Tag Archives: west yorkshire

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

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Educate Positive – Edition 4

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Welcome to the fourth edition of Educate Positive, our fortnightly bulletin which showcases the innovative and effective practice taking place within the district’s schools and settings. In this edition we celebrate Beckfoot School’s success in the Pupil Premium Awards, a primary school representing its constituency in a Parliamentary competition, a church primary being recognised for bringing a diverse community together and an update on the Bradford Literacy Campaign.

Beckfoot wins prize for its Pupil Premium work

Beckfoot School in Bingley has been recognised for the impact of its work for disadvantaged children in secondary schools.  The school took second place in the Yorkshire and Humberside regional finals winning £50,000.

Beckfoot receiving prize for its Pupil Premium work

Headteacher, David Horn, pictured second from the right, received the prize which was presented by Rt. Hon Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, at a ceremony in London.

David said that the school was delighted with this award, and how proud they all were to be a Bradford comprehensive school that provides exceptional opportunities for all its students. The Pupil Premium is targeted at supporting those students who are disadvantaged. Some of the things the school focuses on include:

  • Regular meetings to discuss progress of groups of learners at Key Stage 4
  • Investment in relationships with parents
  • Tracking, measuring and tackling gaps for all groups of learners
  • Breakfast clubs for Pupil Premium pupils
  • Extending school time to deliver stimulating academic support in Maths and English
  • Strong curriculum based on English and Maths so that they have the core skills
  • Ensuring that pupil success is celebrated regularly.

The Pupil Premium funding is made available to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed in school, and the school is thrilled to be recognised for the amazing academic achievements of these students. Pupil Premium funding is also used for wider experiences including university visits.

Beckfoot School, judged outstanding by Ofsted in 2014, has much to celebrate at the moment as Hazelbeck School, which is a member of the Beckfoot Trust and is co-located on their site has also received Ofsted’s top accolade.

Bradford Literacy Campaign

Bradford Literacy Campaign logo

Much is being done across the district to raise levels of literacy.  The National Literacy Trust is working with Bradford Council on a new and exciting 10 year partnership to achieve this aim.  The Bradford Literacy Campaign builds on the excellent work in Bradford’s schools, children’s centres and libraries and forges partnerships with a range of local and community partners to inject new energy into our mission to unlock literacy skills and support the district’s families to get reading and succeeding.  Highlights for this year include:

  • Thanks to a host of events and exciting book collections organised by the district’s libraries, 4,000 of Bradford’s children took part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, up ten per cent from the previous year. Top performing schools were rewarded with author visits on World Book Day.
  • Local boxing star, Tasif Khan is visiting schools across the district to give inspirational talks as part of the Bradford Literacy Campaign’s aim to provide strong local role models who read and write for enjoyment.  In March he visited Dixon’s Allerton Academy where he enthused about his favourite book which motivated him to pursue his career in boxing – ‘Mohammed Ali’s Autobiography’. Any teachers who wish to book Tasif to visit their school should contact imran.hafeez@literacytrust.org.uk.
  • BookSpace and the School Library Association is working to set up a reading “centre of excellence” in one Bradford primary school, by funding a library makeover worth up to £15,000. Schools have had the chance to apply for a new reading space which will act as a blueprint for school libraries across the country.

Visit the campaign microsite, ourstories.org.uk  for news on its activities and for advice and tips on supporting your child’s literacy development.

To become involved in the Bradford Literacy Campaign, please contact:        Imran.hafeez@literacytrust.org.uk

Pupils in multi-faith school prepare for the future

One of the district’s largest primary schools has been praised for bringing its diverse community together.  Pupils and staff at All Saints CE Primary School in Little Horton were commended for their learning and respect for other cultures in its recent SIAMs (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) inspection which highlighted the strong ethos of racial harmony in the school.  The inspector carrying out the inspection said:  “Children talk unselfconsciously and with confidence about their faith and without exception can see the benefits of being in a multi-faith community.”

Pupils are aware that this learning and harmonious environment is preparing them for their future employment and lives.  The school has very strong links with All Saints Church and also the wider community.  Its new vision is to be a ‘united and caring community of learners’.

For further information please contact the headteacher, John Davie, T 01274 415222.

 School Council – Westbourne Primary School Parliamentary Flag

Westbourne Primary School Council flag for Parliamentary Flag 2015 Exhibition.

Westbourne Primary School Council is celebrating having been invited, by the Houses of Parliament, to represent the Bradford West constituency in the Parliamentary Flag 2015 Exhibition. The school was chosen following its engagement and involvement in the House of Commons following the School Council Speaker’s Award.  The Flag represents “freedom” with the flying bird symbol and the rainbow colours representing the diversity in the constituency. Pupil voice has never been stronger at Westbourne, so much so they have gained the Investors in Pupils status.  Pupils, via the School Council, really embrace having their voices heard and being involved in important decision-making, particularly around fundraising for many charities.

For further information please contact Harvinder Gill, T 01274 483138.

We hope you have found this bulletin informative and look forward to providing updates to you on a regular basis.  If you have any stories to contribute please contact Alyson Hardaker T 01274 385615 or Simon O’Hare T 01274 438899.

Educate Positive – Edition 3

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Welcome to the latest edition of Educate Positive, our fortnightly bulletin celebrating the great work taking place in our district’s schools and educational settings. In this edition we have several exciting events, including another Outstanding Ofsted report for one of our district’s schools; and a special award for a teacher for her clever use of film to engage pupils and develop their reading and writing skills.

Hazelbeck School is outstanding

Hazelbeck headteacher Sue Pierce with pupils
Hazelbeck headteacher Sue Pierce with pupils

We are delighted to tell you about another outstanding school – Hazelbeck School achieved Ofsted’s highest accolade in its recent inspection.

Hazelbeck School opened in April 2010 and is co-located with Beckfoot School to form the Beckfoot and Hazelbeck Learning Community. Beckfoot was also recently judged to be outstanding.

In a glowing report, the Ofsted inspectors found: “The leadership and management of the school at all levels are outstanding. The very high expectations of the board of trustees and executive headteacher are put into practice on a daily basis by the headteacher and senior leadership team. This ensures that the school is improving rapidly and students, including those in the sixth form, have every opportunity to meet their potential.”

Keelham Primary welcomes literary visitor

Siblings Alex and Grace with Golden Book Bag
Siblings Alex and Grace with Golden Book Bag

Keelham Primary School is very proud of its pupils and their involvement in the Summer Reading Challenge with a record number having taken part. Pupils are so keen to learn they are talking about their favourite books and taking them home to share with their families, spreading the learning together even further. Every week three pupils take home the Golden Book Bag which they read with their families and produce a scrapbook, consisting of written stories, photos and drawing about their learning experience and the book they had chosen. This is then shared in a school assembly.

Well-known author Andrew Newbound visited the school just before World Book Day and completely engaged the children, not with his stories, but with his love of words.

Headteacher Debra Butler said the senior management team in the school had carried out two reading audits with the children and are overwhelmed by the positive attitudes that pupils have towards their reading.

Inspirational Greengates teacher improves reading and writing

Greengates Primary School has seen an improvement in standards of reading and writing as a result of one of their teacher’s inspirational teaching. By using film across the curriculum, Claire Dunsire engaged the pupils in their learning which has in turn resulted in improvement in reading and writing standards. Claire has been recognised for her work as she received the prize for “most inspirational use of film in the classroom” at the Into Film Awards in London earlier this week.

As well as inspiring pupils at Greengates Primary, Claire also presents her work to teachers across Bradford and has also presented to Welsh teachers as part of their pilot Film Literacy project. Claire became one of the leading teachers from the training she received from the Bradford Media Literacy Project run by the Council’s Curriculum Innovation Team.

Roma pupils making progress

The British Council has recently funded a study on “Improving education outcomes for pupils from the new Roma communities”. This report gives national and international prominence to the work which colleagues in education and in our schools are doing. The full report can be downloaded here.

In the report, its author Mark Penfold has praised and thanked Bradford Council’s Children’s Services for its excellent work with EU Roma families. The report specifically cites Whetley Primary Academy and offers a case study which celebrates the outstanding work of this Bradford primary school. Although pupil mobility is exceptionally high and the average time in school is less than three years, the school has significantly improved the attendance and progress of Roma pupils. Progress in reading is particularly good. Through high quality teaching and strategies such as the ‘Talk for Writing’ Strategy, the children who are new to English are helped to make outstanding progress.

On Whetley Primary’s inclusion of Roma children, the report says: “Strong support for our most vulnerable pupils is speedy and effective from our large Inclusion Team and Nurture Provision. Pupils who access this support show excellent improvement in behaviour, attitudes to learning and confidence. We have had zero exclusions for several years.”

Highly skilled leaders in this school make a huge contribution to both the life of the school and the work of the Local Authority through the Closing the Gap Group for New Arrivals and the EU Migrant Strategy Group.

Cindy Peek retires leaving legacy of new schools

Cindy Peek will retire in April from the post of Deputy Director of Children’s Services, a role she has held for seven years. During her time in Bradford, Cindy has overseen the development of 15 new schools, including nine special schools, which have led to thousands of students now being taught in state-of-the-art schools. We wish Cindy well for the future.

Educate Positive – Edition 2

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Welcome to the second edition of Educate Positive, our fortnightly bulletin which showcases the innovative and effective practice taking place in the district’s schools and educational settings. In this edition we are delighted to tell you about the school and support staff who won at the T&A School Awards. We can also share with you two examples of outstanding Ofsted success and details of the Anne Frank + You Exhibition.

T&A Schools Awards

The excellent staff at schools throughout our district were recognised for their achievements at a glittering awards ceremony on 5th March. The winners in each category are listed below. The T&A Schools Awards are a joint venture with Bradford Council and the University of Bradford.

The Achievement Award was posthumously awarded to the late Barry Holden, a sports teacher at Southfield Special School.  Mr Holden sadly passed away last year. His inspirational teaching benefited thousands of pupils throughout his 30 year career.

Joe Holden receiving his late father Barry Holden's award
Joe Holden, who collected the Achievement Award on behalf of his late father, Barry Holden (Photo: Telegraph & Argus)

The Winners:

  • Achievement: Barry Holden
  • Science & Technology: Bowling Park Primary for its Moonrocks Project
  • Secondary Teacher of Year: Ben McGregor, Head of PE, Bingley Grammar School
  • Nursery/Primary Teacher of Year: Elizabeth Robertson, Fearnville Primary School
  • Support Staff: Paul Plant, Haworth Primary School
  • Voluntary Contribution: Vicki Street, Chellow Heights School
  • Leadership: Chris Currie, Dixons Allerton Primary Academy
  • Innovation: James Routh, Westbourne Primary School
  • Business in Schools: Tong High School
  • Community Involvement: Sarah Lawson, Immanuel College
  • Newcomer of the Year: Talib Hussain, Oasis Academy
  • School Improvement: St Phillip’s CE Academy

Outstanding Ofsted reports

Two schools in the Bradford district have been judged outstanding since our first edition:

St Edmund’s Nursery School and Children’s Centre is celebrating its third successive outstanding judgement. The glowing report says: “The exceptional Executive Headteacher continues to effectively lead the team in their aspirational goal of ‘nothing but the best will do for the children, families and staff’.”

Executive Headteacher Anne-Marie Merifield has been at the helm since the first outstanding judgement was given in December 2008, then again in November 2011. Anne-Marie is interim Executive Head at Lilycroft Nursery School, also outstanding.

St Edmund’s Nursery School is a National Teaching School. Teaching schools are outstanding schools asked by the Department for Education to work with other schools to provide support, including training people who are wanting to become teachers and providing support for teachers wanting to improve their classroom practice.

Bradford Central PRU also received Ofsted’s highest accolade, with praise being given for “the purposeful learning that prevails across the Bradford Central PRU” which is “a credit to all staff”.  In a glowing report inspectors commented that “the teaching of reading, writing and number is outstanding, as is the teaching of personal and social skills”. Nationally only 14% of PRUs have been judged to be Outstanding by Ofsted, so this is a fantastic achievement.

Promotion of cohesion and harmony by peer led project

Dr Eva Schloss MBE and Michael Jameson, Strategic Director of Children’s Services

Since the start of the Anne Frank + You project in 2008, over 10,000 of the district’s pupils have had an opportunity to speak out about hate-crimes and give their voice to the peer led project which has created an excellent relationship with the Anne Frank Trust. Based on the experiences of Anne Frank, pupils have been encouraged to voice their opinions on the importance of human rights. Bradford was awarded a sapling by the Anne Frank Trust which was recently planted at Lister Park by Anne’s step-sister Dr Eva Schloss MBE, along with dignitaries and several pupils on the Stand up, Speak out, Make a difference (SUSOMAD) peer education project. Dr Schloss was the keynote speaker at the launch of this year’s Anne Frank + You Exhibition on the same day.

Pupil Voice has been the overriding feature in the SUSOMAD programme which has led to almost 1,000 pupils becoming Anne Frank Ambassadors. Jani Rashid, Head of Bradford Council’s Diversity and Cohesion Service, and Alina Khan, Project Leader from Jani’s team, were invited to 10 Downing Street in recognition of the work which encompasses the Anne Frank + You project.

Recruiting and retaining the best teachers in Bradford

In the first edition of Educate Positive we introduced Sara Rawnsley, who is on secondment to the local authority from Princeville Primary School on a part-time basis, and is leading on recruiting and retaining outstanding teachers across the district; this continues to be a key priority for the Council, so that all our pupils can attend schools which are good or better. We are pleased to say that Sara will be presenting at the next Public Forum for Education (PFE) which has the topic: “How can we recruit and retain high quality staff in Bradford?”

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Sara Rawnsley speaking with Councillor Ralph Berry

The PFE holds “big conversations” throughout the year on topical issues in education. Forums consist of expert speakers and the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the issues they raise.

The forum, independently chaired by former Bradford headteacher Michael Latham, takes place on Wednesday, 25 March from 4.30pm to 6.30pm in the Banqueting Hall at City Hall, Bradford, BD1 1HY, and on this particular subject discussion will focus on how we support and develop individuals and, in so doing, increase quality across the district; how do we keep Bradford’s existing outstanding colleagues who are in demand elsewhere; and it will explore how we attract more outstanding leaders to Bradford.

The Council has committed approximately £600,000 to developing education leadership over the next three years. At a time of some significant budget cuts there is a real commitment to the priority of recruiting, developing and retaining the very best teachers and school leaders.

Anyone wishing to attend this public debate should contact Heidi Hardy on 01274 434335 or by email at public.forum.for.education@bradford.gov.uk

We hope you have found this latest bulletin useful – please keep an eye on the blog for future updates.