News

Latest news from around the school

Home learning and other support (20 April 2020)

Posted on 20 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Our daily home learning tasks started again today. As we said on Friday, we know it’ll be tough for everyone getting back into that routine – getting that momentum going again is bound to be hard.

You may have heard about some new online initiatives which aim to ‘teach’ children through a series of virtual lessons. Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize are the two most widely spoken about – both have just launched today, although we’ve encouraged you to check out BBC Teach for a while now). These resources look great and we’re certainly exploring them – they’ve both got pros and cons, just like the daily package of home learning tasks we’ve been providing you. What you might notice is teachers beginning to refer to these resources when they provide the home learning tasks for your child. We ask for your patience with this: we don’t want to use online links that actually take more of your time to explain.

We’re also exploring ways to present more online lessons. Some parents/carers have suggested using Zoom or something similar, but these interactive approaches do present problems. Teachers are starting to try out other things. These might take a little extra time to put together but will absolutely meet the needs of our learners.

We’re trying hard to make your job as ‘teacher’ as easy as possible and have always acknowledged that learning is going to look different in these extraordinary times.

It might help to remember some of the tips we’ve talked about before:

  • try to develop a timetable for the tasks and stick to it – children benefit from the routine and it becomes easier
  • build in practical tasks like cooking or planning an online shop so your child can use and apply the skills they have
  • use different devices to access the tasks if you’ve more than one child, or let them have a go at the same task, but provide extra support for the younger, or additional challenge for the older
  • if a task looks too complicated for your child, be flexible – they could access the task set by a teacher in one of the other Sphere schools, or they could access some learning from our menu of home learning resources.
  • let your child’s teacher know how they’re doing – it’ll help them to stay engaged if they get some feedback (and our teachers are loving seeing all the great learning that’s coming in – check out their Class News pages!)
  • equally, feel free to ask your child’s teacher any questions about the learning
  • importantly – be kind to yourself and your child: this is a difficult time for us all, so if they’ve done just two of the tasks, plus some reading (20 minutes would be great), some exercise and some other learning from our menu, then that’s a really productive day!

Finally, today, this quote from a parent in a recent magazine article is quite a powerful one, especially the text I’ve put in bold. The article (Guardian magazine, 07.03.20) was about child geniuses, but I think it’s an important message for us all!

My main thing is that she feels happy and fulfilled, because that isn’t always the case when chasing perfection. We model failure for her, making mistakes in front of her. We ask each day what her successes were, and what she failed at, and celebrate both.

Home learning and other support (17 April 2020)

Posted on 17 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

We hope you’re doing ok.

The last couple of weeks should’ve been the school Easter holidays – they still were technically, but we know they didn’t quite feel the same. We hope you managed to find some ways to relax a bit. That might have included the Easter activities we presented:

  • Did your child create some nature-inspired art, in the style of Andy Goldsworthy?
  • If you did it, how did the treasure hunt go?
  • Were you ‘board’ silly with the new board game your child created?
  • Perhaps you even combined two activities: how was the Come Dine With Me experience in the den your child built?

On Monday, the daily home learning tasks get going again. It’ll be tough for everyone getting back into that routine, but do try – it might help to agree again the expectations around a daily timetable, and we’d suggest you even agree how your child approaches the learning (this could include an agreed amount of time to talk, and an agreed amount of time to work in silence – this might help you get on with other things).

This article sets out five top tips:

Routines and boundaries are really important.

‘Children will need them as the structure of their lives has suddenly been altered. This holds for everyone in the household. Far easier said than done, but critical over the long haul. Establishing start times, breaks and end times will help everyone, and many families will need support to plan for that.’

It’s OK not to be OK.

‘It’s crucial that there are rules and boundaries in place, but parents must know that it’s better to bend them than allow them to break. They are in charge, and it’s [difficult]… Some days will be great – others a complete flop. Fine.’

Parents need to know why and how work has been set. 

If you’re wondering about a home learning task that’s been set, please make sure you get in touch with your child’s class teacher – they’ll remind you of their email addresses in their website homework pages.

Technology can help and hinder both students and parents.

‘For young people, screen time is social gold dust… gentle monitoring… is likely to work better than an outright ban.’

Teaching is stressful.

‘The importance of self-care and wellbeing for parent-teachers can’t be overstated, especially with no colleagues to sound off to after a bad day. Having a point of contact with the school or a peer network can make all the difference between surviving and thriving.’ …so again, if you need to email your child’s teacher, please do.

 

And on a separate subject…

Free school meals – are you eligible?

In these challenging times, more of you might now be eligible so that your child can get free school meals (FSM). This could well be the case if your circumstances have changed as a result of work or income being affected.

If you’re waiting for a decision of Universal Credit (UC), you can still submit an application (even though the decision won’t be reached until your Universal Credit is confirmed). If you’re successful with your FSM application, then your child will keep their entitlement until the end of the Universal Credit roll out (which is currently set for 2023) and then until the end of their primary phase. Therefore, it’s worth submitting an application now, even if you’re likely to return to work in the near future!

Read more about the FSM eligibility criteria and how to claim.

Are you eligible to claim for free school meals?

Posted on 17 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

In these challenging times, more of you might now be eligible to claim for free school meals (FSM). This could well be the case if your circumstances have changed as a result of work or income being affected.

If you’re waiting for a decision of Universal Credit (UC), you can still submit an application (even though the decision won’t be reached until your Universal Credit is confirmed). If you’re successful with your FSM application, then your child will keep their entitlement until the end of the Universal Credit roll out (which is currently set for 2023) and then until the end of their primary phase. Therefore, it’s worth submitting an application now, even if you’re likely to return to work in the near future!

Read more about the FSM eligibility criteria and how to claim.

Five Star Sports LIVE sessions

Posted on 17 April 2020 by Mrs Latham

Five Star Sports regularly come into school to deliver fabulous sporty sessions. They are running some LIVE sessions on Facebook for you to join in with. There is a Monday session for younger children and Saturday morning football sessions. Join in and keep active with them.

 

Has your child been offered a place at our school?

Posted on 16 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Today is the day when families across England are offered a school place.

If your child has a place at Scholes (Elmet) Primary, we’re delighted to welcome you! Scholes Primary is a happy and healthy place to learn. We’re excited to continue that journey with you and your child.

It would really help us if you can contact school by email to confirm whether or not you want to take up the offer. Our email is: scholesoffice@spherefederation.org

In your email, if you’re accepting a place, it will help us to prepare the transition process if you tell us the following, if applicable:

  1. The name and contact details of your child’s current Early Years provider
  2. The name of your child’s key worker
  3. The hours that your child attends their current provider eg 30 hours
  4. The days of the week that your child attends their current provider

Because of the current school closures due to coronavirus, things are a bit different this year. We’ll be in touch with you in a few weeks to let you know more about how we’ll support you and your child in making the transition to our school.

The following text is taken directly from an email to schools from Leeds City Council’s Admissions Team:

Families do not need to take any action on offer day, as they have until 30 April to submit waiting list requests and 15 May to submit appeal requests. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), appeal hearings are on hold until we receive further guidance from the Department for Education.

If families are not happy with the school they have been offered they can ask to be added to the waiting list for any Leeds school (including schools they haven’t previously asked for) and can appeal against the refusal of a place at a preferenced school. Waiting list forms and appeal forms are available at www.leeds.gov.uk/offerdayprimary

The email goes on to make three points to any family considering refusing their offer:

  • If you turn down a place, it will be allocated to another child and there is no guarantee a place will become available at a closer school to home – you could be left without a Reception place in September.
  • Accepting an offer doesn’t impact on the chances of being offered a place from the waiting list or increase the chances of success at an appeal hearing.
  • Any family who refuses an offer must confirm this in writing to startingprimary@leeds.gov.uk – you’ll be asked to confirm where you’ll be educating your child in September.

Dancing with 'Hello HipHop'

Posted on 15 April 2020 by Mrs Latham

Some classes have had a few sessions delivered by Phil from Hello HipHop recently. We also had them booked in to deliver sessions for the whole school during Health Week. We will have to reschedule the sessions for the future but in the meantime, here are some hip hop moves for you to work on. Enjoy!

Your Scholes - community support group

Posted on 14 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

A group of villagers have started a community support group called Your Scholes to provide support to people in need during the current coronavirus crisis.

The group has three main aims:

  • to ensure the most vulnerable in the community can access basic resources, such as food and medicine
  • the health and wellbeing of local people is maintained
  • people in the village are empowered to support one another

To enable this to happen, the group is working with local charities to ensure people’s basic needs are met, and with the people of Scholes to support your health and wellbeing.

Your Scholes is recruiting local volunteers and allocating them to people who need help with shopping and getting medicine. It’s also offering telephone befriending and resources on the website such as lists of local food suppliers who deliver to Scholes.

Wake Up Shake Up - new dance!

Posted on 08 April 2020 by Mrs Latham

This week, we had a couple of volunteers who came up with a new dance to an old classic, Higher Love by Whitney Houston. Well done, I love it!

 

Yaaaaaay! Well done!

Posted on 03 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

A big well done to the mums, dads, carers of Scholes (Elmet) Primary children – you’ve done two weeks of home learning now!

Has it been easier this week? Or harder in some way? Maybe a bit of both?

Just like around this time last week, our message to you is the same: you should feel pleased with yourselves. We know this whole situation is tough, and unsettling, and frustrating, and monotonous, and… but you and your family have got through it.

It’s time for a break. It’s the Easter ‘holidays’. Nobody’s going anywhere or doing anything exciting, but we wish you all the very best all the same.

Home learning (03 April 2020)

Posted on 03 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Yesterday’s post featured advice to support your child to stay safe online, and a second round of our Red Herring game. Today, we talk about home learning over the Easter period, and provide the answers to Red Herring.

Here’s a reminder of what’s happening for the next fortnight…

Today’s the last day of the Spring term so it’s the last day of the daily home learning tasks for now. We’ll still help you to support your child at home, but things will be a bit different:

  • We’ll present a list of eight activities for your child (Years 1-6) – these will be published on the Homework pages at 9am on Monday 06 April.
  • The list will be the same across year groups, meaning if you’ve more than one child, they might work on it together in some way.
  • Some of the tasks can take a bit longer, like a mini-project.
  • You can encourage your child to do some or all of the activities – they’re all optional.
  • During this time, you can still email your child’s class teacher, although they may not respond as quickly as they have been doing.

Teachers will return to daily home learning tasks on Monday 20 April.

For children of key workers, and for children deemed vulnerable in some way, Scholes (Elmet) Primary and Moortown Primary remain open through the holiday, including on the bank holidays. (Thank you to all teachers who have agreed to work these days.)

If your child isn’t keen on one or two of the suggestions, or you want to supplement the activities with more, we’ve two great new resources that you can check out…

Get learning Maths on the move! These active learning resources which will help your child keep active while learning at home. There are ten activities for each phase: Y1,2 and Y3,4 and Y5,6.

Food – a Fact for Life (FFL) has lots of resources for teaching your child about where food comes from, cooking and healthy eating. There’s a lot to look at here, separated into different age ranges and different types of learning: healthy eating, cooking, where food comes from and food commodities. Each age range has loads of worksheets that you can download, too – we’d recommend talking through this with your child to come up with a sequence of learning activities. Check out FFL’s recipes, too!

We’ve added both of these to our home learning menu.

And now, the answers to Red Herring…

We asked you to identify the red herring statement about the admin team from Sphere Federation…

Mrs O’Malley, Sphere Resources Manager based at Moortown:

  • I met my husband whilst learning to drive a tank. This is the red herring: Mrs O’Malley met her husband learning to sail.
  • I have three British military qualifications: artillery survey,  combat appreciation, and radio communications.
  • As well as a yellow belt in kickboxing I also have a red belt in Ju Jitsu.

Miss Pallister, Admin Assistant at Scholes (Elmet):

  • My first ever full-time job after leaving school was working for Education Leeds, in the finance department at Merrion House.
  • Before moving to Scholes, I lived in Spain for five years.
  • When I was younger I won various horse riding competitions. This is the red herring: Miss Pallister did own her own her own horse, though.

Mrs Quirk, Sphere Resources Manager based at Scholes (Elmet):

  • Knitting is one of my hobbies – I love to make presents for friends and family. This is the red herring: Mrs Quirk did once make part of a knitted hoodie when her son was born, but her mum had to finish it off for her.
  • In my teens, I was part of a group of people who raised money to buy medical supplies for a hospital in Malawi; I spent a summer over there when we took over all the supplies.
  • One of my favourite jobs was as a Wedding Co-ordinator at a country house hotel – I loved planning and organising people’s special days!

Mrs Russell, Admin Assistant at Moortown:

  • When I was younger, I fell off a horse and it trod on my leg – it didn’t put me off horse riding though! This is the red herring: it actually trod on Mrs Russell’s face, leaving a hoof print on her cheek for quite a while afterwards – ouch!
  • I used to help mend shopping trollies.
  • My favourite type of food is fish – anything apart from squid.

Mrs Walshaw, Admin Assistant at St James’:

  • I can count to 10 in Japanese. This is the red herring: however, Mrs Walshaw can count to ten in Korean.
  • When I was younger, my family owned two Shetland ponies but I never rode them.
  • In my previous job as an air stewardess, I was part of a crew who took Manchester United football team to one of their European Cup games (now known as the UEFA Champions League).

Finally, another big thank you…

Kelley from our school kitchen, who works for Leeds Catering service, needs a big thanks. Although we’ve closed for most children, schools have still been asked to provide some sort of meal for children entitled to free school meals. Kelley’s been amazing through the chaos of recent weeks: she’s sorted things out without any hassle, no moans, no problem. She’s even delivered to one family who can’t get out.