I was given the honour to partake in the BBC school news report event on Monday 13th July from 1pm to 2:45pm. My role was to write a news report on the BBC Radio 5 Live interview with some of our staff and students in the post-16 common room.
A year ago, Carlton Bolling College was placed in ‘special measures’ by Ofsted because of weak governors, which brought along a lot of negative publicity to the school. Since then, the school has been working very hard to improve in all areas including standard of teaching and learning and this is where we are now.
The BBC decided to interview our school to see this progress for themselves. In my opinion, it was a very clever decision to make.
The first teachers to be interviewed were Mr Rahman and Mrs Byrne on the topic of protecting students from radicalisation. They stated that “students and staff look after each other; students know where to go for protection. At the end of the day, it’s all about the protection of our students”. Mr Rehman explained to the BBC about how many mosques across Bradford have taught students about why radicalisation is a terrible thing so that they don’t get involved.
After a brief interval, they moved on to Miss Chirkowska, who monitors student attendance. She described her job as “rewarding”. “I have developed good relationships with parents and students.” she adds. Her job means that when any of the students she works with doesn’t attend all classes in the school week, she calls home, meets parents and makes sure that children go to school so they can achieve the best possible results. She also states that “many students don’t understand the consequences of poor attendance”.
Later, they interviewed three students: Raza, a former year 13 student who aspires to be a journalist, Maria, who wants to work with the police, and James, a year 7 student who has spent his first year experiencing learning in Carlton Bolling College. When asked if the school was a negative environment to be in, as it was before, the students gave very positive replies. Raza explained how the school isn’t as “enclosed” as it was before and how the school has given him amazing opportunities, such as: meeting Stephen Fry, David Tennant and writing for the school magazine ‘Connect’ (which made him consider journalism as a career). Maria stated that “people can’t say the school is bad because of what the media says, like we cannot judge a book by its cover”.
Lastly, the BBC interviewed Mr Singh, a mathematics teacher and Miss Henstock, a health and social care teacher. When asked why they didn’t teach at any other schools, Mr Singh stated that Carlton Bolling had very good results last year and has small classes where students want to do well. Miss Henstock, who has worked here for four years, said “the school has come a long way; there has been improvement in literacy and marking. Strong teacher training happens day-in, day-out.”
Last came the much anticipated part of the interviews, speaking with Mr Kneeshaw, the Headteacher of Carlton Bolling College. He mentioned all the things that make our school amazing. Like how Carlton was the 4th best school in the City of Bradford based on progress last year and that we will hopefully boost our results to be outstanding in a maximum of 2-3 years! He also emphasised that “progress is important” and that he is proud of Carlton’s girls’ cricket team who are giving 100% effort even when fasting!
All in all, I say that the interview went very well. Everyone answered all questions with ease, not expressing any anxiousness or nervousness. It was as though they do this every day! Hopefully, this interview will get rid of the reputation that is sometimes attached to Carlton Bolling College, so people are able to see the school that has credited Bradford and will shape future generations into successful people.