Latest news from around the school

Raffle winners

Posted on 10 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Did you win a prize at the PTA Summer Fair this year?

Unclaimed raffle prizes are for the following tickets:

  • pink 576
  • yellow 511
  • pink 586
  • white-blue 426
  • white-blue 406
  • white-yellow 411
  • green 566


Summer Disco

Posted on 10 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

The PTA invites you to a summer disco on Tuesday 18 July, 6.00pm – 7.30pm.

All our children and parents / carers are welcome to attend. There will be lots of fun and games as well as plenty of refreshments and hot dogs available.

Entrance to the disco is £1 per child and adults are free. All funds raised will go to the PTA to save for equipment in school.

Children from Foundation, Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 must be accompanied by an adult. Children in years 5 and 6 may attend alone if we have signed permission.

Please complete and return the slip (see the letter sent home on Monday 17 July) to the school office before Tuesday 18 July along with payment.

Children's Day 2017

Posted on 08 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Children’s Day 2017 takes place at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Sunday 16th July. The gates for the event will open at 10am and close at 4pm; admission is completely free for everyone, as are the activities when inside the ground.

Families attending the event can make a suggested donation of £3 per adult and £1 per child attending on entry; all proceeds will support the work of Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

Supporting your child through a bereavement

Posted on 06 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Talking about bereavement with children can be hard. There’s a series of books that might help children learn about a number of sensitive issues. One book in the series is Frog and the Birdsong by Max Velthuijs, Andersen Press.

The book concerns Frog, who one autumn day discovers a blackbird lying motionless in the grass. Worried, he asks his friends what can be the matter. Very gently and simply, the animals begin to understand the meaning of death and the beauty of life in this moving story.

Wetherby and District Foodbank

Posted on 06 July 2017 by Mrs Quirk

The Wetherby and District Foodbank is available throughout the summer holidays for parents who have difficulty providing meals for the children, especially those who are usually supported with free school meals.

When the school is closed you do not need a voucher but can go straight to the foodbank where they will be pleased to help you.

The foodbank is open every Tuesday and Friday from 10am until midday.

They can be found on Barleyfields Road in the Youth Centre – the flag will be flying!

Our summer production

Posted on 04 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

The St James’ CE Primary summer production is now less than a week away! Tickets have been going fast – thank you for showing so much interest and enthusiasm.

Spare tickets will be released on Monday based on your requests on the ticket form. If you have not already asked for tickets, please ensure  that you do so by Friday.

Thank you for to those parents who have already sent in costumes for the production. Please make sure costumes arrive in a named bag by Friday.

Thank you for your continued support.

Apps update

Posted on 01 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

A few days ago, we told you about a new SnapChat feature…

SnapMap lets users track other people’s location in real time – it shows exactly where people are in as much detail as the actual house. This might sound like a great idea, but just think about how vulnerable this could make a child using SnapChat. Within the feature, there is ‘Ghost Mode’ which enables you to hide your location. There are two ways which this can be turned on:

  1. Pinch the screen when you’re in selfie mode to bring up the SnapMap. Then, click the ‘Settings’ icon in the top right hand corner and set the phone to ‘Ghost Mode’.
  2. Click on ‘Snap Maps’ – ‘Settings’ – ‘Ghost Mode’.

Whilst we’re talking about apps, be aware of these ones, too… and are two other apps to be aware of. is a popular app where users can sing along to popular songs and upload them to the site. is made by the same company and is a live streaming app where you can broadcast and communicate with others. This is a platform where comments and requests can be left for the users about their videos but, sadly, this has opened up inappropriate communication where young users are being asked to remove clothing and are being exposed to sexually explicit comments. also has some privacy controls which can be accessed via the settings option.

Roblox is a user-generated massive multiplayer online social gaming platform. Roblox’s chat facility has caused some concerns with parents reporting inappropriate comments to children.

Guidance for children using Roblox safely can be found via their safety/help page:

Check out the security information. Read the parents’ information.

It’s important that you talk to your child about using these apps. Most importantly, if they get a question or request that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should speak to a responsible adult immediately.

Please make sure that you know what your child is using – remember SnapChat and other similar apps are not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Election of a parent governor

Posted on 27 June 2017 by Mr Roundtree

A parent governor is required to fill a vacancy on the governing body of Sphere Federation.

If you wish to offer yourself as a candidate to become a parent governor, please read the following, which describes the role and outlines some key characteristics desired for a new governor and the process of becoming a governor. Nominations should be emailed to by Friday 07 July 2017. Alternatively, you can submit a paper copy to any of the school offices.


The governing body’s three core functions are:

  • Ensuring clear vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Head of Federation to account for the educational performance of each school and its pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of each school, ensuring money is well spent.

The schools in the federation are Scholes (Elmet) Primary School, St James’ CoE VC Primary School, and Moortown Primary School.


The governing body would benefit more from new governors with expertise in one of three areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND);
  • Experience in HR and performance management;
  • Competency in educational data analysis.

Governors will also need to be able to understand their role is strategic and not operational; build relationships with a range of people; work as part of a team; question and challenge; make connections between different types of information; and represent the three schools and their community.

Expectations of governors is high. Governors need not be experts in the field of education but they do need an interest in the welfare of our children across all three of the federation schools, and the time and willingness to get involved in strategic oversight. Our parent governors are appointed for a term of four years, and are expected to attend termly evening meetings of the full governing body; sit on one sub-committee and attend termly meetings; regularly visit each Sphere Federation school formally for monitoring purposes; visit each school informally at least once a year; read and digest papers and governance information regularly; and commit to attend training and development courses relevant to the assigned governance role. All governor appointments are subject to a valid enhanced DBS check and disqualification criteria.

Training and support will be available to help you develop into this role. This will include compulsory external induction training and in-house mentoring and support.

To find out more about the role, please see the governance section of the school website or read the DfE’s Governance Handbook and Competency Framework.

For further details, please contact Mr Roundtree at or Rachel Greenhalgh, Chair of Governors, at

Nomination form

If there are more applications than vacancies, we will hold an election and parents will be sent a voting paper in due course. The information you supply as part of your nomination will be circulated to parents to help them decide who to vote for. Your personal details will not be distributed.

Nominations should be emailed to by Friday 07 July 2017. You can submit a nomination by hand or by email. The information we need, and sample wording, is as follows:

To the Head of Sphere Federation:

I wish to nominate myself as a candidate to be a parent governor of Sphere Federation.

I am the parent of … at … school.

I do / do not include a personal statement.

Please print name and address. (Please note the address details will not go out with the ballot forms.)

Personal statement (in no more than 200 words)

Write a few lines about yourself: what you do and what your interests are will help other parents decide who to vote for. Here are a few suggestions of areas you may like to give information on:

  • Experience you have which may be useful, particularly in relation to the skills the governing body is looking for
  • Family e.g. number of children, ages, which school in the federation they attend
  • Interests e.g. voluntary work, hobbies
  • Why you would like to be a governor
  • Anything else you would like to say

Please note that this statement will be typed for you.

Staying safe in the summer

Posted on 26 June 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Summer time, and particularly the summer holidays, can be full of hazards and risks to manage. Here’s a round-up of some resources to help you keep your child safe this summer time.

Water Safety

Beach Safety
Shore Thing (RNLI)

Sun Safety
Teenage Cancer Trust
Cancer Research

Railway Safety
Network Rail – Primary school resources

Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)
Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)

Protection from sexual abuse
Whilst it’s an uncomfortable thought, parents need to ask questions of any childcare provider, play scheme or holiday centre children’s services, about how they prevent their workers harming a child. The NSPCC has a useful video about the prevention of sexual abuse in particular and what adults can do to ask organisations about how they keep children safe.

Does your child use SnapChat?

Posted on 26 June 2017 by Mr Roundtree

SnapChat has a stated minimum age restriction of 13 years old. Despite this, we know some primary children do use it.

Last week, SnapChat launched a new feature. SnapMaps allows users to see the location of their contacts. This feature allows others to accurately pinpoint where you are. There are three possible privacy settings:

  • Ghost mode, where only you can see your position;
  • My Friends mode, where any contact can see your location; and
  • Select Friends mode, just those who you choose can see you

ChildNet have posted a thorough explanation of SnapMaps and how to ensure users stay safe – this is well worth a read if you know your child uses the app.

For more general advice, Family Share have produced 10 things parents and kids should know about the SnapChat app.