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Brakenhale School

February 2023


24th February: World Book Day - Years 7 & 8 

Dear Parents/Carers

World Book Day 2023 - Years 7 and 8

We will be celebrating World Book Day on Wednesday 1st March 2023.

Firstly, we are giving students in Year 7 and 8 the choice to come to school on that day (Wednesday 1st March) dressed as a character from a book. If they choose not to, they wear their school uniform as normal. If your child(ren) does decide to dress up, please ensure the character is clearly from a book. Throughout the day, students may be quizzed by staff so please ensure your child(ren) is ready for this! For example, they should know a little about their character and the book they come from. 

Secondly, students in Years 7 and 8 will have a bespoke English lesson on this day. The lesson will focus on ‘how to introduce a character’. 

Lastly, there will be a competition, at lunchtime in the library, for ‘best costume’. There will be prizes available. 

We look forward to a fun-filled day where we continue to promote the love of reading and literature! 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Kind regards

Mrs D Lewis
Literacy Lead -

22nd February: Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards 

Good afternoon
The Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards 2023 In the last few days, I have been alerted to the Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards 2023 are now open for nominations. As such I want to share this information with you. The Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards started in 2005 to celebrate the achievements of outstanding individuals and organisations in the Bracknell Forest Community. More often than not, it is our young people and educators who make the biggest difference to the community! With the nominations deadline around the corner for this year’s Awards, we would be delighted if you could nominate in the following categories:

· The John Nike Pride of Bracknell Forest Young Person’s Award – for under 18s who have made a contribution to the community

· Sports & Leisure Young Person’s Award – for under 18s who have achieved highly in their chosen sport/activity

· School of the Year

· Teacher of the Year

The closing date for nominations is the 1st March 2023. Nominations can be made on the website and an overview of the previous year’s winners and current categories can be found here and here respectively.
These Awards go a long way to showing the recognition that our local heroes deserve.
Kind regards
Mr B Tailor, Headteacher

10th February: Uniform Reminder 

Dear Parents/Carers
As we approach the end of half term, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of our uniform standards and expectations for when our students return to school after the half term break.
High standards of uniform are a key part of school culture and we expect our students to wear their uniforms with pride.
We appreciate that half term breaks are often a time in which students may choose to have nails done, hair dyed and beauty treatments carried out. Please ensure that these are removed in line with the school uniform policy in time for the next half term. Nails, hair and make-up should be natural in appearance. Artificial nail extensions should not be worn in school due to the impact they can have on taking part in some lessons. No facial piercings are permitted with the exception of one stud in each ear lobe. Any additional facial piercings should be removed before school and should not be worn at any point on the school site. Jewellery should be limited to one watch and one plain ring and with no other rings, bracelets or accessories worn. Students should expect to receive a same-day detention for any excess jewellery, piercings and other uniform infringements.
A copy of the school uniform standards has been attached for your convenience.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s tutor in the first instance.
Kind regards
Mr P McKane, Associate Assistant Headteacher

10th February: Year 9 Choices Evening - Date Change - 23.3.23 

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Choices Evening – date change
Further to previous correspondence, due to the proposed industrial action in March we have changed the date for the Year 9 Choices Evening to Thursday 23rd March.
We hope that you will be able to attend the evening, it 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.
The presentation will provide you with information about the pathways, the process of making choices and key information on our curriculum together with the core subjects.

X half of Y9 (B|R|A) Y half of Y9 (K|E|N|H
17.30 – Main hall presentation 17.30 Subject stands
18.15 – Subject stands 18.20 Main hall presentation

During the evening, each subject stand 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 make sure you speak with tutors and ask questions to help decide the best combination of subjects for your child.
Prior to the Choices Evening students will be sent information on which pathway they have been allocated together with a detailed booklet outlining the content for individual courses.
Students will have until 30th March to consider their choices; supported by their subject teachers and tutor. These choices will then need to be approved by yourselves with further details provided on the evening.
Students will make their choices using an electronic platform called ‘SIMS Options Online’. Students and parents will be sent an email after the evening with instructions on how to select their choices.
Please note that parking on-site is very limited.
Kind regards
Mr P McKane, Associate Assistant Headteacher

9th February: Tools for Learning Reminder 

Dear Parents/Carers
REMINDER: Tools for Learning
As we approach the end of term, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you to stock up on your child’s Tools for Learning over the holidays to ensure that they return to school fully equipped with all the necessary items.
Why do we have Tools for Learning?
– This eradicates wasted learning time as teachers do not need to provide Tools for Learning to students in lessons.
– It is vital that our students are able to learn the skill of organisation.
– Taking responsibility is a key value. Having Tools for Learning ensures students are fully equipped each day.
Please see attached compulsory Tools for Learning list for your reference.
Filled Pencil Case, Scientific Calculator
Student Planner (includes whiteboard on back cover)
– Black or Blue Pens
– HB Pencil
– Rubber
– Pencil Sharpener
– Glue Stick
– 30cm Ruler
– Highlighter
– Protractor
– Colouring Pencils
– Whiteboard Pen
In an emergency, and in order to support students with any missing individual items, they can visit the LRC to buy items for cash only (08:45 – 09:00 and during break time). Replacement planners can be purchased from the LRC at a cost of £3.00.
Tools for Learning checks will be carried out by Tutors weekly. Students missing any items of the required tools for learning should expect to receive a detention that evening.
Should there be any issues or exceptional circumstances whereby your child does not have all of the correct equipment, please contact your child’s tutor in advance.
Kind regards
Mr P McKane, Associate Assistant Headteacher

8th February: Year 11 Information Evening 

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Information Evening
Thank you to all the families who were able to attend the ‘Information Evening’ on Monday. Please find attached the presentation slides so that you can go through these again and discuss the information with your child at home. The revision techniques, in particular, are ones which students have had training on, and their class teachers will be referencing/making use of.
The next few months are an important time for all Year 11 students given the final exams, which will determine their next steps in September. We are here to support every single student to attain their best possible outcomes; we hope the information provided will help them with this. Our values of Aim High, Be Kind and Take Responsibility permeate everything that we do and they’re exemplified here more than ever.
If you require any additional support, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
Mr L Hilton, Head of Year 11

6th February: Year 11 Pre-Pubic Exams 

Dear Parents/Carers
Pre-Public Exams will be running from Monday 20th February to Friday 10th March.
Please can we remind all students that they are required to have their Tools for Learning for every exam, this must include calculators and mathematical equipment, eg. protractor and compass.
All Pre-Public Exams are run with the same rules and regulations as Public Exams. This prepares all our students for their upcoming A Level and GCSE examinations. With this in mind a copy of all the JCQ regulations has been sent home.
Good luck
The Exams Team

3rd February: Post Year 11 Options 

Dear Parents/Carers
Post Year 11 Options – please read carefully
I hope this letter finds you well.
Brakenhale School is very proud to offer a Sixth Form provision to students. Due to our course provision, entry requirement remains at least five subjects at grades 5-9, and grades 6-9 for specific subjects. Any student who does not attain these entry requirements, cannot be offered a place in the Sixth Form. The courses we offer are at Level 3 (post 16 level).
The Government states that until a person is 18 they must comply with one of the following:
● stay in full-time education (Sixth Form or College)
● start an apprenticeship or traineeship
● spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training
At this point in the academic year, we would hope that our students have secured their ‘next step’ if they are not joining us for Sixth Form. If they are getting borderline grades, then they should have a backup plan.
A number of students have not yet secured a Further Education course or Apprenticeship. Time is of the essence, as these courses are now filling up day by day. Some courses are full already. We would implore you to register for a course/Apprenticeship asap.
Also, we want you to be aware that if you have applied for a College/Apprenticeship Level 3 course and you don’t meet the entry requirements, then you WILL NOT be automatically put onto the Level 2 course. The same with Level 2 and Level 1 courses. If you think there is a chance you may not meet the grades then we suggest that you apply for both levels of course.
The courses are booked on a first come, first served basis. Most College courses have 20-26 students per course at each level. Please do anything you can to speed up your application process to secure a place, if you have not yet done so.
Typically, apply online (rather than paper application) as this speeds up the process. If the College has tried to call you to enrol you, then call them back at your very earliest convenience because this call constitutes confirmation that you wish to continue your application process for the course If you don’t speak to them in person your application will not be processed any further. This could mean that you might miss out of the place. You can come to my office for support in calling them back.
Following that telephone call, an email will be sent. Please look out for this email, perhaps it is hiding in your email junk items. If you don’t receive this email then telephone the College and ask them for the email. The email will ask you to confirm the course place.
Please be aware that time is now of the essence. I would always advise students to have a plan A and B in place. There is also nothing wrong with having a plan C in place either! It could save a lot of panic when the exam results are released.
Kind regards
Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead
Mrs R Lister, Assistant Headteacher
Mr L Hilton, Head of Year 11