Literacy campaign in Bradford gets £197,000 funding boost

Bradford has received a funding boost to improve literacy standards across the district. Below is a press release from the National Literacy Trust which works with the Council to raise standards.

National Literacy Trust press release below:

“A literacy campaign from the National Literacy Trust and Bradford City Council has received a new £197,000 funding grant from the Morrisons Foundation, a charity set up by the supermarket, to boost literacy levels in Bradford.

The funding will be used to deliver literacy activity in Bradford for a year. Launched as the Bradford Literacy Campaign, the initiative has been active in the city since 2012.

Over the past five years, 30 local partners have supported literacy in Bradford and the National Literacy Trust has worked with over 200 schools in the area. Key successes include the Our Stories poetry project, which was launched to engage pupils with low literacy, especially boys. Over the course of the programme, the percentage of Year 6 pupils reaching the expected level in writing increased from 46% to 92%, while their self-esteem and confidence also increased significantly.

Neonatal work has also been a key success for the campaign. Working with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, neonatal charity Bliss and Boots Opticians, the campaign gave out 500 story packs to parents of premature babies. The packs included books for parents to read to their babies and tips and information on how communication can help development.

As it moves into a new phase, the campaign will be rebranded as Bradford Stories. The new name celebrates the rich heritage of Bradford and highlights the importance of families, young people and different communities in the city sharing stories with one another.

Over the next year, the Bradford Stories campaign will focus on addressing literacy issues facing families in Bradford, including engaging dads and male carers in their children’s learning and getting families reading with their children every day. The campaign will also highlight the benefits of bilingualism, and launch new initiatives targeting local schools and volunteers from the local community.

To celebrate the new funding and campaign name, Bradford Stories is calling on all Bradford residents to snap a photo of their favourite place to share stories in the city, and post the picture on social media using the hashtag #BradfordStories. The best pictures will win prizes including book tokens.

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the Bradford Stories campaign, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded this funding from the Morrisons Foundation to continue our work to raise literacy levels in Bradford. Since launching the campaign, we’ve delivered lots of inspiring projects and achieved great results, but there is still more to be done to ensure every child in Bradford has the literacy skills they need to succeed. Our partnership work has been crucial to the success of the campaign to date – with this new funding we can expand this work further and reach more people across Bradford than ever!”

The Morrisons Foundation was set up by Morrisons supermarkets in 2015 and awards grants for charity projects which help to improve people’s lives. Since launching over £15 million has been donated to hundreds of charities across England, Scotland and Wales.

David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the National Literacy Trust’s work in Bradford as we know what an important difference this can make for families from across the city.”

To find out more about the Bradford Stories campaign, visit bradfordstories.org.uk.

 

Come to Bradford for Christmas

With so many activities across the district, Bradford is the place to be for Christmas.

There will be Christmas lights switch on events across the district as well as lots of music and entertainment, pantomimes, a fun fair and lots of Christmas fairs and markets, traditional Christmas Services including Nine Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral, there’s even a Christmas Tree Festival and the annual Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede will see antler clad runners tackle the 5k route round Lister Park.

A funfair will light up in City Park and Tyrrel Street from Thursday November 30 until Sunday December 3 with children’s rides and dodgems. Christmas street theatre will entertain shoppers on the pedestrian areas in the city centres between 12pm and 5pm on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. With 20 colourful acts including Santa and his sleigh, snowmen, fairies, elves, dancing turkeys, penguins, Rudolph, snow globes and stilt walkers all providing festive frolics and music. There may even be added snow.

The Alhambra Theatre’s outstanding pantomime will once again star the fantastic Billy Pearce who this year is taking on the role as Buttons with singer and Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, with performances from 16 December to 28 January.

Other Christmas shows and concerts include a Christmas Night With The Stars with tribute act performances from Cher, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Michael Buble, Freddie Mercury and Shirley Bassey at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, folk rock pioneers Steeleye Span, famous for their 1973 Christmas hit Gaudete at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, an evening of dance, songs and festive cheer comes to the Alhambra theatre with the Christmas Words show on 7 December and The Chicago Blues Brothers bring their brand new festive show to the Alhambra on December 8.

An array of Christmas markets and craft fairs are being held across the district including the fantastic Victorian Christmas event at the Industrial Museum on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November, Ilkley King’s Hall and Winter Gardens will be the venue for a Christmas Craft and Gift Fayre on Sunday 26 November, a Christmas Market will take place in Central Park in Haworth on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December and the Made Bradford Market will be held in Darley Street on Saturday 2 and Saturday 16 December.

There will be lots of festive fun at Bradford Council-run markets over the Christmas period with a Christmas Trade Fair hosted by Young Enterprise on Saturday 9 December inside the Oastler Shopping Centre, children’s interactive workshops, traditional Christmas entertainment from the Salvation Army Band, Pennine Chimes and school choir in the Oastler Shopping Centre and Kirkgate Market in the city centre and a Santa’s grotto along with festive entertainment at Keighley Market.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain has just launched the annual Lord Mayor’s Appeal Christmas Star’s Appeal, where people dedicate a star to a loved one for the Christmas tree in City Hall.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal annual Christmas Lunch takes place on Friday December 15 in City Hall and raises money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

For those wanting to get active there is the Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede with a 5k run and a mini stampede for children, Bradford Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way team has also organised two Christmas walks, a 5.5 mile Candlemass Eve walk on December 9 and a 4 mile Christmas Cheer walk on December 13.

Switch-on events with markets and fairs will be taking place across the district throughout November and December.

This year’s city centre Christmas lights will have a special light raising awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign, the global campaign to end male violence against women. Incidences of domestic violence rise significantly during the festive period. The light will be turned on as part of the Christmas lights switch-on and will remain illuminated during the Christmas period including on White Ribbon day, 25 November.

The annual City Carol Service takes place at the Cathedral on Monday 18 December. The service is open to anyone and is attended by the Lord Mayor and civic leaders.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Christmas is such a special time of year and these events in the city centre and across the district give people plenty of opportunities to celebrate.”

For more information about Christmas events in the district visit www.visitbradford.com

Education Covenant to be topic of next public forum

Bradford’s Education Covenant will be the topic at the district’s next Public Forum for Education.

The Education Covenant is a district wide initiative focused on engaging the whole community to play a part in helping young people to succeed in life.  The Covenant is about keeping education a top priority to:
•           Help schools and teachers raise standards.
•           Support parents to get children ready for school, work and life.
•           Work with businesses and colleges to boost career options.
•           Champion the district’s unique art and culture.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm in the Hockney Room, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford BD1 1NN.

Speakers will include Leigh Taylor, Regional Director North East & Yorkshire Commercial Banking – Lloyds Bank. Leigh will explore how businesses can better support children and young people to help improve their educational outcomes and make successful transitions into work, and the business rationale for doing this work.

Staff and children from a local primary school will talk about their involvement in the launch of the Inspiring Bradford event.

Local magistrate, Gill Arnold, will talk about the work of the Bradford Community Champions.

There will also be an update on how the Education Covenant is being put into practice and how businesses and parents can make a difference.

The presentations will be followed by round table discussions and an opportunity to share your ideas with the panel and ask questions.

The Public Forum for Education (PFE) is an open and free forum where everyone with an interest in education is welcome to come along and contribute.

Coun Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “The idea behind the Education Covenant is to focus the efforts of everyone on how we can raise education standards. We want to bring together the whole community to support Bradford’s children: businesses, public services, parents, and communities, all have a role to play.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of children’s service, said:  “We know just how hard schools work to improve the outcomes for our children and education attainment is improving in our district. But we have more to do and we believe the whole community needs to be involved in young people’s education. That is why the Education Covenant is so important, so I’d urge parents, young people, teachers and businesses to come along and find out how they can be involved.”

To book your place, please email Public.Forum.for.Education@bradford.gov.uk or contact Heidi Hardy on 01274 434335.

Have you completed your Secondary School Application?

Parents of children who will start secondary school in 2018 are being reminded that the deadline for them to apply for a school place is the end of today.

Children who were born between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007 will be due to start secondary school in September 2018.

Parents should have already received information about making an application for secondary school from their child’s current primary school. Anyone who does not have this should contact Bradford Council’s admissions team.

Bradford Council’s online system allows people to view and amend their application at anytime until the closing date. People will receive an automated email acknowledging that their application has been received.

Only one application maybe submitted for a child but parents can choose up to five secondary schools in that application.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “Moving up to secondary school is a big step in every child’s life.

“It is important that applications are made on time to give people the best chance of getting into one of their chosen schools.”

To make your application or find out more information please visit: www.bradford.gov.uk/admissions

 

 

Bingley Music Live set to return in 2018

Following on from the massive success of the Bingley Music Live festival this year, the event will be back for 2018.

The Bradford Council-run festival will once again return to the beautiful setting of Bingley’s Myrtle Park.

A record number of revellers flocked to the festival at the beginning of September for a weekend of fantastic fun, music and entertainment.

The festival was at full capacity of 15,000 each day creating a great atmosphere and giving a real boost to the Bingley economy.

The event which has been going in its current format for the past 11 years is organised by Bradford Council and is set to take place on the weekend of Friday 31 August, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September 2018.

Organisers are working hard behind the scenes to bring a stellar line-up for next year.

This year fans were treated to an outstanding set by the Manic Street Preachers on Friday. The Kaiser Chiefs rocked the main stage on Saturday and the festival was brought to a close by The Wombats who played an amazing greatest hits set, despite having some of their instruments stuck at Heathrow airport. Fellow rockers Feeder came to the rescue lending them their equipment. A spectacular fireworks display followed to round off what was an amazing weekend.

The smaller Discovery Stage showcased the best of the latest up and coming bands and this stage is set to return for 2018.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture said: “Bingley Music Live was truly amazing this year in terms of ticket sales and the calibre of performers. Our officers are now working hard to put together another stunning festival for 2018.”

High Park School receives Autism Accreditation

High Park School is the first school or organisation in Bradford to be awarded Autism Accreditation by the National Autistic Society.

The National Autistic Society is the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families.

The award was given in recognition of the school’s good autism practice.   Autism Accreditation is an autism-specific quality assurance programme. It was set up in 1992 to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, local autism societies and private companies.

To gain accreditation, organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development. Over 500 organisations are now accredited.  The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation programme was launched over 20 years ago and sets extremely high standards, which the school has worked incredibly hard to meet.

Being autistic means you feel, hear and see things in a different, often more intense, way to others and may struggle in certain social situations. More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and it will affect each one of them slightly differently – some go onto successful careers while others need intensive support to go about their daily lives.

Find out more about Autism Accreditation on The National Autistic Society website: http://www. autism.org.uk/accreditation

Principal, Ann Andrew, is pictured with one of the students who is holding the award.

Spooky goings on in the markets in Bradford

Bradford Council’s markets team has organised several events to help shoppers to celebrate Halloween.

Oastler Shopping Centre – Saturday 28 October 12.30pm-4.30pm

The Young Master’s Visual Art School will be running a ‘mummy-making’ workshop. Under threes will be able to make a masking tape mummy and older children will be able to make their very own 3D repositionable mummy.

Local artist Musarat Raza, who is based at Cartwright Hall, will be running a Halloween mask making workshop for children of all ages.

There will also be a Halloween grotto where children can have their faces painted. Scary ghoulish characters will be parading the market. 

Oastler Shopping Centre – Friday 27 October 12-2pm

The Ministry of Food will have a live demo in the middle of the market showing people how to make pumpkin, spinach and chickpea curry. 


Keighley Market Hall – Saturday 28 October 10am-3pm

There will be a Halloween themed grotto where children can have their faces painted and spooky characters will parade the market hall. Traders will also getting into the spirit of the occasion by dressing up and handing out sweets.

Kirkgate Market, Bradford – Saturday 28 October 12-4pm

Kirkgate Market’s Joke Shop will be creating a large Halloween themed stall in the market providing a wide range of Halloween related items, including great fancy dress and accessories at great prices.

Children will also be able to get their faces painted and scary characters will roam the market floor to bring goose-bumps to shoppers.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Our markets team have lined up a great range of attractions to help families to celebrate Halloween, with something for everyone at these events.” 

Introduction to Directing – Taster Sessions for 18-25 year olds

Are you aged 18 -25 and living in Bradford? Are you creatively curious and have something to say to the world? Ever thought about directing for theatre?

Sign up for a taster session to our second Introduction to Directing Course!

This November, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Common Wealth will lead a course exploring what directing is and can be. Sessions will be led by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Associate Artist, Mark Rosenblatt, and Common Wealth’s Co-Artistic Director, Evie Manning. Over five days, we want you to come and be curious with us; 11,12, 23, 25 & 26 Nov. The course is free and there will be some small stipends to cover travel expenses.

There will be a FREE taster session on Tue 17 Oct from 6pm – 8pm at Speakers Corner, Ivegate, Bradford BD1 1SA.

Email jenny.sullivan@wyp.org.uk for more information or to book for the taster session.

If you can’t make the taster, don’t worry – you can introduce yourself however you’d like. Send us a blog, a video or an email to jenny.sullivan@wyp.org.uk by Wed, 25 Oct.

Into-to-Directing-Full-Header

@WYPlayhouse

Civic Reception held for the Bradford Bulls Ladies Rugby League Team

Bradford Bulls Ladies’ Squad made history this weekend by becoming the winners of the first Women’s Super League Grand Final.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain, welcomed the team to City Hall on Tuesday 10 October for a Civic Reception to mark their all-conquering season.

The Ladies beat Featherstone Rovers 36 points to six in the Women’s Super League Grand Final at Manchester Regional Arena, last Saturday.

The Bulls completed a league and cup double after also beating Featherstone 50-16 in the Women’s Challenge Cup final in July, and went through the whole season unbeaten.

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Bradford Bulls Ladies Rugby Squad Civic Reception

Coun Abid Hussain said: “Bradford has a long and proud tradition in rugby league. It is therefore fitting that the fantastic Bradford Bulls Ladies  team have become the winners of the first ever Women’s Super League Grand Final, writing a new chapter in our district’s sporting history.

“I hope their achievements will inspire others to take up this great sport.”

In addition, several of the Ladies have been selected to represent England Rugby League at the inaugural Women’s Rugby League World Cup.  We wish them all the very best of luck!

 

Get in early and snap up the best Christmas cards!

Get in early and choose your favourite charity Christmas cards from the excellent range on sale at the visitor information centres (VICs) in Bradford, Haworth, Ilkley and Saltaire.

Every year the Council supports cards for good causes which pays the charities at least 70p in every pound from their card sales.

Charities to benefit include the British Heart Foundation, Epilepsy Action, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Macmillan and NSPCC.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Start shopping now and take advantage of the wonderful selection on offer. The popular designs do sell out quickly so get down to the VICs as soon as you can.”

The Visitor Information Centres are open 10am – 4pm Monday to Saturday with Haworth and Saltaire also open on Sundays from 10am – 4pm.

To keep up to to date with what’s new from the Visitor Information Centre and what is happening around the district follow them on Twitter @VisitBradford, Facebook/visit bradford and Instagram VisitBradford.

To see more details about the Christmas events planned around the district, log on to www.visitbradford.com/christmas.