News

Latest news from around the school

Is your child joining St James' in September?

Posted on 20 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Last week, families across England were offered a school place.

If your child has a place at St James’ CE Primary, we’re delighted to welcome you! St James’ is a happy and healthy place to achieve and believe. We’re excited to continue that journey with you and your child.

It would really help us if you can contact school by email to confirm whether or not you want to take up the offer. Our email is: [email protected]

In your email, if you’re accepting a place, it will help us to prepare the transition process if you tell us the following, if applicable:

  1. The name and contact details of your child’s current Early Years provider
  2. The name of your child’s key worker
  3. The hours that your child attends their current provider eg 30 hours
  4. The days of the week that your child attends their current provider

Because of the current school closures due to coronavirus, things are a bit different this year. We’ll be in touch with you in a few weeks to let you know more about how we’ll support you and your child in making the transition to our school.

Our Christian value this half-term is...

Posted on 20 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

peace.

Peace is about positive harmony and healthy relationships between people. It involves spiritual as well as material security. Peace is a state of true wholeness, a state of wellbeing. This value promotes harmony, stability and security within the school and local community.

The Church Council chose peace as a Christian value because ‘when Jesus was sent down there was peace’ (Y2 Church Council member).

Home challenge:

The dove carrying an olive branch is a symbol of peace in Christianity. Research why this is a symbol of peace. Is Christianity the only religion to have a symbol of peace?

‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.’

(John 14:27)

Home learning and other support (17 April 2020)

Posted on 17 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

We hope you’re doing ok.

The last couple of weeks should’ve been the school Easter holidays – they still were technically, but we know they didn’t quite feel the same. We hope you managed to find some ways to relax a bit. That might have included the Easter activities we presented:

  • Did your child create some nature-inspired art, in the style of Andy Goldsworthy?
  • If you did it, how did the treasure hunt go?
  • Were you ‘board’ silly with the new board game your child created?
  • Perhaps you even combined two activities: how was the Come Dine With Me experience in the den your child built?

On Monday, the daily home learning tasks get going again. It’ll be tough for everyone getting back into that routine, but do try – it might help to agree again the expectations around a daily timetable, and we’d suggest you even agree how your child approaches the learning (this could include an agreed amount of time to talk, and an agreed amount of time to work in silence – this might help you get on with other things).

This article sets out five top tips:

Routines and boundaries are really important.

‘Children will need them as the structure of their lives has suddenly been altered. This holds for everyone in the household. Far easier said than done, but critical over the long haul. Establishing start times, breaks and end times will help everyone, and many families will need support to plan for that.’

It’s OK not to be OK.

‘It’s crucial that there are rules and boundaries in place, but parents must know that it’s better to bend them than allow them to break. They are in charge, and it’s [difficult]… Some days will be great – others a complete flop. Fine.’

Parents need to know why and how work has been set. 

If you’re wondering about a home learning task that’s been set, please make sure you get in touch with your child’s class teacher – they’ll remind you of their email addresses in their website homework pages.

Technology can help and hinder both students and parents.

‘For young people, screen time is social gold dust… gentle monitoring… is likely to work better than an outright ban.’

Teaching is stressful.

‘The importance of self-care and wellbeing for parent-teachers can’t be overstated, especially with no colleagues to sound off to after a bad day. Having a point of contact with the school or a peer network can make all the difference between surviving and thriving.’ …so again, if you need to email your child’s teacher, please do.

 

And on a separate subject…

Free school meals – are you eligible?

In these challenging times, more of you might now be eligible so that your child can get free school meals (FSM). This could well be the case if your circumstances have changed as a result of work or income being affected.

If you’re waiting for a decision of Universal Credit (UC), you can still submit an application (even though the decision won’t be reached until your Universal Credit is confirmed). If you’re successful with your FSM application, then your child will keep their entitlement until the end of the Universal Credit roll out (which is currently set for 2023) and then until the end of their primary phase. Therefore, it’s worth submitting an application now, even if you’re likely to return to work in the near future!

Read more about the FSM eligibility criteria and how to claim.

Are you eligible to claim for free school meals?

Posted on 17 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

In these challenging times, more of you might now be eligible to claim for free school meals (FSM). This could well be the case if your circumstances have changed as a result of work or income being affected.

If you’re waiting for a decision of Universal Credit (UC), you can still submit an application (even though the decision won’t be reached until your Universal Credit is confirmed). If you’re successful with your FSM application, then your child will keep their entitlement until the end of the Universal Credit roll out (which is currently set for 2023) and then until the end of their primary phase. Therefore, it’s worth submitting an application now, even if you’re likely to return to work in the near future!

Read more about the FSM eligibility criteria and how to claim.

Five Star Sports LIVE sessions

Posted on 17 April 2020 by Mrs Latham

Five Star Sports regularly come into school to deliver fabulous sporty sessions. They are running some LIVE sessions on Facebook for you to join in with. There is a Monday session for younger children and Saturday morning football sessions. Join in and keep active with them.

Starting Reception in September?

Posted on 17 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Yesterday was the day when families across England were offered a school place.

If your child has a place at St James’ CE Primary, we’re delighted to welcome you! St James’ is a happy and healthy place to achieve and believe. We’re excited to continue that journey with you and your child.

It would really help us if you can contact school by email to confirm whether or not you want to take up the offer. Our email is: [email protected]

In your email, if you’re accepting a place, it will help us to prepare the transition process if you tell us the following, if applicable:

  1. The name and contact details of your child’s current Early Years provider
  2. The name of your child’s key worker
  3. The hours that your child attends their current provider eg 30 hours
  4. The days of the week that your child attends their current provider

Because of the current school closures due to coronavirus, things are a bit different this year. We’ll be in touch with you in a few weeks to let you know more about how we’ll support you and your child in making the transition to our school.

The following text is taken directly from an email to schools from Leeds City Council’s Admissions Team:

Families do not need to take any action on offer day, as they have until 30 April to submit waiting list requests and 15 May to submit appeal requests. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), appeal hearings are on hold until we receive further guidance from the Department for Education.

If families are not happy with the school they have been offered they can ask to be added to the waiting list for any Leeds school (including schools they haven’t previously asked for) and can appeal against the refusal of a place at a preferenced school. Waiting list forms and appeal forms are available at www.leeds.gov.uk/offerdayprimary

The email goes on to make three points to any family considering refusing their offer:

  • If you turn down a place, it will be allocated to another child and there is no guarantee a place will become available at a closer school to home – you could be left without a Reception place in September.
  • Accepting an offer doesn’t impact on the chances of being offered a place from the waiting list or increase the chances of success at an appeal hearing.
  • Any family who refuses an offer must confirm this in writing to [email protected] – you’ll be asked to confirm where you’ll be educating your child in September.

Has your child been offered a place at our school?

Posted on 16 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Today is the day when families across England are offered a school place.

If your child has a place at St James’ CE Primary, we’re delighted to welcome you! St James’ is a happy and healthy place to achieve and believe. We’re excited to continue that journey with you and your child.

It would really help us if you can contact school by email to confirm whether or not you want to take up the offer. Our email is: [email protected]

In your email, if you’re accepting a place, it will help us to prepare the transition process if you tell us the following, if applicable:

  1. The name and contact details of your child’s current Early Years provider
  2. The name of your child’s key worker
  3. The hours that your child attends their current provider eg 30 hours
  4. The days of the week that your child attends their current provider

Because of the current school closures due to coronavirus, things are a bit different this year. We’ll be in touch with you in a few weeks to let you know more about how we’ll support you and your child in making the transition to our school.

The following text is taken directly from an email to schools from Leeds City Council’s Admissions Team:

Families do not need to take any action on offer day, as they have until 30 April to submit waiting list requests and 15 May to submit appeal requests. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), appeal hearings are on hold until we receive further guidance from the Department for Education.

If families are not happy with the school they have been offered they can ask to be added to the waiting list for any Leeds school (including schools they haven’t previously asked for) and can appeal against the refusal of a place at a preferenced school. Waiting list forms and appeal forms are available at www.leeds.gov.uk/offerdayprimary

The email goes on to make three points to any family considering refusing their offer:

  • If you turn down a place, it will be allocated to another child and there is no guarantee a place will become available at a closer school to home – you could be left without a Reception place in September.
  • Accepting an offer doesn’t impact on the chances of being offered a place from the waiting list or increase the chances of success at an appeal hearing.
  • Any family who refuses an offer must confirm this in writing to [email protected] – you’ll be asked to confirm where you’ll be educating your child in September.

Yaaaaaay! Well done!

Posted on 03 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

A big well done to the mums, dads, carers of St James’ CE Primary children – you’ve done two weeks of home learning now!

Has it been easier this week? Or harder in some way? Maybe a bit of both?

Just like around this time last week, our message to you is the same: you should feel pleased with yourselves. We know this whole situation is tough, and unsettling, and frustrating, and monotonous, and… but you and your family have got through it.

It’s time for a break. It’s the Easter ‘holidays’. Nobody’s going anywhere or doing anything exciting, but we wish you all the very best all the same.

Home learning (03 April 2020)

Posted on 03 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Yesterday’s post featured advice to support your child to stay safe online, and a second round of our Red Herring game. Today, we talk about home learning over the Easter period, and provide the answers to Red Herring.

Here’s a reminder of what’s happening for the next fortnight…

Today’s the last day of the Spring term so it’s the last day of the daily home learning tasks for now. We’ll still help you to support your child at home, but things will be a bit different:

  • We’ll present a list of eight activities for your child (Years 1-6) – these will be published on the Homework pages at 9am on Monday 06 April.
  • The list will be the same across year groups, meaning if you’ve more than one child, they might work on it together in some way.
  • Some of the tasks can take a bit longer, like a mini-project.
  • You can encourage your child to do some or all of the activities – they’re all optional.
  • During this time, you can still email your child’s class teacher, although they may not respond as quickly as they have been doing.

Teachers will return to daily home learning tasks on Monday 20 April.

For children of key workers, and for children deemed vulnerable in some way, Scholes (Elmet) Primary and Moortown Primary remain open through the holiday, including on the bank holidays. (Thank you to all teachers who have agreed to work these days.)

If your child isn’t keen on one or two of the suggestions, or you want to supplement the activities with more, we’ve two great new resources that you can check out…

Get learning Maths on the move! These active learning resources which will help your child keep active while learning at home. There are ten activities for each phase: Y1,2 and Y3,4 and Y5,6.

Food – a Fact for Life (FFL) has lots of resources for teaching your child about where food comes from, cooking and healthy eating. There’s a lot to look at here, separated into different age ranges and different types of learning: healthy eating, cooking, where food comes from and food commodities. Each age range has loads of worksheets that you can download, too – we’d recommend talking through this with your child to come up with a sequence of learning activities. Check out FFL’s recipes, too!

We’ve added both of these to our home learning menu.

And now, the answers to Red Herring…

We asked you to identify the red herring statement about the admin team from Sphere Federation…

Mrs O’Malley, Sphere Resources Manager based at Moortown:

  • I met my husband whilst learning to drive a tank. This is the red herring: Mrs O’Malley met her husband learning to sail.
  • I have three British military qualifications: artillery survey,  combat appreciation, and radio communications.
  • As well as a yellow belt in kickboxing I also have a red belt in Ju Jitsu.

Miss Pallister, Admin Assistant at Scholes (Elmet):

  • My first ever full-time job after leaving school was working for Education Leeds, in the finance department at Merrion House.
  • Before moving to Scholes, I lived in Spain for five years.
  • When I was younger I won various horse riding competitions. This is the red herring: Miss Pallister did own her own her own horse, though.

Mrs Quirk, Sphere Resources Manager based at Scholes (Elmet):

  • Knitting is one of my hobbies – I love to make presents for friends and family. This is the red herring: Mrs Quirk did once make part of a knitted hoodie when her son was born, but her mum had to finish it off for her.
  • In my teens, I was part of a group of people who raised money to buy medical supplies for a hospital in Malawi; I spent a summer over there when we took over all the supplies.
  • One of my favourite jobs was as a Wedding Co-ordinator at a country house hotel – I loved planning and organising people’s special days!

Mrs Russell, Admin Assistant at Moortown:

  • When I was younger, I fell off a horse and it trod on my leg – it didn’t put me off horse riding though! This is the red herring: it actually trod on Mrs Russell’s face, leaving a hoof print on her cheek for quite a while afterwards – ouch!
  • I used to help mend shopping trollies.
  • My favourite type of food is fish – anything apart from squid.

Mrs Walshaw, Admin Assistant at St James’:

  • I can count to 10 in Japanese. This is the red herring: however, Mrs Walshaw can count to ten in Korean.
  • When I was younger, my family owned two Shetland ponies but I never rode them.
  • In my previous job as an air stewardess, I was part of a crew who took Manchester United football team to one of their European Cup games (now known as the UEFA Champions League).

Home learning (02 April 2020)

Posted on 02 April 2020 by Mr Roundtree

Today’s post centres around staying safe online, and – back by popular demand(!) – the return of Red Herring.

Making sure your child is safe online should be a top priority.

During these times, your child may well be online more often than they normally would. We’ve suggested you might decide that your child shouldn’t be on social networking sites during the school hours, but the Easter holidays are coming up so you may choose to relax any rules you’ve set. But how much screen time should children have? These activities designed for use with 7-11 year olds (but easily adapted to other ages) will help your child recognise the signs they may experience when they’ve been online too long and the importance of balancing online and offline activities.

Thinkuknow can help you make sure your child stays safe online. They’ve produced a short guide for parents of primary and secondary children.

How much do you know about Houseparty?

An app growing in popularity is Houseparty – downloads have increased by 122% in the last month during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a group video messaging app that allows users to live-chat with up to eight people where they can play games and chat with friends and family in a ‘room’.

Different organisations set an age limit for Houseparty, all higher than primary school age. (Apple rate Houseparty as 12+ and Google Play urge ‘parental guidance’, but Common Sense Media and others recommend users be at least 15 to use the platform. Houseparty’s privacy policy requires users to be at least 13 years old.)

Read more about Houseparty so you can support your child to stay safe online.

What’s the government advice about staying safe online?

Government guidance now includes reference to keeping your child safe online:

There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:

Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
Net-aware (support for parents and carers from the NSPCC)

The guidance also talks about concerns about too much pressure on broadband connections:

The government is having regular calls with the major fixed and mobile operators, and with Ofcom, to monitor the situation and ensure that any problems on the networks are rapidly addressed and rectified.

Now, the return of Red Herring…

On Monday, we set you a challenge of working out which fact is the red herring amongst each of the Heads of School (and me). Today, we present five more people – our office-based staff – and with a bit of an equestrian theme. Just work out which statement for each person is a fib, a big fat lie. (Yes, we know it’s hard because you don’t know the people working in the other schools!)

Mrs O’Malley, Sphere Resources Manager based at Moortown:

  • I met my husband whilst learning to drive a tank.
  • I have three British military qualifications: artillery survey,  combat appreciation, and radio communications.
  • As well as a yellow belt in kickboxing I also have a red belt in Ju Jitsu.

Miss Pallister, Admin Assistant at Scholes (Elmet):

  • My first ever full-time job after leaving school was working for Education Leeds, in the finance department at Merrion House.
  • Before moving to Scholes, I lived in Spain for five years.
  • When I was younger I won various horse riding competitions.

Mrs Quirk, Sphere Resources Manager based at Scholes (Elmet):

  • Knitting is one of my hobbies – I love to make presents for friends and family.
  • In my teens, I was part of a group of people who raised money to buy medical supplies for a hospital in Malawi; I spent a summer over there when we took over all the supplies.
  • One of my favourite jobs was as a Wedding Co-ordinator at a country house hotel – I loved planning and organising people’s special days!

Mrs Russell, Admin Assistant at Moortown:

  • When I was younger, I fell off a horse and it trod on my leg – it didn’t put me off horse riding though!
  • I used to help mend shopping trollies.
  • My favourite type of food is fish – anything apart from squid.

Mrs Walshaw, Admin Assistant at St James’:

  • I can count to 10 in Japanese.
  • When I was younger, my family owned two Shetland ponies but I never rode them.
  • In my previous job as an air stewardess, I was part of a crew who took Manchester United football team to one of their European Cup games (now known as the UEFA Champions League).