The Blog of a Reluctant Headteacher
Why 'the reluctant headteacher' well I love my job so I am definitely not reluctant about being a headteacher which has to be one of the best jobs in the world but I am not sure how good I will be at keeping this page and our social media pages up to date. If its not up to date then readers become frustrated and I would hate that!
Anyway, I was asked to do it so I will try anything once!
You can also find information on our Chellow Heights Facebook page. Happy reading!! Sue
Another busy half term is nearly over. I just want to let you know that the building works have been delayed again due to the weather but we hope to open the new classrooms soon
I also want to say thank you to the staff and pupils at Southfield for the last two days whilst I have been supporting their review. I had a great couple of days and saw lots of our old students. It s a credit to you all how well they are doing - they are so grown up, confident and proud of their achievements.
Welcome back to another school year! Welcome especially to our new pupils, families and staff.
This year we have the two new classrooms on the south site and we hope by October to have the new classrooms on the west site after a delay from the council The new classrooms are part of the council strategy to ensure enough places for pupils with SEND and are happening in all the Bradford Special Schools. In the long term they are hoping that the application for new Special Free Schools will take up the extra students. We will try to keep you updated wit information as it comes out.
This will be my first full year as Executive Headteacher and of our collaboration with Beechcliffe Special School, a generic special school in Keighley for students aged 11-19 years. I am looking forward to the challenge and being able to watch some of our Chellow Y6 leavers continue to develop.
I am still the headteacher of Chellow Heights, so if you have any concerns or worries you can always contact me. Wishing you all a happy and successful year.
21.7 17 End of another school year!
This final week of term is always a bittersweet moment! All our school leavers looking so grown up at their celebration award 'Proms'!
The celebration and end of year assemblies always remind me how far our pupils have come and what they have achieved - including for some, managing to stay in a busy hall to collect their awards!
Thank you to the staff who made a fantastic job of decorating the school sites and organising the events. Thanks to all our families and friends for supporting the events and their children both this week and throughout the year!
Good luck to all our leavers both staff and pupils and congratulations also to Suzanne Craig (DHT south site) on her promotion to Head of School at Beechcliffe. You will be missed by Chellow but I will see you there!
Thank you and 'goodbye' to 'Posh Spice' Shirley Mally who is retiring from teaching and being Deputy Head. Again, you will be missed by Chellow but thank you for agreeing to come back as a consultant and trainer from time to time so that everyone can continue to benefit from your wealth of skills and experience!
I am very privileged to work with a fantastic team, our wonderful children and their families and a supportive community and Governors, who I would like to thank for their support and 'challenge'. Much or their work goes on behind the scenes but it is through their dedicated work that we have the school that we do. Thank you all for for another year of fantastic teamwork.
On behalf of the governors and staff, I would also like to thank our community supporters who help us in so many ways professionally, by volunteering or by fundraising. Thank you also to our parents and carers for trusting us with their child s education.We are incredibly proud of all pupils' achievements and development. It has been another fantastic year!
Finally, thank you children for all your hard work and making coming to work worth while!
We hope you have a safe summer break. Don't forget 'Stay and Play' if you are looking for activities to do in the first 4 weeks of the holidays on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I look forward to welcoming you back on 5th September 2017.
Well Transitions week has certainly bee different this year with the delay in extra accommodation meaning last minute reorganisation of classes. Apologies to everyone but thank you for supporting us in the last minute changes. The delay was beyond school's control and is down to Bradford Council and their contractors. We hope the new classrooms will be ready soon.
Glad everyone arrived back safely from Nell Bank residential and had a great time! Well done to all the sleep deprived staff you made an incredible difference to some very happy pupils!
Well that was a brilliant activity week! Maths and Humanities days, Chellow Fest and Sports Days plus our own Chellow Bake Off and cinema clubs! Thank you to my amazing team for organising it all and to everyone who participated - how did I miss out on the cake from Bake Off this year?
Looking forward to next year and to more exciting events!
Another brilliant Chellow Fest - indoors but brilliant all the same - great to see the 'Spice Girls' in action even if they will now have to break up with the retirement of Posh Spice!
Another fun packed day! Thanks to all our musicians who came especially to help and to our trainer Helen who came to take photos and provided amazing pavlovas! As always thanks to the amazing staff and pupils - such a talented community!
A great day on the south celebrating International Music Day. Thank you so much to our visitors from local mainstream schools for joining us and making it such a wonderful day! Thanks to everyone who made it possible and to the pupils for making it wonderful!
A fantastic turn out for the summer fayre at Chellow West yesterday - thanks to everyone who ran stalls donated items to sell or raffle, the local companies who donated so generously, to the staff and their families who helped run the event and all the families and community who turned up to buy things. We are still counting the money being brought in as there a other bits to include but in total so far we are at over £1600 which is fantastic! We use the money to support other things in school over both sites such as educational visits, the end of year leavers prom and gifts, running the minibus, subsidising the food tech for each child so every little helps.... and this was a lot!!
Thanks everyone - looking forward to seeing you at the Christmas Fayre this autumn
Thank you everyone who has supported me through getting to know my new job. I am travelling quite a lot to make sure I spend time on all sites but I have been made to feel very welcome at Beechcliffe.
The Chellow Team has been fantastic in steeping up when I am not around - Thank you everyone!
However, the highlight for me once again has been the Lions of Zululand - what energy and so good managing to dance round our eager youngsters! Thank you Lions - hope you are here to help us celebrate again next year for our 8th birthday!
Have a great half term break
A busy half term with all our special events such as pancake racing and egg rolling! For me its been a busy half term getting ready for my new job! What was going to be a 'caretaking' job looking after Beechcliffe until Xmas 2017 has turned into a permanent job, so from after Easter I become the Executive Headteacher of Beechcliffe and Chellow Heights Schools. For one term Suzanne is joining me at Beechcliffe and their deputy Michelle is coming to Chellow so that we can look at transitions.
It is another new phase in our development and I am grateful to the teams on both sites for the support they are giving me in this.
I am still the headteacher of Chellow though and so I will still try my hardest to do my best for you and if you need to speak to me, contact me through the usual channels.
Happy Easter everyone
Thanks everyone for a great half term. Another busy one with more visitors for the OATS mainstream training sessions which have gone really well - well done Beth, Jane and Doremi for all your input!
We have also managed to interview and appoint some new teachers for September as the school increases in size again!
Have a great half term everyone!
Thank you to the Bradford executive heads group from Exceed who came and toured the school today. Your kind comments were appreciated. I hope it gave you some ideas to take back or some comfort that you are doing a great job with those pupils who have SEND in your schools.
Thank you to all the staff and pupils who made them welcome and to Pete for giving up his room for us.
Well what a week! Three audits in one week completed successfully and more requests for pupil places. Thank you to everyone involved in the audits and in supporting the school.
3.1.16 Happy New Year!
Welcome back, another year over another just begun and it looks like being another busy one for us here at Chellow Heights. Welcome also to our new pupils and to some new staff. We hope you will have a great time with us and I look forward to getting to know you over the coming weeks.
Dont forget if you got a new phone over Xmas to let our office staff know so that they can change your records in case we need to contact you.
I hope you have a fantastic 2017
I cant believe I was ill the last half of last week and missed the beginning of the fesitvities! The Xmas meal for pupils, staff and governors was a great success on both sites. Thanks to Lynne and her kitchen teams on both sites for their fantastic work again. The Nativity on the west was also a great success I hear. Well done to the pupils and staff particularly those who made it happen! I look forward to watching the video! One more week of fun to go!
Another fantastic effort by our children and families in raising money for Children in Need - over £250 - I am still waiting to hear about the final amount but well done to everyone! I am so impressed by your kindness and generosity.
I just want to say a big 'Thank You' to all our staff for their generosity in supporting another member of staff in their time of trouble. It is not easy to lose everything and have to start again and your contributions are going to make life that bit more bearable. Thank you again.
Congratulations to Beth Cargill who has been awarded Specialist Leader of Education (SLE). She has done a fantastic job in getting our Outreach and Training Support for mainstream schools started. The award is well deserved. We are looking forward to having more staff badged as SLEs and Leaders of Excellent Practice (LEPs) in the new year.
I was so proud of our pupils on the west and south today as they joined in Remembrance Day. Most pupils managed a minutes silence, listened to the Last Post and added coins to our giant poppy as we remembered those who had fallen not only in wars but our friends who have lost their personal battles since the school opened.
I am now back off my long weekend away. I hope you are all enjoying your half term holiday. This is just to say 'thank you' to all the trainers who provided our staff and the other Bradford Special Schools with the training last Friday and also to the trainers, staff and caretakers who worked on Saturday to complete the second day of Rebound Training. I have had great comments from the trainees whilst I have been away about the two day Rebound Course so well done to our Rebound Trainers who delivered it.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday!
The last couple of weeks have been very busy in school. We have been interviewing for new staff as we have a number of children who have joined us since the summer. I have also been involved in meetings about the future of SEND in Bradford - it looks like we are going to be busy as the numbers of children with SEND continues to rise.
This week, I have been away in London on a course for three days with a group of Bradford mainstream headteachers. Having seen some outstanding schools down there, I remain very proud of my team and the pupils for all they achieve, for their care for each other and the wider community.
I have learnt a lot, including that Bradford is a special place with a really inclusive attitude. I am honoured to be a headteacher here. I think more of us should be 'loud and proud' about what we do here for our SEND children.
Its hard to believe that a month has gone by already! Children have begun to settle into classes and we have begun to get to know our new pupils.
The term seems to have been very busy already with lots going on. Dont forget if you dont already come to our family and friends groups parents, families and friends can come along. We meet Tuesday on south Wednesday on west - you can go to either or both whichever school your child is attending.
Thank you also to the staff team who are all working very hard to support the needs of all pupils. This half term another 'bug' has come into school which is resulting in children and staff being absent. Please remember its 48 hours if your child has sickness or diarrhoea before they can come back to school and when they do return it will be 10 days before they can go swimming or in the hydro pool.
As the nights close in and we have grey and wet days please take care in the school car parks which are very busy. Please also be aware that we are working with Belle Vue Girls and Beckfoot Upper Heaton over the congestion at night on Chellow West which may be resulting in some children getting home on school transport later than normal. It is due to the change in school day times of Beckfoot Upper Heaton and to the security system BVG has put on the barrier by the Zara Centre which is preventing our buses and taxis leaving as swiftly as they did. We will keep you updated.
Enjoy the next three weeks of this half term.
Welcome back to the new school year for those of you who are returning and welcome to our school to our new children and their families.
At the start of the year it is always busy as we get to know new children and children settle into their new classes. Dont forget if you have any concerns you can always contact us. We have introduced a new system this year so as well as the family support workers being available at the beginning and ends of the day in the cafe are on the west a senior leader will also be around by the door and in the school secure car park. On the south the senior leader will be out on the car park and by the main door to let you in.
Can I say a big 'thank you' to the Stay and Play team and Family Support Workers who did a great job in supporting families have some fun days out in the holidays. They were, as always, a great success. We are now on with looking for charity or company sponsorship to fund next years events. If you know anyone who would like to help us out put them in touch!
Just a reminder too that lots of children have the same clothes so it is really helpful to us if you put your child's name in their clothes and on their home school bags.
Hoping you have a great year with us!
Congratulations everyone on gaining the school the Investors in Pupils Award! Especially to Jenna and Anne for pulling it all together. The assessor Malcolm was a delight to work with - a really positive person who understood our pupils and who made everyone feel valued. You will find the letter he sent to pupils on our Pupils' Page. Very proud of you all! Well done!
Welcome back - its been a busy week with our training day on Monday and a short week for children.
Visitors, by the signing in book we have put a 'key questions sheet' for you to tick an answer before you leave and a 'like us' tick sheet by the internal door. Please help us to improve by ticking your answer.
Staff we have a daily key question for you please tick your answer as you come in or leave - we want to know your thoughts!
Looking forward to a great, if busy, half term.
Another half term over. I cant believe we are almost at the end of the year - just a half term to go and what a busy one it will be with Sports week, transitions, Chellow Fest 2, Leavers Proms and dont forget the Summer Fayre!
Have a great holiday!
Very proud of the team again today as they have managed to achieve the Investors in Health Award. Fantastic news everyone and than you all so much for your hard work!
Another week over, but what a busy one! The Lions of Zululand Were fabulous but for me our pupils were equally amazing. I never thought our children would sit so well or spontaneously join in the dance movements. They were as fantastic to watch as the Lions of Zululand themselves. It was a great opportunity for our pupils to learn more about dance and music from other parts of the world and I really hope the group will come back next year to see us and perform.
The garden parties on both sites to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday were also a great success thanks to all staff involved in organising and setting up this event. The pupils loved it and there have been lots of positive comments about this as an opportunity from pupils across school to socialise and celebrate.
On Friday, we also celebrated St George's Day early. This is one of our favourite celebrations of the year as we get to dress up in red white and blue or as knights, princesses or dragons. Chimps class acted out the story in assembly - it was a great success!
Welcome back to school, the holidays have gone so quickly but its lovely to see everyone. Check out our news page for the information about the holiday building works. Hopefully the children will enjoy the new outside resources.
Our topic this term is 'Through the Key Hole' different types of houses are being explored and some of Key Stage 2 classes are going back in time through the magic key hole to explore the life of the ancient Egyptians. New toilet rolls come in very handy!
This term is once again a busy one with our year 6 transition visits and new pupil meetings. If you have any concerns please contact us.
Staff will also be planning for our Leaver's Prom, activity week, Chellow Fest and our summer sports events. I also look forward to catching up with you all at the summer fayre in June.
Thank you all for another fantastic half term. We have had a great time recycling, looking at animal habitats and creating wormeries, looking at different transport, going on trips to try out different transport and even having Thomas the Tank Engine in Owls class ( Thank you Natalie I know the children loved it.)Thank you also to the fantastic donations from staff, parents and friends who donated so many eggs and presents for our Easter raffle. A special thank you to Mick Speight at MJK Sports Events Ltd and Creation Hair Studios, Crossflatts who donated 43 eggs - the huge collection encouraged lots of people to buy them. I am still waiting to hear the final amount raised! Have a great Easter holiday. We return on 11.4. 16 to our 'Through the Keyhole Topic'
Well what a fantastic day yesterday!
1. Chellow Chicks with their beautiful ballet - great work and thank you so much to Sam from Chellow Chicks for her hard work in teaching them and to our staff for supporting them! Also thanks to Irwin Mitchell without your funding this fabulous event couldn't have happened and to the parents, friends and families who came to watch.
2.The fantastic performance of Chellow Beats - our school band - at St Georges Hall last night. There were so many children there performing and you all did us proud on that big stage with such a big audience. I was so proud of you all!! Thanks again to Pete, our drivers and the rest of the staff who did a fantastic job in making sure it all went smoothly. Check out the photos of the rehearsals on Pete's Music Page.
3. I was told of my summer fayre challenge for this year - they wanted me to walk on a path of fire but we thought maybe the health and safety exec may say no because of the children. So they decided on walking a path of lego bricks barefoot - thanks Barry!!! So if anyone has any lego bricks to give away or if you know anyone who works for lego we are looking for a lot of bricks to make the path. These will then be washed and used for lego therapy in school. Of course the fewer the bricks the shorter my path!
Have a great Easter holiday everyone!
So proud of everyone for their fantastic fund raising efforts on the Sports Relief Charity fundraising events. Over £330 raised and such a buzz round both sites. Thanks Jenna and Janet for organising, Bradford Bulls for supporting our south site event and all the staff and children for joining in. Thanks also to parents, carers, friends and families for sponsoring our event. A great success!
Well that's January over, how quickly time flies. I know people are still recovering from the Boxing Day floods and I hope today's snow will not cause any further problems. I am not aware of anyone who may struggle due to the Bradford Fire this week but if there is, let me know if there is anything school could do to help.
Our old goldfish, who died just before Christmas, has been replaced now by four new fish and we have also gained a Herman's tortoise this week. I now have a school full of staff wanting to buy their own! There will have to be a rota for where he/she goes in the holidays. There have been some great children's reactions!
Welcome back to Flamingo chicks who are continuing to work with some of our children to teach dance and our martial arts expert who is helping some of our children develop boxing skills and self control.
It was lovely to be able to share the emails with staff from other visiting school staff about how fantastic Chellow Heights is, the great learning going on and the lovely atmosphere. Its fantastic when other people take the time to let us know what they think of school!
I am keeping my fingers crossed about the play bus! I had an email this week that indicates its finally repaired and ready for delivery back to school! Cant wait!
The hard landscaping to our new sensory garden on the south site at Low Moor has also been started. Looking forward to getting the space up and running for children this summer!
All in all a busy month. Just another couple of weeks to half term so hope they are good ones!
Welcome to another year!
Also welcome to the new pupils and staff who joined us today. We hope you have a happy time with us!
It will take me a while to get used to writing 2016 on everything but this term we will be looking at a five year development plan for the externals of Chellow Heights South at Low Moor and redrafting the plans for our project plans for the west Heaton Site to finish off the externals there.
We will also be working closely with the local authority to look at pupil admissions as both sites are full and the requests for placement keep coming!
Hoping you all had a great holiday and look forward to catching up with you this term
Another Xmas has arrived and at least this year we didnt have to close early like last year because of norovirus! The last 8 days of school we have had such fun on both sites enjoying Xmas dinners, our nativities, the madness of the pantos, class parties and of course the visit from Santa. A big thank you to him and to our visitors from Pete's band (see also Pete's Music Page) and Bradford Grammar who helped the week along with carols and music!
Everyone has pulled together to make this a magical time for our children. Some classes even managed to get out to see the Xmas Tree festival and other events in the community. The nativities on both sites were real tear jerkers - thank you to all the staff and children who participated - I look forward to the new year KS2 production!
One thing I am sure of is that it all happens so quickly and suddenly, we have broken up for the holidays and I havent got round in person to thank everyone. Thank you also to BASF, Shipley Rotary and Beechcliffe Special School who provided our children with presents and to Irwin Mitchel, who are paying Flamingo Chicks to come back in 2016!
Wishing you all a very peaceful holiday and a very Happy New Year from Chellow Heights.
So much continues to happen in school and in the world of education sometimes I wonder how we all keep up! Thank you to the families who have supported our Family and Friends Group this week and joined in the cookery class. Thank you to our colleagues from other schools and universities who have been in visiting and the OT from High Park who did some fantastic training with staff on Friday. I went to support in a school in a different authority this week. It is one of my favourite aspects of the job as I get to see another school and how it works and look at all sorts of different approaches but I wouldn't swap Chellow. Thank you all for making my job worth while.
I am always feel humbled by our pupils, their families and staff who go out of their way to help others through fund raising and acts of kindness. We have raised so much money this half term and everyone has joined in with the spirit of dressing up to make it a really enjoyable time in school. Well done everyone!
I have been so happy today with visits from children who have shared some fantastic work - writing and craft work and they also did some fantastic speaking and listening with me!
Thank you leopards and elephants for my visits.
I also had a great time at the STAR training tonight led by Kimberley. Great training, professionally presented and a great bunch of teachers who worked really hard on the tasks set to help each other problem solve.
Feeling really proud of staff and pupils today!!
Welcome back everyone!
Well we are mid way through the first week back and what a week its been already!!
South looked fantastic with pirate boats appearing all over school and staff ad pupils dressed as Pirates on Monday, unfortunately I missed the event on the west today but if any staff have photos from either event I would realy like them.
Please be aware do have chicken pox in school at the moment on the west.
Also I would just like to say thank you to all of you who voted for the sensory garden. I think the difficulties with the website prevented us from reaching our goal of winning the £25k but your time and effort was really appreciated.
Enjoy the rest of the week!