Latest news from around the school

Newsletter feedback

Posted on 18 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

We recently sent you you a newsletter with your child’s class next year, plus various summaries of the changes to uniform, homework etc, plus lots of key dates for the year ahead.

We’ve had a number of people comment favourably on this end-of-year newsletter. Here’s one comment:

I’ve just read the newsletter ‘Next Year’s Class’. Just thought I’d say thank you as it’s a really well thought out, informative document. It’s so useful to have the information on homework and also those dates for the diary early on.

‘Talk Time’ discussions sound great.

[We] appreciate all the hard work that is happening in school. Hope you all have a great summer.

Fab feedback

Posted on 14 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

A little while ago, we posted some comments, the views of ‘outsiders’ – educational advisors, consultants and other Leeds headteachers. Here’s an update… Someone has recently visited our school to conduct some pupil interviews, much like what an inspector would do. Here are just a few of extracts from the feedback:

  • ‘Without exception, the children proved to be extremely open and articulate.’
  • ‘…it was clear that children at Scholes do indeed feel safe within the school environment. The children are trusting of adults in school and know they can approach them with any worries regarding bullying, they are confident such issues, which are infrequent, will be dealt with appropriately.’
  • ‘Without exception all the children interviewed enjoyed school.’

Super swimming

Posted on 14 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

We’re looking forward to awarding some superstar swimmers their first swimming certificates next week!

Election of a parent governor - voting now open

Posted on 11 July 2017 by Mrs Quirk

We recently wrote to all parents and carers regarding the Parent Governor vacancy, and to seek nominations.  As the number of nominations received exceeds the number of Parent Governor vacancies, it is now necessary to hold a ballot.

There are seven candidates and you may vote for one candidate only.  The ballot can be accessed via

The ballot closes at 12 noon on Tuesday 18 July 2017.

The attached letter provides full details of the voting process and the candidates’ statements.

David Roundtree, Head of Federation

EPOSS Summer Programme

Posted on 11 July 2017 by Mrs Quirk

The EPOSS Extended Services summer holiday activity programme still has places available.

There’s something for everyone: cooking, multi-sports, snorkelling, lifesaving, water polo, synchronised swimming, athletics, racket sports, Gaelic football, squash, arts and crafts and even a ‘Little Mix’ party!

Take a look at the EPOSS Extended Services brochure and download a booking form to reserve a place for your child today!

Fab feedback

Posted on 08 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Over the last few months, since our Ofsted inspection, we’ve been working hard to respond to recommendations.

To ensure we’re heading in the right direction, we value the views of ‘outsiders’ – educational advisors, consultants and other Leeds headteachers. Here’s a selection of the feedback we’ve had:

  • ‘…the impact of the school’s work since the inspection can be readily observed in pupils’ books.’
  • ‘Senior leaders already have clear and realistic plans to address [any remaining issues].’
  • ‘The demand for pupils to apply their reading, writing and maths skills across the curriculum is impressive and can be identified readily in Topic Books.’
  • ‘…the frequent opportunity for pupils to complete purposeful extended pieces of writing is to be celebrated.’
  • ‘…it became quickly apparent the work in books, aligned to the quality of marking and feedback, supports the quality of teaching and the rates of progress pupils make.’
  • ‘As the year has progressed, there is clear evidence of progress from pupils’ different starting points in September.’
  • ‘The use of a neat, cursive style is becoming consistent and is having a direct impact on high quality presentation in books.’
  • ‘…high demand in terms of productivity and presentation are invariably the norm.’
  • ‘Presentation throughout all [KS1] books was brilliant and it is clear that children take great pride in their work.’
  • ‘Good subject knowledge appear common from year group to year group.’
  • ‘School leaders make excellent use of [research] to ensure a range of impactful interventions…’
  • ‘Much evidence was produced to show the school is working hard to secure high quality teaching for all pupils.’
  • ‘Since the establishment of Sphere Federation… processes are very much in line with what would be considered best practice.’
  • ‘[Post-Ofsted] action plans are really detailed – so thorough and clear for everyone involved. The plans must have taken so much time to get right and it is clear that you really know your schools.’

Children's Day 2017

Posted on 08 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Children’s Day 2017 takes place at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Sunday 16th July. The gates for the event will open at 10am and close at 4pm; admission is completely free for everyone, as are the activities when inside the ground.

Families attending the event can make a suggested donation of £3 per adult and £1 per child attending on entry; all proceeds will support the work of Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

Supporting your child through a bereavement

Posted on 06 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Talking about bereavement with children can be hard. There’s a series of books that might help children learn about a number of sensitive issues. One book in the series is Frog and the Birdsong by Max Velthuijs, Andersen Press.

The book concerns Frog, who one autumn day discovers a blackbird lying motionless in the grass. Worried, he asks his friends what can be the matter. Very gently and simply, the animals begin to understand the meaning of death and the beauty of life in this moving story.

Apps update

Posted on 01 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

A few days ago, we told you about a new SnapChat feature…

SnapMap lets users track other people’s location in real time – it shows exactly where people are in as much detail as the actual house. This might sound like a great idea, but just think about how vulnerable this could make a child using SnapChat. Within the feature, there is ‘Ghost Mode’ which enables you to hide your location. There are two ways which this can be turned on:

  1. Pinch the screen when you’re in selfie mode to bring up the SnapMap. Then, click the ‘Settings’ icon in the top right hand corner and set the phone to ‘Ghost Mode’.
  2. Click on ‘Snap Maps’ – ‘Settings’ – ‘Ghost Mode’.

Whilst we’re talking about apps, be aware of these ones, too… and are two other apps to be aware of. is a popular app where users can sing along to popular songs and upload them to the site. is made by the same company and is a live streaming app where you can broadcast and communicate with others. This is a platform where comments and requests can be left for the users about their videos but, sadly, this has opened up inappropriate communication where young users are being asked to remove clothing and are being exposed to sexually explicit comments. also has some privacy controls which can be accessed via the settings option.

Roblox is a user-generated massive multiplayer online social gaming platform. Roblox’s chat facility has caused some concerns with parents reporting inappropriate comments to children.

Guidance for children using Roblox safely can be found via their safety/help page:

Check out the security information. Read the parents’ information.

It’s important that you talk to your child about using these apps. Most importantly, if they get a question or request that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should speak to a responsible adult immediately.

Please make sure that you know what your child is using – remember SnapChat and other similar apps are not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Election of a parent governor

Posted on 27 June 2017 by Mr Roundtree

A parent governor is required to fill a vacancy on the governing body of Sphere Federation.

If you wish to offer yourself as a candidate to become a parent governor, please read the following, which describes the role and outlines some key characteristics desired for a new governor and the process of becoming a governor. Nominations should be emailed to by Friday 07 July 2017. Alternatively, you can submit a paper copy to any of the school offices.


The governing body’s three core functions are:

  • Ensuring clear vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Head of Federation to account for the educational performance of each school and its pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of each school, ensuring money is well spent.

The schools in the federation are Scholes (Elmet) Primary School, St James’ CoE VC Primary School, and Moortown Primary School.


The governing body would benefit more from new governors with expertise in one of three areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND);
  • Experience in HR and performance management;
  • Competency in educational data analysis.

Governors will also need to be able to understand their role is strategic and not operational; build relationships with a range of people; work as part of a team; question and challenge; make connections between different types of information; and represent the three schools and their community.

Expectations of governors is high. Governors need not be experts in the field of education but they do need an interest in the welfare of our children across all three of the federation schools, and the time and willingness to get involved in strategic oversight. Our parent governors are appointed for a term of four years, and are expected to attend termly evening meetings of the full governing body; sit on one sub-committee and attend termly meetings; regularly visit each Sphere Federation school formally for monitoring purposes; visit each school informally at least once a year; read and digest papers and governance information regularly; and commit to attend training and development courses relevant to the assigned governance role. All governor appointments are subject to a valid enhanced DBS check and disqualification criteria.

Training and support will be available to help you develop into this role. This will include compulsory external induction training and in-house mentoring and support.

To find out more about the role, please see the governance section of the school website or read the DfE’s Governance Handbook and Competency Framework.

For further details, please contact Mr Roundtree at or Rachel Greenhalgh, Chair of Governors, at

Nomination form

If there are more applications than vacancies, we will hold an election and parents will be sent a voting paper in due course. The information you supply as part of your nomination will be circulated to parents to help them decide who to vote for. Your personal details will not be distributed.

Nominations should be emailed to by Friday 07 July 2017. You can submit a nomination by hand or by email. The information we need, and sample wording, is as follows:

To the Head of Sphere Federation:

I wish to nominate myself as a candidate to be a parent governor of Sphere Federation.

I am the parent of … at … school.

I do / do not include a personal statement.

Please print name and address. (Please note the address details will not go out with the ballot forms.)

Personal statement (in no more than 200 words)

Write a few lines about yourself: what you do and what your interests are will help other parents decide who to vote for. Here are a few suggestions of areas you may like to give information on:

  • Experience you have which may be useful, particularly in relation to the skills the governing body is looking for
  • Family e.g. number of children, ages, which school in the federation they attend
  • Interests e.g. voluntary work, hobbies
  • Why you would like to be a governor
  • Anything else you would like to say

Please note that this statement will be typed for you.