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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”.

Annual School Football Festival kicks off

One of the biggest school football festivals in the country takes place this week as almost a thousand youngsters from across the district take to the field.

The Bradford District Schools 5 v 5 Football Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year at the start of a big week for football in the district.

The tournament kicks off today at Keighley’s Marley Activities and Coaching Centre.

There will be 120 teams of boys and girls between the ages of eight and 14 taking part in the festival.

The event, organised by Bradford Council’s Sport & Culture Service is for the first time supported by Bradford based Square Apple Café.

Bradford Council’s assistant director of sport and culture Phil Barker said: “Primary and secondary school pupils from all over the district will be taking part in this five-a-side festival and I hope friends and relatives will go along and give them some support.

“It is important that young people are provided with enjoyable opportunities to take part in physical activity and sport.

“It is a big sporting week with Bradford City going for promotion on Saturday in the league one play off final against Millwall. We hope everyone at the five-a-side festival can take inspiration from the Bantams and give it their all.”

All members of the winning and runner-up squads in each of the six age groups ( from under nines up to under 14s) will receive a leather football and commemorative t-shirt respectively. Every participant at the event will also receive an attendance certificate.

Bowling Park Primary celebrates Ofsted success

Staff and pupils at Bowling Park Primary School are delighted to receive their second good Ofsted result following an inspection in March this year.

The result reflects the continued and sustained improvements that the school have undergone in the last few years.

In 2008, two schools, one based at Usher Street, and one based at New Cross Street were merged to create the new Bowling Park Primary.

Before this, both schools were struggling to achieve and Usher Street Primary had been in special measures for a number of years.

Since the merger, and the appointment of their new principal, Stuart Herrington, the school has come on in leaps and bounds.

This most recent inspection highlights how far the school has travelled to become a caring, hard-working and fun place to learn.

The Ofsted team noted that the school’s principal, leadership team and governors are “unwavering in their determination to ensure that every child is nurtured, cared for and inspired to learn”.

Inspectors were particularly impressed with children’s knowledge and ambitions for later life, adding: “Together, you have all been successful in enabling pupils to overcome barriers to learning. You have raised their aspirations and improved their life chances”.

The school was also pleased with the response from parents, who have always been very supportive. One parent described Bowling Park as, “a caring, stimulating environment”. They went on to say: “The team consistently challenge my children to progress and achieve their potential.”

In their inspection in 2008, Bowling Park Primary were advised to develop maths and the quality of teaching. In their most recent inspection Ofsted notes that “significant improvements” have been made.

Principal Stuart Herrington said: “Everyone at Bowling Park Primary is delighted with this report which we feel captures the strengths of our school. The school, staff, children and families are now looking forward to a very bright future, filled with lots more exciting learning and continued improvements.”


St Matthew’s CE Primary School wins praise for its work engaging with parents of pupils

St Matthew’s CE Primary School was recently presented the prestigious Leading Parent Partnership Award.

The school has worked hard over the last two years to gain the award which, among other things, will be used by St Matthew’s to show to Ofsted inspectors that the school has “an outstanding and sustainable programme for parental engagement.”

In 2015 the school gained the Engaging Families Award and has built on that to achieve LPP accreditation last year. They say engaging with parents is a “top priority for the school.

Kay Remmer, Acting Headteacher, said: “In the last few years we have increased and improved parental engagement with all parents and also with Eastern European families who are new to English.

“Parents play a vital role in supporting their children at school and so it is important they are embraced as part of the whole school community.”

Diane Lock, the school’s Parent Liaison Co-ordinator, and Afsheen Kauser, a Parent Governor, have played a key role, alongside Mrs Remmer, in organising the parental engagement programme and developing the detailed portfolio which was part of the accreditation process.

The school has provided training courses for parents in ICT, English and maths and holds awards ceremonies at which the pupils applaud their parents for gaining qualifications. This has led to many more parents being able to help their children with homework and improve their own life chances.

Some parents have used the school courses as a stepping stone to further education or to acquire training leading to work.

During the school year, there are various events which involve parents such as the Dads in School Days, an annual communal lunch and a number of fundraising events. A popular event is held in November near Remembrance Day when families plant bulbs in the school grounds and remember deceased family members.

Twitter: @stmatthewsce

Duke of Edinburgh Awards presented by the Lord Mayor of Bradford

Adventurous pupils from schools from across the district were presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Awards by the Lord Mayor of Bradford at a ceremony to celebrate their achievements at City Hall last week.

The pupils who have all completed either their Bronze or Silver awards were invited to the presentation afternoon, along with their parents, to celebrate and congratulate the students on their commitment and contribution to their local communities whilst developing their own skills and talents as part of the awards.

Around 70 young people attended the event from Carlton Bolling College, Beckfoot Oakbank, Beckfoot Thornton, Beckfoot School and Parkside School.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford Coun Geoff Reid, said: “I am looking forward to meeting these young people who have all worked so hard and put in so much of their spare time and energy in to working towards these awards.”

Headteacher of Carlton Bolling College, Adrian Kneeshaw said: “The afternoon is a culmination of the hard work and tremendous commitment put in to achieve the award. I would like to congratulate all of our young people on such a phenomenal achievement.”

Pupils Shine in Festival of Talent

The winners of the annual “Festival of Talent”  for young people across the district’s schools have been selected following the recent finals.

Singers, dancers and other entertainers from over thirty schools took part in the event.

The City of Bradford Festival of Talent was created by former Lady Mayoress Elizabeth Sharp as a way of for pupils to express themselves and show off their skills in a variety of fields outside the classroom.

Winners of the contest will join the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid at City Hall for afternoon tea, receive a trophy and perform at the Bradford Schools Prom next month.

The Winner of the Primary section of the City of Bradford Festival of Talent was Molly Softley from Wibsey Primary School.  The runner-up was Antoni Modlinski  from Low Ash Primary School.  Molly performed an exquisite contemporary dance while Antoni displayed his lovely voice in a song.

The Secondary section was won by the Bradford Academy Choir with a very polished choral performance.  The runner-up was Annabelle Parish, a lovely vocalist from Titus Salt School (Sixth Form).

Congratulations to all involved!

St Matthew’s CE Primary School launch ‘Fuel for Schools’

Pupils at St Matthew’s CE Primary School have become young market traders as part of a project they hope will reduce food waste as well as help local families.

‘Fuel for School’ is a ground-breaking initiative using food destined for landfill to feed its pupils and nourish its community.

An empty stomach is widely understood to negatively affect to a child’s academic performance, impacting concentration and energy levels. It has been said that children who eat breakfast are more likely to have higher school grades than those who do not.

The school, in the Little Horton is taking part in the project for a whole school year to make an impact on the pupils’ education, further increase engagement with families and sell food on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

It will mean families will be able to buy perfectly good food for a reduced price.

Run by the Real Junk Food Project in Leeds, Fuel for Schools works with supermarkets and local food providers to intercept food reaching its sell-by date before it is thrown out.

Pupils hosted their first market stall last week which took place at the end of the school day.  Pupils sold a wide variety of items, from fruit and veg to crisps and juice.

The event was well received by families, and any remaining food will be offered to needy local families.

Funds raised by the school through the markets will be used to buy playtime equipment so the children can stay healthy through active play.

As part of the project, Year 5 pupils sort out the food, help families with their shopping and share information with the local community about food waste.

Kay Remmer, Acting Headteacher, said: “Our Year 5 children are really excited about the Fuel for School project.

“Like other schools involved in the project, we expect one of the outcomes will be a real impact on education.

“In other schools, Fuel for School has shown it can deliver improvement in things like maths and reading, behaviour and attitudes to others.

“Fuel for School will help us reduce the amount of resources thrown away unnecessarily, engage more with families and help the local community by providing food at low cost. At the market stall, families offer an amount of money which they feel is appropriate for the item.”

Adrian Stygall, School Business and Development Officer, said: “The first market went down really well, we sold about four fifths of the food. Any non-perishable food left over will go to the market next week, and other food will go to any local families in difficult circumstances.

“We hope that because of these markets, families facing problems in this difficult economic climate will be able to have a nice meal.”

Although the project will run to the end of the school year, he added: “We expect this project will go on for a long time.”

Follow St Matthew’s CE Primary on Twitter: @stmatthewsce


Byron School unveil Myra Shay GreenLine Mile Route

A new one-mile walking and jogging loop has been launced this week around the Myra Shay between Barkerend Road and Killinghall Road.

Children from the nearby Byron Primary School opened the route along with The Bradford Bull’s Bullman.

The GreenLine Mile is designed to be easy to follow, instantly recognisable and generally accessible to everyone.

Bradford became the first city in the country to have a GreenLine Mile and this new route is one of four routes to be created in the city to encourage people to be more active.

Providing facilities like the GreenLine Mile will enable families and communities in the area to improve their own health by making use of the route to Lister Park.

Byron Primary School - GreenLine Mile 2
Pupils from Byron Primary School celebrate the opening of the GreenLine Mile with the Bradford Bull’s Bullman

Cllr Val Slater, Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“It’s amazing what a brisk ten minute jog or walk can do for your health. We all need to be more active and this Greenline mile is an ideal starting point for people to get moving.

“Because it’s a measured mile you can start at your own pace and build up the amount of exercise you do over time.

“We all have a role to play in making sure people in Bradford have better and healthier lives. Getting outside, being active and enjoying the Myra Shay is one way local residents can stay health and improve their own lives.

John Dennis, from Bradford Athletics Network and Active Bradford said:

“We’re hoping the whole community comes to together to find their own use for this important Bradford resource, one of several initiatives that comes under the current RunBradford banner.”

“This route links several schools around the Myra Shay which will hopefully encourage children and their parents to be more active.

England Athletics, who are developing a series of GreenLine miles across the country, has invested £30,000 into the project to support the joint work being done by Bradford Athletics Network, Bradford Council’s Public Health department and other Active Bradford Partnership organisations.

You can find out more information about the Greenline mile at www.bradford.gov.uk/greenlinemile.