This week’s message (Friday 17 March 2023)
Posted on 17 March 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message is a short one, kicking off with a reminder…
We want to put a long-term plan in place for class trips.
There are lots of benefits of class trips (a chance to make learning more real or practical, a memorable, exciting change from the typical day…), but we know they’re expensive.
To help us, we’d be very grateful if you spend just five minutes completing this short survey.
We’ve been sent by Leeds City Council an attendance summary for 2021-22.
Scholes (Elmet) Primary attendance was just short of being in the top third for all Leeds primary schools (it ranked 78 out of 226 schools). Even better, we had half of the cases of persistent absenteeism (8.3% compared to the Leeds average of 17.6%).
About seven in ten all absences were due to illness.
17% of absences were not authorised (due to holidays, for example) and 5% were due to arriving late.
Today at Scholes (Elmet) Primary, we’ve been delighted to welcome people from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM). Alongside lots of teachers, they visited Mrs Allaway (the Sphere Federation Maths Leader) and a class of Year 4 children to review good practice in Maths teaching. We’re fortunate that Mrs Allaway is a lead teacher for NCETM, regularly supporting teachers in other schools as well as supporting our very own teachers.
As well as Comic Relief, it’s another special day – happy St Patrick’s Day if you’re celebrating!
Have a great weekend.
Posted on 17 March 2023 by Mr Roundtree
Thanks to everyone who donated to our collection to raise money for Comic Relief. We raised £337.97 in total!
Snow much fun!
Posted on 10 March 2023 by Mrs Latham
We had a productive day in school doing lots of learning but it was also essential to have some snow fun!
Snow ball fights, snowmen, snow women, snow dogs, snow cats and snow angels were all enjoyed this afternoon on the field.
This week’s message (Friday 10 March 2023)
Posted on 10 March 2023 by Mr Roundtree
Scholes (Elmet) Primary is a happy and healthy place to learn. We want to keep getting better and better and a key part of this is to hear your views…
Scholes Primary is a lovely school. My children are very happy here. The staff are lovely and easy approachable and to talk to. It is a happy place for my children to learn.
That’s one of the comments from a recent survey of Reception parents – thank you to the 26 parents who took the time to let us know their views. We’ll spend some time now reviewing what was said and seeing if we can act on some of the points raised.
We need your help again – this time for all parents and carers to let us know about class trips.
We’re currently reviewing our curriculum plans. We’re keen to put a long-term plan in place for class trips. Class trips are a highlight for children:
- they’re a chance to get out and about, making learning more real or practical
- after the trip, children enjoy reviewing and remembering what they did
- the writing done after the trip is often really rich in terms of description
- they’re a memorable, exciting change from the typical day
The downside of trips is the expense – we’re very aware that trips aren’t cheap (often due to transport costs). We ask you to make a voluntary contribution to cover the cost, but even then, trips can be expensive for those who contribute and for school. Whilst the contributions are voluntary, we can’t go ahead with a planned trip if we don’t receive enough contributions.
We want to plan a schedule of trips from Reception to Year 6. This is to make sure we plan trips better, so we can closely match the trips with the learning that’s happening in school and to make sure that teachers are clear on our expectations (so that trips are spread out across the years).
To help us, we’d be very grateful if you spend just five minutes completing this short survey.
In the Summer term, look out for the annual survey for all parents and carers, too.
And now a change of subject…
Big Walk and Wheel
Get set… we’re taking part in Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel 2023.
We want your child to walk, scooter or cycle to school, even more so during the Big Walk and Wheel challenge which runs from 20-31 March.
The challenge is a great way to build physical activity in your child’s daily routine – so important for physical health and mental wellbeing. Active school runs also help to reduce congestion and air pollution outside the school gate. A 2021 YouGov study showed nearly half of UK children worry about air pollution near their school and that children thought active travel was the best away to bring down these pollution levels.
There are some great prizes to be won every day if enough children taking part!
Download your free family guide.
We’ll end this week’s message with another great comment from a Reception parent…
We love it and our daughter loves it – she always has a big grin on her face. After-school club a staff are also amazing.
Snow update - we aim to open at 10.30am (exc Nursery)
Posted on 10 March 2023 by Mr Roundtree
We aim to open at 10.30am this morning.
Nursery is closed for the full day. This is because not enough staff can arrive safely.
Our wraparound care is also closed this morning. We hope to open this afternoon if it’s safe to do so.
This is due to the heavy snow. Staff can’t safely arrive at work on time at the moment. The forecast shows an improving picture, so we aim to open school at 10.30am.
Apologies for the inconvenience.
Posted on 08 March 2023 by Miss Hague
Thank you to everyone who has been busy collecting lots of sponsors for the number facts challenge. We’ve already collected over £600 and the total is still rising. If any remaining money could be collected by Friday 17 March, we’ll be able to announce the grand total!
As you’ll be aware, my messages usually include some reference to parking around our school – well this is a slightly different ‘spin’ on it. From 20 – 31 March, we’re taking part in ‘The big walk and wheel to school’ challenge. We’ll be encouraging you to leave your vehicle at home, or at least park further away from school, and either walk, cycle or scoot to school. Further details will follow but we’ll be letting the children know about it today.
Advance notice of Comic Relief day on Friday 17 March. JLT have decided on a non-uniform day (wear red if you like but not essential). We invite you to make a donation – collection buckets will be in the playground.
This week’s message (Friday 03 March 2023)
Posted on 03 March 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message is all about our current topic…
What do we mean by topics?
Topics are the way we teach much of the learning in the foundation subjects (eg history, art, geography, DT). Each half-term topic has a driving subject – the main focus for teaching pupils the knowledge and skills they need. The driver changes with each topic to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.
Although the learning in each topic comes from the driving subject, there are opportunities for enrichment through other subjects.
Read more about the intent, implementation and impact of our topics.
What is this half-term’s topic?
This half-term, it’s Computing. We’ll be 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 will use and develop are easily 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 13 and 14 of the curriculum statement document.
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 create animations in Scratch Jr by creating and debugging algorithms. They’ll then continue to use Scratch Jr to create an interactive quizzes.
Years 3 and 4
Children will reason about what exactly makes a computer a computer. Is a games console a computer? Is a TV a computer? Is a bedside lamp a computer? Next, they’ll learn about inputs and outputs and identify different examples of them in everyday technology.
They’ll then be introduced to Scratch and will learn how they can add or change sprites and backdrops and then begin to experiment with making their sprites move. They’ll look at programs created on Scratch and use logical reasoning to explain what will happen when these programs are run. They’ll learn about the importance of sequencing in programming when they recreate a well-known melody. Finally, they’ll create their own ‘band’ on Scratch by programming different instrument sprites to play sounds.
Years 5 and 6
Children will learn about what a computer network is and that the Internet is an enormous computer network. They’ll learn about the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web. In programming lessons, they’ll be introduced to BBC Microbits – pocket sized computers which they’ll program to do lots of different things. This will allow children to gain a deeper understanding of concepts like sequence, 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 be making are:
- a magic 8-ball style program which will give you an answer to all your questions!
- a compass so you can confidently find your way to school in foggy conditions!
- a pedometer to count the number of steps they’re making
How can you help?
Talk to your child about what they’ve been learning in class. The Class News page is a good place to find out more about what your child is 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…
Key Stage 1
- Daisy the Dinosaur (Apple only)
- Tynker Junior
- Scratch Jr5
Key Stage 2
- Scratch Jr
Finally, and importantly, talk to your child about our Being Online: Acceptable Use Agreement. (Page 8 is the one for early Years and Key Stage 1 children and page 9 is for older children). Discuss whether the points that are listed apply to being online at home as well as at school.
This week’s message (Friday 24 February 2023)
Posted on 24 February 2023 by Mr Roundtree
As a teacher, the year is punctuated with school-related milestones, most obviously the different terms. After just one week away, it’s remarkable how different Spring 2 feels – we’re arriving and leaving work in the daylight, spotting signs of Spring on our way. As you travel to and from school with your child, talk about the changes in the seasons: daffodils, daylight, leaves on trees… Being mindful like this can have a really good impact on our emotions.
Earlier in the week, we emailed you about the forthcoming industrial strikes planned across a series of dates:
- Tuesday, 28 February
- Wednesday, 15 March
- Thursday, 16 March
As it stands right now, it looks that our school will be able to remain open.
However, please remember that all workers, including teachers, have the right to take industrial action without prior notice. This means we might have to close some classes at the last minute. As such, it would be advisable to prepare for some disruption on the days listed here just in case.
For the school year up to Friday 10 February, our attendance figure was 95.6%. This continues to be higher than national figures – great news!
- Sunshine class: 95.1%
- Rainbow class: 94.1%
- Class 1A (Miss Lowry): 95.5%
- Class 1,2B (Mrs Latham): 95.1%
- Class 2C (Miss Young): 95.1%
- Class 3,4A (Miss Paterson): 96.2% – well done!
- Class 3,4B (Mr Catherall and Mrs Wilkins): 96.7%- brilliant attendance!
- Class 3,4C (Mrs McCormick & Mrs Wadsworth): 96.0%
- Class 5,6A (Mr Robson): 96.1% – well done!
- Class 5,6B (Mrs Hogarth): 95.2%
- Class 5,6C (Mr Lindsay): 96.6%- great attendance!
Good attendance is important:
- regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
- regular attenders cope better and benefit from school routines, school work and friendships
- regular attenders find learning more satisfying
- regular attenders are more successful in transferring between primary school, secondary school, and higher education, employment or training
- statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 95%
Thank you for helping us increase our attendance rate. Please continue to make sure your child is getting to school on time every day.
This week, a parent alerted us to parking that is, at best, disrespectful and, at worst, dangerous. Just in case you’ve missed this message in the past…
The long strip of grass down the side of Morwick Grove, adjacent to the school boundary hedge, is owned by neighbours on Morwick Grove. It’s not owned by us, or Leeds City Council, or the Parish Council.
Access to the Nursery and Out of School Club is granted to us by our neighbours as a goodwill gesture to the school. It is not a right. We’d obviously like to maintain the good relations we have. If you have to drive to school and you use Morwick Grove to park up, please make sure to park and use the area respectfully. Please don’t park on the yellow zig-zags or grass verge, and please don’t block residents’ driveways.
Thanks to all parents/carers who continue to respect our neighbours.
Have a good weekend, whatever you get up to.
This week’s message (Friday 10 February 2023)
Posted on 10 February 2023 by Mr Roundtree
We’ve reached the end of the Spring 1 half-term. Thank you to everyone for attending the parent-teacher meetings this week.
Next half term, our Living and Learning sessions return to the theme of mental wellbeing. MindMate supports mental health and wellbeing – check out the resources and support that’s available for parents and carers.
As always the associated weekly Living and Learning statement can be found on our school calendar.
Sticking to the theme of health, find out more about Play Streets, Junior Parkrun and Park Play in this short video.
This week’s seen us mark Safer Internet Day – talk to your child about what they’ve learnt about in school. To help support staying safe online, have you got parental controls switched on? Check out this easy to follow guide. Read more information about parental controls.
Does your child have additional needs?
Over the next few weeks, Leeds SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice Support Service) is running some virtual information sessions aimed at providing parents/carers with information, advice and support on SEND topics. These will cover topics that they’re frequently asked about, and there’ll also be the opportunity to ask relevant questions at the end of each session. Dates/times for these are as follows:
SEND support in schools
Monday 06 March, 5.15pm
Wednesday 15 March, 1pm
EHC needs assessments
Thursday 02 March, 10am
Monday 20 March, 5.15pm
Section I appeals
Monday 27 February, 5.15pm
Wednesday 08 March, 1pm
Refusal to assess appeals
Monday 13 March, 5.15pm
Tuesday 21 March, 10am
To book a place or for more information, check out their website.
On another, very different, note, we’ve been informed about an upcoming village event. On 18 March, Scholes Village Hall is holding a fundraising event with a live band. Tickets are £10 each. Take your own refreshments and food. Check out their Facebook page if you’d like to buy a ticket.
The Village Hall also has a new website: www.scholesvillagehall.org.uk. If you’re looking for somewhere to hold a children’s party, Saturday and Sunday afternoons are available for the hall to hire. Take a look at their website and to see available dates and to make a booking.
Over the holiday, please keep encouraging a love of reading: books, comics, websites, recipes… Have a happy and healthy half-term.
This week’s message (Friday 03 February 2023)
Posted on 03 February 2023 by Mr Roundtree
At a recent meeting of headteachers, we did a quick straw poll: which year group has been most impacted by Covid lockdowns? Well over half of the headteachers said Year 3, and to a large extent we’re finding that, too. No matter what year group, the best way to keep supporting your child is to make sure they’re reading every day and practising number facts. This week’s message comes from our Reading Leaders…
Early reading and phonics
We’ve already done nearly half a year’s worth of phonics in Reception and Year 1 – plus two assessments. We’re very pleased with progress and hope you can see how fluent children are when they’re reading to you at home. Year 2 children have been reviewing their phonic knowledge with an increasing focus on writing and spelling.
It’s all about repeated practice when learning how to read. If children are not reading words with fluency and automaticity (automatically), they probably just haven’t had enough practice. Re-reading to increase fluency, add prosody (rhythm, intonation, expression) and develop comprehension is why we read the same book or text in school all week. Extra reading of the same text at home is a brilliant way to celebrate children’s success and for them to continue to refine all these elements.
You really can help at home by ensuring you give your child the opportunity to read their school reading book or eBook. We’re the ‘expert readers’ so reading to them (at bedtime, for example) is just as important.
Reading in Key Stage 2
This half-term, your child is ‘solo reading’. They’ll be bringing home a book to read that they’ve chosen – usually from our school library. It’s really important that your child is reading this book regularly alongside an adult and that they bring their signed Reading Record into school every week.
Whilst regular reading is the most crucial aspect in a child’s development, there are other things you can do to help at home, too:
- talk about reading
- be a reading role model
- visit a local library / book shop
- ask your child what they’ve read at school
- regularly practise spellings (spelling and reading use the same skills – recognising patterns between letters and sounds)
This week saw the first of four days of industrial action by the National Education Union. Our school was unaffected. There are three more planned days coming up:
- Tuesday, 28 February (Northern, North West, Yorkshire and Humber regions)
- Wednesday, 15 March (England and Wales)
- Thursday, 16 March (England and Wales)
Workers don’t have to advise their employer if they plan to strike or not. Our advice remains the same: it might be wise to arrange childcare on these days in case your child’s class needs to close. We’ll keep you updated as much as we can.
We’re looking forward to seeing you in person for next week’s parent-teacher meetings. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.