Tag Archives: schools

Working together to improve education

Headteachers, businesses and community leaders from across the district met at a special breakfast conference this week to look at practical ways of working to together to raise education attainment.

The conference focused on Bradford’s Education Covenant, which looks at how everyone in our community can work together to help drive up education standards across the District.

The covenant sets out what the Council needs to do to raise education achievement, and where the community can help. The covenant’s education ‘ask’ wants schools, pupils, parents, governors and businesses to see how they can help in supporting children and young people’s education.

The conference looked at practical steps that businesses, schools and the community can take to make a difference, whether it’s providing work placements or helping with volunteering.

Coun Imran Khan, Portfolio Holder for education, employment and skills, said: “We’ve made good progress on many areas of our education covenant and the Government has recently recognised Bradford as a place of educational opportunity. We need to live up to this expectation and this conference is about bringing together sectors of our community to look at practical steps we can all take to help raise education standards. We have a young and vibrant district with huge potential and whole of Bradford needs to come together to realise that potential and play a part in the districts education success.”

Michael Jameson, Strategic Director of Children’s Services, said: “Learning starts at birth and continues for life, both inside and outside the classroom. The covenant is a way in which we can make sure we have a joined up approach to the whole range of education our children receive.  It takes a community to raise a child and everyone has a role to play.”

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.”

Educate Positive – Edition 14

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of Educate Positive, a regular publication which highlights the educational excellence in education and across the district’s schools and settings.  In this edition we look at the impact being made on young people’s literacy, two teachers from Steeton Primary who have been learning about the education system in Italy, as well as a Titus Salt student achieving the highest score in the country in Chemistry.

Titus Salt student receives top award

This publication has previously reported about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) provision and success at Titus Salt School.

Another example of how this provision impacts on its students is the success of Year 12 student, Nicole Mitchell, (pictured) who not only received the highest possible award in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, but also achieved the highest score in the country!

The Cambridge Chemistry Challenge aims to stretch and challenge students interested in chemistry.  The challenge takes students significantly beyond the syllabus and encourages them to think about science in the way they would at university.  Nicole’s first rate performance enabled her to attend a residential Chemistry camp at the University of Cambridge during the summer holidays.  Well done Nicole.

Quality Mark awarded to Visual Impairment Team

Bradford Council’s Visual Impairment Team which is part of the sensory service was awarded a quality mark for the work they do in supporting children and young people with visual impairment across the Bradford District.

The award is made by regional heads of visual impairment services across Yorkshire and the Humber. It follows a lengthy assessment process which includes self evaluation and a whole day assessment by four external assessors.

There are 39 visual impairment staff working across the District.  Pupils with the severest vision loss attend two special centres which have additional resources at primary and secondary level. The team works with 179 children on the active caseload. The team also supports children and young people whose vision is less severely affected.  Pictured above is the Visual Impairment Team.

For further information please contact Anne Lomas, T 01274 439266.

Impact of the National Literacy Hub in Bradford

Standards in literacy are on the up says the National Literacy Trust, the charity behind the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford.

Bradford is one of three hubs set up with the National Literacy Trust to provide coordinated literacy provision at a local level to drive up literacy levels in order to increase educational attainment, employability skills and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our young people.

A report published by the charity shows that more of the Bradford district’s young people wrote either on a daily basis or a few times a week outside of the school day, which is higher than pupils regionally and nationally:

Bradford 52.6%; Regionally 39.7%; Nationally 44.1%

The National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford has engaged with the media on a number of elements showcasing the work being done to improve literacy across the district. The involvement with the media is an opportunity to increase awareness about the importance of literacy and to engage parents in their children’s literacy development.  High profile figures in the district including the Chief Executive of Bradford Bulls, a Bradford City player and a local boxer have all played their part in communicating the importance of improving children’s reading and writing skills.

For more information about the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford, please contact Jo Franks at jo.franks@literacytrust.org.uk or Imran Hafeez at imran.hafeez@literacytrust.org.uk     

 Teens fulfil their reading potential

Authors with some of the Teen Reading Group.jpg
Some of the Teen Reading Group with authors at last year’s Ilkley Literature Festival.

For almost nine years teenagers in Bradford have been able to improve their reading skills thanks to the Bradford Libraries Teen Reading Group which was started back in December 2007.  The scheme was as a result of the Fulfilling their Potential (FtP) Project, which looked at ways to engage young people in libraries. At the time there was no other such reading group targeted specifically at teenagers (12 – 14 year olds) and certainly none that brought together teenagers from various backgrounds and age groups.  Adult book groups had proved to be very successful and the need for teenagers to have their own book groups became apparent, through consultation work undertaken with teenagers in five secondary schools in Bradford since June 2005.

Reading helps young people to cope with the pressures of life, feel better about themselves and boosts confidence – all of which the Teen Reading Group can offer.  This group has proved to be a success story for Bradford Libraries. It has met regularly every month since 2007, maintaining a core group of between 6 to 9 teenagers, meeting on a monthly basis. The initial cohort did fit the age group of 12 to 14 years but then many of the group wanted to continue. It was decided to open up the age range to older teenagers and now the group is open to 12 to 18 year olds. Both this and the fact it offers a reading group for teens from all over the district and from different backgrounds has increased its popularity and success.

In October 2016 the Teen Reading Group is going to Ilkley Literature Festival and also the Alhambra to see “A Tale of Two Cities”, so another busy year is on the horizon. The group will reach its 10th Birthday in December 2017 and we look forward to celebrating ten years of supporting teen reading.

For more information please contact Christinea Donnelly, T 01274 433915.

When in Rome…..

Teachers Diana Linford and Wendy Hardcastle from Steeton Primary School in Rome
Teachers Diana Linford and Wendy Hardcastle from Steeton Primary School in Rome

Pupils in Steeton are learning about education in Italy following a job-shadowing visit by two of their teachers to a school in Rome.

Teachers Diana Linford and Wendy Hardcastle from Steeton Primary School visited a school in Rome to see what schools in Italy are like.  They worked with three Roman schools: IC Ferraironi, Romolo Balzani and Pisacane on a number of international eTwinning projects over the last few years.

Their pupils have studied ‘Farming around Europe’ and the two World Wars together.   The teachers received funding for the visit from Erasmus+, which provides money for staff and students to visit other schools in Europe, for education and training.

Information for schools about Erasmus+ KA1 funding for staff mobilities and job-shadowing.

 For further information please contact John Cooper, headteacher, T 01535 653315.

Travelling safely students are awarded

The Lord Mayor visits Beechcliffe Special School
The Lord Mayor visits Beechcliffe Special School

Two students from Beechcliffe Special School are now able to travel alone following training they attended which taught them the tasks and skills associated with travelling independently.

Kieron and Harris, who are both 17 years old, attended the Travel Training at Bradford Council’s Shearbridge Depot.

Travel training is a structured and planned course of training which helps children and young people make their first step towards independence.

The Travel Training Unit works with disabled and non-disabled children and young people who require support, assistance, mentoring and training to plan and use walking routes and all forms of public transport including buses and trains.

The Travel Training Unit supports children and young people on a one-to-one basis or in small groups planning and practising journeys. They also help with learning associated tasks and skills to enable students to travel independently to and from school.

The picture shows Kieron and Harris being presented with a special ‘six months safe’ award by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid and the Lady Mayoress, Chris Reid. You

Bradford district families’ childcare needs questionnaire

Currently all 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare per week during term time.

From September 2017, some 3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for an extra 15 hours of free childcare per week.

As a local authority we are consulting with parents of children aged between 0 to 4 years to look at your current, and future childcare needs to ensure there are enough places to meet demand for the extra childcare entitlement.

Please complete the survey about your childcare needs. Thank you.

Travel Training – a step towards independence

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford presented awards to two young people who have used a special travel training course to support their independence.

Kieron and Harris, who are both 17 years old and attend Beechcliffe Special School, undertook travel training with Travel Training Unit based at Shearbridge and have now been travelling independently for six months.

The Lord Mayor presented Kieron and Harris with a special ‘six months safe’ award at Beechcliffe Special School in Keighley on Tuesday 19 July.

Travel training is a structured and planned course of training which helps children and young people make their first step towards independence.

The Travel Training Unit works with disabled and non-disabled children and young people who require support, assistance, mentoring and training to plan and use walking routes and all forms of public transport including buses and trains.

The Travel Training Unit supports children and young people on a one-to-one basis or in small groups planning and practising journeys. They also help with learning associated tasks and skills to enable students to travel independently to and from school.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid, said: “It’s a real privilege to be presenting these awards to Kieron and Harris. They deserve great credit for completing the training and putting into practice what they’ve learnt.”

Debbie, Kieron’s mother, said: “Travel Training has really helped Kieron. His trainer put him at ease and explained things really well. The team work in partnership with parents so they let me know how things were going. All in all it was a great experience.”

Karen, Harris’s mother, said: “Travel training has really paid off. Harris is now able to travel independently getting two buses, going into Keighley bus station and then out to school. He has managed in all sorts of weather and even got to school on a snowy day!”

Coun Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council and portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Congratulations to Kieron and Harris in gaining this award and travelling independently for six months. Travel training is a great way in which we can help young people gain skills that give them independence.”

Bradford teacher wins national science award

A teacher at Shirley Manor Primary Academy in Wyke, Bradford has won a prestigious national science award.

Judith Carnelley has been chosen to receive one of the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) Awards for 2015.

The awards celebrate the outstanding teachers in primary science doing incredible work in inspiring children at schools across the country.

Judges said it is a major achievement by Judith, all the more so as they had considerable difficulty in choosing between the high-calibre nominations.

Judith is a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for the Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching Alliance and has had responsibility for planning and delivering the science teacher training modules for Initial Teacher Trainees in 2015 and 2016. This has involved four cohorts of trainees attending Shirley Manor for hands-on science training and active learning with pupils.

The awards were established in 2003 and they are presented during the Annual Primary Science Teacher College Conference, which this year takes place on 3-4 October in Bristol. This gives family, friends and colleagues the chance to join in the celebrations of these amazing teachers. A trustee from the PSTT will also visit Judith in school on another date to present the award.

Teachers who win the award support colleagues in their own and other schools either locally, regionally or nationally to raise the profile of science.

Maureen Neill, Headteacher at Shirley Manor Primary Academy, said: “Judith has worked at Shirley Manor Primary Academy (SMPA) since 2010 and has played a key part in our journey from Primary School to Primary Academy. She has embraced her role as Early Years Leader and Science Co-ordinator with great energy and enthusiasm.

“In 2012 Judith led our school to achieve the Primary Science Quality Mark at Gold standard; we were the first Bradford Primary school to achieve this. Judith is now working as a regional Science Hub Leader and trainer for the PSQM (Primary Science Quality Mark). She also works alongside colleagues in STEM to improve local learning and research opportunities for local students and young people.

“Judith works tirelessly to lead and further develop science within our school, across Bradford and the region. She trains teachers and student teachers and feedback from these sessions is consistently highly positive.”

Judith Carnelley said: “I am thrilled to have achieved this award. It is really nice to be recognised for all the science work I have done. Science is such an important part of the curriculum and I thoroughly enjoy my part in sharing my knowledge of science teaching and learning.”

Michael Jameson, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director of Children’s Services, said: “Congratulations to Judith on receiving the prestigious Primary Science Teaching Trust Award, what a fantastic personal achievement.  This is in recognition of her outstanding contribution to development of science teaching and learning at Shirley Manor Primary Academy and in the wider community.”

Judith 2.jpg

Lord Mayor visits Burnett Fields Family Centre

Bradford’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Joanne Dodds, recently visited Burnett Fields Family Centre is one of four family centres. Family centres work closely with social care teams and other agencies throughout the district. They work to support parents and carers with parenting to help improve the life chances of young children. The Lord Mayor was able to talk with one of the families about their experience of the Centre’s services.

Each Family Centre has a team of Community Resource Workers who work to support families with behaviour management, establish daily routines in the home as well as direct work with children. The families are all referred to family centres through social care and are assessed as having a high level of need. These are families whose children may be subject to Child in Need Plans and in some cases they are children with an allocated social worker.

Educate Positive – Edition 10

Welcome to the tenth 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 details of Steeton Primary’s international work, schools recognised for their e-safety, collaborative working on Artsmark and Bradford Business Managers leading the way.

Primary’s International Success
Christmas Truce prize June 2015Pupils working in collaboration with their international peers has resulted in Steeton Primary School being awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

The school’s international work includes Skyping schools in Finland, Poland and Italy; cross-curricular international projects on geography, festivals, history and the environment; Fairtrade School activities and a video-conference call carol concert with schools around Europe to commemorate the 1914 Christmas Truce.

Pictured above is Diana Linford, the school’s International School Coordinator receiving the prize for the best e-Twinning project for 2014/2015 from George Glass at the national awards ceremony in Nottingham.

Collaborative working towards Artsmark

Eldwick Primary School and Bingley Grammar are working collaboratively with five other schools in their area (cluster) in a bid to achieve the new Artsmark standard.  They are one of only two clusters of schools, nationally, undertaking joint working towards this new accreditation, which is awarded by Arts Council England and designed by schools to help deliver high quality arts and cultural education.  Seven schools in our district are involved.  Schools are working towards different levels of accreditation within Artsmark and Eldwick Primary and Bingley Grammar are leading the collaboration and providing assistance to help colleagues develop.

The schools which Bingley Grammar and Eldwick are working with are Beckfoot School and Crossflatts, Priestthorpe, Oldfield and Saltaire primaries.  All schools have an individual action plan.  The project is in association with Cape UK.

Janice Kershaw, Headteacher at Eldwick Primary School is a Specialist Leader in Cultural Education.  Her school is in its second year of the programme.  Eldwick Primary is also working with the Northern Ballet and Bingley Grammar has been working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and involves primary schools.

For further information please contact Janice Kershaw, Eldwick Primary School, T 01274 568361.

RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) Programme in Schools

Schools in Bradford which have taken advantage of the free RSE programme say it has helped them in addressing the needs of parents and young people in discussing issues of personal safety and relationships and sexual and reproductive health choices.

The Ur Choice programme is delivered in Years 9 and 10 in secondary schools and is coordinated by the Public Health Sexual Health Team.  It is delivered by teachers, school nurses and health professionals with a pilot programme for Years 7 and 8 starting in January 2016.  Tong High School was commended for its delivery of this programme when it was inspected by Ofsted. The free parents and carers programme, Speakeasy, is primarily delivered by the Council’s Family Learning Service.  This programme was developed by the Family Planning Association with promotion and coordination from the Sexual Health Team.

For further information or to sign up for this free programme please contact Nicola Corrigan, Lead in the Sexual Health Team, T 01274 432097.

Schools recognised for their e-safety

Shirley Manor Esafety awardAs a result of four of our schools recently being awarded the E-safety Mark recognised by Ofsted as signifying a high standard of their provision within school, more pupils across the district are accessing the internet and technology more safely and effectively. This brings the total number of Bradford E-safety Mark accredited schools to 7.

Titus Salt, Green Lane Primary, Shirley Manor Primary and Burley Oaks Primary have all provided a curriculum which ensures that young people are effectively educated on the safe, responsible and legal use of connected technologies used at and beyond school.  Photo shows pupils from Shirley Manor Primary.

For further information on E Safety Mark please contact Paul Scott in the Curriculum Innovation Service, T 01274 434831.

Bradford Business Managers leading the way

The School Business Management Leadership Group has been working with the National Association of School Business Managers on a course they deliver to School Business Managers throughout England in connection with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting.

Following much hard work and negotiation, Bradford will be in a position to provide training for the whole of the North of England as well as local practitioners to ensure we are delivering an outstanding service to the City’s schools and the children attending them.  This will commence in January 2016 and will put Bradford well and truly on the map for delivery of such a high calibre of training.

Previously the programme has only ever been delivered in London which has restricted access to the training for Business Managers in the North due to the cost of travelling and accommodation.

For further information please contact Lesley Burton, at St John’s CE Primary School, T 01274 681959.

Take the opportunity to share your best practice and recent achievements – to submit an item for publication please contact the Education Communications Team on 01274 434673 or 435634. 

School admissions for secondary places now open

Secondary school admissions across the District opened this week.  Parents and carers can now apply for a secondary school place for their child for entry in September 2016.  Applications for primary places open in November.

Bradford Council has written to all parents whose children need to apply with information on how to do so. This includes a Unique Identification number (UID) so the parents can apply online.

Applying online makes the application quicker and easier as all a child’s details will already be completed from the Council’s database.  Parents will also be emailed straightaway when the decision is made on 1 March next year.

The online admissions system is available for secondary applications until 31 October 2015 for children born between 1 September 2004 and 31 August 2005.
To make the application process as simple as possible and ensure that parents and carers are able to send their child to a preferred school, the Council is suggesting five key steps parents need to take. These are:

  1. Make sure you check the criteria that your preferred schools set for admissions.  You can do this by visiting each schools website or reading the Guide for Parents, available online from 12 September.
  2. Read the guidelines set out in the Applying for Secondary School booklet.
  3. Fully complete the application form and put in your five preferences and fill in any required Supplementary Information Forms.
  4. Make sure that you submit your application by 31 October 2015.
  5. Only submit one application – don’t do an online form and a paper form.

If parents and carers have any queries, they can visit the Council’s website or contact the Admissions Team in the following ways:

  • Email secondaryadmissions@bradford.gov.uk
  • Call the School Admissions Team on 01274 385967
  • Write to the School Admissions Team, Future House, Bolling Road, Bradford BD4 7EB
  • Call into our drop in sessions at Future House: Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 9.30am to 12.30pm or Tuesday and Thursday – 1pm to 4pm

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Executive Member for Education, Skills and Culture, said: “It’s a big step for any child as they apply for a secondary school place for next year.  We are likely to have nearly 8000 children applying for secondary school places this year.  The easiest way of applying is to do so online.

“We’ve tried to make the application process as simple as it can be .  To give your child the best chance I’ m asking parents and carers to follow the five key steps and I’d particularly recommend using all five preferences.  We know that nearly 20% of applications last year only named one school which meant that if the family didn’t get their first preference, their child could be allocated any school in the district.  Obviously this then causes a lot of heartache.

“It’s also important that parents check out the criteria of the schools they are applying for as the Admissions Authority (the Council or School) have to abide by these criteria when offering places.”

New Age Kurling Success at Bowling Park Primary

This year, Bowling Park Primary have been trialling a brand new sport called ‘New Age Kurling’.
Kurling team

This exciting new game is an adaption of the original curling sport, but can be played on any flat surface, such as a school sports hall, playground or field, instead of the usual ice.  This makes the sport more accessible for both able-bodied and disabled people.

The school tested the game with Year 3 and 4, helping to develop new skills and giving the children the chance to experience a new sport.

The year groups loved the sport so much that they created a team and entered a Bradford Kurling competition, where they were thrilled to come 4th!

The sport is now being promoted across the whole school and they are hoping to achieve even more success as ‘New Age Kurling’ increases in popularity.