News

Latest news from around the school

Helping with homework...?

Posted on 11 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

You might have heard about this news story this: UK parents help less with homework.

Parents in the UK are much less likely to spend more than an hour per day helping with their children’s homework compared with parents in other countries, a survey suggests.

A survey of 27,830 parents in 29 countries found only 11% of UK parents spent an hour per day helping their children, far behind 62% in India.

In our school, our Homework Policy is designed to best meet the needs of our pupils and their parents / carers. To help, we refer to research on how effective homework is.

Our Talk Time homework is intended to promote good speaking and listening skills, and quite often to raise awareness of moral issues such as whether or not animals should be kept in captivity. To get the most from Talk Time homework, turn the telly off and have a conversation around the table whilst eating your evening meal – you don’t need to spend extra, separate time to support your child! Encourage your child to use ambitious words, useful phrases and full sentences. Some sentence structures that can work well are:

  • What are your views on …?
  • I hear what you’re saying. However, …
  • That’s a good point, but …
  • Furthemore, …
  • In conclusion, …
  • I believe that … because…
  • Another reason is …

Creative homework is an opportunity for your child to choose whatever they want to demonstrate some learning. For example, I can show what I know about food chains. Your child could present all their learning in so many different ways, from a diagram with notes to a story or comic strip. Parents’ and carers’ role is to support, encourage, help… but never to take over and do the homework! So, there’s no need to sit down and do the homework with your child – you could be getting on with some other household task. The fact that your child and you and both actively doing something can be a really good way to promote positive attitudes.

The other type of homework is Practice makes perfect. The work should be fairly straightforward for the child as there should be no need for new learning, so just some encouragement from you is needed. However, it would be a great time to get your child to teach you – they should be able to explain the key points or processes! Also, you might want to check what your child has done – not a big job.

Don’t forget that the most important things you can do at home to support learning are to be positive and encourage your child, and to make sure they read regularly, practise their spellings and practise some simple Maths – counting, number bonds (to start with, two numbers that make 10, like 3+7) and their times tables.

Mother's Day Collective Worship

Posted on 09 March 2018 by Miss Beatson

Thank you to the Church Council, the Choir, and Mrs Rowley, for leading our Mother’s Day collective worship this morning. Thank you to all our visitors who joined us to celebrate all the women in our lives. We wish all mums a lovely day on Sunday.

Book Swap

Posted on 05 March 2018 by Miss Beatson

Book Swap is now going to take place on a Tuesday and Friday lunchtimes. This is a time for children to swap an old book from home they no longer want and choose a new one from our book case. It’s also a time when children can choose to read outside with their friends.

 

High school consultation

Posted on 03 March 2018 by Mr Roundtree

From Leeds City Council, Planning and Bids Manager, Sufficiency and Participation Team:

Leeds City Council is seeking the views of local communities on secondary school provision in the Outer North East area, which will then be shared with the Department for Education before a decision is made on the academy application by Boston Spa School. As this may lead to significant long term changes to secondary education provision in the area, it is clearly important that families have the chance to express their views.

An online public engagement exercise has commenced and runs until midnight on Sunday 25th March. The Engagement Survey document, containing background information, data on finance and pupil numbers, can be found on the Leeds City Council website here. An associated online survey, which provides interested parties with the opportunity to share their views on how secondary school places in the area should be organised, can also be found on the same webpage.

We are closed.

Posted on 28 February 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Driving conditions are bad and forecast for the entire day is for snow. Staff are struggling to access 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.

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.