Posted on 07 December 2017 by Mr Roundtree
In a time when many local authorities have stripped away the support they previously provided to school, Leeds continues to provide support to its schools. Our School Improvement Advisor visited recently and had this to say:
Through the observation of teaching and a comprehensive learning walk, it is the view of the SIA that Scholes no longer has the feel of a school requiring improvement… leaders have worked very hard to ensure pupils are cared for and are now achieving well. Previous weaknesses have been robustly challenged and the fruits of this work are beginning to be reflected in pupil outcomes… An observation of teaching suggests that without exception, teachers have good subject knowledge.
Terrific times tables
Posted on 01 December 2017 by Mr Roundtree
By the end of Year 4, children are expected to know their times tables and corresponding division facts up to 12 x 12, as stated in the National Curriculum. They should be able to recall a multiplication or division fact within about five seconds.
A couple of weeks ago, we checked this for children in Key Stage 2 – and got some really encouraging results.
Out of a total score of 25, children in Year 4 got an average of 19.0 out of 25 – that’s a really big jump from when we tested the same children in the summer term (when they were in Year 3), and, of course, there are still two more terms to keep on improving.
We’ve seen similarly encouraging results in Years 5 and 6. 90% of the Year 6 children scored over 20 out of 25, and their average score is 23.6.
In school, we explore times tables so children have a secure understanding of the concept of multiplication and division, and the various patterns and sequences related to each times table. There’s also regular practice in each class. We’ve also introduced regular tables to practise at home, followed by times table tests each Friday. Thank you for supporting your child with this.
If you’re confident your child knows their tables, don’t forget to help them know related facts. So, 3 x 8 = 24, which means…
- 8 x 3 = 24
- 24 ÷ 8 = 3
- 24 ÷ 3 = 8
- 30 x 8 = 240
- 3 x 80 = 240
- 30 x 80 = 2,400
- 3 x 0.8 = 2.4
- and so on!
Top tip! 7 x 8 = 56 is probably the hardest fact to know. Here’s a way that might help… Reverse the statement: 56 = 7 x 8. Can you see the sequence of the digits? 5, 6, 7, 8… 5 6 is 7 8s…
Subscribe to First News and raise money for school
Posted on 29 November 2017 by Mrs Quirk
Sphere Federation has teamed up with First News to offer a fantastic opportunity which will help us raise money for our school.
The children love reading First News in school and now you have the chance to get a great offer and have First News delivered to your house every Friday for your kids to enjoy at home.
To make things even better, for every subscription parents take out using our unique voucher codes X17SFED we’ll get money back to put towards our school.
To subscribe, please click here.
Save money by downloading the School Gateway app
Posted on 29 November 2017 by Mrs Quirk
If you have a smartphone, both you and the school can save money when you download the ‘School Gateway’ app from your app store (Android and iPhone).
Once you’ve downloaded the app, our texts will be delivered to you as instant app messages, saving us the cost of texting.
Any messages that you send to school using the app will be FREE of charge to you.
It’s quick and easy to do. All you need to activate the app for the first time are your email address and mobile number that school holds on record for you. If you have trouble logging in, please call or email the school office.
We’re aiming to get 80% of parents using the app – please help us achieve this.
Community Week 20-24 November 2017
Posted on 28 November 2017 by Mrs Latham
As part of our themed week, Scholes In Bloom spoke to children about their work and awards they have received for making the village look so beautiful. They recently planted 3,000 crocus bulbs outside the library. They are hoping to plant more outside school. If anyone would like to donate any Spring bulbs, please leave them at the school office.
We had a visit from the Elmete Elderberries. They are a local group of older people who meet weekly to socialise and take part in various activities. Key Stage 1 enjoyed dominoes, jigsaws, card making, drawing and refreshments. We’re hoping to take some children to visit the group in the near future.
Beyond Inspired also provided a gentle fitness class, replicating what happens at the Elmete Elderberries.
Key Stage 2 enjoyed the ‘Zines’ workshop, using magazines, newspapers and comics to create collages linked to the community and identity theme.
In Scholes, the Posada is passed around families in the community to mimic the journey of Mary and Joseph in the Christmas story. It was brought to school by the Bliss family and will continue its journey around the village throughout December.
The School Council met to decide the charity that we will support throughout the next year. Each class discussed which charity they wanted to put forward following Talk Time homework and then the School Council made a final decision in a meeting this week. They wanted both an animal and human charity. They decided that The Donkey Sanctuary fitted this perfectly as they help animals but also humans, specifically young people with a focus on self-esteem, coping mechanisms, conflict management and empathy. We look forward to raising money for this worthwhile cause.
Follow-up visit from Ofsted
Posted on 28 November 2017 by Mr Roundtree
On Tuesday 07 November 2017, we were inspected, under section 8 of the Education Act 2005 (as amended). This was a monitoring inspection following the ‘Requires Improvement’ judgement earlier this year. The focus was around whether we are taking effective enough action to improve provision and outcomes.
Whilst monitoring inspections do not result in a new inspection report or new judgement, a follow-up letter is published.
We’re happy to tell you the inspector concluded that senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement … in order for the school to become a good school.
We’re even happier with some of the positive comments from the inspection letter:
You and your senior leaders are tackling the areas requiring improvement identified at the school’s last inspection with focus and resolve. Together with middle leaders and staff, you are a strong and increasingly cohesive and effective team.
Governors are making a stronger and more influential contribution to improving the quality of education at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School. They are working in a more organised and systematic way and are bringing a sense of energetic purpose to the way they support and challenge you and your colleagues.
I could see the impact of [monitoring and evaluating] on pupils’ learning and progress in the lessons I visited with you and your senior leaders and by looking at the work in pupils’ books. The pupils I spoke to said that they find the work they are set interesting and fun.
[The teaching and learning of Maths] is being purposefully and energetically led by a senior leader who is also a specialist leader of education in mathematics.
Your self-evaluation is detailed and comprehensive. The judgements you have made are supported by a good range of evaluative information. It gives a clear picture of the school’s effectiveness.
It is quite normal in such monitoring visits to agree some new recommendations. For us, they are:
- secure rapid improvements in teaching so that all pupils make fast progress from their different starting points in reading and mathematics in key stage 2 – We’re very aware that outcomes need to improve at the end of the key stage, and have been taking lots of steps to address this; this includes recruiting an additional Maths teacher in the mornings meaning that Maths can be taught in single age classes (see News post, 19.10.17) and closely analysing how pupils have previously performed the the statutory tests – and taking appropriate action to address areas.
- develop and implement an effective approach to identifying and tackling errors and misconceptions in pupils’ mathematical knowledge and understanding – This had already been identified as something we can improve in order to speed up pupil progress; the smaller Maths groups will help here, and the fact that teachers can have a sharper focus on a single age.
- update the school improvement plan and pupil premium strategy so that they link more closely to the priorities and actions identified in the school’s self-evaluation – This is something which we suggested so that we can continue to plan for and monitor the much wider range of improvements that are going on, such as the new homework approach and the bnew ways we invite parents and carers into school (homework reviews, Watch us while we work, sessions, Join in Mondays).
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the report, please contact Miss Hague, the Head of School.
Child safety on YouTube: Parent factsheet
Posted on 23 November 2017 by Miss Hague
What is the problem?
You may have seen news reports about inappropriate children’s videos on YouTube.
These are videos that, at first, appear to be for children, as they include cartoon characters such as Peppa Pig, or characters from Disney films such as Frozen. However, later on the videos become violent or disturbing. One, for example, shows Peppa Pig being tortured at the dentist.
The videos can appear in YouTube search results when children look for genuine children’s videos.
YouTube says that such videos will be age-restricted if they are reported by users, so they cannot be viewed by anyone under 18.
What safety options are there on YouTube Kids?
The YouTube Kids app automatically filters out inappropriate content. However, YouTube explains that “no algorithm is perfect” and “your child might find content you don’t want him or her to watch”.
To help protect your child in YouTube Kids, you can set parental controls and change settings: tap the ‘Lock’ icon in the bottom corner of any page, enter your custom passcode and click ‘Settings’. Here you can:
Turn the search function off, so your child can only see recommended, curated videos under each category on the home screen: toggle ‘Search’ to off
Set a timer to limit how much time your child spends on the app: select ‘Timer’ and use the slider bar or the plus and minus icons to set a time limit, then tap ‘Start Timer’You can also block videos or channels you don’t want your child to watch:
Tap the 3 dots (‘more’) at the top of the video, tap ‘Block’ and select ‘Block this video’ or ‘Block this channel’ to block the whole channel associated with the video
Tap ‘Block’ again, then enter the numbers you see written on the screen, or your custom passcode. To report content to YouTube that you think is inappropriate, use the ‘flagging function’: tap the flag icon next to a video or comment and select your reason for flagging.The app does have advertising, but YouTube says it restricts adverts that aren’t child-friendly.
What safety options are there on YouTube?
Turn on ‘restricted mode’
This hides videos that may contain inappropriate content. YouTube says that “no filter is 100% accurate, but it should help you avoid most inappropriate content”. To do this:
On the website: click on the icon in the top-right corner that represents your YouTube account; in the drop-down menu look for ‘Restricted Mode’
In the app: tap Settings, then ‘Restricted Mode Filtering’, and turn it on
Flag inappropriate videos
If you think a video or a comment on a video is inappropriate, you can use the ‘flagging feature’ to prompt YouTube staff to check it and decide whether to block or restrict it:
Tap or click the flag icon next to a video or comment and select the reason for flagging
Flagged content is constantly reviewed to check for any violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
How else can I help ensure my child’s safety online?
The tips below will help you to set rules for your child about accessing videos on the internet and their online behaviour, and support them to understand the risks and what to do if something happens.
- Try to have your child in the same room as you when they are using the internet, and discourage them from using headphones
- Chat to your child about what online videos might not be suitable for them to watch and share
- Regularly check the history of videos they have watched online for anything inappropriate, or create a playlist for them
- Encourage your child to tell you if they see something they find worrying or nasty
- If your child wants to share a video they have recorded, check they get permission from anyone who features in it before they upload it
- Tell your child not to give out any personal information or anything that can identify them, such as a school uniform or street name
- Regularly check comments made on your child’s videos. Talk to your child about how they could receive nasty or negative comments from other people, and what they should do if this happens
- If another YouTube user posts a video of your child or shares personal information without consent, you can ask for this content to be removed by using YouTube’s privacy complaint process.
Important message regarding measles
Posted on 21 November 2017 by Mrs Quirk
You may have heard in the news that there has been a number of confirmed cases of measles in Leeds. As you will be aware, measles is extremely infectious and can be a serious illness in some cases. The attached information contains advice on preventing the spread of measles, what the symptoms of measles are and how parents can protect their families by ensuring that their children have had two doses of the MMR vaccine.
If you’re not sure whether your child is up to date with their vaccinations or your child is not up to date, please make an arrangement with your GP practice as soon as possible.
It is never too late to immunise, measles can have serious complications regardless of age.
Our typical week
Posted on 20 November 2017 by Mr Roundtree
At Scholes (Elmet) Primary, we’re always keen to hear your views, and we do act on feedback when we feel we can keep on getting better. Following the annual survey of parents / carers in the Summer Term, for example, we have doubled the length of sessions during the parents’ evenings – this is a direct result of what you told us.
More recently, parents were asked for feedback following our ‘Watch us while we work’ open morning. Those who came spoke with Miss Hague and were asked to fill in feedback forms. Parents said that they were impressed with the teaching and learning they had seen, and suggested that they would benefit from knowing more about the daily life of school so they could have conversations at home about the lessons that have take place on a particular day. We think that’s a great idea. Check out each teacher’s typical timetable for the week.
Please remember that there’s always lots going on in a primary school, so sometimes things change. This week is a themed week all about identity and community, plus there’s a production of Aladdin happening – the timetable will definitely not reflect this particular week!
Who do you think you are? Themed week 20 November
Posted on 19 November 2017 by Miss Hague
Our next whole school themed week, based around identity, diversity and community, will be taking place from Monday 20 November. A variety of events and visitors are planned to help us deliver this key aspect of education.
Events during the week will include looking at our own identity including belonging, self-esteem, diversity of people around us including race, age, religion, disability and gender.
KS1 classes will be learning about and experiencing what it is like to attend ‘Elmete Elderberries’, a wonderful group that takes place weekly in St. Philip’s Church. The plan is to set up replica activities in the hall for the children to partake in. Members of the Elmete Elderberries will join us to help run the activities. KS2 will enjoy interactive ‘Zines’ workshops where they use media, maps and old photographs to create art that expresses the community that they live in. Members of Scholes in Bloom will be educating us all on just how they receive a gold award whilst educating us on their yearly calendar.
During the themed week, children will also be researching local, national and international charities and a new school charity will be chosen at the end of the week.
We’re really looking forward to our themed week!