Category Archives: Education and learning

Cliffe Castle park parade

Around 250 children will take part in a costume parade to celebrate the completion of the refurbishment of Cliffe Castle Park, which has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

The children from six Keighley schools will march alongside Romans, Victorians and the ‘Spirit of the Future’ around the newly restored pond, marble fountains and new planting towards the glass show house on Thursday (29 June).

After learning about the contents of a recently recovered Victorian time capsule, the children took part in a workshop inside Cliffe Castle Museum to gain ideas from the exhibits of what to include in a new time capsule.

This will be presented to Bradford Lord Mayor Coun Abid Hussain before being buried for 50 years in the domed palm house.

The £4.5 million restoration of Cliffe Castle park is due to be completed by the end of next month with further celebrations planned.

Bradford Council successfully bid for £3.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s “Parks for People” programme to carry out the work which started a year ago.

The project has been designed with support from volunteers in the Cliffe Castle Park Conservation Group.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This promises to be a great day for our young people to enjoy the culmination of this amazing project and for the rest of us to appreciate the value of both the museum and park at Cliffe Castle.

“They are tremendous assets for Keighley and the wider district. They can both be used by local schools to support a whole range of ways that help classroom teaching.

“It’s marvellous to see everything coming together and the whole area starting to take shape in its full summer splendour.”

Schools taking part in the parade are: Eastwood Community School, Haworth Primary Academy, Merlin Top Primary Academy, Our Lady of Victories Catholic Primary, Riddlesden St Mary’s CE Primary, The Holy Family Catholic School.

School celebrates consistent record of Ofsted success

Newby Primary School is celebrating its latest Ofsted inspection report which praises it for creating a friendly and caring environment in which children enjoy their education.

The school in West Bowling, Bradford, has been rated as good in its latest short inspection by Ofsted inspectors.

This means the school has consistently been recognised as being good or better in all its inspections since Ofsted first visited back in 2001. Before this Newby Primary had been recognised as a Beacon School, a status given to the strongest performing schools in the country by the Department for Education in the 1990s.

The new report praises the school and its leadership team for maintaining a good quality of education since its last inspection in 2013.

Inspectors found that children are happy and enthusiastic about their lessons and that staff enjoy working at the school.

It adds that the teachers “particularly value the way in which families are at the heart of everything” the school does.

Inspectors also said staff at Newby Primary School speak with pride and enthusiasm about their work. It adds: “One member of staff stated : ‘Staff go the extra mile for children at this school and I feel it is a strength that together we make a difference to pupils and families.’”

Ofsted praise the way in which the school effectively monitors the progress of pupils and for its work with other schools in the area to provide support in developing leadership skills.

Headteacher Janice Stephenson said: “The whole school is very pleased with this report which recognises how happy and well supported our pupils are. I think it shows the strength of the entire school community here that Newby Primary School has always been a good school but as the report makes clear we are still striving to improve.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said:  “Congratulations to everyone involved in this latest Ofsted success. It is pleasing to see Ofsted praises Newby Primary School not only for the quality of its education but also for putting families at the heart of everything they do. As our Education Covenant makes clear education is everyone’s business and schools can only be successful with the support of their community.”

Newby Primary’s Chair of Governors Jackie Walters paid tribute to “the dedication of school staff, governors and parents in achieving these great results and especially the amazing pupils who are an inspiration to us all.”

The Ofsted report marks the end of a very successful academic year for the school as Mrs Walters was awarded the Governor of the Year Award at the 2017 Bradford and District Teaching Awards in March, having given more than 25 years service to Newby Primary School.

Newby Primary School Ofsted 1

Bradford Celebrates Armed Forces Week

A variety of events are being held in Bradford this week to observe Armed Forces Week.

Around 60 veterans from across the Bradford district are being honoured at a special lunch hosted by the Deputy Lord Mayor in the Banqueting Hall in City Hall on Friday 23 June.

Later in the week a special Armed Forces Day drumhead service and concert in Centenary Square and City Park will be held on Saturday 24 June starting at 11am.

The 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron Air Cadet Band will lead a Parade of Standards of the various ex-service associations into City Park to begin the service, where members of the band will build an altar of drums which will be the focal point for this service.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Councillor Abid Hussain, will say a few words of welcome, before Reverend Canon Paul Maybury, Canon Precentor from Bradford Cathedral will lead the service with the support of Jon Howard, Chaplain to the Bradford Sea Cadets.

A reflection will be given by Deputy Lieutenant, Colonel Alan Roberts followed by the Exhortation and the Kohima Epitaph given by members of the Royal British Legion. The Last Post will be sounded which will be followed the observation of two minute silence.

The service will end with the singing of the National Anthem.

Following the service there will be displays and performances by the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps, the band of the West Yorkshire Police and the Revolution Show Corps band.

Bradford District Armed Forces Covenant Partnership along with armed service charities will be hosting stalls as part of the event.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain, said: “It is really important that we honour the sacrifices that continue to be made on our behalf by members of our armed forces and their families. I do hope that people come along and show their support by attending these events.”

Summer Holiday Activities at Doe Park Water Activities Centre in Denholme

The Summer holidays are just around the corner and Doe Park Water Activities Centre in Denholme is just the place to take the kids!

Here at the Bradford Council Adventure Activities and Doe Park we specialise in outdoor activities. The outdoors provides an exhilarating place to learn new skills, make new friends, build confidence and have FUN!

High Ropes at Doe Park
Kids enjoying the High Ropes at Doe Park!

For children nine years and above, why not start the Adventure with a mix of land based activities, make a Splash with a Water Adventure or get the best of both with a Multi Adventure.

For those wanting to scale new heights have a day of High Ropes Adventure and not to forget the younger ones (5yrs-8yrs) why not try our Mini Adventure.

We have one day, two day and full week courses running during the Summer holidays.

You can book online at www.bradford.gov.uk/adventure or call us for more information on 01274 435497 quoting reference: Bradford Parents on the Go Blog

Follow Doe Park on Twitter: @DoeParkWAC

Bush Craft Camp at Doe Park
Bush Craft Camp at Doe Park

World Boxing Council Boxer, Fes Batista visits Russell Hall Primary School to promote his fight against bullying

Fes Batista visited the school during the weekly celebration assembly to talk to the children about anti-bullying. Batista is an anti-bullying activist who trains and lives in the United States of America.

The young boxer who was born in Huddersfield moved his career to the states and begun making a splash in the world of boxing. Batista, when not training, spends the rest of his time working and promoting the World Boxing Council’s Anti-Bullying programme.

Batista is no stranger to Russell Hall Primary as he has visited the school before to speak on the issue of bullying. He told the children boxing turned his life around after he had experienced being bullied when he was young.

The assembly included an anti-bullying song that was sung by three of Russell Hall’s students. Fes Batista then ended the assembly by donating his famous shades.

Deputy Headteacher, Heidi Higgs said:

“It was great to have Fes Batista come and talk to the children about bullying.

“Fes has worked with the school for several years and has helped to ensure that the anti-bullying culture remains high profile at Russell Hall.” 

Follow Russell Hall Primary on Twitter: @russellhallps

Just two weeks left to see Splendours of the Subcontinent

There are just two weeks left to see Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-6 exhibition in the north of England before it moves on to Leicester.

The free exhibition, which contains Indian works of art from the Royal Collection, tells the story of the grand tour of the Indian Subcontinent made by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) in 1875-6.

The exhibition has been developed in collaboration with Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Service and Royal Collection Trust, and runs at Cartwright Hall in Bradford until 18 June.

Since opening in March Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-6 has proved extremely popular, with a well over 18,000 visitors enjoying the special exhibition to date.

Maggie Pedley, Bradford Council’s Libraries, Museums and Galleries Manager, said: “This exhibition has been so successful. We have had over 18,000 people from all over the country coming to see the amazing objects so far.

“As there are only two weeks left for people to see Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875–6 in Bradford, I would encourage people to hurry up and not miss out.”

In October 1875, the Prince of Wales set off on a four-month tour, visiting over 21 localities which today encompass India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.

He travelled nearly 7,600 miles by land and 2,300 miles by sea and met over 90 rulers of the different regions he visited. His visit sought to establish personal links with the local rulers and strengthen ties between the subcontinent and the British Crown prior to the declaration of his mother, Queen Victoria, as the Empress of India.

Over 70 exquisite works of art that were presented to the Prince as part of the traditional exchange of gifts will be on display at the exhibition alongside watercolours, photographs and items from the Council’s own collection of South Asian metalwork.

A beautifully illustrated full colour catalogue accompanies the exhibition for £15.95 whilst stocks last.

Cartwright Hall is open 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Friday and 11am to 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. For further information and bookings contact Cartwright Hall Art Gallery 01274 431212 email cartwright.hall@bradford.gov.uk or visit www.bradfordmuseums.org.

Creating a Love for Reading

Reading is essential for learning and development but with the distractions of PlayStations, Xboxs, iPads, toys, TV and peer pressure, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Helping your child enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent and it’s well worth the investment of your time and energy. 

Children will learn reading skills in school, but often they come to associate reading with work, not pleasure. As a result, they lose their desire to read. And it is that desire – the curiosity and interest – that is the cornerstone to using reading and related skills successfully.

By far the most effective way to encourage your child to love books and reading is
to read aloud to them and the earlier you start, the better. Even a baby of a few months can see pictures, listen to your voice, and turn cardboard pages. Make this time together a special time when you and your child share the pleasure of a story without the distractions of TV or telephones.

You may be surprised to find that a well-written children’s book is often as big a delight to you as it is to the children. And don’t stop taking the time to read aloud once your child has learned to read for themselves. At this stage, encourage your child to read to you some of the time. This shared enjoyment will continue to strengthen your children’s interest and appreciation.

While your child is very small, it’s a good idea to start a home library for him/her, even if it’s just a shelf or two. Be sure to keep some books for little children to handle freely. How you handle books will eventually influence how your children treat them. Children imitate, so if they see that you enjoy reading and treat books gently and with respect, it is likely that they will do the same.

Why reading matters
Much research has been published to support the argument that reading to your child has many benefits for their personal, educational and social development. Here are the five key reasons why reading to your child matters, as outlined by the National Literacy Trust.

  • You’ll be helping your child to succeed. Research evidence shows that your involvement in your child’s reading and learning is more important than anything else in helping them to fulfil their potential.
  • You’ll be supporting your child’s language and understanding because books contain new words and concepts.
  • Books support parent-child bonding in a fun, relaxed way.
  • Readers are more confident and as they grow this confidence will mean they have access to greater job opportunities.
  • The love of books lasts a lifetime. If children enjoy books from an early age they are likely to continue to enjoy them as they grow up, providing them with a wonderful source of pleasure and escapism.

Fiona Binns, Editor of Bradford Parents On The Go, talks about her experience of reading and her love for books.

A love for reading begins at home

I remember my mum and dad reading endless fairy tales and stories to me as a child. As a five year old I remember them reading the classics like Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with me.

As I got older I remember lying in my bed looking at my beautiful old wardrobe wishing desperately that I too could disappear to meet my favourite characters from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.

I remember ‘The Famous Five’, the four children, Julian, George, Dick and Anne with their mongrel dog Timmy who together solved mysteries and became tangled up with smugglers and other criminals!

Then the schoolgirls of Malory Towers – Darrell Rivers and her friends Alicia, Betty and Sally. The girls’ boarding school located in picturesque surroundings by the sea in Cornwall.

And finally ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾’ – I not only wept at how screamingly funny it was, I was touched too and moved by its content.

gruffaloMy own worn-out and scribbled in copies of all the above books would have to be some of my most treasured possessions… my own children think they are old and grotty but I know they will one day feel the same way about their current favourites ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Gangsta Granny’ and ‘The Twits’.

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

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.