Headteacher’s Report 20/07/2015


As we near the end of the summer term I wanted to take the opportunity to write to everyone to say thank you very much for your help and support this year and congratulations to all the students on what I hope has been a very successful year for each and every one of them.

Thank you and goodbye

This year we are saying goodbye to a number of teachers and support staff who are moving on to other schools for promotions, or leaving us to go travelling or for other exciting opportunities.

To each and every one of them our heartfelt thanks for all they have done for The Brakenhale School and our students.  I do hope that all staff leaving us have thoroughly enjoyed their time with us, felt valued by myself and their colleagues and have grown and developed professionally in readiness for their next steps.  The enjoyment of our jobs is not only the work that we do but the people that we work with and from all of us to all of those that are leaving a huge thanks for being such great colleagues.

Therefore it’s goodbye and thank you to……

Ms Tarrant since September 2014.  Ms Tarrant has decided to return to her family in Ireland.

Ms Cox since September 2014.

Mr Virgo since September 2014

Miss Jijiashvili has been at Brakenhale since September 2014 as a teacher of Photography and is leaving to pursue a career elsewhere.

Mrs Henwood has been with us since September 2014 as Head of MFL and is moving to take up a post closer to home.

Mr Goggins has been a teacher of English with us since July 2014 and is leaving to pursue a career elsewhere.  Mr Goggins has decided to follow his career in Abu Dhabi.

Mr Lombard our Design & Technology teacher since July 2014 is moving out of the country to continue his career.

Mr Coughlan joined us in January 2014 as a teacher of Science.

Mr Morrow joined us in September 2013 as a teacher of History.  Mr Morrow has also decided to return to his family in Ireland.

Mr Foden joined our team in the Maths department in September 2013 and later became a 3rd in Maths.

Ms Brennan started is leaving us to continue her career abroad in Abu Dhabi.

Mr Smithers also joined us 2 years ago and has worked with our English department during this time.

Mr Swain who has been with us for 2 years as both a teacher and Assistant Head of Year is leaving to be closer to home.

Mr Dwyer teacher of Science is also leaving us to follow his career path abroad in Abu Dhabi.

Mr Cain joined us as in January 2012 and is leaving to continue with his career elsewhere.

Mrs Simpson has been Second in Science and has been with us for 2 years.  Mrs Simpson is re locating to another area.

Mrs Patterson has been in our MFL Department for 3 years and is leaving to become a Head of MFL.

Mrs Ealey-Newman has been one of our lunchtime controllers since November 2012 and she is following a career path elsewhere.

Mrs Gardner joined us as the Head of our English department from September 2010.  Mrs Gardner will be returning as a part time teacher and joint second in English in September.

Mr Smith, our Deputy Headteacher since September 2009, is retiring

Mr Jackson  Head of History with us for 7 years is moving to a school in Reading.

Mrs Coffey 8 years and is now moving to another school.

Mrs Cunnington has been with us as a teacher of Maths for 12 years and we wish her well in her new position.

Mr Davies has been with Brakenhale School for 12 years and an AHT since September 2008.  He is leaving us to become an Assistant Headteacher at his new school closer to his home.

Mr Hayward is retiring at the end of August and has been with us for 22 years!  He will also be returning as a Cover Supervisor in September on part time basis.


We also want to wish Mrs Forbes all the best as she leaves us to go on maternity leave and we look forward to seeing her back towards the end of the next academic year.

We would like to wish the best of luck to both Mr Benson and Ms Van Schaayk on their forthcoming nuptials. Congratulations!!


School Uniform Update

From September 2015, please be aware that are some changes to the current uniform.

The only skirt that is permissible is the official Brakenhale school logo skirt which is only available to purchase from the school.

Girls Trousers
Plain black trousers that are not striped or checked, not denim, cords, chinos or tracksuit bottoms.  Please note that tapered, drain pipe or tight fitting trousers are not allowed.

Boys Trousers
Plain black trousers that are not striped or checked, not denim, cords, chinos or tracksuit bottoms.  Please note that tapered, drain pipe or tight fitting trousers are not allowed.

School Bags
The only bags that are permissible are the official Brakenhale school logo bags which are only available to purchase from the school.

Many thanks for supporting us with this as we move forward into a new academic year.  If you need any help with the uniform please do not hesitate to contact us at school.


Use of school site and Sports Centre facilities

I would like to make a plea that students do not come onto the school site during the holidays, evening or weekends to use the playing fields or to sit around on the school benches.  I know for a large number of students this would not be their option of choice, but a small minority of students cannot stay away.   We have lettings during these times which mean that the gates are sometimes open and therefore people can wander into school.  Our Facilities Team will be working throughout the summer and will be vigilant with regards to site use.  I am just wary that we do not want people climbing onto roofs or hurting themselves in any way and therefore all activities on the school site must be supervised so I would ask that students do not come onto the school site for any reason unless they are here for a supervised activity.


Important Future Dates

Please see below a reminder of a few important dates coming up after the holidays.

AS/A Level Results Day: Thursday 13th August
GCSE Results Day: Thursday 20th August
Inset Days: Tuesday 1st September and Wednesday 2nd September
Back to school for students: Thursday 3rd September
Sponsored Walk: Friday 18th September

Half term: Monday 26th October – Friday 30th OctoberBeginning of term: Thursday 3rd September, 08:50am

Term ends: Friday 18th December, 12:05pm

As a reminder all students will need to be on site at 8.30am on Thursday 3rd September.  They will be in their tutor groups period 1 and 2 and then will be in their normal lessons from period 3 onwards.



As we near the end of term, and even though Year 11 and 13 are no longer with us, school is still a very busy place.  We have had a number of trips, visits and exchanges over the past few weeks and my thanks to staff for accepting the responsibility for taking children away.  I know that this is a really enjoyable experience for students and a time that they always remember, but, as I am sure everybody is aware, it takes a lot of time to organise.  During this final week we have our trip day which the students seem to really enjoy.

To finish on a positive note, this has been a year of change for the school which is now fully focussed on its agenda of high expectations and challenge.  There have been many successes including sporting achievements to productions, concerts, dance shows and the many wonderful trips and visits.  We are now looking forward to the next stage in the progression of the school on its journey to becoming outstanding.

Although a little nervous we look forward to Thursday 13th August for our A Level and BTEC results and Thursday 20th August for our GCSE and BTEC results.  Fingers crossed and best wishes to everybody.

Huge thanks to the staff and students and I wish everybody a happy and safe summer holiday and look forward to seeing you all in early September.

Jane Coley