Educate Positive News Bulletin

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Welcome to the first edition of Educate Positive, a fortnightly bulletin which celebrates and highlights the innovative and effective practice which is happening in education and in schools across the district.

This publication will provide examples of some of the good practice currently taking place which are underpinned by the Education Improvement Strategy action plan which aims to:

  1. Secure high quality leadership in all schools
  2. Improve school readiness and end of Early Years outcomes
  3. Improve teaching and learning and raise levels of literacy across all phases
  4. Raise attainment of underperforming groups and narrow the attainment gap.

Pupil Premium Awards

Recently four of our schools have received praise from the Department for Education (DfE) in the Pupil Premium Awards, for the help they have given to their most disadvantaged pupils in a bid to close the gap on their peers.

Brackenhill, Farnham and St Francis Catholic primaries were all recognised for these awards which are given to schools that “have made or continue to make impressive improvements in the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils,” and are based on their Key Stage 2 results.  All three schools were awarded £1,000.

We have also just learned that Beckfoot School has been awarded £5,000 in the Key Stage 4 category.  David Laws informed the school it had been selected for being one of the most improved schools in the country in terms of the attainment and value added progress of its disadvantaged pupils since 2011.  Brackenhill was one of the most improved primaries in the country for the help it provides to Pupil Premium children.

Best practice in mathematics

Eleven schools in the BPIP (Bradford Primary Improvement Partnership) have taken part in a mathematics good practice study.  A working party identified schools which have a strong track record of high achievement in mathematics and visited them as part of the research study. The findings have been recorded in a booklet distributed to all BPIP schools.

School to school support is being provided and led by the best practice schools for other BPIP schools in the form of a best practice seminar and in school modelling of mathematics lessons and other related exercises.  It also entails the delivery of targeted professional development opportunities to specific audiences such as newly and recently qualified teachers (NQTs and RQTs) and mathematics subject leaders. Positive feedback has been received from teachers who have attended the training or undertaken focused visits to the schools involved.

For further information please contact Yasmin Umarji, Senior Primary Partnership Officer, T 01274 385523 or mobile 07582 109272.

The Bradford Media Literacy Project – increase in literacy progress

A project, developed and delivered by Bradford Council’s Curriculum Innovation Team in partnership with Bradford City of Film, BFI (British Film Institute) and Cape UK, to raise attainment in writing and develop a network of teachers skilled in using film in the classroom is reaping its rewards.

The pilot project, which began in 2010, highlights the impact that media literacy can have in attainment and engagement.  Since its inception there has been significant success in writing, as well as a noticeable increase in reading ability in the targeted pupils.  As a result of the first year, the average point score (APS) progress from the targeted pupils for writing was 4.01, and in year two the progress was 3.98 for writing and 4.15 for reading.

The impact and effectiveness of this project has been picked up by Into Film, the leading national organisation for encouraging the use of film in schools.

For further information please contact Paul Scott, Curriculum Innovation Service Manager, T 01274 434831, Mobile 07961 213621

Welcome to new staff

In this first bulletin we welcome our new Recruitment and Retention Strategy Manager, Sara Rawnsley, who shares her plans with you.  Sara has been seconded from her substantive post as Headteacher of Princeville Primary School on a part-time basis to strategically look at the recruitment and retention of all staff in schools from NQTs to senior leadership posts.

We need and want the best teachers and leaders in the Bradford district to give the best opportunities for our young people, so Sara plans:

  • to attract the best entrants into teaching at the beginning of their careers by working in close partnerships with all the various teacher training providers and developing a cohesive and supportive ‘package’ for new qualified teachers.
  • to develop a district wide talent management policy and clear pathways of career development to support and retain the best teachers in our schools.
  • to enhance the development of emerging leaders through a co-ordinated approach of peer coaching and mentoring and developing a ‘one in waiting’ model of career succession.
  • to work with Governing Bodies to get the best leaders in our schools through the exploration of the various and alternative models of school leadership eg. Establishing a bank of executive headteachers, working with DfE endorsed programmes such as The Future Leaders Trust.

Sara’s role is evolving and she is really keen to work with all schools and their governors to ensure the district can attract the best teachers, keep them working in our schools and develop them to become the best leaders.

For further information or to share your ideas please contact Sara by  email at  sara.rawnsley@bradford.gov.uk or on her mobile 07792745988.

We also welcome Sara Morrissey who worked in Bradford for five years, from 1999 to 2004 at Queensbury School.  Sara is our new Director of Operations for the Bradford Partnership.

Sara was appointed by Ofsted in 2004 as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors within the School Improvement Division.   During her time working for Ofsted she held a range of regional and national responsibilities for schools causing concern.  Prior to returning to Bradford Sara was working in Barnsley as Head of Barnsley Challenge (Learning and Standards).

Sara said:  “I was attracted by the exciting opportunity to work for the Bradford Partnership which is recognised nationally for its approach to driving school improvement. In a rapidly changing educational landscape, I am looking forward to working with school leaders to develop further the strategies to improve educational outcomes for children in secondary schools across the city.

“I hope that the experience gained in school improvement as both HMI and as a senior LA officer will enable me to make a significant  contribution to the Partnership’s aims that all schools will be judged good or better by Ofsted by 2018.”

For further information please contact Sara by email at sara.morrissey@bradford.gov.uk or on her mobile 07582 100862.

We hope you have found this update useful.  We will be providing further snapshots of the innovation, effective practice and success and achievement within education across the district on a regular basis.

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