Category Archives: children

Comedian Adrian Edmondson goes back to school at Thackley Primary

Young bookworms at Thackley Primary School will now be able to curl up with a book in their new state-of-the-art library.

Bradford-born comedian Adrian Edmondson went back to school last week to officially open their new state-of-the-art library which is set of encourage a love of reading. 

Adrian lived on Highfield Road as a child before achieving fame as a comedy actor, winner of BBC’s MasterChef and is currently playing the role of Malvolio in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Twelfth Night.  He has recently written a very well received children’s book called ‘Tilly and the Time Machine’ which children in KS2 have been reading.

The library, which has the capacity for 3000 books, is three times bigger than the previous library and is now fully accessible to all as it is situated on the ground floor.

Head of School, Annette Patterson said:  “We hope our new school library will become the heart of Thackley Primary School.  It will absolutely improve the children’s learning experiences and we really can’t wait for it to be finally open!

“A well-stocked, well-designed and well-used library will have a lasting affect on generations of children at the school. It will help us to foster a love of reading in all of our children which we know is so vital.”

The new school library will be open during and after school and will be appointing new junior librarians to look after the library and their all-new, broad selection of books.

During his visit to Thackley Primary School he read the children excerpts from his book, Tilly and the Time Machine – released earlier this year, posed for photos, answered questions from pupils and signed books for children, staff and parents.  

He had also brought a number of his favourite children’s books to present to the library.  

Thanks to questions from the school’s inquisitive reading club, the group found out that Mr Edmondson would travel back to the days of Lord Nelson if had a time machine, that he is a fan of TV comedy The Windsors and that he has a pet Whippet.  

His next book will be released in January and it is about a boy who becomes friends with a talking Shetland Pony.

Bradford Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills, Coun Imran Khan said:

“Congratulations to the staff, pupils, parents and carers at Thackley Primary School who have worked together to make the new library possible and encourage a love for reading.  I am sure all the children will embrace the new area and it will become the heart of the school and full of bookworms.”

Follow Thackley Primary School: @ThackleyPrimary and Ade Edmondson: @AdrianEdmondson


More children will get moving as part of an innovative £100m Sport England scheme

More children in Bradford will get moving as part of an innovative £100m Sport England- scheme to tackle the problem of physical inactivity.Active Bradford.

Projects across the north of the city will receive a share of National Lottery funding over four years to transform physical activity levels in 5 to 14-year-olds.

Born in Bradford, a research project hosted at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust led the successful bid on behalf of Active Bradford, a partnership of local providers, to become one of Sport England’s 12 Local Delivery Pilots.

Research has shown that low levels of physical activity during childhood and adolescence can lead to physical and mental health problems including diabetes, obesity and low self-esteem.  It can also have a negative impact on children and young people’s academic achievement, and social and life skills.

Physical inactivity is linked to serious problems in the city:

  • Born in Bradford data has shown that 77% of 5-11 year-olds don’t do the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity each day
  • 38% leave primary school overweight or obese
  • 10% fewer Bradford children leave school with 5 GCSEs A*-C grade
  • One in ten children need support for mental health issues

The funding from Sport England will improve opportunities for children and young people to take part in physical activity and sport. This will make a major contribution to improving health, mental wellbeing, individual development, community development and quality of life.

The Bradford pilot will work with communities to understand what children and young people want and need to become more active, and feel like physical activity and sport is for them.  Projects will include new and innovative programmes and adaptations to community design along with more out-of-school-hours activity programmes, better lighting in parks, and safer spaces.

The Bradford pilot will test out new projects across the north of the city in Allerton, Fairweather Green, Toller, Heaton, Manningham, City, Bolton/Undercliffe, Windhill, Eccleshill, and replicate successful projects across the district.

Principal Research Fellow for Born in Bradford, Dr Sally Barber said: “Activity levels are worryingly low and harming our children. This funding is an incredible opportunity to explore what children and young people want and need to be more active and test innovative projects. Knowing what works can drive sustainable change in physical activity levels and improve lives.”

Chief Executive of Bradford Council, Kersten England added: “It’s difficult to over-state the importance of this investment for the youngest city in the UK, where one in four residents are under 16.

“Whilst many of our young residents get a great start in life and we produce outstanding sportswomen and men, too many of our children are physically inactive, impairing their health and prospects for their future lives. This programme will enable us to trial new and innovative approaches to increased participation in physical activity. We can’t wait to get started!”

Chair of Active Bradford, Wayne Jacobs said: “We are absolutely delighted to be chosen as a Sport England Local Delivery Pilot. It was a real team effort to win the bid, with Active Bradford partners, senior and community leaders, and children and young people all playing their part. We hope and anticipate the learning from this project will have a very real and positive impact on the lives of children and young people growing up in our communities and beyond.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for Environment, Sport and Culture said ‘This is brilliant news for Bradford  district, one of  the youngest cities in the Uk,  and this funding will help improve the health and wellbeing of children, young people and their families in some of the most deprived communities. This funding will enable us to use new fun and exciting approaches designed with those in the greatest need to  mobilise  our communities to become more active.”

Sport England reviewed 113 pilot bids from across the country and hopes to spread learning from the Bradford pilot to other places about what works and what doesn’t.

Active Bradford will lead the programme supported by Born in Bradford, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, the NHS, West Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, the voluntary sector, local schools, and faith organisations. All will work together to develop and deliver the projects to support children and young people to be physically active.

Minster for Sport, Tracey Crouch, will welcome the news at the Local Government Association’s Sport and Physical Activity conference in London today (Tuesday 5 December).

Minister for Sport, Tracey Crouch, said: “Sport is a powerful tool that helps strengthen communities and improves physical and mental health. So it is right that we look to do all we can to encourage people to take part. Sport England will invest up to £100 million of funding, thanks to National Lottery players, to pilot innovative projects in 12 places to get more people from all backgrounds involved in sport and physical activity. We will look to replicate and scale up learning from the pilots across the country. I look forward to seeing these projects in action.”

Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that Bradford will be working with us on this ground-breaking investment. We want to get to the heart of the issues that stop people being as active as they might like to be, and work alongside every part of the community and the groups and institutions that support this.

“This is not all about sport – we’re prepared to look at wider issues like transport, childcare, how easy it is to walk or cycle – whatever that community feels is most relevant to them. The process to be appointed as a pilot area for this work was incredibly competitive, and Bradford has emerged from a very strong field. I am really delighted to be working with them.’​




Bradford bus tours take trainee teachers into secondary schools


Teacher training students will be taken on bus tours of secondary schools in the Bradford district as part of a major recruitment campaign.

Bradford Council organises the tours to give people who are training to be teachers an insight into how rewarding working in the district’s schools can be.

The bus tours have already been a major success helping to recruit more than 200 talented teachers into Bradford’s primary schools since they were first launched two years ago.

Now tours of the district’s secondary schools have been organised for the first time. These tours are taking place this month taking students from Leeds Trinity University to schools across the district to give them an insight into teaching in Bradford and applying for jobs.

These will be followed by a series of bus tours to primary schools. Bradford Council’s bus tours allow the authority to work with teaching training providers to promote the district as a destination for teachers.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for education, employment and skills said: “Our bus tours have already had a big impact helping us to attract 200 new teachers to work in our primary schools. Now we are extending this work to secondary schools in the district.

“We know that when people see the work that our schools do first-hand they want to be involved. We hope the teacher training students who take part are inspired by what they see. Bradford’s secondary schools are already achieving some amazing results – having been the fourth most improved area in the country for the progress pupils are making at GCSE. We hope more talented teachers taking part in the latest round of bus tours will join us to help improve the district’s results further.”

Ed Podesta Leeds Trinity University’s Group Academic lead  – Post Graduate Initial Teacher Education said: “We’re delighted to be working with Bradford Council on this exciting and important initiative, which we see as part of our mission that all children in the region are taught by knowledgeable, committed, and effective teachers.  We work with fantastic school partners in Bradford, and welcome the opportunity for all our trainees to see the great teaching that happens in schools in the district.”

The bus tours are part of an important campaign to boost teacher recruitment in the district.

Bradford Council has invested £660,000 in teacher recruitment over three years. The bus tours have taken hundreds of teacher training students around schools in Bradford.

The 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.

A major online teaching recruitment campaign, Bradford for Teaching, has also been launched this month to attract more teachers to the district.

Inspirational teachers from across the district have also been chosen to be Bradford for Teaching Ambassadors. They will be using Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to share stories about their work and the impact teachers in Bradford can have.

A website,, has been created giving people information about job and training opportunities in Bradford schools.

Coun Khan added: “We are getting the message out there that Bradford is the place to be for ambitious and talented teachers who want to make a difference to young people’s lives.”

Bradford launches campaign to find teachers who can make a difference

The Bradford for Teaching campaign is the latest step being taken in Bradford to boost teacher recruitment and retention.

A new website has been created,  which allows people to find out more about the opportunities to train and work in Bradford’s schools.

There will also be a major social media campaign through Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

Ten inspirational teachers and school leaders from the district have been chosen to be Bradford for Teaching Ambassadors. They will share their stories on social media about the impact their work is having  in order to help promote Bradford to teachers outside the district.

The new campaign follows on from the success of the Bradford bus tours which the council has organised to bring teacher training students into the district’ schools to see their work for themselves.

The Bradford for Teaching ambassadors have been chosen from schools across the district to champion Bradford and the rewards of teaching here.

One of those ambassadors is Luke Sparkes, the executive principal of Dixons Trinity Academy.

He said: “Bradford is an exceptional community: diverse, ambitious and culturally rich; it is a city which deserves teachers who are truly values driven and want to make a difference.  There is a strong current of educational innovation in Bradford with two secondary schools placing in the top 30 nationally for progress in summer 2017.

Ambassador Aamir Hassan, an assistant faculty leader and English teacher at Beckfoot School in Bingley said: “Teaching in Bradford is rewarding, extraordinary and what I live to do. I am inspired everyday by the students and we all learn from one another. Working with young people is an enriching experience and I wouldn’t want that experience anywhere else- Bradford is truly the place to be for teaching.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “Bradford for Teaching is a vitally important campaign for the district.

“We are determined to provide the best possible education for all our young people. We know that the quality of our teachers is vital in turning this ambition into a reality. Bradford is a vibrant and diverse district.

“Our schools offer a variety of different opportunities and challenges, with the chance to work in different settings from urban and inner city schools to those serving rural communities. But we are all united by a shared commitment to ensure our young people achieve their potential. I hope the Bradford for Teaching campaign will inspire more teachers to join us on this journey.”

The campaign will involve a partnership of schools across the Bradford district. It is being funded by Bradford Council and co-ordinated by the Northern Lights Teaching School Alliance.

Bradford already leads the way in innovative work to recruit and retain the best teachers.

Bradford Council committed to investing £660,000 on teacher recruitment over a three year period. Since then the authority has run the highly successful bus tours taking teacher training students into Bradford schools to see the work they do for themselves.

It has also set up a Talent Bank which is used by school leaders to fill their vacancies with the best suited candidates. This has helped to recruit around 200 new teachers to Bradford schools over the past two years.

Now partners in Bradford are keen to build on this success with a campaign which celebrates and promotes the district more widely as a place where teachers at any stage of their career can make a difference.

Literacy campaign in Bradford gets £197,000 funding boost

Bradford has received a funding boost to improve literacy standards across the district. Below is a press release from the National Literacy Trust which works with the Council to raise standards.

National Literacy Trust press release below:

“A literacy campaign from the National Literacy Trust and Bradford City Council has received a new £197,000 funding grant from the Morrisons Foundation, a charity set up by the supermarket, to boost literacy levels in Bradford.

The funding will be used to deliver literacy activity in Bradford for a year. Launched as the Bradford Literacy Campaign, the initiative has been active in the city since 2012.

Over the past five years, 30 local partners have supported literacy in Bradford and the National Literacy Trust has worked with over 200 schools in the area. Key successes include the Our Stories poetry project, which was launched to engage pupils with low literacy, especially boys. Over the course of the programme, the percentage of Year 6 pupils reaching the expected level in writing increased from 46% to 92%, while their self-esteem and confidence also increased significantly.

Neonatal work has also been a key success for the campaign. Working with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, neonatal charity Bliss and Boots Opticians, the campaign gave out 500 story packs to parents of premature babies. The packs included books for parents to read to their babies and tips and information on how communication can help development.

As it moves into a new phase, the campaign will be rebranded as Bradford Stories. The new name celebrates the rich heritage of Bradford and highlights the importance of families, young people and different communities in the city sharing stories with one another.

Over the next year, the Bradford Stories campaign will focus on addressing literacy issues facing families in Bradford, including engaging dads and male carers in their children’s learning and getting families reading with their children every day. The campaign will also highlight the benefits of bilingualism, and launch new initiatives targeting local schools and volunteers from the local community.

To celebrate the new funding and campaign name, Bradford Stories is calling on all Bradford residents to snap a photo of their favourite place to share stories in the city, and post the picture on social media using the hashtag #BradfordStories. The best pictures will win prizes including book tokens.

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the Bradford Stories campaign, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded this funding from the Morrisons Foundation to continue our work to raise literacy levels in Bradford. Since launching the campaign, we’ve delivered lots of inspiring projects and achieved great results, but there is still more to be done to ensure every child in Bradford has the literacy skills they need to succeed. Our partnership work has been crucial to the success of the campaign to date – with this new funding we can expand this work further and reach more people across Bradford than ever!”

The Morrisons Foundation was set up by Morrisons supermarkets in 2015 and awards grants for charity projects which help to improve people’s lives. Since launching over £15 million has been donated to hundreds of charities across England, Scotland and Wales.

David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the National Literacy Trust’s work in Bradford as we know what an important difference this can make for families from across the city.”

To find out more about the Bradford Stories campaign, visit


Have you completed your Secondary School Application?

Parents of children who will start secondary school in 2018 are being reminded that the deadline for them to apply for a school place is the end of today.

Children who were born between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007 will be due to start secondary school in September 2018.

Parents should have already received information about making an application for secondary school from their child’s current primary school. Anyone who does not have this should contact Bradford Council’s admissions team.

Bradford Council’s online system allows people to view and amend their application at anytime until the closing date. People will receive an automated email acknowledging that their application has been received.

Only one application maybe submitted for a child but parents can choose up to five secondary schools in that application.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “Moving up to secondary school is a big step in every child’s life.

“It is important that applications are made on time to give people the best chance of getting into one of their chosen schools.”

To make your application or find out more information please visit:



Bingley Music Live set to return in 2018

Following on from the massive success of the Bingley Music Live festival this year, the event will be back for 2018.

The Bradford Council-run festival will once again return to the beautiful setting of Bingley’s Myrtle Park.

A record number of revellers flocked to the festival at the beginning of September for a weekend of fantastic fun, music and entertainment.

The festival was at full capacity of 15,000 each day creating a great atmosphere and giving a real boost to the Bingley economy.

The event which has been going in its current format for the past 11 years is organised by Bradford Council and is set to take place on the weekend of Friday 31 August, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September 2018.

Organisers are working hard behind the scenes to bring a stellar line-up for next year.

This year fans were treated to an outstanding set by the Manic Street Preachers on Friday. The Kaiser Chiefs rocked the main stage on Saturday and the festival was brought to a close by The Wombats who played an amazing greatest hits set, despite having some of their instruments stuck at Heathrow airport. Fellow rockers Feeder came to the rescue lending them their equipment. A spectacular fireworks display followed to round off what was an amazing weekend.

The smaller Discovery Stage showcased the best of the latest up and coming bands and this stage is set to return for 2018.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture said: “Bingley Music Live was truly amazing this year in terms of ticket sales and the calibre of performers. Our officers are now working hard to put together another stunning festival for 2018.”

Lord Mayor launches Children’s Safety Initiative

A ground-breaking children’s safety initiative was launched at the weekend.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain, unveiled the scheme which involves three schools taking part in the Children’s Year of Safety, which has the support of a wide range of organisations and agencies.

The schools involved are Our Lady of Victories Catholic Primary, Merlin Top Primary Academy and Laycock Primary.  Each term during the academic year they will cover different topics around safeguarding and safety.

It is hoped that if the scheme is a success, it will be rolled out to other parts of Keighley and the wider Bradford district.

Coun Abid Hussain said:  “When we work together we can give our children every chance to thrive and fulfil their potential – which is what every one of them deserves,” he said.

“The Children’s Year of Safety is a new idea and I am delighted that we in Keighley are leading the way on such an important piece of work.

“There’s an old saying, ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’. It may be an old saying, but it’s as true now as it ever was and it means we are all responsible for keeping our children safe.

“The Children’s Year of Safety will make it clear what that actually means for everyone.”

The gala – staged by the Braithwaite and Guard House Partnership, which brings together a host of organisations and agencies – has been hailed a success and was attended by hundreds of people.

There was a lot going on, on the day and attractions included a fancy dress contest, cave bus, bouncy castle, games, team sports, face painting, under-fives messy play, crafts, food and stalls.

The police and fire service were there, Keighley Healthy Living was represented and White Rose Energy distributed information.

Children's Year of Safety
Mae Wilkinson, five, and Tia-Rose Curry, six, help the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Abid Hussain, brush-up on road safety at Braithwaite and Guard House Gala

Stay Well this winter – getting the flu vaccination

Those at risk from the flu across the district are being asked to stay well this winter by getting their flu vaccination to protect themselves, and loved ones, this winter.

This year’s flu season has now started and those invited to get a flu vaccination, by their GP or employer, are being urged to take up the offer to prevent the spread of flu across the district.

GPs across the district are in the process of inviting people to have their flu injection. This includes all pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3, people aged 65 and over; and those with long term health conditions who are eligible.

People in the clinically ‘at risk’ groups are 11 times more likely to experience complications if they get the flu than a ‘healthy person’. This includes those suffering from heart, lung, liver, kidney, spleen or neurological diseases, diabetes, stroke or a lowered immune system.

Anyone with a BMI over 40 will also qualify for a free flu vaccination.

All 2 and 3 year olds are being asked to take a safe and effective nasal spray vaccine to protect them and help prevent the spread of flu to family members. School Children in Reception and school Years 1 to 4 will also be able to get the nasal spray vaccine as part of a schools vaccination programme.

If you haven’t received a letter or are a main carer of an older or disabled person you should contact your GP to check if you qualify.

Anita Parkin, Head of Public Health for Bradford Council, says:

“If you receive a letter from your GP or employer, it’s because you need to protect yourself from the flu. Making an appointment to have a quick and simple vaccination is a lot quicker than suffering from the flu for several days.”

“It’s not just a cold. Flu is very contagious and can be a really serious illness. If you’ve been sent a letter it is because you are at higher risk from complications that can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.

“Having your flu vaccine doesn’t just protect you; it helps stop the flu spreading to other people who may be even more vulnerable than yourself.”

Mary Law, Screening and Immunisation Manager at NHS England (West Yorkshire) said:

“Even if you’ve already had a flu jab in previous years, you need another one this year. This is because the viruses that cause flu are always changing.

“We would particularly encourage older people, adults and children in at risk groups and mums-to-be to make sure they have their flu jab to protect themselves.

“For mums–to–be this protects themselves and their unborn babies as flu can lead to serious complications in pregnant women. National guidance states the vaccine is safe throughout pregnancy and can protect newborn babies up to about four to six months from birth.”

For most healthy people not in at risk groups, flu remains a mild illness and generally they will recover in a few days after getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and using over-the-counter remedies such as paracetamol.

You can also prevent the spread of the virus by always carrying a tissue and using them to catch coughs or sneezes, disposing of the tissue and then washing your hands.

If you aren’t getting any better then stay at home and call your doctor or call 111 for non-urgent medical advice.”

The vaccine for all children aged 2-17 is a safe and effective nasal spray which provides a more effective protection against flu vaccination in this age group. Children, who are allergic to eggs, have severe asthma or a severely weakened immune system will be offered an injection.

Selected local pharmacies are also offering the flu vaccination free to at risk groups who are registered with a GP. Anyone not at risk can also get the injection, although a charge will apply.

Those eligible for the Flu vaccinations:

  • everyone aged 65 years or over
  • all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
  • All those aged two and three years old on 31 August 2017
  • All children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four
  • Everyone from six months to less than 65 years of age who has a serious medical conditions: chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5, liver disease, splenic dysfunction, neurological disease or diabetes a weakened immune system due to disease or treatment
  • everyone living in a residential or nursing home
  • everyone who cares for an older or disabled person
  • all frontline health and social care workers
  • anyone with a BMI above 40

The list above is not exhaustive and if you are still unsure, ask your doctor.

For more information on seasonal flu or vaccinations visit NHS Choices:

Abbey Green Nursery School is praised by Ofsted

Children at Abbey Green Nursery School & Children’s Centre continues to receive a good standard of education as Ofsted inspectors judge the centre to be good for the fifth consecutive time.

The Bradford Council school has sustained its Good status, in every inspection, since it was inspected in 2004; 13 years ago.

In a very complimentary report, the inspector found “the leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the nursery since the last inspection” which was in April 2014, also saying “You and your staff have high expectations of what children can achieve.”

Children demonstrated how “caring and inclusive” they were in their behaviour; helping other children to put aprons on for play sessions and “displayed confidence in using sign language to communicate with other children.”

“The Local Authority has recognised and values this inclusivity and is currently designating the nursery as a special needs resource base.”

Staff have addressed all the recommendations from the previous inspection and other comments in the report include:

  • Phonics is taught very well.  Children enjoy the activities, and are skilled at knowing the sounds letters make.
  • You have continued to develop the Governance of the Nursery.
  • Partnership working with parents is very strong.
  • …”adult classes delivered by the family and community team in the nursery have helped them in developing their knowledge of English, and so help them support their children.”

Headteacher, Margot Dixon, said:  “We are delighted with this latest report as it is clear that Ofsted see the school as we do.  Pupils, staff, parents and Governors are delighted that our continued hard work has paid dividends and we are all extremely pleased with this outcome.”

Chair of Governors at the School, Khalid Mahmood, said: “I am delighted that the continuing dedicated and hard work of staff has been rewarded and that the Inspector recognised that our children are making great progress.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said:  “This is excellent news for Abbey Green.  Five consecutive Good Ofsted inspections is a fantastic achievement and all those who have worked so hard to bring about this result should be justly very proud.”