published a new information leaflet for parents.

This leaflet provides an overview of the purpose of the tests, when they are scheduled, and when results will be shared by schools.

Is your child entitled to free school meals?

Free school meals are available to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. They’re also available to some older children according to family income. It’s important to register for entitlement to free school meals, even if your child has a packed lunch or is in a younger class – this is so we can receive additional funding (called the pupil premium) which we can use to help your child.

Read our guide to free school meals.


Scholes is an excellent school, so happy with the choice I made… [My son] he is always super happy to be there and talks fondly of the teachers and the activities he does at school, lovely teachers in Rainbow class who are always helpful and supportive.

That’s one of the comments from a recent survey of Reception parents – thank you to the 16 parents who took the time to let us know their views. We’re now reviewing what was said to see how we can act on some of the points raised.

School Journalists

Posted on Tuesday 05 March 2024 by Mr Catherall

Hi again

This is Jimmy, Louie and Zara with a brilliant news report for you to enjoy. We have been interested by the other jobs going on around the school. There are many, including community ambassadors who help to clean the community and lunch time play leaders who show children in Key Stage 1 how to play nicely, be polite and suggest games for them to play. There are also some others like lunch hall monitors and our school librarians.

We interviewed Elliot in Year 6 to find out about his job being a community ambassador.

What do you like about being a community ambassador?

I get to help the community which means there is less litter and more wildlife in, and around, Scholes.

What is your favourite part?

My favourite part is being with my friends and helping the world one piece of rubbish at a time.

Why did you choose to be a community ambassador over the other jobs?

I am energetic and this job lets me go outside and be active whereas other jobs only let you stay inside.

How much litter do you pick on average every time you work?

We usually collect around one and a half bags or rubbish.

We also interviewed Sienna, a lunch time play leader in Year 5 to find out more.

Why did you choose to be a lunch time play leader?

I like to help younger children and I want to help KS1 have less fallouts and accidents.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Helping children play nicely and finding them friends to play with.

How do you feel when you see children playing nicely?

It makes me happy because I have contributed to this along with the other leaders.

Why do you think your job is the best job? (No offence, but our job is the best job!)

I help people and play with them.

Well, I guess that’s all, folks – see you next week!

This week’s message (Friday 01 March 2024)

Posted on Friday 01 March 2024 by Mr Roundtree

It’s the first day of March and starting to feel like Spring. It’s also St David’s Day, so if you’ve any Welsh connections (or happen to be called David!) then perhaps enjoy some sort of celebration!

World Book Day is right around the corner but we celebrate reading all year round. We want children to leave school and have a life-long love of reading because the benefits of those who read for pleasure are far-ranging; there’s a strong positive link with empathy, well-being and attainment, just to name a few. Next week (and beyond), try reading something you and your child wouldn’t normally choose. You could create a quiz about the book or pretend to be the main character, acting or talking like them. You might just curl up together on the sofa and take turns reading aloud. The most important thing for children is that they have dedicated time put towards reading and that they have the power of choice over what they read… like a match day programme, song lyrics or graphic novels – anything counts!

The rest of this week’s message comes from Mr Wilks, who’s our Curriculum Leader in Sphere Federation…

What is this half-term’s topic?

This half-term, it’s Computing. We’re developing our knowledge of computers and computer programming.

Computer programming is super. Creating games, animations and solving real world problems is fun, encourages creativity and is challenging! Importantly, the skills the children develop and use are transferable to other subjects and areas of life. For example, the concept of decomposition in programming is concerned with breaking down a large task into smaller chunks. This concept could be used when writing a story, solving a maths problem or tidying a particularly messy bedroom! Debugging is the skill of identifying and fixing an error in a program. It requires systematic, objective thinking and plenty of resilience.

Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary that they’ll learn, use and apply across the topic. See page 11 and 12 of our Topic Curriculum Guide.

Years 1 and 2

Children will learn about how technology is used beyond school in our homes and all around us. They’ll begin to consider what a computer is and isn’t.

In programming lessons, they’ll be introduced to algorithms and will learn about how they need to be written in the correct sequence.

They’ll create their own algorithms in ‘unplugged computing’ lessons and will debug errors in their own and others’ algorithms. Next, they’ll plan and create their own unplugged game where they have to create an algorithm to move a character from one place to another using positional language.

They’ll then use the same concepts using Beebots – simple robots which can be programmed to move and turn. Finally, it’ll be time to create their own game using Beebots.

Years 3 and 4

Pupils will begin with some ‘unplugged computing’. They’ll create, and debug unplugged programs which use sequence and repetition before they then create their own unplugged game which will require some decomposition. Next, it’s time to program on a platform called Scratch Jr. It’s a free app available on most devices and will allow children to develop and refine their understanding and use of concepts like repetition and sequence. Finally, they’ll create their own game on Scratch Jr using all of the skills they’ve learned over the topic. They will have some creativity to plan and design their own game. They may choose to create a maze game or a simple platform game. 

Years 5 and 6

Children will begin the topic by reasoning about what makes a computer a computer. They’ll then learn about how search engines work and how to best use them. In programming lessons, they’ll use Scratch to gain a deeper understanding of concepts like sequence and repetition before learning about selection and variables. Some of this vocabulary may sound alien to you. However, before the end of the topic your child will be able to tell you what they mean and give examples of how they’ve used them in their projects. Some of the projects your children will create are:

  • A Spirograph style drawing animation with some potentially psychedelic visual effects!
  • A chatbot program which will ask you questions and decide if your responses are correct or not.
  • A times table quiz program that will test you on randomly selected times table questions within a set time limit.

How can you help?

Talk to your child about what they’ve been learning in class. Our Class News  is a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.

The school library and local libraries have lots of books about coding and computer games which your child will be able to borrow and develop both their reading skills and computing knowledge.

Finally, try programming with your child. There are loads of programming apps and software available to download, often for free. Here’s a list:

Key Stage 1:

  • Daisy the Dinosaur (Apple only)
  • Beebot
  • Tynker Junior

Key Stage 2:

  • Lightbot
  • Tynker
  • Scratch Jr
  • Scratch

School Journalists – World Book Day

Posted on Monday 26 February 2024 by Mr Catherall

Hi all

This is Louie, Jimmy and Zara with an exciting report for you to enjoy. We have been excited by World Book Day, an annual event where people can share their love of reading to the world. This occurs on the 7th March. At school, everyone including teachers are allowed to bring in their favourite book to enjoy and share with the rest of the class. Additionally, people can choose to dress up as a character from their favourite books. This is a great celebration!

We asked some children in Key Stage 1 about what their favourite books are and who they are hoping to dress up as for World Book Day.

Clara, in Y2, said her favourite book is Little Red Riding Hood and she hopes to dree up as The Big Bad Wolf. Mila, in Y1, has a favourite book of The Faraway Tree. She is hoping to dress up as Bunny from the book. Ella and Georgie in Y1 and Y2 both said the same thing. Harry Potter is their favourite book and both hope to dress up as Hermione. Dawson and Rupert in Reception both have a favourite book of The Gruffalo.

We decided to think what our favourite books are. We had a lot to choose from and it was a tough choice. Zara decided on Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Louie said Tom Gates because he like the characters and the illustrations. Jimmy likes Harry Potter as it’s very interesting and action-packed.

That’s all from us! Ready, set, READ!

This week’s message (Friday 23 February 2024)

Posted on Friday 23 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

We hope you all managed some sort of break last week, the half-term break. This half-term has quite a few events coming up…

Number facts challenge

It’s time for another Number Facts Challenge, our annual sponsored maths challenge. The challenge is in two parts:

Today, children in Years 1-6 did a Maths challenge in class. On Wednesday 28 February, they’ll do the same challenge again to see if they can beat their score. (Reception children join in the challenge on Wednesday.)

Polish those number skills and get practising over the next couple of weeks and see how much money we can raise. Any money raised will be split between our school charity, the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF), and PTA.

Happy sponsoring and thank you for your support.

World Book Day

World Book Day is on Thursday 07 March. At Scholes (Elmet) Primary, we love to celebrate reading. This includes celebrating World Book Day each year, although we don’t always dress up (we do this every other year).

It’s that time again! We invite children to dress up as a book character. Whether it’s someone from a fairy tale or fantasy, a character from a comic or Harry in Hogwarts, your child is invited to celebrate their love of reading.
As always on days like this, this is a choice. If you or your child would prefer not to dress up, that’s absolutely fine.

Supermarkets are stocked up with World Book Day outfits but often you can dress up using clothes you already have or can borrow for free.

Also, and especially with younger children, please make sure costumes are practical. For example, all-in-one outfits are really tricky when a Reception child needs the toilet, and princess shoes aren’t ideal for running around at playtimes!

Comic Relief – Red Nose Day

Also coming up is Red Nose Day, which is on Friday 15 March. Each year at Scholes (Elmet) Primary, pupils select a new school charity. As you know, this year, it’s the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF).

Alongside some fund-raising for the CHSF, we mark a small number of other events, including Red Nose Day. This will be a non-uniform day. There’s no expectation to donate, but if you’d like to, your donation would be appreciated.

We realise that’s a lot going on. Please remember, participation and donations are voluntary for these events.

Attendance matters

At the start of each half-term, we like to celebrate the great attendance at Scholes (Elmet) Primary. Our current attendance figure (right up until the end of Spring 1) is 95.4%. The national figure for primary schools for the same period is 93.7%.

Well done especially to Class 1/2B (Mrs Latham) 96.1%; Class 3/4A (Mrs Paterson) 96.2%; and Class 3/4B (Miss Iveson) 96.3%.

We’re really proud of our attendance figure. Thank you for making sure your child gets to school as much as they can.

An update from our school journalists…

Posted on Tuesday 20 February 2024 by Mr Catherall

Hello there!

This is Louie, Jimmy and Zara with another school news report. Today, we will be looking at what our school is like in general. We are a happy and healthy school and there is lots to offer learning-wise and in entertainment; we are very proud of the curriculum in all subjects and we have lots of space outside: two playgrounds, an adventure playground, a field and lots of equipment to keep us happy during breaks. There is a great learning environment and plenty of opportunities to interact with friends and also to make new friends.

The teachers also have great fun working with each other. We interviewed Mr Lindsay (Y5,6 teacher) to find out more about this.

Why is the school a good place to learn?

Because staff make learning fun. They make it interactive and the children are very dedicated. 

What is it like being a teacher?

It’s the best job I could have because every day is different and you see children learning a little bit more about the world all the time. 

Why did you choose to be a teacher?

It’s great to work with children. I don’t like working with adults.

What’s your favourite subject to teach?

Maths – you see progress in children quickly and I like teaching a variety of subjects like there is in maths. 

We’ve had a great half-term to start the year with good maths, writing and history all over the school. In an action-packed half-term, KS1 have learned about Nelson Mandela, Year 3,4 have done a topic about the Romans and Year 5,6 have learned about the Vikings.

We’ve also had a superb addition to the school with the exciting new adventure playground.

We hope you keep coming back for more exciting news updates!

Have a great week!

This week’s message (Friday 09 February 2024)

Posted on Friday 09 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

The Spring 1 half-term has been a short one, and a busy one as ever. Wrapping up the half-term were parent-teacher meetings – thanks for attending the meeting to find out more about your child’s learning.

Holidays and training days 2024-25

While it seems we’re stuck in winter – certainly so with the snow yesterday – it’s worth looking ahead to brighter days! All the holidays and training dates for 2024-25 are confirmed – check out our school calendar if you want to start planning ahead.

Leeds Parent Carer Forum

The Leeds Parent Carer Forum is the way that the local authority and health partners engage and co-produce directly with parents and carers of children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). In Leeds, this is a very new organisation. We’ve been asked to share their promotional flyer with you.

School policies

Finally for this week, Sphere Federation governors have asked us to remind you that most policies are available on our website – the Policies and Other Points page. If you can’t find what you might be looking for, please do ask. Your views on any of the policies are always welcome, too.

On a similar subject, please ask if you’d prefer paper copies of anything on the website.

Thank you for your continued support, as ever. Have a happy and healthy half-term holiday.

An exciting week at school…

Posted on Monday 05 February 2024 by Mr Catherall


This is another school journalist news report, this time featuring an exciting new development in school and an interview about the show Gladiators, after a 27 year gap between the last episode of Gladiators in 1997 until the first episode a few weeks ago at the start of 2024. The show first appeared in 1991, a competition where brave and determined challengers take on the superhuman gladiators, many of which have been or still are professional athletes. This show has become very popular since its comeback. We interviewed Mrs Hogarth to find out more.

What is your favourite event in Gladiators and why?

I have two – duel as I like watching the contestants plummet off the podium. My other favourite is the travellator because they’re exhausted and it gets tense.

If you were on Gladiators, what would your name be? Why?

“The Fear” – it would put fear into the opponents.

Who is your favourite Gladiator?

Fury because she’s super resilient.

Which event do you think you would be best at?

Duel because I am very competitive.

An exciting new adventure playground was recently built in place of our old adventure playground. This was because our old one had been at the school a long time and the wood was starting to rot. However, the new adventure playground is better as it is more spacious, there is some fun new equipment and the surface is all-weather which means that there is always an opportunity to go on it. The grand opening of the playground was on Tuesday and everyone has been very excited to try it out.

We interviewed Stanley in year 4 on the new playground:

What do you think about the new adventure playground?

It’s better because it’s a nicer play area and you can go on it whenever you want because it isn’t grass.

What is your favourite part of it?

The slides as there weren’t any on the last adventure playground.

Are you excited about playing on it and why?

Yes – the last one was nice but on the old adventure playground, we never really went on it as it was too muddy. Now it’s all weather, you can always have the chance to play on it. It’s also more spacious than the old one.

Are you excited to play games on it?

Yeah – When it wasn’t all weather we couldn’t play any games on it because  if you fell you’d land in the mud. Now it’s all weather, we can play tig because of this. As well as this, it is proper soft playground surface so you won’t hurt yourself if you fall.

We hope you are excited to read more of our exciting reports. Thank you for reading!

Wear Red – update

Posted on Sunday 04 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Friday was Wear Red Day. At the time of writing the weekly message on Friday, we’d raised £170.71. Including donations made later, we raised £195.86.

The money raised goes to our current school charity: the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund in Leeds.

If you and your child donated, thank you.

This week’s message (Friday 02 February 2024)

Posted on Friday 02 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

If you and your child made a donation for our Wear Red Day. At the time of writing this message, we raised £170.71 – thank you. It was great seeing the different creative styles pupils added to their uniform today!

Living and learning

Living and Learning is our name for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and other provision which helps to support the personal development of children at Scholes (Elmet) Primary.

Each week, we have a different Living and Learning theme – check out our Calendar to read about each week’s theme (it’s usually showing on each Monday). This week’s theme has been I know how to seek help.

We all need to seek help from time to time. Make sure your child knows it’s ok to ask for help. Explore different situations when you and your child might both need to seek help. What could the situation be (friendships, online problems, tricky situations when out and about…)? Who could they seek help from? How would they do it?

Linked to this week’s theme is STOP. Here at Scholes (Elmet) Primary, STOP stands for two things to do bullying:

  • the definition: hurting someone physically or emotionally Several Times On Purpose
  • the solution: Start Telling Other People

Remind your child of the STOP acronyms.

Watch us while we work

Thanks to all who came along last Friday for the second of our Watch Us While We Work sessions. Thanks also to the parents who completed our new online form for their feedback.

It was a really engaging session. The children all seemed happy and it felt like a lovely environment.


The class was well organised, the activities were engaging and it was great to see the children enjoying their lessons.

We really appreciate your suggestions for improvement, too. They included longer sessions (although some other people comment the sessions were the right length!), and varying the days for these (which we try to do – last week’s was the first we’ve held on a Friday).

Contact details

A quick reminder…

If you’ve got any new contact details for you or other contacts, please remember to let us know. We need up-to-date details for the people on our lists in case of emergencies. (The people on our lists are the ones you gave us when your child school – in most cases, this will be three different people.)

Reception survey

Another reminder…

If you’re a parent in Reception, please do complete our short survey. Your feedback is really important to us. the survey’s open for another week.

Finally, in case you missed it, have a read of the first news article from our Scholes journalists, Louie, Jimmy and Zara.

We hope you have a happy and healthy weekend, whatever you get up to.