Category Archives: Uncategorized

Exotic animals come to libraries this summer

Children have the chance to see and handle exotic animals as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

There will be 22 Zoo Lab workshops throughout the summer break in libraries across the district. Children can get up close and personal with a range of exotic  animals. The sessions are aimed at four to 12-year-olds and need to be booked in advance. Children are also required to be registered on to the Summer Reading Challenge.

This is one of a full programme of events organised for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, an annual initiative, run by Bradford Council’s Library Service, in July and August. This year’s theme is Animal Agents.

The challenge is a national libraries initiative, delivered by libraries in partnership with the Reading Agency. It aims to encourage children 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.

All children taking part will 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  the  artwork of Tony Ross.

Zoo Lab sessions are being held at the following libraries and times:

Monday 31 July – Monday 21 August 2017

Library Date Time
Burley Monday 31 July 11am – 12noon
Allerton Monday 31 July 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Bingley Tuesday 1 August 11am – 12noon
Silsden Tuesday 1 August 2pm – 3pm
Thornton Wednesday 2 August 11am – 12 noon
Clayton Thursday 3 August 11am – 12noon
Bolling Hall Thursday 3 August 2pm – 3pm
Manningham Friday 4 August 11.30am – 12.30pm
Holmewood Monday 7 August 2pm – 3pm
Keighley Wednesday 9 August 2pm – 3pm
Laisterdyke Thursday 10August 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Wyke Friday 11 August 11am – 12noon
Thornbury Friday 11 August 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Wibsey Monday 14 August 11am – 12noon
Idle Monday 14 August 2pm – 3pm
Eccleshill Tuesday 15August 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Shipley Wednesday 16 August 11am – 12noon
City Wednesday 16 August 2pm – 3pm
Ilkley Thursday 17 August 11am – 12noon
Wrose Thursday 17 August 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Denholme Friday 18 August 11am – 12noon
Baildon Monday 21 August 2pm – 3pm


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.”


Foster Carer Awards 2017

Bradford foster carers have been recognised and awarded for the selfless work they do looking after some of the city’s most vulnerable children, at a special awards ceremony organised by Bradford Council.

The awards are the Fostering Service’s opportunity to thank its carers and celebrate their achievements in supporting Bradford’s most vulnerable children. The ceremony was held on Monday 10 July 2017 in City Hall and celebrated the long service, commitment and dedication of Bradford’s foster carers.

Three inspirational fostering families in Bradford were also celebrated as exceptional carers at the Awards ceremony, alongside recognition and commendation of all the fostering families who have achieved long service milestones of between 10 and 35 years.

Cllr Val Slater, Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said:  “Bradford’s foster carers’ dedication and commitment to the most vulnerable children in our city is amazing. It has been humbling and very moving to hear all their wonderful stories of love and care. It was fantastic to see them receive their awards from the Lord Mayor and to share this special moment with them.”

Michael Jameson, Strategic Director Children’s Services opened the ceremony with a speech about the importance of the work that carers do in keeping making a fantastic difference to  our children’s lives.

Jim Hopkinson, Deputy Director Children’s Services, announced each carer receiving a long service award. The Lord Mayor, Cllr Abid Hussain, presented each carer with a certificate of appreciation. Carers who had reached 15 years or more also received a bouquet of flowers and those carers who had achieved 20, 25, 30 and 35 years also received an engraved crystal award in recognition of their long service.

For the new Exceptional Carer Award, social workers in the fostering service were asked to nominate carers who had shown exceptional service over the past year – 21 carers were put forward, which reflects the scale of the number of Bradford’s foster carers who will go above and beyond what is required of them to support and care for a child in need.

The winners and runners up of the Exceptional Carer of the Year Award were selected by a panel made up of the fostering team managers.

Gareth Flemyng, Fostering Service Manager for Bradford Council, invited the three nominees’ champions to explain to the audience of foster carers, social workers, and senior Children’s Services staff, why their carers had been nominated. All three nominees were presented with awards and certificates in recognition of the service they had provided.

The winning foster carers for Exceptional Carer Award of 2017 were:

Evelyn and Raymond Harrison – Mainstream Foster Carers

Evelyn and Raymond’s commitment and dedication to Natty throughout his short life was exceptional. Natty came to them when he was 9 weeks old and he was 12 years old when he passed away. From the very beginning of his life with them, Evelyn and Raymond fully embraced his complexities and loved him like he was their own son. Their whole family life orbited around Natty and his needs.

Natty was born with drugs in his bloodstream and he struggled with a wide range of disabilities and complex health needs due to his mother’s drug addictions during her pregnancy and his difficult birth. These had profound effects on Natty for his whole life – he had significant global developmental delay, severe irritability, microcephaly, severe birth asphyxia and neonatal abstinence syndrome. He was gastrostomy fed and had an ileostomy.

Little Natty was always uncomfortable laying down and would have frequent epileptic fits, which would twist his little body in to painful shapes, so Evelyn spent a lot of his life holding him and carrying him in her arms to give him the comfort and support he needed.

Caring for Natty on a day-to-day basis would have been a huge challenge for any carer, yet throughout the 12 years of his life, Evelyn and Raymond were constant in their commitment and love for him and are slowly coming to terms with his death. They are sensitive and compassionate people who gave Natty an exceptionally good life.

The runners up were:

Mark Smith – Support Care

Mark was nominated because of the support and dedication he has shown since 2015 to a teenage boy. The young man has been through several massive upheavals in his personal life but Mark has remained steadfast providing a trusting, supportive relationship and a safe space for the teenager to be himself and have time away from his stressful home environment and the uncertainties surrounding his future.

As a support carer, Mark provides planned short respite breaks for children after school and a couple of overnight stays over the weekends twice a month, but during this young man’s most stressful period of life when he had nowhere to stay, Mark offered for him to come and stay full time until a permanent home could be found. Mark continues to provide a respite placement for the child and remains the only consistent male role model in his life.

Mary Thompson Lister – Connected Person (Family & Friends Carer)

Mary was nominated for her devotion and commitment to providing a loving and stable family home for her grandchildren. Mary currently looks after her two youngest grandchildren, but she also cared for their older brother and sister, who are now adults. The two younger children have complex needs including ADHD and FASD, along with autistic traits so, through no fault of their own, can be a handful to care for and are constantly on the go from the moment they wake until they fall asleep at night.

Mary has attended lots of training over the years to help her better understand and meet the children’s needs. She is also an outstanding advocate for the children at their school, working with the school to make sure their individual needs are met. She has engaged the children in their wider community and has helped them become involved in the local Royal Legion. Mary has helped the children experience the wider world by taking them on holidays both home and abroad – they are regular visitors at Butlins and have their own red coats.
Photo attached: Award winners – Evelyn and Raymond Smith, Mary Lister and Mark Smith pictured with the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain.

Get active this summer!

Bradford Council is offering new BASE camps led by the  sport and culture service as a great way to keep the youngsters occupied and active this summer.

The programme will provide a wide range of sports including tennis, volleyball, dodge ball and dance; along with the more traditional sports such as football, cricket, basketball and athletics.

New to the programme this year is a football training camp offered for boys and girls aged 8-14 and will take place on the synthetic pitch at Zara Sports Centre. The price is the same as the other BASE camps.

Participants will need to bring their own suitable kit with trainers, a packed lunch and drinks. The sessions will last from 9.00am-3.30pm.

The base camps for five to 13 year-olds are scheduled as follows:

Monday, 24 July – Friday, 28 July – Richard Dunn Sports Centre

Monday, 31 July – Friday, 4 August – Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Odsal

Monday, 7th August – Friday, 11 August – Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Odsal

Monday, 21 August – Friday, 25 August – Zara Sports Centre, Heaton

Football Camp Scheduled as follows:

Monday, 14 August – Friday, 18 August – Zara Sports Centre, Heaton

Dance camps are scheduled as follows:

Monday, 24 July to Friday, 28 July (13 – 18 years) – Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Odsal

Monday, 31 July – Friday, 4 August (5 to 13) – Zara Sports Centre, Heaton

Monday, 7 August to Friday, 11 August (5 to 13) – Zara Sports Centre, Heaton.

Monday, 14 August to Friday, 18 August (5 to 13) – Zara Sports Centre, Heaton

Parents can book their children to attend the full four or five day camps or for single days. Day sessions are priced at £14 per child or £11 for Bradford Leisure cardholders (formerly passport to leisure holders). The full weeks cost £57 or £43 for each additional child Bradford Leisure cardholders.

The dance camps, which run from 10am – 3pm, cost £50 per person for the week or £38 for each additional child and for Bradford Leisure cardholders. Day sessions are priced at £12 per child or £9 for Bradford Leisure cardholders.

Dance for Life will be teaching breakdance, musical theatre and street dance, all leading up to a final performance at the end of the session.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Our Base camps are a great way for youngsters to try new sports, improve their skills and make new friends in a safe and enjoyable environment. I’m sure they will have lots of fun.”

Places are limited so booking is essential. To do so please book online at or for more information call  the Community Sports and Activities Development Unit on 01274 522750 or email

Football camps
Football Base Camps 2017

Free Family Fun and Learning this weekend

Enjoy some hands-on science in City Park’s Mirror Pool this weekend at the National Science and Media Museum‘s Water Lab, which is just one of the events at this weekend’s Bradford Science Festival.

  • What are the kinetic properties of water?
  • Can you balance balls on fountains?
  • Do you know what a Gurgle Splosher is?

Take your shoes and socks off, get into the Mirror Pool and get involved with our interactive water-based activities. Don’t forget your towel!

11am – 5pm, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July. FREE.

For details of other events taking place please visit the National Science and Media Museum Facebook page @nationalscienceandmediamuseum



Bradford pupils get the chance to quiz a Star Wars star

Pupils at a Bradford primary school got the chance to carry out their own exclusive interview with a movie star as Riz Ahmed took part in a question and answer session with them on Skype.

The event has been organised by Beckfoot Heaton Primary School to introduce inspiring role models to the children and get them to think about their own futures.

The Star Wars star gave an inspirational speech to pupils telling them to always believe in themselves and pursue their goals before he answered their questions about his life as an actor and a musician and his plans for the future.

Ahmed is a real rising star in the acting world having played one of the leading roles, Bohdi Rook,  in the most recent Star Wars movie, Rogue One. He also starred in Nightcrawler and HBO’s The Night Of TV series.  He is a rapper performing under the name Riz MC and appeared on TIME magazine’s The Most Influential People of 2017 list.

The chance to talk to a film star face-to-face was organised through a teacher at the school, Khola Mir.

She said: “Part of our school ethos is to aspire to greatness. We really encourage our children to be the best versions of themselves and to have the courage to dream big. Riz is a fantastic role model and has helped to show our children that if you dare to dream and work hard success will be yours.”

Pupils asked Ahmed about what it was like being in a Star Wars film, how he coped with fame and how he overcame challenges.

He told pupils that the biggest obstacle they will face is what they tell themselves. He encouraged the children to believe in their ability to succeed. He was also asked whether he knew what his next step in life would be.

He replied: “I feel like so far I have been working on other people’s projects and acting in other people’s films. I really hope my next step will be to make my own films and tell my own stories and actually one of the stories I want to tell is set here in Bradford.”

He told pupils that if any of them pursued a career in films they might one day work together.

Beckfoot Heaton Primary School Headteacher Zoe Mawson added: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils. We want our children to know they can be great learners, great citizens and have a great future.

“But we also know that some children in our area face many challenges in making this a reality.  Many don’t have high aspirations and struggle to envisage what they could achieve in their life.

“We’re aiming to tackle these issues. We want the children to have a real sense of belonging, which builds their confidence and encourages them to aspire for greatness.  The hope is that Riz is someone that a lot of our children can identify with and begin to realise that success is not out of reach. We would like to thank Riz for showing our children that their future is in their hands.”

Fagley Primary flying high with outstanding Ofsted success

Staff and pupils at Fagley Primary School are celebrating being rated as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.

In a glowing report the Bradford school was given the top inspection rating for the effectiveness of its leadership and management; the quality of its teaching and learning; pupils’ results; the personal development, behaviour and welfare of the children and for its early year years provision.

The report has been welcomed by the whole school community.

Head teacher Chris Parfitt said: “The report reflects the school ‘just as it is’ with sound statements reflecting the dedication and commitment of school staff and governors who are absolutely marvellous in their exceptional practice to enable every child to succeed and do their very best at school, at home and in the community, now and in the future”.

A group of Year 6 children read the report with a school governor and made the following comments:

“The report is fantastic – full of lovely comments about our school. The headteacher Mrs Parfitt, is a determined headteacher and she won’t stop until all children have achieved their standards. In her vision all pupils are stars in their own way”.

Inspectors said the headteacher’s vision that every pupil will make outstanding progress and aspire to be the best has helped to secure rapid improvements in the teaching and learning at Fagley Primary School.

The progress pupils make in reading, writing and maths by the end of their time in primary school is significantly above the national average.

Ofsted highlighted the exceptional curriculum which they say engages pupils very effectively. As a result, pupils at Fagley Primary thoroughly enjoy their education. The report also praises senior leaders for their work and governors who are said to be passionate in both their support for the school and their challenge of its leaders.
Inspectors say new staff are well supported in their roles and the quality of teaching is continuously improving.

Pupils and their families are cared for exceptionally well. Parents speak highly of the school and the support they receive from staff.

Ofsted said there are excellent relationships throughout school and behaviour is impeccable. Pupils are praised for respecting each other’s differences and work and play together harmoniously.

Judith Kirk, Bradford Council’s deputy director for education employment and skills said: “This Ofsted report is extremely positive about all aspects of school life at Fagley Primary School. Inspectors not only rate the education the school provides as outstanding but are also full of praise for the support and input of governors and parents and of the work and attitude of the pupils themselves. Everyone connected to the school deserves great credit.”

Fagley Primary School Ofsted
Head teacher Chris Parfitt said: “The report reflects the school ‘just as it is’ with sound statements reflecting the dedication and commitment of school staff and governors who are absolutely marvellous in their exceptional practice to enable every child to succeed and do their very best at school, at home and in the community, now and in the future”.

Pupils debate in competition

Pupils from schools across the district will put their debating skills to the test when they take part in this year’s Woolsack Debating Society Competition.

The event takes place at Cartwright Hall on Thursday 18 May at from 10.00am to 2.30pm.

The children have been working in teams made up of three schools, who work together debating as triads throughout the year, or single schools.

Each team has the opportunity to have two debates and judge one and these are marked using a standard scoring system.

The two teams with the highest points will then go head to head for the final debate. Debate topics are not provided before the day, although the final debate subject is made known to the pupils in advance so that they can do their research.”

The schools taking part include:
• Atlas Community Primary
• Green Lane Primary
• Dixons Manningham Primary
• Bowling Park Primary
• Eldwick Primary
• Crossflatts Primary
• Parkwood Primary
• Eastwood Primary
• Holycroft Primary
• Heaton St Barnabas Primary
• Rainbow Primary Academy
• Saltaire Primary
• Newby Primary

Michael Jameson, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director of Children’s Services, said: “The Woolsack Debating Society is now in its third year and is a great way of engaging children in healthy debate and reasoning.

“This also gives the young people the opportunity to learn how to research the final debate project to give them the information needed to take part.”

This project is part of the Language 4 Learning strand, set up many years ago in Bradford and also Voice Bradford a project funded by Bradford Council which has created six Oracy Hubs which coordinate the sharing of the good practice across our schools.

Enter a magical world of storytelling, dancing and wonder in this Bookstart adventure, specially for under-5s and their parents and carers

Bookstart Enchanted Adventure at the National Science and Media Museum

Join us to celebrate 25 years of Bookstart with a morning of storytelling, live shows, a visit to Wonderlab, and a special guest appearance by Bookstart Bear!

The adventure starts with a story, Every Bunny Dance; find out how every bunny dances in this charming tale of friendship. Follow us to the Enchanted Wood where you will step into a world of light, shadow and fairies.  Finally, explore Wonderlab, where what you see and hear is only the beginning.

You will be able to join the library at the event, and will also receive a free Bookstart book.

A partnership event between Bradford Libraries and the National Science and Media Museum.

To book, quote Bookstart when you fill in our educational booking form.

  • Tuesday 06 June 2017 10.00- 12.00

Children on traffic warden duty to stop irresponsible parking

Primary school pupils took the role of traffic wardens outside their school last week as part of a project to stop people parking irresponsibly.

The children from St Winefride’s Catholic Primary Academy, dressed up in police and warden uniforms whilst they issued pretend parking tickets during the school run.

The tickets were in official parking ticket pouches, but inside will be leaflets about good parking practice, road safety and using a mobile while driving, designed and produced by pupils on the School Council.

The children were accompanied by school staff from St Winefride’s, Bradford Council Wardens and West Yorkshire Police.

Concerns about poor parking led to the School Council being asked to lead the campaign and have invited parents in to school for tea and coffee to meet with wardens.

Parents will also receive a parking leaflet from Bradford Council’s Road Safety Unit.

The School Council will be hosting an assembly and devise a quiz for pupils with prizes related to road safety.

Head of School Louise Walsh said: “St Winefride’s Catholic Primary Academy is committed to ensuring all children are made aware of their responsibility in arriving at and leaving school in the safest way possible.

“This road safety initiative will provide the children with an invaluable insight into how to keep themselves protected and gain an understanding of the different roles of those entrusted with keeping the community safe.”


St Winefride's Catholic Primary Academy Traffic Wardens 2
Children on traffic warden duty to stop irresponsible parking