Category Archives: literacy

Introduction to Directing – Taster Sessions for 18-25 year olds

Are you aged 18 -25 and living in Bradford? Are you creatively curious and have something to say to the world? Ever thought about directing for theatre?

Sign up for a taster session to our second Introduction to Directing Course!

This November, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Common Wealth will lead a course exploring what directing is and can be. Sessions will be led by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Associate Artist, Mark Rosenblatt, and Common Wealth’s Co-Artistic Director, Evie Manning. Over five days, we want you to come and be curious with us; 11,12, 23, 25 & 26 Nov. The course is free and there will be some small stipends to cover travel expenses.

There will be a FREE taster session on Tue 17 Oct from 6pm – 8pm at Speakers Corner, Ivegate, Bradford BD1 1SA.

Email jenny.sullivan@wyp.org.uk for more information or to book for the taster session.

If you can’t make the taster, don’t worry – you can introduce yourself however you’d like. Send us a blog, a video or an email to jenny.sullivan@wyp.org.uk by Wed, 25 Oct.

Into-to-Directing-Full-Header

@WYPlayhouse

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

Join the Animal Agents for the Summer Reading Challenge

Animal Agents is the theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, run by Bradford Council’s Library Service, in July and August.

The challenge is a national libraries initiative, delivered by libraries in partnership with the Reading Agency. It aims to encourage children aged four to 11 to continue to read throughout the summer holiday. Research has shown that it improves children’s enjoyment of reading, confidence and motivation and helps prevent a dip in their literacy skills after the summer break.

Last year, over 4,200 children in Bradford took part in the challenge and almost 600 joined a library especially to start the challenge, giving Bradford the second highest number of new library members in the region.  

The Animal Agents theme is illustrated by best-selling children’s author Tony Ross, author and illustrator of the Little Princess series. He has also illustrated for children’s books by David Walliams, Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry series and Jeanne Willis’ Dr Xargle books.

All kinds of clever animals work for the Animal Agents detective agency and young readers can ‘join’ too. They will then receive a wallet and stickers. There are also bookmarks, fortune tellers, key rings and wristbands to collect. Every child who reads six books will receive a certificate and medal, featuring Tony Ross’ artwork.

Among this year’s activities include story telling sessions of Martin Waddell’s ‘Owl Babies’ by Simon Kerrigan and Sian Williams; Dogs’ Trust Workshops; The Ultimate Animal Discovery Challenge; art workshops and ‘Zoo Lab’ sessions which involve handling real live exotic animals.

The challenge will be officially launched on Wednesday 12 July at Manningham Library by the Lord Mayor of Bradford and Lady Mayoress, Coun Abid Hussain and Shahnaz Akhtar. The challenge itself begins in libraries on Saturday 15 July.

More information on the workshops, their dates and venues can be found in the Animal Agents Summer Reading Challenge Booklet, which is available to download at www.bradford.gov.uk/libraries

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is always a fun and interesting activity. As well as being a great way of getting children into books, it prevents them forgetting what they have learnt over the long summer break and gives them a great sense of achievement.”

‘Reading Matters’ brings together those passionate about Closing the Literacy Gap

A locally-based charity who work to improve reading skills and life chances for young people held their annual literacy conference last week.

This year’s conference was created to address the issue of ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’ and how to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve the same as their more fortunate peers.

Popular children’s authors, Tom Palmer and Andy Seed both presented at the conference speaking about ways to make reading more accessible for all children and the role that authors can play in igniting a love of reading.

The conference keynote speech was delivered by Bradford-born Matt Bromley, a leading education writer and consultant who was able to raise his own aspirations and academic achievement above those expected by his circumstances by becoming an avid reader.

Matt spoke of the importance of reading for pleasure on social mobility and how the “word rich” will inevitably become more affluent and the “word poor” more impoverished. He implored teachers, as those who have the “superpower” of being literate and loving books to pass it on and stressed the value of parents reading to their children at home.

The highlight of the day was when children from two Bradford schools – Dixon’s Kings Academy and Bowling Park Primary School spoke to the enthralled delegates about how their Reading Leaders training had helped them to improve the confidence and reading ability of their younger reading partners.

The Reading Leaders training which prepares older pupils to provide effective one to one reading support to the younger ones is a great way to engage children from disadvantaged backgrounds who often learn better from other young people.

The other expert speakers were Dr Paula Clarke of The University of Leeds who shared strategies for teaching language comprehension to support those that struggle, Deborah Bullivant of the Grimm and Co social enterprise in Rotherham that uses an apothecary shop as the inspiration for creative writing and Rachel Van Riel who shared tips on how to make library spaces for children as attractive and accessible as possible.

Workshops covered topics relevant to ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’ including the best support for those with English as an additional language and using comics to enhance learning.

Over 150 people attended the conference, mainly teachers from primary and secondary schools along with librarians, learning mentors and other education professionals with some travelling from as far as London to be part of this motivating event.

Rachel Kelly, Chief Executive of Reading Matters said: “It was a really inspiring and enjoyable day and it’s so great to bring together all these people who are dedicated to doing their best for children and helping them to reach their potential”.

Reading Matters has been helping young people to read with confidence and enthusiasm since 1997 and provides schools with Reading Mentors in South and West Yorkshire. Their accredited training courses are available nationwide for peer mentors, education professionals and parents.

The charity, which specialises in one to one reading support for young struggling and relucatant readers currently helps around 6,800 children each year with an average improvement in reading age of 13 months in just 10 hours.

For more information please see the charity’s website: www.readingmatters.org.uk

Follow Reading Matters on Twitter:  @reading_matters

 

 

Children set to celebrate their love of reading books

[Pictured above: Pupils from Dixons Marchbank Primary School celebrating World Book Day]

Children from schools across the District will be celebrating their love of reading and books by taking part in World Book Day today.

Whether you grew up with Charlotte’s Web and the friendship that grows between Wilbur, a runty pig, and Charlotte, a heroic spider,  the Famous Five or Harry Potter; there is nothing quite like delving into a good book.

And for many it blossoms into a love that lasts a lifetime. This is why World Book Day has become the annual celebration of books and reading and the time to encourage children to discover the magic inside the pages.

The event was first marked in the UK in 1997 amid concerns over reading and writing standards in schools.

World Book Day marks its 20th anniversary this year and organisers say the event is ‘a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and, most importantly, reading’. The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

Schools and nurseries are sent packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.

Thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd some 15 million book tokens will be distributed. Children can take their voucher to a local bookseller and use it to pick one of ten exclusive, new and completely free books. Or, if they’d rather, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audio book costing over £2.99 at a participating bookshop or book club.

Since the campaign began, around 13 million £1 books have ended up in the hands of eager young readers.

This year’s 10 offerings cater for all ages from pre-school through to young adults in a bid to give as many as possible the chance to join in the fun. The titles for the nation’s youngest book lovers feature beloved characters Peppa Pig and extra-terrestrials from the Aliens Love Underpants series.

For readers at Key Stage 1, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks has contributed a new Princess Mirror-Belle title and Martin Handford has made one of his Where’s Wally? adventures available.

They can also pick up some tips from Horrid Henry or catch up with the Famous Five, whereas Key Stage 2 readers are able to enjoy something new from beloved British authors David Walliams or Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Young Adult titles will come from Michael Grant and David Almond.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said:

“We hope that World Book Day celebrated in schools creates readers for the future by igniting a love of books and reading in children and young people.  Bradford Council’s

Libraries are hosting a number of events which can be found here:  www.bradford.gov.uk/libraries.”

Tag us on Twitter: @bradfordmdc   

Send your photos to: fiona.binns@bradford.gov.uk

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Pupils at Worthinghead Primary School dressed up as their favourite book characters

 

Historic find of Roman Coins on display at Cliffe Castle Museum

A collection of more than a hundred Roman coins believed to be over 1500 years old which were found locally can now be seen in a display at Cliffe Castle Museum.

The collection of Denarii currency was unearthed locally with the oldest of the coins dating back to AD 78 during the reign of Emperor Vespasian.

Initially a few coins were unearthed by local detectors. One of the finders reported the discovery to the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s local Finds Liaison Officer who arranged for an archaeological dig, which resulted in the rest of the hoard being located in 2014.

Because the coins are over 300 years old, they were declared as Treasure under the terms of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and subsequently purchased for Cliffe Castle Museum with help from the Friends of Cliffe Castle.

Maggie Pedley, Bradford Council’s Head of Service for Museums and Galleries, said: “This is an amazing find and we are delighted that one of the detectors, Stephen Auker, brought his discovery to the attention of the Scheme, meaning that a full scale archaeological dig could take place.”

Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This is great news for the Museum and for the district. We believe this find is part of a much larger find initially made in the 1770s.

“We hope that many people will visit Cliffe Castle Museum and witness these historic coins known as the Riddlesden Hoard.”

Follow us on Twitter:  @BradfordMuseums

Educate Positive 16

Welcome…..

Welcome to the sixteenth edition of Educate Positive, a regular publication which highlights excellence in education and across the district’s schools and settings.  In this edition we look at another successful literacy initiative coordinated by the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford which is being rolled out to all schools, students’ success at the Rock Challenge, and how thousands of our young people have been educated in outstanding settings for a decade.

Thousands educated in outstanding settings

Thousands of young children in our district have been learning in outstanding settings for ten years.  Both Lilycroft Nursery and Midland Road Nursery School have been given the top accolade by Ofsted for the fourth consecutive time.

Ofsted inspectors praise Midland Road for using its funding innovatively “through dance and outdoor play and teachers have woven the areas of learning skilfully into these sessions”.

Lilycroft Nursery School is praised for providing high quality teaching and provision for three and four-year-olds, and a safe, warm and exciting place for children to be.  .

The two inspection reports mean that more than half of the nursery schools in the Bradford district are judged to be outstanding with the others all judged to be good.

 

Programme which tackles intolerance brings another win for Bradford

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Bradford Council’s Strategic Manager for Education Safeguarding, Alina Khan, has been named as the 2016 Community Champion for Yorkshire and the North East in the first ever Remembering Srebrenica Charity Awards for the Stand Up Speak Out Make a Difference (SUSOMAD) Programme which has been running in our schools for the last seven years.

Bradford Council’s Strategic Manager for Education Safeguarding, Alina Khan, has been named as the 2016 Community Champion for Yorkshire and the North East in the first ever Remembering Srebrenica Charity Awards for the Stand Up Speak Out Make a Difference (SUSOMAD) Programme which has been running in our schools for the last seven years.

Via Alina (pictured above) and her team thousands of young people in the district have had the chance to be part of this Diversity & Cohesion programme which has helped them to challenge and reject hatred and intolerance.

This year the SUSOMAD work has enabled more than 100 Bradford school pupils to become young ambassadors to help raise awareness of the events in Srebrenica in which more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed.

Judges at the awards, run by the Remembering Srebrenica charity, said Alina’s work had helped inspire younger generations in Bradford to make their voices heard and to learn the lessons from history.

SUSOMAD has also been working in partnership with the Anne Frank Trust UK allowing pupils to help educate other children about Anne Frank’s life and the Holocaust, through an exhibition which tours Bradford schools.  Since the launch of this project 1,400 Bradford pupils have become Anne Frank ambassadors and received training to help educate their peers.

For more information please contact Alina Khan, 01274 439384.

 

Raise in development levels in Early Years

A joint early years project in Bradford has raised low development levels in reception-aged children by more than double the Local Authority average.

The Early Language and Literacy Project was created by Bradford Council’s early childhood services and the National Literacy Trust’s Bradford Hub, in partnership with the Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance (led by St Edmund’s Nursery School & Children’s Centre).

The project was rolled out to eight Bradford primary schools, with children’s centres across the district also being invited to take part, which promoted opportunities for joint working and information sharing between them and the schools.

The programme had a significant impact on those eight schools and findings have resulted in:

  • The number of children achieving a Good Level of Development (GLD)* score increased by an average of 9%, which is more than double the LA increase
  • The GLD scores across the eight schools increased by 12%
  • The gap between boys and girls achieving a GLD score narrowed by 18%

The programme was launched in response to the low GLD scores achieved by Bradford children, an issue which was particularly pronounced in schools in Bradford’s most deprived neighbourhoods. There was also a significant gap between genders, with boys achieving significantly lower GLD scores than girls.

The GLD measure is the most widely used single measure of child development in the early years.  Children are defined as having reached a GLD at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) if they achieve at least the expected level in areas including communication and language, social development, mathematics and literacy.

For more details please contact Imran Hafeez, 01274 439246 or Lynn Donohue, 01274 01274 439606.

 

 

Great win for Grove House pupils

Children who attend the Additionally Resourced Centre (ARC) at Grove House Primary School entered the Living Paintings Great Cake Bake Challenge and won!    The ARC helps children who have visual impairment, and the school’s entry into the competition was inspired by the publication of the latest book from author David Melling creator of Hugless Douglas and the Great Cake Bake.

David will be making a ‘virtual visit’ to Grove House Primary to talk to the children about how he creates his books and to give them a private preview of his latest project.

 For more information please contact Grove House Primary School, 01274 636921.

 

Poetry success for schools

Following a successful pilot in four of our schools the National Literacy Trust Hub has announced that all other primary schools in the district will have access to the Our Stories poetry programme.

The aim of Our Stories is to engage pupils with lower literacy levels by fostering a love of creative writing, with a particular focus on boys.  As part of the programme, pupils took part in innovative workshops with local performance poets, who encouraged them to explore their identity, personal challenge and ambitions through poetry.

To build on the excitement of these sessions, teachers were provided with a resource pack containing a wide range of poetry activities for the classroom.  Local poets and spoken word artists including Joolz Denby and Dumi Senda donated their work to be included in the pack.

One of the schools involved in the programme was Horton Park Primary.

Data from the school shows:

  • The percentage of Year 6 pupils writing at the expected level doubled (from 46% to 92%)
  • 36% of pupils are now writing above the expected level
  • 100% of the pupils who took part in the programme made good progress, and 64% made outstanding progress

As a result of the success in the pilot schools, the Our Stories resource will now be provided free to all primary schools for teachers to use with their Key Stage 2 classes. A training session will also be held in the New Year for teachers who are interested in delivering the programme. This has been made possible by generous funding from Bradford Primary Improvement Partnership (BPIP).

There will be a training session in March for schools interested in taking part in the programme. Please contact Imran Hafeez on the number below for details.

The photo shows the pupils on a visit to a local museum using what they saw to inspire their writing.

 Further information is available from imran.hafeez@literacytrust.org.uk

 

Culinary success for Jake

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Parkside student, Jake Taglione, proved that collaborative working between schools and hospitality employers pays off as he won a place to compete in the regional final of the Springboard’s Future Chef Competition in February 2017.

Parkside student, Jake Taglione, proved that collaborative working between schools and hospitality employers pays off as he won a place to compete in the regional final of the Springboard’s Future Chef Competition in February 2017.

The Future Chef programme directly relates to the national curriculum and gives young people a life skill whilst developing their culinary skills and their understanding of nutrition.

Jake’s winning menu consisted of Gressingham duck with flambéed passion fruit followed by chocolate fondant with a stout ice-cream and a caramel tuile.

Annually over 8,000 young people take part in this programme aimed at 12-16 year olds.

For more information please contact Parkside School, T 01535 272752.

 

Parkside students excel at Rock Challenge

Students at Parkside displayed immense team working when they won three awards of excellence for the soundtrack, entertainment and video performance at the Rock Challenge event recently.

Students rehearsed for hours whether it was for the performance, helping backstage or working alongside the light/sound/video crew.  This was an excellent experience for all concerned.  Well done Team Parkside.

For more information please contact Parkside School, 01535 272752.

 

Copthorne receives its Challenge Award

Pupils at Copthorne Primary School made the grade when presented with the challenge of “being the best that they can be.”

The school was visited by NACE (National Association for Able Children in Education) who presented its prestigious Challenge Award at the end of last term.

NACE is a not-for-profit organisation which supports teachers to provide teaching and learning for able, gifted and talented pupils, and also provides challenge for all pupils to help them reach their potential.

The Award was about how the school was challenging all pupils but, in particular, those identified as more able and talented. The NACE assessor visited classrooms to observe lessons, carried out scrutinies of planning and work to ensure that children were being stretched at all times, interviewed pupils, parents, governors and teachers to triangulate the evidence about how our pupils are challenged. The assessor explored the school’s policies, school development plan and subject action plans to ensure that provision for More Able learners and challenge were explicit.

For more information please contact Christabel Shepherd, Head of School, 01274 501460.

 

 

If you would like to share some of your success and achievement stories in a future edition of Educate Positive please contact Alyson.hardaker@bradford.gov.uk or ring her on 01274 434673.

School looks forward to bright future after Ofsted report success

Staff and pupils at Hothfield Junior School, in Silsden, are celebrating after receiving an Ofsted report praising it for being good in all areas.

The glowing report praises the school’s headteacher, teachers, pupils and governors for Hothfield’s success.

The school’s leadership and management, quality of teaching and learning, pupils’ results and the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils are all rated as good.

Pupils are said to be engaged in lessons and respond well to their teachers. Ofsted said their positive attitude to learning helped pupils to make good progress.

The Ofsted report highlights the teaching of maths as a strength of the school and also praises its use of the Reading Challenge Initiative which is said to have  been hugely successful in motivating pupils to read for pleasure.

Inspectors praise children at Hothfield for their behaviour. The report says they are polite and go out of their way to greet visitors or hold the doors open for others.

The school’s Headteacher James Procter said: “I am proud of the school’s pupils, parents and staff who make this school very special for the Silsden community.

“I am particularly pleased that the teaching of the maths has been highlighted as a strength of the school as we are aiming to become a centre of excellence in teaching the subject.”

Later this year Hothfield Junior School and Aire View Infants School, in Silsden, are to merge to become Silsden Primary School.

Mr Procter said: “Aire View Infants School has been inspected by Ofsted recently and was also found to be good. Later this year, our two good schools can come together to form one great primary school for Silsden.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “Hothfield Junior School’s Ofsted report makes great reading. It is positive about the work of the school and the pupils across the board. Huge credit goes to everyone involved in receiving such a good inspection report.”

Newhall Park Primary’s joy at Ofsted success

Newhall Park Primary School, in Bierley, is thrilled at the recognition that its pupils receive a good education, according to its latest Ofsted report.

The school was judged to be good in all areas, which is a huge step forward from its previous judgement of Requires Improvement when last inspected in October 2014.

In a glowing report the inspectors found that both co-headteachers provide good leadership, staff morale is good and their “shared drive and vision ensures that pupils achieve well from their different starting points”.

“Pupils’ achievement has improved significantly since the last inspection.  The proportions of pupils reaching the expected standards in the Year 1 and 2 phonics checks have risen rapidly, and are above average.”

The report goes on to say that: “Senior leaders and subject leaders are very effective in regularly checking pupils’ outcomes and the quality of teaching, and in bringing about improvement.”

Inspectors said that parents are very positive about the school and are involved in their children’s learning from the start of their school lives, including receiving regular opportunities which allow them to learn alongside their children.

“The Governing Body is well informed of the school’s work and provides good levels of support and challenge.  Governors are committed and ambitious for the school.”

Co-headteachers at the school, Nicola Gatenby and Helen Scarth, said: “We are delighted with this latest report from Ofsted.  It is clear they see the school as we do.”

The Chairman of Governors, John Ruding said: “This has been a combined effort of everyone connected to our school community, particularly the inspirational leadership shown by our co-headteachers.  We are all extremely proud of these achievements.”

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “This positive outcome is excellent news for all those at Newhall Park Primary and for the district.  Pupils, staff, parents, Governors and the wider community should be very proud that their hard work has paid dividends.”

Educate Positive 15

Welcome…..

Welcome to the fifteenth edition of Educate Positive, a regular publication which highlights excellence in education and across the district’s schools and settings.  In this edition we look at several instances of the impact being made in literacy and how apprenticeships are proving beneficial for the district’s young people, along with secondary students taking part in a Chemistry Festival at the University of Bradford and children reading bedtime stories together.

Literacy Corner – “Poetry in Motion”

Thanks to a literacy project and partnership working, two young people are celebrating winning a poetry competition where they told the story of life in Bradford through verse.  One of the winners was Suma Abdulla from Dixons Marchbank Primary School whose poem “Big Beautiful Bradford” wowed the judges of the “Love Bradford” poetry competition, run by the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford, First West Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus and the Kirkgate Shopping Centre.

The winning poems are displayed on the walls of 100 local First West Yorkshire buses.

More than 100 budding bards across Bradford entered the competition whose aim was to inspire and motivate reluctant writers, especially boys, to do more creative writing.

The National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford is all about providing fun ways to improve literacy skills across the area.  Poetry is a powerful way for young people to express themselves which is why we are working with children and families through events, programmes and campaigns to inspire them to explore creative writing.

Impact of Roald Dahl Day at Thornton Primary

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Pictured are children in their various costumes celebrating Roald Dahl stories.

Roald Dahl is always a popular choice for children and spending two days studying his work was an inspiration for the pupils at Thornton Primary School.

The children experienced his style of writing in different ways, with staff planning lots of exciting activities. There were many opportunities for classes to develop their writing skills and the work produced was wonderful, ranging from exciting description and marvellous recipes to play scripts. The children enjoyed the days and have been inspired by a well loved author.

Bowling Park Primary hosts “BD5 Bedtime Stories”

Almost 500 children and their families have taken part in the BD5 Bedtime Stories event.  Nine schools in BD5 have worked together on this exciting project to encourage families to read at home. Reading every evening, even for just 10 minutes per night, can dramatically improve children’s reading ability and foster a life-long love of stories.

The group of schools is keen to maximise this potential, and inspire even more children to pick up a good book and share it with their families, hence the sessions which took place at the National Media Museum and in the City Library.

The aim is to develop a passion for reading, and encourage families to enjoy books together. There will be interactive shows from a variety of high quality authors, poets and illustrators, as well as tours of City Library and the Museum. Children were invited to wear their pyjamas for the bedtime event and a donation from a local company, Kemira Chemicals, meant that every child received a free book!

This group of schools works together on a number of projects that help to raise achievement in the BD5 area, including their training of Newly Qualified Teachers and the organisation of an annual Literacy Festival.

For more information please contact Fiona Phimister at Bowling Park Primary School, T 01274 770270.

Apprentice of the Year

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Councillors Alex Ross-Shaw and Imran Khan with the winners at an awards ceremony for Bradford Council’s Building and Technical Services’ apprentices. (James is second from left in the second row.) Photo by Jamie Dobson Photography

James Scaife, a 19-year-old apprentice from Bradford Moor, is testimony to the value of Apprenticeships as he has won Apprentice of the Year for Bradford Council’s Building and Technical Services.

James is in his third year of his apprenticeship working on Council buildings.  He was one of 16 winners at the awards ceremony held at the Banqueting Hall in City Hall, including carpenters, joiners, engineers, bricklayers, plasterers, painters, decorators and plumbers.

The awards were given for four categories which were Most Improved, Outstanding Effort, Best Portfolio and Trainers Choice, for each year from 1-4.  James won the three categories of Most Improved, Outstanding Effort and Trainers Choice for year 2 and also achieved more points than anyone else to become Apprentice of the Year.

Duke of Edinburgh success at Parkside

Students at Parkside School have been put to the test both physically and mentally recently as the school not only introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, but it also became a licensed organisation.

A number of Year 10 students have almost finished their award and have successfully completed their expedition section at Bronze Level with many more set to join this academic year.

As part of their team building skills, 14 Duke of Edinburgh groups from the Bradford area took part in the 34th annual Lane Fox Challenge event in Tong Woods. Parkside School entered a team of five students, who went on to be the champions completing the course, very wet and muddy, in the fastest time.  Well done everyone!

For further information please contact Headteacher, Andy Taylor, T 01535 272752.

 

Students on a virtual expedition

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Pupils experimenting with the Expeditions, a virtual reality tour of sights and locations, to help them engage with their learning in a new project launched by Google.

Students at University Academy Keighley were the first in the district to be given an exclusive opportunity to try Expeditions, a virtual reality tour of sights and locations, to help them engage with their learning in a new project launched by Google.

History, geography and science became a lot more interactive when the students visited marine life in the Great Barrier, toured The Palace of Versailles, climbed Everest and finally landed on the Moon – all without leaving the class room!

The event was arranged by the Academy’s Strategic Leader for e-Learning, Mr Turvey, who said: “This was an amazing opportunity for our learners not only to try new technology, but to experience a wide range of locations and places to help open their eyes and minds to the wider world. The students’ reactions have been a joy to see.”

With smartphones being such an integrated part of our lives, the Expeditions software runs as an app on a smartphone. The students get a 3D experience once the phone is inserted into a headset worn by them.

Pupils in “Battle of the Somme” project

Thirty pupils from Cullingworth Village and Farnham Primary schools will learn about their own history and any ancestral involvement with the Battle of the Somme by taking part in a new project.  The “Children of the Somme” is a BBC Radio Leeds project which will allow pupils to explore the History of the Somme.

The sessions include workshops about writing, learning about poems and stories as well as listening to educational talks and learning instruments and dance routines with a South Asian influence.

A final concert at Bradford Playhouse on Thursday 17 November, will see both schools perform together to showcase what they have learnt.

People can listen to BBC Radio Leeds for extensive coverage on the “Children of the Somme” with Look North, The BBC Asian network and BBC World Service briefly covering it.

 

Engaging Families accreditation is a “mystery”

Not only has Thornton Primary School been awarded the prestigious Engaging Families Award, the school actively put this accreditation into practice when it invited parents to come into school to help solve murder mysteries.

School ran a Murder Mystery Week in the summer term and was able to display its engagement with families by allowing parents to help their children solve the murder.

An assembly was held to explain how the police needed the pupils to help solve the crime.  The pupils became detectives for the week and took part in a range of Science and English activities such as fingerprint analysis and creating Newsround reports from the scene of the crime.

The rationale was that the week would create an engaging and exciting opportunity for children to enjoy the problem solving elements of the Primary Maths Curriculum and was a week which was enjoyed by all.

For further information please contact Liz Davison, Headteacher, T 01274 833839.

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Picture shows Zaynab Butt, Bethany Rowell, Paige McBride and Ellie Dimbleby.

The chemistry’s right for crime-busting Parkside students

Chemistry skills helped Parkside School during their prize-winning visit to the University of Bradford.

The four Cullingworth students had to uncover what happened in the salt cellars when they took part in the Salters Festival of Chemistry.  The students from Year 7 also had to create a rainbow of colours and colour chemistry section during the action-packed day.

They were finally treated to a ‘chemistry WOW’ show which included banana freezing and spooky smoke.

The “Parkside quartet” was specially invited take part in the festival, a competitive chemistry competition held across the UK.

Parkside chemistry teacher James Windle said: “Our students were exceptional in their performance on the day, really working together as a team and showing a real flair for chemistry.

“It was this high standard of performance that led to Parkside being crowned the winners of the competition, beating the other 15 teams who were taking part.”

Mr Windle confirmed that during the last 16 years over 44,000 students have experienced the fun of practical chemistry through the Salters’ Festivals.  Sponsorship in support of the festivals has been raised from over 50 companies.

For further information please contact Headteacher, Andy Taylor, T 01535 272752.