18th July: School Uniform Expectations
REMINDER: Uniform for September 2023
As we approach the end of this academic year, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify some of our uniform standards and expectations for the new academic year in September.
A smart appearance is an important aspect of modern life. It allows an individual to display their self confidence and a sense of respect. Brakenhale School aims to prepare students for a successful life and so an emphasis on taking pride in one’s own appearance is an essential part of this. Brakenhale School has a uniform policy which helps to enhance the purposeful and successful climate of the school.
Brakenhale school uniform provides students with many benefits such as:
- Diminishing the social exclusion of students based on what they are wearing.
- Reducing tension as students do not have to compete with their peers for the latest trends in clothes.
- Encouraging pride in their personal appearance and of Bracknell, which enables them to be ambassadors for Brakenhale School in the local community.
- Promoting safety, particularly through making it easier to identify strangers.
- Being more cost effective to parents in the long term.
It is essential that we enforce our uniform policy exactly as stated. To have a uniform policy but enforce it poorly is damaging to the wider school culture as it reinforces the message to students that we have rules and expectations that we do not uphold. I am sure you will understand this and support us in maintaining the highest standards of uniform throughout the academic year.
A copy of our September 2023 uniform and appearance expectations has been attached for your convenience. They are largely similar to the previous academic year and have not changed. However, I would like to clarify the following specific items in good time for September, to allow all parents/carers to plan accordingly.
Students are only permitted to have one small stud piercing in each ear lobe. These can be either gold, silver or diamond. The school’s judgement on what is considered ‘small’ is final. No other piercings on the ear such as tragus or top of the ear is permitted. No facial piercings are permitted including nose, gum, tongue or eyebrow. Students will not be permitted to wear a plastic retainer in their place, nor will they be allowed to cover these with tape. These piercings are expected to be removed entirely. Failure to do so will result in the student remaining in the Reflection Room until the piercing is removed.
Nails / Make-up
Nails and make-up are expected to be natural in appearance. For nails, no false nails or unnatural colours of nail varnish are permitted. Natural appearing make-up that is not noticeable is permitted only. Additional make-up such as false eyelashes are not permitted. In cases where this is not achieved, students will be expected to remove the nails and/or make-up with support from the Curriculum Support Manager. Failure to do so will result in the student remaining in the Reflection Room until the issue is resolved and corrected.
No jewellery will be permitted whilst at school. This includes bracelets, rings and anklets. Students may wear one watch, but this should not be a smartwatch. Whilst we have previously permitted one ring, this will not be the case in September. Jewellery that is worn in school will be confiscated by staff and returned to a parent/carer only, similar to the mobile phone confiscation procedure. Exceptions to this include medical bracelets and jewellery worn for religious reasons such as a Kara. Please email Pastoral@brakenhale.co.uk, if this applies to you.
Belts and belt buckles should be plain in appearance only. The belt should be black leather and should not contain any studs or any other accessories. The buckle should also be plain in appearance and not contain any logos or unique designs that clash with the appearance of the uniform. Inappropriate belts will be confiscated. Students will be permitted to borrow an alternative pair of trousers if this makes their personal trousers unwearable for the day, without the belt. We do not stock belts in our uniform store.
Students are welcome and encouraged to wear coats in addition to their school uniform on days where the weather is wet and/or cold. These coats, similar to last year, should be in dark colours only, ie. black, navy or dark grey. White or other bright colours are not in keeping with the uniform and are thus not permitted. Please note that light jackets, hoodies or sweatshirts are not acceptable. These will be confiscated and stored with the Head of Year, if brought to school.
Coats must only be worn outside during the school day and must be removed immediately upon entering any school building at any point in the day. Students should expect to have their coat confiscated should they need to be asked more than once to remove it indoors. Confiscated coats will be required to be collected by parents/carers, similar to other confiscated items.
School shoes and socks/tights
Please note that only black, polishable school shoes are permitted to be worn in school. They should look leather in appearance and be professional. Other shoes that resemble trainers, canvas or boots such as Dr Martens are not permitted and students will not be permitted to wear them. Should you be unsure whether a pair of shoes are suitable or not, we could recommend seeking clarification via Pastoral@brakenhale.co.uk before you purchase. Any requests for exceptions must come with a doctor's note. Students who do not have correct school shoes will be provided with a pair of shoes from our on-site uniform store. They will be expected to leave their existing shoes at the uniform store and they will be returned at the end of the day. Where we are unable to provide stock or where a student refuses to wear them, the student will remain in the reflection room until the issue is resolved.
Plain socks are permitted to be worn to school only. These can be in black, white or grey but must be plain in nature and not ‘frilly’ in appearance. Only plain, black tights are permitted to be worn.
We have a uniform store on site where students are supported to meet our uniform expectations as they can borrow specific items they need, should they not have a full school uniform. This store contains a stock of shoes, socks, tights, ties, blazers, skirts, trousers and shirts. With the exception of socks and tights, students will be required to hand in a valuable item such as a mobile phone in exchange for the uniform item to ensure that stock is returned by students at the end of the day. Borrowed items will come with one detention, unless there is an exceptional circumstance that has been communicated by a parent/carer in advance. Students are expected to borrow any missing items, where stock is available. Failure to do this will result in remaining in the reflection room until the issue is resolved.
Should you have any questions, queries or concerns regarding uniform, please do not hesitate to contact Pastoral@brakenhale.co.uk and your communication will be passed on to the relevant member of staff to respond.
Mr P McKane, Assistant Headteacher
Ms H Whitaker Flower, Deputy Headteacher
12th July: Diversity Drop Down Day
Diversity Drop Down Day - 10p Charity Fête
We are delighted to announce that on Friday 14th July the entirety of Brakenhale School will be celebrating Diversity Day.
As part of our wider Personal Development Curriculum we are looking forward to delivering a variety of experiences which enhances our academic curriculum. The day, which has been planned for since the start of the academic year, will celebrate the diversity within our community and the wider society, and will provide our students with vital education on the themes of disability, race, sexual orientation and discrimination.
During the morning all students will be in lessons on these themes. In the afternoon we will be celebrating with our inaugural Diversity Fête. Students have worked as a tutor group to take ownership of planning and implementing their own fête stall and during period 5, they will enjoy a range of performances, followed by supervising their stall and participating in other tutor groups' stalls to raise money for charity.
In order to participate in another tutor group's stall, students will donate 10p per go at the stalls, so please bring in cash to donate, ideally in 10p coins or other small change, in order to be able to enjoy a wide variety of activities at each stall. The charity that we will be raising money for will promote diversity either nationally or locally, and will be announced on the day of the event following a vote by our students.
We look forward to this day of Personal Development
Mrs Whitaker Flower / Mrs Millard / Ms Wilhelmy / Mrs Lister
7th July: End of Term
End of Term
We would like to confirm that the end of the summer term will be Wednesday 19th July, 2023.
The school day for students will finish at 12:05.
7th July: School Nursing Newsletter
Bracknell School Nursing Newsletter
Please find below a link to the latest newsletter from the Bracknell School Nursing Team.
6th July: Sanitary Products
We would like to advise that if your daughter would like any free sanitary products, please ask them to pop along to the Medical Room after school any day.
We have packs of Always sanitary towels in normal and long, and Tampax in regular, super and super plus. These are provided free of charge to the school by the Department of Education.
If you or your daughter would prefer to collect these from reception, please email email@example.com with a note of items required and we can make a pack for you to collect.
Mrs K Amor / Mrs F Eccles, First Aider Practitioners
5th July: Year 6 Transition Day 1
Firstly, it was great to see so many smiling faces at 08.30 today as our new Year 7 students entered the gates. I know a number of you had attended too, eagerly awaiting your child(ren)’s day! Secondly, it's been a wonderful day and we wanted to share snippets with you now.
The day started with our first line-up in which students were sorted into their groups. Students
learned how to complete a Brakenhale line-up and we must say, it feels as if they have been doing it for years with us! The standard was excellent. This ensured all received a calm and orderly start to the day, which was even more important given the likelihood of nerves.
We then had our assembly where students heard from Mr Tailor (Headteacher), Mr Hilton (Head of
Year), Miss Meacock (Assistant Head of Year) and myself (Assistant Headteacher i/c Year 7
Transition). Students were welcomed into their new community and got to learn a bit more about the school and our culture. Students also got to know their new Head of Year and Assistant Head of Year including their mutual love of Marvel!
All students were given a Merit Card. The purpose of this was explained in the assembly: students
had to attain as many signatures from staff, throughout the day, for one of six criteria. These were in line with our school values of Aim High, Be Kind and Take Responsibility.
Students then had a busy day completing some testing. They completed a reading test during period 2 in the computer rooms. They then completed their required Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT) during period 3 and 4 after break. Students who finished the CAT tests early were able to get their
fingerprint scanned for the dining hall. In light of the strike day, we made a change to initial plans last week and decided upon this format rather than span various tests across two days.
During period 5, students then got to experience a Brakenhale lesson in a variety of subjects,
depending on their group.. This included Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Drama and English.
At the end of the day, students completed their line-up and all received a doughnut as a reward for a successful first day! I hope they have had an enjoyable first day and are eager to return tomorrow. Tomorrow, students have an exciting day ahead of them. Students will be in their groups first thing completing some ice-breakers and sampling the Tutor Time Reading Programme. Students will then experience three different lessons including all having a PE lesson during period 4. We will then conclude the day with a celebration assembly before departing.
We are all looking forward to tomorrow for another successful day of transition. Just a reminder there will be a slightly earlier finish at 2.30pm, students will be dismissed from the same green gates.
Mr P McKane, Assistant Headteacher
Mr L Hilton, Head of Year
Miss A Meacock, Assistant Head of Year
4th July: Sports Day Information
With sports day next week, I would like to confirm plans for the day and answer some questions that are commonly asked.
When is the day? Thursday 13th July.
What does my child do on the day? Students have signed up to a sporting event which will run before lunch. This is where one year group will come down to PE at a time to take part in the sports events. Period 5, all students will come to the field to take part in, or watch, the track events.
Does my child have to take part? Yes they do. Sports day is all about students from across the school taking part in a day of community sport and engaging with their fellow peers to celebrate sporting successes. That said, it is not just about who wins, it is about all students being involved and contributing to the success of their house and day by showing willing and taking part.
What does my child wear? Students wear their PE kit for the day, plus a plain house coloured t shirt (red, green, yellow or blue).
What time will school start and finish? School will start and finish at the normal times.
Can parents come and watch? Due to the staggered nature of the day, parents/carers unfortunately cannot come and watch.
Mr M Potter, Head of PE
4th July: Year 8 (23-24) Lion King Trip 15.11.23
Performing Arts Trip - The Lion King -15th November 2023
Brakenhale School’s Performing Arts Department would like to offer our 2023/24 Year 8 (current Year 7) students the opportunity to attend a performance of The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
This trip will give students the opportunity to see the value, potential and career opportunities available through Performing Arts subjects and inspire and motivate them in their lessons throughout the year. It is also a great opportunity for students to increase their cultural awareness, positive life experience and spend an enjoyable day with their peers and school staff.
About The Lion King:
Disney’s award-winning musical The Lion King explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music. It follows the powerful story of Simba as he journeys from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands. Now in its 24th year at London's Lyceum Theatre, visionary director Julie Taymor’s acclaimed reimagining of Disney's beloved film will redefine your expectation of theatre. Watch in awe as giraffes strut, gazelles leap and birds swoop bringing the Serengeti, and the story of Simba, to life all around you. Ingenious puppetry, stunning effects and enchanting music will transport the audience to the heart of the African Pridelands.
The cost of this trip is £35 per student and will need to be paid via ParentPay by 8th September. You will also need to give consent for your child to attend this trip via the ParentPay system.
If your child receives Pupil Premium funding, they will be entitled to a reduced fee of £20.
If you are experiencing difficulty in paying for this visit a written request for support can be submitted to the school office.
We have arranged for the students to travel by coach to and from the event, appropriate supervision will be provided during travel and throughout the event. Students will return to school after normal school finishing time and will need to be collected by a responsible adult from the school site on their return.
Timings for the day:
● Attend tutor, P1, P2 and go to P3 as usual
● Report to the courtyard during P3 to eat lunch (11.45am)
● Depart from Brakenhale School by coach 12.00pm
● Arrival at Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, London 2pm
● Performance 2.30 – 5pm
● Return to Brakenhale School by coach
● Arrival at Brakenhale School approx 6.30pm
Please make sure you, or a designated responsible adult, can be there to collect your child from the Rectory Lane school car park on their return.
Please contact me should you require any further details or if you have any questions.
Mrs G Millard, Head of Performing Arts
4th July: Moving into Year 11 Information Evening
Moving into Year 11 - Information Evening
We would like to invite you to our 'Journey into Year 11 - Parent/Carer Information Evening' on
Monday 10th July, 17.30-18.15. The purpose of this meeting is to best prepare you, and your child,
for the expectations and challenges of the next academic year. It is an important year with the
all-important GCSE next summer. You will hear from myself as the Raising Standards Lead for Year
11, Ms Manning and Mr Tailor. We will outline the support we are putting into place to enable a
We will outline:
- changes to the timings of the school day
- the Turbo Tutor programme and
- how Study Prep (Period 6) will provide more dedicated time with subject specialists.
We know that Year 11 may feel daunting but we are all looking forward to working together to secure the best outcomes for your child. This will ensure that the next steps in their journey - our Sixth Form, further education, employment and/or training - are successfully fulfilled.
Please click here to confirm attendance to the Information Evening.
Many thanks and we look forward to discussing the forthcoming important year!
Mr A George, Assistant Headteacher
4th July: Bracknell Forest Community Event
Bracknell Forest Council are hosting a community event – Saturday 8th July from 12-4pm, Bond Square, (Stage area - outside Waitrose) Lexicon, Bracknell.
There is a FREE concert with an amazing Reggae Singer, Gospel Choir, Indian dance, Nepalese performance, K- pop band, resident DJ and more…. Also – face painting, Tai Chi, stalls with free taster foods, Mango Festival, stalls representing community groups, and more…..
3rd July: Unifrog Complete Destinations Platform
Unifrog – the Complete Destinations Platform
In keeping with our commitment to provide students with excellent careers guidance and tailored
support when choosing their next steps after school and Sixth Form, we use Unifrog. This is an
award-winning, online destinations platform. All students in Years 7-13 have access to this website
and use it in their Tutor Time.
Unifrog is the universal destinations platform and is designed to support learners in making the most informed decisions about their futures and has a range of tools that are suitable for all year groups. Each student has their own account where they can explore all the career and next step options available to them and find information on everything from managing their workload to writing a winning CV. Students have access to a wide variety of video and written content, and interactive quizzes and tests, including:
Students access the platform using their school email address and their own chosen password. When at home they can access the platform from any computer, tablet or smartphone. We would encourage you to use the platform with your child so you can support them through the process of deciding their next step.
You can also have your own Unifrog account. You will be able to research careers, attend webinars
delivered by employers and universities to learn more about their opportunities, and compare
pathways so you can support your child in making an informed decision about their next steps. The sign up code you need is BRAKparent and you can sign up via www.unifrog.org/code. You can also sign up to Unifrog’s parent/carer newsletter when you first sign in to get expert advice and guidance on supporting your child with their next steps.
For more information, go to www.unifrog.org
I hope you find this useful and do engage with it, with your child(ren). It is a platform we have used
throughout the year and students are familiar with it.
Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead