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Letters sent Home

Please find below copies of letters and other communications that have been sent home.

We are very keen that you are kept well informed of what is going on in school and in touch with all activities affecting your child.  Communications are sent to parents through a number of electronic channels: we email parents directly; post notices here on the school website and tweet @brakenhale information on a regular basis.  We have found that communicating with parents in this way is very effective and avoids the problems of letters lost in the bottom of school bags!

We use a service provider called Bromcom to send email and text alerts to parents.  The system draws information directly from the data management system we use in school.  It will automatically upload the e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers of the first two contacts provided by parents. Personal communications about your child can only be received by you and your email and mobile details will not be shared with anyone else and will be stored securely.

If you do not have an e-mail address your mobile number will be used for emergency messages.  Paper copies of communications are available on request from the school office at any time.

It is very important to keep the school up to date with any change to contact details such as address, telephone number or email address.

 

May 2024

 

20th May: School Uniform 

Dear Brakenhale families and community,

Following Mrs Douglas’ letter on Friday. Please find details of the uniform adjustments for after half term.

As we approach the warmer weather in the weeks ahead, we are making some temporary adjustments to our uniform expectations to ensure that students are comfortable throughout the school day.

After the half term break, we welcome students wearing smart, tailored shorts to school as part of their school uniform. Shorts worn should be black in colour and of a smart, tailored nature, similar to existing school trousers. Shorts worn should be to the knee.

No other variations of shorts are to be worn and will not be permitted. This includes shorts in colours other than black and shorts that are not tailored, such as lycra, polyester or wool ‘casual/gym style’ shorts.

We will update students and families on adjustments regarding blazers and ties in advance, when applicable. We would encourage students not to wear school jumpers in the coming weeks in the warmer weather.

Kind regards

Mr P McKane, Assistant Headteacher

16th May: Attendance 

Dear Parents/Carers

In order to monitor and fulfil our legal duties surrounding attendance and safeguarding, we ask that you inform us on the first day and every day thereafter of any absence, preferably through the My Child at School app.

We are sending this message to all parents to ask that they ensure that they use the App in the first instance to report any absences.

Please use the links to take you to the

App Store for iPhone  or  Google Play for Android. 

Please use the link here for any requests for Student Leave of Absence for exceptional circumstances, and find guidance for these requests attached to this email. 

It is especially helpful for the school to be made aware of any pupil absent from any alternative provision. 

We thank all parents who currently use the app to communicate any absences with the school.

Best wishes

Attendance Team

 

 

March 2024

19th March: Spring Dance Show
 

Dear Parents/Carers

Spring Dance Show - Wednesday 27th March 7pm

The Brakenhale School Performing Arts Department will be ending this term by celebrating World Theatre Day with a showcase of dance. Students have been working hard on their choreography and performance techniques and it is a privilege to share their successes with you.

The performance will take place in the school’s main hall on Wednesday 27th March at 7pm to 8.30pm.

All parents, carers, friends and family are welcome to the show and tickets are now available on ParentPay at a cost of £2.00 per person.

Kind regards

Performing Arts Department

13th March: Social Media
 

Dear Parents/Carers

It is really important that as a school we have positive relationships with you and the wider community. We recognise that social media forms part of that communication and want to work to ensure this is as helpful and informative for you as possible. Sadly, a discriminatory comment was posted on our Facebook page today, please rest assured this has been reported and safeguarding procedures have been followed. As such, we have temporarily suspended this and our Instagram account whilst we take the required action to safeguard our page. I must apologise if this comment has caused you offence or upset. We hope to have our social media pages back up and running soon.

Kind regards

Camilla Douglas, Headteacher

6th March: Year 9 Choices Evening Information
 

Dear Parents/Carers

Year 9 Choices Evening: Thursday 21st March 2024 – 17:30-19:00

We hope that you will be able to attend the Choices Evening on Thursday 21st March. The evening will commence at 17:30, there will be two presentations, the first starting at 17:40 (X half of the year group) and repeating again at 18:20 (Y half of the year group) in the main hall.

All students will have the opportunity to choose from the full range of subjects we offer at GCSE. Please do note that some subjects may not run and we will confirm choices at the end of June. Please be aware that each student will be required to select two reserves.

The presentation will provide you with information about our Key Stage 4 (KS4), including the process of making choices and key information on our curriculum together with the core subjects.

The booklet for choices for study from 2024 to 2026 can be found below.

During the evening, each subject will have a representative available to discuss the courses we offer at Key Stage 4 – they will be available in the school canteen until 19:00. Please visit and ask questions to help decide the best combination of subjects.

Students will make their choices using our Bromcom platform. An email will be sent to each student with details about the selection process after the evening. The deadline for entering choices (including the reserves) is 19th April, 2024.

Subject Information Website

The subject information website contains subject information such as number of exams, coursework requirements and why students may wish to take that particular subject.

Please note that if you will be joining us for the Choices Evening, parking on-site is very limited.

Kind regards

Mr A George, Assistant Headteacher

4th March: Careers Day Years 8 & 10
 

Dear Parents/Carers,

Drop Down Day - Careers and Aspiration: Wednesday 6th March 2024

I hope this finds you well.

On Wednesday 6th March there is a Careers and Aspirations Drop Down Day and students in Year 10 and 8 will be involved in various activities throughout the day to “enable all our students to be prepared for success within and beyond the classroom.”

Years 7, 9, 11, 12 & 13 will be following their normal timetable, with no changes at all.

Year 8:

Year 8 will be doing a range of activities based around careers and widening their knowledge on potential career paths. ‘Skills for your career’ hosted by the logistics giant, DHL, Composer/musician career inspirational session, Author/screenwriter career inspirational session, a session dedicated to this careers knowledge and self exploration and study into your future Transparent skills and how they fit certain careers.

Year 10:

Year 10 will be working on writing a CV, preparing for interviews and being interviewed by an outside interviewer. Year 10 students have already completed their choices regarding their interviewer for the day. Throughout the day students will be learning how to create a CV and how to prepare successfully for an interview. Alongside this they will be completing other activities regarding careers and to begin thinking about their options after their GCSEs.

Timetabling:

All students will be given all details/ information about the day prior and they will be guided throughout the day by their teachers and tutors.

Year 8: Will remain in their tutor base for P1 - P2, P3, and P4 they will circulate amongst the Science rooms and P5 will be back in their original room; usual timetabled teachers will go to the Science rooms.

Year 10: will follow their normal timetabled rooms and teachers but will be taught different content. They will be instructed when their interview slot will be and directed to the main hall.

Year 8 and 10 Students will not require any normal books for the day. They will need to bring their planners and tools for learning.

Curriculum and Wider Links:

  • Transferable skills,
  • Goal setting,
  • Planning for the future,
  • Communication,
  • Our school values: Aim High, Be Kind, Take Responsibility

We are really looking forward to our Careers Drop Down Day!

Yours faithfully,

Drop Down Day Team.

 

February 2024

23rd February: Rank Order Assessment Results 

Dear Parents/Carers

KS3 Rank Order Assessment Results

We would like to confirm that the results of the recent rank order assessments will be emailed home, shared on the My Child at School App and paper copies sent home with students on Monday 26th February, 2024.

Kind regards

Mr A George, Assistant Headteacher

19th Feburary: Attendance Matters 

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope this email finds you well and you have had an enjoyable February half term. 

With only three terms remaining of this academic year, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some information regarding attendance. 

Educational research demonstrates that there is a strong correlation between attendance and attainment. There are 365 days in the calendar year, of which, 175 are non-school days. We strongly encourage all appointments and holidays to be made outside of the school day and term time. Furthermore, please see the NHS guidance for ‘Is my child too ill for school.’ and do consider this information for when your child informs you they are unwell or they have a cold. 

At Brakenhale School we encourage ‘good attendance’. An attendance of 95% and above is considered ‘good attendance’. Please see the table below for information regarding attendance for an academic year and the number of teaching days a student will miss. 

Attendance in a school year 

Number of teaching days lost in a school year

100%

0

95%

10

90%

19

85%

29

80%

38

75%

47

If you need to inform the school that your child is absent from school please do so by one of the following methods: 

We do encourage that the MyChildAtSchoolApp should be the main method to inform the school if your child is absent. If you have any other enquiries, other than attendance, do direct these to pastoral@brakenhale.co.uk and these will be directed to the relevant member of staff who will be able to support. 

Many thanks

Mrs M Harries (Attendance Officer), Ms S Wade (Attendance Administrator) & 
Mr A Smith (Deputy Headteacher)

 

January 2024

24th January: First Aid at School 

Dear Parents/Carers

First Aid at School

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. We would like to share some important information regarding our school's medical support policy.

At Brakenhale, ensuring the safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance to us. We have a team of dedicated staff members who are specifically trained in first aid procedures and are readily available during school hours to provide immediate medical assistance in case of an emergency situation or accident.

However, it is important to note that our school is not equipped to provide medical diagnoses for specific health conditions. As education advisors, we are not qualified to make accurate medical assessments or diagnoses. Our primary responsibility is to ensure that children receive immediate first aid treatment and, if necessary, arrange for any necessary medical attention.

To facilitate this process effectively, we kindly ask you to provide us with up-to-date information about any existing medical conditions your child may have, as well as any medications they may be taking. It is imperative that you inform us of any changes to your child's health so that we can respond appropriately should the need arise.

With this in mind, we kindly request that you:

  1. Inform the school about any medical conditions or allergies that your child may have.
  2. Inform us about any medication that your child may require during school hours, including clear instructions for administration.
  3. Keep us informed about any changes to your child's medical needs or contact details.

Please send us any updates via the MCAS (My Child at School App), which will help us maintain accurate records for each student and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to support their well-being.

It is essential that parents provide all necessary medication to the school in its original packaging, clearly labelled with the child's name and usage instructions. All medication should be handed over to the school office, where it will be securely stored and administered in accordance with our medication policy.

In cases of emergency or serious medical concerns, we will immediately contact emergency services and notify parents/carers as soon as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding in such situations.  With this in mind, please ensure that any changes to your contact information are shared with us.

We encourage open communication between parents and the school to ensure that we can provide the best possible care for all of our students. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our school's medical support policy, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards

School Office

22nd January: Highway Works 

Dear Parents/Carers

Further to previous correspondence in October, we have received updated notification that the proposed highway works will be starting the week commencing Monday 5th February to install a new zebra crossing on Rectory Lane near Friars Keep. 

The works will take about 3 weeks and will be undertaken during off peak times from 9:30am to 3:30pm.  During these times there will be temporary 2-way traffic lights to allow space for the workforce to work safely. A footway will always remain open on one side of the road for pedestrians to use.

Towards the end of the works, they will need to close the road on 4 days between 09:30am and 3:30pm to resurface the road through the crossing area between Friars Keep and Chadwick Mews.  This is currently planned for Monday 12th to Thursday 15th February, weather permitting.   During the closures vehicle access to the main school entrance on Rectory Road will be maintained.  Pedestrian access will be retained at all times.  The road closures are scheduled during the half term break so we hope it will minimise disruption to school activities.

Due to elements of the activities being weather dependent, there is a risk the work could be postponed at short notice, so please take note of the dates on the advance warning signs and on our webpage link at https://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/renewing-surfaces as these will be updated if any changes occur.

The crossing is being installed to provide a safer crossing point for students travelling to and from Brakenhale School following concerns from the community about the safety of children crossing Rectory Lane.  A plan of the scheme is attached for your reference.

Kind regards

School Office