This week’s message (Friday 17 June 2022)
Posted on 17 June 2022 by Mr Roundtree
To kick off this week, do check out this exciting event happening in Leeds: Little Amal has travelled over 8,000km and is in Leeds on Monday evening.
This week’s message comes from Mr Wilks, who leads on Science and foundation subjects across Sphere Federation…
What do we mean by topics?
Topics are the vehicle for delivering much of the learning in the foundation subjects (eg history, art, geography…). Each half-termly topic has a driving subject – the main focus for teaching pupils the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. The driver changes with each topic to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.
Although the learning in each topic will be provided by the driving subject, there are opportunities for enrichment through other subjects. For example, learning in an art topic may be enriched by geography – learning about where an artist was born and lived.
Read more about the intent, implementation and impact of our topics.
What is this half-term’s topic?
Design and Technology is the driving subject for this half-term and it’s a great topic to finish the year! The focus for all classes this year is textiles (next year, it’s construction), so your child will be busy designing and making products using fabric.
A key aspect of the Design and Technology curriculum is the understanding that products don’t just get made. Instead, they go through a design process that includes three key elements: evaluate, design and make. Think of this process as a cycle. For example, Sphere Motors want to create a new family car. Before the car is made, they need to evaluate existing products and talk to customers so that they’re clear about what the new car needs to have. They will then design the car and evaluate those designs. They may make a prototype of the car to help them evaluate the designs. Next, they’ll decide on a final design that will go into production and get made. This finished product will be evaluated and the whole process starts again.
Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary that they’ll learn, use and apply across the topic. See page 17 and 18 of our Curriculum Statement.
Years 1 and 2
The product the children will be designing, making and evaluating is a hand puppet. They’ll start by learning about the design process before looking at and evaluating existing hand puppet products. They’ll then learn to use an over stitch and practise threading needles and tying knots. Following this, they’ll be introduced to all the materials they can use to create their puppet. Once they’re familiar with the materials, they’ll design their puppet. Next, it’s on to the making stage. They’ve already honed their sewing skills so they should be confident making and then decorating their puppets according to their designs. Finally, it’s evaluation time: children will compare their designs to their finished products. They’ll reflect on successes and things they’d do differently next time.
Years 3 and 4
The product the children will be designing, making and evaluating is a pouch. The function of this pouch is entirely up to them. It could be used to store some pens, trading cards, a shell collection. Children can be as creative as they like – as long as the pouch can be made using a 23cm² piece of felt!
Before they begin to design their pouch, they’ll learn about a famous designer and how they became a designer. They’ll also learn some important skills that a designer needs. Children will then evaluate existing pouches, with a focus on fastenings, and will then design their pouch. They’ll practise their sewing skills, becoming proficient using a running stitch. They’ll then begin to make their pouches. First, they’ll create a template which they’ll use to cut out the pieces. Next, they’ll join the pieces using their running stitch and create a fastening for their pouch. Finally, they’ll evaluate their designs by comparing them to their designs, testing whether they’re fit for purpose and reflecting on their successes and areas to improve.
Years 5 and 6
The product the children will be designing, making and evaluating is a cushion. Before they get stuck into their cushion, they’ll learn about some designers who changed the world: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, George Stephenson, Lewis Latimer and Jony Ive. They’ll learn about their creations and their impact and look for things that link the designers. Following this, children will learn about the importance of design criteria when designing a product. After this, they’ll be practising their sewing skills and learn how to sew using a backstitch. Next, they’ll evaluate existing cushions. They’ll then decide on the specific design criteria for their cushions and create their designs using an annotated sketch, detailing the dimensions of their product. They’ll learn about the importance of using sustainable materials when researching the filling used for their cushion (the plan is to use old, unwanted pieces of fabric to stuff the cushions rather than Polyfill so please have a look through your wardrobe and keep hold of any old t-shirts or other clothes as we’ll need them later in the half-term).
Children will use a template to cut out the shapes, use a backstitch to add decoration to their cushion before finally sewing the pieces together and stuffing them. The final stage is to evaluate the designs against the design criteria.
Help at home
Talk to your child about what they’ve been learning in class. The class news page of the school website is a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.
The school library and local libraries will have some books about Design and Technology which your child will be able to borrow and develop both their reading skills and design knowledge.
Finally, there are a lot of programmes on CBBC and CBeebies with a Design and Technology focus:
- Bitz and Bob
- Grace’s Amazing Machines
- Junk Rescue
- Maddie’s Do You Know?
- The Dengineers
Posted on 13 June 2022 by Mrs Latham
The AJ Bell World Triathlon Series has been in Leeds this week, with some children from school taking part.
We are also hosting our own triathlon in school to raise money for FOSP. Reception, Year 1 and 2 are doing the swimming element and KS2 are cycling or running. Children have been organised into either Red Team, White Team or Blue Team – with trophies to be awarded. Please donate your entry fee on the Gateway app.
This week’s message (Friday 10 June 2022)
Posted on 10 June 2022 by Mr Roundtree
And we’re into the last half-term of the year – we hope you and your family had a good half-term break. This week’s message has just two parts: a reminder to complete the annual survey and some important news about classes and teachers next year.
Every year, we invite you to complete a short survey. Your views matter. They help to shape what we do in the forthcoming year(s).
(It’s worth bearing in mind that the survey isn’t the best place to raise individual, specific concerns – hopefully, you’re comfortable to speak with Miss Hague or a class teacher about these instead.)
Staffing in 2022-23
Next year sees some significant changes in staffing. We thought we’d let you know now so that you’re aware of the changes…
We’re saying goodbye to three of our teaching staff this year…
Mr Freeman, who trained to be a teacher whilst working at Scholes, is leaving us, but he’s not going to be too far away: from September, he’ll be the Y5,6 teacher at St James’ CE Primary, one of the other Sphere schools.
Miss Harker, who started her career as a TA at Scholes and who has worked both at St James’ CE Primary and at Scholes, is leaving to continue her teaching career in another school.
Mr Gathercole, who has been teaching with us since 2017, is leaving the profession to pursue other passions. He’s an avid writer and Leeds United supporter so maybe you’ll see him reporting on their success next year.
We’re really sad to see these people go and we know that the children are going to be sad about this, too. We’d like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication.
We’ll also be saying goodbye to a number of TAs this year. Mrs Ravenscroft is hanging up her teaching assistant whiteboard pen after 25 years of work within our school. We’re all going to miss her and know that the children will, too. Miss Ward, Miss Wright and Miss McAleer are all leaving to pursue teaching careers – we wish them the very best.
We’re really pleased to let you know that we’ve recruited three shiny new teachers!
Kate Young, Joanna Paterson and Craig Robson will join us in phases Y1,2, Y3,4 and Y5,6 respectively. We hope all three will be here for the transition afternoon so that your child gets to meet them.
We’re also welcoming back Mrs Flynn into Reception. Mrs Flynn worked at Scholes for a number of years before going on maternity leave. She joins us after working at St James’ CE Primary for a year.
The overall structure of our school will stay the same:
- Nursery: Mrs Beesley and Mrs Long
- Reception: Miss Parling (Sunshine class) and Mrs Flynn and Mrs Allen-Kelly (Rainbow class)
- Y1: Miss Lowry
- Y1,2: Mrs Latham
- Y2: Miss Young
- Y3,4A: Miss Paterson
- Y3,4B: Mr Catherall and Mrs Wilkins
- Y3,4C: Mrs McCormick and Mrs Wadsworth
- Y5,6A: Mr Robson
- Y5,6 B: Mrs Hogarth
- Y5,6 C: Mr Lindsay
As always, if you’ve any questions, comments or concerns, please do speak with us. Have a good weekend.
Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Posted on 27 May 2022 by Mrs Latham
We had a fun-filled day today. All the children and staff shared a picnic lunch on the field, listening to some 50s music. We then all congregated on the field again, sang the national anthem and each class showcased a Wake Up Shake Up (WUSU) dance through the decades that the Queen has been on the throne. We went from 1950s (Mambo No 5/Lou Bega) all the way to 2020s (Blinding Lights/The Weeknd). It was so much fun! We hope that everyone has a happy and healthy half term.
This week’s message (Friday 27 May 2022)
Posted on 27 May 2022 by Mr Roundtree
The last message for this half-term comes from Miss Hague, our Head of School. There’s also a reminder about our annual survey of parents and carers.
It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of May and about to enter the last half term of the year! We’ve managed a full year in school (so far) – the first since 2018-19!
I know everyone has worked really hard since Easter especially our Y6 and Y2 children who have completed their end of key stage SAT tests. Well done to everyone. The last half term is a busy one, too, with Year 1 phonics assessments and Year 4 multiplication checks. We’ll also be giving the children the chance to meet their new teacher and you’ll get to read their end of term reports.
Have you seen our new little traffic wardens? Hopefully you’ll have spotted them at the end of Morwick Grove, on the zig zag lines. We’ve had a couple of near misses on this corner as children struggle to cross the road and navigate illegally parked cars. Parking continues to be an issue around school but hopefully our traffic wardens will persuade some drivers to park further away and walk to school.
We’ve got lots of exciting work going on over the summer. The space in school which is used by the Out of School Club is having a full makeover and will be renamed The Hub. The Hub will still be equipped to cater for out of school provision but will also be a space that we can use to take groups of children to undertake more practical activities like cooking. It’s all very exciting! We’re also aiming to make our main entrance to school much wider – you’ll know how much of a bottle neck it can be.
What a difference a phone makes! Last week our Year 6 children went on residential to Winmarleigh Hall PGL Centre in Preston. Five action-packed days all undertaken without a phone in sight! Whilst chatting to some of the children on the way back from residential, they acknowledged that if they’d brought their phones, they wouldn’t have enjoyed the experience half as much. They admitted they would have traded time outside playing hide and seek for hours of YouTube viewing.
Our child behaved really well on residential – the whole group did. They represented themselves really well. They were sociable with each other and with children from other schools. They were enthusiastic and respectful to the adults running the centre. We were very proud of them.
We recognise how difficult it can be to police phone usage especially if ‘everyone else has one and is allowed to go on [whatever app is most current]’ but we saw children without their phones and it felt nice. Why not give it a go during the half term and have some phone-free days!
Did you hear our Jubilee celebrations this afternoon? (Apologies to our neighbours!) An outdoor picnic and a great afternoon dancing to seven decades’ worth of tunes. If you’re doing anything to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, enjoy yourselves.
And here’s a reminder about the annual survey…
Your views matter. Every year, we invite you to complete a short survey. Complete the Scholes (Elmet) Primary survey here. It’ll only take a few minutes to complete – thanks!
Whatever you and your child get up to, have a happy and healthy half-term holiday.
Walk to School Week winners
Posted on 22 May 2022 by Mrs Latham
Lots of families joined in with Walk to School Week last week. The Buffers and St Phillips car parks were busy with people walking some of the way, if they couldn’t walk all the way from home. Thank you for joining in and helping to make our school and community an even happier and healthier place to be. Here are some of our lucky winners!
This week’s message (Friday 20 May 2022)
Posted on 20 May 2022 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message has two parts: one introduces this year’s annual survey, and the second comes from Mrs Allaway, our Maths Leader.
Every year, we invite you to complete a short survey. Your views matter. They help to shape what we do in the forthcoming year(s).
This year’s survey features a series of questions closely related to what Ofsted might ask parents during an inspection, plus a question about school uniform which we’re asking because of recent statutory guidance from the government.
Complete the Scholes (Elmet) Primary survey here. We’ll send a few reminders before the closing date, which is Friday 17 June.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you raise in the survey something very specific that needs to be addressed, we can’t easily act on this without your child’s name. In fact, the survey isn’t the best place to raise individual, specific concerns – hopefully, you’re comfortable to speak with Miss Hague or a class teacher about these instead.
Mrs Allaway writes…
As a parent or carer, you give your child their first experiences with Maths. Even if you don’t feel confident with Maths, you can still make a huge difference to how your child’s confidence and ability develops.
Be positive about maths
One of the most important things you can do is to be positive about Maths. Don’t say things like I can’t do maths or I hated maths at school. Your child might start to think like that themselves. Praise your child for their effort – this shows them that by working hard they can always improve.
A good understanding of everyday maths will help your child with important tasks, such as making decisions and understanding information. It will also help them develop essential lifelong skills:
- working out how much food is needed for a family meal and following recipes
- converting currency rates when abroad
- managing personal finances, budgeting and saving
- working out which are the best buys in the supermarket, checking change and working out sale prices
- getting to work on time, estimating how long a journey will take, knowing when to fill up on fuel
- knowing if the answer on a calculator is reasonable or if a wrong button was pressed
- keeping score in games and knowing what to aim for in order to win
- splitting the bill after a meal out with friends and working out what tip to leave
- DIY jobs such as painting and decorating or working out how many wall tiles are needed to cover an area
- reading data presented in graphs and tables and interpreting statistics in the news
Maths in everyday life
Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving money, cooking and travelling.
Baking and cooking are great ways for your child to practise lots of maths skills: weighing and measuring in grams and kilograms; reading scales; and measuring out capacities in litres and millilitres. Make the most of shopping trips and other outings. Help your child to recognise coins and count out particular amounts. Talk about working out totals and calculating change. Does your child understand the offers they see on signs or adverts in shops?
There’s a huge amount of maths in sports. Does your child like cricket? You can ask lots of maths questions. If there are two overs left in a game, how many balls does the bowler have left to bowl? How many more runs does the team need to win?
Can they tell the time? Having both traditional and digital clocks around the house will give your child opportunities to practise reading the time. Use timetables and TV guides. Give your child time problems to solve: Tea will be 30 minutes. What time will it be ready?
Being positive about maths and using maths in everyday life will really make a difference.
And finally, don’t forget the importance of knowing simple number facts (like two numbers adding to make 10: 2+8 or 3+7 for example) and times tables.
As always, speak to your child’s teacher if you’ve any questions, comments or concerns about your child’s learning in Maths.
Have a happy and healthy weekend.
Walk to School Week 16-20 May 2022
Posted on 13 May 2022 by Mrs Latham
Next week is Walk to School Week (or scoot or ride).
We hope you’ll all try to take part in this, even if you can’t walk from home. The Buffers Pub and St Phillip’s Church have agreed for us to use their car parks so everyone has the opportunity to walk part of the way.
Remember to bring your raffle tickets each day you walk to put in your class boxes to be in with a chance of winning a prize!
Let’s get active!
This week’s message (Thursday 12 May 2022)
Posted on 12 May 2022 by Mr Roundtree
This week, we’ve seen the end of Key Stage 2 SATs for our Year 6 children. Because of the need for extra adults and rooms in school, it’s a week that affects everyone. We know our Year 6 pupils approached the tests admirably and are very deserving of their day off tomorrow! It’s a training day – staff in school will be developing their phonics knowledge and skills.
Happy and healthy and hydrated
We teach our children about the importance of drinking water. We actively encourage them to take drinks throughout the day. Please make sure your child brings in their water bottle each day, and then take it home and wash it regularly. Water is provided at lunchtime for all children, whether they’re having a school dinner or a packed lunch. Please note: at school, children are allowed only to drink water – the healthiest choice.
Happy and healthy and active
Did you know May is National Walking Month? The evenings are getting lighter, the weather is getting warmer – it’s the perfect time to get outside and get walking. It’s not too late to take up the challenge: walk for 20 minutes every day. And walking to and from school is the ideal opportunity to achieve this!
Are you aware there’s a rise in cases of hepatitis amongst children? No one’s quite sure yet why we’re seeing this rise in hepatitis (liver inflammation).
Be alert to the signs of hepatitis:
- yellowing of the white part of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
- dark urine
- pale, grey-coloured faeces (poo)
- itchy skin
- muscle and joint pain
- a high temperature
- feeling and being sick
- feeling unusually tired all the time
- loss of appetite
- tummy pain
If you’re concerned, contact a health care professional.
Good hygiene, including supervising hand washing in young children, can help to prevent infections that can cause hepatitis.
Children experiencing symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection including vomiting and diarrhoea should stay at home and not return to school until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped. This is our regular advice to parents.
Leeds is outstanding
Have you heard the news? Ofsted has once again rated children’s services provided by Leeds City Council as ‘outstanding’.
The outstanding rating, previously received in 2018, comes following a rigorous inspection into services for the most vulnerable children and young people – those children in need of help and protection, children in care and care leavers.
We started this week’s message with reference to the training day tomorrow. Whatever you get up to tomorrow, and throughout the weekend, enjoy!
This week’s message (Friday 06 May 2022)
Posted on 06 May 2022 by Mr Roundtree
The Summer Term is a busy one for schools, not least because of all the statutory assessments: we’ve had end of Key Stage 1 assessments this week, and end of Key Stage 2 assessments (the SATs) are coming up next week. Also coming up are Year 1 phonics screening checks and Year 4 multiplication checks. Dates for these are in the school calendar.
Help support your child by making sure they’re reading daily (and practising times tables from Year 2), making sure they’re getting enough sleep, and making sure they’re enjoying time outdoors for play, too.
This week, we’ve a mix of messages…
It’s estimated that about a third of children aged 8-11 have profiles on TikTok. But do you know the minimum age to use TikTok? Or other social networking sites? Most require users to be at least 13 years of age.
We’ve warned you before about the risks involved in primary school age children accessing TikTok. We’re sadly still encountering problems that stem from it. Please do check out advice so your child is protected.
It’s been a while since we had to speak about Covid. Thankfully, the number of cases is dropping – but we do still have cases of Covid around. To help, if your child has a temperature, they should stay at home. (Please don’t send them to school with a dose of Calpol – that might help the symptoms, but your child can still spread Covid.)
Reception to Year 1 transition
This message comes from Mrs Beesley, our Early Years Leader:
As the weather becomes brighter and we near the end of the academic year, you may be thinking about your child’s next steps as they journey into Year 1. Moving to Year 1 is perhaps a less significant change for children – that’s because we’re a happy and healthy place to learn where we all know each other.
A meeting for parents on Thursday 23 June starts our transition process. Here, you’ll meet the Key Stage 1 staff (where possible) and find out about the Year 1 curriculum. You’ll get to see where your child will be learning. The next step is for your child to spend some time in the Year 1 classrooms. They’ll meet the teacher and join in with the learning, getting a taste of what it’s like to be in Year 1. A whole-school transition session, on Thursday 14 July, completes the process. Children will spend an afternoon with their new teacher, making plans for the learning in the year ahead.
This is a really exciting time of year, moving on and taking those next steps whilst continuing to strengthen the effective learning behaviours they’ve established in Reception.
Our settling in survey
Talking of Reception, thank you to parents of Reception who responded to our recent survey about various aspects of the first year at school. We’ve reviewed the responses.
Overall, for example, you’ve told us that you’d like to have chances to get into the classroom – we definitely agree! Normally, there would be various opportunities across the year, but sadly the high incidents of Covid meant this didn’t happen. Next year (we know – too late for you, sadly), we’re planning a mix of visits to Reception plus some Zoom sessions – it seems most of you found these convenient.
Across Sphere Federation, there were just one or two small issues, all of which we hope we’ve addressed. Please do speak with Miss Hague if you’ve any questions, comments or concerns – we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to act on everything, but we do guarantee we’ll listen and consider.
Sticking with surveys…
On a national level, the Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza writes:
Family is a core pillar of my work as Children’s Commissioner, following ‘The Big Ask’ survey, which demonstrated how important families are to children.
Children explained how having a supportive family has a positive impact on their lives, from receiving emotional support, to being able to talk with family members about their worries and aspirations for the future. I have been commissioned by government to undertake a review of family life across the country.
The family review will seek to understand the composition of the modern family. It will explore whether the needs of children are understood in the provision of services to families, and how we can improve children’s outcomes by developing the way public services understand the needs of families as a unit.
Capturing children’s voices is key to this review. That is why I am launching my call for action… Please encourage children to complete the questions on the Children’s Commissioner website, and to share their view on family life. The answers will help us understand what children think of family life and help inform our work.
Look out for our annual survey for all parents and carers later this term, too.
Have a happy and healthy weekend!