Latest news from around the school

In case of snow...

Posted on 26 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

It’s been many years since St James’ CE Primary needed to close due to extreme snow – and we don’t intend to close this week, either, despite the weather warnings for parts of the UK which you’ll have heard.

If snow is bad, we have to make decisions based on various factors, including how safe it is for our staff to travel to school. (Whilst most of our pupils walk to school, most of our teachers live quite a distance away and need to drive to school.)

We will communicate if school is closed by text, email, Twitter and a news post on the website (which then uploads to Facebook, too).

We won’t take this decision lightly. However, if we do, we’ll aim to make the decision by 08.15 am at the latest. Until that point, please assume school will be open.

Child safety on YouTube

Posted on 25 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

What’s 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.

Here, we explain how you can protect your child when they are using YouTube apps or the website. (The content comes from a parents’ factsheet produced by the Safeguarding Training Centre from a school subscription service we use – The Key.)

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 three 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.

Where else can I go for support?

Policies, safety and reporting, YouTube

Privacy complaint process, YouTube

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has a range of resources for parents on internet safety.

Our current Christian value: perseverance

Posted on 21 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

At St James’ CE Primary School, we learn about Christian values that help us to become well-rounded citizens in society. These values have been chosen by our Church Council, a group of pupils who advise us on aspects of our provision. The values are woven into our everyday school life. Each half term, we have a new Christian value that will be embedded into our collective worship and our reflection areas.

This half term, our Christian Value is perseverance.

‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ (Galatians 6:9)

The Church Council chose this because ‘Jesus always said to try our best’ (Y4 Church Council member).

Endurance is needed when standing firm in the face of any difficulty. It is the special gift that we have when life is difficult or painful that helps us not to give up. Difficulties might include hardship, persecution or scorn, although we hope these difficulties do not arise in our school. We use it more in the context of ‘keeping going’ and ‘not giving up’.

Help at home! Talk about perseverance together…

  • How can we show perseverance in school?
  • How can we show perseverance in home, or in other situations?
  • Who do you know that shows lots of perseverance?
  • What does perseverance look like to you?
  • Tell me about a time when you showed perseverance.

Happy and healthy learning at home

Posted on 20 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Thank you to everyone who attended parent-teacher meetings recently. It’s great to see that almost all parents / carers took the time to hear how their child is progressing and to find out more about how to support their child at home.

Talking of support at home, the Learn More section of our website has lots of different top tips. Go to Help Your Child.

Of course, there are loads of games and activities online, too. Perhaps there’s too much – going on-line can be overwhelming. Here are two sites we suggest – useful for children of any age.

We really like IXL. Here, you’ll find pages for every year group, with activities to practise English and Maths skills. There are usually well over 100 pages for each subject. This could be overwhelming, but each subject is then broken down into helpful sub-categories. (For example, in Year 6 Maths, these are sections on Numbers and Comparing, Place Value, Addition, Understanding Fractions etc.)

This site is especially good to explain – and avoid – a common mistake in writing: ‘run-on’ sentences, which we call ’squashed’ sentences in school. These are two (or more) sentences that are squashed together. For example:

In half-term, I went to the cinema I saw Early Man it was great!

In this example, there are actually three ‘chunks’ (clauses) that all make sense and need to be split up (using a full stop or a dash or a semi-colon):

In half-term, I went to the cinema. I saw Early Man – it was great!

The sentences could also be joined with a conjunction:

In the half-term, I went to the cinema and I saw Early Man – it was great!

On IXL, there’s at least one activity to practise this in Y3-Y6 – start with the Year 3 one, even if your child is older.

The BBC Bitesize website has recently been updated – it’s probably best you avoid the old archived one, so use this link. The site contains pages on most National Curriculum subjects and it’s definitely worth checking it out.

Speak with us about other ways to support your child at home.

Change4Life healthier snacking

Posted on 16 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Have you see the recent Change4Life campaign encouraging children to have no more than two packaged snacks per day to reduce their sugar intake?  Remember fruit and veg are always the best snack and count towards your child’s 5 A Day.

The campaign is launched as Public Health England reveals half the sugar children consume comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks. Children in England are eating nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar.  Too much sugar can lead to harmful fat building up inside and serious health problems, and also painful tooth decay.

Living and Learning this half term

Posted on 16 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Living and Learning sessions are held weekly in class to promote social and emotional aspects of learning and other areas of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). This half term our main theme, from our long-term plan, is Being me and is all around building self-image and self-esteem  
We begin the half term with a focus on manners and in particular covering our mouth when we cough, sneeze or yawn. To promote good hygiene we refer to the vampire technique. By coughing or sneezing into our elbow, germs are not spread into the air or on our hands which may contaminate other things. Don’t forget to ‘use your sleeve to cough and sneeze’.
Here are the weekly Living and Learning statements, to support this learning.
  • I cover my mouth (when I yawn, cough, sneeze).  Get your child to demonstrate the ‘vampire’ method to family members at home.
  • I can say something good about myself.  It’s important that your child can confidently talk about themselves in a positive way.
  • I pay compliments in a sensible way.  Try paying compliments each day to each other!
  • I receive compliments in a sensible way.  Some children struggle to hear positive words about themselves, but this is important for self-esteem. Try paying (and listening) to praise and compliments.
  • I know the difference between being proud and showing off.  We encourage compliments to be paid – but encourage your children to know the balance between being having self-esteem and showing off.
  • I recognise my talents.  Talk to your child about talents, whether academic, physical, social or emotional.

Splats Workshop

Posted on 08 February 2018 by Miss Beatson

Yesterday, Years 1-6 had a great day learning about e-safety in a fun and creative way. The children took part in a Splats workshop to practise a scene from a play called ‘Aliens -v- Robots’ and then all the children joined together at the end of the day to perform it.

  • ‘Don’t be mean back to someone who has been mean to you online. Tell an adult.’
  • ‘Don’t chat to people online if you don’t know who they are.’

Fab feedback

Posted on 06 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

At St James’ CE Primary, we’re always wanting to keep getting better and better. Because of this, we value the support and advice from the Local Authority. Recently, our School Improvement Advisor visited; he spent a long time examining the learning journeys of children in Year 4 and, as well as providing us with useful recommendations, made lots of positive comments. These include:

In Maths books…

pupil response to feedback… is consistent and impacts on deepening of understanding

incisive and immediate feedback impacts on learning

clear learning journeys that provide appropriate incremental challenge and extended challenge for the more able


In Writing books…

clear evidence of learning sequences whereby elements of composition and grammar or punctuation are taught, rehearsed and applied via frequent (at least weekly) extended writing opportunity

good evidence of how reading is used to support the sentence level and grammar work seen in the children’s writing books

there is evidence that the majority are developing a neat, legible, joined handwriting style


In Reading books…

children have access to a wide range of texts including poetry, fiction, non-fiction and reference

teaching sequences are invariably linked to work seen in writing books

In Topic books…

the application of maths in topic work is some of the strongest the advisor has seen. These activities, which include Venn diagrams, classification tables, Carroll diagrams to categorise, and graph work are all relevant to the topic in hand and effective in helping children understanding the wider use of mathematics

good evidence to demonstrate the children enjoy a skills-based curriculum; for example, using map reading skills, globe use and practical science learning

Our School Improvement Advisor also did a ‘learning walk’ around school, spending some time in each class observing the teaching and learning that’s going on. He concluded:

Without exception across the school, teachers were observed demonstrated good subject knowledge and used this well to structure learning appropriately.  Subsequently, the learning behaviours of the vast majority of children are such that they listened attentively, settled quickly to task and and applied themselves well. For example, in Y5/6 classroom the children were focused on an extended writing task that had been developed from exploring Romeo and Juliet… The teacher’s working knowledge of the children…meant all children, regardless of ability, could access the challenge. Meanwhile, in Early Years, the provision appeared imaginatively organised. Challenge boards evident in each area ensured activities had purpose. In Y1/2, although the children were coming from and going to an additional church-led activity in another part of school, they showed some good resilience in their adventure story writing activity.

Great stuff!

Learning workshops

Posted on 01 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Thanks to the parents and carers of Year 2 and Year 6 children who came to school this week for a workshop around supporting their child’s learning at home. We’re really pleased to see people taking the time to learn how you can best support your child at home.

Here are two examples of the great feedback we got:

  • ‘We found it very informative on what [our child] should expect and how we can support her and help learning.’
  • ‘It helped us as we understand the SATs papers more thoroughly. This will enable us to support her better to achieve positive results.’

Watch a short video about the Key Stage 2 assessments (SATs) here.

Missing children

Posted on 30 January 2018 by Mr Roundtree

The following letter comes from DS 2348 Carol Symon, Leeds Safeguarding, West Yorkshire Police:

Dear Parent / Carer / Guardian

Within Leeds district, the police deal with an enormous amount of missing children every week. Every incident is distressing and traumatic for the family involved.

The police are asking if you could help reduce the number of missing children by ensuring that when your child’s friend stays overnight at your home address, you have personally spoken to the friend’s parent / carer / guardian to ensure they know where their child is staying.

We want to keep young people safe and avoid the upset of having officers attending at your address in the early hours to find a young person who has been reported missing. Young people do not always tell their parents where they are staying, they may have said they have permission when in fact they don’t.

West Yorkshire Police would like you to assist in being vigilant and responsible, helping to reduce the number of missing children with just one short phone call to the child’s carer to ensure everyone is aware.

If you need to report a missing person, please contact 101.

On behalf of West Yorkshire Police, I would like to thank you for your assistance with this and let us all work together to keep your children safe.