Learner Celebration Event

Today (06/11/19) we are hosting a learner celebration Event at Kala Sangam, St Peters House, Bradford.

Learners have worked hard to achieve their qualifications and we want this to be recognised. This year we have seen some fantastic progress and achievements.  We continue to be good provider with Ofsted delivering quality teaching & learning.

There will also be the opportunity for learners to collect their certificate on the day.  We have evaluated and summarised all the courses delivered in schools,  so attendees can read the wonderful comments from our learners.  There are also areas that can be improved with your discussion and support.

We would like to thank you for all your effort, hard work and continued support.

Family Learning and Adult Skills Services

Bradford Family Learning Festival 2019

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Festival Highlights

The Festival is full of FREE amazing activities which take place just before and throughout half term in venues across the district. To find out more contact your local venue. All activities are for parents and children to take part in together.


Retro Gaming Experience

Does your dad remember Donkey Kong?
Did grandma play Pac Man?

Come along and play the games they used to play at our Retro Gaming Experience. All ages welcome!

City Library, free, drop in

Super Saturday 26 October, 12noon – 4pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 12noon – 4pm


Books Around The World competition

Win brand new children’s books! Take a photo using the theme “Books Around The World” and upload it to the family learning festival facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/familylearningfestival/

We will direct message the winner.

Prizes for creativity and innovation.


Around The World Super Saturdays

We’re going around the world at City Library for Family Learning Week. Take a trip with Julia Donaldson’s book The Snail & The Whale. Make storytelling wheels. Be part of our round the world retro gaming experience. Build oodles of Lego/Duplo with Bricks4Kidz. Help to create a giant Globe on the windows of City Library! Creative face painting also available!

City Library, free, drop in

Super Saturday 26 October, 11am – 3pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 11am – 3pm



Build your own city around the world with Bricks4Kidz. There will be oodles of Duplo and Lego to enjoy, the only limit is your imagination!

City Library, free, drop in

Super Saturday 26 October, 12noon – 4pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 12noon – 4pm


Jack & The Flum Flum Tree

Meet the characters, build a boat, become the crew and solve problems along the way using items from Granny’s patchwork sack. Explore the book with Mud Pie Arts. Use your imagination, work as a team, advise Jack and extend the story.

Free, suitable for 3-6 years. Booking is essential. Friday 1 November

Holme Wood Library – 10am
Wyke Library – 1pm


Read Around The World with Marcelo Mouse at Wyke Library

Listen to the story in your own aeroplane box and then make a fantastic 3D world mobile craft. Take home your reading passport and read the books based around the world to win your very own “Reading Around The World” certificate.

Free, drop in

Tuesday 29 October, Wyke Library, 2pm


The Snail & The Whale stories and story wheel making workshop

Listen to the story and then make a great story wheel for hours of storytime fun!

Free, drop in

Tues 22 Oct, Burley Library, 1.45pm & 3.30pm
Mon 28 Oct, Baildon Library, 3.45pm
Tues 29 Oct, Shipley Library, 2pm
Weds 30 Oct, Keighley Library, 11am – 11.45am
Weds 30 Oct, Thornton Library, 11am – 12noon
Weds 30 Oct, Manningham Library, 2pm – 3pm
Thurs 31 Oct, Bingley Library, 10am
Thurs 31 Oct, Heaton Hub Library, 10am – 12noon
Thurs 31 Oct, Wibsey Library, 2pm
Thurs 31 Oct, Laisterdyke Library, 2.30pm
Thurs 31 Oct, Menston Library, 3.30pm
Sat 2 Nov, Wrose Library, 10am – 11.45am
Sat 2 Nov, Queensbury Library, 10.30am
Sat 2 Nov, Great Horton Library, 1pm – 3pm Register for a place at the library. Ages 4-8 years
Mon 4 Nov, Idle Library, 2pm – 3pm
Weds 6 Nov, Silsden Library, 1.30pm – 2.30pm


Here to There: Travel to and from Bradford across the ages

Fun for all the family exploring how we got here! Whether on the bus, by bike, on foot or a journey your grandparents made long ago to find work or safety or both — let’s play with ideas and create a map of Bradford across time together.

Free, drop in, suitable for all ages

Wednesday 30 October, 1pm – 4pm

Peace Around the World!

Come and join us at The Peace Museum to discover peace all around the world through our exhibitions! Take a trail through our galleries finding out about peace in different countries. Create your own badge. Under 5’s colouring.

Please note the museum is located up 60 steps with no lift. Staff can help with pushchairs.

The Peace Museum, free, drop in, all welcome Wednesday 30 October, 10am — 4pm

Thursday 31 October, 10am – 4pm
Friday 1 November, 10am – 4pm


The Big Draw Family Drop In: The World’s Biggest Community of Drawing Enthusiasts

This is a great year to draw your community together, draw, explore, get out and about, kick start a new creative you and be part of the world’s biggest community of drawing enthusiasts!

Join Musarat Raza, artist, as she makes Halloween hats and masks. Use the Young Open 2019 exhibition as inspiration and create your own spookiness.

Cartwright Hall Gallery, free event
Thursday 31 October, 11am — 3pm
Suggested donation of £2 per person


Farmageddon Fun

When the intergalactic visitor – an impish and adorable alien called LU-LA – crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun soon sees an opportunity for alien-powered fun and adventure and sets off on a mission to shepherd LU-LA home…

This October Half Term flock to the National Science and Media Museum for a host of free activities inspired by A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, the latest feature film from Aardman & Studiocanal, in cinemas from October 18.

In addition to watching the film*, budding animators can get loads of behind-the-scenes tips and tricks, as well as make character models with the help of experts from Aardman.

Free activities for all ages.

Sat 26 October — Sun 3 November

Some events will require tickets in advance. Book ahead and plan your visit at scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/farmageddon

*Usual cinema charges apply.


Bradford and Me!

Come and take part in Bradford and Me! And get creative by sharing your stories of Bradford in our special sticker and postcard making workshop. This event is inspired by our exhibition Borderland: Stories from Donbas by Christopher Nunn, which shows photographs of everyday life in Ukraine.

Impressions Gallery, free, drop in

Saturday 19 October 10.30am – 4pm
Wednesday 23 October 10.30am –  4pm


Crafting Around The World at the Library

Come join us for out of this world messy play activities. A range of creative making activities involving colouring, sticking, cutting and gluing to inspire families to get creative and have fun.

FREE Face painting during the day.

City Library, free, drop in
Super Saturday 26 October, 11am – 3pm
Wednesday 30 October 12noon – 3pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 11am – 3pm

City Library 01274 433600 email: citylibrary@bradford.gov.uk

Family Learning and Adult Skills 01274 433648 email: familylearning@bradford.gov.uk

The Peace Museum 01274 780241 www.peacemuseum.org.uk

National Science and Media Museum 0844 856 3797 www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk

Artwork Creative Communities at Delius Arts & Cultural Centre 01274 256919 www.artworkscreative.org.uk

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery 01274 431212 www.bradfordmuseums.org/venues/cartwrighthall

Impressions Gallery 01274 737843 www.impressions-gallery.com

Parents or Carers must come with children and be prepared to join in — it is Family Learning after all!

Download the full programme here

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge

Good afternoon everyone

 Is your setting ready for the latest Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge?

 Great rhymers make great readers and the Rhyme Challenge is an excellent way for children and parents to take part in an informal learning opportunity whilst having lots of fun too. All they have to do is learn the five nursery rhymes in the pack. It is suitable for pre-school, nursery and reception age children.

 How you do the challenge is up to you – settings usually invite parents in for five sessions to learn the rhymes with their children, but you can use the method which works best for you. Whichever you choose it is important that families complete the feedback sheets in the pack at the end of the challenge as we need these to secure future funding.

 Each pack contains full instructions and enough resources for 30 families, including rhyme sheets and completion certificates. It is fine to photocopy any part of the pack if you need more sheets, or if you have a lot of families please ask for an extra pack.

 And parents who bring their completed Rhyme Challenge certificate into their local library and enrol their child as a member (or show their child’s library card) can enter a prize draw to win individual or group prizes!

 We shall be sending out packs on a first come first served basis – so if your setting would like to do the challenge, please get in touch as soon as possible.  If you are able to collect your packs from your local library, we would be happy to arrange it – just let me know which one.

If you have any queries please get in touch

Susan Brewster-Craig

Bradford Libraries

Libraries & Museums Tel:  01274 433684

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Report 2018-19

Did you know?

  • Over 4,260 children and 3,500 adults took part in the Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge.
  • 300 Rhyme Packs were sent out to settings and libraries across the district.
  • “The Rhyme Challenge has brought a new love of rhyme to my child.  She now tries to rhyme anything and everything.  She is teaching the whole family” – Bradford Parent
  • “My child loves the library rhymetime” – Bradford Parent

What is the Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge?

The Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge takes place each year in libraries, voluntary settings and maintained/non-maintained childcare settings.  September – March.

The challenge is simple.

We ask settings/libraries to encourage parents to learn 5 rhymes with their child and receive a certificate to say they have completed the challenge.

Childcare settings, toddler groups and libraries all take on the challenge in different ways.  Some have a set programme to learn the rhymes over 5 weeks with a special celebration at the end, others have simply taken the challenge head on and asked parents and carers to learn the rhymes over a shorter period of time.  They then sing the rhymes together to receive the certificates.

It does not matter which way the challenge is carried out.  The aim is to ensure that parents, carers and children have fun! 

The rhymes this year included:

Twinkle Twinkle Library

Five Little Speckled Frogs

Jack In A Box

One Finger, One Thumb

Frere Jacques (French version)


Why Bradford Libraries oversee the challenge

The evidence is clear that great rhymers make great readers1 and as a library service with an aim to develop our early years audience the Rhyme Challenge helps in many ways to promote the services we provide and encourage children on their life long reading journey.

The challenge also aims to work towards improving the proportion of children achieving a Good Level of Development in Bradford. 

Outlined below is how the Rhyme Challenge links to the curriculum outcomes of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Rhyme Challenge Areas of Learning England – Early Years Foundation Stage   Communication & Language: Singing, listening and sharing rhymes.   Communication and Language Literacy: Learning rhyming sounds to aid future literacy. Literacy Maths: Counting rhymes Mathematics Being creative: Expressing ideas and sharing feelings through music, movement, role play and design technology.   Expressive Arts and Design Feeling good: Developing a positive sense of themselves, doing things which help build confidence.   Personal, Social and Emotional Development Finding out: Discovering and making sense of the world. Finding out about people and animals as well as different cultures and places.     Understanding the World Let’s move: Being active and interactive, developing co-ordination, control and movement. Physical Development    

The challenge also supports practitioners and library staff become more aware of the value of providing a language rich environment to promote the development of children’s communication and language skills.3

Best practice when completing the challenge sees libraries and settings working with families to learn all five rhymes and receive the certificate.  Research consistently highlights that families are the most important influence in a child’s early development and prevention and early intervention to support families is crucial for good health and social care outcomes by the age of 5.4

Finally, experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if a child knows 8 nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are 4 they are usually among the best readers by the time they are 8.5


1 The benefit of Rhymes – Research review from Booktrust http://www.bookstart.org.uk/professionals/about-bookstart-and-the-packs/research/reviews-and-resources/the-benefit-of-rhymes/

2Public Health Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (Bradford)


3Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Report 2016-17

(available on request)

4Marmot (2010) Fair Society, Healthy Lives –Strategic review health inequalities in England post-2010 www.ucl.ac.uk/marmotreview

5Mem Fox: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever.  Harcourt, 2001


Group Leader Feedback

“The Rhyme Challenge has given us a focus.”

100% of group leaders said that the Rhyme Challenge was beneficial to the families they work with.

Many of the groups involved provided feedback on how they had enhanced the challenge in their settings.  This took many forms including:

Props                                                                           Sent copies of rhymes home

Frog puppets                                                             Celebration event

Displays                                                                       Bookstart Bear visit

Joined in with senior citizen club                           Parents at Play session

New cosy book area                                                    French bistro

Accompanied on the piano                                        Dress up

French visitor taught rhymes                                    Messy play

Special assembly                                                          Used instruments

Made zigzag books                                                       Accompanied on guitar

Bubbles                                                                        Parachutes

Playdough                                                                    Ball pool

Sign language                                                               Imaginative play

96% of group leaders thought that parents/carers and children now joined in more with rhymes after the rhyme challenge.

89% of group leaders thought that the challenge had increased their knowledge of the value of providing a language rich environment to promote the development of children’s communication and language skills.

Individual Parental Feedback

As you can see from the chart below 97% of parents who responded said they sing rhymes more since the introduction of the new rhyme challenge.  97% of respondents also thought that the challenge had increased their awareness of the benefits of sharing rhymes with very young children.  94% of parents said that the challenge had increased their child’s speech and language skills.

Parents also told us that they feel more confident to sing rhymes with their children after taking the rhyme challenge (96% of respondents).

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Awards


Best practice awards for staff and practitioners. 

Criteria for judging panel can include:

An individual, group, centre, library or nursery that has:

  • introduced a new element into the challenge
  • worked to ensure library membership for the families taking part in the challenge
  • developed crafts to enhance the challenge
  • completed feedback forms
  • planned activities around the rhymes

This was not an exhaustive list and nominations could be made for a variety of reasons.

The nominees are:

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Individual Award

Maddie Coelho – Burley Library

Rachael Dennis – National Childbirth Trust

Rachel Parker – Senior Social Worker, Catholic Care

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Library Award

Baildon Library

Bingley Library

Burley Library

City Library

Clayton Hybrid Library

Eccleshill Library

Holme Wood Library

Idle Library

Ilkley Library

Keighley Library

Laisterdyke Library

Thornton Community Library

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Voluntary Sector Award

Bingley Baptist Toddlers

Dixons Marchbank Stay & Play

Keighley Catholic Care Centre

Little Ducklings Playgroup

National Childbirth Trust

St Andrews See and Know Toddler Group

St John’s Playgroup Baildon

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary Stay & Play with Catholic Care

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Childcare Setting Award

Alison Mazacs – Childminder

Ashfield Day Nursery

Bramble Hedge Pre-School

Cottingley Pre-School

Karmand Community Centre Nursery

Lapage Primary Nursery

Lilycroft Nursery School

Long Lee Primary Nursery

Netherleigh & Rossefield Nursery School
Nightingales Day Nursery

Pied Piper Pre-School

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary Nursery & Reception

St Matthews CE Primary Nursery

Sandal Primary Nursery

Summerfield Children’s Place Nursery & Amazing Grace Luncheon Club

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Children’s Centre Award

South Bradford Children’s Centre Cluster

Winners and runners up will be announced at the Rhyme Challenge awards ceremony – 9 July 2019.


Case Studies

Case Study One: Primary School Stay & Play

We have really enjoyed the different activities set up around the rhymes.  Many of our children are very young when they join and it is amazing to see their progress as they develop an understanding of focus, sharing and listening.  They Rhyme Challenge has helped in the development of speech, learning numbers, colours, shapes, sizes, animal names and family.

One of our activities included using green and yellow playdough and showing the children how to make little playdough frogs to go on the log.  We followed up this activitiy by everyone singing the “five little frogs” rhyme.  We used the “one finger, one thumb keeps moving” to get the mums and toddlers up and active.  We made finger puppets as a table activity to introduce the rhyme.  We linked rhyme time to the “50 Things Bradford” which we also promote in school.

It was a wonderful surprise to have Bookstart Bear come and visit us earlier this year.  Followed by the story time sessions at Laisterdyke Library.  Thank you to Laisterdyke Library for having us and to the staff for making the story time sessions so fun.  Library sessions with their toddlers was a first time experience for most of our mums as they were not aware of how much was available for their children at their local library.  We got all of our children signed up and our school too.  This means we can now borrow picture books and set up a little library at the stay and play sessions.

Our school’s focus is on reading for children, for adults, for education and especially for fun.  We have succeeded in showing parents how you can switch off the TV, table or phone and sit with your child to enjoy a book together.  The interaction between a parent and child sharing an activity beats all digital experiences at this young age. 

Case Study Two: Community Library

An additional new rhymetime was launched at the library to coincide with the start of the Rhyme Challenge.

The Rhyme Challenge was delivered twice a week over the four week period at both the regular  session and at the new session on a Thursday.  The Tuesday session was an hour long and incorporated the Rhyme Challenge rhymes, a story and complimentary craft.  The new session was launched on Week 1 of the Rhyme Challenge.  This was due to the overwhelming (as many as 40 children per week) popularity of our Tuesday session.  It is a shorter session of 30 minutes and consists of rhymes only and is targeted at the under 2 age group.  Over the four weeks, a total of 119 children and 85 adults attended on a Tuesday and 47 children and 41 adults attended on a Thursday.  Both sessions now continue term time only.

We encourage all members of the family to join the library and have their own ticket.  We stress the fact that it’s best to take children’s books out on a child’s ticket to avoid late fines.  Parents/carers often express surprise that babies can join the library – even newborns!  The youngest new joiner we have ever had was about two weeks old.  We advertised the Rhyme Challenge on our website, Facebook page and on posters inside/outside the library.

Comment from parents “Love this group!”

Report compiled by Bradford Libraries Early Years Development June 2019

Library Activities in July

Art in the Library – Paper Clay Texture Workshop

Keighley Library
Saturday 6th July 10am – 2pm Explore texture and shape using air drying paper clay.
Have a go at colouring techniques.
Make simple tiles, hangings, jewellery or just have a play.
No experience necessary.
For adults (16+).
Bring a packed lunch.
All materials provided.
£20 Pay on the day To book https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/bradfordlibraries/t-qkjzrl
Or email dionne.hood@bradford.gov.uk

Poem to Publication. Day Workshop with Mark Connors

Keighley Library
Saturday 20th July 10am – 4pm A day workshop/seminar in which participants will bring in one poem to be worked on in a participant led feedback seminar. We will also look at recent examples of published poetry via selected texts.

In the afternoon, there will be writing exercises to inspire your next poems and a Q & A session with the tutor, an award winning poet and managing editor of a local poetry publisher, where you can grill him on all aspects of poetry, from writing to getting your work into print in magazines, webzines and anthologies.

£10 pay on the day. To book https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/bradfordlibraries/t-ykaper
Or email dionne.hood@bradford.gov.uk

Chapter 1 Day Workshop – How to Plan and Start Writing a Novel

Shipley Library
Saturday 27th July 10am – 4pm A day workshop focusing on how to plan and start writing a novel. We will look at character, plot and setting via selected texts and put pen to paper with writing exercises to help formulate ideas or expand on ideas you may already have.

The aim of this workshop is to get our first chapters up and running. And the really tricky bit….to keep going. We will also look at how not to write our novels to avoid the trapdoors that many first time novelists fall through.

There will also be a Q & A session with the course tutor, a published and critically acclaimed novelist, where participants can ask about all aspects of writing a novel, seeking publication and beyond.

This course is designed for both aspiring novelists and those who’ve never managed to complete their ambitious projects. £10 pay on the day To book https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/bradfordlibraries/t-rdprqj
Or email dionne.hood@bradford.gov.uk

John Clare’s Birthday Party

Keighley Library
Saturday 13th July 6pm Join us in Keighley Local Studies Library for a celebration of Poet John Clare’s birthday and the end of our project ‘The Meeting – Reading and Writing through John Clare’.

This project was created to mark the 200th anniversary of Clare’s most remarkable year by forging a new set of ‘meetings’ of Clare with new writers in the shape of poetry workshops. This project is part of a national scheme funded by Oxford Brookes University and created by Prof Simon Kovesi.

This celebratory event will involve the reading of John Clare poems, readings from poet Sarah Corbett and also poems inspired by the work of John Clare written and read by project participants. Free entry but please book.
All welcome.
Refreshments served. To book https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/bradfordlibraries/t-evalyl
Or email dionne.hood@bradford.gov.uk

Bingley Writers Group

Bingley writers group are looking for new members. They meet in Bingley Library once a month on a Monday afternoon at 2pm. The next meeting will be 8th July. If you are interested in joining the group please email dionne.hood@bradford.gov.uk

Creative Writing Courses at Bradford Libraries

Learn about different writing styles and genre through weekly exercises.

This course will lead you through the essentials of the craft, including characterization, plotting, description, dialogue and editing.

There will also be the chance to explore publishing opportunities and share your own writing and receive feedback.

Beginners and more experienced writers welcome. 10 week course. For adults (18+)

Ilkley Library
Friday 4.30 – 6.30pm
Start date 19th July
Tutor Steve O’Connor

City Library
Saturday 10am – 12pm
Start date 20th July
Tutor Steve O’Connor

Beginners Creative writing course

Shipley Library 6 – 8pm
Start date 16th July
Tutor Steve O’Connor.
For adults (18+) To book https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/bradfordlibraries
Or email dionne.hood@bradford.gov.uk

Refugee Week 15th – 23rd June 2019

Come and join Bradford Libraries during Refugee Week at their welcoming storytime and craft making activity for children and families.  Lily and the Polar Bears is a charming, funny, sweet picture book combining concerns about arctic erosion, animal conservation and immigration in a lovely story about polar bears. Come along to hear the story and make a fun polar bear craft.

  • Keighley Library                                   Weds 12 June       11am – 11.45pm
  • Burley Library                                       Tues 18 June         1.45pm
  • Ilkley Library                                         Weds 19 June       10.15am
  • Bingley Library                                     Thurs 20 June       10am
  • Menston Library                                  Thurs 20 June       3.30pm
  • Wyke Library                                        Fri 21 June            2pm
  • Queensbury Library                            Sat 22 June            10.30am
  • City Library                                            Sat 22 June            11am