This week’s message (Friday 16 June 2023)
Posted on 16 June 2023 by Mr Roundtree
Hot, hot, hot! Despite the weather, there’s still loads of learning happening at Scholes (Elmet) Primary!
We start this week’s message with with an important change…
Our school day
Some time ago, the Government published a White Paper setting out various proposals which included the strong expectation that schools are open for 32.5 hours each week. Following the consultation, the White Paper was cancelled. We assumed the ‘strong expectation’ would also be no more.
Frustratingly, the expectation remains in DfE and Ofsted publications – this wasn’t clear earlier in the year.
This means we need to add five minutes to the school day. We’re going with the overall preference from the parent/carer consultation earlier in the year, which is to add the five minutes to the start of the day. This means our school day from September will be 08.45 – 3.15, every day.
I’m sorry for the confusion and change.
As always, if you’ve questions, comments or concerns, please do let me know.
The end of the school year brings with it many assessments, some we have to do and others are to help us keep track of all our pupils’ learning.
The DfE has updated its collection of information for parents. This now includes links to all National Curriculum assessment leaflets for parents, including leaflets for the:
- KS1 and KS2 national curriculum tests (Year 2 and Year 6 pupils)
- reception baseline assessment (RBA)
- phonics screening check (Year 1 pupils, and some Year 2 pupils)
- multiplication tables check (Year 4 pupils)
In school, we really try to make sure all the assessments are as positive as possible.
Our annual survey
Thank you to everyone who completed the annual survey this year. The survey closed at noon today. We’ve had over 50 responses, almost all extremely positive (100% of you report their child is happy and feels safe at school, for example).
We’ll spend some time reviewing the responses. Just like in previous years, we’ll get in touch with any individual parent / carer in advance if they’ve raised any specific issue (as long as they’ve provided their name), and we’ll look at some of your suggestions for improvements.
Staying safe in the water
Next week is Drowning Prevention Week. Here’s a few facts to think about:
- around 44% of accidental drownings happen between May and August
- 62.4% of accidental drownings happen in inland water
- accidental drownings takes an average of 402 UK & Irish Citizens every year
- lack of confidence and competence in water affects survival rates
- more than 46% never intended to be in the water
Have a happy and healthy – and safe – weekend.
Gymnastics - summer clubs with North Leeds Gymnastics
Posted on 16 June 2023 by Mrs Latham
Here is the flyer and application form.
This week’s message (Friday 09 June 2023)
Posted on 09 June 2023 by Mr Roundtree
How was your half-term holiday? Hopefully a good one, helped by the nice weather. Now that we’re properly into Summer, remember to make sure your child is protected from the sun (sun cream, hat, plenty of water).
We need to start this week’s message with a correction and end with a reminder.
In the last Friday message just before the holiday, we stated the wrong month for one of a training day. It should read that there’s a training day on Friday 24 May (not June):
We’ve had an increase in requests for some term-time absences. Many of these are linked to the Summer half-term. We don’t authorise term-time absences (see our Attendance Policy). To help next year, we’ve changed the training day to Friday 24 May – this means that you’ve an extra day to use to plan for any holidays.
Thanks to the super-organised parent who spotted the error.
Talking of attendance…
Up to the end of Summer 1 half-term, our whole-school attendance figure is 95.4% – this is a great figure, so thank you very much for making sure your child is at school as much as they possibly can. (The national data for the period from 12 September 2022 to 19 May 2023 is 94.1% for primary schools.)
Here’s how each class shapes up:
- Sunshine class: 95.1%
- Rainbow class: 94.1%
- Class 1A (Miss Lowry): 95.1%
- Class 1,2B (Mrs Latham): 95.5%
- Class 2C (Miss Young): 95.1%
- Class 3,4A (Miss Paterson): 95.8%
- Class 3,4B (Mr Catherall and Mrs Wilkins): 96.5% – the highest in school – amazing!
- Class 3,4C (Mrs McCormick & Mrs Wadsworth): 95.7%
- Class 5,6A (Mr Robson): 95.2%
- Class 5,6B (Mrs Hogarth): 94.9%
- Class 5,6C (Mr Lindsay): 96.4%– a close second – impressive!
Please help us
This summer, National Book Tokens is offering schools the chance to receive £1,000 in National Book Tokens. Please nominate our school.
If we’re one of the five winning entries, you’ll also win a £100 National Book Token to spend in your favourite bookshop!
The more entries received for Scholes (Elmet) Primary, the higher the chance we’ll win – so spread the word.
Thanks to the parent who alerted us to this.
Have you completed our annual survey yet?
If not, there’s still time: you’ve got until Friday 16 June to let us know your views. Thanks to those people who’ve already completed it (we’ve had 43 responses so far). It really helps to shape what we do.
Have a happy and healthy weekend!
This week’s message (Friday 26 May 2023)
Posted on 26 May 2023 by Mr Roundtree
We’ve reached the end of the Summer 1 term…
It’s felt a strange one because of all the short weeks in May. The first three Mondays in May have seen school closed – two for bank holidays and one for a training day. Thank you to everyone for working with us – we know disrupted school weeks like this can be tricky for you.
We’ve had an increase in requests for some term-time absences. Many of these are linked to the Summer half-term. We don’t authorise term-time absences (see our Attendance Policy). To help next year, we’ve changed the training day to Friday 24 June – this means that you’ve an extra day to use to plan for any holidays.
We’ve all appreciated the warmer, sunnier weather this week. Please remember to make sure your child is summer-ready next half-term. Make sure they’re wearing suncream, have a sun hat, and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
A big well done to all our Year 6 pupils for coping so well with the end of Key Stage 2 SATs tests – they all did so admirably, despite how difficult they might have been this year. Our Year 6 pupils have got a residential to look forward to, as well as lots of end-of-primary activities as they prepare to move on. This year, the residential (07 – 09 June) will be with all three Sphere Federation schools. (This will help us to make sure we can release enough staff to supervise on the trip.)
Next half term is a busy one, not just for our Year 6 pupils. Teachers are starting to write their end-of-year reports. Amongst other things, pupils have transition morning (05 July) and Sports Day (10 and 14 July) to look forward to.
Finally, a quick reminder to complete our annual survey. You’ve got until Friday 16 June to let us know your views. Thanks to those people who’ve already completed it.
Have a great half-term!
This week’s message (Friday 19 May 2023)
Posted on 19 May 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message is a repeat of an email that we sent earlier in the week…
Coming up in the weeks commencing 05 June, 12 June and 19 June, children from Year 1 to Year 6 will take part in Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) lessons, part of our Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum (PSHE, or ‘Living and Learning’, as we call it).
We want you to feel assured that RSE is delivered at a level appropriate to both the age and development of pupils, and to feel safe to voice opinions and concerns relating to the provision.
The lessons are led by children’s class teacher. They take place in a safe learning environment and are underpinned by our school ethos and values.Nationally, all primary schools are required by law to teach Relationships Education and Health Education. In Sphere Federation schools, we’ve provided RSE lessons successfully as part of Living and Learning for many years.
- Section 9 provides a list of the vocabulary that will be used (pages 7 and 8)
- Section 11 includes an overview of the topics that will be covered (page 11 includes a table to show the learning across each year group)
We know that you may have some issues / concerns. If you’d like to find out more, discuss any concerns, or speak to someone in more detail about the teaching and learning planned for this important aspect of your child’s education, please contact Miss Hague.
Similarly, you’ve the right to request that your child be withdrawn from some or all of the lessons that can be regarded as ‘sex education’. For our school, this comprises lessons in Year 6 on what human reproduction is and how babies grow. Please see the government’s factual guide to RSE for parents: Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s primary school: a guide for parents. If you’d like to withdraw your Year 6 child from RSE, please contact Miss Hague to discuss the matter. See page 6 of the RSE policy for more information about your right to withdraw your child.
We’re committed to working in partnership with parents. Recent parental feedback has indicated that the overwhelming majority of parents are highly supportive of our Relationships and Sex Education programme.
This week’s message (Friday 12 May 2023)
Posted on 12 May 2023 by Mr Roundtree
A short message from us this week…
Well done to all our Year 6 pupils this week – they’ve been doing their SATs, the end of Key Stage 2 assessments. They’ve coped really well, despite some of the papers being reported as challenging.
A particular well done to one pupil in the federation who’s shown great determination and resilience by doing the tests whilst in hospital – impressive determination, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Our annual survey
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).
Like last year, this year’s survey features a series of questions closely related to what Ofsted might ask parents during an inspection.
Complete the Scholes (Elmet) Primary survey here. We’ll send a few reminders before the closing date, which is Friday 16 June.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you raise in the survey something very specific that needs to be addressed, we can’t easily act on this without your child’s name. In fact, 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.
Finally, a quick reminder that Monday is a training day so school is closed. See you all on Tuesday.
This week’s message (Friday 05 May 2023)
Posted on 05 May 2023 by Mr Roundtree
May’s always a busy time in school with statutory assessments beginning. Today, we’ve also had activities linked to the coronation.
Next week, Year 6 pupils have their end-of-key stage assessments – their SATs. Check out these seven top tips to support your child doing the SATs. (They’re useful for lots of children, lots of the time, too!)
Because of the coronation, all the Year 6 tests are one day later than normal. This means that our original training day, originally scheduled for Friday 12 May, is now Monday 15 May. We’re closed on this day.
Talking of dates…
Don’t forget that next year, our school week is changing.
Every day, we’ll keep to the same times, starting at 8.50am and finishing at 3.15pm.
This follows a consultation with parents/carers earlier in the year.
‘Neurodiversity’ describes the different ways that people’s brains develop. Everyone’s brain is unique but the majority of us have similar brains to others. Our brains affect how we experience the world around us and how we react to it. Neurodiversity includes neurotypical and neurodivergent people. Neurodivergence describes people whose brains have developed differently, including autistic people and those with ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, developmental language disorder and Tourette syndrome. The list of neurodivergent brain types is ever changing as we learn more.
NHS MindMate has recently launched a great website with loads of really helpful information, tips and advice – check it out.
Whatever you get up to this weekend, enjoy a happy and healthy – and longer – weekend!
This week’s message (Friday 28 April 2023)
Posted on 28 April 2023 by Mr Roundtree
This week’s message is about this half-term’s topic…
Topics are the vehicle for delivering much of the learning in the foundation subjects (eg Art, History, Geography). Each half-termly topic has a driving subject – the main focus for teaching pupils knowledge and skills.
This half-term, we’re historians. We’ll develop our understanding of people and events in Britain and the wider world.
Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary. (See pages 29 and 30 of our Curriculum Statement.)
Each phase also has key historical concepts which will feature within most lessons. These historical concepts are themes that are revisited, strengthened and deepened during your child’s journey through the history curriculum. (See page 24 of the Curriculum Statement.)
Years 1 and 2
In this topic, children will learn about two significant individuals who stood up for something they believed in. Nelson Mandela is famous across the world for his devotion to equal rights for black people in South Africa. Leonora Cohen was a suffragette from Leeds who fought passionately for the right to vote for women. Children will learn about what they believed in, what they did and the impact that they had. They’ll also consider what they believe strongly about and how they can make a change.
The key concept that children will learn about in this history topic is inequality.
Years 3 and 4
In this topic, children learn about the Leeds West Indian Carnival. They’ll learn about the carnival’s founder, Arthur France, and how he came to Leeds from the West Indies. They’ll learn about how Arthur and friends started the carnival. They’ll then use a range of historical sources to study how the carnival has changed and how it has stayed the same. Children will finally learn about the origins of West Indian carnivals by learning about slavery and the slave trade.
The key concepts for this topic are trade, inequality and power.
Years 5 and 6
In this topic, children learn about what life was like in Britain during World War II. Children will begin by learning about how the war began. They’ll then learn about the mass evacuation of Jewish children from Germany to Britain. Next, they’ll learn about the Blitz and the evacuation of British children from towns and cities to the countryside. They’ll then learn about the role of women. Finally, they’ll investigate life after the war. They’ll learn about how the opportunities for women narrowed again and also the important role that immigration from Commonwealth countries played in helping Britain to rebuild after the war.
The key concepts for this topic are invasion, inequality and power.
How can you help?
Talk to your child about what they have been learning in class. The class news pages of the school website are a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.
Find some books from the library which match what your child is learning.
Visit Abbey House Museum as they have some artefacts relating to suffragettes and Leonora Cohen – it’s also a great visit, regardless of which period children are learning about. Leeds residents also get free access to nearby Kirkstall Abbey which is great to explore on a sunny day.
Leonora Cohen also has a blue plaque on a house she lived in on Clarendon Road in Woodhouse. Your teacher would love to see a selfie of you with her plaque!
Nelson Mandela Gardens in Millennium Square commemorates Mandela’s visit to Leeds when he has presented with the Freedom of the City. It’s a small, calm space well worth visiting if you’re in the city centre.
On Monday 01 May, you can book tickets to an illustration workshop at Harewood House with Kate Pankhurst, the author of the Fantastically Great Women books.
For World War II, Eden Camp is a great visit. Also in North Yorkshire is Yorkshire Air Museum which will be of particular interest to anyone wanting to learn more about the planes used during the war. A bit closer is the Royal Armouries museum which has weapons and armour from a wide variety of time periods and places around the world.
Finally, it’s a little while away but a visit to the Leeds West Indian Carnival in August will give children the opportunity to experience the event in real life.
This week’s message (Friday 21 April 2023)
Posted on 21 April 2023 by Mr Roundtree
We hope you had a happy and healthy Spring break.
First, in case you missed an earlier message this week, is some advance warning about the forthcoming industrial action.
The National Education Union (NEU) has announced planned strike action for Thursday 27 April and Tuesday 02 May.
Scholes (Elmet) Primary has previously remained open and been largely unaffected by the industrial action. It seems likely that this will be the case again.
However, as was the case previously, we’re not in a position to guarantee this because all workers, including teachers, have the right to take industrial action without prior notice. It would be advisable to prepare for some disruption on the days listed here just in case.
We’ll continue to keep you informed.
Thank you very much for your responses to the recent survey about class trips. The feedback has been really helpful. The key message we’ve received is that you’re very keen for school trips to happen more regularly and that you see a lot of value in them:
- ‘I think they are an important part of the curriculum to enhance learning and make connections with the real world. They also form a memorable part of school. In summary, an invaluable experience.’
- ‘Great that these are coming back following the pandemic. Thank you for putting time and energy into making these a possibility again.’In terms of the regularity of class trips, the vast majority of people would like there to be more than one trip per year. We’ll aim to offer two class visits per year, but this does depend on receiving enough voluntary contributions from all parents/carers.
You also gave us a variety of other feedback and suggestions which we’ll consider. Examples of useful points raised include scheduling trips on a Monday or Friday if classes need parent helpers; a memorable visit doesn’t have to be something new or expensive or a long distance away; and weekly direct debits to build up contributions – we’ll ponder over your suggestions as well as start putting in place a schedule of trips across all year groups.
For the year so far, up to the Easter holiday, the whole-school attendance rate is 95.5% – thank you for making sure your child attends school as much as they can.
Here’s how each class has helped contribute to the 95.5% figure:
- Sunshine class: 94.9%
- Rainbow class: 94.3%
- Class 1A (Miss Lowry): 95.1%
- Class 1,2B (Mrs Latham): 95.6%
- Class 2C (Miss Young): 95.0%
- Class 3,4A (Miss Paterson): 95.8%
- Class 3,4B (Mr Catherall and Mrs Wilkins): 96.4% – well done!
- Class 3,4C (Mrs McCormick & Mrs Wadsworth): 95.9%
- Class 5,6A (Mr Robson): 95.7%
- Class 5,6B (Mrs Hogarth): 95.1%
- Class 5,6C (Mr Lindsay): 96.5% – well done!
Enjoy the weekend.