Educate Positive – Edition 3

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Welcome to the latest edition of Educate Positive, our fortnightly bulletin celebrating the great work taking place in our district’s schools and educational settings. In this edition we have several exciting events, including another Outstanding Ofsted report for one of our district’s schools; and a special award for a teacher for her clever use of film to engage pupils and develop their reading and writing skills.

Hazelbeck School is outstanding

Hazelbeck headteacher Sue Pierce with pupils
Hazelbeck headteacher Sue Pierce with pupils

We are delighted to tell you about another outstanding school – Hazelbeck School achieved Ofsted’s highest accolade in its recent inspection.

Hazelbeck School opened in April 2010 and is co-located with Beckfoot School to form the Beckfoot and Hazelbeck Learning Community. Beckfoot was also recently judged to be outstanding.

In a glowing report, the Ofsted inspectors found: “The leadership and management of the school at all levels are outstanding. The very high expectations of the board of trustees and executive headteacher are put into practice on a daily basis by the headteacher and senior leadership team. This ensures that the school is improving rapidly and students, including those in the sixth form, have every opportunity to meet their potential.”

Keelham Primary welcomes literary visitor

Siblings Alex and Grace with Golden Book Bag
Siblings Alex and Grace with Golden Book Bag

Keelham Primary School is very proud of its pupils and their involvement in the Summer Reading Challenge with a record number having taken part. Pupils are so keen to learn they are talking about their favourite books and taking them home to share with their families, spreading the learning together even further. Every week three pupils take home the Golden Book Bag which they read with their families and produce a scrapbook, consisting of written stories, photos and drawing about their learning experience and the book they had chosen. This is then shared in a school assembly.

Well-known author Andrew Newbound visited the school just before World Book Day and completely engaged the children, not with his stories, but with his love of words.

Headteacher Debra Butler said the senior management team in the school had carried out two reading audits with the children and are overwhelmed by the positive attitudes that pupils have towards their reading.

Inspirational Greengates teacher improves reading and writing

Greengates Primary School has seen an improvement in standards of reading and writing as a result of one of their teacher’s inspirational teaching. By using film across the curriculum, Claire Dunsire engaged the pupils in their learning which has in turn resulted in improvement in reading and writing standards. Claire has been recognised for her work as she received the prize for “most inspirational use of film in the classroom” at the Into Film Awards in London earlier this week.

As well as inspiring pupils at Greengates Primary, Claire also presents her work to teachers across Bradford and has also presented to Welsh teachers as part of their pilot Film Literacy project. Claire became one of the leading teachers from the training she received from the Bradford Media Literacy Project run by the Council’s Curriculum Innovation Team.

Roma pupils making progress

The British Council has recently funded a study on “Improving education outcomes for pupils from the new Roma communities”. This report gives national and international prominence to the work which colleagues in education and in our schools are doing. The full report can be downloaded here.

In the report, its author Mark Penfold has praised and thanked Bradford Council’s Children’s Services for its excellent work with EU Roma families. The report specifically cites Whetley Primary Academy and offers a case study which celebrates the outstanding work of this Bradford primary school. Although pupil mobility is exceptionally high and the average time in school is less than three years, the school has significantly improved the attendance and progress of Roma pupils. Progress in reading is particularly good. Through high quality teaching and strategies such as the ‘Talk for Writing’ Strategy, the children who are new to English are helped to make outstanding progress.

On Whetley Primary’s inclusion of Roma children, the report says: “Strong support for our most vulnerable pupils is speedy and effective from our large Inclusion Team and Nurture Provision. Pupils who access this support show excellent improvement in behaviour, attitudes to learning and confidence. We have had zero exclusions for several years.”

Highly skilled leaders in this school make a huge contribution to both the life of the school and the work of the Local Authority through the Closing the Gap Group for New Arrivals and the EU Migrant Strategy Group.

Cindy Peek retires leaving legacy of new schools

Cindy Peek will retire in April from the post of Deputy Director of Children’s Services, a role she has held for seven years. During her time in Bradford, Cindy has overseen the development of 15 new schools, including nine special schools, which have led to thousands of students now being taught in state-of-the-art schools. We wish Cindy well for the future.

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