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Brakenhale School

Update 3rd October

Year 7, Ofsted, PGL Trip, Sixth Form, Performing Arts, Reward Event, European Day of Language, Extra Curricular Fayre, Student Leadership

Dear Parents/Carers
I hope this finds you well. We have now been in school four full weeks since the summer holidays, which means the month of September is now behind us. It’s been great to see our students coming into school, immaculately dressed and focussed on their learning. I want to particularly mention Year 7 students because I know their transition can be a difficult one. However, they have embraced it well and will continue to do so. Our teachers, including their Tutors, Ms Wilson (Head of Year) and Ms Campbell-Watson (Assistant Head of Year), are at hand to support them on this journey. A real highlight of my last week was when a Year 7 student came to me during the morning break. Unprompted, he said how much he “loved” being in school. I asked why? He replied, “The teachers are kind and I can move around the school which I couldn’t at primary…”. It’s lovely to hear such sentiments and long may this continue.
As I relayed on 14th September, we had an Ofsted inspection on 13th September. This was unannounced but enabled the school to be seen as it is on any given day. Once the letter is made public, I will share it with you. This should be issued during this term.
In the last few weeks, much has taken place in school. Some of the highlights include:
· On the weekend of the 16th September, 138 students and 10 teachers went on the PGL trip. This enabled them to participate in a range of activities whilst enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Osmington Bay. Despite their tiredness, they had a great time.
· We have celebrated and promoted some national days. The PE department ran fitness challenges and workshops for the ‘National Fitness Day’ on 21st September which went above and beyond the PE lessons students undertake. Last week, the ‘European Day of Languages’ was promoted by our Modern Foreign Languages department. This included a special edition of the Golden Ticket throughout last week to mark this day.
· Over two consecutive Tuesdays, Ms Manlay (Assistant Headteacher) and Ms Loj (Head of Year) held events for students and families of our Sixth Form. The first was a ‘Destinations Evening’ to share the university application process and routes into apprenticeships to Year 13. The second was an information evening for Year 12 to outline the start to the year and what the next two years will entail. Both were well attended and we hope you found them useful.
· Last Monday, we held our first Open Morning whereby we welcomed over 100 families to walk the school. This was further to the Open Evening on 16th September so that Year 6 pupils and their families could walk the school and see it ‘live’. We have another this week and an Open Afternoon next week.
· The Performing Arts department have been busy carrying out auditions for Matilda. These were a real success and students have now been selected. Matilda will be showcased in February so watch this space for further details.
· I had the first ‘Hot Chocolate and Cake with the Headteacher’ of the year last Thursday. Students across all the year groups – 7 to 13 – joined me as I relayed my gratitude to their ‘flying start’ to this academic year. This is calendared every three weeks so many more students will have the chance to join their peers and I for a drink and some cake!
· On Friday, we held the ‘Extra-Curricular Fayre’ during lunchtime in the hall. The array of clubs on offer each day had a stand whereby students could visit and sign up. This was a real success and I look forward to seeing students attend these clubs throughout the week.
This is just seven of a longer list. If you use Facebook, our school page (‘Brakenhale School’) showcases events throughout the week. We are making a concerted effort this year to do this so keep a look out for photographs and updates.
This week we launch our Student Leadership programme. The first instalment is where Form Representatives are chosen. Each form group will have one representative. Then, each year group will elect one representative to sit on the School Council. Prefects from Year 10 will also be selected in the next two weeks to support Senior Prefects in Year 11. This follows the selection of Head Students from Year 13 which happened last week. Candidates went through a series of activities and it was a real honour to be part of the selection process given the sheer calibre. Ellie Cousins and Ethan Vine are our Head Students, and Stephanie Dundon and Ali Abbasi are our Deputy Head Students. They will, amongst other remits, sit on the School Council too.
What the above showcases is our school’s focus on students’ character, beyond their academic studies, so that we prepare them for the wider world. It’s been pleasing to see students engage in the range of opportunities that are available to them. Please do encourage your child(ren) to join a club if they have not and/or to put themselves forward to be a Form Representative. Not only will they develop their character but these are often some of the most memorable parts of school life.
As I relayed in my previous communication to you, our school values of ‘Aim High, Be Kind and Take Responsibility’ permeate everything that we do. They underpin our thinking and actions. Please continue to remind your child(ren) of these and how they fit into our wider vision so that we prepare our students for their individual successes and future careers. We are all driven by the same ‘why’; it galvanises our school community and it gives us a clear direction in moving forward.
Kind regards
Mr B Tailor, Headteacher