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School defends toilet closure decision
A SCHOOL forced to close several toilets due to students setting off fire alarms by smoking electronic cigarettes has dismissed a petition - which has amassed almost 1,000 signatures - that claims all but a few toilets have been ‘locked’.
The petition, said Horizon Community College principal Claire Huddart, misses out key pieces of information - that students ‘vaping’ has led to staff having to cancel fire alarms before South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is...
Children do their bit for Australia
CHILDREN from a Worsbrough primary school were so touched by the news of the spreading Australian wildfires that they begged for a chance to help donate money to the cause.
Pupils from The Mill Academy, Lobwood, asked their teachers how they could help after they saw news coverage of the Australian bushfires which have raged for more than a month.
Spurred on by their pupils’ enthusiasm, the head of the school, Tamara Gulliver, organised a...
Education at secondary is ‘much weaker’
PRIMARY school pupils in Barnsley are excelling academically but the town’s secondaries have been found to be ‘much weaker’ than their national counterparts, an Ofsted study has revealed.
The education watchdog’s annual report, which looks at schools’ attainment and inspection outcomes, reveals just 40 per cent of the borough’s secondary schools are good or outstanding-rated.
This puts Barnsley at the bottom of the Yorkshire and Humber league table, as of August 31 last year, and...
Next generation fighting against fly-tipping
PUPILS at a primary school are campaigning that something be done at a fly-tipping hot spot in their village.
Children from Goldthorpe Primary School regularly go out with their litter pickers cleaning up the green spaces around the school, but this week they came across a huge pile of discarded white goods in a lay-by on Doncaster Road.
The school takes great pride in its outdoor provision and educating children in environmental matters, with outdoor...
Once troubled school now heading in right direction
THE head teacher of a previously failing primary school has reflected on a first term that has already seen a major turnaround.
Rebecca Paddock, who became head teacher of Worsbrough Common Primary School in September after the school came under the management of the Hoyland Common Academy Trust, said her first priority was stabilising the school after what Ofsted inspectors called a ‘period of turbulence’.
The school had dropped from ‘outstanding’ to requiring improvement in...
Primary school’s hive of activity...
PUPILS at a primary school are buzzing after producing their first batch of honey from their own beehive.
Goldthorpe Primary pupils have been caring for their bees, and learning important lessons about their value to the environment, over the course of the past year.
With support from Paul Freer and the Barnsley Bee Keepers Association, the students are looking to increase the size of their colony after their first successful harvest.
Outdoor education teacher Chris...
Kids get ‘custody’ of Rhubarb the dog
CHILDREN starting back at one primary school after the Christmas holidays have been welcomed by a furry friend.
Worsbrough Common Primary School pupils were greeted back at school by cockapoo puppy Rhubarb on Monday and spent most of the week getting to know her.
The 14-week-old pup belongs to the school’s head teacher Rebecca Paddock and is being brought in for a variety of different reasons, including helping SEN (special educational needs) students.
“We got...
‘Good’ standard is kept up at school
A PRIMARY school continues to be rated ‘good’ following its first Ofsted inspection since being taken over by an academy trust.
Kexborough Primary School, on Ballfield Lane, was deemed an ‘inclusive school with a real sense of family’ - with particular praise given to the enthusiasm of pupils towards learning, their behaviour, and teaching of reading and writing.
The report states: “Pupils learn how to write for a range of purposes.
“They get lots of...
Ofsted praise school’s remarkable turnaround
A PRIMARY school which was previously rated ‘requires improvement’ has been rated ‘good’ in every area following its most recent Ofsted inspection.
Holy Rood Catholic Primary has been named a ‘good’ school in its inspection, which took place on November 27 to November 28, according to the report just released.
In the report, it was mentioned that the school motto ‘Live, Love, Learn’ is at the heart of the school.
The report also said: “Pupils...
Success on cards
THE RE-ELECTED MP for Barnsley East has recently handed out prizes to local school children for her Christmas card competition.
Stephanie Peacock runs a competition to design her official card.
It was entered by more than a dozen schools across the constituency, from Cudworth to Darfield and Hoyland.
Hundreds of entries were considered by Stephanie and a judging panel including the Mayor of Barnsley Coun Pauline Markham, and local organisations.
Stephanie visited St Helen’s Catholic...
The lessons from Mrs Davies are over...
A TEACHER who has worked at the same primary school for 30 years is saying her goodbyes.
Julie Davies is retiring from Holy Rood Catholic Primary today.
Julie, 61, is a long-standing member of staff at the school and has taught the early years pupils from when they start their classes until they leave early years.
Julie celebrates her last day at the school today, where students and staff paid a fond farewell.
Karen Dobson,...
School chef cooks on a budget...
A SCHOOL chef has qualified to represent Yorkshire and the Humber in the regional heat to find the best school chef of the year.
Last year’s runner-up, Matt Betts from The Mill Academy, Worsbrough, has again qualified and will have to prepare, cook and present four portions of a two-course meal suitable for serving to pupils in primary or secondary schools.
He will have to do all this in just 90 minutes and with a...
Trust recruits Churchfield
THE head of an academy trust hopes to work with more Barnsley schools after the first joined its ranks.
Cudworth Churchfield Primary Academy becomes the first school in the borough to join the Waterton Academy Trust, a Wakefield-based group of 13 schools run by Monk Bretton-born Dave Dickinson.
Former headteacher Dave, who founded the trust in 2014 and this year received an OBE for his contribution to education, said moving into his hometown was always...
Mini police officers recruited
PUPILS from a Worsbrough primary school welcomed local police officers for a special induction into the force’s ‘mini police’ programme.
Ten year 5 pupils at Worsbrough Bank End Primary School were nominated to take part in the police-led programme which encourages children to play a positive part in their local community.
Through a series of interactive sessions, local PCSOs taught the pupils what they can do both in their school and wider community to set...
Improvement is made at pre-school
A PRE-SCHOOL which was previously rated ‘inadequate’ during an Ofsted inspection has been rated ‘good’ following its most recent visit.
Kids World Cudworth, based at the Centre of Excellence on Roberts Street, cares for children aged two to five. The nursery is run by Kidsworld-Childcare Ltd, which has five nurseries across Barnsley, Rotherham and Wakefield.
In May, the nursery was rated ‘inadequate’ because safeguarding procedures were not implemented effectively and staff’s expectations of what children...
Kids show they have a close-knit relationship
GROUPS of children at an after school club have knitted fidget blankets for a care home that cares for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The children, who attend Playworks Shafton, based at Shafton Community Centre, have been creating the blankets since September for Holly Tree Care Home on Sceptone Grove.
The care home takes care of 41 elderly residents who have dementia, which is is a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning....
Plastic is not so fantastic at school
A SCHOOL in Darton has gone completely ‘single use plastic free’ in a bid to tackle climate change.
Darton Academy, which is part of the Delta Academies Trust, has provided all students and staff with reusable plastic Delta bottles to use throughout the day.
This is in response to the quantities of plastic bottles for drinks that were seen around the school on a daily basis.
Now the students are encouraged to refill their reusable...
Something from the machine? Book us in...
CHILDREN at a Barnsley primary will be able to chose their new reading material by using a special vending machine, but only if they make their school proud.
Every member of staff at Worsbrough Common Primary School - including dinner ladies and office staff - will be given a token each week that they can give to any pupil in the school for ‘anything that makes them proud’.
When the child receives a token, they...
Astronaut lands at Carlton school
A FORMER astronaut stopped off in Barnsley to discuss his career with NASA with youngsters.
Pupils from years nine and 11 at Outwood Academy, Carlton, were given the opportunity to speak with Colonel Jack Lousma about his work and experiences with NASA.
Jack was the spacecraft communicator and recipient of the famous ‘Houston, we have a problem’ message during the Apollo 13 mission and was a commander of STS-3 in 1982.
Apollo 13, which launched...
School academy conversions is having an impact
THE proportion of pupils across Barnsley who are attending primary schools judged by Ofsted to be good or outstanding dropped in the first quarter of the financial year, according to a council report this week.
A total of 69.9 per cent of Barnsley youngsters now attend a school deemed to be in the education watchdog’s top two tiers, down from 70.4 per cent because of Birdwell Primary moving from outstanding to ‘requires improvement’ earlier this...
College hail students’ progress
THE NUMBER of A Level students achieving three or more A* to B grades has increased at Barnsley Sixth Form College.
The sixth form is celebrating a 99 per cent pass rate across all subjects, with maths, politics and French students having a 100 per cent pass rate.
The number of students receiving three or more A* to B grades has increased by 4.6 per cent from last year’s results. Eleanor Hadfield (A*A*AA) is heading...
Kids make it into the 100 club...
PUPILS at a Wombwell school are celebrating after reaching the 100th episode of their news programme on YouTube.
Netherwood TV is run by staff and students at Netherwood Academy. Each week an episode is played to all students during form time and episodes also share success stories, and inform students and parents of the week ahead.
Each episode is hosted by one of the year 11 prefect team and the show is in its fourth...
Budding artists called to enter competition
To mark a £57.5 million investment, The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System is inviting local primary school children to get creative and create posters to share their vision for the ideal hospital or healthcare centre of the future. 
The investment is being put into new GP surgeries, new nurse-led clinics and new pharmacies, which will modernize and improve services for local patients. This means that the public will be able to access care...
Parking problem raised at meeting
INCONSIDERATE parking outside a primary school is preventing motorists from passing safely, a meeting was told.
Parents dropping off their children at Cherry Dale Primary on Royston Road, Cudworth, are parking on double yellow lines and ‘ignoring notices’, prohibiting them from parking in certain areas. Coun Charlie Wraith told the Cudworth PACT meeting on Wednesday that if parents could park in the school hall, “they’d park in it”.
The meeting was told that the road...
History makers celebrated at Penistone Grammar
STUDENTS at Penistone Grammar School were celebrating yesterday after securing some of the best A Level results in the school’s history.
Yesterday, students received their A Level results which put the school in the top ten per cent nationally.
The school expects that 92 per cent of students will secure their firm choice of university with half heading to the most prestigious Russell Group universities.
“Our students are amazing and work incredibly hard,” said principal...
Pupils are a shining example for charity...
PRIMARY school pupils have designed and raced their own salt water powered cars.
The year five pupils from Upperwood Academy Darfield raced their vehicles over three race tracks.
The exercise was part of a U Can Shine enterprise day to raise money for school and for Macmillan Cancer Support and has so far managed to generate more than £1,000.
Families, parents, teachers and fellow pupils attended the day to cheer the racers along.
U Can...
Schooldays are over for Linda...
A WOMAN who has worked at the same school for over three decades is today celebrating her retirement.
Linda Kenworthy has been a teaching assistant at Milefield Primary School, Grimethorpe, since 1988. Linda was there when the school burned down in 1989, and has taught the children of her former pupils.
She said she ‘wouldn’t change a thing’.
“I started off as a non-teaching assistant,” said Linda. “Now I take groups, do one-to-ones, I’m a...
Kids get on their bikes...
YOUNG riders from Barnsley have been cycling to success as part of the Schools Yorkshire Tour this week.
The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) team was on hand to support the large-scale cycle baton relay that saw school children from across Barnsley borough get on their bikes. The schools involved were Meadstead Primary Academy, Royston St John the Baptist Voluntary Aided Primary School, Athersley North Primary and Holy Trinity ALC.
It is hoped that...
Shining at school
STAFF and parents at a primary school in Hoyland hosted an event which allows parents to work alongside their children and encourage their learning.
Hoyland Springwood Primary School regularly invites parents into school to work with the children and it enables parents to get involved with pupils’ learning and the pupils to see their parents engaging with the school.
The event is part of the school’s ‘SHINE’ initiative which is an acronym that embodies the...
Pupils running to raise money
PRIMARY school pupils in Barnsley are set to take to the track to raise money for cancer research.
In an event organised by Barnsley College, more than 500 pupils from Kexborough Primary School, Meadstead Primary Academy, St Helen’s Primary Academy, Laithes Primary School, Churchfield Primary School and Birkwood Primary School will be racing to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
The event, which will take place at 10am on Wednesday at the Dorothy Hyman Stadium...
First ‘outstanding’ rating for school
A PRIMARY school is celebrating its first ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report - and has joined a select group in being deemed outstanding in every area.
Kings Oak Primary Learning Centre, in Wombwell, received the judgement in its most recent report which praised the school’s leadership and its ‘inspirational’ principal.
Alison Wilks, who has been in her post as principal since the school opened in 2005, said she always believed the school would eventually get the ‘outstanding’...
Fourteen years at school and not one day off...
A DEVOTED student has managed to complete all of her 14 years of schooling without having a single day off.
Olivia Allen, 18, of Green Hill Grove, Hoylandswaine, recently completed her A Levels exams at Penistone Grammar School.
In addition to her achievement of finishing school, she has an extra reason to celebrate as she has also never had a day’s absence.
In 2012, Olivia was presented with an award from Hoylandswaine Primary School for...
Rewarding time for Tracey...
A TEACHING assistant who has helped to raise over £70,000 for her school has won an award in recognition of her efforts.
Tracey White, 55, has worked as a teaching assistant at Birkwood Primary School for 14 years and each year she raises between £5,000 and £7,000 which helps bring the price of all school trips down to just £5. Throughout the year Tracey holds raffles, sponsored walks, Christmas fairs and bingo to raise money...
Going back to school could be rewarding
NEWLY qualified teachers in Barnsley could receive an extra £2,000 a year after the town was chosen to take part in a scheme to boost achievement in certain subjects.
Maths and physics teachers are expected to get the extra money, which will be paid as a salary top-up, if they teach in one of the 42 areas in the UK that are falling behind in GCSE attainment.
Only teachers in their first five years of...
Teachers are a shining example after award wins
TWO innovative teachers from Barnsley hope to help bridge the north/south educational divide.
Teachers David Fallis and Michelle Lockwood, both from Barnsley, are both previous ‘Let Teachers Shine’ winners, having won funding from the charity SHINE to support their creative educational ideas.
In 2017, SHINE relocated to Leeds in order to concentrate efforts in the north and Michelle and David want other Barnsley teachers to apply to the charity to support their own ideas.
School band show they really are a brass act...
A YOUTH brass band won medals at the first competition they ever took part in at the weekend.
Outwood Academy Brass Band from Outwood Academy Shafton competed in the National Youth Brass Band Championships which were held at Warwick School on Saturday.
The band, who only formed in September, comprises 11 and 12-year-olds who are in their first year at the school.
Most of the members have been playing their instruments for only two years...
Primary school’s green team rewarded
DARTON Primary School has been awarded a platinum award by the Woodland Trust for getting involved in green activities.
The Green Tree Schools initiative, which has seen more than 12,000 schools sign up since it was launched in 2008, offers the opportunity to bring the great outdoors, wildlife and green issues into the classroom.
Schools win awards for participating in green activities, both in and out of the classroom.
Darton Primary School has planted 40...
Top dog in the classroom
CHILDREN at a Royston primary school absolutely love their weekly visit from their new four-legged friend Lumi the therapy dog.
Summerfields Primary Academy is visited by Lumi and owner Jean Whitehouse where the children read and chat to the pair.
The idea started when the pair first went to Silkstone Common Junior and Infant School to give students a talk about the Blue Cross animal welfare charity.
“The children absolutely love it and they look...
Wath’s robo kids set for trip across the pond
PRIMARY school kids who showed off their robotic skills at a tournament have become one of two groups from the UK to reach the finals in the USA.
Wath Central Primary School, on Fitzwilliam Street, participated in the national Robotics Vex IQ Championship in Telford in February. Two teams from the school participated, Galaxy Knockouts and Nu-Alliance.
The school’s team, Nu-Alliance, left the Championship in Telford thinking they had not qualified and took home an...
Matt stays on the boil to bag second spot
A SCHOOL chef has come second in a national school chef cooking competition.
Matt Betts, 44, is the chef at The Mill Academy, Worsbrough, and got through to the national final of the School Chef of the Year competition after winning the regional title in January.
Matt was tasked with creating two dishes that would demonstrate his cooking ability while containing nutritional value for the pupils and costing no more than £1.30.
He created ‘Matt’s...
School’s recovery continues
A SCHOOL which was at the bottom of Barnsley’s league tables just a few years ago has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in its first inspection since becoming an academy following a major turnaround.
Wakefield-based Outwood Academies Trust was brought in to help turn around the formerly struggling Carlton Community College - now Outwood Academy Carlton - and in recent years, it has been among the best performing schools in Barnsley.
It is currently rated...
Neat and tidy as pupils make impact
PUPILS took to the streets of Barnsley to help make the local area a nicer place to live.
Year nine ambassadors from Horizon Community College headed to the area around their school, including Dodworth Road and Penny Pie Park, to tidy up for local residents and the school community.
The ambassadors worked with staff, including head of school Tom West, in areas they had previously identified as needing attention.
They worked for two hours to...
School doing things by the book
FOUR primary schools are encouraging children to read by launching a new book service.
Outwood Grange Academies Trust has four schools in the area, Outwood Academy Shafton, Outwood Academy Carlton, Outwood Primary Academy Darfield and Outwood Primary Academy Littleworth Grange, which have all launched a new scheme where pupils, and parents, are invited to donate books to the school. From these donated books, the pupils are free to take home whichever they wish with the...
Students blowing their own trumpets...
A YOUTH brass band will be performing in their first competition tomorrow.
Outwood Academy Brass Band from Outwood Academy Shafton will be competing in the National Youth Brass Band Championships.
The band, who only formed in September, comprises 11 to 12-year-olds who are in their first year at the school.
Most of the members have been playing their instruments for only two years due to funding allocated to primary schools.
Kate Wragg, faculty leader for...
Pupils start the day the right way
CHILDREN at a Barnsley primary school will be guaranteed a healthy breakfast as the school joins a national scheme.
Goldthorpe Primary School has been signed up to the National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP), delivered by charities Family Action and Magic Breakfast and funded by the Department for Education.
“We are already seeing the benefits of being able to offer everyone a healthy breakfast before school,” said Amie Morris, family support worker at Goldthorpe Primary School....
Barnsley schools receive letter of congratulation
TWO schools have received letters of congratulation following their recent Ofsted reports.
Outwood Primary Littleworth Grange and Outwood Primary Academy Darfield each received letters from Rachel Dickinson, executive director responsible for children’s services at Barnsley Council, congratulating them on their recent ‘good’ reports.
The report from Outwood Primary Academy Darfield says: “Pupils are happy and wear their uniform with pride.
“Children are happy in the early years. They feel safe, secure and welcome. Relationships between...