Category Archives: parents

Bradford launches campaign to find teachers who can make a difference

The Bradford for Teaching campaign is the latest step being taken in Bradford to boost teacher recruitment and retention.

A new website has been created,  which allows people to find out more about the opportunities to train and work in Bradford’s schools.

There will also be a major social media campaign through Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

Ten inspirational teachers and school leaders from the district have been chosen to be Bradford for Teaching Ambassadors. They will share their stories on social media about the impact their work is having  in order to help promote Bradford to teachers outside the district.

The new campaign follows on from the success of the Bradford bus tours which the council has organised to bring teacher training students into the district’ schools to see their work for themselves.

The Bradford for Teaching ambassadors have been chosen from schools across the district to champion Bradford and the rewards of teaching here.

One of those ambassadors is Luke Sparkes, the executive principal of Dixons Trinity Academy.

He said: “Bradford is an exceptional community: diverse, ambitious and culturally rich; it is a city which deserves teachers who are truly values driven and want to make a difference.  There is a strong current of educational innovation in Bradford with two secondary schools placing in the top 30 nationally for progress in summer 2017.

Ambassador Aamir Hassan, an assistant faculty leader and English teacher at Beckfoot School in Bingley said: “Teaching in Bradford is rewarding, extraordinary and what I live to do. I am inspired everyday by the students and we all learn from one another. Working with young people is an enriching experience and I wouldn’t want that experience anywhere else- Bradford is truly the place to be for teaching.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “Bradford for Teaching is a vitally important campaign for the district.

“We are determined to provide the best possible education for all our young people. We know that the quality of our teachers is vital in turning this ambition into a reality. Bradford is a vibrant and diverse district.

“Our schools offer a variety of different opportunities and challenges, with the chance to work in different settings from urban and inner city schools to those serving rural communities. But we are all united by a shared commitment to ensure our young people achieve their potential. I hope the Bradford for Teaching campaign will inspire more teachers to join us on this journey.”

The campaign will involve a partnership of schools across the Bradford district. It is being funded by Bradford Council and co-ordinated by the Northern Lights Teaching School Alliance.

Bradford already leads the way in innovative work to recruit and retain the best teachers.

Bradford Council committed to investing £660,000 on teacher recruitment over a three year period. Since then the authority has run the highly successful bus tours taking teacher training students into Bradford schools to see the work they do for themselves.

It has also set up a Talent Bank which is used by school leaders to fill their vacancies with the best suited candidates. This has helped to recruit around 200 new teachers to Bradford schools over the past two years.

Now partners in Bradford are keen to build on this success with a campaign which celebrates and promotes the district more widely as a place where teachers at any stage of their career can make a difference.


Come to Bradford for Christmas

With so many activities across the district, Bradford is the place to be for Christmas.

There will be Christmas lights switch on events across the district as well as lots of music and entertainment, pantomimes, a fun fair and lots of Christmas fairs and markets, traditional Christmas Services including Nine Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral, there’s even a Christmas Tree Festival and the annual Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede will see antler clad runners tackle the 5k route round Lister Park.

A funfair will light up in City Park and Tyrrel Street from Thursday November 30 until Sunday December 3 with children’s rides and dodgems. Christmas street theatre will entertain shoppers on the pedestrian areas in the city centres between 12pm and 5pm on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. With 20 colourful acts including Santa and his sleigh, snowmen, fairies, elves, dancing turkeys, penguins, Rudolph, snow globes and stilt walkers all providing festive frolics and music. There may even be added snow.

The Alhambra Theatre’s outstanding pantomime will once again star the fantastic Billy Pearce who this year is taking on the role as Buttons with singer and Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, with performances from 16 December to 28 January.

Other Christmas shows and concerts include a Christmas Night With The Stars with tribute act performances from Cher, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Michael Buble, Freddie Mercury and Shirley Bassey at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, folk rock pioneers Steeleye Span, famous for their 1973 Christmas hit Gaudete at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, an evening of dance, songs and festive cheer comes to the Alhambra theatre with the Christmas Words show on 7 December and The Chicago Blues Brothers bring their brand new festive show to the Alhambra on December 8.

An array of Christmas markets and craft fairs are being held across the district including the fantastic Victorian Christmas event at the Industrial Museum on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November, Ilkley King’s Hall and Winter Gardens will be the venue for a Christmas Craft and Gift Fayre on Sunday 26 November, a Christmas Market will take place in Central Park in Haworth on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December and the Made Bradford Market will be held in Darley Street on Saturday 2 and Saturday 16 December.

There will be lots of festive fun at Bradford Council-run markets over the Christmas period with a Christmas Trade Fair hosted by Young Enterprise on Saturday 9 December inside the Oastler Shopping Centre, children’s interactive workshops, traditional Christmas entertainment from the Salvation Army Band, Pennine Chimes and school choir in the Oastler Shopping Centre and Kirkgate Market in the city centre and a Santa’s grotto along with festive entertainment at Keighley Market.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain has just launched the annual Lord Mayor’s Appeal Christmas Star’s Appeal, where people dedicate a star to a loved one for the Christmas tree in City Hall.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal annual Christmas Lunch takes place on Friday December 15 in City Hall and raises money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

For those wanting to get active there is the Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede with a 5k run and a mini stampede for children, Bradford Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way team has also organised two Christmas walks, a 5.5 mile Candlemass Eve walk on December 9 and a 4 mile Christmas Cheer walk on December 13.

Switch-on events with markets and fairs will be taking place across the district throughout November and December.

This year’s city centre Christmas lights will have a special light raising awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign, the global campaign to end male violence against women. Incidences of domestic violence rise significantly during the festive period. The light will be turned on as part of the Christmas lights switch-on and will remain illuminated during the Christmas period including on White Ribbon day, 25 November.

The annual City Carol Service takes place at the Cathedral on Monday 18 December. The service is open to anyone and is attended by the Lord Mayor and civic leaders.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Christmas is such a special time of year and these events in the city centre and across the district give people plenty of opportunities to celebrate.”

For more information about Christmas events in the district visit

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 or contact Heidi Hardy on 01274 434335.

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 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 by Wed, 25 Oct.



Bradford City Runs invite children to join in!

Bradford City Runs on Sunday 29 October is Bradford’s annual festival of running with a unique choice of three distances: a 5km, a 10km and a half marathon along with a special kids’ mile run, all on closed roads in and around City Park in the city centre.

The one mile run for children, allows them to get involved before the adult races begin.

The race will use the same start and finish as the adults race, using Thornton Road and City Park.

Open to all children, children age 5 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult, whilst children age 6 and over MAY be accompanied by an adult.

The main route which was introduced last year, takes in parts of Little Germany and the Broadway Shopping Centre, as well as the University of Bradford, Bradford College, City Hall and the multi-award winning City Park.

Before the run Ajay L Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Director of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit will be presented with a cheque for £7,000 which was raised by the event last year.

Bradford City Runs will once again raise money for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, based at the University of Bradford. The unit was set up after the tragic Bradford City fire disaster thirty two years ago and continues to explore ground-breaking treatment techniques for burns sufferers.

Hundreds of people including many children and young people have already signed up to take part in this year’s Bradford City Runs, which is designed to welcome everyone from the Bradford district and beyond, no matter how fit and how fast!

The event, which is delivered in a partnership between Bradford Council and Bradford Athletics Network, is also being hugely supported by Bradford City football club and the Bradford Bulls as well as the University of Bradford, Bradford College, St Bede’s School (pupils will oversee the water station) and many of the RunBradford running groups, running clubs and hundreds of participants from across the district.

Mr Ajay L Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Director of PSBRU, said: “We are delighted that the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) at the University of Bradford has once again been chosen as the charity for this year’s Bradford City Runs. Last year, Su Shergill from our unit participated in the run and this year I am pleased to say that our new research fellow, Lucy Trevor will be taking part in it. I want to wish everyone taking part the best of luck whichever distance they’re running and thank them for their support, which is vital in helping us continue our work in the unit.”

For more information and to sign up to take part visit: and follow @RunBradford on Twitter or Bradford City Runs on Facebook.

Heritage Day at Keighley Library

Visitors to Keighley can discover more about the town’s heritage at Keighley Library this coming weekend.

The annual Heritage Day at Keighley Library will take place on Saturday, 9 September.

There will be local, family, schools and military stands and this year the event will take on a musical theme reflecting Keighley’s musical heritage.

People can meet local and family history groups including Keighley Local History Society, Keighley Family History Society, Men of Worth, Keighley Schools Heritage and Airedale and Haworth writers.

At 11am there will be a special Rhymetime for children of all ages with guest presenters ‘Little Notes’.  The sing-along will feature woodwind instruments and fun and games.

From 11am until 4pm there will be music from local musicians Foxes Faux, Dayner Sim and Niamh Mirfield and Keighley group The Presidents.

There will be displays of Keighley’s musical heritage since the 1950s from the local studies library collections.

At 1pm musician and historian Gary Cavanagh author of ‘Noise of the Valleys’ will give a talk with musical clips from the CD that accompanies the book.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said:  “People can drop in throughout the day and discover more about the heritage of the local area.”

Admission to the event is free and everyone is welcome.

Pupils learn safety message

Children at Dixon’s Marchbank Academy learned about the dangers of going onto building sites and into buildings to play.

Reshape Construction, a company involved in building social housing for Bradford Council recently visited the school to pass on information to the children about the dangers which construction sites pose, especially as the school holidays are now beginning and children have much more free time.


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.”

Peace Walk will celebrate diverse community around Miriam Lord Primary

Parents, local mosques and churches have been invited to join hundreds of pupils and staff on a Peace Walk to celebrate diversity in Bradford and around Miriam Lord Primary School.

The walk has been planned for Friday 21 July, 2017 and is being held following recent terrorist events in Manchester and London.

The Peace Walk was suggested by Year 6 teacher Stefanie Deciacco as an additional way of commemorating sad and tragic events. The school already discusses events, such as the Manchester terrorist attack, in class and has held Silences to honour the dead, bereaved and injured.

All 440 pupils and 45 staff will be involved in the walk which will end with the walkers singing Bob Marley favourite “One Love” in the school playground. A recording will be made and the song and played again on Miriam Lord Radio.

Leading up to the event, pupils will be involved in discussion about why the Peace Walk is taking place. They will also be making placards with peace slogans and a wide banner saying “Miriam Lord Primary Peace March” which will be at the front of the walk, so people passing by know what’s happening.

Bryan Harrison, Executive Headteacher at Miriam Lord, said: “With social media, children very quickly know what happens around the world. They are curious about events like the terrorist attack in Manchester and want to know more, but unfortunately, the messages they hear are not always unbiased.

“In school, we are always open to children’s questions and ready to talk about their worries. The purpose of the walk is to show that we are proud to be part of our community and to celebrate the diversity of the people who live in Bradford.”

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