Monthly Archives: February 2015

Gold joy for Ghyll Royd swimmer


A Year 5 pupil from Ghyll Royd School has scooped gold at the 2015 ISA Schools national swimming final in London at the Olympic Park.

Hermione Roe, who was representing Ghyll Royd and the North of England ISA team, swam an impressive individual 50m breaststroke to take first place. Hermione’s performance also saw her beat her personal best in an amazing 44.73 seconds, a time that secures her the number one position in the ASA Great British rankings.

Hermione also swam the anchor leg of the 4x50m relay, pulling the team back three places to secure bronze, narrowly missing silver by 0.2 of a second.

David Martin, the head teacher of the school in Burley-in-Wharfedale, said: “Many congratulations to Hermione.

“The whole school is tremendously proud of her achievement. Hermione is an extremely talented swimmer and trains exceptionally hard to maintain her performance. Who knows, we could be fortunate enough to be teaching a future Olympian. Let’s hope so.”

Beckfoot bravehearts rewarded for courage

Congratulations to Beckfoot School’s under-19 boys’ table tennis team who have recently qualified for the Butterfly National Schools’ Team Championship semi-finals, showing great courage and ambition.

Beckfoot table tennis

The Beckfoot quartet had a never-say-die attitude and won their first two matches before bowing 5-3 to Worksop’s Outwood Valley Academy, but the Bingley school had already done enough to finish second in their group and therefore qualify for the regional final at Blackburn on Saturday, 21 March – We wish them Good Luck!

School Places Update

Do you have children starting primary or secondary school in September 2015?

The Council’s school admissions team is currently working on allocations for children starting Secondary School in September 2015. All parents who applied online by the closing date should receive an email telling you which school your child has been offered on Sunday, 1 March 2015.

All applicants will be sent a confirmation letter informing them of the school offered on Monday, 2 March.

Parents who applied online for children who are due to start Reception in September 2015 should receive an email on Thursday, 16 April telling you which school your child has been offered.

All applicants will be sent a confirmation letter informing them of the school offered.

If you have not yet applied for a secondary or primary school place for September, please call 01274 385967 or email:

*Please note, this blogpost was updated on 18/02/15 due to an error in the original post, for which we apologise.

My Role in Supporting Children with Hearing Loss by Sue Marsden

Sue Marsden

I am Sue Marsden and I am leader of the Support Team for Deaf Children, based at Future House, Bradford. Our team supports deaf and hearing-impaired children from when their hearing loss is diagnosed until they leave school.

The team is made up of teachers of the deaf, an educational audiologist, specialist practitioners in audiology and early years and a deaf instructor.

Our work with deaf children and their families starts very early. All babies have their hearing checked when they are born and if they are found to have a permanent hearing loss the hospital refers them to our team.

In the early years we visit children at home to:

  • help the family understand hearing loss and what it means for their child
  • encourage the use of hearing aids
  • advise on speaking and listening and how the family can help the child with communication and language development
  • introduce signs, if that is helpful for the child
  • tell families about useful organisations such as the National Deaf Children’s Society
  • assess the child’s development to make sure that they are making the expected progress

We aim to give the family impartial, balanced advice and information to enable them to make the best decisions for their child. We know that each child and family is different and although we know about deafness, parents and carers are the experts in their children.

Our work requires great sensitivity because few families expect to have a child with a hearing loss and it takes time for them to get used to the news. We are available to talk with families about their concerns throughout the child’s early years.

We arrange ‘stay and play’ sessions, often at children’s centres, so that families can meet and chat and support each other. Our staff are always on hand to answer any questions they may have.

We work closely with other professionals such as audiologists, speech and language therapists, paediatricians and educational psychologists – aiming to provide a seamless, family-friendly service.

When the child starts school our role changes to advising staff on how best to help them in class. Most children with a hearing loss in Bradford go to their local mainstream school. Some need a higher level of support because of their deafness and they attend resourced mainstream schools with specialist staff.

As team leader I have a small caseload and make visits to children in schools but most of my time is spent working with colleagues to ensure that we deliver a high quality service to children, families and schools.

I enjoy my job very much. Every day is different and it is a privilege to work with such a wide range of families, schools and professionals who are committed to helping deaf and hearing-impaired children achieve their potential.

Creating a Love for Reading

Reading is essential for learning and development but with the distractions of PlayStations, Xboxs, iPads, toys, TV and peer pressure, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Helping your child enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent and it’s well worth the investment of your time and energy. 

Children will learn reading skills in school, but often they come to associate reading with work, not pleasure. As a result, they lose their desire to read. And it is that desire – the curiosity and interest – that is the cornerstone to using reading and related skills successfully.

By far the most effective way to encourage your child to love books and reading is
to read aloud to them and the earlier you start, the better. Even a baby of a few months can see pictures, listen to your voice, and turn cardboard pages. Make this time together a special time when you and your child share the pleasure of a story without the distractions of TV or telephones.

You may be surprised to find that a well-written children’s book is often as big a delight to you as it is to the children. And don’t stop taking the time to read aloud once your child has learned to read for themselves. At this stage, encourage your child to read to you some of the time. This shared enjoyment will continue to strengthen your children’s interest and appreciation.

While your child is very small, it’s a good idea to start a home library for him/her, even if it’s just a shelf or two. Be sure to keep some books for little children to handle freely. How you handle books will eventually influence how your children treat them. Children imitate, so if they see that you enjoy reading and treat books gently and with respect, it is likely that they will do the same.

Why reading matters
Much research has been published to support the argument that reading to your child has many benefits for their personal, educational and social development. Here are the five key reasons why reading to your child matters, as outlined by the National Literacy Trust.

  • You’ll be helping your child to succeed. Research evidence shows that your involvement in your child’s reading and learning is more important than anything else in helping them to fulfil their potential.
  • You’ll be supporting your child’s language and understanding because books contain new words and concepts.
  • Books support parent-child bonding in a fun, relaxed way.
  • Readers are more confident and as they grow this confidence will mean they have access to greater job opportunities.
  • The love of books lasts a lifetime. If children enjoy books from an early age they are likely to continue to enjoy them as they grow up, providing them with a wonderful source of pleasure and escapism.

Fiona Binns, Editor of Bradford Parents On The Go, talks about her experience of reading and her love for books.

A love for reading begins at home

I remember my mum and dad reading endless fairy tales and stories to me as a child. As a five year old I remember them reading the classics like Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with me.

As I got older I remember lying in my bed looking at my beautiful old wardrobe wishing desperately that I too could disappear to meet my favourite characters from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.

I remember ‘The Famous Five’, the four children, Julian, George, Dick and Anne with their mongrel dog Timmy who together solved mysteries and became tangled up with smugglers and other criminals!

Then the schoolgirls of Malory Towers – Darrell Rivers and her friends Alicia, Betty and Sally. The girls’ boarding school located in picturesque surroundings by the sea in Cornwall.

And finally ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾’ – I not only wept at how screamingly funny it was, I was touched too and moved by its content.

gruffaloMy own worn-out and scribbled in copies of all the above books would have to be some of my most treasured possessions… my own children think they are old and grotty but I know they will one day feel the same way about their current favourites ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Gangsta Granny’ and ‘The Twits’.