Latest news from around the school

Thinking of a holiday in term time?

Posted on 22 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

If so, please: think again.

Amongst the continued talk about Brexit (or not to Brexit!), you might have missed this news story from yesterday: The number of fines issued to parents in England for taking children on term time holidays has almost doubled in a year, statistics show.

Penalty notices rose by 93% to almost 223,000 in 2017-18. In Leeds, there were 2620 fines for term-time absence caused by holidays – that’s 25 pupils in every 1,000, which averages out to about eight pupils at Scholes (Elmet) Primary.

“Unauthorised family holiday absence” was the most common reason for attendance fines, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

In our school, governors have agreed an attendance policy that’s clear: we can’t authorise a holiday in term time – we value learning too much to authorise a disruption in children’s education. If you do anticipate your child may have to have a day or more off school (to attend a funeral or a parent’s graduation, for example), please do speak with the Head of School and also ask at the office for a form to complete.

Year 6 Real Friends performance 

Posted on 21 March 2019 by Mr Lindsay

The Real Friends performance by Leap One and Bright Sparks Theatre Arts was a fantastic opportunity for Year 6 to learn about hate crimes and mate crimes.

During the performance, the actors asked children what manipulation means:

‘Manipulation is where someone is being controlled beyond their own will.’ – Seth

At home, you might want to follow up this performance by asking your children some questions:

  • Which part was the most powerful / emotional?
  • What do you know about the word ‘vulnerable’?
  • What are protected characteristics?

Marvellous Maths spreading to other schools

Posted on 21 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

At Scholes (Elmet) Primary, we’re proud of all our great teachers who are doing such a good job. Mrs Allaway not only teaches in school, but she also regularly supports other schools as a Specialist Leader in Education and as a Maths Mastery Specialist.

Last week, lots of teachers from other schools came to visit. We’re happy for this to happen as we want the best for all children, not just our own. We’re even happier when we receive great feedback!

One of the delegates commented, ‘I loved observing this morning – not only to see how effective Maths looks in an experienced school but also to see how the classroom and resources are set up. Thank you, Scholes!’

And a headteacher also sent some feedback: ‘Just want to give you some feedback from my staff yesterday… they absolutely loved the session! In particular, seeing the lessons and reflecting on their own practice. Thank you.’

Thanks and well done to Mrs Allaway and Mrs Latham, who taught Maths whilst the visitors were present in her classroom.

Amazing Allaway!

Posted on 21 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

As most of you will know, Mrs Allaway is a Leading Maths Teacher and as Specialist Leader in Education. This means that she supports other teachers, sometimes in their own school and often at Scholes (Elmet) Primary.

Yesterday, teachers from a few schools across Leeds came to observe Mrs Allaway teach. Here’s one comment: ‘Had a lovely visit to Scholes today to observe Paula teaching Year 4. She really is as good as you made her out to be – our Y3 teacher was blown away!’

Well done, Mrs Allaway!

Orienteering Outing

Posted on 18 March 2019 by Mr Gathercole

A small group of Year 3 and 4 children took a trip to Wetherby High School on Monday afternoon to take part in an orienteering competition alongside a handful of other local schools. It was great to see our children all willing to try something that they have only sampled previously once or twice.

We are immensely proud of every member of the team for the qualities they showed:

  • They all worked well in their groups and offered support to each other and children from other schools too.
  • Great map reading skills were being displayed.
  • Enthusiasm and energy were clear to see – This was a fun yet intense challenge!
  • Everyone represented themselves and our school brilliantly. 

Most importantly, what a fun afternoon we all had (including Mr Gathercole who also took part)!


Staying safe online

Posted on 18 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

The Education & Early Years Safeguarding Team from Leeds Children’s Services offer this advice, which matches our own. Please follow this advice.

  • Ensure they know what their children can access online
  • Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know
  • Tell their children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do
  • Use parental controls to keep children safe

The Safeguarding Team also list the most common signs to watch out. Please be alert if your child:

  • Becomes very secretive, especially about what they are doing online
  • Is spending a lot of time on the internet and social media
  • Is switching screens on their device when approached
  • Is withdrawn or angry after using the internet or sending text messages
  • Has lots of new phone numbers or email addresses on their devices

Supporting your child when the news is bad

Posted on 16 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

News of a terrorist attack is horrible, but for parents/carers, there is the added dilemma of what to say to their children:

  • Should I shield them from the news?
  • Is it best just to turn off the television?
  • Will the images they see traumatise them?
  • Should I tell my children exactly what’s happened?

Following the terrible attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, these questions may well be going though your mind.

The Childline website is a good place to start – you might want to check it out first, then look at it alongside your child. They have a really useful page with advice on ‘worries about the world’.

The BBC’s Newsround website tells the news in a helpful, simple, child-friendly way. (We’d encourage children to read this regularly, in fact.) Their news about the New Zealand attacks presents the facts and provides extra information and advice.

Lots of other sites are available, too, but it’s probably helpful to stick to one or two and not dwell any more on the subject.

Finally, the NSPCC has this advice for parents and carers who may be worried about a child showing signs of radicalisation.

Positive pupils

Posted on 15 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

Our governors play an active role in our school – find out more about the governing body and what they do. One of our governors is responsible for collecting the views of pupils – an important role because we value the views of pupils so much. As well as staff in school, it’s useful for a governor to do this because children sometimes prefer to talk to an ‘outsider’.

Here’s what our governor found following a recent visit where she spoke with a group of pupils:

All of the children said they enjoyed school all of the time.

  • Y2: ‘It’s cool because we get to go on school trips.’
  • Y4: ‘I like the homework because it’s creative!’
  • Y5: ‘We have people come into school like authors and stuff so that’s enjoyable.’

All children strongly believed all of the teachers helped them to do their best.

  • Y3: ‘If you don’t get something right, the teacher always helps.’

All children said that their learning is challenging.

  • Y5: ‘Sometimes, we have cold tasks and that’s where we have to have a go on our own before our teacher helps us. That’s helpful because we become more confident to do learning that is challenging.’

All children enjoy learning and were keen to say their reasons.

  • Y1: ‘I like my learning because it is fun.’
  • Y3: ‘We do lots of different subjects so every day is different.’
  • Y4: ‘We get to do lots of things in our topic lessons so it’s never boring.’
  • Y5: ‘The learning is exciting and sometimes we have people come into our school to help us with our learning.’
  • Y6: ‘It’s loads of fun! We learn all sorts of subjects so we’re never ever bored.’

All children thought that their teacher listened to what they have to say.

  • Y4: ‘Sometimes, my teachers listen when I’ve got a worry that’s stopping me from learning.’
  • Y6: ‘In reading sessions, my teacher listens to lots of things people in my class have to say, including me.’

All children knew to speak to an adult if something was worrying them.

  • Y5: ‘If we’re worried or anxious we can use our Living and Learning boxes to tell someone we’re worried without actually having to tell anyone, which is good.’
  • Y2: ‘I would tell my teacher.’
  • Y4: ‘I would tell someone that I trust.’
  • Y6: ‘I would tell Miss Hague or Mr Roundtree or Mrs Allaway.’

Regarding behaviour, all children thought that the behaviour of other children was good. They reported that they weren’t aware of bullying being a problem but knew that if they did become aware of it they would tell an adult or write a message in the Living and Learning boxes in the classrooms.

Regarding staying safe, all the children said they felt safe at school (‘Adults have to wear a lanyard and if it’s red then that person can’t be left on their own with children but if it’s green we know they’re safe. Teachers have a black lanyard.’). When asked what made them feel unsafe, one pupil mentioned the speed of cars outside school; another said, ‘Well, I know I will always be safe at school so not much at school makes me feel unsafe’.

The children were able to talk about lots of ways we promote health, whether physical activity or emotional health.

Finally, all of the children were certain they would recommend the school to someone else.

  • Y3: ‘It’s a great school and you get to make loads of friends.’
  • Y2: ‘All of the teachers are really nice and friendly.’

Attendance Matters

Posted on 08 March 2019 by Mr Roundtree

Well done to Mr Gathercole’s 3,4C class who have the highest attendance in school so far this year! The whole school attendance figure is 96.1%, so all the Y5,6 classes are above average – great stuff!

Up to the beginning of March, the average attendance for each class is:

  • F2L: 95.3%
  • F2M: 96.2%
  • 1K: 96.3%
  • 1,2V: 96.7%
  • 2KL: 95.6%
  • 3,4F: 95.6%
  • 3,4C: 97.2%
  • 3,4EK: 94.8%
  • 5,6O: 96.5%
  • 5,6NK: 96.3%
  • 5,6M: 96.7%

Also impressive is Mrs Latham’s 1,2V class and Miss Eckersley’s F2 class – well done to these younger children, too.

Don’t forget that for this half-term and up to the Easter weekend (25 February – 18 April), we’re running our Amazing Attendance competition. All the pupils with attendance during this period that’s 98% or more will be entered into a prize draw. There’ll be four lucky winners: one from each phase in school (Foundation; Year 1-2; Years 3-4; and Years 5-6). Each winner will earn themselves and their family a £20 voucher for Pizza Express.

Wonderful World Book Day

Posted on 07 March 2019 by Mrs Latham

The children dressed up today for World Book Day and celebrated our love of reading. There was lots of book talk, class swaps, shared reading and a celebratory reading assembly. Thank you for helping with all the wonderful costumes! Children should have brought home their voucher too.