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
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
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.