Whitkirk News! 5th february 2021

A message from Mrs Stout

Hello everyone, SNOW SNOW SNOW and more is forecast...although hopefully not enough to bring everything to a halt again! It has been a difficult and disjointed time. We can see Covid rates of infections are dropping throughout the country and especially in Yorkshire so we are looking forward to seeing what the Prime Minister will have to say later this month. Let us ALL hope it is good news about schools being able to open!! Fingers crossed.

We all appreciate how hard this is for you - having to juggle childcare, teaching and work very often all at once. We are in a situation where we have very few places left in school and are having to say no to many of you when you are so desperate for a school place. There is nothing we can do I am afraid as we must stick to our maximum numbers and have to have a cut off somewhere. We have made this as fair as possible and have used all Department for Education criteria alongside our risk assessment (on our website) to keep ourselves, our pupils and our community safe. This will end - the stresses over remote education will go, please bear with us in this very difficult time.

On another note - and very much looking to the future. We are delighted to have appointed the new headteacher for Whitkirk, Mr Matthew Dawson. Mr Dawson is currently the long-standing deputy headteacher at Blenheim Primary in Leeds and has a superb professional background. As well as being in education for many years, he has spoken at many educational conferences, has led on English, maths, curriculum and behaviour and most certainly has a value system that matches ours. Mr Dawson will begin a transition throughout the summer working alongside me and Miss Quarmby until he begins full time in September. This is an exciting and important appointment and I very much look forward to introducing Mr Dawson to you all on the playground and via assemblies in the near future.

So, onto more nice and bright things as we see how things have gone in school this week!


Leeds Safeguarding Team has released guidance to ensure that we are keeping our children safe during live streaming. We have already implemented many of their recommendations. However, one change that will begin from Monday is that ALL participants of live lessons must have their camera turned on. This guidance can be found on our school website: https://www.whitkirk.org/parents/home-learning/

Read, read and read some more!

Every week a popular children's author or illustrator will provide you with free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads. The author of the week this week on the Virtual School Library is Nizarna Farook. You can read or listen to The Girl Who Stole an Elephant completely FREE below, watch an exclusive video about Nizrana's new book, The Boy Who Met a Whale, discover her top three children's books and read an interview all about reading. Next week is National Storytelling Week, this would be the perfect time to listen to a recommended text by a famous author!


What are our teachers reading?:

One of the many joys of being a teacher is being able to spend time reading children's books! My collection is still building! Over the last few years, I have loved reading books by the author Tom Fletcher! From his first few picture books, such as 'The Dinosaur that pooped the planet' (which I am very lucky to own a signed copy!) to more recently his novels including 'The Creakers'! However, my absolute favourite has got to be 'The Christmasaurus'! Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year and this book really brings the magic of this time alive! Did you know that Santa sits and reads all his letters in front of a very special tree which then grows seeds to grow the toys? How amazing! I would definitely recommend picking up a Tom Fletcher book and letting your imagination run wild!

Whitkirk's Health and Wellbeing Week:

Next week, the final week of the half term, is Health and Wellbeing Week. This will be a great opportunity for us all to really tune into our health and wellbeing - children and adults alike. Each day will have a particular theme, e.g. Healthy Minds, Healthy Connections and there will be a variety of activities for children and adults to take part in that will help them engage with these themes. Some of these activities include -

  • A whole school Danceathon where we will work as a Whitkirk team to keep the dancing going from the beginning to the end of the day! Get your dance moves at the ready!
  • The Whitkirk Mile - Wednesday 10th February (those children in school are asked to come in PE kit)
  • A yoga session
  • Range of creative tasks to give children a chance to learn a new skill

Mental wellbeing is as important to us as our physical health, particularly in recent times. We encourage parents and carers to join in too by taking 5 minutes out of a busy day to join in with some of the activities. We hope by the end of the week, both children and adults will have a range of ideas they can take forward in supporting them to talk about and engage with their health and wellbeing.

Pick up a pizza!

What better way to celebrate all your hard work over the last half term, and the start of the holidays than by enjoying pizza-making family time? Pick up a kit from school and bake at home! Please order through ParentPay from Monday. We would love to see photos of your creations too!

Let's see what our classes have been up to this week:


We have loved national story telling week this week! On Monday, we came into our classroom to find a mysterious golden package; we then wrote our predictions of what might be hiding inside! With lots of excitement we opened it up so find a fantastic book, all about emergency vehicles! This led us to do some super writing and role play. We even turned the climbing frame into a fire station and used skipping ropes as hoses to help put out the fires! The children at home have also loved learning about how firefighters help us and have made some fantastic models of fire stations. To continue our story telling week, we have had a secret reader share a story at the end of the day Shhhh.. it's a secret!! We've had Harry's mum, Matthew's Grandad, Clara's mum and Elliot's dad! We have loved connecting together, with the children at home and school, by listening to the stories they shared with us this week.


As part of story telling week, Year 1 pupils in school have enjoyed sharing their favourite stories with their class friends. They have taken it in turns to read and listen to their partners reading a story. We always look forward to our end of the day story and particularly enjoyed listening to Geronimo by David Walliams this week. As scientists, Year 1 investigated the properties of materials by finding out what material would make the best umbrella! We tested to see if the materials were heavy, fragile and waterproof. We decided that plastic would make the best material for an umbrella as it is waterproof, strong against wind and light to hold!

KS1 have really enjoyed being the teachers and taking over story time this week! We have had children writing their own stories and reading it to their peers at home time or they have read their favourite story books to their class mates. The love of reading and writing stories has really shone through! Mrs Diop was particularly impressed by Isla's story which inspired William to write his own Minecraft-themed story (picture attached). It has been such a special week!


In Year 3 this week, we have absolutely loved National Story Telling week! We have been sharing a range of stories both on TEAMS, in school and on Class Dojo! We have even had some original creations that the fantastic authors in Year 3 have written themselves! Thank you so much to those children who volunteered to read out their favourite story! Our imaginations have been running wild with all the places we have visited this week!

This week, Year 4 have amazed us with their positive attitude towards their learning, both in school and those children who are learning remotely. In Maths, we have been learning a new written method to help us multiply 2-digit numbers. The children have blown us away with their resilience when learning this! They have had a real determination to become confident and move onto the next step in their learning. It certainly helps that we have lots of Year 4s who are times table superstars (or should I say rockstars!!!) In Geography, we enjoyed using maps and atlases to explore the rivers of the United Kingdom. We discovered some of the important rivers that run throughout our country as well as the ones closest to us. An enormous well done to the Year 4 children for this week and a massive thank you to parents and carers who continue to support us with remote learning.


This week in Y5 we have had the pleasure of sharing our favourite stories everyday. We started off with a 'Guess the Story' to bring back a time when we were all younger (staff included!). Throughout the week the children and staff shared their own favourite story and a memory this story brought them. A favourite from Miss Gill is the poem 'Please Mrs Butler'. It's a poem that was read to her when she was in Primary School and often finds many Derek Drew's in her classroom! Have a read of it - it will make you smile and giggle!

Later in the week, with the help of Mrs Tomlinson, Y5 made prosthetic hands! Yes, you heard it right, we made prosthetic hands! It was a real treat as the whole year group were working online and made some fabulous designs. Check out the pictures!

What a jam packed week in Year 6! We have absolutely loved sharing a wide variety of stories this week including The Night Bus Hero, a vast range of poetry from our beautiful poetry books and even some jokes from Mr Shooter’s infamous joke book! Talk about a range! It’s hard to say which we have enjoyed more! Of course, our learning has been focused around our thrilling play Macbeth. We have delved into the character of Lady Macbeth and have identified some truly incredible ways to describe her character. Watch out Year 7- Whitkirk will be storming ahead of the rest! One of our favourite highlights of the week must be our learning about measurement and conversions. We had so much fun measuring and weighing everything from glue sticks to our pets! What will next week bring we wonder!

Star of the Week!

We hope you all have a safe and restful weekend!

Created By
Gemma Quarmby


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