Introduction from Headteacher
Welcome to this week’s edition of Parent News.
I am thrilled to be able to inform you that for the first time in decades the school is full in Year 7 for September 2016 with a waiting list currently of 14. Our primary aim has always been to make Brakenhale the Community School of choice and we are delighted to see that this aim is being realised.
The school is a positive and vibrant learning environment, recognised as such by so many who visit. A colleague from The University of London last week feedback to us that:
“The pupils are very polite and well mannered! They show a strong dedication to their work and actively take part in the lessons and this wasn’t just in the one class but all the classes. Fantastic.”
Please do feedback to me any queries, concerns or comments so I can ensure that we continue on our rapid journey to outstanding.
Jane Coley, Headteacher
Use of Aerosol Sprays
It has come to our attention that a number of students are using aerosol sprays for deodorant and perfume purposes. Could I please remind all parents/carers that these are not allowed on the school site. Unfortunately as a result of this we have had a couple of students suffering asthma attacks.
Our Day in Court 05/03/2016
Miss Martin and Miss Hallifax would like to say a massive congratulations to the Year 8 and Year 9 students who participated in The Magistrate’s Court Mock Trial Competition on Saturday 5th March, achieving 3rd place! 12 students from across both year groups spent 6 months preparing a case for trial, taking on roles such as Lawyers, Witnesses, Magistrates and Legal Advisers. Their great efforts definitely paid off as their result was the best ever achieved by the school, seeing off tough competition from schools such as Ditton Park Academy, Beechwood School and Reading Girls school. Their determination and impressive performance has definitely done the school proud!
We would also like to extend our gratitude to those who helped us get the students prepared for their day in court and the parents that came to support us in Reading on the day.
Maths Competitions in March
Maths Feast, 5th March
On Saturday 5th March, Mr Hicks and Mr McCauley took four Year 10 students to a national competition known as a Maths Feast, hosted by the Further Maths Support Programme at different locations around the region. We were lucky enough to secure a place in the competition at Royal Holloway University in Egham.
The students took part in a number of timed challenges as a team and competed against other high-achieving schools. The students were exceptional and were awarded a certificate for their outstanding teamwork skills. This is the first time Brakenhale has taken students to this event and all four students would recommend it to others in future years. The students that went were amazed by the beauty of the University and it has given them insight to what being at university might be like. We done boys on a fantastic day!
Maths Challenge, 14th March
On Monday 14th March Mr Hicks will will be taking a team of students from Years 8 and 9 to the UKMT Team Challenge at Oxford University. Well done to the seven students who were nominated by their teachers: Nathan S, Hannah F and Daniel B from Year 8 and James M, Thomas N, Daniel L and Joshua S from Year 9. Sadly we can only enter one team of 4.
Students at Brakenhale have taken part in the Junior, Intermediate or Senior Maths Challenges before, but this time we will be competing in a regional final against other high-achieving schools. This is an incredible opportunity for those students going and if they win, they will be invited back to the national finals. GOOD LUCK!
Year 9 visit to 3M for International Women’s Day 08/03/2016
On 8th March (International Women’s Day) we had the opportunity to take a number of our female students to the 3M headquarters in Bracknell. The girls had the chance to explore their Customer Innovation Centre, showing them the real world applications of such a large, multinational company.
They also spent time at a special networking event for women in industry. At this event the students had the chance to speak with a range of different female professionals about the path they took to work at 3M. This included ladies who work in the labs themselves, marketing specialists and lawyers, amongst others.
It was a fantastic event to be involved in and shows where hard work and broad horizons can take all of our young ladies.
I’m very grateful to Mrs Killner who accompanied us, Mrs Silvey who very kindly drove the minibus and of course to all the staff at 3M who facilitated our visit.
Mr Hicks, Maths Teacher
Vivo Points Update
More details about Vivo Rewards can be found here.
Year 11 Parent Study Skills Support Evening
We would like to invite all parents/carers of Year 11 students to a Parent Study Support Evening on Tuesday 22nd March from 7pm to 8pm in the main hall. It is an opportunity for us to provide you with information on how to help and support your children during their GCSEs.
Mr P Gibson,
This year we are proud to announce that we have started a lunch time drop in for students regarding LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) matters. Before Christmas, Mr Hicks delivered assemblies to every year group in the school, including sixth form, informing them of the importance of diversity and acceptance of everybody in our community. He put particular emphasis on those members of the LGBT community, reiterated school policies of zero-tolerance of all kinds of bullying, and then spoke about the importance of being inclusive of all and celebrating the diversity we have within our school community.
Since January, students have been able to attend weekly drop-ins to discuss matters that are important to them and meet and speak with other like-minded students across different year groups They have had the chance to speak with visiting parents of gay children, meet an LGBT representative from a London University, and have been given the opportunity to express themselves in an environment where they feel safe to be who they are. This has been received particularly well by students and the school is now looking to gain a Bronze Champions Award through Stonewall, a charity that campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across Britain.
Several staff members are showing their support by becoming ‘LGBT allies’ within the school. This means they have identified themselves as a member of staff who would willingly listen to any students who feel the need to ask questions, or seek support on any LGBT related issues. Mrs Daniels is also developing the number of books in the LRC recommended for LGBT teens, both fiction and nonfiction. An email account has also been set up – firstname.lastname@example.org – if students don’t feel comfortable talking to a member of staff in person but would still like support in school.
Thank you to Blatchington Mill, an LGBT training school in Brighton & Hove. They have already inspired and offered lots of support to Brakenhale and we look forward to the partnership we will develop with them.
Non-Uniform day 18/03/2016
Sport Relief Day – Friday 18th March 2016
Friday 18th March 2016 is Sport Relief Day and we are having a non-uniform day. Students can come in sports clothing that is appropriate for school (or their PE kit) and there will be a £1 charge which will go to Sport Relief.
Please ensure that no short shorts or crop tops are worn or any items with offensive logos
Our judo classes run after school on Wednesdays during term time, starting at 3.30pm and finishing at 4.30pm.
Please complete the sign-up form if you are interested in joining.
PTA Quiz Night 19/03/2016 – Have you got your tickets yet?
Please join us for our next PTA event. Tickets are available from the school’s main reception.
Parents’ Coffee Mornings
We are running a Student Easter Raffle this half term. There are Easter Eggs galore to be won, tickets cost 50p each, available from tutors. Prizes will be drawn on the last week of term before the Easter holiday.
PTA Upcoming Events:
Saturday 19th March: PTA Quiz Night
Tuesday 12th April: April PTA meeting
End of April: Recycling Clothes Collection – please start saving your unwanted items
Tuesday 3rd May: May PTA meeting
Sunday 8th May: Half Marathon Water Station
Tuesday 7th June: June PTA meeting
Saturday 25th June: PTA Race Night
Tuesday 5th July: July PTA meeting
Next PTA Event: QUIZ NIGHT on Saturday 19th March 2016
Please join us for our next evening event on Saturday 19th March. Keep the date in your diary, more details to follow.