Latest news from around the school

Terrific teaching

Posted on 03 December 2018 by Mr Roundtree

We’re an outward-looking school: we work closely with the local authority and with other schools, including as part of Noctua Teaching School.

As a school which has been previously judged to ‘require improvement‘, the local authority offered us a full teaching and learning review, carried out by two advisors, one of whom is a trained Ofsted inspector. We’re always keen to hear from others so we can keep improving, and were therefore happy to take up the offer.

Here are some extracts from the report:

  • ‘Evidence from the review paints a positive picture of a much improved and still improving school. The Executive Headteacher has worked closely together with the Head of School to drive developments across the school. A recurring theme throughout the day was the commentary from staff, children and Chair of Governors alike: “This school is unrecognisable from what it was two years ago.”‘
  • ‘…leaders at all levels are determined that the pupils of Scholes will all achieve well. Strong ambition and collegiality now permeates what is a collegiate, reflective and professional staff team who are ambitious for themselves and the school.’
  • ‘Governance has been transformed from the time of the last inspection.’
  • ‘Lesson observations supported by book-looks and data analysis evidence the impact of improved teaching over time.’
  • ‘…pupils are clear about their learning’
  • The team were impressed by the consistent approaches to planning and pedagogy that ensures pupils receive an equitable diet in terms of challenge and learning.’ [This point was made in reference to teaching and learning across Y1,2  Y3,4 / Y5,6 mixed age classes.]
  • ‘Neat presentation in books accompanied by high productivity supports the improvements in pupil achievement and progress over time.’
  • ‘Teaching assistants play an effective role in supporting pupil learning in classrooms and are now a strength of the school.’
  • ‘The Early Year Leader leads this area of the school with passion and skill. She has a deep understanding of children’s development and current research… In the view of the team, the provision in Nursery is outstanding. In Reception, the teaching of phonics was precise and accurate.’

A core area they suggest we explore over time is boys’ writing – it’s not low compared to how boys perform nationally (79% reached the expected level in 2018 at Scholes, higher than the national figure of 72%; at the higher level, 16% compared to 15% nationally), but there is a gap with the very high figures for girls (at Scholes in 2018, 95% reach the expected level and 45% reached the higher level).

Well done to all the staff and pupils; thank you to parents and carers for continued support.

30 Active Minutes - Wake Up, Shake Up (WUSU)

Posted on 01 December 2018 by Mrs Latham

We’re committed to playing our part in ensuring children have at least 30 active minutes at school. The government has directed schools in Childhood Obesity : A Plan for Action to ensure :

Every primary school child should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day. At least 30 minutes should be delivered in school every day through active break times, PE, extra-curricular clubs, active lessons, or other sport and physical activity events, with the remaining 30 minutes supported by parents and carers outside of school time.

The whole school meets outside at 10am every day for Wake Up Shake Up (WUSU). On Fridays, each class will have a chance to lead WUSU and will be able to choose the two songs that we do. 5,6M went first, dancing their socks off to 5-6-7-8 by Steps and Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake.

We’ll also be launching the 30:30 Wristband Challenge in the new year to encourage children to complete the 30 active minutes out of school, too.

3 2 1 Dodgeball!

Posted on 30 November 2018 by Mrs Latham

We entered a Year 5 team into the East Leeds dodgeball competition this week and they were fantastic! Mr Gledhill accompanied the children and was amazed by how brilliantly they performed, particularly commenting on their teamwork, resilience and determination. It was tough getting photos that weren’t blurred as they were moving around so fast! They came second in their group. Well done!


Scholes in Bloom - Silver Gilt award

Posted on 25 November 2018 by Mrs Latham

The school was happy to support Scholes in Bloom this year and contributed to the achievement of a Silver Gilt award in the Britain in Bloom judging. The marks are divided into 3 sections :

  • Horticultural achievement- silver gilt
  • Environmental responsibility – silver gilt
  • Community participation – gold

In the written feedback, the judges said,

Excellent work with the school with the design a bed competition.
The use of recycled material on the school fence is a good educational example of engaging young people with recycling.

Thank you to all the children and families who support Scholes in Bloom and who came to the judging day in August.

Homework review - thanks for attending

Posted on 25 November 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Thanks to all of you who came along to the Homework Review session last Thursday 22 November. Feedback was really positive:

  • ‘I think this was the most useful opportunity for parents to come into school… it will really help with homework problems at home and puts homework into context.’
  • ‘I liked seeing all the children’s ideas for their homework.’
  • ‘It was a very nice and welcoming session.’
  • “It was good to see children learn from each other.’
  • ‘A lovely, meaningful session.’

In the 2018 annual survey of parents and carers, the vast majority supported our Homework Policy, although a small number had some concerns that it was not marked. Our Feedback Policy states:

Research shows that feedback which is as immediate as possible is recognised to be the most effective way to impact on children’s progress / attitudes. As a result, circulating to give verbal feedback on a one-to-one or small group level, and use of the visualiser on a whole-class level, will be used. Equally, we encourage parents / carers to provide similar feedback at home (including comments in the child’s Homework Books).

Peer assessment is a particularly appropriate way to provide feedback as it is a chance to share and celebrate learning.

We recognise the expectation from parents of at least a tick. However, staff should prioritise verbal feedback and peer reviews because of the above evidence. As a result, homework activities may not always be marked, but they will all have been reviewed and effort will be celebrated in some way.

Parents / carers who came to the Homework Review session will, we hope, have been reassured. Many of the comments afterwards suggest they were:

  • ‘The comments by children when they were discussing their homework went well… they really knew what was good and this meant they could get more ideas from others for next time’
  • ‘It was a good opportunity to see how feedback is given and gain insight into my daughter’s learning.’

One parent commented the homework and review process would be better if there was somewhere for parents / carers to add their own comment eg on any difficulties their child encountered. As you can see from the extract from our Feedback Policy, above, we encourage parents / carers to provide feedback – we’ll do more to remind you of that… just adding a short note at the end of the page, regardless of what type of homework (Creative, Talk Time or Practice Makes Perfect), is really helpful. Thanks for that helpful prompt.

These open sessions in school are an important way to gain understanding and awareness of expectations so you can support your child at home and track their progress alongside school. Please do keep making every effort to attend – coming up are:

  • ‘Watch us while we work’ – a chance to see some English and Maths teaching on Wednesday 27 February at 9am
  • ‘Topic review’- a chance to look at Topic Books and join in the review of topics on Monday 25 March at 2pm

Reading workshop - thanks for attending

Posted on 22 November 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Thanks to the Y5,6 parents and carers who came along to our Reading Workshop this week – it is great to know your child is being supported at home in this core life skill.

David Owen, the Sphere Federation English Leader, led the presentation which was also attended by Y5,6 teachers. Read his PowerPoint.

The feedback was really positive:

  • ‘We were really pleased we came along. It was a very informative workshop. The slides were great and explained well… All our questions were answered and we were given some great ideas…’
  • ‘It was useful to go through the SAT texts… I did not realise how much they needed to read.’
  • ‘The workshop was very informative. It set the expectations and explained how we (parents) can help.’

In the annual survey of parents and carers, respondents told us we could do more to provide you with information about your child and their learning. These workshops are an important way to gain understanding and awareness of expectations so you can support your child at home and track their progress alongside school. Please do keep making every effort to attend – thanks again to those who did come along.

Sports Hall Athletics Competition

Posted on 20 November 2018 by Mrs Latham

Some key stage 2 children represented our school at the area heat for Sports Hall Athletics on Monday. They used their Living and Learning skills and showed resilience and resourcefulness throughout the competition. We are proud to say they came 3rd. Well done!

"It's awesome!" - multi-use activity wall

Posted on 19 November 2018 by Mrs Latham

I love it. It’s so good having it on the playground.

Year 6 were pleased to be the first on the rota to use the new equipment. It certainly made playtime and lunchtime extremely active!

Does your child have an app called TikTok?

Posted on 19 November 2018 by Mr Roundtree has a new name – TikTok. This social network app has often given adults cause for concern because of the way that children use it to generate and share their own short videos and lip sync to popular audio clips. The app has a new name and new features, and now includes live streaming. Although the app has an age-limit of 13 years old, in practice there will be younger children using it, and the content may not be suitable. The UK Safer Internet Centre reports:

Because the app allows users to create videos using current and popular music, some of the songs contain explicit swearing, sexual content and references that may be inappropriate for younger users.

As users create their own content some videos posted in the app can contain inappropriate clothing or gestures. According to reviews on Common Sense Media, some parents have also reported seeing videos containing sexually suggestive or even explicit material.

Users also have the ability to interact and chat to other users of the app through the comment section under videos and the private messaging function. Private messages can only be sent between users who follow each other or are ‘friends’ and the messaging function can also be turned off entirely.

Profiles on TikTok are automatically set to public, so that any content you post can be seen by anyone within the app.  There is also a Restricted Mode which can help to filter out inappropriate content and prevent  the user from being able to start their own live streams.

Homework review

Posted on 18 November 2018 by Miss Hague

Don’t forget on Thursday 22 November we are inviting you to come and watch our homework review.

Homework reviews happen every week, and they’re an opportunity for teachers and fellow pupils to share and celebrate (and offer constructive feedback) homework. This is your chance to watch how we review creative homework – a session where you visit your child’s own class.

No need to book in advance – just turn up for a 2.50pm start.