News

Latest news from around the school

Screen time - to limit or not to limit?

Posted on 04 January 2019 by Mr Roundtree

You might have heard about this news story: ‘Worry less about children’s screen use, parents told‘. In it, there is guidance from leading paediatricians who say there is little evidence that screen use for children is harmful in itself.

That’s fine, but it’s important to read beyond the headlines…

While the guidance avoids setting screen time limits, it recommends not using them in the hour before bedtime. We often see children in school who look tired and struggle to concentrate. There’s lots of evidence to show that missing out on sleep can be really bad for your health. Our advice is don’t let your child take an electronic device to bed.

Equally, while the researchers choose not to recommend screen time limits, it does, recommend that families negotiate screen time limits with their children. These should be based on individual needs and how much it impacts on sleep, as well as physical and social activities that your child is involved with. Our advice is that this should involve parents/carers deciding what content they watch and for how long they use the devices. For older children (those at high school, for example), greater freedom over screen use can be introduced, but this should be gradual and under the guidance of an adult.

Experts say it is important that the use of devices does not replace sleep, exercising and time with family. You wouldn’t want your child to exist solely on one type of food at the expense of others – you’d want them to benefit from a balanced diet. Our advice is consider electronic devices as one part of your child’s life, but not the only part – a ‘balanced diet’ of activity.

The review of evidence found associations between higher screen use and obesity and depression. Experts at University College, London, said it was not clear from the evidence if higher screen use was causing these problems or if people with these issues were more likely to spend more time on screens. However, the fact remains there is a strong link that parents and carers should be aware of. Our advice is consider electronic devices as part of a ‘balanced diet’ of activity that is talked about and kept open about the positives and drawbacks of electronic devices – don’t let it become a solitary activity.

Stemming from the research is a series of questions to help families make decisions about their screen time use. Our advice is to be honest when you reflect on these questions, perhaps having an open family discussion (and be ready – your child might talk about the time you’re on-line, too):

  • Is your family’s screen time under control?
  • Does screen use interfere with what your family want to do?
  • Does screen use interfere with sleep?
  • Are you able to control snacking during screen time?

Dr Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), has said: “We need to stick to advising parents to do what they do well, which is to balance the risks and benefits.” Parents should consider their own use of screens, if screen time is controlled in their family, and if excessive use is affecting their child’s development and everyday life, he added.

Still keeping active - with a special visitor!

Posted on 18 December 2018 by Mrs Latham

We are enjoying dancing to our Christmas songs during Wake Up Shake Up. We were even more excited to have a special visitor today – Santa! He visited the Foundation and Key Stage 1 classes and wanted to join in with our physical activity burst. He was pretty good – well done, Santa.

Learning updates

Posted on 18 December 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Going home with your child (Y1 to Y6 only) today are the end-of-term Learning Updates. These ‘mini-reports’ aren’t new – we’ve used these before during parent-teacher meetings.

This year, we’ve listened to what you said in the annual surveys: you asked for more frequent updates on your child’s learning. As a result, we’ve tweaked when we do things a little so you now get an update at the end of most half terms:

  • Autumn 1 (the parent-teacher meeting)
  • Autumn 2 (the Learning Update)
  • Spring 1 (the parent-teacher meeting)
  • Spring 2 (the Learning Update)
  • Summer 2 (the end of year report)

If you’ve any questions, comments or concerns about the report, please contact your child’s class teacher.

After school clubs - School of Pop!

Posted on 17 December 2018 by Mrs Latham

The ‘School of Pop’ have been learning new songs and rehearsing hard this term with Mrs Rennison and Miss Harker. They started their journey a few months ago and finished with a performance for parents and carers last week. Some children were apprehensive about singing publicly but they have overcome this, building confidence and self-esteem along the way! If your child would like to join in next term, please contact the school office.

 

Supporting parents with anxious children

Posted on 14 December 2018 by Mrs Craggs

EPOSS Cluster are running a group to support parents with anxious children. The group will give advice and strategies to support your child, provide psycho-education on anxiety and give the opportunity for you to meet parents with similar problems and share ideas.

The first session will be held MONDAY 21 JANUARY

Venue: The House
Wetherby High School
Hallfield Lane
Wetherby
LS22 6JS

Time: 8am-9am.

No need to book, just turn up on the day.

If there is sufficient uptake the group will then run every Monday until the February half-term holiday.

If you would like any further information please call:

Rachel Midgley, Cluster Therapist –   0752 617 2934

Liz Giles, Targeted Services Officer – 0791 278 4637

How do you manage your child's screen time?

Posted on 12 December 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Many of you mention your concerns about your child being in front of a screen for too long. Also, children tell us they’re often on-line when at home.

Digital devices have become commonplace during family time in most homes. However, studies show that screen-free activities have a positive impact on children’s development and health in a wide range of areas, including social skills, physical exercise, sleep and academic performance.

Read the full article from Action for Children – it’s really helpful and interesting! It includes top tips on creating screen-free playtime that will aid your child’s development at all ages.

Children who use any screens for over seven hours a day are starting to show signs that their brain cortex is thinning prematurely… The researchers have also determined that kids who spend over two hours a day on screen time score lower on thinking and language tests.

Read the full article.

Book People Book Fair

Posted on 06 December 2018 by Mrs Lake

This week, we’ve a Book People book fair at school. The Book People are an online book shop, selling books at up to 70% off RRP prices. We’ve a great selection of individual books starting from £4 and a wide range of boxed books, too. Tomorrow is the last day we will be selling the books in school. We will open the book fair at 3.15pm for parents to buy and browse before the end of school. The fair is located in the main reception area.

Thank you to everyone who has already paid us a visit and bought a book.

The school earns money for the sales we make, which helps us replenish the school library, guided reading books and books for the children to enjoy in their classrooms.

Terrific teaching

Posted on 03 December 2018 by Mr Roundtree

We’re an outward-looking school: we work closely with the local authority and with other schools, including as part of Noctua Teaching School.

As a school which has been previously judged to ‘require improvement‘, the local authority offered us a full teaching and learning review, carried out by two advisors, one of whom is a trained Ofsted inspector. We’re always keen to hear from others so we can keep improving, and were therefore happy to take up the offer.

Here are some extracts from the report:

  • ‘Evidence from the review paints a positive picture of a much improved and still improving school. The Executive Headteacher has worked closely together with the Head of School to drive developments across the school. A recurring theme throughout the day was the commentary from staff, children and Chair of Governors alike: “This school is unrecognisable from what it was two years ago.”‘
  • ‘…leaders at all levels are determined that the pupils of Scholes will all achieve well. Strong ambition and collegiality now permeates what is a collegiate, reflective and professional staff team who are ambitious for themselves and the school.’
  • ‘Governance has been transformed from the time of the last inspection.’
  • ‘Lesson observations supported by book-looks and data analysis evidence the impact of improved teaching over time.’
  • ‘…pupils are clear about their learning’
  • The team were impressed by the consistent approaches to planning and pedagogy that ensures pupils receive an equitable diet in terms of challenge and learning.’ [This point was made in reference to teaching and learning across Y1,2  Y3,4 / Y5,6 mixed age classes.]
  • ‘Neat presentation in books accompanied by high productivity supports the improvements in pupil achievement and progress over time.’
  • ‘Teaching assistants play an effective role in supporting pupil learning in classrooms and are now a strength of the school.’
  • ‘The Early Year Leader leads this area of the school with passion and skill. She has a deep understanding of children’s development and current research… In the view of the team, the provision in Nursery is outstanding. In Reception, the teaching of phonics was precise and accurate.’

A core area they suggest we explore over time is boys’ writing – it’s not low compared to how boys perform nationally (79% reached the expected level in 2018 at Scholes, higher than the national figure of 72%; at the higher level, 16% compared to 15% nationally), but there is a gap with the very high figures for girls (at Scholes in 2018, 95% reach the expected level and 45% reached the higher level).

Well done to all the staff and pupils; thank you to parents and carers for continued support.

30 Active Minutes - Wake Up, Shake Up (WUSU)

Posted on 01 December 2018 by Mrs Latham

We’re committed to playing our part in ensuring children have at least 30 active minutes at school. The government has directed schools in Childhood Obesity : A Plan for Action to ensure :

Every primary school child should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day. At least 30 minutes should be delivered in school every day through active break times, PE, extra-curricular clubs, active lessons, or other sport and physical activity events, with the remaining 30 minutes supported by parents and carers outside of school time.

The whole school meets outside at 10am every day for Wake Up Shake Up (WUSU). On Fridays, each class will have a chance to lead WUSU and will be able to choose the two songs that we do. 5,6M went first, dancing their socks off to 5-6-7-8 by Steps and Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake.

We’ll also be launching the 30:30 Wristband Challenge in the new year to encourage children to complete the 30 active minutes out of school, too.

3 2 1 Dodgeball!

Posted on 30 November 2018 by Mrs Latham

We entered a Year 5 team into the East Leeds dodgeball competition this week and they were fantastic! Mr Gledhill accompanied the children and was amazed by how brilliantly they performed, particularly commenting on their teamwork, resilience and determination. It was tough getting photos that weren’t blurred as they were moving around so fast! They came second in their group. Well done!