Latest news from around the school

Wear Red - update

Posted on 04 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Friday was Wear Red Day. At the time of writing the weekly message on Friday, we’d raised £170.71. Including donations made later, we raised £195.86.

The money raised goes to our current school charity: the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund in Leeds.

If you and your child donated, thank you.

This week’s message (Friday 02 February 2024)

Posted on 02 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

If you and your child made a donation for our Wear Red Day. At the time of writing this message, we raised £170.71 – thank you. It was great seeing the different creative styles pupils added to their uniform today!

Living and learning

Living and Learning is our name for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and other provision which helps to support the personal development of children at Scholes (Elmet) Primary.

Each week, we have a different Living and Learning theme – check out our Calendar to read about each week’s theme (it’s usually showing on each Monday). This week’s theme has been I know how to seek help.

We all need to seek help from time to time. Make sure your child knows it’s ok to ask for help. Explore different situations when you and your child might both need to seek help. What could the situation be (friendships, online problems, tricky situations when out and about…)? Who could they seek help from? How would they do it?

Linked to this week’s theme is STOP. Here at Scholes (Elmet) Primary, STOP stands for two things to do bullying:

  • the definition: hurting someone physically or emotionally Several Times On Purpose
  • the solution: Start Telling Other People

Remind your child of the STOP acronyms.

Watch us while we work

Thanks to all who came along last Friday for the second of our Watch Us While We Work sessions. Thanks also to the parents who completed our new online form for their feedback.

It was a really engaging session. The children all seemed happy and it felt like a lovely environment.


The class was well organised, the activities were engaging and it was great to see the children enjoying their lessons.

We really appreciate your suggestions for improvement, too. They included longer sessions (although some other people comment the sessions were the right length!), and varying the days for these (which we try to do – last week’s was the first we’ve held on a Friday).

Contact details

A quick reminder…

If you’ve got any new contact details for you or other contacts, please remember to let us know. We need up-to-date details for the people on our lists in case of emergencies. (The people on our lists are the ones you gave us when your child school – in most cases, this will be three different people.)

Reception survey

Another reminder…

If you’re a parent in Reception, please do complete our short survey. Your feedback is really important to us. the survey’s open for another week.

Finally, in case you missed it, have a read of the first news article from our Scholes journalists, Louie, Jimmy and Zara.

We hope you have a happy and healthy weekend, whatever you get up to.

Introducing...our new school journalists!

Posted on 29 January 2024 by Mr Catherall

Recently, children in Y5,6 were invited to apply for a number of new jobs within school. They had to complete an application form and were even interviewed for their posts. Congratulations to all the children who took the safe risk of applying. Whether you were successful or not, we’re proud of you all for giving it a go. 

The journalists will create weekly content for the school website. You get lots of updates from us, but we thought it was important to keep you updated about all the great things happening at school from the most important perspective of all: the children’s. 

Hi, this is Louie, Jimmy and Zara here with the first news report of the new year at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School. We have lots of exciting topics to share with you in the next few weeks, but today we are looking through the new activities that have recently started up. In January, new clubs at the school were inserted into the timetable of after-school clubs, including jobs for the children like this one which is taking place at lunchtimes. There are jobs like play leaders and librarians and there are new activities like the girls football team, jewellery club and tag rugby.

We wanted to find out more about what people thought about the clubs and what they were enjoying. We interviewed Rocco in Y5 to find out more about the school football team…

What is after-school football training like? We are very competitive – there is always a big urge to win!

What is your favourite part of playing football? Teamwork as I love seeing and being part of a team and working together.

When you think of football, what comes to mind? The need to win – I am a very competitive person.

Apart from football, what other activity would you do? tag rugby

What is your favourite position on the football pitch? I love the feeling of scoring goals so probably striker.

It’s been a great start to 2024 and we are hoping to carry on like this as a school.

Thank you for reading!

Please note: the journalists received no adult support on creating this news content – it’s all their ideas and their writing!

This week’s message (Friday 26 January 2024)

Posted on 26 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

This week, we’ve messages about measles, free school meals and a couple of forthcoming events in school. Before that, a well done and a thank you…


In case you missed it, make sure you read the letter from the Rt Hon Damian Hinds, the Minister for Schools, congratulating us on our ‘outstanding achievement in the 2023 Phonics Screening Check’. Well done to all the pupils, now in Year 2, for this fantastic achievement, and thank you to parents and carers for supporting their child at home.

Watch us while we work

For parents and carers of children in Years 1 -6, this afternoon we’ve had another Watch Us While We Work session – the second of the year. Thank you if you were able to come to school to find out ways to support your child at home.

Based on parent feedback, we’ve a new feedback form for planned-in visits like this – things like Watch Us While We Work, Topic review sessions and Reception Stay and Learns.

We’d love to hear your views.


This comes from the Department for Education (DfE):

There have been recent localised outbreaks of measles centred around the West Midlands. There is a risk of further outbreaks in other areas unless urgent action is taken to increase Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination take up in areas with low MMR vaccine rates.

Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools. The best protection against measles for children and adults is to get both doses of the MMR vaccine. It is never too late to have these vaccinations.

Read the NHS advice for parents and carers.

Read the DfE has published an Education Hub blog with guidance on measles and the MMR vaccine for parents.

Free School Meals

Circumstances can change for anyone, as the enormous impact from the pandemic continues to prove. Some families can suddenly find themselves trying to cope with a new financial strain and pressure, perhaps as a result of a stressful new situation: separation, loss of a job, decreased working
hours, illness etc. If your household income is low or has recently decreased, your child may well qualify for Free School Meals.

Find out whether you’re eligible.

In addition to securing free school meals, your child would also become eligible for pupil premium funding. This provides us with extra money that we use to support children.

Finally this week, a couple of events coming up…

Wear Red Day

Our school charity this year is Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Wear Red Day is an annual fund-raising event to support the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, its patients and their families.

The day is still a uniform day, but we invite children to come to school wearing some red, too – how might they adapt their uniform? Red socks, red polo short, red shorts…

This is an optional event. We welcome any donations, all of which will go towards our charity.

Safer Internet Day

This is on Tuesday 06 February. We’ll be making the day in school, but you might want to check out some resources to use at home.

Have a great weekend!

Fabulous Phonics

Posted on 26 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

We’re delighted to have received a letter from the Rt Hon Damian Hinds, the Minister for Schools, congratulating us on our ‘outstanding achievement in the 2023 Phonics Screening Check’.

With 98 per cent of pupils in Year 1 at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School meeting the expected standard in the check, your school is in the top 2 per cent of all primary schools in the country.

Your particular success in teaching phonics and early reading so effectively means your pupils are developing a firm foundation, from which they can become increasingly fluent and develop a lifelong love of reading.

I would like to thank you for your commitment and success in this vital area of a child’s early education and congratulate you, your staff and pupils again on all you have achieved.

Scholes (Elmet) Primary is a happy and healthy and successful place to learn!

Today in school ...

Posted on 23 January 2024 by Miss Hague

Today we did a ‘Lockdown’ drill.

At 10.50 this morning, all children were instructed to quickly leave the playground and go back to their classroom.  (Mr Lindsay’s class used the zone and Mrs Hogarth’s class used the library).

Once in the classroom, children were asked to sit away from windows and doors, pull the blinds down, turn the lights off and sit in silence for two minutes.  After this time, the teacher let the children know the drill was over.

You’ll be pleased to know this went well.

Running through this type of thing is like a fire drill: you hope you’ll never need it, but it’s reassuring to know that plans and procedures work.

To reassure all the children, we spent time talking to the children before and after the drill to ensure everyone was feeling comfortable and explained the need to practise in an age appropriate, non-scary way.

Any comments, questions or concerns, please catch me at the gate.


This week’s message (Friday 19 January 2024)

Posted on 19 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Early in each half-term, our weekly message centres around the current KS1 and KS2 topic. The message comes from Mr Wilks, who leads on foundation subjects (see page 7 for what foundation subjects are).

What is this half-term’s topic?

This half-term, we’re historians and will be developing our understanding of Britain’s past and the wider world.

I love history. It’s one of my favourite subjects to teach. There are so many amazing stories and characters from the past and although the people and events we study can be separated from our own lives by thousands of years, there are lots of relevant connections we can make with the world today. Children will use enquiry skills to answer questions about the past that require opinions. They’ll be ‘time detectives’, using sources of evidence to help them answer these questions.

Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary that they’ll learn, use and apply across the topic. See pages 22, 23 and 24.

Years 1 and 2

In this topic, children will learn about how shopping has changed over time. They’ll develop chronological understanding by sequencing events in their own lives before learning about how shopping was different during their parents’ and grandparents’ and great grandparents’ childhoods. They’ll look at similar products from different times and try to sequence them chronologically using logical reasoning. They’ll use photographs and other sources of evidence to identify changes and similarities on the high street over time. They’ll learn about the history of a local shop, Marks and Spencer, and how it has changed over time.

The key historical concept which we’ll explore in this topic is trade. Trade is the exchange of goods and services, initially for other goods and services, and then for money.

Years 3 and 4

Children will learn about the Roman Empire and its invasion of Britain. They will examine how life changed for the people living in Britain at the time of the invasion. They will learn about the Celtic warrior, Boudicca, and how she resisted the Romans. Children will also consider what we know about Boudicca, how we know it, and whether we can trust it.

They’ll learn about the amazing inventions and advances that the Romans brought to Britain. Finally, they’ll find out why the Romans left Britain and who the Anglo-Saxons were.

There are two key historical concepts which we’ll explore in this topic: empire and invasion. An empire is a large group of countries or states ruled by an emperor or empress. An invasion is when a country or region is invaded by an armed force. 

Years 5 and 6

In this topic, children will learn about Viking Britain and an Early Islamic Civilisation centred around the city of Baghdad around 800AD.

During this period of time, Baghdad was the largest city in the world and was the centre of the world’s trade routes. Trade between Vikings and Baghdad happened and provides a real link between these two societies.

Through studying the Vikings, children will again learn about how people invaded and settled in Britain. Invasion is also relevant as it brought an end to the Islamic Golden Age.

The Islamic Golden Age was a period of great innovation. Learning and knowledge was key to their success. They built the world’s first hospitals, universities and observatories, as well as studied writing from scholars around the world. The contrast with Viking Britain during the Dark Ages is stark!

There are three key historical concepts which we’ll explore in this topic: trade, invasion and innovation. Trade is the exchange of goods and services, initially for other goods and services, and then for money. An innovation is an improvement or replacement for something. An invasion is when a country or region is invaded by an armed force.

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.

Find some books from the library which match what the children are learning. This will be quite easy for children in Key Stage 2 as there will be plenty of books about Roman Britain and Viking Britain. You should also be able to find some about the Islamic Golden Age. For children in KS1, you may find it more difficult to find books about shopping over time. However, any book that looks at how an aspect of life has changed over time will be good. For example, you may find KS1 history books about toys and games, houses, transport, holidays. These will all help your child to sequence chronologically and explore similarities and differences.

Watch television shows about history. Horrible Histories is great – regardless of your age!

This week’s message (Friday 12 January 2024)

Posted on 12 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Welcome to our first message of 2024! It seems a little late to wish you a happy new year, but we’ll do it all the same: best wishes for a happy and healthy 2024. This week’s message has quite a few things, but we’ve tried to keep them fairly short…

Dates for your diary

This Spring term is a short one – just five weeks in Spring 1 and just a day short of six weeks in Spring 2. As always, please check our school calendar to know what’s coming up (amongst other things, a Watch Us While We Work session in Years 1-6 and Stay and Learn sessions in Reception, plus parent-teacher meetings).

Did your child get an electronic device for Christmas?

…If so, then do make sure parental controls are all in place. Here’s a handy guide from the NSPCC.

Attendance matters

Our whole-school attendance for the Autumn term was 95.5%. How does your child’s class compare with that figure?

  • Sunshine (Mrs Allen-Kelly’s class) – 94.9%
  • Rainbow (Miss Parling’s class) – 95.1%
  • 1A (Mrs Brown and Mrs Wilkins) – 95.1%
  • 1/2B (Mrs Latham) – 95.6%
  • 2C (Miss Young) – 95.9%
  • 3/4A (Mrs Paterson) – 96.0% – well done!
  • 3/4B (Miss Iveson) – 96.2% – attendance superstars!
  • 3/4C (Mrs Wadsworth) – 96.0%- well done!
  • 5/6A (Mr Wain) – 95.8%
  • 5/6B (Mrs Hogarth) – 94.8%
  • 5/6C (Mr Lindsay) – 94.6%

We know that winter is one of the peak times for adults and children to come down with mild illnesses such as colds, coughs and sore throats.

Your child should stay at home from school if they’ve a high temperature (fever) and are unwell, and wait until it has passed before going back.

If they’ve just got a runny nose, sore throat or slight cough – without a high temperature – your child should still attend school. Children should stay at home if they’ve a high temperature (fever) or if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting – this helps stop the spread of stomach bugs.

If in doubt, check the NHS site: Is my child too ill for school?

Read this BBC article for five top tips to help.

The national attendance rate for Autumn was 93.2%. We’re proud that our figure is quite a bit higher here at Scholes (Elmet) Primary. Thank you for knowing that attendance counts.

DT: Cooking and nutrition

We sent this message earlier in the week, but in case you missed it…

Our updated long-term plans for Cooking and Nutrition were introduced at the beginning of this school year. Last term, your child took part in a practical lesson where they did some cooking in school and were able to eat what they had made. Hopefully, they’ll have come home and told you all about it!

So we can continue to offer this to all children in Years 1 to 6, we’re asking you for a small voluntary contribution towards the cost of ingredients. This will help to cover the costs for the full year – that’s three recipes. We suggest a contribution between £3 to £6, although we really appreciate anything you can offer. Payment for this can be made online on the School Gateway app.

By the way, please remember to tell us if your child has an allergy so that we can adapt the recipes we’ve planned.

The Big Ambition survey

We’ve mentioned this before, too, but we’ve been asked to communicate a final reminder which comes from Dame Rachel De Souza, the Children’s Commissioner for England…

I have been overwhelmed by the response the survey has received so far. More than 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers have participated, making it one of the largest surveys of its kind, but I want to give even more people the chance to have their say.

Complete The Big Ambition survey. It closes on Friday 19 January.

Finally, I don’t often offer a personal recommendation, but a highlight of the holidays for me was a trip to the cinema to see Wonka – I loved it! Have a good weekend, whether that involves a cinema trip or whatever you and your family get up to. 

This week’s message (Friday 22 December 2023)

Posted on 22 December 2023 by Mr Roundtree

Following an earlier message this week, this one is just to say a couple of things…

First: in case you missed it, we raised £370.94 at our Christmas productions for our chosen charity, Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. If you came, thank you for your donations and we hoped you enjoyed the show!

Second: all of us here at Scholes (Elmet) Primary wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

We look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 08 January.

An early weekly message (Wednesday 20 December)

Posted on 20 December 2023 by Mr Roundtree

This week’s message comes early, and it’s an unusual one because it comes from Miss Beatson, the Head of School at St James’ CE Primary, one of our sister schools in Sphere Federation:

Recently, I visited Scholes (Elmet) Primary School to talk to some children about safeguarding. The children were welcoming, friendly and they engaged really well in conversation. We spoke about a range of topics including being safe in school, equality, behaviour and staying safe online.

All the children said that they felt safe in school and the children in Years 3 and 4 described comprehensively how they learn to stay safe in different subjects such as Science and DT Cooking and Nutrition. They felt that behaviour was good in school and they could confidently tell me the school rules and the school policy STOP in terms of bullying.

When speaking about online safety, the children were knowledgeable about what they do if they see or hear something upsetting online. It was evident that the children have good supervision at home and many of the children talked about ‘time limits’ on their devices so they don’t spend too much time online.

A real strength was our conversations about consent. One pupil talked about consent as setting boundaries and asking permission because some people may not want to have a photograph taken or be hugged.

The older children impressed me when they were talking about equality and the importance of treating everyone the same in terms of protected characteristics.

It was a pleasure talking to the children and I had a wonderful morning – thank you.