Category Archives: Disability

New wheelchair swing will help to spread a smile

The Nell Bank Outdoor Education Centre in Ilkley has received a donation of £6,000 to buy and install a new wheelchair swing for disabled children and adults who visit the centre.

The donation was made by Coun Joanne Dodds, former Lord Mayor of Bradford as part of her ‘Spread a Smile’ charity work. The cheque was received by Dan Goodey, head of centre at Nell Bank and Nicola Norris from the Specialist Inclusion Project.

Dan Goodey said “We are delighted to be given this money for a wheelchair swing. Nell Bank is committed to enabling disabled people take part in outdoor activities alongside their able bodied peers so a new wheelchair swing will be a great addition to our adventure playground. Donations like this make a huge difference to the centre and help us to keep adding new activities for our visitors so every trip can become even more exciting than the last.”

Coun Joanne Dodds said “We are pleased to be able to support Nell Bank again with a donation for the new wheelchair swing. Nell Bank is a fabulous resource for Bradford children and I am glad that we can bring a new piece of equipment to the centre which will benefit children and adults who use wheelchairs.”

Nicola Norris said: “the specialist Inclusion Project works in Partnership with Nell Bank to provide activities and short breaks for disabled children. A wheelchair swing is something children and families have been asking for for a long time, they will be so excited now that the centre is going to be getting one.”

Coun Imran Khan, Portfolio Holder for education, employment and skills, said: “Outdoor education provides a fantastic experience for young people. It’s great that the Council and the Nell Bank Trust can work in partnership to provide more facilities for the District’s young people thanks to this generous funding.”

Nell Bank provides day and residential activity programmes for all ages and abilities as well as weekend breaks for families with disabled children.

Tour de Yorkshire crowds

Tour de Yorkshire Roadshows starting in Bradford

The first of four Tour de Yorkshire roadshows in the Bradford district will take place at Bradford City Hall on Thursday 2 February from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The roadshows give local residents and businesses everything they need to know to make the most of this year’s race.

Bradford Council is working with Welcome to Yorkshire to run the roadshows to share information on how to get involved, build excitement and maximise the benefits of the global media coverage.

Stage Three of the Tour de Yorkshire starts in Bradford city centre and goes through the district on Sunday 30 April.

Other roadshows in the district are at:

  • Ilkley King’s Hall on Tuesday 28 February from 6pm to 8pm
  • Victoria Hall in Saltaire on Wednesday 1 March from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
  • Victoria Hall in Keighley on Monday 6 March from 2pm to 4pm.

Details on road closures, the annual sportive and Welcome to Yorkshire’s various cycling legacy projects will all be discussed, along with ways people can become an official Tour Maker or take part in the popular land art competition. Continue reading Tour de Yorkshire Roadshows starting in Bradford

Travel Training – a step towards independence

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford presented awards to two young people who have used a special travel training course to support their independence.

Kieron and Harris, who are both 17 years old and attend Beechcliffe Special School, undertook travel training with Travel Training Unit based at Shearbridge and have now been travelling independently for six months.

The Lord Mayor presented Kieron and Harris with a special ‘six months safe’ award at Beechcliffe Special School in Keighley on Tuesday 19 July.

Travel training is a structured and planned course of training which helps children and young people make their first step towards independence.

The Travel Training Unit works with disabled and non-disabled children and young people who require support, assistance, mentoring and training to plan and use walking routes and all forms of public transport including buses and trains.

The Travel Training 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.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid, said: “It’s a real privilege to be presenting these awards to Kieron and Harris. They deserve great credit for completing the training and putting into practice what they’ve learnt.”

Debbie, Kieron’s mother, said: “Travel Training has really helped Kieron. His trainer put him at ease and explained things really well. The team work in partnership with parents so they let me know how things were going. All in all it was a great experience.”

Karen, Harris’s mother, said: “Travel training has really paid off. Harris is now able to travel independently getting two buses, going into Keighley bus station and then out to school. He has managed in all sorts of weather and even got to school on a snowy day!”

Coun Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council and portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Congratulations to Kieron and Harris in gaining this award and travelling independently for six months. Travel training is a great way in which we can help young people gain skills that give them independence.”

Educate Positive – Edition 7

Educate Plus News Header

Welcome to the seventh edition of Educate Positive, a fortnightly publication which highlights the positivity and effective practice which is taking place in education and across the district’s schools.  In this edition we bring you news of peer educators at the recent SUSOMAD Exhibition, a college leading the way on community engagement, “expert” readers sharing their skills with their families and budding scientists learning in their own laboratory with their resident scientist.

Bradford’s students lead on Peer Education Project

Stand up, Speak out, Make a Difference (SUSOMAD) is an established peer education programme that has engaged schools across the district for over six years.  During the recent annual Exhibition 42 school groups (in total 1260 students) from across the district, were guided by our SUSOMAD ambassadors during a five week period. The exhibition was a great success and the impact of having young people leading on discussions around identity, racism, extremism and human rights has been incredibly effective, and has highlighted once again the power of student voice.

Carlton Bolling leads the way on community engagement

Carlton Bolling College has won acclaim for its charity work and for reaching out not only to the local community but across the world. While teaching students about the importance of good citizenship, the school has helped to raise significant funds and a staff member was delighted to win an award.

Some of the students’ many achievements of the past 12 months were celebrated at this year’s Community Late Lunch event, where headteacher Adrian Kneeshaw welcomed guests and introduced a short video of student Charity Ambassadors; teacher Chris Calveley, who was shortlisted as Volunteer of the Year in the T&A’s Schools Awards and runs the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Prince’s Trust with some of his students; and PE teacher Zaheer Jaffary who has been nominated for Inspirational Teacher Award at the BBC later this month. Representatives from the Anne Frank project also appeared at the event, as did Commonwealth Gold and Olympic gymnast Craig Heap who gave an inspirational speech.

Osman Gondal from Intouch Foundation presented a cheque for £502.68 to Yeasin, Ismail and Jasmin, a family who experienced a tragic year with their mother being very ill following a car crash. Janet Dunn, PA to the headteacher, was presented with a Community Champion Award for her sterling work with the family.

Carlton Bolling College was also delighted to share an event with the new Lord Mayor, Councillor Joanne Dodds, on her first official engagement. This was the culmination of a series of events arranged by teachers Miss Stone and Miss Cochrane as part of the British Council Comenius Project, which saw the school welcome almost 40 visitors from across Europe. Visiting students presented traditions from their home countries, including Polish dancing, games, circus skills and Shakespeare performances. Carlton Bolling students entertained the audience with a performance that included Roma dance and a musical session from the school choir.

Children become a “mine” of information

Pupils across the district are benefiting from using an educational resource which allows them to be more motivated and learn new skills including team work, resilience, language development and extended writing and mathematical tasks.  Minecraft is a game about creating and placing blocks, similar to playing with Lego bricks.  It can be used by the whole class and is capturing the imagination and creativity of pupils. An educational version of Minecraft is being used with primary pupils here in Bradford to teach them about the Tudors, Ancient Egypt and Rome and much more. The Specialist Inclusion Project Team has a portable version of the software and is working with autistic young people in libraries and community centres in the district. The anecdotal evidence is that pupils enjoy using this virtual world as it fosters creativity, team working, problem solving and resilience and brings learning alive.  Two schools where this is working well are St Anne’s Catholic Primary in Keighley and Myrtle Park Primary in Bingley.

Pupils at Horton Park sharing their skills

Ed Positive Cursed Ruby

Horton Park Primary pupils have improved their standards in reading, due in part to the children becoming “expert” readers and sharing their skills with their families.  Standards rose and the school was in the top 100 schools for progress in 2014.

The “reading scheme” came about because many parents were concerned they could not support their child’s reading.  School acted promptly and bought in the Project X reading scheme along with two copies of every book.  The new system saw children reading in groups in class with an adult where they would discuss and learn new vocabulary and concepts.  Children “as the experts” would then take their reading book home to share with their families – the benefits being that the child reinforces their own learning and the parents and families are involved in that process.  There is evidence of more confidence in both parents and pupils.

Workshops for parents have also proved beneficial; these were held in schools to demonstrate how Phonics is taught as well as reading comprehension.  Parents who were not confident readers also benefitted from the support of trained parents.  The school also gives parents access to the school library.  Pictured above is Jozef Mate.

To Infinity and Beyond for Bowling Park

Bowling Park Science

Pupils at Bowling Park Primary School are benefitting in their science knowledge and improved non-fiction writing skills due to the opening of the school’s own science laboratory, aptly named “To Infinity and Beyond”.  The project was a winner in the Telegraph & Argus School Awards 2015.

The specially designed learning space on the Usher Street site contains state of the art ICT resources as well as hands-on investigating equipment which enable the pupils to take part in investigations, linked to the national curriculum, alongside the Scientist in Residence, Sheila Thomas.  Activities which the pupils have been involved in include, designing spacecraft, creation of fossils and lava, CSI investigations and exploration of the solar system in 3D.

There has also been an improvement in the quality of teaching in science related lessons.  The school is looking forward to developing partnership projects with the STEM (Science, Technology, English & Maths) Centre at Bradford University.  The school is hoping to pursue the ASE science award in 2015/16 and is also keen to share its facility with other schools in the district. Pictured right is Year 3 pupil, Martine Jones.

For further information please contact Matthew Langley, T 01274 770270.


We hope you have found this bulletin useful and we will provide further updates on a regular basis.  If you would like to submit an item for publication please contact the Education Communications Team T 01274 385615. 

Special Educational Needs News

Bradford Council is firmly committed to the principle of inclusion and to ensuring that all the children and young people across the district have a real chance of success in their lives.

For this reason, as a Local Authority, we seek to provide a range of educational opportunities so that, wherever possible, children with special educational needs are educated alongside their peers in their local community. For most children with special educational needs, this provision will be made in their local neighbourhood school.

Contact: Please visit the Local Offer website where you will be able to find further information and help.

My Role in Supporting Children with Hearing Loss by Sue Marsden

Sue Marsden

I am Sue Marsden and I am leader of the Support Team for Deaf Children, based at Future House, Bradford. Our team supports deaf and hearing-impaired children from when their hearing loss is diagnosed until they leave school.

The team is made up of teachers of the deaf, an educational audiologist, specialist practitioners in audiology and early years and a deaf instructor.

Our work with deaf children and their families starts very early. All babies have their hearing checked when they are born and if they are found to have a permanent hearing loss the hospital refers them to our team.

In the early years we visit children at home to:

  • help the family understand hearing loss and what it means for their child
  • encourage the use of hearing aids
  • advise on speaking and listening and how the family can help the child with communication and language development
  • introduce signs, if that is helpful for the child
  • tell families about useful organisations such as the National Deaf Children’s Society
  • assess the child’s development to make sure that they are making the expected progress

We aim to give the family impartial, balanced advice and information to enable them to make the best decisions for their child. We know that each child and family is different and although we know about deafness, parents and carers are the experts in their children.

Our work requires great sensitivity because few families expect to have a child with a hearing loss and it takes time for them to get used to the news. We are available to talk with families about their concerns throughout the child’s early years.

We arrange ‘stay and play’ sessions, often at children’s centres, so that families can meet and chat and support each other. Our staff are always on hand to answer any questions they may have.

We work closely with other professionals such as audiologists, speech and language therapists, paediatricians and educational psychologists – aiming to provide a seamless, family-friendly service.

When the child starts school our role changes to advising staff on how best to help them in class. Most children with a hearing loss in Bradford go to their local mainstream school. Some need a higher level of support because of their deafness and they attend resourced mainstream schools with specialist staff.

As team leader I have a small caseload and make visits to children in schools but most of my time is spent working with colleagues to ensure that we deliver a high quality service to children, families and schools.

I enjoy my job very much. Every day is different and it is a privilege to work with such a wide range of families, schools and professionals who are committed to helping deaf and hearing-impaired children achieve their potential.