This week’s message (Friday 08 July 2022)
Posted on 08 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree
It’s a busy time of year in school. Sports day, productions, reports… This week, you should have received an end-of-year report for your child – if you haven’t, please let us know.
At this time of year, you might be already thinking about uniform for next year. This week’s message starts with a reminder that we’ve updated our school uniform policy…
Due to a recent change in guidance about school uniform, we’ve recently updated our school uniform policy.
Wearing a school uniform brings with it many benefits, and everyone following the policy brings a sense of fairness.
There’s no change as to what uniform is required in our policy: as has always been the case, branded items are available, but they’re optional. As well as having at least three suppliers for branded items (with different price ranges), you’re able to purchase generic items from a range of retailers, giving you choice and value for money. Second hand uniform items can also benefit parents / carers and, by extending the life of items, are more sustainable. Some items may be available in school (unclaimed and unnamed lost property at the end of term) or at the Leeds School Uniform Exchange. Check out the website for more information on suppliers and the policy.
We do expect all children to follow this policy, including wearing the correct kit on PE days.
Thank you for supporting us with this.
Last week’s message mentioned TikTok. Here’s an extract from a weekly email we receive from a safeguarding expert:
A few days ago I spent a rather disturbing half-an-hour on TikTok… Clicking in to TikTok Live was worse than I had thought it would be… there were a number of video streams that I think should concern us from a safeguarding perspective. Livestreams from the school bus, school playgrounds and even from tutor time in classrooms. There was even a group of primary aged boys trying to out-swear each other while they waited for the bell.
Some summer reading
You might like to read the latest edition of Raring2go. It’s got lots of ideas for the Summer holidays.
Some summer support
The approach to providing free school meals during holidays has changed in line with government guidance.
As a result of this change in government guidance, Leeds City Council has decided to support those households in receipt of council tax support. This will include most households receiving free school meals but this will no longer be the driver of eligibility. More detail on how the council is spending the funding can be found here.
Anyone in urgent need of support for food, rent and other household bills can contact the Leeds Welfare Support Team. Details are available at: Help with food and bills (leeds.gov.uk). The Healthy Holidays scheme will also continue to provide support during the summer holidays to those most in need.
The forecast is looking good… Have a happy and healthy weekend!
Posted on 04 July 2022 by Mrs Latham
We had a successful Sports Roundabout this afternoon after a break since 2019, due to the pandemic. All the children enjoyed collecting points for their team and showed great teamwork and support for each other. Thank you to all the families who came to show their support too. The points are listed below.
1st Northern Ireland 507 points
2nd Iceland 518 points
3rd Germany 502 points
4th Portugal 493 points
5th Sweden 483 points
6th Italy 477 points
7th Belgium 454 points
8th Spain 394 points
9th Netherlands 379 points
10th Norway 366 points
11th France 360 points
12th England 346 points
This week’s message (Friday 01 July 2022)
Posted on 01 July 2022 by Mr Roundtree
Our message this week is a short one, but an important one. We know we send lots of messages about online safety, but please do take on board what we’re saying – this year, we’ve experienced more issues, and more serious issues, than ever before.
Ofcom recently published a report looking at media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 3-17. It also includes findings on parents’ views about their children’s media use, and how parents of children and young people aged 3-17 monitor and manage their children’s use.
The summary of key points (below) comes from a safeguarding email we receive each week in school. The bold text is from us:
- Children were more likely to experience being bullied via technology than face-to-face: 84% of 8-17s said they had been bullied this way (ie via text or messaging, on social media, in online games, through phone or video calls, or via other apps and sites).
- Nearly all children went online in 2021 (99%); the majority used a mobile phone (72%) or tablet (69%) to do so.
- Using video-sharing platforms (VSPs) such as YouTube or TikTok was the most popular online activity among children aged 3-17 (95%).
- Among all types of online platforms, YouTube was the most widely used by children; 89% used it, compared to half using TikTok. But TikTok was more popular than YouTube for posting content.
- A majority of children under 13 had their own profile on at least one social media app or site; 33% of parents of 5-7s said their child had a profile, and 60% of 8-11s said they had one. This is despite the minimum age for most social platforms being 13.
- Just four in ten parents of 3-17s knew the minimum age requirement for using most social media; 42% correctly said 13. Four in ten parents of 8-11-year-olds said they would allow their child to use social media (38%).
- Six in ten children aged 3-17 played games online in 2021, increasing to three-quarters of 12 – 17s.
- More than a third of 8-17s who gamed online played with people they didn’t know (36%); overall, 16% of 8-17s chatted to people they didn’t know, via the messaging/ chat functions in games. You wouldn’t let your child play out with random strangers – for the same reasons, talk to you child about who they may be chatting with online.
As always, if you’ve any questions, comments or concerns, do speak with us.
Have a good weekend.
Posted on 29 June 2022 by Mrs Latham
This week’s message (Friday 24 June 2022)
Posted on 24 June 2022 by Mr Roundtree
Thanks to everyone who responded to this year’s annual survey. We’ll spend the next few weeks reviewing the responses and building in some action points to our School Improvement Plan.
This week’s message is a little different: it comes from our Junior Leadership Team…
We would like to introduce ourselves as the Junior Leadership Team from our school. We have had this role for nearly a year after we were nominated by our classes. Our school works hard to promote democracy and the JLT elections are a perfect opportunity to demonstrate pupil voice. We regularly meet as a team to talk through issues that might have arisen or things that have come up in class. Our aim is to make the school even better and be a happy and healthy place to learn.
One of our biggest achievements this year was fundraising. At the start of the year, we asked classes to think of a school charity that would benefit from the money we raise. We brought these ideas to a meeting and selected the most popular charity – Leeds Autism Services. Over the year, we have arranged lots of fundraising events. We stood out in the cold clutching buckets to collect cash for Children in Need, raising £410, whilst Odd Sock Day raised £126. In February, we created a maths challenge that would test our times table knowledge and number facts. Through everyone’s contribution, we raised an amazing £2318 – the most we have ever raised. This was a mind-blowing amount that benefited the charity and our school. April saw us raise money for Red Nose Day and the JLT made the decision that half the money would go to the Ukraine Disaster Fund due to current events.
We had the recent opportunity to visit Scholes Library – the first visit since Covid. We enjoyed a chance to browse the amazing range of books that it has to offer and we selected some to bring back to school for classes to enjoy.
In the Autumn term, it will be time for the new JLT elections. We will step down and hope that some new children will enjoy the same experiences we’ve had and will take on the challenge of being part of an incredible team that brings about change and difference for our school.
Thank you to everyone for your support, ideas and encouragement.
Triathlon - winning team announced!
Posted on 23 June 2022 by Mrs Latham
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.