Welcome to the fifteenth edition of Educate Positive, a regular publication which highlights excellence in education and across the district’s schools and settings. In this edition we look at several instances of the impact being made in literacy and how apprenticeships are proving beneficial for the district’s young people, along with secondary students taking part in a Chemistry Festival at the University of Bradford and children reading bedtime stories together.
Literacy Corner – “Poetry in Motion”
Thanks to a literacy project and partnership working, two young people are celebrating winning a poetry competition where they told the story of life in Bradford through verse. One of the winners was Suma Abdulla from Dixons Marchbank Primary School whose poem “Big Beautiful Bradford” wowed the judges of the “Love Bradford” poetry competition, run by the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford, First West Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus and the Kirkgate Shopping Centre.
The winning poems are displayed on the walls of 100 local First West Yorkshire buses.
More than 100 budding bards across Bradford entered the competition whose aim was to inspire and motivate reluctant writers, especially boys, to do more creative writing.
The National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford is all about providing fun ways to improve literacy skills across the area. Poetry is a powerful way for young people to express themselves which is why we are working with children and families through events, programmes and campaigns to inspire them to explore creative writing.
Impact of Roald Dahl Day at Thornton Primary
Roald Dahl is always a popular choice for children and spending two days studying his work was an inspiration for the pupils at Thornton Primary School.
The children experienced his style of writing in different ways, with staff planning lots of exciting activities. There were many opportunities for classes to develop their writing skills and the work produced was wonderful, ranging from exciting description and marvellous recipes to play scripts. The children enjoyed the days and have been inspired by a well loved author.
Bowling Park Primary hosts “BD5 Bedtime Stories”
Almost 500 children and their families have taken part in the BD5 Bedtime Stories event. Nine schools in BD5 have worked together on this exciting project to encourage families to read at home. Reading every evening, even for just 10 minutes per night, can dramatically improve children’s reading ability and foster a life-long love of stories.
The group of schools is keen to maximise this potential, and inspire even more children to pick up a good book and share it with their families, hence the sessions which took place at the National Media Museum and in the City Library.
The aim is to develop a passion for reading, and encourage families to enjoy books together. There will be interactive shows from a variety of high quality authors, poets and illustrators, as well as tours of City Library and the Museum. Children were invited to wear their pyjamas for the bedtime event and a donation from a local company, Kemira Chemicals, meant that every child received a free book!
This group of schools works together on a number of projects that help to raise achievement in the BD5 area, including their training of Newly Qualified Teachers and the organisation of an annual Literacy Festival.
For more information please contact Fiona Phimister at Bowling Park Primary School, T 01274 770270.
Apprentice of the Year
James Scaife, a 19-year-old apprentice from Bradford Moor, is testimony to the value of Apprenticeships as he has won Apprentice of the Year for Bradford Council’s Building and Technical Services.
James is in his third year of his apprenticeship working on Council buildings. He was one of 16 winners at the awards ceremony held at the Banqueting Hall in City Hall, including carpenters, joiners, engineers, bricklayers, plasterers, painters, decorators and plumbers.
The awards were given for four categories which were Most Improved, Outstanding Effort, Best Portfolio and Trainers Choice, for each year from 1-4. James won the three categories of Most Improved, Outstanding Effort and Trainers Choice for year 2 and also achieved more points than anyone else to become Apprentice of the Year.
Duke of Edinburgh success at Parkside
Students at Parkside School have been put to the test both physically and mentally recently as the school not only introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, but it also became a licensed organisation.
A number of Year 10 students have almost finished their award and have successfully completed their expedition section at Bronze Level with many more set to join this academic year.
As part of their team building skills, 14 Duke of Edinburgh groups from the Bradford area took part in the 34th annual Lane Fox Challenge event in Tong Woods. Parkside School entered a team of five students, who went on to be the champions completing the course, very wet and muddy, in the fastest time. Well done everyone!
For further information please contact Headteacher, Andy Taylor, T 01535 272752.
Students on a virtual expedition
Students at University Academy Keighley were the first in the district to be given an exclusive opportunity to try Expeditions, a virtual reality tour of sights and locations, to help them engage with their learning in a new project launched by Google.
History, geography and science became a lot more interactive when the students visited marine life in the Great Barrier, toured The Palace of Versailles, climbed Everest and finally landed on the Moon – all without leaving the class room!
The event was arranged by the Academy’s Strategic Leader for e-Learning, Mr Turvey, who said: “This was an amazing opportunity for our learners not only to try new technology, but to experience a wide range of locations and places to help open their eyes and minds to the wider world. The students’ reactions have been a joy to see.”
With smartphones being such an integrated part of our lives, the Expeditions software runs as an app on a smartphone. The students get a 3D experience once the phone is inserted into a headset worn by them.
Pupils in “Battle of the Somme” project
Thirty pupils from Cullingworth Village and Farnham Primary schools will learn about their own history and any ancestral involvement with the Battle of the Somme by taking part in a new project. The “Children of the Somme” is a BBC Radio Leeds project which will allow pupils to explore the History of the Somme.
The sessions include workshops about writing, learning about poems and stories as well as listening to educational talks and learning instruments and dance routines with a South Asian influence.
A final concert at Bradford Playhouse on Thursday 17 November, will see both schools perform together to showcase what they have learnt.
People can listen to BBC Radio Leeds for extensive coverage on the “Children of the Somme” with Look North, The BBC Asian network and BBC World Service briefly covering it.
Engaging Families accreditation is a “mystery”
Not only has Thornton Primary School been awarded the prestigious Engaging Families Award, the school actively put this accreditation into practice when it invited parents to come into school to help solve murder mysteries.
School ran a Murder Mystery Week in the summer term and was able to display its engagement with families by allowing parents to help their children solve the murder.
An assembly was held to explain how the police needed the pupils to help solve the crime. The pupils became detectives for the week and took part in a range of Science and English activities such as fingerprint analysis and creating Newsround reports from the scene of the crime.
The rationale was that the week would create an engaging and exciting opportunity for children to enjoy the problem solving elements of the Primary Maths Curriculum and was a week which was enjoyed by all.
For further information please contact Liz Davison, Headteacher, T 01274 833839.
The chemistry’s right for crime-busting Parkside students
Chemistry skills helped Parkside School during their prize-winning visit to the University of Bradford.
The four Cullingworth students had to uncover what happened in the salt cellars when they took part in the Salters Festival of Chemistry. The students from Year 7 also had to create a rainbow of colours and colour chemistry section during the action-packed day.
They were finally treated to a ‘chemistry WOW’ show which included banana freezing and spooky smoke.
The “Parkside quartet” was specially invited take part in the festival, a competitive chemistry competition held across the UK.
Parkside chemistry teacher James Windle said: “Our students were exceptional in their performance on the day, really working together as a team and showing a real flair for chemistry.
“It was this high standard of performance that led to Parkside being crowned the winners of the competition, beating the other 15 teams who were taking part.”
Mr Windle confirmed that during the last 16 years over 44,000 students have experienced the fun of practical chemistry through the Salters’ Festivals. Sponsorship in support of the festivals has been raised from over 50 companies.
For further information please contact Headteacher, Andy Taylor, T 01535 272752.