Our daily message (19 June 2020)

Posted on Friday 19 June 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Our final message of the week is an important one for those of you who still have a child at home…J. Lyons & Co.

Before lockdown, what did ‘Zoom’ mean to you? A classic ice lolly from Lyons Maid? A timeless tune from the ’80s classic by Fat Larry’s Band? Now, of course, it’s synonymous with online video conferencing. (We know other video conferencing products exist, but here, we’ll refer to Zoom, which has taken off massively during lockdown.)

Before the end of the school year, teachers will host some Zoom meetings for children who remain at home.

Some background

The meetings will be with groups of children from the class. They’ll be a one-off chance for children to re-connect with the teacher, classmates and with learning. We think this is important for our friends still at home during lockdown, especially since we now know they won’t be returning until September, all being well.

One or two of you have been asking for teachers to deliver lessons by Zoom since the start of lockdown. We didn’t pursue this for two main reasons: safeguarding and effective teaching. (We have other reservations about Zoom to teach, too, but these are the main ones.)

We’re still not convinced Zoom (or any online video conferencing service) is an effective way to teach large groups of younger children online. It might work well for older children, but the important two-way dialogue that we have in school would be hard to re-create and sustain in a Zoom meeting.

There were some unpleasant stories at the start of lockdown that highlighted safeguarding concerns. However, Zoom has introduced improved security features. We’ve researched how best to secure the Zoom meetings; we’ve consulted colleagues who have begun to use it; and we’ve trialled it amongst ourselves. We’re now confident that Zoom can be used securely.

Next steps

The next steps are simple…

If your child is still learning at home, and you’d like your child to be part of a Zoom call with their teacher and some of their classmates, email your child’s teacher. By now, most of you will already have emailed – the teacher’s address is something like joebloggs@spherefederation.org (first name, last name and then @spherefederation).

When you email, you’ll need to provide the name that will appear in the Zoom call – the teacher won’t allow anyone into the meeting if they’re not expecting them. Ideally, the name would be the child’s first and last name, but it can be your name. (And please make sure the name is appropriate.)

The teacher will decide a date and time for this to happen – it’ll happen before the end of term. They’ll send an invitation with the log-in details back to you. We’re sorry – there can’t be much flexibility about the date and time.

How to prepare

For younger children, your child’s teacher will have a chat and read a story. For older children (Y3-Y6), the teacher will ask a couple of questions which will include questions related to home learning:

  • What home learning have you felt most proud of?
  • What learning have you made most progress with at home?
  • What sort of learning routine are you in?

It would be great if your child has thought about these so they’re able to answer a question like that.

Some more details

  • Meetings will be with groups of children from the class: no more than 10-12 children.
  • The meetings are only for those who are home learning.
  • Teachers will have a list of pupils and appropriate Zoom name in advance to allow people to enter.
  • Two members of staff will be present throughout the Zoom.
  • A parent / carer should be present at home, although you don’t need to be on screen throughout the meeting.
  • Teachers will continue to make occasional phone calls home, too, but you might not get a call during the week teachers do their Zoom.
  • The meeting will last about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the group.
  • Some Zoom features will be disabled: the chat function, the record function, and the ‘re-name’ function will all be disabled.
  • Participants will all be ‘mute’ on entry; teachers will manage the Zoom meeting by ‘unmuting’ children one at a time.
  • Our school rules will still apply (including We respect everyone).
  • Your child can be part of the Zoom but choose not to talk – no pressure!
  • Teachers are aware of actions to take if a child doesn’t follow ground rules, school rules, instructions: this could include disabling video of anyone who is not following rules, for example.

11 June 2020: Home Learning

Posted on Wednesday 10 June 2020 by Mrs Rowley

Good morning, year 3 and 4!


Today, year 3, have a look on this BBC bitesize page to learn all about fractions on a number line.

Year4, here are your answers to yesterday’s maths problem. Today, have a go at this circles problemwatch Mrs Welsby talking about it here.



For your reading task, watch this video of Mrs Welsby all about Mr Botte’s mystical shoemaker’s shop. The answers to yesterday’s learning are also in that video.



Head to Oak National Academy to learn more about Plants. Throughout the lesson, you will be asked to pause the video to complete tasks (just like when we do a video lesson). Don’t forget, you can go back and listen to bits again to help you fill in the answers correctly. Have fun!

9 June 2020: Home Learning

Posted on Monday 08 June 2020 by Mrs Allen-Kelly


ear, air, ure sound revist…


Use the link above to find the video for each of the trigraphs in phase 3. Watch the video and press the arrows to answer the questions.


Tens Frame Number Problems

You will need objects to use for counting, two ten frames (print or you can make/draw one)

Can you solve these number problems?

Indie has 12 pieces of chocolate, she gives 2 pieces to Elizabeth. How many pieces of chocolate does she have left?

Thea has 7 pom poms and Georgia has 6 pom poms. How many pom poms do they have altogether?

Charlie has 4 cars, Grayson has 2 cars and Joshua has 3 cars. How many do they have altogether?

Challenge: Iris has 6 oranges. She gives 2 oranges to Francesca and 2 oranges to Dylan. How many oranges do they each have?


Yesterday, you watched Mrs Palmer pot a plant. Now it’s your turn. Can you think of something to do/make that you will be able to write some instructions for? This could be making a model, making a smoothie, baking a cake, drawing a picture, washing your hands.

Once you have an idea, talk about what you need to do/make your activity?

Have a go at doing/making your activity.

Whilst you are doing your activity think about what happened first, next, after that, finally?

21 May 2020: Home Learning

Posted on Wednesday 20 May 2020 by Miss Beatson

Happy Thursday- I hope you’re all doing OK.

Today’s learning…….

Y5 maths: perimeter

Follow the BBC Bitesize lesson all about calculating perimeter.

Y6 maths

Play the final stage of Guardians of Mathematica – Ancient City of Algebra.

Test out your algebra skills by solving the Alphabet Algebra questions. Remember to start by using letter D.

Reading: fact and retrieval

Follow this online lesson.

Science: adaptation

Your learning today is science based and is all about adaptation. Complete this BBC Bitesize lesson.

19 May 2020: Home learning

Posted on Monday 18 May 2020 by Mrs Rowley

Happy Tuesday!


Y3 – continuing on with our problem solving, here is the video for today – it has the answers to yesterday’s problem (and how I worked it out) and today’s new problem. Here is the problem if you wish to print it.

Y4 – Yesterday’s answers.

Today’s learning – Position and direction 1 video and worksheet.


Something a little bit different ….

Read through this interview with Ben Schwarz and find out about the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.  Then, answer the questions on the next page.


Answers to the last lesson’s continents and oceans. Today, we are learning about the hemispheres. Video learning and worksheet.


If you want to listen to chapter 2 and 3 of the story The chicken gave it to me by Anne Fine, click here. (If you missed chapter 1, you will find it on yesterday’s post)

11 May 2020: Home Learning

Posted on Sunday 10 May 2020 by Miss Beatson

Good morning- I hope you all had a good time celebrating VE day with your family.

Today’s learning…..

Year 5 Maths- arithmetic paper

The answers are at the end of the test.

Year 6 Maths

You may recall that this week was supposed to be our SATs week. Don’t worry you can recreate that magical feeling from the comfort of your own home. Sharpen your pencil, set your timer to 30 minutes and take the 2019 arithmetic paper. Scroll through the questions and use your exercise book to write down your answers and working out. You don’t have to wait weeks to find out how well you did; the answers will be revealed tomorrow.


For your learning today, complete this BBC Bitesize lesson.

Living and Learning

This week’s living and learning statement is ‘I recognise the importance of money’.

The £5 dinner challenge!

This guide may help you design your £5 family meal and check it’s healthy and filling- not just good value! Eat well guide NHS



Parent / carer survey

Posted on Friday 01 May 2020 by Mrs Quirk

At St James’, we’re always keen to hear your views. We hope that you let us know of any questions, comments and concerns (as well as causes for celebration!) whenever these crop up, but we like to gather your views in our annual survey, too.

We know that in the current situation, it might feel a bit strange to be asking you questions about learning when it’s you who’s currently teaching your child. You might also feel you’ve no time to respond. Because of this, we’ve tried to keep the survey short and simple this year:

  • we’ve used only some of the questions that Ofsted asks
  • all you need to do is click on the relevant response for each question
  • there’s just one space for comments at the very end, only if you’d like to add anything or explain one of your answers

Please complete the survey

The survey should only take about five minutes, and you’ve plenty of time – the deadline is Friday 29 May 2020.

Although we can’t guarantee to meet the needs and wants of every parent / carer, we do assure you that if specific areas for improvement are highlighted by the responses from this survey, we aim to act on these.

We’re looking forward to receiving your responses.

20th April 2020: Home Learning

Posted on Monday 20 April 2020 by Miss Beatson

Hello- I hope you’re all well. I’m really missing seeing you all and learning with you. Easter holidays have been very different but I hope you all managed to have some fun and enjoyed lots of chocolate! I have been running nearly every day (even though my half marathon has been cancelled) and I’ve been into Scholes Primary School to help look after some of the children who still need to go into school.

Home learning is starting again this week-each day at 9am. If you have any questions or would like to send me any pictures of your learning then email me at nataliebeatson@spherefederation.org

Today’s learning….

Today’s maths: adding fractions.

Remember that to add fractions you have to make the denominator the same. Think common multiples!

Year 5 learning

Year 6 learning

Year 5 and 6 maths challenge


Writing: homophones

Choose the correct homophone to put in each sentence.

draught/ draft

I am going to ______ a letter of apology.

Since Billy didn’t shut the door properly, his mum could feel a small ______.

wary/ weary

Finally, he looked down at his lap and let out a long ____ sigh.

The sailors watched the horizon anxiously, _____ of the approaching storm.

Can you speed write these words? How many times can you write each word in 1 minute?

Silly sentences

Write your own silly sentence for each of the homophones above.


This half term we would normally be starting a geography topic.

This week, we will recap on some of the knowledge we learnt in the last geography topic.

Today, can you name the rivers in the UK?

Complete this sheet and see if you can locate the rivers in the UK.


02 April 2020: Home learning

Posted on Thursday 02 April 2020 by Mrs Rowley

Happy Thursday!

Remember to keep sending us pictures of your learning and any other activities you’re doing at home.

Send it to both teachers so we can both have a look.



Here are the answers to yesterday’s learning for year 3 and year 4.


Year 3 – find your addition and subtracting packs. Complete the “subtracting 2 digit numbers from 3 digit numbers – no exchanging” page. Remember to be careful where you place your numbers. Keep the ones under the ones column and tens under the tens column.

Year 4 – find your addition and subtraction packs. Complete the “Using inverse operations to check addition and subtraction calculations” page. Pretend you are Mrs Rowley or Mrs Welsby and mark the maths learning. Are the answers right or wrong? Can you find where they have gone wrong if the answer is wrong?


Find out all about the ‘Wooden Allfather‘ in today’s reading activity.


After Jesus was arrested, he was taken to be tried.  Peter was the leader of the disciples — the most confident, and perhaps the one you might
expect to stick with Jesus at his arrest. But after Jesus’ arrest, Peter denied Jesus three times – just like Jesus predicted.

33 Peter said, “All the other followers may lose their faith because of you. But I will never lose my faith.” 34 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. Tonight you will say you don’t know me. You will say this three times before the rooster crows.” 35 But Peter said, “I will never say that I don’t know you! I will even die with you!” And all the other followers said the same thing. Matthew 26: 33-35.

Have a look at this video of Peter denying Jesus.

Tell an imaginary story about yourself. Use your dramatic side! Your best friend has just ignored you in the supermarket, as if they didn’t know you. Next, someone came up to them and said, ‘You are friends with him/her, aren’t you?’ and they looked at you and said, ‘I’ve no idea who they are!’ and walked off. Explain how you felt. How would the pupils feel? You could write this as a story or you could draw a comic strip and speech bubbles – the choice is yours!

30 March 2020: Home learning

Posted on Monday 30 March 2020 by Miss Beatson

Hello- I hope you’ve all had a good weekend and you’re all ready for week 2 of home learning! I’ve started to learn a bit of Spanish using the Duolingo app, just for ten minutes a day- you should give it a go!

Year 5 and 6 maths task

Your learning today is factors.

  • factor is a number that divides into another number exactly and without leaving a remainder.

  • Most numbers have an even number of factors; however, a square number has an odd number of factors.

  • prime number has only two factors – the number itself and 1.List the factors for the following numbers:18, 14, 16, 30, 25, 42, 48, 60

Are these statements true or false?

6 is a factor of 24                                   12 and 7 are factors of 72

3 is a factor of 27                                   1, 3 and 8 are factors of 48

8 is a factor of 54                                  2, 6 and 8 are factors of 42

Challenge:   ‘sweets in a box’ problem

Reading task: inference

Look at this picture and answer the inference questions.

History/writing task

Watch the videos and create a fact sheet about the Vikings and how they lived.  It would be great if you could take a photo and email it to me on nataliebeatson@spherefederation.org