Tag Archives: literacy

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

 

Bradford Hub boosts development with Early Language and Literacy Project

A joint early years project in Bradford has raised low development levels in reception-aged children.

The Early Language and Literacy Project was created by our Early Childhood Services and the National Literacy Trust’s Bradford Hub, in partnership with the Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance and the Innovation Centre Bradford (TICB). 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 the eight Bradford schools who took part.

Across the eight schools:

  • 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 Good Level of Development scores across the eight schools increased by 12%
  • The gap between boys and girls achieving a Good Level of Development 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 Early Language and Literacy Project is a three-strand approach which supports schools to address their low development levels. The three programme strands are focused on training and supporting teachers at eight different Bradford schools. The programme included:

  • An Early Writing CPD course for teachers, where they learnt about what encourages young children’s writing and developed strategies to build on that knowledge
  • Workshops on the ‘Sharing Stories Together’ initiative, which is a project aimed at building up parents’ skills as storytellers, which the teachers could then adapt for their classrooms
  • A Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) course, which is a course designed to look at how teachers and practitioners can better engage dads and male carers in children’s early literacy

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the National Literacy Trust’s Hub in Bradford, said:

“The results from the pilot are very encouraging and have demonstrated the value of partnership working. We were clear that we wanted a programme to support practitioners in the classroom and at the same time strengthen links with parents through tools like sharing stories and fathers reading to their children. This has encouraged schools to shine a positive light on the value of parental involvement in supporting reading and writing for enjoyment and develop stronger links as a result. In the next year we look forward to working with another 10 primary schools and presenting the programme to the education endowment fund”.

Chris Tolson, Head of Teaching and Learning at Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance, said:

“This first phase of this project saw system leaders deployed to support class teachers and provide school-to-school support. This way of working proved very effective and was a key ingredient to the project’s success. It is a great example of partnership working and shows how leaders and teachers can support each other to improve outcomes for pupils across Bradford.”

Lynn Donohue, Early Years Strategic Manager at Bradford Council, said:

“As a result of our annual thorough analysis of pupil performance at the end of reception year it was clear that, although the performance of our 5 year-olds is improving strongly in Bradford, there was still some low pupil performance in reading and writing and for some groups of pupils.  We identified that the gap between the performance of boys and girls was increasing and the gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and non-free school meals was not closing. This piece of work has enabled us to really target resource and expertise in the design and development of this intervention through our delivery partners. The first pilot in 2015-16 has resulted in some early evidence of success and already delivered improved outcomes for our young children; as a result of this, we are engaging in a second year with our partners.’

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.

First Bus puts poetry in motion with the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford

Winner of the Love Bradford poetry competition Caiomhe Richards, 11, with her winning entry which is framed inside a Bradford bus!
Winner of the Love Bradford poetry competition Caiomhe Richards, 11, with her winning entry which is framed inside a Bradford bus!

The winners of a poetry competition who penned verse about life in Bradford now have their entries on display inside 100 local First West Yorkshire buses.

More than 100 budding bards across Bradford entered the ‘Love Bradford’ poetry competition run by the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford in partnership with First West Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus and the Kirkgate Shopping Centre. The competition aimed to inspire and motivate reluctant writers, especially boys, to do more creative writing.

The winning poems were judged by local poet, Joolz Denby and National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford Manager, Imran Hafeez and are now on display as posters inside 100 First Buses, across Bradford. There were two categories, one for entrants in Year 3 to Year 5 and the other for pupils in Year 6 to Year 8.

The winners are Caiomhe Richards, aged 11, for her poem ‘Memories’, and Suma Abdulla, aged 10, for her poem ‘Big Beautiful Bradford.’ They also won vouchers to spend at Kirkgate Shopping Centre and had their poems published in the Telegraph & Argus.

Colin Brushwood, Operations Manager at First Bradford, comments: “At First Bus we strive to support our local community, and we were inspired to get behind the competition by the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford to celebrate the talents of young poets across the region. It’s a privilege to have Caiomhe and Suma’s work on display on 100 of our buses, and we’re sure they’ll bring a smile to our passengers in Bradford.”

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford said: “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 give creative writing a go. We hope that seeing their poems published for passengers to read on their journeys will encourage Caiomhe and Suma to continue writing for enjoyment.”

The National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford is a local solution to intergenerational low literacy in the district, working with Bradford Council to forge innovative partnerships with a range of sectors including business, sport, culture and health as well as voluntary and faith groups. The long-term initiative harnesses community assets to address poverty and unemployment through campaigning and targeted interventions to address priority areas. For more information, see here.

Bradford Walk and Trail Quiz Boosts Literacy

Families are being encouraged to visit Bradford’s best known landmarks as part of a quiz which aims to improve children’s literacy.

The Bradford Literacy Campaign has teamed up with the National Media Museum and Bradford Libraries to launch a fun literacy activity for families called the Bradford Walk and Talk Trail Quiz which celebrates the city’s architecture and culture by quizzing families during a day out in the city.

The quiz sheet features questions on some of Bradford’s favourite gems including the iconic Bradford Alhambra, the fascinating National Media Museum and the beautiful Bradford Wool Exchange which are designed to spark conversation whilst families are walking around the city centre together. The quiz also includes Bradford’s fantastic City Library to encourage families to join. Families who hand in their completed quizzes to City Library or their local library have the chance of winning a stack of books from Walker Books.

The Bradford Walk and Talk Trail Quiz sheets are available in the National Media Museum and Bradford’s City Library. A PDF can also be downloaded to print here.

Imran Hafeez, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the National Media Museum and Bradford Libraries on this fantastic activity for supporting children’s speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Museums and libraries are a vital part of children’s education and we hope that the quiz will encourage more families to visit the National Media Museum and join their local library.

Questions on Bradford city centre’s amazing architecture and culture provide inspiration for conversations on family days out which will help develop children’s communication skills. We hope families will enjoy spotting details and learning more about their city in this fun new way.”

The quiz also includes Bradford’s fantastic City Library to encourage families to join in.

Visit www.ourstories.org.uk for more information about the Bradford Literacy Campaign.

Educate Positive – Edition 9

Welcome to the ninth edition of Educate Positive, a monthly publication highlighting excellence in Bradford education and other topical news from across the district. In this edition we bring you the outcome of the Local Authority’s School Improvement Ofsted inspection; the proposed Bradford Education Covenant; Oakbank School’s success in the Good Schools Guide; and parents gaining skills to support their children’s learning at home, as well as other examples of achievement and good practice.

Bradford Council’s Ofsted report

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Bradford Council’s Children’s Services School Improvement service was inspected by Ofsted in June as part of its routine inspections of local authorities around the country.

In the published report Ofsted found evidence of a “step change” in Bradford Council’s approach. The report stated that the local authority had been too slow in driving improvement in the attainment, progress and attendance of pupils in the past, but it endorsed the Council’s renewed strategy and its school-led improvement plan. Ofsted identified a “cause for optimism” but it indicated that time will tell in terms of seeing the impact on results.

The Bradford Education Covenant

Bradford Council has proposed an Education Covenant as part of its strategy to deliver urgent and sustained educational improvements. The Bradford Education Covenant lists a set of pledges from the Council as well as a set of ‘asks’ of others – young people, parents, schools, businesses, the community and central government. The Covenant makes clear that education takes place inside and outside the school gates; it begins at birth and continues for life, so the improvement drive has to be a united effort from us all. Everyone in the district is invited to have their say on the Education Covenant, before it is finalised, by emailing school.improvement@bradford.gov.uk

Oakbank highest performers

Consistently good teaching and recent exam results have seen Oakbank School in Keighley receive two awards from the Good Schools Guide for out-performing all other English schools in its category and for displaying excellent performance. One award is for the highest performing English comprehensive school for girls taking Design & Technology Product Design at A Level; the other is for the highest performing English comprehensive school for boys taking the Fitness Trainer Training at VRQ Level 1.

Literacy success

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Bradford City player James Hanson and boxer Tasif Khan promote the importance of reading to children

More than 5,000 children and young people have so far been involved in the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford, which works in partnership with Bradford Council and other local partners to create long-term change where low levels of literacy are entrenched, intergenerational and seriously impacting on people’s lives. The initiative works with schools, public services, businesses, communities and cultural, faith and voluntary groups through the Bradford Literacy Campaign.

Local role models and celebrities have backed a host of campaigns. These include a book giveaway in City Park supported by Bradford Bulls, Yorkshire Cricket Club, Bradford City player James Hanson and boxer Tasif Khan (pictured above reading with a child in City Park) and fellow boxer Saira Tabusum. Tasif also visited a local school to talk about his favourite book to inspire teenage boys to read more. The Hub has also linked up with a hairdresser in Girlington who now encourages young people to read books aloud to him while they have their hair cut.

A key priority is to encourage men to be actively involved in their children’s literacy by working closely with a group of dads at sessions in children’s centres. A reading selfie competition was launched on Father’s Day featuring Bradford Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul which featured in the Telegraph & Argus. 

The Bradford Hub also works to improve boys’ writing skills. Contemporary poetry workshops were delivered to more than 150 pupils and a ‘Love Keighley’ poetry competition was launched. The Hub built links between two madrassas and local schools resulting in children performing their pieces at the international Saif-ul-Malook festival in Bradford.

The Bradford Hub offers free support for every school in the district to develop outstanding literacy provision through the National Literacy Trust Network. The National Literacy Trust’s Premier League Reading Stars Programme (PLRS), which uses the motivational power of football to inspire children, particularly boys, to enjoy books, was rolled out in 26 schools. All boys who participated in the PLRS programme made more than expected improvement in reading, with three boys making the equivalent of a year’s progress or more after completing the ten sessions.

To find out more about the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford and get involved, contact Bradford Hub Manager Imran Hafeez on 01274 385681 or Imran.Hafeez@literacytrust.org.uk or visit www.ourstories.org.uk

“Yorkshire Greats” Elections at Immanuel

ben parkinsonStaff and students at Immanuel College took part in their own election to vote for the greatest Yorkshire person, as opposed to a political candidate. Pupils had to research the “great” they were voting for, which increased their own knowledge while also learning the process of an election. The school set up a polling station in its library.

The overall winner was Ben Parkinson, the paratrooper who has been recovering from his deep wounds after being badly injured by a huge anti-tank mine. The Bishop of Bradford, the Reverend Dr Toby Howarth, announced the winners. In second place was Bradford’s own magician Dynamo, and in third place was pop star Ed Sheeran.

Pupils graduate from Nursery

Westbourne graduationPupils at Westbourne Nursery had their first experience of transition and achievement at a very early age when they “graduated” at the end of the summer term.

There were two ceremonies, one for the pupils who attend nursery in the mornings and the other for the afternoon children, for those pupils who will be starting Reception in September. They all received a graduation certificate and wore mortar boards and sashes in the school colours. Proud parents and carers made up the audience. The next cohort of Nursery pupils is now settling in well to school life at Westbourne.

For further information contact Belinda Wardle, Headteacher, 01274 483138.

Engaging families accreditation for two schools

Families whose children attend St Matthew’s CE Primary School have benefited from the school’s “open door” practice which led to the school achieving the Engaging Families Award.

Saltaire Primary School is also celebrating the same accreditation. In a glowing report the inspectors spoke of the development of greater understanding between different learning communities, saying: “There is a focus on establishing a family friendly ethos, building respectful trusting relationships and providing a caring and nurturing environment.“

St Matthew’s has provided a wide range of workshops, meetings and more academic courses which help parents to support their children as they progress through school. Courses included Family Life, Life Education, Keep Fit, Oral Health, Pilates, Cook and Eat and E-safety.

The active Parents’ Forum also gives parents the opportunity to have direct influence in the school.

For further information please contact Bob Curran, Headteacher at St Matthew’s on 01274 731693, or Sally Stoker, Headteacher at Saltaire Primary School on 01274 584093.

UKAR Work Experience

Thirteen students from four of our schools have gained valuable employability and enterprise skills thanks to the work experience programme hosted by UKAR (UK Asset Resolution Limited). The students involved were from Holy Family Catholic College, Buttershaw Business & Enterprise College, Queensbury School and Carlton Bolling College. UKAR continues to make a contribution to youth employment in partnership with Xperience and Connexions.

The students spent a week in different departments within UKAR to gain greater insight into the business as a whole and gain office environment experience. They also learned about apprenticeship schemes and the career routes available.

For further information contact Catherine Halliwell, Lead Placement Officer for Bradford Council, 01274 385834.

Family Learning Accreditation

Family Learning Edition 9A number of parents of pupils from schools across the district are better placed to support their children’s learning and development at home thanks to the Family Learning courses the parents have attended.

The Functional Skills English qualification is separated into three categories: Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening. In the academic year 2014-2015 a total of 235 of these units were achieved by parents and carers. Some chose to do one or two of the three available categories. There were 48 who chose to do the full qualification which covered all three elements.

Family Learning supports parents and carers to develop not only their own skills in maths and English but also skills which support their children’s learning. Pictured are parents from Allerton Children’s Centre.

For further information please contact Vicky Clifton, Bradford Council’s Family Learning Curriculum and Qualifications Officer, T 01274 385938.

Take the opportunity to share your best practice and recent achievements – to submit an item for publication please contact The Education Communications Team T 01274 385615 or email: FHCommunications@bradford.gov.uk