Monthly Archives: May 2017

Bradford pupils get the chance to quiz a Star Wars star

Pupils at a Bradford primary school got the chance to carry out their own exclusive interview with a movie star as Riz Ahmed took part in a question and answer session with them on Skype.

The event has been organised by Beckfoot Heaton Primary School to introduce inspiring role models to the children and get them to think about their own futures.

The Star Wars star gave an inspirational speech to pupils telling them to always believe in themselves and pursue their goals before he answered their questions about his life as an actor and a musician and his plans for the future.

Ahmed is a real rising star in the acting world having played one of the leading roles, Bohdi Rook,  in the most recent Star Wars movie, Rogue One. He also starred in Nightcrawler and HBO’s The Night Of TV series.  He is a rapper performing under the name Riz MC and appeared on TIME magazine’s The Most Influential People of 2017 list.

The chance to talk to a film star face-to-face was organised through a teacher at the school, Khola Mir.

She said: “Part of our school ethos is to aspire to greatness. We really encourage our children to be the best versions of themselves and to have the courage to dream big. Riz is a fantastic role model and has helped to show our children that if you dare to dream and work hard success will be yours.”

Pupils asked Ahmed about what it was like being in a Star Wars film, how he coped with fame and how he overcame challenges.

He told pupils that the biggest obstacle they will face is what they tell themselves. He encouraged the children to believe in their ability to succeed. He was also asked whether he knew what his next step in life would be.

He replied: “I feel like so far I have been working on other people’s projects and acting in other people’s films. I really hope my next step will be to make my own films and tell my own stories and actually one of the stories I want to tell is set here in Bradford.”

He told pupils that if any of them pursued a career in films they might one day work together.

Beckfoot Heaton Primary School Headteacher Zoe Mawson added: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils. We want our children to know they can be great learners, great citizens and have a great future.

“But we also know that some children in our area face many challenges in making this a reality.  Many don’t have high aspirations and struggle to envisage what they could achieve in their life.

“We’re aiming to tackle these issues. We want the children to have a real sense of belonging, which builds their confidence and encourages them to aspire for greatness.  The hope is that Riz is someone that a lot of our children can identify with and begin to realise that success is not out of reach. We would like to thank Riz for showing our children that their future is in their hands.”


Ilkley Lido opens for Summer!

Ilkley Lido will make a splash as it officially re-opens for the summer season this Saturday, 27 May and will mark the occasion with a family fun day.

The Bradford-Council run venue was voted one of the top ten open air pools in the country.

Also taking place later next month is the Solstice Swim on Wednesday, 21 June.

The Lido, which was built in 1935, has a 45-metre stretch of shallow water and slide for children, a fountain pool and a lagoon-shaped pool for swimmers. It is surrounded by a grassy area for relaxing on sunny days and far-reaching views across Ilkley Moor. There is also a cafe, tennis courts, putting green and bowling green.

On the day there will be stalls, face-painting and activities, as well as the outdoor and indoor pools to enjoy.

The summer opening event runs from 10am to 5.30pm and costs £2 per person.

Steve Hartley, Strategic Director of Place, said: “Ilkley Lido is a great place for a family day out with its wide range of activities and its location, close to Ilkley town centre and on the edge of the beautiful Ilkley Moor. In good hot summers, it has been known to attract up to 50,000 visitors.

We are looking forward to a great family fun day on Saturday and hoping for good weather”.

Season tickets for the lido are also now on sale and cost £125 for adults and £62.50 for children and senior citizens and £50.00 Bradford Leisure card holders..

Further information can be found on the website

Ilkley Lido
Take the kids to Ilkley Lido this weekend! The summer opening event runs from 10am to 5.30pm and costs £2 per person.

Fagley Primary flying high with outstanding Ofsted success

Staff and pupils at Fagley Primary School are celebrating being rated as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.

In a glowing report the Bradford school was given the top inspection rating for the effectiveness of its leadership and management; the quality of its teaching and learning; pupils’ results; the personal development, behaviour and welfare of the children and for its early year years provision.

The report has been welcomed by the whole school community.

Head teacher Chris Parfitt said: “The report reflects the school ‘just as it is’ with sound statements reflecting the dedication and commitment of school staff and governors who are absolutely marvellous in their exceptional practice to enable every child to succeed and do their very best at school, at home and in the community, now and in the future”.

A group of Year 6 children read the report with a school governor and made the following comments:

“The report is fantastic – full of lovely comments about our school. The headteacher Mrs Parfitt, is a determined headteacher and she won’t stop until all children have achieved their standards. In her vision all pupils are stars in their own way”.

Inspectors said the headteacher’s vision that every pupil will make outstanding progress and aspire to be the best has helped to secure rapid improvements in the teaching and learning at Fagley Primary School.

The progress pupils make in reading, writing and maths by the end of their time in primary school is significantly above the national average.

Ofsted highlighted the exceptional curriculum which they say engages pupils very effectively. As a result, pupils at Fagley Primary thoroughly enjoy their education. The report also praises senior leaders for their work and governors who are said to be passionate in both their support for the school and their challenge of its leaders.
Inspectors say new staff are well supported in their roles and the quality of teaching is continuously improving.

Pupils and their families are cared for exceptionally well. Parents speak highly of the school and the support they receive from staff.

Ofsted said there are excellent relationships throughout school and behaviour is impeccable. Pupils are praised for respecting each other’s differences and work and play together harmoniously.

Judith Kirk, Bradford Council’s deputy director for education employment and skills said: “This Ofsted report is extremely positive about all aspects of school life at Fagley Primary School. Inspectors not only rate the education the school provides as outstanding but are also full of praise for the support and input of governors and parents and of the work and attitude of the pupils themselves. Everyone connected to the school deserves great credit.”

Fagley Primary School Ofsted
Head teacher Chris Parfitt said: “The report reflects the school ‘just as it is’ with sound statements reflecting the dedication and commitment of school staff and governors who are absolutely marvellous in their exceptional practice to enable every child to succeed and do their very best at school, at home and in the community, now and in the future”.

Titus Salt School pupils’ progress is sustained for six years

Pupils at Titus Salt School are priding themselves on sustained progress for the last six years.

The school in Baildon also has no students who have become NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training), which means that every pupil in Year 11 or in the sixth form has a placement in education or employment/training when leaving school.

Zero percentage of NEET students is one indicator of how well a school prepares its pupils for further learning, work and training.

All pupils have progressed to a high quality destination, with the number of students going to a Russell Group University doubling the national average figure in 2016.

Each Titus Salt School pupil has a personalised programme of careers education, advice and guidance including opportunities for work experience, studying local enterprises as part of coursework and case studies and partnership work with employers to develop their skills, qualities and talents e.g. interview practice with Laing O’Rourke, CV building and drafting personal statements with University of Newcastle.

The school works with Prospects to ensure pupils receive impartial and high quality careers advice.  Recent developments include sponsorship from Costain plc to extend our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) provision and also the involvement of Leeds Ahead who support the delivery of enterprise education and skills.

Picture show students Matthew Mackereth-Hamilton and Hetty Pickles

Pupils debate in competition

Pupils from schools across the district will put their debating skills to the test when they take part in this year’s Woolsack Debating Society Competition.

The event takes place at Cartwright Hall on Thursday 18 May at from 10.00am to 2.30pm.

The children have been working in teams made up of three schools, who work together debating as triads throughout the year, or single schools.

Each team has the opportunity to have two debates and judge one and these are marked using a standard scoring system.

The two teams with the highest points will then go head to head for the final debate. Debate topics are not provided before the day, although the final debate subject is made known to the pupils in advance so that they can do their research.”

The schools taking part include:
• Atlas Community Primary
• Green Lane Primary
• Dixons Manningham Primary
• Bowling Park Primary
• Eldwick Primary
• Crossflatts Primary
• Parkwood Primary
• Eastwood Primary
• Holycroft Primary
• Heaton St Barnabas Primary
• Rainbow Primary Academy
• Saltaire Primary
• Newby Primary

Michael Jameson, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director of Children’s Services, said: “The Woolsack Debating Society is now in its third year and is a great way of engaging children in healthy debate and reasoning.

“This also gives the young people the opportunity to learn how to research the final debate project to give them the information needed to take part.”

This project is part of the Language 4 Learning strand, set up many years ago in Bradford and also Voice Bradford a project funded by Bradford Council which has created six Oracy Hubs which coordinate the sharing of the good practice across our schools.

Register now for postal and proxy votes

Anyone who happens to be away on 8 June, has just a week to register for a postal vote.

Bradford Council is reminding people that if they are on holiday, out of the country, at a music festival, or for some other reason are unable to get to their local polling station, they have until Tuesday, 23 May to register for a postal vote.

This means that they don’t miss out on voting in the general election.

Alternatively, people who are away or unable to get to a polling station, e.g. if someone is disabled or a member of the armed forces can apply for a proxy vote. This means that they can appoint someone to vote on their behalf. The proxy has to be someone who is registered to vote in the same election.

The deadline to register for a proxy vote is Wednesday, 31 May. (If you already have a postal vote and wish to change this to a proxy then the deadline to do this is Tuesday, 23 May)

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council and Returning Officer, said: “There are many people who for a range of reasons will be unable to vote in person. But this should not stop them from taking part in the election. A postal or proxy vote means they can still have their say.”

To register for a postal or proxy vote, go to or contact Electoral Services on Electoral Services on 01274 431360.

Ingrow Primary School retains its good status

Ingrow Primary School has been judged to be good by Ofsted for the second time in five years.

In a glowing report the inspectors found that the “leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.”

The partnership between the Executive Headteacher and the Head of School was praised for “bringing about improvements to teaching and learning as well as addressing areas identified for improvement at the school’s last inspection.”

Leaders have raised expectations of pupils’ outcomes, and improved the quality of teaching, learning and assessment through good-quality professional development for staff and sharing in good practice at other schools.

The report acknowledges the “school’s inclusive support for some of the most vulnerable pupils” which has resulted in improved attendance and attitudes, and it notes how pupils “are keen to take on responsibilities as a school councillor or digital leader.”

Angela Vinnicombe, executive headteacher, said:  “This is a fantastic achievement for our school. I am so proud of everyone in the team.

“I am pleased that despite disruptive building work during the last two years, Ofsted has recognised that our focus on raising pupils’ achievement did not fade.

“The report reflects Ingrow Primary really well and highlights the many aspects that make our school, and our Federation with Long Lee Primary, a good one.

“Congratulations go to all pupils, staff, governors and the wider community in helping us achieve this positive outcome. We really do have a fabulous team working hard to ensure the best possible education for the children at Ingrow and Long Lee.”

Michael Jameson, Bradford Council’s Director of Children’s Services, said:  “This is great news for Ingrow, and indeed for the federation with Long Lee Primary School.  All of those who have worked so hard to maintain this good judgement should be very proud.”

Other comments in the report include:

  • Governors bring a range of expertise … which provides good support and challenge.
  • The school promotes good citizenship skills and pupils understand and show respect for people’s differences.
  • Pupils’ personal development and good attitudes to learning have been pivotal in raising aspirations.
  • The school has been successful in creating a culture where pupils take responsibility for their own learning.



Spring Bank Holidays Minecraft Meet

Are you looking for a fun activity to keep your primary age pupils entertained during the Spring Bank holidays?

The Curriculum Innovation team are running 4 Minecraft meets on Wed 31 May & Thu 1 June at The Innovation Centre, in Bradford

The sessions are aimed at 6 to 11 year olds and are £9.50 per child.

We will be delivering two exciting activities….

The first is a treasure hunt – will you be the first to find all 10 hidden quest objects and win the game?

In the second we will teach you how to program a robot in Minecraft and then use it to compete in a mega obstacle course race!

As a memento of the day you will be given a free photo of you in a Minecraft world to take away with you and a special souvenir. You do not need to bring any equipment along – all resources and laptops will be provided.

There is no need for parents/guardians to stay – all our staff are DBS registered and the sessions are led by experienced classroom practitioners, but if you feel more comfortable remaining on the premises we have a space where you can wait.


The meets are being held on Wednesday 31st May and Thursday 1st June and are repeated four times with the same session on Wednesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning and Thursday afternoon.

Please use the ‘Select a different date’ option on the right hand menu to select the date and time you would like to attend.

If your child is a Minecraft enthusiast then this will represent the ideal activity for the half term.

To book your place please click here.

Final line-up for Bingley Music Live

The stellar line-up for Bingley Music Live 2017 has now been completed and is looking like the strongest in the festival’s history.

New additions to the line-up come in the form of heavy hitting artists such as Sundara Karma, Badly Drawn Boy and Twin Atlantic who will be taking to the main stage across the weekend.

Music fans will also have the chance to catch some of the UK’s hottest new acts on this year’s Discovery stage, headlined by over-night sensation Tom Grennan, London gals The Big Moon and hotly tipped locals The Orielles.

They are joining an already full-to-bursting weekend programme for the Bradford Council-run event on 1-3 September at Myrtle Park which so far boasts Manic Street Preachers, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Wombats, Maximo Park, Pete Doherty, Soul II Soul, Feeder, Milburn and Cabbage.

Up and coming indie rockers Sundara Karma hail from Reading and have been compared to Arcade Fire and U2. Their debut album, the sagely titled ‘Youth is only even fun in Retrospect’ was released in January.

Damon Gough a.k.a Badly Drawn Boy celebrated the 15th Anniversary of his Mercury Prize winning album The Hour of the Bewilderbeast last year. The critically acclaimed debut album catapulted the artist into the spotlight with tracks like ‘The Shining’ and ‘Everybody’s Stalking’, he then went on to soundtrack the hugely successful Hugh Grant film ‘About A Boy’. Q Magazine have named Badly Drawn Boy as one of their ‘50 Bands to See Before You Die’.

Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic formed in 2000 and came to prominence in 2007 with their debut EP ‘A Guidance from Colour’, as well as support slots with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Blink-182. Their most successful singles so far have been ‘Heart and Soul’ and ‘Brothers and Sisters’, both from their 2015 album ‘Great Divide’. They were also named ‘Best UK Band’ at the 2016 SSE Scottish Music Awards. Their fourth studio album ‘GLA’ was released in September 2016.

Steve Hartley, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director, Place, said: “This year’s line up is looking better than ever and tickets are already being snapped up. We are on course for a fantastic late summer festival for 2017.”

The final phase of tickets are now available via Ticketline and available from the festival website

Weekend tickets are selling fast. Get your tickets for £60 as from Monday, 12 June, adult weekend tickets will be priced at £70.

The Council has joined forces with Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club to provide this year’s camping facilities – more details can be found on the festival website.

For the full festival line-up, updates and the latest information follow us on:

Twitter: @BingleyFestival

Facebook @bingleymusiclive

Instagram thebingleymusiclivefestival #BML17 Hashtag.

Annual School Football Festival kicks off

One of the biggest school football festivals in the country takes place this week as almost a thousand youngsters from across the district take to the field.

The Bradford District Schools 5 v 5 Football Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year at the start of a big week for football in the district.

The tournament kicks off today at Keighley’s Marley Activities and Coaching Centre.

There will be 120 teams of boys and girls between the ages of eight and 14 taking part in the festival.

The event, organised by Bradford Council’s Sport & Culture Service is for the first time supported by Bradford based Square Apple Café.

Bradford Council’s assistant director of sport and culture Phil Barker said: “Primary and secondary school pupils from all over the district will be taking part in this five-a-side festival and I hope friends and relatives will go along and give them some support.

“It is important that young people are provided with enjoyable opportunities to take part in physical activity and sport.

“It is a big sporting week with Bradford City going for promotion on Saturday in the league one play off final against Millwall. We hope everyone at the five-a-side festival can take inspiration from the Bantams and give it their all.”

All members of the winning and runner-up squads in each of the six age groups ( from under nines up to under 14s) will receive a leather football and commemorative t-shirt respectively. Every participant at the event will also receive an attendance certificate.