News

Latest news from around the school

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.

 

 

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.