News

Latest news from around the school

Skipping Festival

Posted on 02 May 2018 by Miss Beatson

Well done to all our Year 3 and 4 children who took part in a skipping festival at Boston Spa School today. The whole class came 3rd place- a fantastic achievement!

Term-time absences

Posted on 26 April 2018 by Mr Roundtree

In the summer term, the number of parents / carers requesting term-time absence increases a little. We do not authorise term-time absence for holidays or other reasons that are avoidable. This follows our Attendance Policy which the Governing Body agree, and follows the recommendations from the Department for Education.

If a child has unauthorised absences, there is the likelihood that parents will be issued with a penalty notice from Leeds City Council.

The National Association of Headteachers has produced some guidance recently, extracts of which are shown here:

The Education (pupil registration) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1 September 2013, made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevail.

The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional circumstances’ are that they are ‘rare, significant, unavoidable and short’.

Term times are for education. This is the priority. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays. Head teachers will rightly prioritise attendance. The default school policy should be that absences will not be granted during term time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.

If an event can be reasonably scheduled outside of term time then it would not be normal to authorise absence for such an event – holidays are therefore not considered ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Living and Learning- Healthy Minds

Posted on 22 April 2018 by Miss Beatson

This half term, our Living and learning theme is Healthy minds. Each week, we have a Living and learning statement.
  • 23 April I recognise emotions in myself and others.  Being aware of different emotions – both positive and negative – is an important basis for good mental health.
  • 30 April I show empathy.  Talk to your child about empathy, both in real-life situations and also when discussing characters in a book, film or TV programme.
  • 08 May I can describe ways to calm down. We all get worked up from time to time – how do different people calm down?
  • 14 May I use calming down strategies.  Calming down strategies might include any of the mindfulness techniques children have been taught or counting to ten, going for a walk, getting a glass of water – discuss what works for you and your child?
  • 21 May I recognise mental health is important.  We want our children to be happy and healthy! 

This text is a great introduction to the topic of mental health for children.

This half-term's Christian value is...

Posted on 13 April 2018 by Mr Roundtree

…peace.

Every half-term, we focus on one of our six Christian values.

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 well-being.

This value promotes harmony, stability and security within the school and local community.

Why did the Church Council choose this Christian value? ‘Because when Jesus was sent down there was peace.’ (Year 2 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?

 

In the Wetherby News

Posted on 27 March 2018 by Miss Beatson

Once again, we’re featured in the Wetherby News this week – this time to show off our new hoodies. Manning Stainton bought them for us to use in Sport competitions. The children look fab!

Wetherby News article

Sports Relief

Posted on 23 March 2018 by Miss Beatson

We had a brilliant day yesterday, raising money for Sports Relief.

Well done to everybody who came to school in their sporty clothes and took part in lots of sporting activities throughout the day. We raised over £82 to share between Sports Relief and  Unicef, our school charity.

Marvellous Maths facts - apology!

Posted on 18 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

A news post earlier today referred to Moortown Primary, one of our Sphere sister schools, rather than St James’ CE Primary. The actual data was correct for St James’, but we were too quick to copy and paste from a similar news story on the Moortown site and then hit ‘publish’ without properly checking… Sorry!

Here’s the post again, in case you missed it:

At St James’ CE Primary, we want to be a happy and healthy place to learn. That includes making sure our younger children, in Year 1 and Year 2, know the key number facts that will help to secure fluency in Maths now and in the future – facts like 3+4=?, 2+?=10 and 17+?=20.

Our Addition Facts guide provides a guide to what addition facts we expect pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 to know (the table might look confusing – please ask us if you’re unsure).

In a recent assessment, we can see some great progress made by our children in securing these facts.

For our Year 1 children in the Autumn term, the average score was just 5 out of 20. This is because the aim is for children to be secure by the end of Key Stage 1 – that’s the end of Year 2. That average score has increased to 10.2, with twice as many children getting correct 15 or more questions out of 20.

Our Year 2 children continue this progress. The average score is now 17 out of 20 and 82% of children are now achieving 15+ out of 20.

Well done, everyone! And thank you for supporting your child at home.

Marvellous Maths facts

Posted on 18 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

At St James’ CE Primary, we want to be a happy and healthy place to learn. That includes making sure our younger children, in Year 1 and Year 2, know the key number facts that will help to secure fluency in Maths now and in the future – facts like 3+4=?, 2+?=10 and 17+?=20.

Our Addition Facts guide provides a guide to what addition facts we expect pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 to know (the table might look confusing – please ask us if you’re unsure).

In a recent assessment, we can see some great progress made by our children in securing these facts.

For our Year 1 children in the Autumn term, the average score was just 5 out of 20. This is because the aim is for children to be secure by the end of Key Stage 1 – that’s the end of Year 2. That average score has increased to 10.2, with twice as many children getting correct 15 or more questions out of 20.

Our Year 2 children continue this progress. The average score is now 17 out of 20 and 82% of children are now achieving 15+ out of 20.

Well done, everyone! And thank you for supporting your child at home.

Tremendous times tables

Posted on 17 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

You may have read recently about government plans to introduce a times tables assessment for children in Year 4 – the ‘check’ will be compulsory in 2020. The cost of this new test is estimated to exceed £5.2million. Whether you think the new test to be necessary or useful, it goes without saying that children knowing their times tables can really help not only in Maths lessons but in everyday life.

We’ve been carrying out our own assessment of our pupils’ times tables recall for some time now, in the form of a short test of 25 questions each term. Pupils have recently done the Spring test – with great results!

Year 4:

By the end of Year 4, children are expected to be able to recall all multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12 and our test checked 25 random facts.

Children scored an average of 20.8 out of 25 with 80% of children getting 20+ questions correct. Last year, the same children scored  only 14.7 as a class average, with only 31% reaching 20 or more. And we’ve still got one more term to improve further!

Year 5:

Our Year 5 children scored an average of 22.4 out of 25 and 88% got 20+ questions correct. This is an improvement on their performance in a similar test at the end of Year 4, when the average score was 20.9 and only 69% had a score of 20 or more.

Year 6:

The average score in the recent test was 21.9 out of 25. This is a small cohort so it’s not appropriate to talk about the proportion that achieved 20+ in the test.

This spreadsheet can help your child test themselves – but before they do, practise together:

  • count in things that link, like 2p coins for x2 and 5p coins for x5, and 4 wheels on a car so 4 wheels (1 car), 8 wheels (2 cars), 12 wheels (three cars) etc
  • count forwards, backwards in 3s, 4s or whatever
  • look for patterns in the times tables (like the digits all add up to 9 when you multiply by 9)

Well done to our gymnastics team!

Posted on 12 March 2018 by Miss Beatson

We’re very proud of our gymnastics team today. They competed against 16 other schools across Leeds and they performed on the vault, body management and displayed excellent floor routines. Thank you to Miss Harrison who has coached the team and prepared them for the competition. Thank you also to Ms Hardy, who got up very early to pick up the minibus to take them to the venue.