Our weekly message (11 September 2020)
Posted on 11 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree
Thank you for all the positive comments we’ve received about our daily messages before summer. For the time being, we plan to continue these, but just on a weekly basis. We’ll continue to post other, occasional messages on the website and send other emails, too.
Wow! What a brilliant first week. Our children have returned to school so happily – it’s been an absolute joy to see the smiles on their faces as they arrive at school. Teachers report how impressed they’ve been with how our children have settled. You should feel very proud about how you’ve supported your child so well over the last few months.
We’ve made two important updates to our Autumn for All guide for parents and carers – we’ll tell you about these in this message.
It’s Friday so your child will be coming home with a homework task: we’re setting weekly homework as we normally do. The key difference here is that Homework Books should stay at home for the time being.
Just as normal, the tasks are posted on the website. Instead of the task pasted into books, children take home a piece of paper with the task on, too. The tasks are a variety of Talk Time, Practice Makes Perfect and Creative, but especially the first two.
Parents can email a picture of the completed task (or task in process) or update about a completed task. (Lots of you were doing this with the home learning tasks we set in Spring and Summer terms). The homework will be reviewed in school, so some pictures would be good!
Talking of emails, we’re happy for you to continue to use this as the main way for you to speak with your child’s teacher. This might be to send a picture or description of the homework task (rather than sending the Homework Books back to school), or to ask a quick question – the sort of thing you’d normally say to the teacher at the start or end of the day.
We’ve strict policies in place around safeguarding and staff workload, so we’ve agreed a short policy about this – please see page 12 of the Autumn for All guide.
The rule of six
The other update to the Autumn for All guide is reference to the government’s updated rules on social distancing:
When seeing friends and family you do not live with you should:
- follow social distancing rules
- limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time
- meet people outdoors where practical: meeting people outdoors is safer than meeting people indoors because fresh air provides better ventilation
Limits on the number of people you can see socially are changing. From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors.
From 14 September – when the new rules apply – it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble). The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.
We know you support us in prioritising the safety of all our pupils, parents and staff. If we have concerns, we may have to ask a parent / carer to collect their child from school, possibly to self-isolate for 14 days or until they can provide evidence of a negative test result for Covid-19. This is because we have to be confident children can attend school in a way which does not undermine the safeguarding of others.
Please read pages 13-14 of the Autumn for All guide for more about this.
How to get a test
The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you or your child is displaying even just one of these symptoms, arrange a test online or call 111. You can get a test by post, at a drive-through or walk-through, or at a mobile testing unit.
Please remember that a high temperature is one of the symptoms of Covid-19. Whilst a high temperature can mean lots of other more minor illnesses, please be cautious: don’t send your child to school (and don’t just hope that some Calpol will help!).
Thank you and well done
We started this week’s message with some thanks to you because your child has returned to school happily and healthily. This is a reflection on how well you’ve been supporting them at home.
Here are some other ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ messages from us to you…
- Thank you for coming into school as close to the new timings as possible – this has really helped to keep numbers in school low.
- Thank you for keeping your distance from others so well – we know it’s tempting to have a chat, but we’re grateful you’re helping to protect yourselves and everyone else by social distancing.
- Thank you for just having one adult drop off and collect; again, this helps to keep numbers low.
And finally a big one: the prime minister announced this week that attendance in England’s schools was at about 90% this week. At 98.1%, we’re way better than that! That’s absolutely amazing attendance!
Since March, you’ve supported your child so well. It’s clear from their happy and healthy start to the new school year. Again: thank you and well done. Have a good weekend.
Own It app
Posted on 08 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree
Has you child got a mobile phone? If they have, do the have the Own It app from the BBC?
The Own It app helps children and young people take control of your online life. It gives them advice when they need it, in real-time as they type. It’s designed to help them make smart choices, feel more confident, and live their best life online.
The Own It app comes with a special keyboard. This can be used like any other keyboard, but it also gives users helpful tips and friendly advice as they write.
There’s also the ability to track how they feel and improve their wellbeing. There are plenty of gifs and emojis so users can express themselves.
The Own It keyboard and app is personal to the user. Everything your child types is kept completely private, and never leaves the Own It app on their phone.
New year, new routine
Posted on 07 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree
It was great to welcome all our learners back to school this morning. Everyone looked really smart and excited to get back to some kind of normality. We were hoping for a sunny day to start off the term but the rain had other ideas!
This morning highlighted a number of issues that we need to address quickly to protect the integrity of our socially distanced bubbles.
Our start and finish times are as follows:
|Teacher||Drop-off time||Monday pick-up||Tuesday to Friday pick-up|
|Miss Parling (Sunshine)
Mrs Latham (1,2V)
Mrs McCormick (3,4E)
Mrs Hogarth (5,6S)
|8.30 am||2.10 pm||3.10 pm|
|Mr Gathercole (2C)
Mrs Wadsworth (3,4N)
Mr Freeman (5,6B
|8.40 am||2.20 pm||3.20 pm|
|Mrs Allen-Kelly (Rainbow)
Miss Lowry (1KN)
Mr Catherall (3,4O)
Mr Lindsay (5,6M)
|8.50 am||2.30 pm||3.30 pm|
Please come as close to this time as possible. If everyone comes 5 minutes early, our playground feels very busy and staggered starts no longer work.
If you’ve siblings, please come for the earlier time and drop siblings off after you’ve made the earliest drop off.
If you do find yourself waiting in the playground, please don’t let your child mix with children who aren’t in their bubble. This undermines everything that happens once your child is in school.
It’s essential all adults respect social distancing at all times.
Whilst we want everything to feel as normal as possible, the reality is that things aren’t normal and Covid-19 remains a very real threat. The collapsing of bubbles and time missed from school is the last thing we want.
Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe.
Thank you, FOSP
Posted on 07 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree
Our PTA, the Friends of Scholes (Elmet) Primary School (FOSP), have made a contribution to school to make sure we all stay happy and healthy and safe now that we’ve all started back at school.
Hi everyone. Good luck with the first school run back tomorrow! We wanted to tell you that we have given a huge chunk of our funds to school over summer, to help school in their fantastic plans to keep our children as safe as can be. This is being spent on an outdoor speaker system, starting to resurface the quad as an outdoor teaching space, and buying another ‘fogging machine’ to disinfect the classrooms. We hope that everyone enjoys their first day back!
Thanks very much to all those who support FOSP.
A summer message (03 September 2020)
Posted on 03 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree
Today, our teachers are all back, busy preparing classrooms and lessons. We’re all looking forward to welcoming your child back on Monday 07 September.
This morning, we’ve virtually met with colleagues across our federation to consider the key elements in Maths that we need to teach lots of so that children can successfully catch up and consolidate their learning. Later on today, we’ll do the same for Reading.
From next Monday, there are staggered starts and ends to the school day to help social distancing. Read more about this in our Autumn for All guide.
Unlike June and July, we won’t be asking every parent if they’ve been social distancing, but we do need you to be careful to respect the current government guidance. We therefore encourage you to do what you can to reduce the number of contacts your child has, follow the guidance, and socially distance where possible.
In terms of dropping off and collecting your child, for example, you might want to restrict this to someone in your household or someone who regularly visits. Walking to school rather than using a car would be better as the virus is harder to catch in the open air.
Please aim to stick to your allocated drop off / collection time, too, so the numbers of people around school are as low as possible.
One new point in the Autumn for All guide is to make sure that someone from your own household is available to collect your child quickly if they’re at school but displaying symptoms of Covid-19 (or have any other, more ‘normal’ illness, like a cold, too). You might want to discuss this with your employer.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all again.
Wearing PE kit to school - which days?
Posted on 02 September 2020 by Mrs Latham
On the days your child has PE, they should come to school in their PE kit. (Track-suit bottoms instead of shorts would be good on colder days. Footwear : black/brown/grey/white flat shoes which are safe to run around in.)
Footwear on PE days could be children’s ‘school shoes’ which are often a ‘trainer’ style anyway, if you want to avoid having to buy 2 pairs of shoes.
Please find below the days each class has allocated PE times, which will be taught outdoors, except in extreme weather.
- F2 Sunshine and F2 Rainbow (Miss Parling & Mrs Allen-Kelly/Mrs Wilkins) – Wednesday & Friday from week beginning 28 September
- 1KN (Miss Lowry/Mrs Lake) – Monday & Friday
- 1,2V (Mrs Latham) – Thursday & Friday
- 2C (Mr Gathercole) – Monday & Thursday
- 3,4N (Mrs Wadsworth) – Tuesday & Wednesday
- 3,4E (Mrs McCormick) – Tuesday & Thursday
- 3,4O (Mr Catherall) – Monday & Tuesday
- 5,6S (Mrs Hogarth) – Tuesday & Wednesday
- 5,6M (Mr Lindsay) – Wednesday & Friday
- 5,6B (Mr Freeman) – Monday & Friday
A summer message (01 September 2020)
Posted on 01 September 2020 by Mr Roundtree
It seems strange to still be on holiday when most schools across the country have re-opened already. (And I always think the Scottish summer holidays, which are all of July and the first half of August, work better with the UK’s weather, too!) In any case, we all hope you’ve had a good holiday – no doubt it was affected in some way by Covid-19, but hopefully you still made the most of things.
Teachers have two training days this week – Thursday and Friday. This means we can all be fully prepared and confident for the Autumn term, and it means that when the Leeds Autumn term officially starts on Monday 07 September, your child can start straight away, with no delays for a training day. We know you’re keen to have your child back at school.
We’ve made a few small changes to our Autumn for all guide for school in September – nothing major, just updates to some website links and an update on the period of self-isolation from seven to ten days if you think you may have the virus.
Have you checked out the whole-school picture book we’ll all be reading in the first couple of week? After the fall: how Humpty Dumpty got back up again is a great read, and one that has a message for us all in recovering after a calamity. Reading this with your child might really help your child to start school with confidence and some familiarity about what’s happening. (There are a few different YouTube sites where the book is read, too.)
Enjoy the last few days.
A summer message (21 August 2020)
Posted on 21 August 2020 by Mr Roundtree
We hope you’re all having a good summer.
By now, you’re probably starting to think a little about your child returning to school in September – we’re open for all children from Monday 07 September.
One of the pieces of advice is ‘pack right, pack light’: ‘Your school will have been in touch to let you know what your child should and (more likely) shouldn’t bring in – such as stationary, bags, PE kits, bottles and lunch. Make sure you have checked what they need, in order to make your child’s day easier.’
Our Autumn for All guide for school in September should help you with that – check out the key facts section.
Enjoy the rest of the summer break as much as you can.
Summer food vouchers
Posted on 12 August 2020 by Mrs Quirk
The final instalment of summer food vouchers have been emailed out this afternoon to all parents/carers with children who are eligible for free school meals. Please check your junk box and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you haven’t received your voucher.
Annual surveys - what you told us
Posted on 07 August 2020 by Mr Roundtree
Thank you to all of you who responded to this year’s annual survey. It came at a difficult time for many of us (the height of lockdown), so we’re really grateful to all of the 112 parents / carers who took the time to tell us their thoughts.
We made the survey a little shorter this year, and some of the statements we used are a bit different – this was to match new statements that Ofsted use.
We’re proud to say that the feedback continues to be overwhelmingly positive.
100% of parents/carers who expressed an opinion agreed with the following statements:
- The school makes sure its pupils are well behaved.
- My child does well at this school.
- There is a good range of subjects available to my child at this school.
- My child can take part in clubs and activities at this school.
- My child has been bullied and the school dealt with the bullying quickly and effectively.
- My child has SEND, and the school gives them the support they need to succeed.
(The last two statements only applied to a small number, and of that number, 100% agreed.)
All the other statements gained a very positive response, too -97% or more agreed with them:
- My child is happy at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School. (99%)
- My child feels safe at this school.(99%)
- The school supports my child’s wider personal development. (99%)
- The school has high expectations for my child. (98%)
- The school lets me know how my child is doing. (98%)
- The school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year. (97%)
- When I have raised concerns with the school they have been dealt with properly. (97% of those who had raised concerns, and many said they hadn’t any concerns)
In fact, it’s a bit disappointing that the only statement that was agreed with by less than 97% was ‘I would recommend this school to another parent.’ 95% agreed and that’s really high, too, but we aim high – we want everyone to feel happy about our school. We encourage the six people who said they wouldn’t recommend Scholes (Elmet) Primary to contact us to discuss their feelings a little more.
At the end of the survey, we invited comments. We received 30, almost all of which were entirely positive – thank you. Here’s a few representative comments:
- ‘The teachers are lovely and easy to talk to about any queries we may have. I have recommended the school to a couple of friends.’
- ‘All teachers we have met are brilliant at their jobs and very positive. So lovely to see a presence of the leadership on the school gate each day rather than them hiding away.’
- ‘Brilliant school where my son loves going to learn every day. Very supportive staff and teachers.’
- ‘The support we have received from school has been outstanding. There is always opportunity to talk to staff if needed. It’s a great environment and we are extremely pleased that our children attend this school.’
A few people also singled out our efforts during the school closure:
- ‘Scholes is a brilliant school, continuing to make great efforts to provide amazing learning for its pupils even in these troubling and unprecedented times.’
- ‘I think that the school have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in the best way possible. They couldn’t have been more helpful, and have supported the children and families so well, and we are very grateful. Thank you!’
We’re very grateful for the suggestions for areas to work on, too. Here are a few of the comments:
- Communicating home: ‘The website, online information and communication is excellent. It would be really good if other systems such as parents evening could be digitised also as we usually struggle to get into school to sign up for these.’ – Thanks for this. It’s actually something we’d planned to look into setting up. We’ll aim to trial something later in the 2010-21 school year, but perhaps not the October parent-teacher meetings as these will have to be organised in a different way because of the need to avoid unnecessary gatherings.
- Early Years: ‘The Tapestry app would make communicating home learning much more straightforward and being able to view your child’s profile any time is a massive advantage for parents.’ – This suggestion was made by three parents. We’ve considered Tapestry (and similar products) previously. We know that an online communication tool offers lots of advantages, although there are some cost implications. We’ll definitely keep evaluating this as a possibility.
- Learning: ‘My child is a high achiever and often mentions that he finds the work very easy or that he is not challenged enough. More differentiation and encouragement within school for him to challenge himself would help him get the most out of school.’ – 98% of respondents agreed that we have high expectations and the end of Key Stage 2 assessments back this up; for example, a greater proportion of Scholes pupils reach ‘greater depth’ level in Reading, Writing and Maths than nationally. Nevertheless, we’ll keep working on how to best provide opportunities for challenge.
- School dinners: ‘Canteen menus have worsened over time, becoming less varied week on week and offering a narrower range of food.’ – There’s a very difficult balance between providing meals that children eat and providing a varied menu, which might include new dishes and flavours. We’ll definitely pass on your comments and we’ll get the School Council to consider this, too.
- Clubs: ‘We would like even more clubs e.g. cooking, gymnastics and cricket (after Covid-19 crisis is over).’ – Whilst 100% of respondents were positive about the clubs we offer, more clubs would be great. There are two issues for us to consider here: more clubs can mean one club competes against another meaning fewer children attend each one, and we rely on the skills and interest of staff for some of the clubs. We’ll keep reviewing the variety of clubs we offer because we agree that this is an important part of our school.
Scholes (Elmet) Primary continues to be a happy and healthy place to learn. Parents and carers are an important part of our close and supportive community. Thank you, again, if you responded to the survey.