Category Archives: reading

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.”

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.”

Byron Primary School gets good judgement from Ofsted

Byron Primary School is celebrating the recognition that pupils are getting a good education according to its latest Ofsted inspection, as is the case with other schools in the locality.

The Bradford Council school in the BD3 area of Bradford, (primarily Barkerend and Bradford Moor) was judged to be good in all areas, which is a leap from its previous judgement of Requires Improvement when it was last inspected in 2014.

In a glowing report, the inspectors, spoke of the “strong leadership” and ambitious Governors who know the school’s strengths and priorities for improvement and provide good levels of support and challenge.

“Pupils’ outcomes are improving strongly and have risen significantly since the last inspection.”

The complimentary report says: “Parents are positive about the school.  They say how well adults care for their children and that they are safe at all times.”

“The curriculum is well planned to meet pupils’ needs, especially those at an early stage of learning English.”

Headteacher, Richard O’Sullivan, said:  “We are delighted with Ofsted’s findings and it is clear they see the school as we do.

“This is another example of the good leadership and effectiveness of primary schools within the BD3 area, with several other schools in our locality also being judged to be Good.  This is testimony to the improvements being made in our area.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “This positive outcome is excellent news for all those at Byron Primary and all those who have worked so hard to bring about this achievement”

“It is pleasing to know that thousands of our young people have access to a Good education in our district.”

Schools in the BD3 LAP (Local Achievement Partnership)
Byron Primary, Lapage Primary, St Mary’s and St Peter’s Catholic Primary, Killinghall Primary, Dixons Marchbank Academy, Feversham Primary Academy, Westminster Primary, Barkerend Academy, Peel Park Primary and Westminster Primary Academy.

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.”