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Latest news from around the school

This week’s message (Friday 28 April 2023)

Posted on 28 April 2023 by Mr Roundtree

This week’s message is about this half-term’s topic…

Topics are the vehicle for delivering much of the learning in the foundation subjects (eg Art, History, Geography). Each half-termly topic has a driving subject – the main focus for teaching pupils knowledge and skills.

Read more about the intent, implementation and impact of our topics.

This half-term, we’re historians. We’ll develop our understanding of people and events in Britain and the wider world.

Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary. (See pages 29 and 30 of our Curriculum Statement.)

Each phase also has key historical concepts which will feature within most lessons. These historical concepts are themes that are revisited, strengthened and deepened during your child’s journey through the history curriculum. (See page 24 of the Curriculum Statement.)

Years 1 and 2

In this topic, children will learn about two significant individuals who stood up for something they believed in. Nelson Mandela is famous across the world for his devotion to equal rights for black people in South Africa.  Leonora Cohen was a suffragette from Leeds who fought passionately for the right to vote for women. Children will learn about what they believed in, what they did and the impact that they had. They’ll also consider what they believe strongly about and how they can make a change.

The key concept that children will learn about in this history topic is inequality.

Years 3 and 4

In this topic, children learn about the Leeds West Indian Carnival. They’ll learn about the carnival’s founder, Arthur France, and how he came to Leeds from the West Indies. They’ll learn about how Arthur and friends started the carnival. They’ll then use a range of historical sources to study how the carnival has changed and how it has stayed the same. Children will finally learn about the origins of West Indian carnivals by learning about slavery and the slave trade.

The key concepts for this topic are trade, inequality and power.

Years 5 and 6

In this topic, children learn about what life was like in Britain during World War II. Children will begin by learning about how the war began. They’ll then learn about the mass evacuation of Jewish children from Germany to Britain. Next, they’ll learn about the Blitz and the evacuation of British children from towns and cities to the countryside. They’ll then learn about the role of women. Finally, they’ll investigate life after the war. They’ll learn about how the opportunities for women narrowed again and also the important role that immigration from Commonwealth countries played in helping Britain to rebuild after the war.

The key concepts for this topic are invasion, inequality and power.

How can you help?

Talk to your child about what they have been learning in class. The class news pages of the school website are a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.

Find some books from the library which match what your child is learning.

Visit Abbey House Museum as they have some artefacts relating to suffragettes and Leonora Cohen – it’s also a great visit, regardless of which period children are learning about. Leeds residents also get free access to nearby Kirkstall Abbey which is great to explore on a sunny day.

Leonora Cohen also has a blue plaque on a house she lived in on Clarendon Road in Woodhouse. Your teacher would love to see a selfie of you with her plaque!

Nelson Mandela Gardens in Millennium Square commemorates Mandela’s visit to Leeds when he has presented with the Freedom of the City. It’s a small, calm space well worth visiting if you’re in the city centre.

On Monday 01 May, you can book tickets to an illustration workshop at Harewood House with Kate Pankhurst, the author of the Fantastically Great Women books.

For World War II, Eden Camp is a great visit. Also in North Yorkshire is Yorkshire Air Museum which will be of particular interest to anyone wanting to learn more about the planes used during the war.  A bit closer is the Royal Armouries museum which has weapons and armour from a wide variety of time periods and places around the world.

Finally, it’s a little while away but a visit to the Leeds West Indian Carnival in August will give children the opportunity to experience the event in real life.

This week’s message (Friday 21 April 2023)

Posted on 21 April 2023 by Mr Roundtree

We hope you had a happy and healthy Spring break.

Industrial action

First, in case you missed an earlier message this week, is some advance warning about the forthcoming industrial action.

The National Education Union (NEU) has announced planned strike action for Thursday 27 April and Tuesday 02 May.

Scholes (Elmet) Primary has previously remained open and been largely unaffected by the industrial action. It seems likely that this will be the case again.

However, as was the case previously, we’re not in a position to guarantee this because all workers, including teachers, have the right to take industrial action without prior notice. It would be advisable to prepare for some disruption on the days listed here just in case.

We’ll continue to keep you informed.

Class trips

Thank you very much for your responses to the recent survey about class trips. The feedback has been really helpful. The key message we’ve received is that you’re very keen for school trips to happen more regularly and that you see a lot of value in them:

  • ‘I think they are an important part of the curriculum to enhance learning and make connections with the real world. They also form a memorable part of school. In summary, an invaluable experience.’
  • ‘Great that these are coming back following the pandemic.  Thank you for putting time and energy into making these a possibility again.’In terms of the regularity of class trips, the vast majority of people would like there to be more than one trip per year. We’ll aim to offer two class visits per year, but this does depend on receiving enough voluntary contributions from all parents/carers.

You also gave us a variety of other feedback and suggestions which we’ll consider. Examples of useful points raised include scheduling trips on a Monday or Friday if classes need parent helpers; a memorable visit doesn’t have to be something new or expensive or a long distance away; and weekly direct debits to build up contributions – we’ll ponder over your suggestions as well as start putting in place a schedule of trips across all year groups.

Attendance matters

For the year so far, up to the Easter holiday, the whole-school attendance rate is 95.5% – thank you for making sure your child attends school as much as they can.

Here’s how each class has helped contribute to the 95.5% figure:

  • Sunshine class: 94.9%
  • Rainbow class: 94.3%
  • Class 1A (Miss Lowry): 95.1%
  • Class 1,2B (Mrs Latham): 95.6%
  • Class 2C (Miss Young): 95.0%
  • Class 3,4A (Miss Paterson): 95.8%
  • Class 3,4B (Mr Catherall and Mrs Wilkins): 96.4% – well done!
  • Class 3,4C (Mrs McCormick & Mrs Wadsworth): 95.9%
  • Class 5,6A (Mr Robson): 95.7%
  • Class 5,6B (Mrs Hogarth): 95.1%
  • Class 5,6C (Mr Lindsay): 96.5% – well done!

Enjoy the weekend.

FOSP Easter competition

Posted on 31 March 2023 by Mrs Latham

Miss Hague came to our assembly and awarded the prizes to the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 winners of the Easter competition. Well done to everyone who entered.

This week’s message (Friday 31 March 2023)

Posted on 31 March 2023 by Mr Roundtree

We’ve reached the end of the Spring term – the longer evenings are so welcome!

Positive Relationships

A few months ago, we asked you for feedback about our current Positive Relationships Policy. A big thanks to those of you who sent in your comments. Since then, we’ve also consulted with our Junior Leadership Team, governors and staff. All the views have been carefully considered.

Our updated policy has various changes, the main one being new school rules – shorter and more positive. We’ll launch the new rules in the Summer 2 term – a gradual change to allow staff and pupils to get used to them ready for the new school year in September.

Check out the updated policy. We’re happy to hear your views and will continue to review and respond.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Leeds SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice Support Service) host virtual information sessions which aim to provide parents and carers with information, advice and support on SEND topics. There are three virtual information sessions coming up – check them out and book a place.

Shakespeare rocks!

This week, the children in Year 3,4 put on quite a show as they performed Shakespeare Rocks, a spectacular show full of songs, drama (burning of The Globe theatre), injustice (no girls aloud), romance (Romeo and Juliet) and the obligatory rubbish jokes.

If you were lucky enough to see it, I’m sure you’ll agree that is was brilliant.  The children had the best time and undoubtedly created wonderful memories.

Year 3,4 – we’re very proud of you.

Thanks to FOSP for putting on refreshments before the show and a huge thanks for those who donated to our chosen charity Cancer Research UK.  We managed to raise £202.14.

I hope you’ve got some happy and healthy plans for the Easter break – whatever you do, enjoy it!

This week’s message (Friday 24 March 2023)

Posted on 24 March 2023 by Mr Roundtree

This week’s message comes from Miss Hague…

We’re nearly at the end of the spring term. I’m certainly enjoying the lighter mornings and evenings. Standing at the school gate is becoming less chilly – another bonus!

We’ve had a busy half-term raising money. We managed to raise a whopping £2,500.76 in our sponsored event! This is going to be split between our chosen charity, Cancer Research UK, and money to enhance our library provision. We also managed to raise £337.97 on Red Nose Day for Comic Relief. As always, your generosity is much appreciated.

You may have spotted our Year 5 children out on their bikes a couple of weeks ago as they took part in Bikeability. This is the Government’s national cycle training programme aimed at developing practical skills so that our young people can be confident out on the roads.

The timing couldn’t have been better as this week and next week our school is taking part in The Big Walk and Wheel initiative aiming to cut down on car journeys to school and get people walking, cycling or scooting to school. At the time of writing this week’s message, our school has contributed to the nearly 900,000 sustainable journeys to school. Well done – keep it up.

We’ve welcomed a fair few visitors into school during the last half term. We’ve had a Nursery parents’ coffee morning and more recently a topic review session.

As mentioned in last week’s message, we’ve also had some visitors from across the country coming to watch our amazing Mrs Allaway deliver some Maths teaching. Mrs Allaway has lots of fancy titles but essentially she is a Maths Specialist Leader. Last week, Dr Debbie Morgan CBE, Director for Primary Mathematics at the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) came to watch Mrs Allaway teach some of our fabulous Year 4 children. She was very impressed to say the least. Her comment of ‘…if all teachers across the country taught like you, we would be in a really good place’ made us very proud. Well done, Mrs Allaway!

Next week, our Year 3 and 4 children are putting on a show! If you’re a parent of a Year 3 or 4 child, I’m sure you’ve heard the songs already. They even put on an ‘impromptu’ performance during lunchtime this week! I can’t wait to see the full performance of Shakespeare Rocks.

Finally, thanks to everyone who responded to the survey about class trips which closed at 12 noon today – we had over 260 responses from the three Sphere Federation schools. We’ll be reviewing the responses which will help inform how we develop a long-term plan for the trips.

Have a happy and healthy weekend.

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…

Class trips

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.

Attendance matters

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.

Special visitors

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.

Comic Relief

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.