Monthly Archives: February 2017

Bus tours hailed a success as hundreds of trainee teachers visit Bradford schools

Bus tours have taken hundreds of teacher training students around schools in Bradford this year as part of a successful project to attract the best people to work in the district’s classrooms.

The tours, organised by Bradford Council, give those training to be teachers an insight into what life is like in the district’s schools to get them to consider beginning their careers here.

The most recent bus tour took students who are training with the Bradford Birth to 19  School Centred Initial Teacher Training.  Four busses toured 12 schools around the Bradford district.

Tours have also taken place for students from Leeds Beckett and Leeds Trinity Universities and there is another planned next month for students from Bradford College. In total around 400 students will tour the district’s schools this academic year.

They have been organised as part of Bradford Council’s drive to recruit and retain the best teachers in the district. The authority is investing £660,000 over three years on work to help achieve this.

The bus tours are followed by a Journey to Your First Teaching Post workshop where candidates are given advice about applying for jobs, writing personal statements and  preparing for their job interviews.

The newly qualified teachers are then invited to apply to a talent bank which has been set up by Bradford Council to allow the district’s schools to find the best candidates for their vacancies.

The talent bank is the first of its kind in the country. It has allowed the Council to use local expertise to match newly qualified teachers to suitable jobs which they can then apply for.

Bradford Council’s Recruitment and Retention Strategy manager Sara Rawnsley said: “The first year of the bus tours and talent bank has been hugely successful.  It was launched in nursery and primary schools in its first year and is now being extended into secondary schools.

“The talent bank benefits both new teachers and schools. It provides teachers with preparation for their job interviews and gets them to think about the type of school they would like to work in and it has provided our schools with access to a pool of talented newly qualified teachers.

“But the talent bank is not just restricted to newly qualified teachers. I am keen to hear from experienced teachers, especially out of Bradford district, who would like the opportunity to come and work in our vibrant, diverse city – there is something for everyone here – from small rural schools to large inner city successful schools.

“The aim of our work is to get people who are thinking about going into teaching to think about Bradford and to see for themselves what life is like inside our schools. “We also want people in Bradford to think about teaching. We want to make sure that we recruit and retain the best teachers possible. We know this approach is working with 90 teachers starting their careers in the district this year after having come on our bus tours.”

Among those was Olivia Rawson, 21, from Wakefield, who has started working at Bowling Park Primary in Bradford, having visited it during a tour.

She said: “Had I never visited Bowling Park on the bus tour, I may have never applied. The bus tour gave me an opportunity to look at a variety of schools in an area that I would probably have never thought about. The wide range of schools we toured helped me to address any misconceptions about Bradford I may have had.”

“Before the bus tour my perception of Bradford was very uncertain. I was unsure of what to expect from schools in the Bradford area or if I would be suited to the challenge of working there. However, the environment schools create in the Bradford area and the inspirational work that goes on to build aspirations for each individual quickly met the challenge I was looking for in a school.

“I would definitely recommend teaching in Bradford. It has such a diverse culture and environment that brings along new challenges each day. The children in Bradford are brilliant as they want to and deserve to come to school. I believe that by working in Bradford, you can have a much bigger impact on the children as they deserve to have the opportunities to learn and enjoy school. I think many people may have the wrong perception on Bradford – it provides excellent opportunities for teachers, children and the whole community.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “It is great to see the success of our investment to attract more teachers to the district.

“Our work on teacher recruitment and retention has made a real difference to Bradford schools with 90 teachers in post thanks to the bus tours and talent bank. We know that teaching in Bradford schools can be very rewarding and we are keen to hear from newly qualified and experienced teachers who are up for the challenge of making a difference to the lives of children in our district.”

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Bradford Dragonboat Festival 2017 launch – 28 February

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid will be launching the Bradford Dragonboat Festival for 2017 at a special event in the Mirror Pool of Bradford’s multi-award winning City Park on Tuesday 28 February at 12 noon.

He will be joined by representatives from last year’s winning team, Red Phoenix, paddlers from teams who already signed up to take part, as well as council staff who have volunteered to support the festival in their own time.

There will be three full-size Dragonboats on display in the Mirror Pool for people to get an idea of what the festival will be like.

The festival raises money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal which this year is raising funds for YoungMinds.

YoungMinds helps children, young people and their parents to find out about the mental health and wellbeing services that are available to them. They also run a helpline for parents worried about the mental health of their children and HeadMeds which is a website about mental health medication for young people.

The Festival which is now in its 3rd year is set to become even bigger and better as it moves to a three day format run over the weekend of 5, 6 and 7 May.

Friday will be specifically for young people and schools and it will be the first of its kind in the UK. The competition will be open to teams of young people aged 11 to 17 (or 25 for people with disabilities). This competition has particular links to the Lord Mayor’s charity YoungMinds, which focuses on support with mental health issues for young people.

Saturday is the main charity day for community teams. Last year 900 people in 45 teams came from across the Bradford district to race in the largest event of its type in the UK. It raised over £43,000 for last year’s Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

Sunday will be a day for corporate teams with the aim of getting teams from large organisations from across the UK to come to Bradford and race.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid, said: “The Bradford Dragonboat Festival is a fantastic event. It is delivered by volunteers and is a whole community festival, planned, designed and delivered by the community, for the community, involving the community and raising funds for the community. We still need teams to take part as well as a vast army of volunteers. Anyone interested should please visit the website and register their interest.”

For more information visit www.bradforddragonboatfestival.co.uk

 

Bradford Hub boosts development with Early Language and Literacy Project

A joint early years project in Bradford has raised low development levels in reception-aged children.

The Early Language and Literacy Project was created by our Early Childhood Services and the National Literacy Trust’s Bradford Hub, in partnership with the Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance and the Innovation Centre Bradford (TICB). The project was rolled out to eight Bradford primary schools, with children’s centres across the district also being invited to take part, which promoted opportunities for joint working and information sharing between them and the schools.

The programme had a significant impact on the eight Bradford schools who took part.

Across the eight schools:

  • The number of children achieving a Good Level of Development (GLD) score increased by an average of 9%, which is more than double the LA increase
  • The Good Level of Development scores across the eight schools increased by 12%
  • The gap between boys and girls achieving a Good Level of Development score narrowed by 18%

The programme was launched in response to the low GLD scores achieved by Bradford children, an issue which was particularly pronounced in schools in Bradford’s most deprived neighbourhoods. There was also a significant gap between genders, with boys achieving significantly lower GLD scores than girls.

The Early Language and Literacy Project is a three-strand approach which supports schools to address their low development levels. The three programme strands are focused on training and supporting teachers at eight different Bradford schools. The programme included:

  • An Early Writing CPD course for teachers, where they learnt about what encourages young children’s writing and developed strategies to build on that knowledge
  • Workshops on the ‘Sharing Stories Together’ initiative, which is a project aimed at building up parents’ skills as storytellers, which the teachers could then adapt for their classrooms
  • A Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) course, which is a course designed to look at how teachers and practitioners can better engage dads and male carers in children’s early literacy

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the National Literacy Trust’s Hub in Bradford, said:

“The results from the pilot are very encouraging and have demonstrated the value of partnership working. We were clear that we wanted a programme to support practitioners in the classroom and at the same time strengthen links with parents through tools like sharing stories and fathers reading to their children. This has encouraged schools to shine a positive light on the value of parental involvement in supporting reading and writing for enjoyment and develop stronger links as a result. In the next year we look forward to working with another 10 primary schools and presenting the programme to the education endowment fund”.

Chris Tolson, Head of Teaching and Learning at Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance, said:

“This first phase of this project saw system leaders deployed to support class teachers and provide school-to-school support. This way of working proved very effective and was a key ingredient to the project’s success. It is a great example of partnership working and shows how leaders and teachers can support each other to improve outcomes for pupils across Bradford.”

Lynn Donohue, Early Years Strategic Manager at Bradford Council, said:

“As a result of our annual thorough analysis of pupil performance at the end of reception year it was clear that, although the performance of our 5 year-olds is improving strongly in Bradford, there was still some low pupil performance in reading and writing and for some groups of pupils.  We identified that the gap between the performance of boys and girls was increasing and the gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and non-free school meals was not closing. This piece of work has enabled us to really target resource and expertise in the design and development of this intervention through our delivery partners. The first pilot in 2015-16 has resulted in some early evidence of success and already delivered improved outcomes for our young children; as a result of this, we are engaging in a second year with our partners.’

Young people receive awards to mark travel training success

Four young people who have special needs were presented with travel training awards by Coun Cath Bacon, at Beechcliffe School before half term.

Kieron Negri (aged 18) and Harris Roberts (aged 17) were awarded their ‘twelve months safe’ awards.

Lucy Hargreaves, (aged 18) received her ‘six months safe’ award, while Hasnain Raza (aged18) received his 3 month safe certificate.

Travel training is a structured and planned way in which children and young people can learn about travel so they can make their first step towards independence. It includes learning about walking routes and all forms of public transport including buses and trains.

Bradford Council’s Travel Training Unit works with disabled and non-disabled children and young people who require support, assistance, mentoring and training to plan and use public transport.

The unit supports children and young people on a one-to-one basis or in small groups planning and practising journeys. They also help with learning associated tasks and skills to enable students to travel independently to and from school.

Nasreen Parveen, Hasnain’s mum, said: “Travel training has really helped with Hasnain confidence. We are proud of him with the way he travels to and from school. We would like to thank you everyone who has helped Hasnain, he’s had great support.”

Coun Cath Bacon said: “I’m delighted to be presenting these awards to these amazing young people. It’s a brilliant way for them to gain independence and confidence.”

Coun Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council and portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “It’s good to see that more young people are benefiting from travel training. It’s a great way in which we can help young people gain skills that that will help improve their lives.”

Picture shows left to right back row:  Hasnain, Keiron, Steve (trainer).  Left to row front row: Joy (Trainer), Lucy, Glenys (Trainer) and Harris.

Ofsted hat-trick for Swain House Primary

Thousands of Bradford pupils have had access to a good education at Swain House Primary School as inspectors have deemed it to be good in all areas for the third consecutive time.

The Bradford Council school has been consistently judged as good since 2009.

In a very complimentary short report, the first inspection since 2011, the inspectors commented that “the leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection” and senior leaders are “dynamic and driven by a strong desire to improve the outcomes for pupils”.

Staff “use monitoring and evaluation effectively to gather evidence of the strengths and weaknesses in the school”.

There has been a focus on improving pupils’ progress in mathematics with a team of teachers now leading on this subject. Much work has been done to improve attendance and punctuality.

“The governors hold senior leaders to account rigorously for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and pupils’ progress in their area of the school. Senior leaders are similarly rigorous in holding teachers to account for the progress of their pupils. Consequently, leadership has strengthened.”

Headteacher, Dianne Rowbotham, said: “Pupils, staff and Governors are delighted with Ofsted’s latest findings as they clearly see the school as we do.

“We are also very pleased to have received a letter of congratulations from Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, and his deputy, Coun Richard Dunbar.

“Everyone has worked extremely hard to maintain this constant level of good teaching and learning and this outcome is very welcome.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “This is very welcome news for the school and the district. I have already sent my congratulations but would like to reiterate my thanks to everyone who has contributed to this positive outcome.”

The school’s Chair of Governors, Neil Traynor, said: “This latest report is very pleasing and is testimony to the work of pupils, staff, parents, Governors and the wider community.”

Other comments in the report include:

  • Pupils now enjoy regular opportunities for problem solving and were seen during the inspection working enthusiastically in groups to unpick difficult problems and explain the method to each other
  • Children behave well and engage in the activities which develop their reading, writing and mathematics. Consequently, the proportion of children reaching a good level of development (GLD) at the end of the early years has increased over a three-year period and was in line with the national average in 2016

Public Forum for Education event

Are you interested in education and what’s happening in the district?  If so, why not book a place on the next Public Forum for Education.

The topic for the next event will be “Improving Attainment in Bradford”. It will take place in the Hockney Conference Room, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford BD1 1NN on Wednesday 15 March from 4.30pm to 6.30pm (with a buffet from 4pm).

The event will include a presentation by Sir Nick Weller on his Northern Powerhouse Schools Strategy and the impact it could have in Bradford.

Sir Nick, who is the chief executive of Bradford-based Dixons Academies Trust, was commissioned by the Government to produce a report into how school standards in the North of England can be improved.

His report, published late last year, made a series of recommendations including the suggestion that a scheme to attract and retain talented teachers is piloted in the North.

The Public Forum for Education debate will be the first time he has publicly discussed his plans in Bradford.

Judith Kirk, Bradford Council’s Deputy Director for Education, Employment and Skills will then present the council’s response to Sir Nick’s report and will talk about the local authority’s role in raising standards.

Speakers at next month’s event will also include Sara Rawnsley, Bradford Council’s Recruitment and Retention Manager who will give an update on the work the authority has done to attract and keep teachers in the district.

This includes running the Bradford bus tours in which teaching students are taken around schools in the district to see what life is like in Bradford schools and also the creation of a talent bank in which candidates apply to join a pool of newly qualified teachers who are then matched with schools which have vacancies they can apply for. This approach has successfully led to 90 teachers starting new jobs in the Bradford district this academic year.

The Public Forum for Education holds “big conversations” throughout the year on topical issues in education. With an independent chair Michael Latham – former Bradford Headteacher, the Forum enables everyone with an interest to contribute their views.

Most importantly we want to hear your views. Anyone with an interest is welcome so please publicise through your networks and bring friends and colleagues. We would particularly like parents, governors and young people to attend.

Please confirm your attendance and names of others you invite, either by emailing Public.Forum.for.Education@bradford.gov.uk or telephoning Heidi Hardy on (01274) 434335.

Free arts and entertainment to be held in city centre

A series of free events is coming to Bradford city centre this spring, including parades, talent shows and live entertainment.

The Creative Streets programme features colourful costumed parades, a quirky talent quest, an innovative indoor ‘art and performance park’ and an entertaining and interactive treasure hunt.

Bradford city centre will come alive with Bhangra, Bollywood and African drumming dance acts, cycling activities and a range of creative costume-making workshops.

Bradford’s cutting edge arts company, The Brick Box, will stage a follow-up production of their highly successful, Wild Woods ‘indoor woodland’ and performance space.

The Wild Woods in Bloom will put the spring back into Darley St and celebrate the new season with colourful and interactive installations, live performances from a host of exciting local talent, amazing workshops, family fun and games, and delicious food.

Local master mask and puppet makers, Cecil Green Arts whose workshop was destroyed in the Drummond Mill fire, will run a flamboyant Puppet Parade featuring huge colourful papier mâché pieces created by local people at special workshops.

The vibrant Puppet Parade will celebrate everything about Bradford and be accompanied by local musicians from Punjabi Roots Academy and Moseke Music.

There will be opportunities for budding cyclists to take part in Spring Flower and Shamrock Cycle Parades, and special workshops will be held to help people make costumes and decorate their bikes.

There will be chances for people to try out a range of ingenious and innovative adaptive bikes designed to cater for all ages and abilities and compete in various Tour de Yorkshire inspired activities at Bradford Capital of Cycling.

Shipley-based arts company, Q20, is teaching local school children costume design and construction, and street theatre skills so they can perform at a colourful Pirate Parade, complete with a mobile galleon.

Hundreds of young recruits will join local artists, John and Charlotte Lambert and Scott Vipond-Clarke, to rampage through Bradford city centre’s streets showing off their newly acquired buccaneering skills at a Pirate Parade.

The Pirate Pirade finishes with a swashbuckling picnic at Oaster Square.

Q20 will also stage a quirky talent quest, Top of Town’s Got Talent on 1 April.

Local people are being encouraged to ‘make an April fool of themselves’ by showcasing their special talents which could include anything from acrobatics, poetry, plate spinning, clog dancing to ear wiggling.

The fun continues with the April Fools’ Wacky Cycle Challenges where families can try out a range of unusual bicycles including reverse bikes which go backwards when you pedal forwards, tiny ‘monkey bikes’, tall ‘over-sized’ and companion bikes.

People can also try hand-cranked and recumbent cycle challenges.

Families will enjoy an interactive and dramatized treasure hunt where they will meet some larger than life characters, performed by Bradford Adept artists, Shanaz Gulzar and Steve Manthorp.

Participants of the In for a Penny Treasure Hunt will solve a series of clues to win a specially minted ‘Yorkshire Penny’ which can be kept or exchanged for discounts in selected  Bradford stores.

Lovers of Bollywood and Bhangra will enjoy an explosive performance from Bradford’s South Asian arts school, Punjabi Roots Academy in Balle!! Balle!

Punjabi Roots Academy will stage, The B3ats, a pioneering fusion music event featuring eastern and western instruments and a professional DJ.

The Academy will also run drumming workshops along with African drummer, Moses Ekebuisi.

Creative Streets runs from 11 March to 30 April in the ‘top of town’ area of Bradford including Darley Street, North Parade, Kirkgate Market and Oastler Market.

All events and workshops are free of charge.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Creative Streets will be lots of fun and we’re inviting everyone to come into Bradford to enjoy the free workshops and entertainment.

“This project is part of our on-going support designed to attract more people into the ‘top of town’ area of Bradford city centre and support the businesses in that area.”

For further information visit: www.facebook.com/CreativeStreetsBd

 

 

Fantastic family February half-term holiday swim offer

Families can take advantage of a fantastic swim offer from Bradford Council and swim from just £8 during the half term holidays next week.

The family swim offer will be available between 20 and 26 February at all Bradford Council pools.

The £8 offer is available for one adult and up to three children for swimming at all council-run pools in the district. Families of two adults and up to two children will be able to swim for £10. The offer is available at Richard Dunn Sport Centre, The Leisure Centre Keighley and Bingley, Bowling, Eccleshill, Ilkley (indoor pool), Queensbury and Shipley pools.

Richard Dunn Sports Centre also has a special offer of £15 for families wanting to both swim and slide.

Coun Sarah Ferriby Bradford Council Executive Member for Environment, Sport said: “It can be hard to find inexpensive things to do as a family during the half term holidays and this offer really cuts down the cost of a trip to the swimming pool.”

Children are classed as under 16. Please check exact times as they may vary slightly at different pools.

Follow Sport Bradford on Twitter: @SportBradford  Continue reading Fantastic family February half-term holiday swim offer

Yorkshire Ambulance Service support ‘Restart a Heart Day’ by offering free CPR training

Bradford Secondary School are being urged to sign-up for free CPR training.

The tuition is being offered by Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) staff and volunteers as part of ‘Restart a Heart Day’.

Youngsters are taught what to do if they come across someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.

Over the past three years, more than 50,000 pupils at secondary schools across Yorkshire have taken part in the initiative.

Lizzie Jones, widow of tragic Keighley Cougars star Danny, died aged 29 after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match in May 2015, is an ambassador for the scheme.  Mrs Jones said:

“Restart a Heart Day is an incredible event and I am proud to be a part of something which has the potential to make a difference to so many lives,” she said.

“By teaching our children such a vital skill we are changing the future.

“I would encourage as many schools as possible to take part.”
Restart a Heart Day takes place on October 16, but the closing date for registration is April 7.

 

Pupils will also be invited to participate in a poster competition, with the winner receiving a defibrillator for their school.

YAS says that currently less than one in ten people in the UK survives a cardiac arrest.

In Norway, where CPR is taught in schools, the survival rate is 25 per cent.

“If we achieved the same rate an additional 100 lives a week could be saved,” said Restart a Heart Day organiser Jason Carlyon, clinical development manager with YAS.

“The event is becoming more successful every year and 2016 was the best yet, when we shared our concept with all UK ambulance trusts to support its roll-out nationally.”

To register, visit: restartaheart.yas.nhs.uk

Follow Yorkshire Ambulance Service on Twitter: @YorksAmbulance 

Pupils raise money for life-saving Defibrillator

Pupils at Thackley Primary School hosted ‘Save a Heart Day’ on Valentine’s Day in order to raise money for a life-saving Defibrillator.  The school hopes to raise enough money to buy a defibrillator to be kept outside the school grounds and available to the public 24 hours a day, meaning residents and anyone at school can get the help they need in an emergency.

The school took part in the ‘Save a Heart Day’ with a series of fundraising activities which included all the children coming to school wearing red or pink, a fantastic Valentine’s bun sale and a raffle for a teddy bear and Valentine’s hamper!

The school has also received generous donations from the local community & businesses of which they are very thankful, Jigsaw Out of School and Holiday Playscheme, The White Bear Public House, and parent Tracey Hall who made & sold heart shaped cakes.

Kate Bainbridge who is a KS2 teacher at Thackley Primary School and leading on the fundraising said:

“Thackley Primary School hopes to raise enough money to buy a life-saving defibrillator for the school and wider community.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the UK’s biggest killer, killing 100,000 every year, and 15 young people every week.  Having a defibrillator at the school for us and the local community increases a person’s chances of survival to between 70 and 90 per cent.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said:

“Congratulations to the staff, pupils and parents at Thackley Primary School on raising funds to go towards this life-saving equipment.  We hope they reach their goal to fund the defibrillator.

Hopefully this will not need to be used but it is reassuring for the school and the community that the defibrillator is available if required”.

To make a donation, please contactMrs. Annette Patterson, Head of School T 01274 414437.

Follow Thackley Primary School on Twitter: @ThackleyPrimary