Monthly Archives: November 2015

Educate Positive – Edition 10

Welcome to the tenth edition of Educate Positive, a monthly publication highlighting excellence in Bradford education and other topical news from across the district. In this edition we bring you details of Steeton Primary’s international work, schools recognised for their e-safety, collaborative working on Artsmark and Bradford Business Managers leading the way.

Primary’s International Success
Christmas Truce prize June 2015Pupils working in collaboration with their international peers has resulted in Steeton Primary School being awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

The school’s international work includes Skyping schools in Finland, Poland and Italy; cross-curricular international projects on geography, festivals, history and the environment; Fairtrade School activities and a video-conference call carol concert with schools around Europe to commemorate the 1914 Christmas Truce.

Pictured above is Diana Linford, the school’s International School Coordinator receiving the prize for the best e-Twinning project for 2014/2015 from George Glass at the national awards ceremony in Nottingham.

Collaborative working towards Artsmark

Eldwick Primary School and Bingley Grammar are working collaboratively with five other schools in their area (cluster) in a bid to achieve the new Artsmark standard.  They are one of only two clusters of schools, nationally, undertaking joint working towards this new accreditation, which is awarded by Arts Council England and designed by schools to help deliver high quality arts and cultural education.  Seven schools in our district are involved.  Schools are working towards different levels of accreditation within Artsmark and Eldwick Primary and Bingley Grammar are leading the collaboration and providing assistance to help colleagues develop.

The schools which Bingley Grammar and Eldwick are working with are Beckfoot School and Crossflatts, Priestthorpe, Oldfield and Saltaire primaries.  All schools have an individual action plan.  The project is in association with Cape UK.

Janice Kershaw, Headteacher at Eldwick Primary School is a Specialist Leader in Cultural Education.  Her school is in its second year of the programme.  Eldwick Primary is also working with the Northern Ballet and Bingley Grammar has been working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and involves primary schools.

For further information please contact Janice Kershaw, Eldwick Primary School, T 01274 568361.

RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) Programme in Schools

Schools in Bradford which have taken advantage of the free RSE programme say it has helped them in addressing the needs of parents and young people in discussing issues of personal safety and relationships and sexual and reproductive health choices.

The Ur Choice programme is delivered in Years 9 and 10 in secondary schools and is coordinated by the Public Health Sexual Health Team.  It is delivered by teachers, school nurses and health professionals with a pilot programme for Years 7 and 8 starting in January 2016.  Tong High School was commended for its delivery of this programme when it was inspected by Ofsted. The free parents and carers programme, Speakeasy, is primarily delivered by the Council’s Family Learning Service.  This programme was developed by the Family Planning Association with promotion and coordination from the Sexual Health Team.

For further information or to sign up for this free programme please contact Nicola Corrigan, Lead in the Sexual Health Team, T 01274 432097.

Schools recognised for their e-safety

Shirley Manor Esafety awardAs a result of four of our schools recently being awarded the E-safety Mark recognised by Ofsted as signifying a high standard of their provision within school, more pupils across the district are accessing the internet and technology more safely and effectively. This brings the total number of Bradford E-safety Mark accredited schools to 7.

Titus Salt, Green Lane Primary, Shirley Manor Primary and Burley Oaks Primary have all provided a curriculum which ensures that young people are effectively educated on the safe, responsible and legal use of connected technologies used at and beyond school.  Photo shows pupils from Shirley Manor Primary.

For further information on E Safety Mark please contact Paul Scott in the Curriculum Innovation Service, T 01274 434831.

Bradford Business Managers leading the way

The School Business Management Leadership Group has been working with the National Association of School Business Managers on a course they deliver to School Business Managers throughout England in connection with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting.

Following much hard work and negotiation, Bradford will be in a position to provide training for the whole of the North of England as well as local practitioners to ensure we are delivering an outstanding service to the City’s schools and the children attending them.  This will commence in January 2016 and will put Bradford well and truly on the map for delivery of such a high calibre of training.

Previously the programme has only ever been delivered in London which has restricted access to the training for Business Managers in the North due to the cost of travelling and accommodation.

For further information please contact Lesley Burton, at St John’s CE Primary School, T 01274 681959.

Take the opportunity to share your best practice and recent achievements – to submit an item for publication please contact the Education Communications Team on 01274 434673 or 435634. 

Premier League Reading Stars boosts pupils’ reading and writing skills at Girlington Primary School

Girlington Primary School and the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford ran the Premier League Reading Stars (PLRS) programme during the summer term. Assistant Headteacher, Daniel Walker hoped the programme would help to improve the reading ability and attitudes of pupils in Year 5 and Year 6.

He said: “At the launch of the programme in the school assembly, we told pupils that they must write a letter to apply for a place on the team. Eleven pupils were chosen because we felt that they would benefit the most from taking part.”

An area in the school library was set up as the PLRS team corner, with tasks and a stadium poster on the wall to track their successes in the different challenges.. Throughout the programme, Mr Walker used a range of techniques to create and maintain and sense of inclusion and team spirit:

“The pupils were allowed to wear their football kits on PLRS days and we also let them take penalty shots with me in goal as a reward for completing challenges. We also offered some football coaching and chances to play matches after the sessions.”

At each fixture the boys quizzed each other about the books they’d read and their interpretations and ideas. Mr Walker said the group made significant progress by taking part in PLRS:

“All boys who took part in the programme made more than expected progress in reading. Two boys made two sub levels of progress, which is the equivalent of more than a year’s expected progress in one term. One boy made dramatic progress of a whole level (3 sub-levels) in a term.”

Participating in PLRS also had a huge impact on the attitudes of the boys, who were very enthusiastic about the programme. Each boy was able to name their favourite book and spoke in great detail about the different activities and reading challenges they had taken part in.

When asked why they thought their reading had improved, persistence was identified as a strong reason. Several of the group described how previously they would skip over difficult words but now they would look them up online or ask a teacher or parents to help them. They all agreed that they now wanted to understand what they were reading rather than just doing it because they had too. One boy commented:

“I used to find it hard to have a picture in my head of what was going on and I would give up. Now I keep trying. Sometimes I have to re-read some of the books to get there”.

As well as reading, several members of the group also identified positive effects the programme had had on their writing. One boy said that his handwriting was getting better because he had more that he wanted to say, so he was doing more writing and getting better. They all agreed that their vocabulary had also improved, as they knew and used more descriptive words.

The team aspect of the programme was a clear highlight for many of the boys.

Bradford Walk and Trail Quiz Boosts Literacy

Families are being encouraged to visit Bradford’s best known landmarks as part of a quiz which aims to improve children’s literacy.

The Bradford Literacy Campaign has teamed up with the National Media Museum and Bradford Libraries to launch a fun literacy activity for families called the Bradford Walk and Talk Trail Quiz which celebrates the city’s architecture and culture by quizzing families during a day out in the city.

The quiz sheet features questions on some of Bradford’s favourite gems including the iconic Bradford Alhambra, the fascinating National Media Museum and the beautiful Bradford Wool Exchange which are designed to spark conversation whilst families are walking around the city centre together. The quiz also includes Bradford’s fantastic City Library to encourage families to join. Families who hand in their completed quizzes to City Library or their local library have the chance of winning a stack of books from Walker Books.

The Bradford Walk and Talk Trail Quiz sheets are available in the National Media Museum and Bradford’s City Library. A PDF can also be downloaded to print here.

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the National Media Museum and Bradford Libraries on this fantastic activity for supporting children’s speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Museums and libraries are a vital part of children’s education and we hope that the quiz will encourage more families to visit the National Media Museum and join their local library.

Questions on Bradford city centre’s amazing architecture and culture provide inspiration for conversations on family days out which will help develop children’s communication skills. We hope families will enjoy spotting details and learning more about their city in this fun new way.”

The quiz also includes Bradford’s fantastic City Library to encourage families to join in.

Visit for more information about the Bradford Literacy Campaign.

Spectacular show to switch on Christmas lights

The Dream Engine's The Diamond in Singapore

Bradford Council is set to stage an innovative outdoor show with stunning pyrotechnics and breathtaking aerial performances for its annual Christmas Lights Spectacular.

Internationally renowned British street theatre masters, The Dream Engine return to City Park with Heliosphere.

Beautiful acrobats suspended below two huge silver helium balloons will perform mesmerising routines whilst pyrotechnic specialists, External Combustion will light up the sky with powerful fireworks displays.

The Christmas Lights Spectacular will give local people an opportunity to experience a cutting edge piece which has never been seen in Bradford before.

In Dream Engine’s The Diamond, a giant translucent pod inflates magically lifting a cocooned artist into the air.

Once fully filled with air, the performer will execute a breathtaking aerial ribbon show set to an atmospheric soundtrack.

The Council has also organised some more traditional elements to the Christmas event.

Audiences will be encouraged to sing along to popular Christmas carols performed by Bradford Festival Choral Society and Priestthorpe Primary School children.

Bradford’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Joanne Dodds will lead the countdown for the Christmas lights to be switched on.

Funfair rides will be on offer along with a range of tasty delights from a range of food stalls.

The Christmas Lights Spectacular runs from 4:45pm to 5:45pm, Saturday 14 November in City Park, Bradford.

Admission is free.

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Portfolio Holder for Education, Skills and Culture, said: “The annual Bradford’s Christmas Lights switch-on has a reputation for bringing something out of the ordinary to the city centre.

“This year’s performance sounds equally spectacular and breath-taking. It is sure to bring in the crowds.”