Category Archives: good

Education Covenant to be topic of next public forum

Bradford’s Education Covenant will be the topic at the district’s next Public Forum for Education.

The Education Covenant is a district wide initiative focused on engaging the whole community to play a part in helping young people to succeed in life.  The Covenant is about keeping education a top priority to:
•           Help schools and teachers raise standards.
•           Support parents to get children ready for school, work and life.
•           Work with businesses and colleges to boost career options.
•           Champion the district’s unique art and culture.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm in the Hockney Room, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford BD1 1NN.

Speakers will include Leigh Taylor, Regional Director North East & Yorkshire Commercial Banking – Lloyds Bank. Leigh will explore how businesses can better support children and young people to help improve their educational outcomes and make successful transitions into work, and the business rationale for doing this work.

Staff and children from a local primary school will talk about their involvement in the launch of the Inspiring Bradford event.

Local magistrate, Gill Arnold, will talk about the work of the Bradford Community Champions.

There will also be an update on how the Education Covenant is being put into practice and how businesses and parents can make a difference.

The presentations will be followed by round table discussions and an opportunity to share your ideas with the panel and ask questions.

The Public Forum for Education (PFE) is an open and free forum where everyone with an interest in education is welcome to come along and contribute.

Coun Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “The idea behind the Education Covenant is to focus the efforts of everyone on how we can raise education standards. We want to bring together the whole community to support Bradford’s children: businesses, public services, parents, and communities, all have a role to play.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of children’s service, said:  “We know just how hard schools work to improve the outcomes for our children and education attainment is improving in our district. But we have more to do and we believe the whole community needs to be involved in young people’s education. That is why the Education Covenant is so important, so I’d urge parents, young people, teachers and businesses to come along and find out how they can be involved.”

To book your place, please email Public.Forum.for.Education@bradford.gov.uk or contact Heidi Hardy on 01274 434335.

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Chewing gum campaign

Shoppers outside the Broadway shopping centre tomorrow (Thursday, 5 October) will see the launch of a new campaign to tackle the problem of chewing gum on pavements and roads.

Bradford Council will align with a national campaign organised by the Chewing Gum Action Group to change behaviour and make people think twice before dropping their gum on the floor.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Culture and Sport, said: “Dropped chewing gum is a significant messy problem for Bradford.

“It is very costly and time consuming to remove and the process of removing it can also damage the pavement or road.”

Since mid-July, eight private enforcement officers have been patrolling the streets of Bradford and issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to people who drop litter, urinate and spit, as well as Dog Control Order offences.

They have already fined people for discarding gum and the new campaign will explain that discarded chewing gum is litter.

Following the city centre launch, the campaign will be rolled out to Shipley and the rest of the district.

Coun Ferriby said: “This is a problem affecting every urban area. Bradford is no different than any other town or city.

“Chewing gum is harder to remove than litter that can be swept up, and this campaign is intended to raise awareness to people that chewing gum is litter – once it goes down on to the pavement it stays there.”

“It doesn’t look good, it’s sticky, it takes some removing and people may not realise that this type of littering is harder to remove.”

She added: “The solution is to put it in a piece of tissue, put it your pocket or put it in the bin.”

Council officers will be using posters, banners, lamppost stickers and other promotional material to try and raise awareness of the problem and to make people think about helping with the solution.

 

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.”

 

Partnership is the secret to success for group of inner-city Bradford schools

A partnership of neighbouring Bradford schools say joining forces is helping to drive up standards for the thousands of pupils across their postcode area.

The BD3 Achievement 4 All consists of ten primary schools, a special school, a secondary school and two children’s centres.All of the primary schools which have been inspected by Ofsted in the group have now been rated as being good .And the school leaders in the partnership say they are committed to driving further improvements with a major focus on improving pupils’ reading in key stage two as they reach the end of primary school.

The BD3 schools work together on a range of areas including reading, science, moderating each other’s marking and work, supporting newly qualified teachers and developing early years teaching.

For the past two years the partnership has been chaired by former Bradford headteacher Sara Rawnsley.

She said: “There is a deep commitment to work together for the benefit of everyone in the partnership.

“There are academies and council maintained schools, we have children’s centres, primaries, a special school and a secondary but everyone is open to working together and sharing what we do to drive improvement.”

The schools in BD3 Achievement 4 All are Peel Park Primary, Westminster CE Primary, Barkerend Primary, Byron Primary, Lapage Primary, Dixons Marchbank Primary, Killinghall Primary, Thornbury Primary, St Mary’s and St Peter’s Roman Catholic Primary, Feversham Primary, Delius Special School, Carlton Bolling College, Barkerend Children’s Centre and Mortimer House Children’s Centre.Peel Park Primary School, in Undercliffe, is one of the latest schools in the area to celebrate Ofsted success after it moved from Requires Improvement to Good in the inspection report published in May which praises all areas of its work.Byron Primary and Dixons Marchbank Primary also enjoyed success with good Ofsted reports this year while  Lapage Primary, St Mary’s & St Peter’s Roman Catholic Primary, Feversham Primary and Delius Special School are all rated as good as well.

Peel Park Headteacher Lloyd Mason Edwards said: “BD3 schools have worked in partnership for a long time but in recent years there has been a real focus on improving teaching and learning and improving attainment.

“There is a shared ethos across our schools and everyone is open to sharing what we do. I do think a lot of our success is down to the partnership. It has helped to improve our teaching and learning. We work together in lots of different areas.

“We have worked on professional development of our staff, special educational needs teaching and working on support for pupils who are new to English.”Gill Edge, the headteacher at Killinghall Primary School said another benefit of the partnership had been the way in which it allowed schools to to support new teachers starting their careers.

“Sara Rawnsley who chairs the partnership has developed school courses for newly qualified teachers and recently qualified teachers to support them in their first years in the job. This makes a real difference for the schools as it has meant we are retaining more of the teachers who start their careers in BD3. Retaining and developing teachers allows schools to develop a stable and established workforce which makes a real difference for us.”

Mrs Rawnsley added: “The courses provide mentoring and support to teachers starting their careers and it helps to improve their resilience and their ability to develop their practice. The partnership has meant that each year NQTs are part of a network of teachers who are starting together across BD3 schools. They are not on their own and feel a part of something bigger.

“By coming together with a shared focus for raising standards all of the schools and settings in our BD3 partnership are having a real impact on the lives of our young people.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “This shows what can be achieved when schools work in partnership. We know that across the Bradford district our school staff share the same passion and commitment to achieving the best outcomes for our young people.

“The BD3 Achievement 4 All partnership shows what can be achieved and as both executive member for education and as a local ward councillor I look forward to their future successes.”

Free event – Cliffe Castle Garden Party

The will be free fun and frolics for all at Cliffe Castle park and Museum Garden Party on Sunday (July 30).

The whole event will be buzzin’ with carnival rides, music, dancing and the Airedale Beekeepers observational bee hive.

The event, organised by Bradford Council, the Cliffe Castle Park Conservation Group and Bluefruit Promotions will include take-away high tea and garden advice.

It starts at 12noon and lasts until 6pm. Parking will be limited and visitors are asked to use public transport or town centre car parks.

The £4.5 million on-going restoration of Keighley’s Cliffe Castle park, has been supported thanks to National Lottery players.

The restoration of the park’s Victorian features first began in June 2016 when Bradford Council successfully bid £3.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Parks for People programme.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “We hope lots of people will come and have a great time at the museum and park.

“Visitors can get an exciting look at how the work is going so far with work on lots of Victorian features already completed.

“Cliffe Castle has been one of the district’s favourite destinations since it became a public park and museum more than 50 years ago. The HLF project will ensure it continues to be a delight for the coming years.”

 

Bradford SEND Conference is hailed a success

A major education conference held in Bradford focused on serving the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disability (SEND) has been hailed as a big success.

More than 600 representatives from schools across the district attended the event, which was organised by Bradford Council.

The audience at Bradford City’s Northern Commercial Stadium at Valley Parade heard keynote speeches from a panel of experts from the sector.

The “Putting Children at the Centre” – Bradford SEND conference 2017 also allowed the council to set out its vision for the district where Bradford moves towards a sector-led self improving model of SEND provision where best practice is shared between schools.

The event was aimed at headteachers, SENCOs (special educational needs co-ordinators) and SEND governors of all schools in the district, parents, partner agencies as well as staff from the further education sector.

Welcoming delegates to the event Bradford Council’s Strategic Director for  Children’s Services Michael Jameson said he believed that working together schools, the local authority and parents all had the expertise to provide the best possible support and education for pupils with SEND.

Bradford Council has well-developed relationships with schools and believes that continued collaboration will help transform the way in which specialist provision and support for SEND pupils is delivered.

The audience then heard from three top national speakers in SEND education.

Jane Friswell, a former chief executive of the Nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs) charity and director of SEND Consultancy, focused on why “Good practice for students with SEND is good practice for all.” 

She told the conference that she was very impressed with the “quality of ambition” she had seen from Bradford for SEND provision.

Jean Gross CBE spoke about how to support learners with SEND through quality first teaching and Simon Knight, from the London Leadership, talked about School Based SEND Review, a nationally recognised review tool for evaluating how well a school is meeting the needs of SEND children which is being rolled out across the Bradford District next term.

The event also included a market place which allowed the council to promote the additional services that are available to support pupils with SEND in schools.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “We are delighted with how this conference went. We have received so much positive feedback both from our schools and from the expert speakers who were kind enough to share their experience with us.

“Colleagues have told us that they were inspired by the speakers and that the event was a good opportunity to refresh their knowledge and learn new things. It gave people the chance to pick up on strategies to use in the classroom and the chance to network and share ideas with other colleagues.

“Bradford has a growing population and we know that there is a growing need for more specialist places in our schools. But what the conference shows is that there is a shared commitment from the council and schools to ensure that across the district the needs of these pupils can be met.”

Rhyme Challenge award winners

 

Those who made exceptional contributions to Bradford Council Libraries’ annual Rhyme Challenge received awards at a special event this week.

Over 3,500 families successfully completed this year’s challenge, ran by Bradford Libraries and Early Childhood Services at the council. It was put out to 300 childcare and library settings across the district. This year saw a 75 per cent increase in uptake.

The Rhyme Challenge, which ran between September 2016 and March 2017, sets children under five and their families the task of learning five rhymes. They then receive a certificate for their hard work.

Of those who took part in the challenge, 92 per cent of parents felt that it had increased their child’s speech and language development. Of the staff and volunteers who oversee the challenge in childcare, toddler groups and library settings, 100 per cent felt the challenge was beneficial to the families they work with.

The awards ceremony recognised the collective efforts of individuals and groups in organising the challenge and those who have gone the extra mile. The Lord Mayor of Bradford Coun Abid Hussain presented the awards and guest speaker was Christina Gabbitas, poet/author and winner of the Yorkshire Women of Achievement Award 2016.  Children from Netherleigh & Rossefield School Nursery School sang and there was a rhyme time session with Dave Morrison from BHT Education & Training

The award winners were:

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Individual Award

  • Winner – Bridget Izod – Development Officer Support, Bradford Libraries
  • Runner up – Lois Partington –Foundation Stage Manager, Netherleigh & Rossefield School
  • Other nominations included: Jessika Osborne – Volunteer, Airedale & Wharfedale Children’s Centre Cluster

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Libraries Award

  • Winner – Idle Library
  • Runner up – Keighley Library
  • Other nominations included: Bingley Library, City Library, Clayton Library, Eccleshill Library, Ilkley Library

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Toddler Group Award

  • Winner – St Theresa’s Playgroup, Queensbury
  • Runner up – Buttershaw Christian Family Centre
  • Other nominations included: St Andrews See & Know Group and Wibsey Methodist Toddler Group

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Setting Award

  • Winner – Fagley Primary School
  • Runner up – Sandy Lane Pre-School
  • Other nominations included: Al Hikmah School; BHT Early Education & Training; Copthorne Primary School; Greengates Primary School; Grove House Primary School Nursery; Highfield Pre-School; Lidget Green Primary School; Netherleigh & Rossefield Nursery School; Nightingales Day Nursery; Our Lady of Victories Primary School; St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School; Strong Close Nursery School; Wibsey Methodist Pre-School

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Children’s Centre Award

  • Winner – South Bradford Children’s Centre Cluster
  • Runner up – Airedale & Wharfedale Children’s Centre Cluster
  • Other nominations included: Bradford West Children’s Centre Cluster and Lister Park Children’s Centre Cluster

Contact Bradford Libraries on 01274 433684 for more information on the Rhyme Challenge or check out www.bradford.gov.uk/libraries

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 and mums rewarded for their efforts

Pupils at Green Lane Primary School will be recognised for their “weekend” working in a bid to prepare them for the upcoming Key Stage 2 SATs.

The pupils attended weekend booster classes in maths, English and Science to help them be more prepared for the SATs which take place in May.  The weekend classes were spread over a nine-week period.  However, the pupils were not alone as their mums were also in school with them, doing their own learning!  The ‘mums’ attended development sessions where they learned about cyber bullying, First Aid and Health and Safety.

The Deputy Lord Mayor, Coun Alun Griffiths, will present pupils and their mums with certificates for their attendance and efforts at these weekend sessions, on Wednesday 26 April, in the Banqueting Suite in City Hall.

The school worked in partnership with grass-roots organisation, NEESIE, who organised the booster classes and the ‘mothers’ empowered’ sessions.  NEESIE provides supportive networks and help for single mothers.

Deputy Lord Mayor, Coun Alun Griffiths, said:  “I am really looking forward to welcoming the pupils and their mums.  It is really pleasing that so many pupils were keen to put in this extra effort in their own leisure time to prepare themselves in advance of the Key Stage 2 tests.”

 

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.”