Educate Positive – end of term edition

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Welcome to the eighth edition of Educate Positive. Here we bring you news of a Bradford student who has won a scholarship to the International Science Summer School in Australia; children in the Early Years Foundation Stage learning to use technology effectively; and how pupils are having their voices heard. Read on for all that and more…

STEM success for Bradford student

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Titus Salt sixth form student Tommy Dobson, who has won a prestigious scholarship to Sydney

In edition 6 of Educate Positive we reported on the increased take up of STEM (Science, Technology and Maths) at Titus Salt School.  This increased interest has paid dividends for Year 12 student, Tommy Dobson, who is one of only five people in the UK to have won a scholarship to attend the renowned International Science School in Sydney (for the summer school). With support from the Ogden Trust, this once in a life time trip will see Tommy immersed in a visionary science programme for academically talented Year 12 students.

Tommy will attend lectures by leading research scientists; experience hands-on brain expanding activities, explore the research labs, join in with a wide range of experiments and meet like-minded science mad students from all over the world.

Every two years 140 top students from Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the USA and the UK, travel to Sydney for an unforgettable fortnight of science.

Early Years technology scheme creates a buzz

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Bradford primary school pupils getting to grips with the latest technology

Bradford’s Early Years pupils will benefit from a new technology project developed by three primary schools and the Council’s Curriculum Innovation Team.

The Bradford Technology in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) Curriculum will help schools to use technology effectively in Early Years settings. The “curriculum development team”, made up of a consultant from the Curriculum Innovation Team, an independent consultant and staff from Blakehill and Greengates primaries, worked on writing the new curriculum, while staff from Worthinghead Primary demonstrated how schools and settings could implement the new scheme.

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As you can see in the picture to the left, Chloe is using a barcode scanner in the role play shop.

The team launched the curriculum in Bradford through a series of four half day EYFS conferences with positive feedback of 96% good or better. Every practitioner who attended the conferences then took copies of the new scheme so that they could implement the ideas in their workplace right away.

Worthinghead Primary School has been using ‘Technology in EYFS’ in its Reception class since September and feels that this access to technology is preparing pupils for the Key Stage 1 Computing Curriculum.

The school is working on the Early Learning Goal scheme whose key message is that children see the links between technology and real life. The school tries to link technology and real life using role play. School also has QR codes that children scan to reveal prices in its role play cafe. The children also take a selfie photo and their picture is attached to their work so that practitioners know which picture/work belongs to which child.  Pictured right is Brooke taking her selfie.

Bradford’s ‘Technology in EYFS’ has benefited children and staff. It has noticeably developed the children’s confidence and vocabulary.

Teacher wins BBC award

A group of Year 8 girls at Carlton Bolling College showed their gratitude to the teacher who had made a difference to their lives by nominating him for a BBC Radio Leeds Extra-Curricular Inspirational Teacher Award.  Zaheer Jaffary had coached the girls at cricket and they had gone on to win the Yorkshire Championship at Headingley Stadium.

Mr Jaffary, pictured left, won the award and was supported by many of the students who have been inspired by his superb coaching and guidance.  Well done everyone and also to the Year 10 boys at the College who were also crowned Yorkshire Champions.

Pupils at St John’s CE Primary have their voices heard

Children at St John’s CE Primary School in Bierley are successfully having their voices heard in more ways than one. The school has introduced a novel approach to reading and writing with fantastic results; meanwhile the St John’s School Council recently showed their leadership and organisational skills when hosting a highly successful conference.

The new way of teaching reading, writing and maths throughout the school has delivered improved results and the method has been disseminated to other schools in Bradford.  St John’s has used its Pupil Premium grant to overhaul the way it teaches in Year 1 and boost the number of qualified staff at that level.  It has introduced small group teaching and reduced the amount of time children spend in whole class lessons.  The pupils are heard reading every day and they also take part in daily phonics and mental maths teaching in small groups.  Improved Key Stage 1 results, developmental review findings and an external consultant report are evidence of the impact.

Meanwhile the St John’s school councillors successfully organised a School Council Conference, attended by school councillors from Newhall Primary, St Columba’s Primary, Knowleswood Primary, Pudsey Tyersal Primary and Beckfoot School. They shared ideas on student leadership and the real difference that school councils can make. The St John’s councillors had been given a budget to work to when organising the conference, which included conference style stationery and a full buffet for attendees.

Fait accompli

Steeton Primary School is celebrating a national award for its linking work with a school in France.  Its pupils have benefited from the “etwinning” work which has provided creative curriculum activities and enabled them to improve their knowledge of history and language.

The school became part of the etwinning scheme in 2011, initially linking with a French school in Brest in a bid to provide relevance to the children in their learning of the French language.

The school’s French teacher, Diana Linford, became an Etwinning Ambassador for Yorkshire with the remit to promote etwinning and curriculum collaboration across school.  The school then led two projects in 2013 and 2014 which won UK National etwinning awards in 2014.   School is delighted to report that it has also now been announced as the overall national winner for 2015.

Another project “A Christmas Truce” was set up to commemorate the centenary of World War I.  The project looked at the renowned football match between the troops where football and singing inspired joint acts of humanity.  The school now leads on etwinning across the Two Valleys Learning Collaboration and in conjunction with its European Partners.

Governors develop unique training package

Collaborative working between Bradford Council’s School Governor Service, the Leeds Diocese and headteachers has led to the development of a unique training package to ensure high quality governance across the Catholic Schools Partnership of Bradford and Keighley.

Feedback has been very positive with governors feeling that the needs of the dedicated people who volunteer their time in school are being met through this development. The new training package includes multiple opportunities for training via a workshop approach, bespoke sessions and peer to peer support. Governors are able to attend other schools’ meetings to widen their experience and share good practice.

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