Free School Pupils Visit New Home

Children at Bradford’s Rainbow Primary Free School will get the inside view on their £4million new home when they visit the site of the former Nelson Street fire station close to the city centre.

The 40-year-old building has been demolished to make way for a two-storey school with an inspirational prism-shaped room at its heart where children can sit, meet and chat.

Rainbow’s school councillors – who represent their respective year groups – will have a tour of the site, and hear about ideas for the classrooms that they will be able to share with other pupils back at the school’s current home on Manningham Lane. School staff will be accompanying the children, who are aged between 5 and 9, and take photographs to show how the new building is progressing.

Construction work is being undertaken by Kier Northern with the design created by Shipley-based Halliday Clark architects.

Rainbow, hailed as a ‘flagship’ free school by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove when it opened it September 2011, was rated ‘good’ in its first ever Ofsted inspection. The rating applied to all areas of inspection – including the achievement of its pupils, the quality of teaching, the behaviour and safety of its pupils, and its leadership and management.

The school is open to all pupils ‘regardless of ethnicity, social background or faith’, and literacy, numeracy and cohesion are high on its curriculum, with no class larger than 25 children.

The school day is an hour longer than most other schools, and pupils attend one Saturday every month plus a week’s Summer School during the long holiday. Rainbow is evolving new ideas such as a Parents’ ‘University’ and parent-teacher-child conferences to keep families involved in supporting the school and aware of their child’s progress.

Currently numbering 130 pupils, Rainbow caters for two reception classes plus Years 1 to 4, with Year 5 enrolling from September. The move to Nelson Street will allow it to expand to 525 pupils.

Amjad Pervez , local entrepreneur and the Chair of the Rainbow Schools Trust, said: “This is a great day, when we can show the children the wonderful new building they will move to in January 2014. Our pupils are already thriving in Rainbow, as the Ofsted report demonstrates. At the new site, which will have its own sports hall and state of the art facilities indoors and outdoors, they will really fly!”