Latest news from around the school

Does your child play Fortnite?

Posted on 15 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Fortnite is an online video game where players compete to be the last person standing in a post-apocalyptic world. The most popular version is Fortnite: Battle Royale, which sees up to 100 players pitted against each other to stay alive on an island. Players can build and demolish structures, and collect weapons, supplies and armour to help them along the way.

Players shoot each other using a range of lethal weapons, but the brightly-coloured, cartoon-style graphics and lack of bloodshed mean it doesn’t feel too gory or graphic.

To play, the age recommendation is 12 and above due to ‘mild violence’, although you don’t have to provide your age when creating an account, so younger children can still log on easily.

Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to download on PC/Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch and iOS devices (Apple phones and tablets). It’s coming to Android soon.

What are the concerns?

You may have seen news reports or heard concerns raised about the:

·     Communication between players: a chat function allows players to talk to each other either over a headset and microphone, or using messaging. Children could use it to speak to strangers, or it could put them at risk of cyberbullying

·     In-app purchases: players can build up large bills on their parents’ accounts by buying cosmetic items like outfits for your character and better-looking weapons (otherwise known as ‘skins’)

·     Addictive nature of the game: anecdotal stories tell of children staying up all night to play, or falling asleep in lessons after playing for too long. Some commentators attribute this to the communal feel of the game – you can play with your friends – and the game is different every time you play, keeping it fresh.

Read this factsheet for parents / carers to find out more about Fortnite and how you can make sure your child is staying safe when playing.

Summer Tennis @ Scholes Tennis Club

Posted on 10 July 2018 by Mrs Latham

A message from Dwight Brown, tennis coach…

Wimbledon – although overshadowed by England’s soon glorious victory of the World Cup – is here! So we thought it the perfect time to let you all know the schedule for Summer sessions at Scholes Tennis Club.

We currently run a coaching session every alternate Wednesday through the week, this coincides nicely with the clubs social night, also on a Wednesday.

Junior and adult players are welcome – so why not turn up and get started?

Next coaching session is … Wednesday 18th July .

5.30 – 6.30pm for junior players (aged U11) £2.50 members/£5 non members.

6.30 – 8.00pm for everyone else 12+ yrs.

How do I become a member? I hear you ask… contact the Club chairman, Colin Smith, for further details on 07518 144202 .

Holiday schedule is below.

Email me with any questions, to sign up and arrange payment.

Summer Tennis Schedule 2018

Are you a YouTube user?

Posted on 09 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Alan Mackenzie, the eSafety advisor, has published the latest edition of his ‘DITTO’ magazine, on the theme of YouTube.

Download a copy.

Health Week Highlights 2-6 July 2018

Posted on 09 July 2018 by Mrs Latham

What a jam-packed week! We focused on learning about our physical and mental health and engaged in a wide variety of activities including:

  • Whole school sports roundabout
  • Tag rugby sessions with 5 Star Sports
  • Tutti Frutti production of ‘Keepy Uppy’
  • Fruit tasting, drawing, smoothie and kebab making
  • Living and Learning lessons – healthy choices and sun safety
  • Crucial Crew – personal safety and risk assessing
  • KS2 competitive sports afternoon
  • WUSU Crew performance
  • Dodgeball – Leeds City Finals
  • Netball, rounders, football
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga
  • Change for Life – Train like a Jedi
  • Visit from Doodles the donkey from the Donkey Sanctuary
  • Flex Dance – World Cup dance workshops and dance-off in front of the whole school
  • Whole school health related homework
  • Leeds Rhinos Rhinestones street dance workshops
  • Health Fair after school

“Are we there yet?” - how to survive summer travel

Posted on 08 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

The Safer Roads Team writes:

With all this wonderful weather we’ve been having, you’re possibly starting to plan some family adventures, pack up the car and head out to the beach or to enjoy a picnic with friends or family. Whether you are going on a long road trip or just hoping for a few days out over the summer holidays, sometimes travelling with kids (and adults) isn’t as much fun as you imagined.  Long journeys can be challenging, but they are doable, and can be memorable. However, a little bit of planning beforehand may just help save your sanity.

No one wants a summer holiday to be remembered for the wrong reasons. We want our children to have great memories to go back  to school with and share with their friends.

Planning your perfect road trip can be a stressful and exhausting ordeal, but Leeds City Council’s ITB team is here to help. Here are some practical tips on how to make your journey as successful as possible:


Is your car road-ready? Highways England recommend carrying out a few quick and easy checks to ensure you and your vehicle are safely equipped to drive.
Find out what to check the week before your journey
Just a little point to consider – do you have breakdown cover? If not…do you need it? And if you do…have you got the number to hand?

Your safety

Firstly, always make sure you are well rested before travelling and have had a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can contribute to frazzled nerves and unsafe driving. It’s helpful if your children are also rested at the start of the trip.
Never drive when under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescribed medication). If you need to visit your GP before travelling, make sure you have allowed plenty of time to do this.


Sounds a silly question but ‘Do you know where you’re going?’ (winging it sounds fun…but I’ve heard from a reliable source that says it rarely is!).
If you’re using a Sat Nav, make sure it’s up to date and that you are able to charge it. Try having a backup in case it fails – you can always print out a copy of your route from Google maps and it would also be wise to check the latest traffic conditions.

Before you set off, plan your route. Why not identify opportunities for you to take a scenic (eg park or lake) break during your journey? This will not only benefit you, but it will help give your kids (or passengers) a chance to burn off some energy.


Driving requires the full attention of the driver at all times. Try and keep distractions to a minimum. Things like mobile phones and iPods are best placed in the glove box or boot.

The biggest unavoidable distraction on a road journey is other passengers ie the kids. So…

Be kid-prepared
If you are driving with kids, give them plenty of planned activities to do, especially if your destination is a long way from your home.

Before you hit the road, make sure you have any child car seats fitted correctly. Check out the new laws on car seats and to see if you have the right size for your child.

Keep an open mind

You might need a second route in mind if there are unexpected road works, breakdowns or accidents. If the weather is unexpectedly hot then you may also need extra comfort breaks.

Are you having a staycation?

Just one more point for those of us you who aren’t going on holiday and who will be going about our normal routines – watch out for the kids! They’re everywhere!

I know what you’re thinking – that you’re a ‘good, safe driver’ – but a little reminder won’t harm. Please take a little extra time to watch out for those children who aren’t going away on holiday, and who will be out and about with their friends, running, skating, scooting and cycling in the streets, parks and playgrounds. Unfortunately, some may be too occupied playing with their friends and being away from their bossy parents to remember all the road safety training they’ve had.

There are so many distractions affecting both pedestrians and drivers. As a driver, make sure your distractions are out of sight and that you’re prepared for and looking for those pedestrians who forget to look when they cross the road, because of their hand held devices or excitement at having freedom. If you’re driving, you are largely responsible for their safety. A child doesn’t have a chance against a 3,000-pound (or heavier) vehicle in the street.

So, with all this in mind, don’t forget your bucket and spade and sun cream and go have some fun. Have a safe and hassle free journey.


Have you considered leaving the car at home and exploring Yorkshire on your bicycle? How about taking the family out on some of our fantastic local cycle routes and explore what Leeds and the surrounding areas have to offer?

Leeds City Council has loads of information on how you can safely get about on your bike over the summer. Plan your family outing – there is information on cycle routes, city centre bike storage, cycle loans, bike maintenance and information about cycle to work schemes.

There are also interactive maps which will help you find those hidden places which you didn’t know existed. View cycle routes using City Connect’s interactive map or use the cycle journey planner to plan your route step by step.

Have a fun summer cycling and let us know what you get up to by following us and tweeting your sustainable activities @SaferRoadsLeeds.

Fab feedback

Posted on 04 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

At Scholes (Elmet) Primary, we’re always keen to welcome professionals beyond our own school to provide an additional ‘pair of eyes’, to provide an external view on how we’re improving. This is obviously even more important following the Ofsted judgement of ‘requires improvement’ (January 2017).

One of the people who has visited throughout the year is our School Improvement Advisor (SIA). At the end of June, he visited again and we’ve received his report – it makes for really encouraging reading. Here are some extracts:

It is the view of the SIA that the school has made significant strides from the January 2017 Ofsted RI [‘requires improvement’] outcome. Scholes Primary is now a securely good school. The Executive Headteacher communicates a clear vision for the school and, through coaching, mentoring and direct support, he has developed dedicated teams of capable senior and middle leaders. During his time of working with the Executive Headteacher, the SIA has been impressed by his willingness to listen, consider advice and implement initiatives with thoroughness.

The Federation has benefited each of the three schools involved – allowing the sharing of good practices, CPD [continuing professional development], leadership development and moderation. The Executive Headteacher utilises the skills of his extended middle and senior leadership team well and monitoring files evidence how each has played their part in evaluating the quality of on-going work in the school and in holding others to account. These leaders are thorough in their checks; their actions to improve the effectiveness of the school have been implemented and all indications are that, as a result, improvements have met with success in terms of improved outcomes for pupils across the school.

[The report goes on to detail specific aspects of what we’re doing, including the advisor’s views on the teaching he saw during a ‘learning walk’ around school. The report ends:]

In summary, it has been the SIA’s privilege and a pleasure to work with the Executive Headteacher and his leadership team who have become skilled practitioners in their own right. The SIA has witnessed advances in the consistency of approaches to teaching, behaviour management, higher expectations and the evaluation of learning in books. Subsequently, outcomes for pupils continue to improve. Wisely, leaders are keen to use the 2018/19 as a year to consolidate and embed initiatives and in so doing, the SIA has little doubt that the future for Scholes Primary is bright.

We’d like to thank all parents/carers who have supported and encouraged us on our journey of improvements.

Summer support

Posted on 02 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

The long holidays can be a tricky time for families. The extended services team (EPOSS) have organised two drop-ins for parents / carers – an opportunity to come in and chat with the team about any difficulties, ask advice or look at problem solving together, to try and help the holidays be an enjoyable time for all the family. Or, just a chance to have some adult
conversation and a cuppa!

There’s no need to make an appointment. Just drop in at any time during the session.

  • Friday 10 August, 10.00am – 12 noon, Wetherby Children’s Centre
  • Friday 17 August, 10.00am – 12pm noon, Boston Spa Children’s Centre

Stay safe in the sun

Posted on 02 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

The Teenage Cancer Trust found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of young people aged 13-24 have avoided using sunscreen in order to get a better tan. As the weather gets hotter in the UK, we need to be more knowledgeable about keeping safe in the sun then ever before.

The damage done to young skin can lead to skin cancer developing in later life, so it’s vital to help young people protect themselves in the sun.

Conrad Burdekin - Library Grand Opening

Posted on 29 June 2018 by Mrs Lake

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of welcoming local author Conrad Burdekin into school to ‘officially’ open our library.

Throughout the day, Conrad worked with every child in school. He read a selection of his poetry and challenged the children to a tongue twister competition. He started the day with an assembly where he taught the whole school to recite a short poem about bananas.

At the end of his day in school, Conrad cut the ribbon and officially opened the new, revamped library. School council members had the pleasure of watching him open the library and then enjoy reading their favourite books.

The children loved listening to Conrad’s poems with many children purchasing signed copies of his books. There are copies of Conrad’s books in our school library for your child to borrow if they enjoyed listening to his poetry.

Conrad was a great sport at lunchtime by helping the Year 6 children raise money as part of their enterprise week. The children enjoyed throwing their sponges at him.

To see examples of his poetry and to order his books you can visit his website –

Be aware of water safety

Posted on 29 June 2018 by Mr Roundtree

In this current hot weather, people are often tempted to cool down by taking a swim in our reservoirs. However, cold water can be a killer and we’d like to raise awareness of these risks amongst young people. Cold water shock can lead to hyperventilation, increased blood pressure, breathing difficulties and heart attacks plus water temperatures remain just as cold in summer as in winter.

Watch the ‘Float to Live’ video from the Royal National Life Saving Institute (RNLI). The video offers advice on how to react should you become stricken in cold water. (Be aware: you may want to check out the video before watching – it’s quite hard-hitting and you may prefer not to watch with younger children.) This video from Yorkshire Water backs up the same message.

Everyone who falls unexpectedly into cold water wants to follow the same instinct, to swim hard and to fight the cold water. But when people fight it, chances are, they lose. Cold water shock makes you gasp uncontrollably and breathe in water, which can quickly lead to drowning.

If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, the message is to float until the cold water shock has passed and you will be able to control your breathing and have a far better chance of staying alive.

You might also be interested to read this further advice from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service:

Safety advice for dog walkers

  • Avoid throwing sticks or balls near water for dogs – they will go after it if they think you want it back even if you’ve thrown it too far or into dangerous water
  • Never enter the water to try and save a dog – the dog usually manages to scramble out
  • Even dogs that like swimming can usually only swim for short bursts – keep an eye of your dog and don’t let it enter the water if it’s older or tired
  • If your dog loves the water keep it on a lead and make sure you have control to prevent it jumping into hazardous or unsafe areas
  • Remember the wet riverbanks, steep edges or jagged rocks can make it hard for a dog to scramble out and be a slip risk for owners
  • Don’t lean into water and try and lift your dog out – you can topple in
  • Dogs can have cold water shock too
  • If your dog has struggled in the water it may have inhaled water and should see a vet as dogs can drown after the event if water has entered the lungs

What to do if someone falls into deep water

  • The first thing to do is call for help – straightaway. Call 999, ask for fire service and ambulance. The emergency services will need to know where you are. Accurate information can save precious minutes. If you have a smart phone and have location services or map tool enabled, this can help.
  • Don’t hang up – stay on the line but try and continue to help the person if appropriate.
  • Never ever enter the water to try and save someone. This usually ends up adding to the problem. If you go into the water you are likely to suffer from cold
  • Can the person help themselves? Shout to them ‘Swim to me’. The water can be disorientating. This can give them a focus.
  • Look around for any lifesaving equipment. Depending on where you are there might be lifebelts or throw bags – use them. If they are attached to a rope make sure you have secured or are holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in.
  • If there is no lifesaving equipment look at what else you can use. There may be something that can help them stay afloat – even an item such as a ball can help.
  • You could attempt to reach out to them. Clothes such as scarves can be used to try and reach or a long stick. If you do this lie on the ground so your entire body is safely on the edge and reach out with your arm. Don’t stand up or lean over the water– you may get pulled in.
  • Be mindful that if the water is cold the person may struggle to grasp an object or hold on when being pulled in.