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Drighlington Primary School

Nurturing, supporting, believing, achieving!

Moorland Road, Bradford
West Yorkshire, BD11 1JY

01132853000

info@drighlingtonprimary.org.uk

Headteacher: Mrs Sue Jackson

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Head Teacher Blog

Children in Need

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Image result for children in need pictures

To support Children in Need next Friday we are asking children to wear something spotty or something yellow. We really do not expect families to go out and buy new items, just painting spots on a face or on an old t-shirt will work well. 

This week our Care, Think and Learn statement is about Children in Need. In assemblies and in classes we will be asking children why we fund raise, and what is so important about this event.

We ask families to talk to their children about how lucky they are compared to children around the world who do not have families, homes, warm beds or even enough food to eat.

Fundraising is such an important part of our society and I would like to thank everyone for their enduring support.

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Busy Start!

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What a great start we had to the school year. During the first half term we welcomed new children, new staff and new Governors. 

We had a series of visits from Advisers at Leeds City Council and they have continued to support us as we move from requires improvement on our journey to good. We constantly strive to improve and the staff at our school are working incredibly hard to ensure that the very best is in place for the children.

One of the things we are working on is the way in which we share information about our progress towards the Ofsted targets. Families will receive half termly updates throughout the year. 

I have always believed that partnerships are the key to success. Keeping everyone informed is crucial and we will also use emailing more frequently as a means of sharing news.

Let us know if there are other things we can improve upon and we will do our best!

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Parent Pay

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In the past, families have asked us to consider Parent Pay as a means of paying for school lunches. This is something we have been investigating for a while. After much research and planning, we are pleased to say we are now well on the way.

This week, our Administration Team had training and the software is being installed on our school systems. By the end of the term we expect it all to be in place. In the future we will also explore ways of paying for educational visits through Parent Pay so that the process of paying and collecting is much easier for everyone.

There is still much to do. In the meantime, we aim to get a link on the school website by the end of next week. All families who wish to use this facility will then be able to start to register, so that when it is up and running they are able to use it straight away.

We hope that this runs smoothly and is another step towards great partnership between home and school.

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PTA Success

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Last week many families contributed to the PTA charity bag collection. It was wonderful to see so many bags and I would like to thank everyone who donated their unwanted items. This is a quick fundraiser for PTA and depends entirely upon the voluntary support and generosity of families and staff. We are so lucky to have continued support.

This week I attended the PTA AGM. They shared fantastic news - they raised £8115.66 last year!

They presented to school a cheque for £8438.60 as a contribution to new playground equipment. We have already installed the transport play equipment in the back playground - the boat, train and car. Children love playing on them at lunch and play times. We also use the equipment in some lessons for early years  children to develop language, communication and social skills. For older children, we expect to install ball chutes in the near future, also funded by the PTA.

We are so proud of the work of the PTA and of the support given by our families and staff. This year, the PTA will raise funds for new reading books and for the development of the small garden at the back of school.

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First Week

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What a great first week! The children have been amazing and all seem really happy in their new classes!

I would like to thank all of the staff for their hard work in preparing for the new year, all parents and carers for your support and, most of all, the children for showing that they want to be great learners.

This is going to be a fantastic and successful year.

Here is a quick reminder about upcoming dates:

Jeans for Genes day 22nd September 2017

PTA McMillan Coffee Morning 29th September 2017

PTA Halloween Disco 18th October 2017

Wear it Pink 20th October 2017

Half term 23rd-27th October 2017

Training Day 30th October 2017

Morley Town Hall Carol Concert 7th December 2017

Y2 SATs tests - whole of May 2018

Y6 SATs tests 14th-17th May 2018

Y1 phonics tests 11th-15th June 2018

Evidence of Learning Day 18th July 2018

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Planning Ahead

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Are you already thinking about next's year's family holiday?

If so, and you have children who will be in Y1, Y2 or Y6, the following dates are really important. It is essential that your children are in school on the following test times:

SAT's test for Y2 will take place during the whole month of May 2018
SAT's test for Y6 will take place week commencing 14th May 2018
Y1 phonics tests will take place during the week commencing 11th June 2018

We ask that families do not book family holidays during these weeks.

Thank you for your support.

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Happy Summer

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your support during the past year. Everyone should have received a booklet which explains what the school has done in response to the most recent Ofsted report and the achievements to date. We have worked very hard over the past 5 months to put into place plans to address the issues identified!

Over the summer our early years classrooms will be decorated. Also, we hope that new equipment in the playgrounds will be installed. In the rear playground there will be new items on the theme of transport:

 

  

 

We hope that these promote language, sharing, turn-taking and imaginative play. They will be accessed by younger children from nursery to Y2. For Y3-6 there will be ball chutes in playgrounds. We must thank our amazing PTA for raising funds towards the cost of these playground items and all of you for supporting the PTA.

Have a great summer everyone.

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School Council

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I am often astounded by the things that children say and do. The following report, written completely independently by Grace Branford in year six, is no exception. It shows how Grace has taken on board the role of Chair of School Council with enthusiasm and a great sense of responsibility.

Added to this, our new Chair and Secretary for 2017-18 are already demonstrating that they understand the importance of this role. I look forward to hearing about their successes throughout the year.

I would like to thank Grace for being so well organised, for running meetings with little support from myself and for her brilliant leadership.

Here is Grace's letter:

Dear Parent/Carer,

We started off the academic year by deciding the School Councillors [Y1 – Y6] for 2016/17. In our first few meetings we looked over the School Council agreement and action plan. Our targets were agreed as being:

  1. Autumn – Setting up the new School Council, Growth mindset challenge and to agree the spring term target.
  2. Spring – Class pet project.
  3. Summer –Parish council community fun day opener.

Our never ending target – All children in our school to have a voice – that target NEVER changes.

After we had completed the new council project, we decided that the learning mountain would help us better to have a growth mindset. In School Council we had a vote for spring term target, which turned out unanimous, and happened to be the class pet project. We worked tirelessly to complete to class pet project by:

  • Speaking to a Leeds City Council health and safety leader.
  • Finding out about our school fish company.
  • Had our new fish tank installed on Friday the 30th of June 2017.

 

The Parish council gala was a great success. Our school performed the opening ceremony with Mr Hammond and Mr Perry’s song ‘Catching the rain!’

Our new school council chair and secretary, Ella Phillips [Chair] and Harley Mortimer [Secretary], have written some quotes.

“I was so excited when Mrs Jackson asked me to be chair of School Council, it was like a dream come true. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s ideas for next year and finding out who the class representatives will be. As the Chair of School Council I will include everybody’s thought and opinions and I will let everyone have a chance to speak in meetings. I hope everyone has a great summer and I look forward to seeing you all in September.” Ella Phillips [2017/18 Chair]

“I’m so happy that I’m the new secretary, I hope I do a good job.” Harley Mortimer [2017/18 Secretary]

“Being Chair of School Council this year has been amazing and has given me all the confidence that I need for high school. It has been the best adventure and I hope Ella and Harley do a great job and enjoy it as much as I did. Good Luck!” Grace Branford [2016/17 Chair]

 

Yours Sincerely,

Grace Branford [2016/17 Chair of School Council]

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Sports Days

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The children really enjoyed the "Round Robin" of events. They challenged themselves and all children tried something new. We chose this approach so that they would all be busy all of the time which is much better than waiting such a long time for your race to start.

Thank you to all who came along, enjoyed the events and supported their children.

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Transition Day

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What a fantastic atmosphere around school today. 

Children had lots to say about their first day with new teachers - super, good, amazing, glorious, happy, fun, wow, awesome, great, excellent, incredible, brilliant, marvellous, fantastic, fabulous, spectacular, wonderful, powerful, beautiful, really cool, exciting, super work, super-duper and gorgeous. 

One child said he was shocked in a good way!  It is clear that children are ready to move into their new classes and they are very enthusiastic.

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Celebrating the work of Jo Cox

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Last Wednesday we took 18 children to Morley Town Hall to a special event to celebrate the work of Jo Cox. Jo was a local politician who was killed in Birstall last year because of her beliefs and her passion for equalities. 

This event was a joint celebration for all Morley schools, attended by 400 children.

We were overwhelmed by the attendance of Jo's sister and her Mum and Dad. This made the event very memorable. All children who remained in school did a mini project based on equalities too.

To further this work, on Saturday 1st July 2017 we will, as usual, open the gala with a performance by our children. This year we will sing "Catching the rain". This song was written by two of our staff, Mr Hammond and Mr Perry, to celebrate the work of Jo Cox. 

All children who would like to sing will need to be on the Moor by 11.30am on Saturday. We have our fingers crossed and hope the weather improves!

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School Council Pet Project

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Our School Council worked laboriously to complete this target, which was their own idea. They met with a Health and Safety representative from Leeds City Council, they audited all children's views and they assessed the cost of keeping a range of pets in school.

The biggest problem they overcame was risk assessing against allergies and phobias. This became too difficult for them to overcome. As a result they decided to have a large aquarium for all children to share. This has been installed, although we have to wait a few days before the fish can be put into the tank due to chemicals in tap water needing to be filtered. The children were determined to fund this themselves.  

We would like to thank everyone who supported them last week on our Dress Down day. The children raised £391.69 and this will pay for the upkeep of the aquarium for one year.  

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Morley Schools on TV Tonight

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Today all 17 Morley Schools worked in partnership to create an exceptional event at Morley Town Hall. Each school took up to 20 children and there were 400 children in total.

Jo Cox's parents and her sister were there to watch the children perform song, dance  and drama. There was a strong focus on equalities and British Values. The event ended with all children singing a special song to commemorate Jo. The event will be televised tonight on Made in Leeds and Calendar at 6pm.

Events like this make us realize how lucky we are, how valuable life is.

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Special dates

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Sports days

At this time of year everyone starts to ask about Sports days. We have planned the following dates:

Friday 30th June 2017: KS2 sports day in the morning and KS1 in the afternoon

Wednesday 5th July 2017: Early years sports day

Friday 7th July 2017: Alternative sports day in case Friday the 30th June has to be cancelled

Evidence of Learning Day

This will be held on Wednesday 19th July 2017. As usual, we hope that the weather is fine and we offer families the opportunity to look at their child's work and to celebrate achievements. By then all families will have received an annual report for their child.  

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Stranger Danger

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We always tell children that the "number one work of the school is to keep children safe and happy". As a school, this is always our first priority.

We sometimes hear news that children are at risk locally due to strangers that act suspiciously. Our community is really focused on keeping children safe. Sometimes it is hard to explain stranger danger to children. We will focus on this in school next week. A good website for information on what to say to children about stranger danger is:

http://www.ncpc.org/topics/violent-crime-and-personal-safety/strangers

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Teachers Required

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Due to fixed term contracts ending, we need to recruit inspirational and exceptional teachers for EYFS/KS1 and KS2 to support us in raising standards across the school.
  • Start Date: 1 September 2017
  • Salary: MPS/UPS
  • Contract: Full Time and Permanent
  • Job Expires: 8 May 2017 @ 12PM
  • NQTs Considered: Yes

We are seeking to appoint brilliant practitioners who:
• have drive, ambition and enthusiasm;
• can work closely with colleagues and families in order to secure the best outcomes for our pupils;
• can demonstrate the ability or potential to lead improvements in a subject, aspect or phase;
• have high expectations for achievement and behaviour;
• have an excellent understanding of teaching, learning and assessment;
• possess effective interpersonal skills;
• have high professional standards and demonstrates the personal qualities necessary to fulfil the role;
• demonstrate creative thinking and a passion for education.

This position is open to NQTs as well as experienced teachers.

Candidates must indicate their preferred teaching phase. Interested candidates are also welcome to visit the school on Wednesday 3rd May at 2.15pm.

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PTA Disco

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Next week we look forward to a disco organised by our brilliant PTA. They are fundraising to help to buy large play equipment for our back playground. We are so lucky to be supported by the PTA. I hope the children have a fantastic evening and can't wait to see them in the class flag colours!

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Happy summer Term

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Happy Summer Term! (updated 18.4.17)

We hope that everyone had a really good Easter break.

Our small pedestrian gate beside the main entrance is  now electronic, meaning the site is much more secure. All pedestrian gates will still be locked between 9am and 3pm. The only entrance into school during these hours will be at the main entrance on Moorland Road. To get into school when these are locked press the intercom and ask for the gate to be opened. 

We ask that everyone closes the small gate gate behind them to make sure it is locked between 9am and 3pm. 

Here is some Pobble news for everyone - Pobble is the website where our children showcase their amazing writing. We have been told that Pobble are really thrilled with the efforts made by our school. Use the following link to see what Pobble say:

Click here and then scroll down to section five for Pobble news

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Celebration Update

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Thank you everyone for the special support you have given this term, in so many ways.

Last Friday we held our multi-activity Red Nose Day. It was great fun. We raised a massive £812.93. Charity events like this remind us all how lucky we are to have family around us and a roof over our heads. Thank you to all who donated to this special cause.

Last Saturday afternoon our choir sang at Morley Town Hall - it was pure joy! Their voices were amazing and the enthusiasm they showed throughout their performance was a credit to them and the staff who have taught them in such a heartfelt way.

                                                       

This week our Leeds Children's Mayor, Grace Branford in year six, led her Kinds Minds Mission. She encouraged children to write kind messages to others in school. There were some very considerate messages that brought a tear to your eye. Grace also asked families in our school (and across all Leeds schools) to send old toys for a collection for asylum seekers. We were overwhelmed by the response in our school ...

Our industrious PTA organized an Easter Fair and this was another success. Children enjoyed a number of activities. There was great enthusiasm and many came along to help. As well as the cakes donated by families, our Cookery Club donated dozens of decorated buns. Scrumptious!

We hope that everyone has a Happy Easter and that the sun shines for all of us over the break.

                                         

Dates for your diary:

School closed until Tuesday 18th April 2017

18th April 2017, Police e-safety talk for Y4 children

27th April 2017, PTA disco (optional - wear the colours of your class country flag)

1 May 2017, school closed for May Day Bank Holiday

8 - 12 May 2017, Y6 SATs test week

15 - 19 May 2017, Y2 SATs test week

19 July 2017, Evidence of Learning Day

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Happy Mothers Day

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Sometimes the simplest gifts are the best. The children have prepared a unique gift to all special ladies associated with our school.

Ladies, go to our website green children's section, Creative Corner page, to find your gift.

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Red Nose Day

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Children across the school really got to grips with Red Nose Day!

There were many fundraising initiatives including a huge bun sale, guess the number of sweets in the jar, apple bobbing, beat the goalkeeper and a talent show. Children were enthusiastic about guessing the name of the baby (staff photographs) and this created lots of discussion.

Today brought the school together in a fun-filled way. We have also reminded children about the reason for this event, and asked them to remember that others are not always as lucky as they are. Thank you to everyone who contributed, especially to all who sent in buns for the sale. 

The day was made even better by the glorious sunshine!

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Kind Minds Mission Project

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Our very own Leeds Children’s Mayor, Grace Branford in year six, would like to invite everyone to take part in a Kind Minds Mission Project next week.

We know that everyone has spare toys lying around the house. Grace’s idea is that we collect these and send them to asylum seeker children who do not have toys.  We will be collecting toys on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Please take your toys to the classroom teachers.

Throughout the week in school Grace will lead another project – a kind minds box. This will be a place where children can put kind messages about anyone else in school. Grace will explain this in our Monday morning assembly.

Many schools across Leeds are getting involved in Grace’s project. Please help us to make our project successful by sending an old toy for our collection. Thank you.

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Pets in School!

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Earlier this year our School Council chose their own Spring 2017 project - to have pets in school!

The children have been working with Leeds City Council Health and Safety Team to explore how we can do this. They are now following guidelines. The first thing they need to do is find out whether children have allergies or phobias. They have written their own letter. Please ask a teacher if you have not been given a School Council letter by Monday 20th March 2017. 

Once they know which pets are most suitable they will start to do risk assessments, to organise pet handling training and lots more. The children are so excited about this project and it is a pleasure to hear them talking so enthusiastically.

Soon we will have pets in school!

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Great Reading!

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Wow! A massive thank you to everyone who supported our Book Fair.

We sold £1015.46 worth of books.

This means that we now have a voucher to spend £549.27 on books for school. Our English Leader, Mrs Pickering, and her team, will decide how to spend this money so that all children benefit.

Also, during Parents Evenings we held a ballot box vote, asking if families needed help to support their children with reading. There were 197 responses. The box that asked if people needed help had 23 tokens in it. Now that we know some people need help we will work out how to offer this. 

Some of our children are eagerly involved in our Readathon. They are trying to read as many books as possible before Easter. Families can do this with or without sponsors - the main aim is that we all encourage children to read for FUN.

Happy reading everyone!

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Keeping Everyone Informed

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Thank you to all who came to our Parent Evenings. The vast majority were really positive, thank you.

Some parents and carers have said on Ofsted Parent View that they do not get enough information about children’s learning. We used to be able to give out levels such as 2c, 2b, 2a. These no longer exist.

During Parent Evenings teachers handed out leaflets about what children in each year group need to have learnt by the end of the year. We call these end of year expectations. Those who did not receive a leaflet should ask their child's teacher for a copy.

The government expect us to keep teaching towards the end of year expectations but we cannot assess the final results until the end of the year when all parts have been taught. Teachers will always be happy to share children’s work and talk to parents and carers about how well each child is working towards the year end expectations, but they cannot give levels at this time of the year.

Some parents and carers have asked what will happen now that we have had our Ofsted inspection.

Much of what was in the report was already being addressed in our school improvement plan. However, we expect a monitoring visit within six weeks of the inspection date. We understand that a single inspector will spend one day in school and write a brief report about our progress towards targets. The main Ofsted report will not change. About one year from now we will have a full two-day inspection and that is when a completely new report will be written.

Keeping everyone informed is really important to us. Those who use the new mobile app hopefully find it useful. Those who still have the old “School Updates” should now delete it as it just repeats what is on the new app. We send emails and everyone should keep us updated if email addresses change. Of course the website is the best way of keeping updated.

If anyone has further questions or ideas about how we can keep everyone informed please let us know. 

Dates for your dairy:

24.3.17 Red Nose Day - wear something red

27.3.17 Y1 Sharing Toys with Parents and Carers Afternoon 

30.3.17 PTA Easter Fair 3.15-4.15pm

19.7.17 Evidence of Learning Day

7.12.17 Morley Town Hall Carol Concert Evening

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Eventful Week

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On Monday a group of parents met at school to hear the views of local Police about how to keep children safe when using mobile phones and the internet. This was really helpful and very interesting. There is a lot that parents can do to ensure their children use devices safely. For further information go to the Safeguarding section on the Our School page of our school website.

On Wednesday we held our World Book Day - we changed the day so that all nursery children could share it with us. Many children and staff dressed as their favourite characters. There was a great deal of reading activity in school, including an unusual book sale - some children brought their old books into school and sold them for a profit. This generated lots of discussion about books and home reading.  

On Wednesday we shared our Ofsted report. Governors are working closely with the school to further develop our actions plans to address gaps identified in the report.

Today we held our Superhero assembly. For the first time we gave out Superhero wristbands. Children may wear these in school to celebrate and share their achievements with others. Our Superhero characters are linked to our five learning targets and children are enthusiastic about them.

We are sorry about the inconvenience of locking gates during the school day but it is important that we do all that we can to keep children safe. Within the next few weeks the small gate at the main entrance will be automated which will make life a little easier and will mean we can stop using the main car park gate to let people on site. 

Dates for your diary:

6.3.17 Parents Evening

8.3.17 Parents Evening

24.3.17 Red Nose Day - wear something red

30.3.17 PTA Easter Fair 3.15-4.15pm

19.7.17 Evidence of Learning Day

7.12.17 Morley Town Hall Carol Concert

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Gates Closed 9am to 3pm (19.2.17)

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I hope that everyone had a fantastic half term, with precious family time and opportunities to enjoy the mild weather.

We always do all that we can to respond to queries and concerns that are brought to our attention.

Just before half term a parent expressed concerns about site security. We noted that people who come into and leave school by foot do not always close the pedestrian gates. We have therefore decided that, from now onward, the three pedestrian access gates will be locked all day from 9am until 3pm. This will add to our great safeguarding measures and mean that children cannot leave the premises through open gates.

The only way to access school between these hours will be via the main entrance; everyone will need to press the buzzer on the main gate. Staff in the office will then open the electric car park gate. They will watch in vigil until that gate closes each time so that a child cannot escape whilst it is open.

Asking people to come in through the car park gate is of course temporary and it is not ideal.

We will soon have an electronic buzzer at the small main entrance gate beside the car park gate. This will mean that staff can open the small gate for access which will be much better.

Keeping children safe remains a high priority for us and we ask that families always tell us if they are worried about something.

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Inset Day (10.2.17)

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I know that training days are really inconvenient to families, especially when parents have to go to work and take time off or arrange child minders.

In my view, training days are about empowering staff to analyse their practice and look for improvements based upon new ideas and initiatives. We always use the time productively.

Yesterday's training day was put to effective use. Teachers from four local Discovery Cluster schools met to hear a powerful presentation by a national speaker. The focus was on using books to drive the curriculum, engage children and raise standards in reading and writing. 

The speaker showed how, in other schools, teachers have chosen a special book for each topic and based most of the learning around the context of the book. All staff who attended were extremely motivated by this approach and cannot wait to try this in their classrooms. 

For the moment, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and look forward to seeing you after half term.

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Safe Parking (3.2.17)

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May we respectfully remind everyone to take care when parking outside school or dropping off children. We understand that some families have started to drop off children using the Site Manager's drive as an access point. This is not safe practice as children cross the drive on their route to to enter the school gates. Also, we are told that some families park or stop on yellow zig-zag lines.

This is against the law.

We have asked the Police to  monitor this and know they will issue fines. For the safety of all our families, please take care.

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Safe Parking (3.2.17)

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May we respectfully remind everyone to take care when parking outside school or dropping off children. We understand that some families have started to drop off children using the Site Manager's drive as an access point. This is not safe practice as children cross the drive on their route to to enter the school gates. Also, we are told that some families park or stop on yellow zig-zag lines.

This is against the law.

We have asked the Police to  monitor this and know they will issue fines. For the safety of all our families, please take care.

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Internet Safety Evening (30.1.17)

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Safeguarding is at the front of our minds all of the time. We tell children that being safe and happy is the most important work of the school.

Last week there was a press release about primary age children involved in an inappropriate group talk on social media, Their discussion was not secure and safe. In this world of internet access to so many aspects of life, children are becoming more vulnerable.  We need, as adults, to do all that we can to keep them safe. To do this well we need to know as much as possible about the dangers about internet browsing and social media.

We work closely with the local Police and they have offered to lead a Parent Internet Safety Evening on Monday 27th February at 6pm. The session will last one hour and is for adults only.

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Year 6 and Year 2 SAT's Test Dates (23.1.17)

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We try to give families as much information as possible in advance. Here are important dates for families of children in Year 6 and Year 2.
It is vital that Year 6 and Year 2 children are in school for their SAT's tests. These are tests set by the Government. Here are the dates:
  • Children in Year 6 will take their SAT's tests 8th- 11th May 2017.
  • Children in Year 2 will take their SAT's tests 15th- 19th May 2017.

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Poll News (22.1.17)

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Two Y3 children helped to share an important message in our Superhero assembly on Friday afternoon. They explained to all children that a fixed mindset is when you say or think you cannot or will not try something. A growth mindset is where you try something new and have great determination. The children said I have a growth mindset because I am trying to change my handwriting to meet the new school style. I can't do it yet, but will keep going until I am happy with my new handwriting.
We still find that children are reluctant to have a go at something new. Also, they are sometimes happy to accept less than they are capable of - they do not always aim to do their best. This can stop them from making good progress. We all need to work together to change children's growth mindset, so that they are determined to have a go, do their best and work hard all of the time. Our superheroes are a key part of this process. 
 
Thank you to those who responded to our website poll on growth mindset superheroes. There were 69 responses:
 
- 86% said our superheroes encourage their child to be more persistent and achieve better things
- 14% said our superheroes made no difference to their child's approach to learning
 
We will respond to this by continuing with superheroes because the majority vote says the approach works and we can see in school that many children strive to be like the superheroes. Also, as some of those who responded to our poll said superheroes make no difference, we will add more rewards to the strategy, focusing on children in Y1-Y6. We have ordered superhero stickers to be given out in Friday celebration assemblies. We will soon introduce new superhero wristbands as rewards.
Hopefully this will encourage children to be determined to be successful as learners. 

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Advice From Fire Service (20.1.17)

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Please see below the message we have received from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service regarding head lice treatments.
 
“We would like to remind parents and carers to always read and follow the instructions carefully when using chemical insecticide products, typically sold in chemists, to treat head lice. This is because these treatments contain flammable elements. You should not therefore use hair dryers, or any other ignition source such as matches, lighters and candles near anyone during the treatment process whilst the product is being used. This advisory note follows a recent incident in West Yorkshire in which a child’s hair was accidentally set alight during treatment resulting in the child sustaining serious injuries.”

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Mobile App (20.1.17)

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Thank you to all who have said that the new mobile app is brilliant. We developed it so that busy families could have a quick way of finding out main events and news.

I know a few have said it is not very good. I wonder if that is because they misunderstand how we intend it to work.

It is NOT a replacement for the website. It is simply a quick way to get to some of the main points on our website.

To get more detailed information you will always need to go to the full website. To do this easily;

  • go to the app
  • go to the three lines at the top left of the page
  • go to Links
  • click on the link to the website

We now have a really wide range of ways of sending messages to everyone so that communication is good. As well as the app we use the News page on the yellow section of our website, the Blogs pages, paper quickie notes and newsletters, texts and emails.

If there is more we can do to improve, please let us know.

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Pobble! (15.1.17)

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Children in Y6 had a brilliant day on Thursday when a teacher from Pobble visited their classrooms. She helped them to understand the value of Pobble and to produce some of the first pieces of work that we will showcase on the Pobble website.

What is Pobble?

Pobble is an online showcase for children's writing. It is used by schools across the world, in 192 countries. Teachers can copy and download samples of children's writing to celebrate learning achievements. 

The school has paid for the subscription because we feel this will really benefit children as it will encourage them to try harder and achieve better things. Improving standards in writing is a key part of our school improvement plan and we hope that Pobble will make a difference. The concept of having a go and doing your best works really well with our growth mindset approach. Growth mindset is about being confident, being aspirational and always being determined, no matter how hard things are.

Teachers will aim to add five pieces of writing per week. Of course each child will be aware that their writing has been put onto the website. The website showcases work from Reception to Y6.

Anyone can look at children's writing from any of the schools involved. Just go to Pobble.com and join for free.

We hope that families will visit this website regularly, share the viewing experiences with their children and find inspiration for future writing.

Explore and enjoy!

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Deadline for Applications for September 2017 Reception Class (14.1.17)

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Do you know of anyone who has a child who will start school in September? Please let them know that tomorrow is the deadline for applying for a place in our school. Parents should go to leeds.gov.uk to apply.

We have 60 places in our Reception. For the last few years we have been oversubscribed which means that more than 60 families applied for places. Sadly each year a few families do not get the school of their first choice. 

Please help us to make sure that all children in the area get to the school of their choice by applying tomorrow.

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Anti-Bullying Ambassadors (13.1.17)

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Yesterday Miss Ainley took a group of six children from year 5 to Fulneck School. They spent the day training to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, working with people from The Diana Award and children from other schools. They learnt all about bullying including different forms of bullying and the impact bullying has on the victims. They learnt about and shared ideas around the many positive things we can do in school to prevent bullying, how we can recognize bullying and ways in which it can be dealt with if it does happen.

The children had a fantastic day and are very much looking forward to sharing their ideas with the rest of the school and putting some of them into practice.

Of the six children, Megan Williams was chosen to be our Anti-Bullying Ambassador Team Leader. The other children in the team are Eden Leather, Evie Quinn, Alfie Armitage, Oliver Hansgate and Shannon Dibb.

Miss Ainley will continue to work with the group as they prepare to lead school assemblies and help our children to develop a bully-free school.

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First Week (7.1.17)

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It was a pleasure to see all of the children for the first time in the New Year of 2017. School has been a happy place this week.

In my experience, I find that children love the routine of school, they love seeing their friends and they thrive on the challenge they face in lessons.Our role is to prepare children for adult life, to ensure they become good citizens and are able to face new situations with confidence. This year in school we are focusing on encouraging children to think differently in lessons, to be more adventurous and to have a go when they feel insecure. 

In English and Maths lessons we are exploring opportunities where children can make their own decisions about the level of challenge. We have started to offer bronze, silver and gold learning options which become progressively more complex as children move towards gold. This encourages them to select a level they feel comfortable with, and offers them the chance to assess their own learning. It is all part of our growth mindset plan and is linked to the new superheroes.

Our growth mindset website poll is now open (on the yellow Parents page) and we are looking forward to hearing family views on the effect of our new superheroes.

We will continue to develop these approaches throughout the year and I will keep you updated. 

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Growth Mindset Poll (3.1.17)

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Just before Christmas we gave all families a copy of our growth mindset superheroes brochure.

We would like your views on the success of the superheroes. We aim to promote better attitudes to learning through our superheroes.

Please go to the poll on the yellow parents page on our website and let us know what you think.

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Brilliant Attendance (3.1.17)

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In assembly this morning I announced that this week we will be giving attendance certificates to those children who have had little absence from school:

 - 139 children had 100% attendance last term

 - 11 children had 99% attendance last term

 - 115 children had 97-98% attendance last term

These are great achievements. Thank you to all families for trying to get children to school every day and on time.

Every lesson counts.

I should remind everyone that lateness can cause an absence mark if your child arrives after registers close.

The government expect at least 97% attendance for each child which gives them the best opportunities to do well at school. We need to aim for higher attendance for those children who have less than 97% attendance in school.

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Happy New Year (3.1.17)

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We would like to wish all families a Happy New Year.

This coming term will see further development of Growth Mindset, more work on improving our website and mobile app and the introduction of Pobble - an online gallery to showcase children's writing across the whole school.

Most children completed Growth Mindset Learning Log homework during the Christmas break. Look at the bottom of our Growth Mindset page on the red "Our School" section of the website for samples of great work! 

Have you downloaded our new mobile app?

Just visit your app store, type in the name of the school and you will see our logo. The app gives instant access to a few key items from our website. It can also get you straight through to the full website if you click on the list and then on links.


Happy browsing!

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Getting Ready For Christmas (21.12.16)

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What a busy few weeks we have had at Drighlington Primary School. The main focus, as you would expect at Christmas time, was about special experiences for the children. This time of year is amazing!

We started by setting up Christmas trees inside and outside school. Reception children went outside, sang Christmas songs and counted backwards from ten to zero and the tree in the car park suddenly lit up!

Many people have commented on how good the outside tree looks throughout the evening and we are glad that we can share it with the community.

We had our Christmas dinner day (thanks to our superb Kitchen Team). We had Christmas parties. We had our Early Years Nativity events in school and our KS1/2 Carol Concert at Morley Town Hall, attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Morley. Our PTA held their Christmas Fair and Breakfast with Santa. Our School Choir sang at Drigmass and at Owlett Hall (for the local elderly).

All in all an eventful, exciting, enjoyable and exhausting few weeks.

lighting the Christmas tree

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PTA Christmas Fair (3.12.16)

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What a great event! There were lots of families there this morning. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and very family orientated.

Our PTA and all who helped to make this event so special are an asset to our school.

Santa was busy today - he and his elf saw many excited children. The school choir sang a melody of Christmas carols. There were many stalls to choose from, including games, activities and Christmas gift stalls. The chocolate tombola stall was a favourite for many - thank you to everyone who donated chocolate yesterday. Many took time to stop for refreshments too.

I love these occasions where we meet socially. Another great success for our school!

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PTA Christmas Fair (1.12.16)

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Our fantastic PTA will hold their Christmas Fair on Saturday 3rd December from 10am until 12 midday.

Our school choir need to meet via the main entrance at 9.45am. They will practise their songs and then perform at 10.15am in the main hall. 

Our children will not do their Enterprise Project this time (where they make and sell Christmas products for profit). They will do this at Easter next year.

I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday. 

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Governor Development Day (1.12.16)

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Many of our Governors spent the day in school. They explored lessons, talked to children in classrooms and had lunch with children. They spent time with the School Council and engaged in discussions about the work of the School Council.

Governors also had time to focus on data about children's learning levels including SAT's results. They discussed how well the school is doing, including the different types of support in place to help children to do well and reach their potential, and what the school is focusing on further improvement.

Our Governors are really committed to ensuring we keep moving forward. They constantly ask questions, meaning they understand our school and are in a good position to make decisions that affect the future of the school. 

We are lucky to be supported by great Governors.

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Sad Event (29.11.16)

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Yesterday I attended the funeral of Ces Caesar. He was the father of two of our pupils and ran after school sports clubs. What a fantastic tribute to Ces. Hundreds of people came to pay tribute to this great man - he touched so many lives. 

In school, many children wore football shirts or the colours of Leeds United Football Club to commemorate Ces. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family who were so brave yesterday.

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Drigmass (28.11.16)

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On Saturday afternoon, on a cold winter's day, our school choir climbed onto the stage and sang a melody of Christmas carols to open Drigmass. I was so proud of them - to stand in front of an audience and sing so beautifully was a great achievement.

This was the second Drigmass event organised by the Parish Council. As last year, they had permission to close the street and create a safe environment for all who attended. Hats off to our great local people who invest so much of their own time to make events like this successful! 

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New Growth Mindset Mountain (24.11.16)

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A few weeks ago our School Council led a vote to choose between a growth mindset pit, or a growth mindset mountain.

A pit represents falling into what feels like a deep whole when stuck with learning and encourages children to climb out. A mountain measures the success as children progress through stages of learning. 

This week we will introduce into classrooms the new growth mindset mountain chosen by the children through their democratic vote. I hope it gives guidance and encouragement to those who are insecure and anxious about learning new things. Click below to see our growth mindset mountain.

Growth mindset mountain

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What to Wear For The Carol Concert (22.11.16)

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We have arranged for Y1-6 to perform their Christmas Carol Concert at Morley Town Hall on the evening of the 15th December.

Doors will open at 5.30pm and refreshments will be served by our PTA. The concert will start at 6.30pm, and it is vital that all children who are singing are there by 6.00pm. A few of our KS1 children will wear nativity costumes and school will organise this with the chosen children’s families.

  • Y1-2 children may wear school uniform or dress as an angel, shepherd, star, king, or sheep.
  • Y3-6 children may wear school uniform or Christmas theme items - Christmas jumpers, tinsel or hat.

These optional costumes should be simple and need not be shop bought. Shepherds can simply wear a tea-towel on their heads and a robe made from a pillow case. We certainly do not expect families to buy expensive items for this event.

We look forward to seeing  Y1-6 children and their families at this special event. Details about when tickets are available will be published soon – two tickets per family, with a reserve list for those who would like more tickets if they become available.

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Disneyland, Paris (20.11.16)

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During a recent visit to nursery I talked to Grace about her model of Disneyland. She was very confident and lots to share with me, telling me she had been to Disneyland.

Family time is so important and helps children to broaden their knowledge and grow in many ways.

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Y6 Residential Success (20.11.16)

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Most of our Y6 children went to Robinwood Residential Centre on Wednesday. They returned on Friday after a three-day event. They were exhausted, but said they had enjoyed every minute.

Look at the Y6 blogs for photographs and more details about the activities.

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Watch Children's Mayor on TV (20.11.16)

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For those of you who did not see Grace on TV this week, here is the link to the programme.

Click here for Made in Leeds excerpt.

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Grace on TV (14.11.16)

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Grace Branford, our very own Leeds Children's Mayor, will be on Made in Leeds TV news between 6.00-6.30pm  and again between 9.00-9.30pm tonight.

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Remembrance Day (12.11.16)

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How amazing are our children? I think they are just brilliant. Year two visited the cenotaph yesterday, taking with them two poppy wreaths they had made. Their considerate approach will benefit many, especially those who visit the cenotaph on Sunday. 

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Christmas Lights (12.11.16)

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Leeds Children's Mayor, own year six pupil Grace Branford, performed her first official duty on Thursday evening. She switched on the Christmas lights in Leeds City Centre. Grace is an ambassador for the school and we are proud of her.

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Remembrance Day (11.11.16)

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The whole school stopped to take time for silence at eleven o'clock this morning. I was with Brazil class in year four. It was touching to see how well they focused, showing immense respect for the occasion.

During our school Superhero assembly this afternoon, children demonstrated that they understood the importance of Remembrance Day. One child told us it made him feel sad because soldiers died and happy because they died to make life better for us.

Days like today make me feel especially proud to work with the children of Drighlington.

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Maths Method Policies (9.11.16)

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When children struggle with their homework it can be very frustrating for the adults who are trying to support them. If your child struggles with Maths homework you can ask teachers for their support, or you can look at our policies.

You will find our policies on the following page on our website:

- Our School (red link)

   - Curriculum

      - Curriculum Aims

        - Mathematics

Maths policies are at the bottom of the page.

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School Open As Usual (9.11.16)

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Despite the moderate snowfall, school will open as usual today. We will inform parents by text, News and Newsletters on the Parents page of the website, and on the Head Teacher Blog page if school ever needs to close due to snow.

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Great News (8.11.16)

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We have some great news to share with everyone - Grace Branford, one of our year six pupils, has been awarded the prestigious position of Leeds Children's Mayor. This was presented at a special ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall. We will share more information as we become aware of her tasks for the year. In the first instance, we can confirm that Grace will be switching on the Christmas lights in Leeds City centre on Thursday 10th November.

Well done Grace!

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A Sad Day (8.11.16)

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It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the loss of Cecil Caesar - the father of two of our pupils. His loss is a shock to everyone. He gave so much to our community and to our school. Over the years, many children have enjoyed attending his after school sports classes.

We ask that everyone respects the privacy of the family during this difficult time.

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Children in Need (8.11.16)

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This year, we will celebrate Children in Need Day on the 18th November 2016. We ask that children wear something spotty.

Following our successful Superhero Day, I look forward to seeing creative approaches to this simple theme. Of course, the underlying message is that we will be raising funds for children who are not as fortunate as our pupils. We will explain this to children during the day. 

I would like to thank everyone for your support on a continued basis and not least of all when we ask you to do something different.

Without your support, we would not be as successful as we are. Thank you!

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Year Three Australia Class Illustrate Growth Mindset (6.11.16)

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I spent some time with children in Australia class, and we had a discussion about growth mindset. The children could instantly show me where their Superhero character posters were displayed in the classroom. They referred to their posters when considering the Superhero strengths. We focused on Creative Cosmo, because the children were engaged in a creative writing session.  It was interesting to hear them talking about Cosmo's skills, and comparing them to what each child was already good at. The group quickly agreed they were all good at creative writing.

When I asked what they needed to improve upon, they were able to explain that they need to add more adjectives to their work, but can't do it ... yet!

I look forward to reading their future creative writing which, I am sure, will contain an abundance of descriptive language.

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Nursery Mud Soup! (5.11.16)

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Yesterday I experienced the delights of mud pumpkin soup! Nursery children prepared a delicious concoction, stirring mud, sticks and leaves. They invited me to taste their pumpkin soup, expressing sheer delight in their 'cooking' ability. Their co-operative approach, turn-taking and levels of confidence made my visit to nursery a real pleasure. 

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Superhero Day (21.10.16)

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What a special day this turned out to be! Most of the children in school dressed as superhero characters to promote our growth mindset strategy. There were some inventive ideas such as "Neon Girl" and "Supervet".

It was inspiring to hear children describe the traits of their superheroes, especially when they described what their characters can't do ... yet.

Being determined to keep trying when things are tough underpins our growth mindset approach. At the end of the day we celebrated through our Superhero assembly and sang our school song.

This marked the end of another great week in school.

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Halloween Disco (17.10.16)

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The PTA disco's were fantastic! 

Children's costumes were just amazing and everyone had a good time. I would like to thank all volunteers who supported these events, and give special credit to all adults who helped children to create a spooky atmosphere through their fancy dress costumes.

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Leeds Children's Mayor (17.10.16)

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One of our pupils, Grace Branford in Y6, has been shortlisted for the role as Leeds Children's Mayor. This is a fantastic achievement! There are twelve children in the running for the position.  To support Grace, we need as many children as possible to vote for her. The deadline is Friday 4th November 2016. To vote for Grace please go to:

www.tinyurl.com/ChildrensMayor16

Thank you for your support. 

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School Games Gold Mark (12.10.16)

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This week we were informed that we have been awarded School Games Gold Mark! This is a fantastic achievement and a credit to all of the staff who involve children in P.E. throughout the school.

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Parents' Evening (11.10.16)

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On Monday 10th October we had our first Parents' Evening. The atmosphere was really positive and I would like to thank all of those who came along to find out how well the children are settling into new classes. 

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New Interest In School (4.10.16)

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Yesterday I talked to some Y1 children about the new Superhero characters that we had shown in our assembly.

They were very excited and told me they were going to try to be like the Superheroes. Even though this is a new interest in school, the children are already showing that they want to follow some of the learning traits of the characters. They all said they were going to work harder than ever to "sort out things that are tricky and make them easy".

They all knew there are things they can't do ... yet. We all need to move on in life and face difficulties with a smile and with courage. Our aim is to encourage children to have no fear of challenge.

This is going to be an amazing year!

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Superheroes (30.9.16)

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We had our second Superhero assembly today. Children from every class had an opportunity to tell us how hard they are working to perform like our five Superhero characters.  

We also shared with them some exciting news:

On Friday 21st October we will have a Superheroes dress up day. The idea is that we encourage children to be inventive, such as Lego man with Lego bricks attached to a T-shirt, rather than spend lots of money on commercial outfits. 

We do not expect parents, especially of older children, to go out and buy Superhero outfits.

We will be talking to children about growth mindset, such as "what can your character already do well because they practiced hard to get it right?" and "what can your character not do ... yet?"

We look forward to hearing their creative ideas!

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Key Stage One Singing (28.9.16)

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On Monday our school assembly focused on growth mindset. It was so good to see the children's enthusiasm about our new project. We talked about famous people, such as Usain Bolt, and how they have become experts through practice and determination. We know that we all have to work hard to achieve things that we can't do ...yet!

Yesterday I joined a Y1 and Y2 singing lesson. We sang our new school song with great enthusiasm:

Give it 1, give it 2, give it 1,2,3. 

Give it 1, give it 2, give it 1,2,3. 

Give it 1, give it 2, give it 1,2,3. 

Give it 1, give it 2, give it 1,2,3.

We are the children of Drighlington School,

Believing, achieving in all we do,

Facing our challenge and having fun,

We're Superheroes ...

We get things done!

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Brilliant PTA! (23.9.16)

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Last night I attended the PTA AGM meeting. What a pleasure it was to see so many enthusiastic parents working together to plan great events for our families. The PTA raised over £7000 last year!

The money went towards the playground extension at the back of school. Thank you to everyone who has supported our PTA events!

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Growth Mindset Superheroes (17.9.16)

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This year we will be motivating children to "have a go" and not be frightened of making mistakes. We think that fear of making mistakes sometimes holds them back. Yesterday we brought together children from reception to year six and we introduced new Superhero characters.  You will be hearing more about this over the next few weeks as we work to inspire, and encourage children to be more ambitious and successful. Follow our progress on our new Growth Mindset page on our website.

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New website

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For the new school year 2016-17, our main focus has been to get the new website up and running which has taken many months to prepare. A big feature of improvement will be regular blogs - these will increase the opportunities for communication between home and school.  We have also explored emails and now are able to send mass emails to all parents/carers in one action, meaning that we will be able to send copies of newsletters and important event reminders.
Alongside all of this, what is really important is that we improve the quality of teaching and learning. We have introduced a new approach to teaching phonics across the school and are in the process of developing Growth Mindset, with new Learning Superheroes... watch this space.
It is a very exciting time and I hope that parents and carers will appreciate that we are constantly evolving.  Onward and upward!

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Welcome

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Welcome back! The children had a fantastic first day, all seemed really happy and settled.

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