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Brakenhale School

November 2022

29th November: Years 7-9 Flu Vaccinations 

Dear Parents/Carers
Years 7-9 – Flu Vaccinations
As you will be aware the School Immunisations Team are visiting the school on Thursday 1st December to offer flu immunisations. The vaccination will be a nasal spray.
The consent form system will be closing in the next 48 working hours in preparation for the session. Any parents that have missed the deadline and wish to consent for to flu vaccination will need to wait until 24 working hours after the session when the consent system will be reopened. They will then need to complete a form using the original information below and wait for the link to be emailed to them to book into a catch-up clinic.
Please complete the electronic consent form (one for each child) via and insert the unique code for Brakenhale School.
Any queries regarding the vaccination should be sent to:
Kind regards
School Office

25th November: Performing Arts Shows - Get Your Tickets Now! 

Dear Parents/Carers
Performing Arts Shows – Get your tickets now!
Tickets for these performances are now available to purchase via ParentPay.

25th November: Year 13 Virtual Parents' Evening - 13.12.22 

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 13 Virtual Parents’ Evening – Tuesday 13th December 2022
We would like to invite you to the Year 13 Parents’ Evening on Tuesday 13th December 2022 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Appointments will be held by video call.
Families are requested to use our automated online booking system to make appointments. This allows you the flexibility to book times directly with your child’s teachers
Please click on the link below to book your appointments:
Appointments will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, therefore it is in the interests of both yourself and your child to ensure your appointment is booked as soon as possible. Appointments will be available to book until the end of the day on Friday 9th December 2022.
We would request that only one set of appointments are booked per student. In order to ensure the smooth running of this event, we would strongly advise that when you receive confirmation of your appointment, you click on the ‘click here’ link to check that the browser you are using is compatible. If your browser is not compatible, please cancel your appointments and let us know so we can contact you by alternative means.
You can give one other Parent/Carer access to join your video appointments in respect of each student linked to you that is involved in the conference. You can grant this access at the time of booking, or later if required.
Please note, appointment times are strictly adhered to by the booking system and will cut off when the appointment time is over. A clock will display on screen showing how long is left until the end of the appointment.
If you do not have access to the internet, have problems using this booking system or require any further assistance, please contact the school office as soon as possible on 01344 423041.
Kind regards
Miss Loj, Head of Year 13

24th November: Christmas Jumper Day 8.12.22 

Dear Parents/Carers
Christmas Jumper Day 2022
We are delighted to be supporting the Save the Children Charity by taking part in Christmas Jumper Day on Thursday 8th December. Donations can be made via ParentPay or alternatively a donation of an item for the Foodbank can be bought into Main Reception.
Christmas jumpers must be appropriate for school and can replace school jumpers, blazers and ties on this day, all other uniform items must remain as usual. If your child chooses not to wear a Christmas jumper, then they will need to be in full school uniform.
Kind regards
School Office

23rd November: Christmas Card Competition 

Good morning
Brakenhale Christmas Card Competition
We are pleased to advise that we will be running the “Design a Brakenhale Christmas card” competition again this year. The winning card will be the official 2022 Brakenhale Christmas Card for Mr Tailor to send out. Previous entries have been amazing and it is a really good way to get into the Christmas spirit.
The winning entry and two runners up will receive a prize and everyone who enters will receive 10 House points.
Students should submit entries by Friday 2nd December this year. In order to use the entry we will need to scan and print so could we please ask entries not to have large items stuck on the card as we sadly won’t be able to use these. All entries should be submitted with student name and class clearly written on the pack page.
Happy Christmas card making, we look forward to seeing your entries!
Kind regards
School Office

22nd November: Winter Music Show Auditions 

Dear Students
Winter Music Show Auditions
We are delighted to confirm that our Winter Music Show will be held on the evening of Monday 12th December, auditions will be taking place as follows:
Date: Friday 25th November and Monday 28th November
Venue: M01
Time: Lunchtime
A signup list will be on the door of the music rooms M01/LS1 for students to register their interest.
Further information on how Parents/Carers can buy tickets for the evening will follow.
Kind regards
Mrs E Hope, Music Department

22nd November: Christmas Lunch - 14.12.22 

Dear Parents/Carers
Christmas Lunch
We are delighted to advise that Christmas lunch will be served at school on Wednesday 14th December for all students.
You are now able to book and pay for Christmas lunch via ParentPay at a cost of £3.00. Please ensure that your booking is made by no later than Thursday 8th December.
If your child would like the vegetarian option please ensure you complete the notes section on ParentPay with ‘Vegetarian Option’.
Should you child not require a Christmas lunch, usual break food will be available together with sandwiches and paninis served from the hatch at lunch time.
Kind regards
School Office

16th November: Year 12 Drop Down Day 

Dear Year 12 Students, Parents/Carers,
As per previous communications, tomorrow Thursday 17th November is our first Drop Down Day. The focus will be – Parliamentary Week – British Values – Democracy.
All Year 12 students are expected to be in for the whole day from 8:40am until 2:55pm
All students have been given student leadership opportunities in running of the day and will be sent individual information regarding this. Year 12 students are integral to the success of this day and so the expectation is that all attend and engage with their role.
We are really looking forward to our first Drop Down Day of this academic year.
Kind Regards
The Sixth Form Team

15th November: AQA English Language GCSE 

Dear Parents/Carers
AQA English Language GCSE
As part of the AQA English Language GCSE the students must present a three-minute speech to an audience on a meaningful topic, the audience then ask a series of questions about this topic and the candidate must be able to answer and discuss their answers at some length. The specification allows us to interpret ‘audience’ as one or more people and therefore we are asking that students present to two teachers, one teacher will award them a mark – pass, merit or distinction, depending on the quality of their speech and discussion – the other teacher will moderate this grade, assessing whether or not the mark was assigned fairly.
We plan to assess Year 11 in January, I will write to you very soon with further details about this schedule.
In the interim, our plan during the second week of the PPEs is to show you a documentary whilst you are in your English lessons: ‘Our Silent Emergency.’ It is presented by Radio One’s Roman Kemp and details his shock and sorrow at his best friend’s sudden suicide. The aim of his documentary is to raise awareness about mental health but particularly young men’s mental health and how this can still be viewed by many as ‘taboo’ and difficult to approach. We have used this documentary for the past two years and found it to be excellent in supporting our learners, encouraging important conversations and being influential for our male students in connecting with their feelings and with each other. We want students to write from the heart, about topics with depth, in order to be successful in this examination and beyond. This documentary models this for you.
I wanted to take the time to write to you in case this will be a personal trigger for you; we can then have a conversation about how best to proceed.
With warm wishes
Mrs R Hodgson, Head of English

14th November: KS4 & 5 Pre-Public Exams 

Dear Year 11 Students,
We hope that revision for the forthcoming Pre-Public Exams (PPEs) is going well. Please take the time to view this video which explains the purpose and process of these imminent and important assessments. It discusses:
· PPE fortnight starting 21st November
· Independent revision materials to use 8:30-9am daily
· Turbo tutor, study prep and tuition, if applicable
· Revision skills and organisation; assessment manifests
Please be in touch with any questions directly to Mrs Lister or Mr Hilton.
Best wishes
The Year 11 Team

11th November: Brakenhale Drop Down Day 

Dear Parents/Carers
I hope this finds you well. This academic year, we have introduced Drop Down Days. There will be three this year – one per term. The purpose of this day is to focus on key themes that enable students to learn about the world in a slightly different manner. Also, these days will enrich the students’ experience beyond their usual curriculum and bring us together as a community collective.
Our first Drop Down Day will be on Thursday 17th November 2022. The focus will be – Parliamentary Week – British Values – Democracy
All students will be taught special lessons on this day relating to the theme of ‘parliament’, with a creative and performing arts focus on ‘the gunpowder plot’.
The wider Curriculum and Wider links are:
· British Values – Democracy, Rule of Law, Respect and Tolerance, Individual Liberty
· PSHE: Equality, prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, social groups, laws, structure of government, being a good citizen, human rights,
· History: 1605 King James I and treason, including crime and punishment
· Our school values: Aim High, Be Kind, Take Responsibility
Students will have a different timetable of lessons to normal, but they will (mainly) stay in their usual teaching rooms. They will not require any normal books for the day. They will need to bring their planners and tools for learning.
The plan for lessons is:
Y7 – English, Maths, Creative Arts and PSHE – no need for you to bring your PE kit
Yr8 – Geography, Science, RS and PSHE
Yr9 – English, PE, History, PSHE – please come in PE kit
Yr10 – PSHE x 2, Maths, Science
Yr11 – PSHE x 2, Maths, English
Yr12 – student leadership opportunities in running of the day plus a PSHE session during Tutor Time and P1
Yr13 – Study Day (not in school) – revision for their PPEs which begin Monday 21st November.
We are really looking forward to our first Drop Down Day of this academic year!
Kind regards
Mrs H Whitaker Flower, Deputy Headteacher

11th November: Year 10 Drugs and Alcohol Workshop 

Dear Parents/Carers,
Year 10 – Drugs and Alcohol Workshop
Please note that, over the next few weeks, students in Year 10 will have a mandatory Drugs and Alcohol Workshop from a member of Bracknell Forest Council trained team in an hour session.
Many thanks,
Ms Ioannidis, PSHE Lead

10th November: Year 9 & 10 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award 

Dear Parents/Carers,
Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) for Year 9 and Year 10 students
I’m delighted to let you know that we are about to launch our recruitment for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) for Year 9 and Year 10 students at Brakenhale School.
Why do DofE?
Taking part in DofE is a brilliant way for your young person to discover just how much they are capable of. It gives young people the chance to make new friends, follow their passions, learn new skills and make a difference in our community. Gaining a DofE Award is a great way to impress employers too. It’s also non-competitive and a powerful way for every young person to build belief in themselves, whatever their background, interests and abilities.
How it works
There are three levels of DofE Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. To achieve the awards, your child will need to complete four sections – Volunteering, Physical, Skills and the Expedition. Students can choose what they would like to do for the first three sections, and we will provide all the guidance and support they need. The Expedition involves spending two days and one night in the countryside, and again we’ll make sure that our young people are fully prepared for it with a training day and practice expedition.
Training days and Expedition dates are:
● Training Day – Monday 17th April 9am-4pm at Brakenhale School (whole school INSET)
● Training expedition – Saturday 13th May 6pm – Sunday 14th May 5pm (times are approximate) at Rushall’s Farm (RG7 6DL)
● Assessed expedition – Saturday 8th July 9am – Sunday 9th July 5pm (times are approximate) at Longridge (SL7 1RE)
Virtual Parents Information Evening (For parents of students with confirmed places only)
● Wednesday 7th December 2022 7pm – 8pm
DofE Kit (please do not buy anything until we have given you further information)
Students will be required to have their own personal kit items:
● Rucksack (with waist belt and 55-65 litres)
● Water bottle (2 litres)
● Plastic plate, cup and cutlery
● Sleeping bag (in compression bag to reduce size with waterproof covering)
● Roll mat
● Walking boots (with ankle support) – not trainers
● Waterproof jacket and trousers
● Torch
● Suitable clothing (not hoodies or jeans)
● Food for each expedition planned in their teams
All other items will be provided by ‘School of Outdoors’ who are leading our training and expeditions.
Signing up to the award costs £24, with training and expedition costs around £200.00, taking the DofE total to approximately £224, final total costs will be confirmed but will not exceed £230.00 for the Bronze Award. We do not want this to be prohibitive to students taking part in DofE and we would like to inform you that if your student is in receipt of Pupil Premium then this cost can be subsidised. No payment will be required until your student has been confirmed to have a place on the DofE Award.
Next steps
If your child is interested in participating in the Bronze DofE please let us know by filling out the expression of interest google form. This form must be completed by Thursday 17th November 2022. We will then hold a group meeting on Friday 18th November 2022, during lunch break in classroom G02 for those students who have expressed an interest.
After the student meeting a schoolcomms will be released to those who attended, and the Parentpay non-refundable deposit of £24 will become active at 12 Noon on Monday 21st November. At this point there will be 30 places available for Year 9 and 30 for Year 10, these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
The full remaining balance will then be required to be paid by Monday 6th February 2023.
I’m the DofE Manager for Brakenhale School, so if you have any questions do get in touch. It would be great to get a big group of students together to make the most of this opportunity. The DofE website – – has a lot of useful information too.
Parents Information Booklet
Thank you for your support. I hope you’ll agree that the DofE is the perfect way for your child to feel ready for anything.
Mr A Bury, DofE Manager
Mrs H Whitaker Flower, Deputy Headteacher

9th November: Year 8 & 9 Ski Trip 2023 

Dear Parents/Carers
Brakenhale Ski Trip 2023
We are delighted to advise that we are planning a Brakenhale Ski Trip to Saalbach, in the Austrian Alps, in December 2023.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm is located in the Pinzgau region, in the Saalbach Valley and offers skiing fun at the highest level. With 270 kilometres of ski slopes, it is one of the largest ski areas in Austria. Beginners, intermediate skiiers and experts can use 140 km blue, 112 km red and 18 km of black slopes. With 70 cableways and lifts, more than 60 cosy ski huts, numerous snow parks, a freeride park, floodlight slopes and toboggan runs, Salzburg’s skiing region is one of the most diverse and best ski areas in the Alps. We will be staying at the Grubhof Hotel, which provides some of the best accommodation available in the area. The Hotel boasts a ten-minute walk to the ski lifts and the adjacent ski school.
This will be the second time we have run a ski trip to Saalbach and we are delighted to get back out there. We have stayed in this area before but this time we have chosen accommodation a bit closer to the ski lifts and ski school. We are really looking forward to extending the learning outside of the classroom as we experience new challenges and cultures in the Austrian Alps.
Please click on the links below to view resort information:
Date of Trip: Wednesday 13th December 2023 to Tuesday 19th December 2023
Cost: £1,060
The cost of £1,060 per student includes:
– return flights from a London Airport (TBC)
– all Coach transfers
– all ski, ski boot, ski poles and helmet hire for the trip
– 5 day lift pass
– 5 hours per day of ski lessons with fully qualified English speaking instructors
– travel insurance
– Continental breakfast, a packed lunch and a hot evening meal each day.
– a full programme of evening entertainments
We have 40 places available on this trip and it will be open for 20 (current) Year 8 and 20 (current) Year 9 students. Due to the popularity of this trip in previous years, we expect places to be taken up quickly. Therefore, we will operate a first come, first served policy.
We will publish the trip on Parentpay at 1700 on Thursday 1st December. This will be on a first come first serve basis. A £100 deposit will be required to reserve your child’s place. If all of the places have been taken, you will be able to enter your details on a google form to add your childs name to the reserve list.
Please see the payment schedule below. Each instalment has been spread over a two month period to help ease and spread the cost. If you require a further discussion or support regarding payments, please do not hesitate to email me:
Friday 2nd December – £100 Deposit (this will secure the place on trip)
Wednesday 1st March – £240
Thursday 1st June – £240
Tuesday 1st August – £240
Sunday 1st October – £240
The non-refundable deposit of £100 must be received by Friday 2nd December.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Mr Boucher, Designated Trip Leader

9th November: The Wayz December Activities Programme 

Dear Parents/Carers
The Wayz December Activities Programme 2022
Please see the posters attached detailing The Wayz December Activities Programme 2022.
Kind regards
School Office

7th November: Beginners' Guide to Exercise 

Dear Parents/Carers,
Through our Sports Partnership in Bracknell we have a fantastic opportunity for student to sign up to the leisure centre.
Currently, young people’s mental health is a hot topic; with so much going on for them to have to deal with we have a 12 week course we would like to advertise, that is run at the leisure centre, which supports young people’s mental health. The course is aimed at young people aged 11-16.
Attached are the forms as well as some guidance on the programme.
If you would like to sign your child up, please read the attached guidance and send the form in to or please contact her for more information.
Many thanks
Mr Potter, Head of PE

7th November: Admission Arrangements for Kings Academy 2024-25 

Dear Parents/Carers
Admission Arrangements for King’s Academy Binfield for 2024-25
Please find information on the consultation process on their website here for King’s Academy.
Kind regards
School Office

3rd November: KS3 Flu Vaccination 

From the Berkshire School Aged Immunisation Team
Dear Parent/Carers
Your child’s flu vaccination is now due
We are contacting you to make you aware that your child is now eligible for their flu vaccination. This is something that we offer to all children from Reception to Year 9.
This vaccination is recommended to help protect your child against flu. Flu can be an unpleasant illness and can cause serious complications. Vaccinating your child will also help protect more vulnerable family and friends by preventing the spread of flu. There may be a rebound in flu levels this coming winter following low levels in the past 2 years as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
We will be visiting your child’s school Brakenhale, on 1 December 2022. Please complete the electronic consent form (one for each child) via Immunisation Consent ( and insert your schools unique code BK142577 This form should be submitted by 9am 24 working hours before your session to ensure your child receives their vaccinations. If you experience any problems accessing the form, please telephone 0300 365 0077 and the team will be happy to help you.
We ask for your child’s NHS number on all consent forms, this allows your child’s immunisation to be recorded on their GP records. The NHS number can be found via Find your NHS number – NHS (
The vaccination is free and is a quick, simple, and painless spray up the nose. Even if your child had the vaccine last year, the type of flu can vary each winter, so it is recommended to have it again this year or they will not be protected.
Gelatine from pork is a common ingredient in drugs including the nasal flu vaccine. It is a stabiliser that helps to keep the vaccine safe and effective during storage. The gelatine used in vaccines is different from that in foods as it is highly processed and broken down into small fragments. To read further information on this visit Gelatine in vaccines | Vaccine Knowledge ( The most effective flu vaccine for children is the live attenuated nasal spray. If you decline the nasal spray due to its porcine content, you will be taken to a link to consent to an alternative porcine free vaccine. Please be aware this is an injectable vaccine.
A leaflet explaining the vaccination programme is enclosed and includes details about the small number of children for whom the nasal vaccine is not appropriate.
Since the programme was introduced, most children offered the vaccine in schools have had the immunisation.
If your child becomes wheezy, has a bad attack of asthma, or has started oral steroids for their asthma after you return this form, please contact the School Aged Immunisation Team on 0300 365 0077.
If you decide you do not want to vaccinate your child against flu, please select no consent, giving the reason. This will help us plan and improve the service.
For further information see:
*Is your child up to date with their routine childhood vaccinations? Vaccination saves lives and is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. Please contact us using the details above if your child is outstanding any vaccinations.
Kind Regards,
The Berkshire School Aged Immunisation Team

1st November: Year 11 Study Prep Cancelled 3.11.22 

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 – Study Prep
Due to Parents’ Evening happening for Year 11 on Thursday 3rd November, we are cancelling Study Prep for this day and students will be dismissed from school at 2:55pm unless they have a detention.
We hope you find this evening informative and useful in preparing your child for their upcoming PPE’s and where they are currently working at.
If you have not already booked appointments for the Parents’ Evening, please ensure you do so as soon as possible.
Kind regards
The Year 11 Team

1st November: Bracknell Athletics Club 

Dear Parents/Carers
Bracknell Athletics Club
Please see the information below regarding Bracknell Athletics Club:

Interested in Running?
Bracknell AC are looking for boys and girls to join their successful endurance squads
Tuesday & Thursday evenings at John Nike Athletics Stadium, Bracknell
All abilities welcome
Contact to arrange a trial