Edition 11 – week beginning 18 January 2016
Welcome to the eleventh 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 a feature item on Carlton Bolling College along with details of the reading scheme which is helping boys at Girlington Primary School, and the primary school children in Low Moor who spent the afternoon with a local MP.
Carlton Bolling’s positive response
A school’s response to comments made when it was inspected by Ofsted has resulted in training for the whole of the school staff and the school being highlighted in the national media.
Carlton Bolling College was previously in special measures and one of the areas which the report highlighted was that pupils had not been protected from the possible risks of radicalisation or extremism.
Since that full Ofsted in June 2014 the school has moved forward and in Ofsted’s latest visit, inspectors found that the school’s key strengths were the “clear vision and ambition of the headteacher and staff with high staff morale and low turnover of staff”. It also recognised the positive views of parents and students and felt that “the work of the school to promote British values and protect students from radicalisation and extremism is a considerable strength”.
All staff at the college have now undertaken extensive training specifically tailored to suit the school’s community but linking in with the Government programme of training. Students have also benefited from GOT (Getting on Together) training via workshops which again were tailored and adapted for purpose.
Assemblies have highlighted the dangers of extremism and the school prides itself on not shying away from discussing difficult issues.
As a result of the safeguarding work the school has done there has been national media interest including interviews with BBC Radio 5 Live, featuring an interview with Adrian Chiles and the headteacher, Adrian Kneeshaw.
Pictured above is a Year 10 Student Council student speaking to the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter, Sarah Brett.
For more information please contact Janet Dunn, Headteacher’s PA on 01274 633111.
Reading boosts pupils’ skills
Pupils at Girlington Primary School who took part in the National Literacy Trust’s Premier League Reading Stars (PLRS) Programme during the summer term have made more than expected progress due to this intervention.
Two boys made two sub levels of progress which is the equivalent of more than a year’s expected progress in just one term, with one pupil making a whole level of progress which is three sub levels.
Schools in Bradford have been signed up to PLRS as part of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford’s aim to improve the reading ability and attitudes of pupils in Year 5 and Year 6, especially those of boys.
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 the school used a range of techniques to create and maintain a sense of inclusion and team spirit; the pupils were allowed to wear their football kits on PLRS days and as a reward for completing the challenges pupils took penalty shots with the school’s assistant headteacher, Daniel Walker, in goals.
For more information please contact Imran Hafeez, Literacy Hub Manager, Imran.Hafeez@literacytrust.org.uk
Appleton Academy pioneers new approach
Collaborative working between the National Literacy Trust and a teacher at Appleton Academy has resulted in the development of an innovative resource which is now available as a national model of excellence for teaching poetry to Key Stage 3 pupils.
The creation of Great Poetry through Time: Chaucer to 21st Century Poets began when English teacher, Mehwash Kauser was inspired by workshops delivered in schools by Imran Hafeez, Bradford Literacy Hub Manager.
Through rap and lyrical performances of his own work, Imran encourages reluctant readers and writers to engage with poetry by demonstrating how it can be used as a vehicle for exploring contemporary issues and pupils’ self-identity. By blending classics such as Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’ with more contemporary poetry, Imran’s approach enthused students who were keen to write their own pieces using his style as a stimulus.
The resource encourages students to ask questions about a poem, make inferences and summarise and synthesise their points. Pupils are then invited to write their own poems on a theme or issue of their choice. The project culminates in a celebratory ‘poetry by heart’ performance where students recite their favourite sonnet in front of their class.
For further information about the Bradford Literacy Campaign or the National Literacy Trust, please contact Jo Franks, Local Media and Campaigns Officer on 0207 820 6256 or at Jo.Franks@literacytrust.org.uk
District’s MP in the Hot Seat
Democracy and Having a Voice is high on the agenda for one of the district’s primary school councils.
Following a visit to the Houses of Parliament by Hill Top CE Primary’s School Council, the pupils invited Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South to come to their school and take up the “hot seat” so the pupils and parents and members of the community could pose their questions to her about community issues.
The questions which were put to Judith ranged from the length of the school day, prices of holidays and asking for her thoughts on the Syrian refugee crisis. The whole interview can be viewed on the school’s Twitter account @HillTopCE or using the hashtag #HillTopHotSeat.
So successful was the visit and the reception from the school that people are now very keen to put themselves in the “hotseat”. Requests have been received from Councillor Angela Tait and Celia Hickson, Chair of the Bradford Green Party.
For further information please contact Headteacher, Des Martin, Hill Top Primary, T 01274 678386, or by email at: email@example.com
Pupils voice their opinions on education
Following an invitation from Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Executive Member for Education, Skills and Culture, gave pupils from Beckfoot Upper Heaton, Dixons Kings Academy, Holy Family Catholic and Oakbank School the opportunity to have their say on how to improve education throughout the district.
The pupils came to the Council Chamber in City Hall to give their views to councillors as part of their Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) studies. The students were asked for their views and raised a number of key issues which included:
- The importance of inspirational teachers
- The need for high-quality sports facilities in schools
- The benefits of outstanding teachers
Bradford Education Covenant gets full stamp of approval
The Bradford Education Covenant gained unanimous cross-party support at a full meeting of Bradford Council. Councillors gave the Covenant their seal of approval when they met at City Hall on Tuesday, 8 December.
The Bradford Education Covenant is designed to help improve education in the district by encouraging everyone to play their part in a united drive to raise standards. It supports the local authority’s school improvement strategy which has been endorsed by Ofsted.
The Covenant sets out a series of pledges from the Council as well as a set of ‘asks’ of others – parents, young people, schools, employers, local communities and the government – in recognition of the fact that learning starts from birth, continues for life and takes place inside and outside formal education. Now the Covenant has gained full support, the local authority will be working hard with partners to disseminate it throughout the district.
Titus Salt students celebrate World Heritage success
The positive attitude of a group of film-making students from Titus Salt School allowed them to be part of the development of a new link with Youth Ambassadors.
The students made a film which won third place in an international World Heritage competition and enabled them to represent Saltaire at the 2015 World Heritage Youth Summit.
To earn a place at the summit the students designed a film that answered the question: “How can we use World Heritage to make the place we live in better?”
The organisers were so impressed with the students that they allowed them to contribute to the development of a new link with the Youth Ambassadors who are planning a trip to Saltaire next February. Pictured above are the girls at the Summit.
For further information please contact Marsika Peers at Titus Salt School, 01274 258969.
Primary pupils engage in the Bradford maths challenge
The Curriculum Innovation Team is working with 12 primary schools from Bradford and Leeds to deliver the Bradford Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge. The Bradford Challenge allows children to access online software designed to raise attainment and engagement in mathematics in upper Key Stage 2. Using tried and tested software that simulates the setting up of a Formula 1 racing car, students encounter a variety of mathematical problem solving activities to prepare their car for a race with others.
The Bradford Challenge is a series of online races that support schools to enter the National Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge. This is a national event culminating in a National Finals Day in Birmingham and we have had a Bradford finalist in 10 of the last 11 finals and we are very proud that Bankfoot Primary has won the Key Stage 2 final twice.
In early December the Curriculum Innovation Team hosted the Face2Face race at the Innovation Centre in Little Germany. Children from participating schools were randomly drawn into teams so that they worked with children from different schools to enter a one-off race. This consisted of two hours of intensive maths work using percentages, calculations, ratios, angles, mathematical modelling and statistical analysis and planning an appropriate pit stop strategy. The teams then submitted their cars for a live race on the big screen at the centre with the winners receiving prizes and certificates.
Take the opportunity to share your best practice and recent achievements – to submit an item for publication please contact 01274 438899 the Bradford Council Communications Team.