Letters Sent Home

Communication

 via schoolcomms – keeping you informed

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 Schoolcomms to send email and text alerts to parents.  The Schoolcomms 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.  For letters you will receive a paper copy. 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. 

Off Site Activities Form for Trips   Download PDF

7th July 2021: Year 6 - Safe Cycling

Dear Parents/Carers
Safe Cycling
At Brakenhale we welcome our students cycling to school. It is good for the environment and their health. In addition, Bracknell has numerous safe cycle paths for students to use to avoid busy roads as much as possible.
We have a ‘Brakenhale Safe Cycle Scheme’ where all students will require a cycle pass to be able to ride their bike or scooter to school and use the bike store.
Students who wish to cycle to school must have a roadworthy bike with working brakes and must be prepared to wear a safety helmet at all times. A cycle pass may be withdrawn if a student is seen riding their bike in a dangerous manner.
We have a secure area to keep bikes but students need to bring an individual lock for further security.
If your child would like to cycle to school, please click on the link and ensure they have read and are familiar with the contents of the Cycle Safety Information Cycle Safety
To request a cycle pass, please click on the link Cycle Pass Request Once your request has been approved, students will be issued with a cycle pass via their tutor.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
School Office

7th July 2021: Tools for Learning - KS3 Art Books

Dear Parents/Carers
Tools for Learning – Art Books
From September 2021 we have decided to no longer charge for the Key Stage 3 Logo Art Books which are used in all Art lessons.
At the beginning of the year all students in Years 7 – 9 will be given an Art Book to use in lessons. Students should always bring their books to any Art lessons as they would any other exercise book and always have the correct Tools for Learning.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Kind regards
School Office

7th July 2021: Refined Sixth Form Dress Code

Good Evening
Refined Sixth Form Dress Code
Thank you for all your feedback and ongoing conversations over the last week. We’ve had some really successful conversations with students and we have listened to your views, contemplated some amendments and spoken to various students to clarify the refinement of the dress code further.
Over the last two days we have chosen our new Head Students. As part of their application process they had to present in front of Year 12 and also had an interview with Ms Coley and myself. During the presentation and interview many spoke about the amended dress code, the vast majority were in favour when we discussed in the interview and there were some additions which they suggested to us. This was also in line with our conversations with other students and parents. Therefore, we have some final refinements to the dress code for Brakenhale Sixth Form from September 2021.
What can you wear:
• plain T-shirts (ie. no big/obvious logos), shirts, ties, blouses, tailored skirts and trousers, blazers, jumpers and cardigans, chinos, cigarette/cropped/tapered trousers, culottes, dresses, jumpsuits, suits, polishable shoes, low heels, boat shoes, brogues, loafers, flatforms, enclosed shoes
• New additions: Jeans (smart, dark coloured, non-ripped, non-decorated), ballet pumps, smart boots, espadrilles/Toms, polo shirts, turtleneck tops, roll neck tops
• sensible natural hair colours and simple piercings
Mr Potter and Miss Millard are also pleased to announce that our dance, drama and PE/sports students will be able to wear their active wear to school on the days that they have these lessons, ensuring that all lesson time is utilised for learning and participation.
We know the cost of adding items to students wardrobes to meet the dress code is a concern for some. I attach some images from a variety of shops, with prices to assist you. Additionally, those students who are eligible for the Sixth Form bursary will be able to spend some of their bursary money on clothing. Eligibility for the bursary will be detailed in September and allocated to those who apply directly.
Thank you for continued support and feedback, it is really appreciated.
Best wishes
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

7th July 2021: RAG Week Day 3

Dear Brakenhale Community
Once again we have had a great day of RAG activities!
Table tennis tapping and badminton smashing went down a storm with over 200 students taking part in the sessions!
We move to our penultimate day tomorrow, to include…
Break time…
Swinley V Temple cake sale….. Bring those 50ps and buy your cakes… All cakes to come to reception in the morning. Please ensure they are all covered and wrapped fully.
We have had 500 shortbread biscuits baked by Mrs Higham and her food classes today, so there will be plenty to buy! A huge thank you to her and her classes 8y, 9x and 10 hospitality.
Lunch time…
We have table tennis beat the teacher! Staff will be out and about with their paddles ready to be taken on by our students! House points will be given for all that play and double if students win!
After school….
Staff V students rounders!
The staff have been practising and are ready to take the field against our students, for whom some have been looking at rounders in PE. We will have year group pitches on the field for students and staff to play on. We will be finished for around 430pm. If wet, we may have to cancel the event, please look out for a schoolcomms.
All events are free with a RAG band or 50p to join in!
All cakes are 50p to buy!
Remember all money goes to our charities we are supporting…. Mind and Scottie’s Little Soldiers.
Thank you so much for all of your support so far, here is to the last 2 days of #RAGWEEK2021!
Best wishes
Mr Potter and Mrs Lister

7th July 2021: Covid-19 Lateral Flow Test Kits

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Lateral Flow Test Kits
The current government advice is that students should continue with the lateral flow tests until the end of term (Friday 16th July) after this date regular testing is no longer required.
If your child requires any further supplies of tests to last until the end of term, they can collect a box from outside of the medical room.
As yet we have not received any advice on requirements for our return to school in September, however, as soon as we receive any updates we will communicate to you.
Kind regards
School Office

6th July 2021: RAG Week Day 2

Dear Brakenhale Community….
Despite the rain, RAG week day 2….has been amazing!
At break time we had the ‘Art Attack’ session which saw over 50 students design and create ‘Thank you NHS’ posters, with the winners chosen by the awesome Mrs McCrorie. There was some truly outstanding work done by all! A list of winners will be sent out soon, along with photos.
At lunchtime we had the badminton smashathon where we had over 100 students come down and get their rackets swishing, playing staff and each other in the sports hall.
The finale of the day came at the….Open Mic night….Students were given year group microphones and the audience sat in year group bubbles and were given a plethora of songs, jokes, riddles and performances…students were absolutely incredible in support of each other and even our very own Ms Douse and Ms Coley popped in to perform!
For tomorrow, with Sports Day being postponed to next week, we will be offering Staff Vs Students table tennis on the tables at break time, with some extra tables being set up in the quad area and more badminton smashathon at break time.
Please ensure you have trainers and your 50p’s for entry to these events. RAG band holders get in free!
Thank you all…keep those 50ps coming in, that spare change loose, those trainers handy and get baking for the cake sale on Thursday break time!
Best wishes
Mr Potter, Mrs Lister and the RAG week committee!

6th July 2021: A Level and GCSE Results

Dear Students, Carers and Parents,

GCE Results will be available to collect from the school dining hall on Tuesday 10th August from 9:30 am to 10:30am.

GCSE Results will be available to collect from the school dining hall on Thursday 12th August from 9:30 am to 10:30am.

Anyone who is unable to collect at this time will have their results emailed to their school email address at midday.
Please do not hesitate to contact exams@brakenhale.co.uk if you have any further questions.
Kind regards
The Exams Team

6th July 2021: Young Minds Webinar - 12.7.21, 6.30pm

Dear Parents/Carers
As part of the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) we are offering you a webinar opportunity.
Are you interested in attending a Young Minds Webinar for Parents on Monday 12th July 2021 18.30-19.30
The session will last around 1 hour and will provide advice and tips to parents and carers about supporting their children with the aim to help them to understand their child’s feelings and to help them to talk to their child about their feelings.
The session will be run as a webinar (rather than a meeting) in order to provide privacy and confidentiality. It will consist of a presentation after which parents and carers will have a chance to ask any question to our trainers in privacy (via chat or by voice but always in privacy). Attendees won’t be able to see each other nor see/read each other’s names.
I have 15 places available, they will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in attending please email me at jmanisier@brakenhale.co.uk. or text me on 07484323138 so I can send you the link for the webinar.
Many thanks
Jo Manisier, Student Support Manager, Deputy Designated Child Protection Lead

6th July 2021: Year 6 Transition Information Evening

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 6 Transition
Thank you to everyone who joined our first transition information evening yesterday, it was nice to see so many families joining us. If you were unable to join the meeting, a recording is available on the under the “Videos” section of our transition website link below:
Year 6 Transition Website: https://sites.google.com/brakenhale.co.uk/transitionwebsite/home
We understand that you may have many questions however, you may find that these will be answered in the FAQs section on the website.
Please see below a reminder of details for next week’s Information Evening next Tuesday.
Transition Information Evening – Tuesday 13th July, 5.30pm
o Approx 45 mins – to share key information around expectations and routines, the process come September including tutor groups and first day routines and what to expect in Year 7 as your children start Secondary school
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/1tm7q8yb
If you have any queries, please email: transition@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
Mr B Coley, Assistant Headteacher i/c of Transition

6th July 2021: Sports Day Postponed

Dear Parents/Carers
Sports Day Postponed
It is with regret that a decision has been made to postpone Sports Day until next week.
With the rainfall last night and that predicted for today, it is highly likely that the conditions tomorrow will now provide a safe surface for performers and therefore the student experience will not be as positive as we would wish.
Sports Day will now move to next Wednesday 14th July, with all timings as previously communicated.
Next week looks brighter and warmer so hopefully a great last week of the year.
Tomorrow there will be normal lessons, with students in full school uniform.
RAG week activities and events continue at break and lunchtime, as previously advertised.
Many thanks for your continued support.
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

5th July 2021: RAG Week Update

Dear Brakenhale community
RAG Week and Sports Day Update
Well done for day 1 of RAG week…. £150 made through the cake sale and donations.
We have more events tomorrow so please bring your 50p’s to join us and spare change to donate to our two great charity causes.
Also, cakes for the bake sale on Thursday (Temple and Swinley) are still welcomed so please don your aprons and get in the kitchen (or to the shops) to provide some yummy treats for staff and students to buy on Thursday break time.
As for sports day, with the outlook looking unsettled, a decision will be made by the end of the day Tuesday (tomorrow) on if we will go ahead or not. Please look out for an email on this and also on social media as well.
Many thanks
Mr Potter and Mrs Lister

5th July 2021: Emptying School Lockers

Dear Parents/Carers
Emptying lockers
If your child currently has a locker, it will need to be emptied and left unlocked by this Friday 9th July at the very latest. Any lockers not emptied will have the locks cut off and the contents removed which will need to be collected from Lost Property.
If your child has a locker located within the IT block or Canteen area with an internal locking system, keys will also need to be returned to Main Reception by Friday 9th July. A charge may be incurred for any keys that have been lost or that have not been returned by the deadline.
Lockers will be reallocated for September if you have reserved one via ParentPay.
Kind regards,
School Office

5th July 2021: CCF - Tuesday 6th July Cancelled

Good Morning
CCF – Tuesday 6th July – Cancelled
We would like to inform you that due to the school running the RAG week we have taken the decision to cancel the CCF this Tuesday 6th July 2021.
This will allow cadets to take part or watch other events that the school is running this week as part of RAG week.
Cadets can still wear a CCF uniform if they wish.
We would just like to thank you all for your ongoing support with the CCF and we look forward to seeing the cadets back next week for more fun and games.
Kind regards
Andrew Bury, Interventions Coordinator – SSC, SSI – Brakenhale School CCF
abury@brakenhale.co.uk

3rd July 2021: Year 11 Leavers' Assembly 2.9.21

Dear Year 11 Students
The date of our leavers assembly has been moved to coincide with Prom. This will now be held on Thursday 2nd September and will be done live at the Prom venue.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Kind regards
Miss S Douse, Head of Year 11

3rd July 2021: PE Clubs - Cancelled next week

Good Evening
After School PE Clubs – Cancelled Next Week
With RAG week next week, the PE staff will be helping out with after school RAG week events, so clubs will not be taking place Tuesday to Thursday.
We would also like students to join in, in after school RAG week events so please encourage them to stay for the events on Tuesday (open mic and comedy stage night) and Thursday (staff V students rounders). Events will run from 3:15 to 4:30pm.
As we have sports day on Wednesday the PE staff will be helping to clear down the day so no clubs will run.
Finally, any cake donations for the bake sales on Monday and Thursday must be brought in, individually wrapped to ensure cake items are Covid safe.
Many thanks and here is to a great week of community spirit, within the Brakenhale community.
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

2nd July 2021: Sixth Form Dress Code - Q&A

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
Thank you to everyone who has shown support for the refined changes to the Sixth Form dress code.
I received some questions via email which I hope to answer for everyone with the attached document. Sorry that this is being sent slightly later than I had anticipated.
Best wishes,
Ms Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

Thank you to all of you who have welcomed the refined changes to dress code expectations in the Sixth Form. Where there are recurrent questions or comments, please see below.

1. Why was the decision made recently, and not earlier? We started to discuss the dress code change via Students’ Voice in the Spring Term. Any changes were put on hold when it was announced that Ms Coley was leaving. When Mr Tailor was appointed, having viewed the present dress code, he agreed to the change. We also have the full support of the governors.

2. Why weren’t the students consulted? We spoke to the students, via Student Voice, in the Spring Term. They did not like the idea of fully suited ‘professional and smart attire’ so we opted for a less prescribed dress code. For example, suits are not the only item on the dress code. Students can wear clothing appropriate for a professional setting i.e. school. As stated in the initial letter “The aim here is to reflect ‘how we look is how we feel’; dressing well makes you feel confident and puts you in the right frame of mind to do your very best.”

3. The cost of changing the uniform is prohibitive. In many cases, what students have worn this year in Year 12 t-shirts, shirts, blouses, chinos, dresses, smart boots, ballet pumps and brogues can still be worn in September. Additions, for some students, may include smarter trousers and/or skirts. A range of footwear can be worn, just not trainers. Thus, we anticipate that this would not require an overhaul of their wardrobe.

4. Sixth Form students should be allowed to express themselves The refined dress code allows students to wear a variety of different items. Flexibility still exists; this can still allow them to express themselves.

5. Does wearing professional attire really have an impact on your learning? Yes. In our experience, a professional dress code links to improved focus on learning. Furthermore, in an 11-19 school where we have a clear dress code for Years 7-11, it does not make sense to have such a loose one in Years 12-13. There are various studies that can inform both sides of the argument about dress code. Two peer reviewed and well cited journal articles for formal/professional attire are cited here:
a. Slepian, Michael L et al., 2015. The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing. Social psychological & personality science, 6(6), pp.661–668.
b. Kraus, Michael W & Mendes, Wendy Berry, 2014. Sartorial Symbols of Social Class Elicit Class-Consistent Behavioral and Physiological Responses: A Dyadic Approach. Journal of experimental psychology. General, 143(6), pp.2330–2340.

6. Not every professional setting requires this dress code, why is it necessary in Sixth Form? We know that not every workplace has a formal dress code. However, some do. In school, the staff have a specific dress code to follow which states items which are not acceptable in a professional working environment. As stated in 5., students in Years 7-11 have a dress code. To not have one in Years 12-13 disjoints the policy.

7. Some students experience mental health problems and lack self-confidence about their bodies, how does this dress code support them? As mentioned above, there is still flexibility within the dress code. Students can opt for more comfortable and relaxed items, as long as they are suitable for a professional setting. You can express yourself in the colours that you wear and textures of the fabric you choose. Any student experiencing mental health problems should seek support from the Sixth Form team.

We hope that this satisfies your queries regarding the Sixth Form dress code for September 2021.

2nd July 2021: School Car Park

Dear Parents/Carers
Car Park
We would like to remind you that our Coningsby Gate is no longer open, please do not drive through to our back car park as this causes a problem for visitors and staff parking. Please also remember that the speed limit in the car park is 5mph.
Many thanks for your support.
Kind regards
School Office

2nd July 2021: Sports Day 2021

Good afternoon
Brakenhale Sports Day 2021
Sports Day 2021 is next Wednesday, 7th July. The day is set to be a fantastic one with lots of house spirit and competition to be had.
May I draw your attention to some key pieces of information for the day, which I feel need to be communicated to all members of our school community.
Dress code and appearance
Students will be required to wear their Brakenhale PE kit to school for the day. For the morning, Periods 1 to 3 students must wear ONLY their PE kit, to include black shorts, skorts or tracksuit bottoms plus their PE polo shirt, all items are to be black and the school PE kit please. At 12.30pm, when we proceed down to the field for the afternoon whole school event, students are allowed to wear their house coloured t-shirts over their PE kit. Students may also wear other House coloured items such as caps and wristbands, they may also wear some House coloured face paint only (no other items are allowed including glitter, stick on jewels – students will be instructed to remove them, all items are at the discretion of a member of the Senior Leadership Team). Our smart and professional appearance, as a school, must be maintained throughout the day and this way students can wear their PE kit due to the nature of the day but also be smart and unified by their PE kit.
The school day and timings
The school day for sports day will be a little different to normal but will still have the usual split lunches for year groups, in order to ensure a smooth Sports Day there will be one lunch service only. From 9.00am – 10.30am Year 8 and 9 students will be allowed to leave lessons to compete in field events (students have signed up to events so staff know who is completing), from 10.30am – 12noon, it will be the turn of Year 7 and 10. At 12.30pm the school will line up on the courts, then proceed to the field where they will be kept in house bubbles to compete against each other in the events. The start and end of the school day remain the same.
Expectations on the day
The day is about showing a little house spirit and good energy; this means students are to respect all staff as officials and all students as athletes. If a student cannot participate on the day, they should let their Head of Year, Head of House or Tutor know so that a replacement can be found. Students behaviour and attitude is to be of the highest order, as it is in school, no mobile phones are to be seen, heard or used – please keep them away. Students are asked to use the bin bags provided for litter, bring their own sun cream, water bottle and sun hat if the weather is warm and sunny.
RAG week
Sports Day also takes place during RAG week, so please bring some spare change to buy refreshments and give to donation buckets which will be coming around on the day to support out charities for RAG week – Mind and Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
Covid 19 protocols
We have taken all necessary procedures and risk assessed all events for the day. We are using strict cleaning regimes and distancing at all events. We have decided to have students in year group bubbles for the day, rather than houses, therefore removing the mixing of students.
Our reserve date, in case of poor weather, is the following Wednesday 14th July.
Finally, please follow us on twitter and instagram (@brakenhalepe) for all the photos of the day, results and final scores around 3pm!
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Many thanks and here is to a fantastic day of Brakenhale House Sport!
Kind regards
Mr Potter, Head of PE

1st July 2021: Year 11 Prom

Dear Parents/Carers
Subject Year 11 Prom
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am pleased to announce that we have a new Year 11 Prom date. This has been booked for Thursday 2nd September 2021.
All previous arrangements and time remain unchanged. Please let Mrs Theal . know if you have any questions.
Regards,
Miss Douse

1st July 2021: Year 6 Transition Meetings

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 6 Transition Meetings
Further to previous correspondence we are delighted to share with you the links for our Transition Meetings on Monday 5th July and Tuesday 13th July.
We understand that the times may not suit everyone but we hope to be able to see as many of you as possible join the meetings. Both meetings will be recorded and then be available on the Transition Website to watch at your convenience.
Transition Meeting – Monday 5th July, 4.30pm
o Approx 30 mins – formal introduction and welcome from Mr Tailor, Headteacher, Miss Douse – Head of Year 7 and myself Mr Coley – Assistant Headteacher; we will explain transition moving forward and what has already taken place
Transition Information Evening – Tuesday 13th July, 5.30pm
o Approx 45 mins – to share key information around expectations and routines, the process come September including tutor groups and first day routines and what to expect in Year 7 as your children start Secondary school
Please check you can access the crowd casts by clicking on the links to test, if you have any issues please do not hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
School Office

1st July 2021: Updates to Contact Information

Dear Parents/Carers
Student Updates
As we approach the end of term, could we please remind you to update us with any changes to your contact information. Please use the School Gateway to check the information we currently hold on record for your child.
If you are moving house during the holidays and students will not be returning to Brakenhale please ensure that you complete one of the forms below:
Transferring to another school in Bracknell Forest:
https://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/school-admissions
Leaving to move out of area/abroad: https://forms.gle/QZjnDe2j9zNEQVYW7
Kind regards
School Office

28th June: Year 10 PSHE Programme

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 10 – PSHE Programme
Our PSHE programme encompasses taboo subjects in order to give our students a broad and informed curriculum. This week’s session includes the topics of Gangs and Pornography.
If you would like further support in discussing these topics at home please do not hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
Ms H Ioannidis, Head of Vocational & Alternative Curriculum/PSHE lead

28th June: Rectory Lane Road Closure - 30.6.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Road closure – 30th June
We have been notified of a road closure by Bracknell Forest Council which will affect access to the school on Wednesday 30th June. Please see details below:
“This is to inform you that we will be closing Rectory Lane on 30th June 2021. The road will be closed for 1 day from 09:30am to 15:30pm on 30th June in order to carry out essential carriageway repairs.
Access will be maintained for residents and emergency services.
The diversion route is Downshire Way, Mill Lane, Wildridings Road, Crowthorne Road and reverse For the details of all roadworks & closures, please see the national one.network.org site.”
Kind regards,
School office

29th June: Sixth Form Dress Code from September 2021

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
From September the Sixth Form dress code is changing, and students will be required to adopt a ‘dress for a professional setting’ focus. This is not a suit and tie, or a uniform, and is not the same as the smart staff dress code. Although, we do not mind at all if you wish to dress in a suit everyday.
The aim here is to reflect ‘how we look is how we feel’; dressing well makes you feel confident and puts you in the right frame of mind to do your very best.
This will aid us all to attend school with the mindset of working, as your attire contributes to your work ethic. If everybody is dressed smartly, then it reminds you that you are part of a team, that you are attending Brakenhale Sixth Form with a specific purpose which is to get the best grades possible for you and we are all united in that common goal. As you are united in wanting to do the best for yourself, collaborating in what you are wearing makes sense too. In addition, we are gearing you up for the world of work, and this dress code is required in many professional working environments. Certainly, it is required for an interview when you should be showing your very best side, so why not show your best side every day.
What can you wear:
· plain T-shirts (ie. no big/obvious logos), shirts, ties, blouses, tailored skirts and trousers, blazers, jumpers and cardigans, chinos, cigarette/cropped/tapered trousers, culottes, dresses, jumpsuits, suits, polishable shoes, low heels, boat shoes, brogues, loafers, flatforms, enclosed shoes
· sensible natural hair colours and simple piercings
Specifics unsuitable items:
· hoodies/sweaters, jeans, joggers, shorts, strappy tops, lingerie showing, activewear, leggings, playsuits, loungewear, sliders/flip flops, trainers.
As stated above the change in dress code is to support a productive and successful learning environment. We understand that this might initially cause concern and hope that you can appreciate the reasons for this change.
We understand that there might be some questions about this change, these should be directed to Ms Whitaker Deputy Headteacher by email hwhitaker@brakenhale.co.uk.
Many thanks,
Brakenhale Sixth Form

29th June: Drug Detection Dog

Dear Parents/Carers
Drug Detection Dog
Today we were visited by the drug detection dog. The dog performed a thorough sweep of the school site, including a walk around the perimeter surrounding the school. The students were incredibly positive towards the dog and were keen to make its acquaintance! We are pleased to report that nothing was found by the dog.
As we have ‘communicated previously’ this initiative is part of our robust zero tolerance policy of no drugs on the school site. It is pleasing to see that our student community is responding so supportively to our stance on this issue.
Thank you for your continued support with this matter.
Kind regards
Mr H Thomas, Teacher I/C Trips & Examinations

29th June: School Gateway

The easiest way to interact with your school
Welcome to School Gateway
We are now using School Gateway, an essential tool to keep you informed about what’s going on at school. It keeps everything in one place, behind one login, so you can easily keep in touch.
Trusted by over 2 million parents
“I work full time so finding the time to notify my daughters school about absence etc is difficult, this makes it really quick and I can do it from my desk. So glad our school is moving with the times.”
– School Gateway user
“Both my husband and I have SchoolGateway accounts as the school have both of our details so we can both view all the information at any time.”
– School Gateway user phone
Attendance
Advise school of absences and keep track of your child’s attendance rate.
Reports & Achievements
Receive school reports straight to your phone so you stay up to date with your child’s progress.
Timetable
View your child’s school timetable via the app, website and now the Apple Watch. A good conversation prompt and can help save last minute P.E kit dramas
Creating an account is simple and will take no more than a couple of minutes:
1. Register
Register using the same email address and mobile number held by the school phone
2. Four digit PIN
School Gateway will send you a text with your PIN phone
3. Login
Login, you are ready to go
Access School Gateway using the website or by downloading the FREE app
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/school-gateway/id596039615?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.schoolcomms.sga

30th June: Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award Launch - Year 9

Dear Parents/Carers
As part of our Character Education Programme at Brakenhale, we provide the opportunity for students in Year 9 to sign up to the renowned Duke of Edinburgh award programme.
The Duke of Edinburgh award is an amazing opportunity to try out new skills and interests and give back to your local community. The award is an internationally recognised achievement that is valued by schools, colleges, universities and employers alike.
Students who sign up will have the chance to learn a new skill, take part in physical challenges and volunteer locally. This culminates in an expedition where map skills, camping etiquette and teamwork are tested! Students always love this part of the award as it gives them an opportunity to be independent and discover new places in the countryside they may never have been before.
How to sign up:
In order to be accepted onto the DofE programme you will need to do the following:
Go onto the DofE website and learn as much as you can about the award https://www.dofe.org/do/what/
Commit to completing the skill, physical and volunteer sections within their given time frames 3-6 months – ideas on activities can be found here: https://www.dofe.org/do/sections/
We will be starting with the Silver award in Year 9 – this includes a 3 day and 2 night hiking and camping practice and assessed expedition which will be carried out in the spring/summer of Year 10. Expedition kit will be required, however we do have some at school to support this if needed. The reason why we are jumping past bronze is to make up for lost time due to lockdowns – this is allowed under DofE guidelines and also ensure students have adequate time to achieve an award and potentially progress onto gold.
Cost: £123 – this covers membership to DofE (£23) and approximate expedition costs. If you are in receipt of Free School Meals or are Pupil Premium we can support membership to DofE. If expedition costs do not exceed £100 a refund will be made to you after the expeditions are completed.
What happens next:
Once you have paid your DofE fees we are able to sign you up to DofE. You will receive an eDofE login. This will allow you to access your own account in which you can record your progress within each of your sections.
We will arrange a session after school to go through the eDofE website for those who have signed up.
Once you have decided on your skill, physical and volunteer sections you are free to start them. Ideally these should be completed before your practice expedition. Your sections should be a weekly commitment to 1 hour i.e. Physical = attend swimming club for 1 hour each week. Practice expeditions normally run from April onwards with the assessed expedition in June/July.
Parents:
If you are happy for your son/daughter to be included in the Duke of Edinburgh award, please complete the following google form by Friday 2nd July:
https://forms.gle/8JwGrAEMLWyWTrwZA
From this we will be able to add the £123 charge to your Parent Pay account. Please ensure payments are made by 9th JULY
Kind regards
Miss L Rushby
lrushby@brakenhale.co.uk

25th June: Year 6 Transition

Dear Parents/Carers
We hope this finds you well and that you are able to have a restful weekend when it arrives.
At this point, when next week was due to be such an exciting one for us all, especially your children, I just want to remind you that unfortunately the two Transition Days next week have been cancelled, along with the Information Evenings.
However, please find below some important updates and information to share.
1. Virtual Transition Meetings – dates for your diary – we have pencilled in the following two times to deliver this year’s Virtual Transition Meetings. We understand that the times may not suit everyone but we hope to be able to see as many of you as possible join the meetings. Both meetings will be recorded and then be available on the Transition Website to watch at your convenience. Full details about how to join will be sent out separately.
o Virtual Meeting 1 – Monday 5 July at 4.30pm
Approx 30 mins – formal introduction and welcome from Mr Tailor, Headteacher, Miss Douse – Head of Year 7 and myself Mr Coley – Assistant Headteacher; we will explain transition moving forward and what has already taken place
o Virtual Meeting 2 – Tuesday 13 July at 5.30pm
Approx 45 mins – to share key information around expectations and routines, the process come September including tutor groups and first day routines and what to expect in Year 7 as your children start Secondary school
2. Transition Website – This we are once again really excited about and the students last year really did use it often as the first point of contact. We have tried to include not just information but a real mix of subject ‘challenges’, key information, key to staff to familiarise yourself, frequently asked questions (FAQs) to relieve any worries as well as a few videos and ‘extras’ to get you thinking.
We have included some resources to help you talk about transition at home and the move from primary to secondary school – we hope you find these helpful, I would encourage you in particular to watch both short videos, on the ‘Videos’ page. In addition, on this page, there is a link to www.beawesomegobig.co.uk – a great resource to support transition discussions at home, lots of free resources to download.
As the website goes live, I am sure it will generate a lot of interest so it may be slow to begin with; this is likely to be the reason, rather than the website not working. Final updates are being added and once the website is ready we will send out the link.
We shall also be sharing the website with your child’s primary school; they may be able to complete some of the challenges whilst they are there.
3. Transition Email – your first point of reference should be the Transition Website. If you have any additional questions and the have not been answered under the FAQ Section then, please send to: transition@brakenhale.co.uk
This email will be checked periodically, and a response will be given, please allow at least 24 hours. The email will not be active until the Website goes live, we shall let you know when it becomes available.
Finally…
We know that many students have engaged in home learning across the last 12 months so we want to share another opportunity; again, this has been shared with primary schools.
It is a totally free opportunity aimed specifically at Year 6s moving to Year 7. The site link is below and is designed to help learners develop maths skills and knowledge. Visit the website, sign-up for FREE and give it a go!
Maths link: www.numerise.com
May I thank you for your continued support and feedback, this is most appreciated and we totally recognise that it is important to keep you up-to-date, whilst not overloading you (or your Inbox!).
With best wishes
Mr B Coley, Assistant Headteacher

25th June: Year 10 GCSE English Speaking/Listening Assessments

Dear Parents/Carers
GCSE English Speaking and Listening Assessments
During the final three Period 6 lessons of the term we will be moving into preparation for the cohort’s Speaking and Listening assessment.
We have decided to show the students’ documentaries on subjects we feel are important and will allow them to formulate meaningful opinions, both in and beyond the classroom. One of these documentaries is called ‘Our Silent Emergency’ and discusses awareness around male mental health and suicide, others focus on environmental issues. I wanted to write to you and let you know our plans because of the potentially sensitive subject content, and in case you would like to discuss any of these topics with your children in support of them achieving their pass, merit or distinction.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Mrs B Hodgson, Head of English

25th June: Year 6 Tools for Learning

Dear Parents/Carers
Tools for Learning
We would like to advise that our Tools for Learning items have been added to your ParentPay accounts, if you have paid for these items and wish to come in to collect, please email admissions@brakenhale.co.uk to arrange collection,. Alternatively, they can be collected when your child starts with us in September.
Main Reception is open from 8am to 4pm (Mon-Fri).
Kind regards
School Office

24th June: Term Dates 2021-22

Dear Parents/Carers
Term Dates 2021/22
We would like to take this opportunity to confirm that students will have a phased return to school, ready for September 2021; as yet the exact details of these days are not confirmed but we will share these with you at our very earliest.
Please find the updated Term Dates for the next academic year 2021/22 on our website.

Term Dates


All schools have been allocated an additional day’s holiday in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee which falls during the Summer half-term. It has therefore been agreed that the additional holiday day will be Monday 21st February, 2022 added onto the Spring half-term.
Please note the last day of term is Friday 16th July 2021 and students will be dismissed at 12.05pm.
Kind regards
School Office

24th June: Sixth Form Online Transition - 29.6.21

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
We would like to let you know that we are running an online Sixth Form transition session for those who would like to join our Sixth Form in September. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we could not have our transition sessions in school and as planned, so this seems like the next best thing that we can offer. This will take place on Tuesday 29th June, from 9:00am – 12:00pm. Please find below the link to join us at the time:
Brakenhale Sixth Form Online Transition
Tuesday, 29 June – 9:00am – 12:00pm
Google Meet joining info
During online transition students will receive all of the information they need to start with us in September, along with getting their new tutor groups, meeting their tutor, and an inter-group quiz competition to get us set up for the year. There will then be an opportunity for students to ask any questions they might have about September and to talk through the bridging courses from year 11 to 12.
We would ask that during the event students have their camera on (if they feel comfortable to do so – it would be nice to see who we are talking to!), are dressed appropriately, and are in a space which is suitable for a school session.
We are really looking forward to welcoming our next cohort of students – thank you for your continued support whilst we navigate this difficult time with changing guidance. It is an expectation that students join us for transition, please let us know if you are unable to do so.
Please click here to confirm your attendance or via this link https://forms.gle/R3hsySe3zL9kiewM8
If you wish to contact us in the meantime please email sixthform@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind Regards,
The Sixth Form Team

23rd June: Covid-19 Surge Testing Results

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Surge Testing Results
Thank you to everyone whose child did a Covid-19 test for the local Surge Testing programme. It is a huge help to provide data within the local area and help prevent the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 which has seen a sharp increase in cases in our community.
Test results should start filtering in shortly and you will be contacted directly if your child tests positive. If you do receive a positive test result, please click on the link below to report the result to us:
Positive Test Result Notification
If your child does test positive you will need to keep them at home for the 10 day isolation period. Unfortunately, this does mean that any members of the family who live in the same household will also be required to follow the current guidance and isolate for 10 days as well.
Should we receive any positive cases, this will mean that we will need to track and trace close contacts of any students affected and we apologise in advance if this causes an increase in students having to isolate and work from home.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

22nd June: Bracknell Forest Careers Event - 23.6.21, 5pm

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Bracknell Forest Careers Event – Wednesday 23rd June from 5pm
I am writing to inform you about a careers event hosted by Bracknell Forest called Spotlight on Careers, which takes place online from 5pm this Wednesday, 23rd June.
This Virtual Careers Event for young people aged 14-19 in Bracknell Forest will provide an opportunity to find out about the different pathways available Post-16 and Post-18, and there will be a wide range of employers from local businesses talking about opportunities in their industry (please see the list below).
To register for this FREE event please visit: https://hopin.com/events/bracknell-forest-futures-2021
Here’s the list of the great local companies confirmed to support this event:
3M
Afton Chemical
Boehringer Ingelheim
Bracknell Forest Council
ECITB
Element Six
Fenwick
Fujitsu
HPE
Lexicon
NHS
Pellikaan Construction
Resource Productions
Southward Village Hotels Group
Syngenta
Thames Hospice
TRL
The world of work is constantly changing and the pandemic has impacted on the labour market in our region in many ways. Some companies are finding themselves with the need to recruit more young people into their organisations and it certainly isn’t all bad news for young people, despite what we might read in the media, so I would highly recommend attending this event.
If you have any questions or would any further information after attending the event please get in touch by emailing me: jlane@brakenhale.co.uk.
Kind regards,
Ms Lane, Careers Lead

22nd June: Sports Day

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Sports Day
With Sports Day coming up soon, it is now the time to let us know what events you wish to do.
Please fill out the form and let us know the events you may want to do on the day.
Each student is to compete in at least 1 event on the day to show your community character education spirit, as well as support your school house.
Sports Day is all about getting involved and doing a little bit to help support and come together on a special day of sporting events and activities.
Thank you for taking the time to complete the form, to express your interest in your events.
Please complete this form by Friday 2nd July. You will have some time in your tutor groups week beginning 28th June, in the computer rooms, so please complete it then.
Kind regards,
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

22nd June: RAG Week

Dear Parents/Carers
RAG Week
We are excited to release the official timetable for RAG Week, 5th – 9th July.
You can find out more by following the Youtube sent out.
Students can take part in RAG week by purchasing wristbands for £2.00 on ParentPay. Wristbands will allow students to spectate at all of the events across the week.
Students will be running cake sales, a student v teacher table tennis tournament, penalty shoot-out, art attack competition, staff v students rounders match, sweet sales on Sports Day (Wed 7th July) plus an open mic night and splat the teacher. To purchase extra cakes or treats, or to join in events or have more than one go, students will need cash in small change as there is a suggested voluntary contribution of 50p.
Kind regards,
School Office

21st June: Year 7 PSHE Programme

Dear Parents/Carers
PSHE Lesson Tomorrow
This is a gentle reminder that tomorrow’s Year 7 PSHE lesson will be on the topic “Understanding Substances.” We appreciate that that the content could be sensitive in nature for some students as it talks about substances such as drugs and alcohol. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
Kind regards
Mr P McKane, Head of Year 7

21st June: Year 9 PSHE Programme

Dear Parents/Carers
PSHE Programme
Our PSHE programme encompasses taboo subjects in order to give our students a broad and informed curriculum. This week’s session include the topics of Online Sexual Grooming & Pornography.
If you would like further support in discussing these topics at home please do not hesitate to contact us.
Many thanks
Ms H Ioannidis, Head of Vocational & Alternative Curriculum/PSHE lead
hioannidis@brakenhale.co.uk

21st June: Surge Testing Kits

Dear Parents/Carers
Surge Testing Kits
Further to previous correspondence, we are pleased to advise that the surge testing kits have arrived in school and students will be bringing them home today. Tests should be carried out this evening and students should return the tests to school tomorrow where they will drop them off in Year Group boxes as they enter the school gate.
Please follow instruction 1-13 in the step-by-step instruction booklet and then return completed test in the two bags as outlined in step 13. Once completed, you can then dispose of the box, instructions and step-by-step booklet as you do not need these.
You must log your test kits using this link
https://test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/register-kit
PLEASE DO NOT USE LINK PROVIDED IN THE INSTRUCTION BOX
For students in Year 11 and 13 who are no longer in school, if they wish to take part in the testing, kits can be collected and returned to main reception or alternatively, if there is a sibling still in school they can pick one up on their behalf.
It is not compulsory for students to take part in the testing programme however, in order to support the collection of data and to stop the spread of new variants of Covid-19 it is advisable as Bracknell has seen a significant rise in positive cases.
Kind regards
School Office

21st June: Pre-Public Exams - Year 10

Dear Parents/Carers
Pre-Public Exams – Year 10
The purpose of this letter is to provide further information about this week’s Pre Public Exam (PPE) week for Year 10.
I hope your child has been revising for each of their subjects and tries their best. This will be the first time students have sat a formal examination at Brakenhale. Therefore whilst the grades they achieve are important we are asking all pupils to try hard and do their best. It is equally important that students know the location, seating arrangements, access arrangements and procedures of examinations as students prepare for their GCSEs in Year 11.
As you will no doubt know, GCSEs have been cancelled in both 2020 and 2021. Current guidance is that GCSEs will return in 2022 but this could change depending on the situation with Covid 19 and what the examination boards therefore decide.
Gaining a good grade in each subject area is important as this provides students, parents and teaching staff with evidence of a grade that is being worked at. The performance will also be used when determining sets for students next year and if any interventions can be put into place to further support progress.
On the subject of interventions, please be reminded that next week there will be no Turbo Tutor in the morning. Students will line up as normal at 8:25, go to their tutor bases and be brought to the exam hall or rooms at 8:45. In addition, there will be no Period 6 for the week, meaning students will finish school at 3pm Monday to Thursday, unless they are in a revision session or masterclass which has previously been communicated.
There are no exams scheduled from 14.00 on Friday 25th July. Therefore Year 10 students will have lunch as normal and then be dismissed from school at 2pm, subject to them behaving during the week and exams going to plan. Any students who have detentions or are late will need to remain at school past 3pm in order to complete these.
Thank you for your support in preparing your children for these examinations. I wish them every success and cannot wait to see the results.
Regards
Miss K Wilson, Head of Year 10

19th June: Year 8/9 Brakenhale Ski Trip 2022

Dear Parents/Carers
Brakenhale Ski Trip 2022
We are delighted to advise that we are planning a #teambrakenhale Ski Trip to Passo Tonale which lies between Lombardy and Trentino in the Italian Alps, during the Easter break 2022.
Tonale is linked to the resort of Ponte di Legno, which offers a more traditional Alpine experience with wood lined slopes, but is slightly lower. The resort is situated at, approximately, 1800m above sea-level and features the Pressenna Glacier, guaranteeing skiing. We will be staying at the Savoia Hotel, which provides some of the best accommodation available in the area. The Hotel boasts a one-minute walk to the ski lifts and a two-minute walk to the ski school.
This will be the second time we have run a ski trip to Passo Tonale and we are delighted to get back out there. We have stayed in this area before but this time we have chosen a hotel even closer to the slopes. We are really looking forward to extending the learning outside of the classroom and the country as we experience new challenges and cultures.
Please click on the links below to view resort information: –
https://www.skiclub.co.uk/italy/resorts/passo-tonale
https://www.skiclub.co.uk/italy/resorts/ponte-di-legno
http://www.hotelsavoia.net/index.php/en/
Date of Trip: Saturday 2nd April 2022 to Friday 8th April
Cost: £1,119
The cost of £1,119 per student includes:-
· return flights from a London Airport (TBC)
· all Coach transfers
· all ski, ski boot 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
· 3 hot meals a day in the Hotel’s buffet style restaurant
· a full programme of evening entertainments (to include Pizza night, Tubing, Night Skiing and Karaoke)
We have 40 places available on this trip and it will be open for 20 Year 8 and 20 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.
On Monday 21st June at 1pm the payment item will be added to your ParentPay accounts and if your child would be interested in being allocated a place, you will need to pay the £200 deposit to secure their place on the trip by Friday 9th July. If all places are taken up, you will be given an opportunity to add your child’s name to a waiting list.
Please see the payment schedule below:
9th July 2021 – £200 Deposit (this will secure the place on trip)
31st August 2021 – £190
30th September 2021 – £190
31st October 2021 – £190
31st January 2022 – £190
28th February 2022 – £159
The non-refundable deposit of £200 must be received by Friday 9th July, 2021.
We understand that you will have concerns regarding Covid-19 however, we have an agreement with the travel agency and if the trip is cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, all monies will be returned in full including any deposits paid.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
Mr Boucher and Mrs Lewis, Designated Trip Leaders
jboucher@brakenhale.co.uk dlewis@brakenhale.co.uk

18th June: Sexual Health Assemblies - Monday 12th July 2021

Dear Parents/Carers
Sexual Health Assemblies – Monday 12th July 2021
As part of our ongoing work to evolve students into young adults I am pleased to inform you that Year 8 will be taking part in a one hour session discussing sexual health on Monday 12th July. Due to the nature of the topic we have decided to split boys and girls into separate groups, so that all students can feel comfortable discussing the topic & expressing their opinions. There will be 4 sessions total, this way each group can be kept small enough for important conversations to take place. As I am a member of staff who has taught sexual health both in Science and PSHE for many years I am privileged to be leading these sessions myself.
The topics I plan on covering are:
Consent
Contraception
STD’s and STI’s
However, additional topics may be covered from questions and answers with the students during the hour. I appreciate that it may seem early to be covering these topics. I want to assure you that all of the topics we plan on discussing are within both the Science and PSHE curriculum for this age group. Within these lessons we don’t have time to have much open dialogue, due to the nature of the national curriculum, I hope that these sessions can provide that opportunity to students.
If you have any questions or concerns about this session please contact me directly, and I am more than happy to discuss them with you
Kind regards
Miss L Turner, Head of Year 8

18th June: Update - School Uniform

Good morning
Please note from Monday 21st June students should return to wearing Blazers and Ties without exception.
Kind regards
School Office

18th June: Wet Weather

Good morning
Wet Weather!
As you will see out the window, this morning is very wet! We would like to remind students to bring coats and umbrellas. When students arrive from 8.15am they should go straight to their tutor rooms unless they are sitting down eating in the canteen.
Kind regards
School Office

17th June: Year 8 “Virtual” Parents Evening - Feedback

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 8 “Virtual” Parents Evening
We are delighted that so many of you were able to join our Year 8 “Virtual” Parents Evening. If you had any problems with connections for your meetings, please do not hesitate to contact tutors direct who will be happy to provide feedback on how your child is progressing.
We always welcome parental feedback on events and we would really appreciate you taking a minute to click on the link below and provide us with any comments you may have.
Year 8 Parents Evening Feedback
Kind regards
Miss L Turner, Head of Year 8

17th June: Year 7 and 8 Drama Clubs

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 and Year 8 Drama club is cancelled from 21st of June to 2nd of July.
Any concerns or questions please let me know.
Kind regards
Miss Cullip

17th June: Brakenhale RAG Week 2021

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
We are writing to let you know about BRAKENHALE RAG WEEK 2021.
For those of you who do not know what RAG week is, RAG stands for Raising And Giving! Organisations put on a series of events over a week and raise money, donating it to chosen charities. Brakenhale students from the Prefect body, School Council and Sports Council have been working behind the scenes to plan and put on our very first RAG week to foster leadership skills, harness the power of teamwork, and to raise money for worthy charities. Most importantly, RAG week isn’t just about getting money from people, it is about bringing people together and celebrating the true word and meaning of community, in helping and supporting others who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Our RAG week this year will be the week of 5th-9th July, with events on every day of the school week during the school day at break and lunch, and also after school. We will ensure that all our events are Covid-safe by remaining in year group bubbles.
For free access to spectate at all the events over the course of the week you can buy a RAG wristband on Parent Pay for £2, then your child can pick it up from school. If you would prefer not to purchase a wristband then each event will be 50p per entry.
Students will be running cake sales, a student v teacher table tennis tournament, penalty shoot-out, art attack competition, staff v students rounders match, sweet sales on Sports Day (Wed 7th July) plus an open mic night and splat the teacher. To purchase extra cakes or treats, or to join in events or have more than one go, students will need cash in small change as there is a suggested voluntary contribution of 50p.
The week is set to be amazing so we hope to see lots of students getting involved with what the RAG week committee have planned!
For more information, please see this assembly video from Mr Potter where he talks through the whole week
Many thanks and don’t forget to buy your wristband early!
Mr Potter, Mrs Lister and the RAG Week Committee

15th June: Year 11 Covid-1 Update

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Update
Following the recent government announcement of the extension of phase 3 of lockdown to the 19th July, coupled with the fact that Bracknell Forest has seen an increase in Covid cases we are writing to let you know the impact on Year 11 events.
This morning I have spent over an hour on a call with Public Health England the Local Authority and Bracknell Forest Headteachers and we have all been given very specific guidance for the rest of this half-term. As a result it is with a heavy heart that we are having to cancel the Prom scheduled for Tuesday 6th July along with the final Assembly on Monday 5th July and Post 16 Transition Days on-site.
We are looking into the possibility of rescheduling the Prom for September but I would not want to make any guarantees surrounding this but we will of course let you know if we can. The final Assembly and Post 16 Transition will now be virtual events and more detail will follow regarding both of these.
I know just how disappointing the news is for students, parents and staff but hope you can appreciate that decisions such as these have been taken out of our hands. I would like to thank you for your understanding and support.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

15th June: Year 6 Transition to Secondary School / Covid-1 Update

Dear Parents/Carers
Transition to Secondary School / Covid-19 Update
Following the recent government announcement of the extension of phase 3 of lockdown to the 19th July, coupled with the fact that Bracknell Forest has seen an increase in Covid cases, we are writing to let you know the impact on Year 6 Transition and associated events.
Following a meeting this morning with Public Health England, the Local Authority and Bracknell Forest Headteachers, we have all been given very specific guidance for the rest of this half-term. As a result it is with a very heavy heart that we are having to cancel the two Transition Days scheduled for Wednesday 30th June and Thursday 1st July along with the Parent Information Evenings on the same respective evenings.
We are already looking into and discussing the best way to support all Year 6 students due to join us in September. We ran a very successful virtual transition last year and are hoping to replicate aspects of this as well as making further improvements where we can – some of these events will be virtual.
We will communicate further in due course about all of these plans, including dates and times of any virtual events. We totally understand that this situation is not ideal but we will continue to work in the most effective way in order to support all Year 6s with their Transition to secondary school, and to us in September.
Tutor Group/House Allocation: It is our intention to allocate students and share this information with you by early July.
For now, here are some things that will be coming your way:
● Transition Website: full of information, student challenges, videos and FAQ section – more details to follow and the link will be shared with you
● Dedicated email address for all Transition questions: transition@brakenhale.co.uk this is not yet live, more details to follow – the website should be your first point of contact to answer any questions, before emailing
● Virtual meeting opportunities: these are being discussed but will provide you with opportunities to ‘see and hear’ from key staff and an opportunity to understand the process when September arrives
I know just how disappointing the news is for yourselves and your son/daughter, but hope you can appreciate that decisions such as these have been taken out of our hands. Please be reassured that transition plans are fully in my mind and we will keep you updated as soon as we can. I would like to thank you for your understanding, patience and support.
Kind regards
Mr B Coley, Assistant Headteacher

15th June: September School Lockers - limited availability

Dear Parents/Carers
September School Lockers – limited availability
This is just a reminder that lockers are now available to reserve on ParentPay for the new academic year at a cost of £18.
We currently have a very limited number of lockers left for reservation so we would recommend securing one as soon as possible (if you haven’t done so already) to avoid disappointment.
Kind Regards,
School Office

15th June: Year 8 Parents' Evening - 17.6.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 8 Parents Evening – Thursday 17th June
We have sent a link to access your Parents Evening appointments. This has been sent via the Parents Evening System software from Schoolcloud email address noreply@schoolcloud.co.uk
The title is “Reminder: Your appointments for Year 8 Parents Evening”
If you have appointments booked and have not received the link, please call 01344 423041 after first checking your spam/junk email.
We would highly recommend you click the link to ensure you can access the appointments system as soon as possible. Please also see attached guidance sheet.
Although optional, it would be good if your child could join you for the appointments as the teaching staff like to share feedback and expectations for learning.
Please note if you have any issues with accessing your appointments, do not hesitate to contact the teaching staff direct and they will update you with feedback on your child.
Kind regards
School Office

14th June: Year 10 Pre Public Exams

Dear Students
Year 10 Pre Public Exams
This is a reminder that your Pre Public Exams start on Monday 21st June. All students must have their Tools for Learning, including a calculator, compass and protractor.
The timetable has been sent out.
Kind regards
The Exams Team

14th June: Mobile Phone Procedure - Year 12

Dear Parents/Carers
Mobile Phone Procedure
We would like to advise that the mobile phone procedure has been altered today for Years 7-11. The main changes to be aware of are:
· Confiscated phones will be collected by parents on every occasion and devices will never be returned to the student directly.
· We will be tightening up confiscations of phone usage with regards to before and after school, walking to the school gate, in-lesson usage etc.
We are asking Year 12 as the most senior year group in the school to model the behaviour that we expect in the lower year groups.
Mobile phone usage for Year 12 is permitted in lessons (when the teacher allows) and the Sixth Form area only. We do not expect to see Year 12 students using devices in corridors and in public places.
We would really like to treat Year 12 as adults with this and would ask for their support and cooperation, as we do not want to enact the same procedure of parental collection of devices for them as we do for the younger year groups. However, if we do see Year 12 students not setting the correct example that we are asking for, this unfortunately will need to happen. We will of course monitor this over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for your support and cooperation with this.
Kind regards
Mr P McKane, Head of Year 7

11th June: Covid-19 Surge Testing

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Surge Testing
We have been advised that we will be part of the surge testing programme starting across the borough next week. We have not been given full details as yet but will keep you advised as we receive information.
https://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/node/8593
Kind regards
School Office

11th June: Free Online Maths Summer Club

Dear Parents/Carers
A free online maths summer club for your child
We have a fantastic opportunity to share with you.
Eedi has offered all Year 5 to Year 9 families free access to Eedi Summer Club, an online maths summer program 100% free of charge that will help to boost your child’s confidence in maths so it’s sky high for the new school year.
Your child will first do a quick placement quiz to set their work and then get recommended topics that’ll help them improve the most over 7 weeks. Your child will get unlimited access to review questions, videos and live chat support with real teachers over the holidays. You’ll also get weekly reports on how they’re doing.
The minimum recommended work is 1 lesson a week, which should be around 30 minutes of work.
Each week, Eedi will hold competitions to boost motivation and engagement – from who’s given the most thoughtful explanation to a problem to what team has the highest amount of points… Plus there are real prizes up for grabs!
Signup deadline: June 14th (Get Eedi Summer Club for free until this date)
Summer Club Starts: July 5th
Summer Club Ends: August 23rd
If you want to get started using Eedi before the summer club starts, you are more than welcome to! Eedi normally offers just a 14 day free trial, but now you can use it throughout summer for free.
To get the offer, sign up on this link and create a parent account and get the offer automatically applied.
If you have any questions, please contact family@eedi.co.uk directly.
Kind regards
Mrs Masson, Head of Maths and Economics

10th June: Keeping Hydrated

Dear Parents/Carers
Keeping Hydrated
As the temperatures rise, we would like to remind students how important it is to keep hydrated during the day and to drink plenty of water. Refillable water bottles should be brought into school.
Students should be reminded that fizzy drinks are not permitted in school.
Kind regards
School Office

9th June: Year 11 Leavers' Assembly

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Leavers Assembly
Following previous correspondence, we are pleased to confirm that the Year 11 Leavers Assembly will take place on Monday 5th July at 9.30am.
Please note that due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in the local area, it may be necessary to cancel the event and change to a virtual event. However, we hope that this is not the case and we are able to see all students back on the 5th!
Kind regards
School Office

9th June: School Nurse Drop-in Service

Dear Parents/Carers
I am very pleased to announce that we will have a School Nurse visiting Brakenhale and running a Drop-In Service for students on the following dates:
Monday 14th June
Monday 28th June
Monday 12th July
All during lunchtime, in Intervention Room 3.
Students can just drop in to visit the Nurse during their lunch break. No appointments needed.
Please can I ask that you all mention this to students during tutor time; in particular any that you feel may benefit from this service.
The SN will offer information, guidance and support on issues such as general health, alcohol and substance misuse, healthy eating, smoking cessation, relationships, sexual health, and emotional wellbeing as appropriate.
(Drop-in will not administer any contraception or carry out STI or pregnancy testing).
Thank-you
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider

9th June: Year 9 PSHE Programme

Dear Parents/Carers
PSHE Programme
Our PSHE programme encompasses worldwide issues and taboo subjects at times to give our students a broad informed curriculum. This week’s session does include the topic of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and breast ironing which although (not huge issues locally in Bracknell) are issue being faced unfortunately in the UK today.
If you would like further support on these topics please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you
Ms H Ioannidis, Head of Vocational & Alternative Curriculum/PSHE lead

9th June: Summer Uniform

Dear Parents/Carers
Summer Uniform
As the temperatures are rising, we would like to confirm that students have been given permission to remove their blazers and ties today. This will continue for the remainder of this week but will be reviewed on a week by week basis.
Kind regards
School Office

8th June: September 2021 Lockers

Dear Parents/Carers
September 2021 Lockers
September 2021 Lockers are now available on ParentPay for £18.
There are a limited number available, so we would recommend reserving one as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Kind regards
School Office

8th June: Updated Mobile Devices Procedure

Dear Parents/Carers
Mobile Phone Procedure
In an effort to eliminate distractions, thwart bad habits and minimise incidences of cyber-bullying we have a zero-tolerance approach to mobile phones and other electronic devices being used on the Brakenhale school site. To ensure that there are less instances of mobile phone confiscation our mobile phone procedure will be amended from Monday 14th June.
If a student is seen on their device, it will be confiscated by staff, with the expectation that the device is handed over to the member of staff first time, every time. However, we will be updating our confiscation procedure to the following:


Device confiscation will take place if the device is seen or heard by any member of staff whilst on the school site. This includes before and after school, within the school gates. We expect devices to be switched off and kept in school bags and not in blazer pockets.
If a mobile device is seen or heard:
● Device is confiscated and taken to the Head of Year office to be stored in a secure safe.
● A D15 sanction is set, and the behaviour is logged.
● The parent of the student is contacted, and the mobile phone is only handed over to a parent or named contact at the end of the day and not the student, once the D15 has been sat by the student. The device will be returned to the parent by the Head of Year, Assistant Head of Year or by a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
– If the parent is unable to collect the device at the end of the day, the school will keep it securely locked in the safe until a collection can be arranged.
In the rare circumstance that a student refuses to hand over device to a member of staff:
● Students will be sanctioned in line with the Brakenhale Behaviour Code, which will include time spent in Internal Exclusion or Fixed Term Exclusions for persistent refusal to comply with the school rules.
● The Head of Year will insist that the device be handed in to the Head of Year office each morning going forward to prevent any further incidents taking place again.


The purpose of this adjustment is not to inconvenience you or target individuals, but to ensure the safety and efficiency of our community and all learners education. It is also to promote a “get it right first time” culture amongst the students, to ensure students are not losing valuable learning time due to device misuse, and to help students make the right choices and avoid sanctions.
This updated procedures will come into effect on Monday 14th June 2021. We believe that this will give everyone involved in this change time to adapt. Staff will be discussing these changes with students in assembly and tutor time on the week beginning Monday 7th June. We would appreciate this procedure being discussed at home before it comes into place, and if you or they have any queries please direct them to their Head of Year.
As with any change, we appreciate that you may have questions about some of the finer details of this updated procedure. Please see an included “Frequently Asked Questions” section that will likely answer any questions you may have. Should you have any further questions, queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
As always, we thank you for your continued support.
Kind regards
Mr P McKane, Head Head of Year 7 and Miss H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

FAQ

Why has the older procedure (Step 1, 2, 3 and 4) been replaced with a new, streamlined procedure?
The main purpose is to ensure that a culture of “get it right first time” is present in the school with regards to mobile phones. There is no need for a student to have their mobile phone switched on during the school day. We would rather take a proactive approach that eliminates the likelihood of devices being used rather than a reactive approach that accidentally may encourage students to “take their chances” and use their device.

In addition, an escalation system of multiple steps is a very large administration task to get right and increases the likelihood of inconsistencies occurring in our procedure, meaning that some students can receive unfair treatment compared to their peers. Repeat offenders will be monitored by their Head of Year and additional support and sanctions may be applied in line with the Brakenhale Behaviour Code.

Can my child still bring their device to school?
Yes, if you feel it is essential. We understand that parents may want their child to have a mobile phone on them travelling to and from school for safety reasons. However, all devices should be switched off at the gate and should not be switched back on again until the student has left the school site, via the school gate.
My child likes to use their phone to check the time in lessons, can they do this?
No, we do not believe that this is acceptable. The majority of classrooms already have clocks displayed on the wall and the rest are in the process of being updated to feature one. We expect these all to be in place by September 2021 at the latest. Therefore, we do not believe it is necessary for students to use devices for this purpose.

If a student feels that they need access to the time in all classrooms and there is not a wall clock available, they have two options.  Firstly, members of staff will have access to the time via their teaching computers.  If you do not feel that this is enough, we do allow for a small, analogue, wristwatch within our uniform procedure.

What devices are included under this procedure?
●     All mobile phones, including smartphones that have access to the internet.

●     Smart watches.

●     iPads and other tablet devices.

●     Airpods and other wireless and wired earphones.

●     Any other Mp3 players or audio devices.

My child has had their phone confiscated and I can’t collect the device today. Can you return the device to my child instead please?
We will only return devices to parents and other named contacts on our records. We will keep the device safe and secure in a locked safe until a collection can be arranged.
I have agreed to collect the device tomorrow afternoon, however I do not want my child walking home without a phone today after school. What can I do?
We have a small number of loan phones in stock in school that we can lend to students under emergency circumstances, similar to how we can lend uniform items and tools for learning. Your child can borrow one of these devices, record any important mobile phone numbers down and the mobile number of the borrowed phone will be communicated to you.

However please note:

●     Your child will accept responsibility for this loan phone and will be liable for any damage or the loss of this phone.

●     Loan phones must be returned the following day.

●     Students must pay back any used credit on the borrowed loan phone.

●     We have a limited stock of these loan phone and therefore we would encourage you to have a back-up plan in case we are unable to offer a loan phone.

My child really struggles to resist temptation to not go on their phone. Is there anything you can do to support them with this?
Yes of course, we will offer a “Digital Drop Off” service for all students. Any student that wishes to drop their phone off to the Head of Year office for any period of time, will have their phone stored securely in the safe until they wish to have it back.

We are more than happy to offer this service to students who feel it will benefit them. It may be a good idea to use this on a daily basis or perhaps for a few days before an important exam or test coming up, to avoid distractions.

My child has told me that some teachers and staff use their phones around the school site. How is this fair?
We understand where you are coming from, however we would gently remind you that the rules for staff and students are not the same.

Whilst staff are not permitted to use phones for personal reasons such as social media in communal areas across the school, many staff members use their phones to communicate with one another to ensure the smooth running and organisation of the school.

My child likes to contact me during the school day via their mobile phone? Can they still do this?
No, we do not believe this is acceptable.

It is essential we avoid a culture of students hiding in the toilets and contacting home themselves whenever they have a problem. We believe this is counterproductive to the child as well as parents. As a school, it is important that we are aware of any such problems and that we have full knowledge to deal with it appropriately. The school will of course contact home when it is deemed necessary.

If you wish to contact your child throughout the day, we respectfully ask that you do so via the Main Reception.

As a parent, what can I expect of Brakenhale School when implementing this updated procedure?
You can expect the following from the school:

●     All staff will be aware of the updated procedure and will apply the procedure as consistently as possible across the whole school.

●     Students will receive regular reminders of the updated procedure via staff, as well as updated signage across the school.

●     All confiscated electronic devices will be treated with the utmost care and will be securely looked after.

●     Between now and the beginning of the next academic year, all classrooms will be updated to feature a wall clock (many already have one) for students to be able to access the time and to avoid the need to use their phones to check.

●     A “Digital Drop Off” service will be offered to support students who struggle to avoid temptation of using their devices during the school day.

As a parent, what does Brakenhale School ask of me in order to support the school with the mobile phone procedure?
We respectfully ask that:

●     Parents do not contact their child via their mobile phone during the school day and all messages and communication takes place via reception.

●     Parents support the school ethos and reiterate the school’s expectations at home.

●     Parents purchase a wristwatch or similar device (not smart watch) to reduce the temptation of looking at their phone for the time

7th June: School Lockers

Dear Parents/Carers
School Lockers
We will be releasing a new payment item on ParentPay tomorrow evening at 5pm to enable you to reserve a Locker from this September for the new academic year.
Lockers are £18 each. Once allocated, you will be informed as to whether your child has been allocated a locker that requires a padlock or whether they have been assigned a locker with an integrated lock system.
If you have children who are siblings at the school, we would like to make you aware that siblings should share a locker. Unfortunately, if you purchase a locker for more than one child, we will have to refund one due to having limited availability of lockers. Please fill out the form below if you require a shared locker and we will try to accommodate a larger locker.
Sibling locker request form
Kind regards
School Office

7th June: PE After-School Club Cancellations - 10/17 June

Dear Parents/Carers
PE After School Clubs – CANCELLATIONS – Thursday, 10th June and Thursday, 17th June
Please note that there will be no PE after-school clubs running on Thursday 10th June and Thursday 17th June, due to the Year 7 and Year 8 Parents Evenings.
Kind regards
The PE office

6th June: Covid-19 LFT Testing

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 LFT Testing
I hope you have had a lovely half term enjoying the sunshine and spending time with friends and family.
I am sure you are aware that there has been an increase in Covid cases in the Bracknell/Reading/ Wokingham areas and some people are now having to surge test. We have had 2 Indian variant cases identified in our students. Therefore, please can I ask that you all do your LFT testing tonight so we can be as sure as possible that we are not bringing Covid into the site tomorrow.
Many thanks for your support, I looking forward to seeing all students back tomorrow.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

4th June: Week Commencing 7th June - Week B

Good afternoon
Just a reminder week commencing Monday 7th June will be Week B.
Please remember – students will only be able to enter/exit via the Rectory Lane gates.
Kind regards
School Office

28th May: Year 10 - Fitness Suite

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Year 10 – Fitness Suite
In a bid to support the physical and mental well-being of students in Year 10 as we go into Half Term 6, I would like to draw your attention to a specific opportunity we are offering Year 10 students.
With Period 6 lessons starting, the focus now more than ever will be on students’ academic studies.
In core PE, students will be actively engaged in their lessons, which will enable them to let off some steam, be physically active and take some time away from the classroom which is vital to actually support and improve academic study. It is vital that they pack and bring their Brakenhale PE kit as our curricular standards must remain high for all students.
On top of this, the PE department will be opening the Fitness Suite on a Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm to 5pm to give students another avenue of physical activity and outlet away from academic life.
The Fitness Suite has been hugely popular with upper schools students and being able to offer this and have it open for students to finish the day with a work out is something we feel will hugely benefit them.
Students do not need to book in as it will be staffed, they just need to bring their kit, change after Period 6 and come and join Mr Potter on a Tuesday and Mr Maye on a Thursday. All we ask is that students let parents know they will be attending and that they bring their Brakenhale PE kit to wear.
Many thanks and myself and Mr Maye look forward to seeing students in the gym.
Kind regards
Mr Potter, Head of PE

28th May: PE Extra-Curricular Activities HT6

Good morning
PE Extra-Curricular Activities HT6
Please see our website https://brakenhale.co.uk/pastoral-support/clubs-and-activities/ for the half-term 5 PE Extra-Curricular Activities timetable.
Kind regards
School Office

27th May: Year 10 Pre-Public Exams (PPEs)

Dear Parents/Carers and Students,
Pre Public Exams (PPE)
Year 10 will be sitting their first round of Pre Public Exams (PPE) the week commencing Monday 21st June. Students will be sitting all written papers in the Sports Hall, Access students will be advised of their location nearer the time.
These will be run under full exam conditions with Exam Board Rules and Regulations applying at all times. We will be holding an exam assembly to fully brief all students on the expectations of the week.
Due to Covid, the importance of internal exams has never been more significant. Students should be using their revision aides and speaking to their subject teachers in order that they are fully prepared for these key exams.
Attached is a copy of the timetable for the week. Students will receive an individual timetable shortly.
Kind regards,
Sarah Seymour, Exams Manager

27th May: Student Access to School

Dear Parents/Carers
Student Access to School
We would like to advise that following completion of the main entrance to the school site, after half-term we will be trialling the use of a single entrance/exit to the school via Rectory Lane. This will mean that the Coningsby gates will be permanently closed and students will no longer be able to use this entrance. There are 2 pedestrian access gates one either side of the main gate, both with clear footpaths down to the main building and with pedestrian crossings which students should use and not walk through the car park. We would also ask that students do not arrive at school before 8.15am when we will open the gates next to reception into the main area of the school.
If students attend official breakfast club arrival is via main reception between 7.40 and 8am where they will sign in with Mrs McCay.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

27th May: Tools for Learning - KS3 Art Books

Dear Parents/Carers
Tools for Learning – KS3 Art Books
If you have purchased Tools for Learning via ParentPay, these are now available to collect from Main Reception if you haven’t done so already.
All students will be required to purchase a KS3 Art Book as they are school branded and not available anywhere else. These are available to purchase online for £1.
Kind regards
School Office

25th May: Sixth Form Bridging Courses

Dear Parents/Carers,
Year 11s have worked incredibly hard and have successfully completed their GCSE exams. In order to ensure the transition period between year 11 and year 12 is a smooth as possible, students are being asked to engage in home learning between the week of June 7th 2021 and July 12th 2021. Students will be assigned a weekly hour-long task for each subject they take. There will then be an exit ticket and/or research task associated with each task. The content of these tasks will cover content that could not be covered, or covered in usual depth, over disrupted lessons in the last 15 months, and/or consolidate content which is relevant and expected base knowledge so that students can start the course in September with confidence.
Please find attached, the letter which was sent to all year 11 students outlining the school’s expectations. If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to send an email to sixthform@brakenhale.co.uk
Dear Year 11,
I hope you have been enjoying your time off and taking a well-deserved break after completing all your exams. That being said, Sixth Form Transition Days are right around the corner. You should have already received communication concerning this event. Along with getting a feel for what your lessons will be like, your teachers will be explaining their expectations of you as you bridge the gap between year 11 and year 12.
As you have missed so much learning time over the past year, and because you will not be in a classroom for another 3 months, it is imperative that subject learning be continuing over the summer term. Each of your teachers will be adding you to a Google Classroom in the coming weeks. Between the week of June 7th 2021 and July 12th 2021, you will be assigned a weekly hour-long task for each subject you take. There will then be an exit ticket and/or research task for you to complete and hand in at the end of the week. For each task, your teachers will provide brief feedback by assigning you a number. The number system will be allocated as follows:
• 1- Completed Nothing
• 2- Completed, but with minimal effort
• 3- Completed to a good standard
• 4- Completed to an excellent standard
In the last week of term, your teachers will input an overall grade (1-4) for the quality of work you have completed over the 6-week period. The average number you are assigned by your teachers will then correspond to where you start off on your privilege pass (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum). More information regarding privilege passes are to follow. In short, the more effort you put in over the summer term, the more freedom you will have in Sixth Form at the start of September.
If you have any questions, feel free to email sixthform@brakenhale.co.uk
We are looking forward to welcoming you into our Sixth Form community.
Kind regards,
Miss C Loj, Assisstant Head of Sixth Form

24th May: Year 10 Raising Standards

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 10 Raising Standards
We would like to share with you some incredibly important changes to your child’s school day in terms of timings, please could you take the time to watch this video which explains in more detail the changes. The new timings will be effective from Monday 7th June, for the remainder of Year 10 and throughout Year 11.
· The start of the school day will move to the earlier time of 8:25, when students will need to line up in the playground. This is so that students spend a full 30 minutes in their Turbo Tutorial with subject specialists.
· The end of school day will move to the later time of 4pm, due to the extra Period Six which we are providing for every year 10 student.
We have been impressed by Year 10’s return to school since the last national lockdown and are keen to match their dedication and maturity to their studies. As the video explains, we are putting in place a support package to match this dedication, to help every single student fulfil their potential. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with rlister@brakenhale.co.uk.
We look forward to working with you and your child for the best possible outcomes at GCSE and beyond.
Best wishes
Mrs R Lister, Assistant Headteacher – Raising Standards

24th May: New Year 7 Asthma and Allergies Action Plans

Dear Parents/Carers
Asthma and allergies action plans
If you indicated on your admissions form that your child has asthma or an allergy, please can we ask that you complete the relevant forms sent home and return either by email to myself, or in person to main reception, before the term starts in September.
If your child has asthma, or an allergy that requires an Auto Adrenaline Injector, it is school policy that they must carry their inhaler and/or injector on their person at all times. We do hold an emergency use inhaler & injector in the school medical room.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider
fcarrjones@brakenhale.co.uk

21st May: Year 9 Immunisations

Dear Parents and Carers
Year 9 Immunisations
There has been a slight change to the Year 9 Immunisations being held in school next week.
There will now be no clinic on Thursday; all immunisations will be carried out on Friday, 28th May.
If the School Immunisation Team are unable to vaccinate every child due to timings, the children that missed theirs will be offered their vaccinations at school in July.
Kind regards
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider

20th May: Year 8 Virtual Parents' Evening - 17.6.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 8 Virtual Parents’ Evening – Thursday 17th June 2021
We would like to invite you to the Year 8 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 17th June 2021 from 4pm to 8pm. 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. Due to capacity, you will only be permitted to book a maximum of eight appointment slots.
Please click on the link below to book your appointments.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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 appointments are booked as soon as possible. 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 appointments, 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/guardian 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.
Regards,
Miss Turner, Head of Year 8

20th May: Year 11 End of Term

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 End of Term
We have made the decision that today will be Year 11’s last formal day of lessons. Students who have outstanding work to complete will be required to attend school and their teachers will make parents aware if this is the case.
This decision has been taken as virtually all students have now completed their examination assessments and relevant classwork.
We will be holding a final celebration assembly for Year 11 on Monday 5th July and we very much hope we will see them all there, full details will follow.
We have been preparing many lessons and resources to ensure that students start Year 12 strongly and details regarding how to access these will be shared early next week.
Thank you for all your support across this very challenging time.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

19th May: Year 7 Virtual Parents' Evening - 10.6.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 Virtual Parents’ Evening – Thursday 10th June 2021
We would like to invite you to the Year 7 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 10th June 2021 from 4pm to 8pm. 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. Due to capacity, you will only be permitted to book a maximum of eight appointment slots.
Please click on the link below to book your appointments.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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. 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/guardian 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.
Regards,
Mr McKane, Head of Year 7

19th May: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Dear Parents/Carers
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
I am writing to you to make you aware of a focus we are having this week on educating students around hate crimes with a particular focus on racism.
Unfortunately it has been brought to my attention that a small number of students have been using language and imagery related to racism that is deeply offensive. On Monday all students in Year 7, 8 and 9 had an assembly hosted by myself and PC Gregory to explain to them exactly what a hate crime was and where racism fits into this. The assembly was recorded and played to all students in year 10 and 11 this morning.
Students have been categorically told that referring to other students using racist terminology will never be tolerated and excuses such as ‘it was a joke’ ‘I didn’t know what it meant’ ‘it just fell out of my mouth’ ‘I wasn’t directing it at so and so’ are not acceptable responses.
They were also spoken to about imagery. It is well known in society, particularly highlighted by the behaviour of some football fans which has been very well publicised, that noises imitating monkeys and images of monkeys are used as racist abuse. Therefore, to use such imagery or to imitate the noises made by monkeys is highly likely to be seen as racist unless it is 100% in context, as in during a biology lesson where these animals are being studied.
It is also not acceptable to claim that the person that the abuse was levelled at didn’t take offence or didn’t mind. Or that someone from the same ethnic group was asked and they said they wouldn’t care if they were treated in a certain manner that is under scrutiny. This is never an excuse. Just because one person may not be offended it doesn’t mean that other members of the community who witness such behaviour are not.
Other discrimination linked to religion, sexuality and disability were also discussed and this is seen as equally abhorrent.
As a school we have a zero tolerance policy and attitude to any form of discrimination and students who behave in this way will face serious consequences including exclusions. In addition to this I absolutely recognise the role that education plays, therefore, students who are sanctioned for racist behaviour will also be required to undergo a programme of learning put together by Mr Vegh, our lead on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. In addition, there will also be referrals made to the police and/or youth offending teams.
I am aware that these can be very sensitive and difficult issues to discuss and if any parent would like some support in tackling these issues at home please do not hesitate to contact me. We are very happy to provide you with resources, for example, similar to the one that we sent out on Friday in addition to face-to-face meetings. We will be continuing our programme of education within the school and we are planning for a range of speakers to come in to discuss the issue of race and discrimination with all of our students.
We absolutely need to work together to end all forms of discrimination and this cannot be solely the responsibility of the school. As a parent I know the influence that my views have on my children and therefore, your help as parents is very much needed. I want to ensure that we work together to educate the young people of our community to treat everybody as equals both in our language and our actions at all times.
I am proud of the community that we have established at Brakenhale and discrimination has no part in it. I would ask you to make sure that your child is very clear about this in order to ensure that they are fully signed up to our values of respect, kindness and gratitude which are integral to being and remaining part of #teambrakenhale.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

19th May: OxWell Student Survey

Dear Parents/Carers
OxWell Student Survey
Our school has signed up to take part in the ‘OxWell Student Survey’, which aims to help schools to support their pupils’ mental wellbeing.
Please read through the information letter for parents sent home, and for more information about the OxWell project see the research team’s webpage (https://www.psych.ox.ac.uk/research/schoolmentalhealth)
All students will be invited to complete the survey unless you contact the school to opt-out your child. If you do not want your child to take part in the survey, please notify the school by emailing me by Monday 24th May.
Kind regards
Mrs R Lister, Assistant Headteacher – Raising Standards
rlister@brakenhale.co.uk

17th May: Year 11 School Prom - 6.7.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Subject Year 11 School Prom Tuesday 6th July 2021
The finale of the school year for Year 11 will be the school leavers Prom, which is taking place at Easthampstead Park Conference Centre, Off Peacock Lane, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3DF on Tuesday 6th July 2021. Arrival will be from 7.00pm and disco will finish at 11pm.
We hope to make this ‘an evening to remember’. Formal dress is required.
Please note that parents will be responsible for ensuring that students reach the venue safely and have suitable transport arrangements for getting home. School staff will be present at the Prom during the evening. Students will not be allowed to consume alcohol whilst at the Prom, parents will be asked to pick up a student if they are suspected of having consumed alcohol.
The total cost of the event will be £35.00, which includes the venue, a non- alcoholic, welcome drink, a hot and cold finger food buffet, on site security.
There is a non-alcoholic bar for students to purchase drinks at bar prices. Water will be available throughout the night.
By attending Prom, your child agrees to represent the school in an appropriate and positive manner within the community. Therefore, we expect that their conduct allow them to celebrate their five years at Brakenhale in a fitting manner.
Kind regards
Mrs Lynda Theal
ltheal@brakenhale.co.uk

17th May: Year 12 Update

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 12 Update
I am writing to make you aware of a couple of things coming up with Year 12:
The first is that we are intending to return to our Privilege Pass system after half term. This means that students’ free time in school is going to be governed by their Attitude to Learning and Homework grades as outlined at the start of the year. We will be returning to the ‘normal’ school day, with tutor commencing at 8:40 each day, which students are expected to attend (unless their Privilege Pass allows them not to). Students will know what level of Privilege Pass they have been given after half term; I just wanted to let you know this now so that it wasn’t a surprise when it comes.
The other is our upcoming PPEs (mock exams), which will begin on Monday 21st June. Students will not be required in lessons Monday 21st – Friday 25th June, allowing them some time to study for their PPEs. Students will need to pass these assessments to at least an ‘E’ grade to carry on with courses into Year 13. This is to ensure that they will be able to cope with the Year 13 content, as it builds on the content covered at Year 12; if a student has not passed Year 12 to at least an ‘E’ grade it is very unlikely that they will achieve a grade in Year 13. Should this be the case we will work with individuals to ensure that we have a credible plan in place for that student. If you could encourage students to prepare for these assessments as best they can when we get closer to them that would be great.
Thank you for your continued support, and if you do have any questions please do let me know.
Kind regards
Mr J Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

14th May: Home Resources

Dear Parents/Carers
Home Resource
After recent events, we feel that we need to uphold our high expectations of anti-racist behaviour and have updated our anti-racist home resource to reflect concerns over the issue of images being circulated which have caused offence to members of our community. Please refer to slides 2-4 of the powerpoint sent home for the update.
We will be working with the community to continue to educate and inform all members of Brakenhale.
Kind regards
Ms H Ioannidis, Media, Criminology and Travel & Tourism Teacher
Sixth Form Tutor – 16A, Head of Vocational & Alternative Curriculum/PSHE lead

14th May: Ofqual Guidance Year 11 and 13

Dear Students, Parents and Carers
Ofqual Guidance – Year 11 and Year 13
Ofqual has published a guide on how GCSE’s, A-Levels, Vocational and Technical Qualifications will be graded and awarded this Summer.
This has been uploaded to the school website and a copy is attached.
Kind regards
Sarah Seymour, Exams Officer

13th May: Rectory Lane Car Park

Dear Parents/Carers
Rectory Lane Car Park
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that our Rectory Lane car park is open and has space to drop off and pick up students. Please use this facility rather than the roads close to school as our neighbours have been very patient whilst the school build took place and we would now like to reduce the cars parked in the area.
Kind regards
School Office

13th May: Sparx Homework Help - Year 7 and 8

Dear Parents/Carers,
Sparx homework help
We are writing to you as we have had an increase in the number of students who are struggling to complete their Homework on time.
We would like to remind you that homework is set at 8am on Fridays and due in at 3pm the following Thursday.
Sparx homework is a vital part of the student learning process as it helps to reaffirm what has been taught in lessons and helps to retain the information within their long term memory through repeated exposure to the content.
We would like to encourage students to start the homework as early as possible to enable teachers to help the students. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in students leaving it until the final evening before it is due which does not allow sufficient time to be able to support the student as needed and may result in a detention being given for non-completion.
Please let me take this opportunity to remind you that every Tuesday after school we hold a Sparx homework club in B14, where students will benefit from the support of two staff members. If a student is unable to attend they may contact me directly at dturner@brakenhale.co.uk to arrange a suitable time for a support session.

Hegarty and Sparx Maths Homework Club
If you are in need of a quiet place to get your homework done or require extra help from your teachers, please pop along…
When: Every Tuesday – 3.05pm to 4pm
Where: B14
Who: Year 7 and 8

13th May: New Year 7 Information

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 Information
In our Year 7 Information booklet you will find all the general school information. You will be able to find our school uniform list, as advised previously if you would like to order and use the deliver to school option, we will be happy to advise when it is received and ready for your collection.
Our Tools for Learning items have been added to your ParentPay items, if you have paid for these items and wish to come in to collect, please email admissions@brakenhale.co.uk to arrange collection,. Alternatively, they can be collected on Induction Days or when your child starts with us in September.
Main Reception is open from 8am to 4pm (Mon-Fri).
Kind regards
School Office

12th May: Update - Face Coverings in Education

Dear Parents/Carers
Face coverings in education
As part of the government’s move to Step 3 of the roadmap, from Monday 17th May, new advice applies to the use of face coverings by students and staff in schools and further education in England. The guidance on face coverings has been updated to reflect the government advice.
As a result face coverings will no longer be recommended for students and staff in classrooms or communal areas, in school.
Please be aware the reintroduction of face coverings for students or staff may be advised for a temporary period in response to any particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern.
If your child feels uncomfortable not wearing a face mask, we will be happy for them to continue to do so.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

12th May: Year 7 Language Switch

Dear Parents/Carers
I am writing to you regarding the opportunity for your child to choose their preferred language on the week commencing the 17th May.
Students have been fortunate enough to experience both French and Spanish this year, with the switch taking place at the end of Spring Half Term One.
When students are making their choice, I would recommend they consider their results, as well as the language they most enjoy.
If your child is struggling to decide, please direct them to their class teacher – we are very happy to support them with their decision.
Kind regards
Mrs Hughes, Head of Modern Foreign Languages

10th May: Year 7 Combined Cadet Force CCF Insight Event

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Insight Event
We would like to invite your child to take part in a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) insight Afternoon.
This will be held on Thursday 27th May 2021 between the hours of 14:00 – 16:00
This will require your student coming out of their period 5 lesson and also staying after school until 16:00 as detailed above.
The reason we are running this CCF insight afternoon is due to the large interest we have had from the Year 7 students about joining the CCF in Year 8.
We will have a limited number of spaces for students to join the CCF at the start of Year 8, this being a maximum of 30 places.
We feel by holding this insight afternoon it will give the students a better understanding of what the CCF is about and also the commitment needed before they apply to join the schools CCF.
The insight Afternoon will consist of 4 activities for students to take part in, giving a real feel for what the cadet force experience is all about. This will include them applying camouflage cream to their faces (All camo cream is 100% suitable for students to apply even with skin conditions as this is army issued and fully tested by the army)
At the end of the insight afternoon we will be handing out the application forms. The students will be required to fill this in and return it to main reception by FRIDAY 11th JUNE 2021.
The CCF instructors will then read each application form and short list students. If we have over the 30 spaces applied for, the instructors will then hold 1:1 meetings with the shortlisted students.
Following the 1:1 meetings 30 students will be selected to join the CCF, the other students will be placed on a waiting list.
We would like to make parents/carers aware at this early point that if your student is selected to join the schools CCF they will have a trial period for the month of September. From the start of October if they wish to stay and have shown the commitment required then at this point a cadet uniform will be requested from the British Army.
Parents/Carers will also at this point be required to pay the annual fees of £45.00 (This is not refundable if your student was to leave voluntarily). The fees help cover some of the running costs that we accrue throughout the year. The British Army will provide the uniform only for the cadets, this doesn’t include army boots, as a school CCF we can offer to get boots at a discounted rate from a supplier.
We hope that you will also see this insight afternoon as a positive opportunity for your child.
We do require consent for your student to remain after school for this event. We will not be allowing any students to remain after school without this form having been completed for safety reasons.
The form is required to be completed by FRIDAY 21st MAY 2021 any forms submitted after this date will not be accepted very sorry.
Consent Form
Kind Regards
2Lt A Bury, SSI – Brakenhale School CCF
abury@brakenhale.co.uk

7th May: Year 9 Immunisations

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Immunisations
Please see the document sent home which details the vaccines that are now due for Year 9s. The document also contains the link to provide consent for vaccination.
Kind regards
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider

7th May: Year 7 Parents Evening - Thursday 10th June - Save the date

Dear Parents/Carers,
Year 7 Parents Evening – Thursday 6th June
As KS3 English lead, I would like to contact you regarding the up-and-coming Year 7 Parent Evening that will take place on Thursday 10th June, 4-8pm.
[Please note that the Year 7 Parents Evening is not yet open for bookings – we will send out further correspondence in due course.]
I am getting in contact because I am aware that some of our staff members may have more than one Year 7 class. Unfortunately, this may mean that you are unable to secure a slot for that evening. For this reason, I would like to outline what Year 7 have been studying in English and some other key things to note:
What are they studying?
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
We have watched the film to provide pupils with an overview of the text. We are now reading the book and developing our analytical skills.
How long is the scheme of work?
This will take us up until the end of the academic year.
How will pupils be assessed?
Pupils will complete a reading assessment. They will respond analytically to a question. There will be an option to analyse a character or a theme. This assessment will be marked and pupils will be given an opportunity to improve their analytical skills.
Should you have any questions or if you would like further information on how your child is doing in English, please contact your child’s English teacher via email in the first instance. As you may be aware, this is a busy time for us, however, we can phone if need be.
Kind regards,
Mrs Lewis

7th May: Cadet Force Adult Volunteer and Civilian Instructor

Cadet Force Adult Volunteer and Civilian Instructor
Would you like to support in the delivery of an enjoyable cadet experience for students?
Are you passionate about enriching students’ lives?
Can you spare some time to inspire and lead our students?
If you have answered yes to these questions, The Brakenhale School would love to hear from you!
The ambition of Brakenhale’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness and a sense of service to the community. We are a youth organisation within the school that works closely with the MoD and we align our values to those of the British Forces. We build self-disciplined individuals with self-courage and a sense of worth through our Army themed activities. We are looking for Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) and Civilian Instructors to support this provision.
As a volunteer for the Cadet Force, you will instruct cadets in syllabus subjects (training given), support cadet participation in competitions and activities and instil self-belief and a success attitude to our cadets. We are looking for highly motivating and inspiring cadet volunteers with a passion for developing our cadets to be the best they can be.
Job Specifics:
Start Date: ASAP
Salary: Voluntary commitment, however CFAVs can claim a day rate for weekend/holiday activities and training courses.
Job Role: Tuesday 15:00 – 17:30 term time only (You may also be required to attend the training courses as available and occasional support on weekends and at the annual camp). You do not have to be available every Tuesday
Role Purpose: The role of the CFAV at The Brakenhale School is a wide and varied role and is regarded as essential in the development and embedding of the CCF in school life and the delivery of an enjoyable cadet experience. For the successful candidate this will provide a challenging and highly rewarding position in a dynamic and busy environment. You will have a chance of being a CFAV Officer or Non-Commissioned Officer. This will be discussed and decided on a later basis, depending on your potential and commitment involved.
Key Areas of Responsibility:
Inspire and lead our cadets to achieve.
Develop cadet’s confidence, self-reliance, initiative and sense of service
Instruct cadets in syllabus subjects, plan and implement the syllabus in line with the Safe System of Training (all training given)
Ensuring safety and security of cadets
Ensuring proper supervision and the good order and discipline of cadets
Promote high standards of turnout and hygiene
Apply the rules for dealing with accidents and emergencies (training available)
Attend personal development courses and opportunities advertised within the Cadet Forces to be the best you can be and inspire others to be so.
Attend and Lead Cadets on Camps, Courses and Interest Visits available in the UK and abroad.
Complete training dependant on level of role – i.e. One week Basic Training Course, pass skill at arms training and weapons handling tests.
If you are interested please get in touch with The Brakenhale School CCF staff instructor 2LT Bury at
abury@brakenhale.co.uk
We look forward in welcoming you to the cadet family
Kind regards
The Brakenhale CCF

6th May: Non-Sporting Extra-Curricular Timetable

Dear Parents/Carers
Non-Sporting Extra-Curricular Timetable
Please find attached our up-to-date Non-Sporting Extra-Curricular Timetable.
Non-sporting Extra Curricular Activities – 06-05-2021
Kind regards
School Office

6th May: School House Ties Year 7 2021

Good morning
School House Ties
We would like to confirm that all students in Year 7 are required to wear a school house tie. We are unable to allocated houses for students until later in the summer term when tutor groups have been agreed. Uniform orders can be made for free delivery to school. Therefore if you wish to order other uniform now and a tie later, we are more than happy to take delivery at school and you can come in to collect from us.
Kind regards
School Office

5th May: New Outdoor Table Tennis Tables

Dear Parents/Carers
NEW Outdoor Table Tennis Tables
As previously communicated, I am now in a position to share with excitement that our NEW Outdoor Table Tennis tables are ready for action!
In total we have 6 table tennis tables available for students to use before school and after school, and during both break and lunch times. We ask that students provide their own equipment, for which bats and balls are readily available from many outlets and online, covering a wide range of quality and price.
From our purchase of the tables, we have available a small number of bats that can be purchased through ParentPay. If your child would like to purchase one we will be offering them at £5.00 each including two table tennis balls; these will be on a first come, first served basis. All of the bats are green in colour, see below. Purchases will be available for collection from Main Reception.
The bats are: Cornilleau Softbat Eco Design Table Tennis Bat
· World’s first eco-design table tennis bat
· Designed for outdoor use
· Waterproof and shock resistant
· Highly durable with a soft touch grip
· Made from recycled clothing
The equivalent cost of these bats on Amazon is around £10.95 each.
We will also be selling table tennis balls, 2 for £1.00 (cash), available from Mrs McCrorie in the LRC.
We very much hope to see many students making use of these new tables giving them the respect and ‘game time’ they deserve for many years to come.
Kind regards
Mr B Coley, Assistant Headteacher

5th May: Heroes Stamp Design Competition

Dear Parents/Carers
Heroes Stamp Design Competition
I’m pleased to inform you that we have registered with Royal Mail to enter their exciting ‘Heroes’ stamp design competition. This is an opportunity to design a stamp to ‘Honour the heroes of this Coronavirus pandemic’. Royal Mail will be producing a set of 8 stamps of the winning entries, which is a fantastic opportunity for you all.
Designs need to be drawn on the template provided, please add colour (NO BLACK & WHITE images are allowed) & ensure that you DO NOT draw the Queens’ silhouette or 1st/2nd on the design. As you will see, these are on the template already & will be added by Royal Mail to the winning designs.
Be creative, think carefully about how you decide to represent the theme of heroes and who your hero is. Be aware that these must be flat designs drawn directly on the template, you can’t copy someone else’s artwork or include collage in your work as the winning designs will be scanned ready for printing.
Please see the attached information from the Royal Mail that all parents should read before students enter the competition.
For printed copies of the template, there are copies available on the noticeboard in the entrance of A02 Art room, or you can print your own from the attached file.
Please hand all completed entries in, to Mrs Faluyi or in the folder attached to the A02 noticeboard, or to your Art teachers by 4pm on Wednesday 26th May.
There will be 3x Culture House Points will be awarded for all entries.
We can’t wait to see all your awesome entries.
Kind regards
Mrs E Faluyi, Art Teacher

4th May: KS3 English Homework

Dear Parents/Carers
KS3 English Homework
As the KS3 English lead, I will be setting homework for years 7, 8 & 9.
English homework will be set on ‘Show My Homework’ every Friday. Students will have a week to complete this.
Homework will have a real focus on developing students’ vocabulary, it will also ensure students have the breadth of language to not only access the text but to explore the key concepts and themes with confidence too. The site will share results with you and will show you what progress your child is making in terms of spelling.
I encourage all students to practise the spellings before taking the test and to look up definitions if they are unsure. This is something you may want to support at home.
All students (and parents) should have log-ins, where this may not be the case, please ask your child’s tutor for assistance in the first place. If you experience any issues with the site, please let me know and I will do my best to rectify any issues that may arise.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Lewis

30th April: Year 11 Prom

Dear Parents and Carers,
Prom date has been confirmed for 6th July. Payment can now be made on Parent pay. The full amount of £35 will need to be paid.
Kind Regards
Mrs L Theal

30th April: Year 9 Vaccinations

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Vaccinations
Please see the document sent home regarding the immunisations that Year 9 students will be receiving when the Immunisation Team next attend the school.
‘This summer term the Berkshire Immunisation Team will be visiting all students in Year 9 and offering vaccines during the same session which include Tetanus, Diptheria and Polio (3 in1 booster); Meningitis ACWY; HPV does 2 (for students who have received does 1 at least 6 months prior).’
Kind regards
School Office

29th April: Rowing Opportunity

Dear Parent/carer
I have been contacted by BRITISH ROWING about a great opportunity for Brakenhale students to get involved in!
Ben Reed is a World Class Start Coach for rowing and is based at the World Class Start Centre in Reading. He has contacted me to try and get students at Brakenhale involved in taking up rowing. With the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge having just happened at Easter, this could be an opportunity for one of our people at Brakenhale to step into a boat and try it out for the first time?
It is a fantastic sport that you can do individually or as part of a team, but being out on the water with the wind in your face and your heart pumping is a brilliant feeling!
Ben is running ‘on the water’ taster sessions over May half term with a view to recruiting onto the Start programme, though absolutely no commitment is required at this stage, it would just be a taster to see how you go. Sessions will run in the mornings during the week at Reading Rowing Club boathouse off Richfield Avenue. The sessions would be free of charge.
The only stipulation that Ben asks is for performer heights to be met – the height criteria of 178cm/5’10 for girls and 188cm/6’2 for boys.
For more information and to book on, please contact Ben here on this email address ben.reed@britishrowing.org
There is no experience needed whatsoever for rowing, anyone can get involved, so please give it a try if you fancy it.
Thank you
Mr Potter, Head of PE

27th April: Second Hand PE Kit for Sale

Thursday 29th April, 6th May, 13th May – 3-4pm

£2 per item / £4 for footwear

PE Building via Coningsby

27th April: 7N Tutor Change

Dear Parents/Carers
7N Tutor Change
At the end of the Spring term, we said goodbye to Mr Kellett as he moves on to the next stage of his career. We are grateful for all of Mr Kellett’s contributions to the Year 7 team and wish him the very best.
However, we are delighted to welcome Mrs McDonagh as the new tutor for 7N. Miss McDonagh is an experienced member of staff at Brakenhale and I am delighted that she is joining the Year 7 team. Miss McDonagh has already begun getting to know her new tutor group and I look forward to seeing 7N go from strength to strength with Miss McDonagh leading the way.
If you have any further questions regarding this change, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mr P McKane

27th April: Home School Communications

Dear Parents/Carers
Home School Communications
We hope that you and your families are all staying safe in the current circumstances.
We would like to advise that all further correspondence will be sent via schoolcomms our home school communication software. We use schoolcomms to send communications and produce online reporting as it is an easier, faster and more effective way for us to communicate with parents/carers.
We will now send a copy of this message via schoolcomms in order that you can check that you are receiving the messages from us.
Please add our email address sc8674000a@schoolcomms.com to your address book.
If you do not receive the message via schoolcomms, please check the following:
· Your “SPAM/JUNK” folders, the email may have gone straight in those folders – if this is the case, you will need to accept us as a “safe sender”. Thereafter, messages should go straight to your INBOX.
· Your email provider’s firewall may be preventing the messages from being received into your mailbox.
We would also encourage all parents to download the “School Gateway” App onto your mobile devices. This will mean that we can share information with you quicker via email, text, online and smartphone app. It will also save you – and the school – time and money.
You will be able to view the following for your son/daughter’s:
· Achievements
· Behaviour
· Attendance
· Lesson timetable
· Your contact details
· School details
· Student details
· Medical conditions
What you need to do now
To activate your School Gateway account is quick and easy to do. All you need are your email address and mobile number that school holds on record for you.
· Download the app: If you have a smartphone, please download School Gateway from your app store (Android and iPhone). The app shows the same information as the website PLUS you can message the school for FREE – this will also save the school money when we send you a text message.
OR
· Visit the website: www.schoolgateway.com and click on ‘New User’. You’ll receive a text message with a PIN number. Use this PIN to log into School Gateway.
Once you have downloaded the Gateway App, we would be grateful if you could check your contact information is correct and advise of any changes/amendments.
If you are having trouble logging in to the App, it may be because the school doesn’t have your current email and mobile phone number on record. Please email us and we will update our system.
We hope that you will find School Gateway a great way to keep up to date with what’s going on at school.
If you have any questions regarding communications, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
School Office

26th April: Important Message from the Headteacher and Chair of Governors

Dear Parents/Carers
Important Message from the Headteacher and Chair of Governors
Please find attached a letter from the Chair of Governors which is important that you all read. The letter formally outlines that I will be moving on from Brakenhale at the end of this term.
This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make as for the past six years the Brakenhale community really has been my life, it has been an honour and a privilege to work with such a wonderful group of young people and their parents alongside some of the very best staff in the profession. For the rest of this term my absolute focus will be on ensuring a smooth and effective transition so that the new Headteacher, once appointed will be able to seamlessly continue with leading the outstanding school that Brakenhale is.
I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support, encouragement and kindness that you have shown me across the last six years. Without this the job would have been a much harder one and I do not believe we would have achieved the transformation of the school that we have. Brakenhale will always hold a very special place in my heart and I look forward to hearing about the amazing things our students will continue to go on and do.
My very best wishes
Jane Coley, Headteacher

26th April: Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May

Good morning
Just a reminder that next Monday 3rd May 2021 is Bank Holiday and therefore no school!
Enjoy a long weekend.
Kind regards
School Office

25th April: Student Covid-19 Lateral Flow Test Kits

Dear Parents/Carers
Student Covid-19 Lateral Flow Test Kits
We are pleased to advise that the new stock of test kits has been delivered.
Students can come and collect a box of 7 tests from outside medical room during break or lunch times.
Test results should be logged on both Test Register and the NHS websites.
https://testregister.co.uk/
https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
Families who wish to test themselves should continue to collect their test packs from the local distribution centres.
https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
Kind regards
School Office

24th April: Social Media

Dear Parents/Carers
Social Media
We would like to bring your attention to issues which are currently trending on social media. We have been informed about these issues by the police and Bracknell Forest Council. However, in light of the National Rape Day, which is being widely discussed this weekend, we thought it important to provide this information to you also, so that you might take whatever steps you deem necessary to safeguard your child.
‘National Rape Day’
Information has been received about a potential national weekend dedicated for sexually assaulting women. This has been named on social media as ‘NATIONAL RAPE DAY’ and is set to be this weekend, 24th-26th April. Many articles have been posted on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitter talking about this day and it being set up by a group named as ‘INCEL’ This is an online community of young men who consider themselves unable to attract women sexually. It is typically associated with views that are hostile towards women and men who are sexually active. The term INCEL stands for “involuntary celibate.”There have been a lot of posts shared on social media about this day and the potential threat posed to women. In addition, threats have been made to people who have been identified as being in support of the trend. It has been suggested that this is nothing more than a hoax but given the social media coverage on this it is quite concerning. Not only are people talking quite widely about what 24th April means but there are also large numbers of videos trending, asking people to ‘out’ followers of the date so they can deal with them. Any search for #April24th on social media will bring up the information that is floating around about this apparent date and young people should be warned to avoid searching for it.
Online Suicide Pacts
Thames Valley Police recently discovered a number of child online chat groups, where peer-to-peer influence increased suicidal ideation amongst the children involved to the extent that several escalated to suicidal crises and serious self-harm. Twelve girls, aged between twelve and sixteen years of age and from across the South of England, were involved in these online forums. After meeting one another online they had created a pact to die by suicide. It then transpired they were members of a wider closed chat group on Instagram called “SuicideSquadGoMissing”. Three girls subsequently went missing, travelling by train to meet in London. They then purchased and consumed alcohol and acquired a large quantity of paracetamol tablets. They were found in the street, seriously unwell and taken by ambulance for emergency hospital treatment.
Omegle
Omegle is an app and website which has seen a surge in usage, particularly amongst teens and younger children. The BBC have reported that they carried out an investigation and found a significant amount of disturbing content. Omegle has been around for many years, it isn’t new and there have always been significant concerns. Essentially, it is a place which openly advertises “come in and talk to a stranger.” Users simply click a button and are randomly placed in a video chat room with a completely random person. There is no age verification, no warnings and it is doubtful whether there is any meaningful moderation. It has increased in popularity because certain high-profile influencers have been talking about it on TikTok. According to the news report, videos tagged with Omegle have been viewed on TikTok more than 9.4 billion times.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

23rd April: Covid-19 Test Kits

Good Morning
Covid-19 Test Kits
We would like to advise that we have not yet received a further delivery of the Covid-19 Lateral Flow home test kits. The government has informed us that we should receive a delivery this week for students. As soon as the tests are received, we will be in contact with you to advise how and when they will be distributed.
Kind regards
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider

22nd April: Year 10 GCSE Revision Books - Voluntary Contribution

Dear Parents/Carers
We are really delighted to have been able to provide your son/daughter the revision books that they need as they move into Year 11. Whilst these have been paid for by school we have had a number of enquiries asking whether a donation could be made towards the cost of these.
With this in mind we have added an additional payment item to your son/daughters Parentpay account as a voluntary contribution of £25.00 which will go some way to recovering our costs.
Please do not feel that this is expected but if you are able to make this contribution we would be very grateful.
Yours sincerely
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

22nd April: Summer Assessment 2021

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Summer Assessment 2021
All students sitting assessments over the next couple of weeks have today been issued with two documents. Candidate Confirmation of how grades will be awarded in Summer 2021 and Brakenhale Student Declaration. These are both attached.
These are to ensure that all students understand the process of how their grades will be awarded and the importance of following JCQ regulation when submitting work.
There are penalties for breaking the JCQ regulations, such as disqualification, so it is imperative that these are followed at all times.
I would be grateful if all students could please sign and return these to the exam office no later than Wednesday, 12th May 2021.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Sarah Seymour, Exams Officer

21st April: St Vincent Volcano

Dear Parents/Carers
St. Vincent Volcano
As you may be aware the Island of St. Vincent is in a state of emergency due to the awakening of La Soufrière (volcano). Over 20,000 people have had to evacuate their homes to neighbouring islands.
The families in St. Vincent are particularly suffering as planes cannot fly through the smoke and ash. Cruise ships cannot take passengers due to Covid and they are relying on aid. There are families in homes with no gas, £10 can provide a large bottle of gas for a family and will last a while.
One of our families have started a collection and will be dropping items off over the next few weeks ready to be sent to St. Vincent.
If anyone is able to donate any of the following items, please drop them off at Main Reception:
Dried foods, water, sanitary pads, toilet rolls, toothpaste, toothbrushes, nappies, deodorants, shampoos, batteries, shower gel, baby milk, masks, gloves, painkillers and first aid kits.
There is also a go fund me page.
https://www.gofundme.com/f/uksvg-combined-response-to-la-soufriere-eruption?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer
Thank you for your support.
Kind regards
School Office

21st April: English Text - A Monster Calls

Dear Parents/Carers
English – A Monster Calls
This term we are studying A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. This week students have started to watch the film and this will be followed by reading and analysing the novel.
The book follows a 13 year old boy who is dealing with the imminent loss of his mother and all of the challenges this raises.
Dealing with grief can be difficult for anyone to process, especially for children. With grief comes many emotions and stages, and this book not only explores this theme in an uplifting manner but helps young people to come to terms with their own ‘monsters’ (emotions) and the loss they may be facing.
As a department, we understand the sensitivity of the subject but at the same time, we understand the importance of teaching young people about the effects that not dealing with loss can have on a person.
Although this can be a difficult text for the team to teach, we believe it is a text that cannot be shied away from and for this reason many departments across the country choose to include it within their KS3 curriculum: no one should suffer alone, no one should blame themselves for grief and everyone deserves the chance to build a life around the loss they may have experienced.
For any concerns or discussions please contact Miss Hodgson (Head of Department) on rhodgson@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
The English Team

20th April: Drug Detection Dog

Dear Parents/Carers
Drug Detection Dog
Today we were visited by the drug detection dog. The dog performed a thorough sweep of the school site, including a walk around the perimeter surrounding the school. The students were incredibly positive towards the dog and were keen to make its acquaintance! We are pleased to report that nothing was found by the dog.
As we have communicated previously this initiative is part of our robust zero tolerance policy of no drugs on the school site. It is pleasing to see that our student community is responding so supportively to our stance on this issue.
Thank you for your continued support with this matter.
Kind regards
Mr H Thomas, Teacher i/c Examinations and Trips

19th April: NCS Summer Programme

Dear Parents/Carers
NCS Summer Programme
Please see the FAQ video NCS has produced regarding their summer programme.
NCS Summer Programme FAQ
Wokingham and Maidenhead still have spaces left.
Kind regards
Mr Beukes
Assistant Headteacher

19th April: Sixth Form Dress Code and Support

Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you are well, that you had a good Easter break, and that everything is going as well as it can be at home for you and yours.
I’m emailing on two fronts; one to ask for some help/support, two to say thank you.
Firstly, as the weather turns a bit warmer, I’d like to ask for some support in ensuring that the Sixth Form students are dressed appropriately for being on the school site. Incidents where students get this wrong are not all that common, but they do happen occasionally and it means that there is an awkward conversation where students are sent home to change.
In short, students should not be wearing:
– Anything shorter than mid-thigh
– Anything low cut (shoulders should be covered)
– Anything that shows a bare midriff
– Anything offensive (language, logos and images)
Items of clothing with lots of holes in (‘trendy’ Jeans (I know!), tights, stockings).
Long story even shorter:
Students should dress appropriately for a school and as a role model to the younger students – they really do look up to them.
If students are not adhering to this, they will be sent home to change. The students do know this, and if that happens it is likely they will miss learning time. It’s unfortunate but the guidelines are very achievable, and we really can’t have students on school site who aren’t dressed in an appropriate manner for a whole host of reasons. If you do see that your son/daughter is leaving for school in clothing that might not be appropriate, could I please ask for some support in encouraging them to change before they come in? Like I say, they will just be sent home to change and I really would rather not have to do this.
Secondly, I wanted to say thank you for all of the support that you’ve given the Sixth Form and the students in years 12 and 13 up to this point. I know that this last couple of years have presented some challenges and it has not been easy at times, but the parental and student responses to these challenges have been brilliant, and the support that you have all given the Sixth Form has been greatly appreciated. As year 13 move into their last few weeks with us, and year 12 move up to the coveted position of most senior members of the school, the community feeling around the Sixth Form is really important to us and we want to continue to do all we can to support the young adults in our care to be the best versions of themselves, and to achieve to their fullest potential. Thank you for all you have done so far to help achieve this.
If you have any questions or comments at all regarding dress guidance or anything in this communication, I am as always very happy to listen.
Thank you again, and we are looking forward to a really positive end to the year and summer term ahead.
Many thanks,
Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

18th April: PE Extra-Curricular Activities Half Term 5

Good morning
PE Extra-Curricular Activities HT5
Please see our website https://brakenhale.co.uk/pastoral-support/clubs-and-activities/ for the half-term 5 PE Extra-Curricular Activities timetable.
Kind regards
School Office

15th April: Back to School Reminders

Dear Parents/Carers
Back to School Reminders
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Monday 19th April at 8.30am, week B.
Don’t forget to top up your ParentPay accounts ready for students to enjoy school meals ParentPay
If you need to purchase tools for learning – full pencil cases can be paid for via parentpay and collected from Main Reception. Individual items can be bought from the LRC before school and paid for using cash only.
If you have not already done so and you need to buy any items of uniform please click on the link below.
Direct Clothing Uniform
Please remind students that mobile phones are not permitted to be used on the school site and should be switched off and away during the school day.
Kind regards
School Office

1st April: Year 11 Prom - Save the Date - 6.07.21

Dear Parents/Carers
We are pleased to confirm that the date for the Prom is Tuesday 6th July. More information to follow after Easter.
Kind regards
Mrs Theal

1st April: KS3 Outdoor Adventure Weekend at Osmington Bay, Weymouth

Dear Parents/Carers
Key Stage 3 Outdoor Adventure Weekend at Osmington Bay Centre, Weymouth
We are pleased to announce that we are now able to confirm the postponed PGL trip.
The trip will now take place on Friday 25th June – Sunday 27th June 2021.
Any money already paid will be carried across to the new booking with any outstanding balance not due until 1st June 2021.
Unfortunately, if students are not able to attend this date we will not be able to refund the deposit as this has already been paid to PGL. However, if we are able to replace the position by another student we would return the deposit. This will be based on a case by case and a first come first served basis.
More details regarding the trip will be provided after the Easter break.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me by email.
Kind regards
Ruan Beukes, Assistant Headteacher, rbeukes@brakenhale.co.uk
Lynda Theal, Senior Pastoral and Curriculum Support, ltheal@brakenhale.co.uk

1st April: Year 9 GCSE English Literature

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 GCSE English Literature
We would like to take this opportunity to contact you before the Easter break begins to ensure your child has a strong and positive start to the next half term.
Students will be moving onto GCSE texts in Year 9 within English and are starting a new literature unit, An Inspector Calls, following the Easter holidays. As we are starting to introduce GCSE texts we feel it is best if students have their own copy of the text for annotations.
We are therefore asking for £7:00 for the text, if payments could be made via ParentPay by Friday 7th May, this will ensure students are fully equipped for studying the play.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
The English Team

1st April: Year 11 Hoody

Dear Parents and Carers
Year 11 Leavers Hoody
Brakenhale School is organising a memento for your son/daughter to purchase to remind them of their time studying at The Brakenhale School. We are producing a 2021 Brakenhale leavers hoody with the Year 11 students’ names in a list on the back as well as the individual student’s name/nickname above the list.
Please complete the linked form.
Students will be able to select from three options:
• Size of the hoody
• The colour of the hoody
• The name/nickname for the back
The cost of the Brakenhale hoody is £20.00. We have secured an excellent offer to be able to bring you the hoodies at this price.
If your son/daughter wishes to purchase a hoody, please complete the attached:
https://www.dmhoodies.com/product-page/brakenhale-leavers-hoodie
You will need to pay for the hoody at the time of ordering.
The deadline for ordering will be Wednesday May 5th.
You may be able to purchase a hoody after this date but the cost will be £30
If you have any questions, please feel free to email Mrs Theal on ltheal@brakenhale.co.uk. This letter will also be emailed to all Year 11 students and be visible on the school website if you would rather click on the link.
Yours faithfully
Miss S Douse, Head of Year 11

1st April: Year 13 Summer Assessment Timetable

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 13 Summer Assessments
The Summer Assessment timetable has been issued to all students and has been emailed home.
It has been composed using students’ normal timetable, so they should all be following their timetable during the assessment week. The blocks that are highlighted are where an assessment can take place and teachers will confirm when their subject assessment will be.
These will all be running in classrooms with the normal subject teacher. Those with supervised Access Arrangements will be joining us in the hall where Teaching Assistants and Invigilators will be on hand to provide support with their Access Arrangements. Those with just extra time will be in the classroom with their class teacher.
Mr Read Linton will be communicating directly with all students that have supervised Access Arrangements after the Easter break.
If you are unsure of your Option subjects, please check your timetable as the class code dictates the Option letter. For example 13A/Cn relates to Option A, 13B/Bt – Option B.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
Kind regards,
Mrs Sarah Seymour, Exams Manager

1st April: Year 11 Summer Assessment Timetable

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Summer Assessment Timetable
The Summer Assessment timetable has been issued to all students and has been emailed home.
It has been composed using students’ normal timetable, so they should all be following their timetable during the assessment week. The blocks that are highlighted are where an assessment can take place and teachers will confirm when their subject assessment will be.
These will all be running in classrooms with the normal subject teacher. Those with supervised Access Arrangements will be joining us in the hall where Teaching Assistants and Invigilators will be on hand to provide support with their Access Arrangements. Those with just extra time will be in the classroom with their class teacher.
Mr Read Linton will be communicating directly with all students that have supervised Access Arrangements after the Easter break.
If you are unsure of your Option subjects, please check your timetable as the class code dictates the Option letter. For example 11A/Et1 – Option A. 11B/Fr – Option B.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
Kind regards,
Mrs Sarah Seymour, Exams Manager
Year 11 Summer Assessments

31st March: PE Extra Curricular Clubs

Dear Parents/Carers
Extra-curricular PE Clubs
With it being the last day of term tomorrow, I regret to inform you that our PE clubs will not be taking place.
After seeing students off at the gate tomorrow for the Easter break, department staff will be then be sorting and organising our equipment ready for the summer term upon our return in 2 weeks.
I am so sorry that we cannot offer clubs, but please be rest assured that clubs will begin the first week back.
To allow students to be organised, please find attached the half term 5 clubs programme for when we return after Easter.
2020-2021 PE Extra-Curricular Activities Half Term 5
Many thanks and have a lovely, but active break!
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

31st March: Covid-19 Procedures

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Procedures
We appreciate that it is extremely disappointing for families of students who have to self-isolate. We would like to reassure you that we always act in accordance with updated government advice.
We would like to remind you of the steps we may need to take should we be notified of a positive Covid-19 test result.
· Students may be sent home at short notice to enable us complete the track and trace process.
· If we receive notification of a positive test result after 4pm students may be advised to remain at home the following day to enable us to complete the track and trace process.
· If we receive notification of a positive test result during the weekend, students may be advised to remain at home on Monday to enable us to complete the track and trace process.
· Whole school parents will be informed that we have been notified of a positive test result straight away.
· We will then collate a list of students and staff who have been in contact with the person who has tested positive.
· We will inform parents of students who need to self-isolate as soon as we have completed the track and trace with a date that they will need to isolate until and their return to school date.
Please continue with the twice weekly lateral flow tests during the Easter break and ensure that you log your child’s results with test register and GOV.UK
Please help us to stop the spread of the virus and remind students about social distancing guidelines and the school rules regarding wearing face masks.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

31st March: End of Term Tomorrow

Dear Parents/Carers
End of term tomorrow
We would like to confirm that school finishes for the Easter break tomorrow at 3.05pm. Return to school is Monday 19th April at 8.30am. We wish all our families an happy and restful Easter.
Kind regards
School Office

31st March: Young Artists' Summer Show Competition

Dear Parents/Carers
Young Artists’ Summer Show
Please see attached poster with information on an exciting opportunity for all students, this has been advertised on Google Classrooms for all year groups. KS4/5 it has been advertised on the Art group Google Classrooms but the competition is open to any student who would like to enter. Students can make up to 3 entries for this competition. It would be great to receive as many entries as possible. 3 Culture House Points will be awarded for any entry received. I can’t wait to see all your entries.
Students under the age of 13 MUST complete the permission form attached or I will be unable to submit their work.
I will need the artwork, student’s name, age, media used, title and a brief description to submit the work. ALL work to be submitted to Mrs Faluyi (A01/A02) by 4pm Friday 23rd April.
Many thanks
Mrs E Faluyi, Art Teacher

Art Competition Permission-form-YASS-2021

29th March: Year 11 and 13 Summer Assessment Timetable

Good Evening
Year 11 and 13 Summer Assessment Timetables
Year 11 Summer Assessments
Year 13 Summer Assessments
Kind regards
School Office

26th March: Year 11/13 Assessment Information Evening

Good afternoon
Year 11/13 Assessment Information Evening
Thank you to everyone who joined last night’s Assessment Information Evening, if you were unable to attend or would like to clarify any points, please find the powerpoint slides and presentation on our exams page:

Examinations


Kind regards
School Office

25th March: Covid-19 Update

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Update
We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
Parents/children who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) will receive a letter informing them that their child must stay at home for 10 days.
The school remains open and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
All other household members who remain well, must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’.
Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.
If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online.
Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.
Symptoms
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19
Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

Further Information
Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

24th March: Virtual Insight Webinar with the British Army

Dear Parents/Carers/Cadets
Please find below details of an opportunity to join a live virtual event involving serving soldiers within The British Army.
Virtual Insight Webinar with British Army
Thursday 25th March 17:30-18:30
Join our live virtual event for your chance to meet and speak to serving soldiers about life in the Army and the many roles available.
This Webinar is going to help young people explore their careers and how to get there.
Hear from Serving Soldiers about what it’s like to learn skills, take on challenges and build bonds that last a lifetime with this FREE virtual interactive Virtual Insight Webinar.
If this is a career you are considering then this is an unmissable event for you.
Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/143995583667
Kind Regards
Second Lieutenant Beukes Contingent Commander

24th March: Submitting Covid-19 Home Test Results

Dear Parents/Carers
Submitting home test results
1) Follow this link to the Test Register page testregister.co.uk/login enter your email address and click ‘Send login link’
2) You will receive an email from no-reply@testregister.co.uk (add to safe sender) containing a link to login to your account which is valid for 2 minutes. If you click the link after 2 minutes, you will get a Forbidden 403 error message.
3) Enter the results of your test and click the submit result button. This will send your result through to the school.
4) Your test result still needs to be submitted to the .gov website. Click the Submit results to GOV.UK button and complete the required fields from the NHS site.
Kind regards
School Office

22nd March: New Car Park

Dear Parents/Carers
New Car Park
We are delighted to advise that our new car park accessible from Rectory Lane will be open from tomorrow.
Students will be able the access the school site from the student gates either at Coningsby or Rectory Lane (gate next to Open Learning Centre). At 8.35am the gates at Coningsby will be locked and the only access to school will be via the Rectory Lane gate and via Main Reception where they will be issued with a late sanction.
If you need to collect students from school for an appointment during the school day, you will be able to enter via Rectory Lane and park in the “Pick up / Drop off” area to pick them up.
Kind regards
School Office

22nd March: Year 11 Period 6

Good afternoon
Period 6 – 3.05 – 4.05pm
As you will be aware the Year 11 assessments start w/c 26th April, 2021 in order to support targeted students, we will be offering study support sessions during Period 6 on the following dates. The timetable has been amended due to the Good Friday Easter Holiday.
Students have been notified individually of the lessons they should attend.

w/c 22nd March w/c 29th March w/c 19th April
WkB WkA WkB
Monday Science Science Science
Tuesday English English English
Wednesday Option B Option A Option C
Thursday Option D Maths Maths
Friday Maths Good Friday

Please note: it is important that students attend the study support sessions, in order to achieve the best possible results in their assessments.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

22nd March: Year 9 Immunisations

Dear Parent/Guardian
YOUR CHILD’S Meningococcal ACWY & Diphtheria and Polio Booster immunisations are NOW DUE
All young people in Year 9 are now due to receive their 3-in-1 (tetanus/diphtheria/polio) booster alongside the Meningococcal ACWY vaccination. These immunisations consist of two vaccinations, one injection given in each arm). All young people should have already received four doses of tetanus, diphtheria and polio the first three doses are given as a baby, the fourth dose when they were between three and five years old. The dose then offered in year 9 is classed as a booster dose, as it boosts their bodies immune response to continue to fight off these diseases. The meningitis vaccine protects against 4 strains of the meningococcal virus that have been found to be more prominent in young people at school leaver age.
These vaccines protect young people against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases:
• Tetanus is a serious disease which affects the central nervous system that is caused by bacteria found in soil. The disease is spread through open cuts and wounds.
• Diphtheria is highly contagious and potentially fatal bacterial infections that can affect the nose, throat and sometimes the skin.
• Polio is a serious viral infection that used to be common in the UK and worldwide. It’s rare nowadays because it can be prevented with vaccination.
• Meningococcal A, C, W and Y disease that cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia) which can be fatal.
For further information about these diseases and the vaccines that protect against them please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immunisations-for-young-people
We are due to immunise at your child’s school (Brakenhale School) on 27 May 2021. For your child to be vaccinated you are required to complete an online consent form, (if more than one child you will need to complete a form per child). Please click on this link https://www.berkshireimmunisations.co.uk/Forms/DTP to complete the form. You will need to enter the unique code for your child’s school.
Please submit your form by 26 May 2021 by 12pm 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. If you do not wish for your child to be vaccinated, we ask that you still complete a consent form online but as a non-consent (this option will be available once you have completed your child’s details and continue on to the next page).
Thank you in advance.
Kind Regards,
The Berkshire School Aged Immunisation Team

22nd March: Study Higher - Supporting Parents/Carers in Education

Dear Parents/Carers
Supporting Parents and Carers in Education (SPACE)
Please see attached flyer for SPACE (supporting parents and carers in education). SPACE is a free programme of virtual events to give parents and carers the tools they need to help their young people through secondary school.
It is run by Study Higher and Oxford Brookes University. Anyone with a secondary school aged child is welcome to sign up.
Kind regards
School Office

21st March: Covid-19 Home Testing

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Home Testing
We are pleased to confirm that students were sent home with the home testing kits last week after their final test in school. Please check as they may still be at the bottom of their bags! If your child did not have a test last week, they can collect their home test kits from main reception.
Please click on the link below to view an instructional video (in addition to the leaflet that was sent home with your child), which may help with home testing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9XR8RZxKNo
Please can your student and family self-test on Monday and Thursday each week and notify the school of the Brakenhale student result only using this link each time they test:
https://testregister.co.uk/
You will also be required to log the students test results with the gov.uk website.
Family tests do not need to be logged with ourselves only the with the gov.uk website.
Please find attached our Privacy Notice for Pupils for Covid-19 Home Testing.
Test Register Help Guide
Please see attached a help guide for logging your child’s Covid-19 Test Results.
https://testregister.co.uk/
Thank you for your continued support, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Kind regards
School Office

19th March: Year 7 Sparx Maths

Dear Parents/Carers
Sparx Maths
Please find a document to help answer some common questions regarding Sparx Maths and how to get help/support on our maths curriculum page.
Sparx homework is set on a Friday and due in on Thursdays every week.
Kind regards
Mrs D Turner, Hegarty and Sparx Co-ordinator

19th March: Year 11 Prom - Save the Date!

Dear Year 11
Save the Date!
I am delighted to confirm that we have provisionally booked the Year 11 Prom for the 7th July, 2021 at the Easthampstead Park Conference Centre. We remain cautiously optimistic about this date, however, please be aware that if Covid guidelines change this may not go ahead.
Please be cognizant of this when making purchases and making booking for transport as these tend to be non-refundable. The evening is scheduled to begin at 6-7pm.
Kind regards
Ms S Douse, Head of Year 11

18th March: Schools Art Competition

Good morning
Schools Art Competition
We have been asked as a school to promote an exciting Schools Art competition, run by the Royal Ascot Racecourse. Students will earn Culture House Points for entering this competition as well as the opportunity to have their work displayed and win Amazon vouchers for themselves and £1000 for the school. It would be fantastic to have as many entries as possible.
All details have previously been posted on your child’s year group Art Google Classroom.
Artwork should be completed using the frame attached, if you need this printed, they could plan their entry and then collect a blank frame from A02 (there is a plastic wallet attached to the new noticeboard in the entrance).
Please encourage your child to bring their entries to A02 by 4pm on Wednesday 24th March. There is a folder attached to the noticeboard where they can place their entry, or hand it to myself. I am in A02 or A01 most of the time, so please do encourage them to come and find me if they would like to ask any questions or hand me their work personally. I can’t wait to see all their wonderful entries. Please note the age categories, it is per year group rather than for the whole key stage. I do hope your child will consider entering the competition.
Kind regards
Mrs Faluyi, Teacher of Art

18th March: Year 11 and 13 Live Virtual Next Steps Information Event

Good morning
Year 11/13 “Live” Virtual Information Event
We would like to invite all Year 11 and Year 13 Parents/Carers and students to our “Live” Virtual Information Event on Thursday 25th March at 6pm which will last approx. 45 minutes.
The evening will be hosted by Mr Corry, Deputy Headteacher who would like to share with you information on preparing students for the next steps.
With this year being so incredibly hard for our students, it is especially important that you join us to understand the plans and support we have in place to help students achieve their full potential.
Please click on the link sent home next week to join the event as we will be streaming live, you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
Kind regards
School Office

17th March: Berkshire Schools Golf Association

Dear Parents/Carers
Berkshire Schools Golf Association
I have been contacted by the BSGA (Berkshire Schools Golf Association) about selecting and putting forward any golfers from Brakenhale that would like to represent Berkshire in the South of England championships.
As we do not offer golf as part of our taught curriculum, I write to ask if you have a child that plays and has an official handicap.
In order to be selected, students must meet the following criteria:
Boys entry – handicap (certified) of 6 or less
Girls entry – handicap (certified) of 18 or less
If your child meets this criteria and would like to be put forward to the South of England Championships then please get in touch with me for further details.
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

16th March: School Uniform

Dear Parents/Carers
School Uniform
We would like to remind students that scarves are not permitted inside the school building, they are not part of our school uniform and are only allowed to be worn to and from school. The only scarves permitted are either plain black or house scarves available from our uniform provider https://www.thedirectclothing.co.uk/school/the-brakenhale-school/
Please note the addition highlighted to our uniform and appearance requirements:
· Any extreme hairstyles are not appropriate for school and students will be asked to modify that hairstyle. Examples include skin-fades, mohawks, words or symbols shaved into the side of a student’s head, grade tracks and extreme unnatural hair colours which are not in keeping with an educational establishment. No student should have their hair shaven any shorter than a grade 1. This also includes any shaving into eyebrows.
Your support in upholding uniform standards is appreciated.
Kind regards
School Office

16th March: Covid-19 Home Testing - Registering

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Home Testing
Further to correspondence sent yesterday regarding Covid-19 home testing kits, we would like to advise that students will be bringing home their home testing kits after their Test 3. Students will bring home 4 boxes of test kits (for students only) which will cover the period Monday 22nd March – Sunday 2nd May. Families who are testing will need to collect their test kits from a local test centre.
Please click on the new link below to register student test results (attached help guide).
https://testregister.co.uk/
You will still be required to log your test results with the gov.uk website.
Family tests do not need to be logged with the school.
Please find attached our Privacy Notice for Students for Covid-19 Home Testing.
Kind regards
School Office

15th March: Covid-19 Home Testing

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Home Tests
On Friday students will be coming home with their COVID-19 Self-Test Kits. If you have previously consented to your child being tested at school, they will automatically receive their home test kits. During tutor time on Friday, students will be issued with 4 boxes of test kits and a step-by-step guide leaflet. They will have 12 home test kits which will last them for 6 weeks, with the aim of 2 home tests being carried out each week. These tests are to cover students for the period Monday 22nd March – Sunday 2nd May (this includes test kits for over the Easter holidays).
Please can your student and family self-test on Monday and Thursday each week and notify the school of the Brakenhale student result.
Please see below, an instructional video (in addition to the leaflet that is coming home with your child), which may help them with home testing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9XR8RZxKNo
In addition to home testing for students, households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age students are eligible for twice weekly home testing too. For further information please click on the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff
If you are a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of staff or a student you can get a twice-weekly test:
· through your employer if they offer testing to employees
· at a local test site https://find-covid-19-rapid-test-sites.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
· by collecting a home test kit from a test site
· by ordering a home test kit online
Thank-you so much for your continued support. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me using my details below.
Kind regards
Ms F Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider

15th March: NCS Summer Programme

Dear Parents and Students,
Please see here for follow up information regarding the NCS summer programme.
You may also wish to look at the following videos:
Student Video: https://bit.ly/2O9BH5F
Parent Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcdzt6QRFLI&feature=youtu.be
Kind regards
Mr Beukes, Assistant Headteacher
rbeukes@brakenhale.co.uk

14th March: Key Stage 3 Technology Rotation

Dear All
Key Stage 3 – Technology Rotation
We would like to confirm that all key stage 3 students will be completing their Food, Textiles, DT and IT subjects they were studying before Christmas until Easter.
If students have received homework on Show My Homework, for a different Technology rotation to the subject you will be studying, please ignore it. If you are unsure, please check with your teachers.
Kind regards
Mrs S Higham, Head of Design Technology

12th March: Covid-19 Testing Amended Schedule

Dear Parents/Carers
Following the efficient work in our Covid testing centre this week, we are pleased to share with you the amended schedule for student tests next week:

Test 2
Monday 15 March
  Test 3
Tuesday 16 March
Test 3
Wednesday 17 March
Test 3
Thursday 18 March
Year 8 14.00 – 14.30 Year 11 14.00 – 14.30 Year 9 14.00 – 14.30 Year 8 14.00 – 14.30
Year  7 14.30 – 15.00 Sixth Form 14.30 – 15.30 Year 10 14.30 – 15.30 Year 7 14.30 – 15.30

Students will be dismissed from school after their second and third tests.
Students who are not being tested will go home at the same time as their year group are being tested.
Kind regards
School Office

12th March: Creative Futures - Years 9, 10 and 11 - Study Higher

Dear Parents/Carers and Students,
Creative Futures – Years 9, 10 and 11
Our partners from Study Higher are very excited to launch their Year 9, 10 and 11 Creative Futures Programme, which is the first in a series of Study Higher subject-specific events!
Creative Futures is an exciting series of free virtual workshops, which will give your Y9-11 students an in-depth look into careers available within the creative industries. Commencing on Wednesday, 24 March 2021, the session will run once a week at 5pm, outside of school hours.
The workshops will cover Film Studies, Media Makeup, Journalism, Graphic Design and Theatre Performance. We have teamed with partners including BBC Young Reporter, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Access Creative College, New College Swindon and Cirencester College to ensure all the workshops are both engaging and informative!
Ideally, students will sign up for the whole series, to explore both avenues they are already interested in and those they may not have considered. However, if they cannot attend some sessions due to clashes, they are still welcome to take part.
Please find attached poster for more information.
Kind regards
Careers @ Brakenhale

10th March: Covid Testing Programme - Day 3

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Testing Programme
We are delighted to advise that our third day of testing with our Year 7 and 8 students has run extremely smoothly and it was a delight to see students back on site.
Test Results – please don’t be worried if you have not received your child’s test results – due to the huge amount of results currently being processed they are taking longer than expected and in some cases not being received at all. If your child was to test positive please be assured that we would contact you immediately.
We look forward to seeing students tomorrow.
Kind regards
School Office

10th March: Tutor Rooms

Good morning
Tutor Rooms
Please see below and attached a copy of the updated tutor room information:

9th March: PE Clubs Half Term 4 - 15.3.21

Welcome back to PE !
Our PE clubs start back up this half term from next week – week beginning 15th March 2021.
We are following all relevant government advice when it comes to clubs, lessons as well, and we truly recognize the benefit that PE and after school clubs can bring to pupils – physically, mentally and socially.
We are offering a specific range of clubs at the moment with a view to widen this in the future when things allow us to do so.
Thee programme of clubs for this half term is on our website here, there are however a few clubs that won’t start until week beginning 22nd March (possibly beyond) due to building and access works taking place.
PE have also produced a little information on the return of PE and how things will work. PE Covid Return Information.
Many thanks and I look forward to seeing students back in their PE kits and lessons this week.
Kind regards
Mr Potter, Head of PE

8th March: Return to School Reminders

Dear Parents/Carers
Back to school reminders
School Uniform:
We look forward to welcoming our students back into school and our high expectations continue to apply in all areas including uniform. Students who do not adhere to our uniform policy will be subject to the same consequences as normal and we would ask parents to ensure that they are supporting us in this. This also applies to jewellery, make-up and extreme hair-cuts and colours. Students now have two weeks to ensure that any piercings are replaced by small plain plastic studs and that hair dye is removed.
We would like to remind you that students should be in full school uniform including school shoes when they return together with all the required Tools for Learning.
We fully understand that many students will have outgrown their uniform and shoes and it is harder to purchase this during the current lockdown. Mrs Theal has spent some considerable time researching available uniform and stock in the local area and attached to this email is a detailed list to help you. If you are struggling in any way to purchase uniform, please let us know via uniform@brakenhale.co.uk and we will be able to help you. If you have any uniform you wish to donate or exchange, please also contact us on this email address.
Our school uniform can be purchased online from The Direct Clothing Company https://www.thedirectclothing.co.uk/school/the-brakenhale-school/
We have a limited stock of ties available to purchase from Main Reception at a cost of £7.00 and these can be paid for via ParentPay. Individual items of stationery may be purchased for cash from the LRC or alternatively filled pencil cases, Art Books and Calculators can be purchased via ParentPay
Face Masks:
Students are now required to wear a face mask during all their lessons as well as moving around the corridors and when not eating in the dining hall and we would therefore remind you that students must bring a plain face mask to school. If a mask is not brought to school a disposable mask can be purchased from Head of Year Office at a cost of 50p – we would request that money for the mask is brought in the following day. You will be advised via schoolcomms if your son/daughter has been given a disposable face mask. Students who do not wear a face mask and do not have a previously agreed exemption with the school (Head of Year) will be subject to the behaviour policy and sanctioned accordingly.
New site layout:
Students will notice a considerable change to the school site and they can now enter and exit the school via Coningsby or Rectory Lane. The old bike shed is now closed and if students cycle to school they should use the new cycle shed area.
While we await the installation of the new gates on Rectory Lane, parking still remains for staff only at Coningsby and parents are unable to park onsite.
Student Conduct to and from school:
Guidelines still require that students should not gather in large groups before and after school and we would appreciate that you remind your son/daughter that they should not get together with friends outside of school hours until such time as the government announces further changes.
We understand that the return to school will be a huge adjustment for our families so please be reassured that we are always here to talk through any concerns and our Student Support Team will be able to make appointments to see individual students if they wish to discuss any worries or anxieties. Please feel free to email Head of Year or Tutor direct.
Finally, all at #teambrakenhale are incredibly excited to at last be able to have our students back on site with us and as ever thank you for all your support across this very challenging time.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

8th March: Covid-19 Testing

Good Afternoon
Covid-19 Testing
Thank you to everyone who came in for the Covid-19 Testing today, please note that the card given to students is for reference only and there is no need to register, this has already been taken care of by us. Test results will be received via email.
Kind regards
School Office

5th March: Exams - Summer 2021 - Year 12/13

Dear Parents/Carers
Exams – Summer 2021
You will have seen recent government announcements regarding the calculation of post-16 results this summer. There is some relief that the process will allow schools to award grades using robust processes and assessments that allow us to take into consideration the disruption to learning that students have faced in Year 12 and Year 13.
OFQUAL outlined the process on Thursday 25th February and schools are due to receive the specific details prior to the Easter holidays. Rather than wait until Easter I wanted to share with you our thinking on the process in order that students have maximum notice. These outline proposals will be subject to amendment when exam board information is received, but this is unlikely to change the broad principles.
How will students be supported and treated fairly given the disruption caused by the pandemic?
● Prior data will be used in addition to summer assessments.
● The summer assessments will constitute a larger proportion of the external exams that would have been taken. This is to reduce pressure and anxiety whilst still giving an opportunity to get the best possible outcome.
● Assessments will only cover content that the teacher and department is satisfied has been fully covered.
● Teachers will make students aware of the broad topic areas and skills that will be covered in assessments. This will reduce the volume of revision.
● Assessments will be open book, meaning students will be able to bring some materials into the assessment with them. These will be produced in class before the assessment takes place.
● Assessments will be shorter, and will be conducted within normal lesson time but will cover content and skills that allows students to demonstrate the assessment objectives
● We will release assessment timetables and topic areas prior to Easter to give maximum preparation time.
● All access arrangements will be in place.
● Assessments and grade decisions will be moderated across classes, departments and the school to ensure consistency, fairness and eliminate unintended bias.
● Coursework/non-examined assessment will contribute to the overall grade in the same way as it normally would.
● Practical subjects will have the opportunity to demonstrate those elements of the course in order to evidence non-examined content.
The school will use summer assessments because:
● This gives students an opportunity to demonstrate progress that has been made over the last academic year including over lockdown and the return to school.
● It will provide further evidence to support school decisions.
● Many students have worked towards examinations in subjects and will have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and learning.
● Completion and preparation for assessments support students into the next phase of education.
The summer assessments will:
● Use exam board materials and mark schemes to support consistency and equality
● Be moderated internally and use exam board grade boundaries
● Only cover topic areas that staff have delivered to students
● Be sat in lessons, where possible
● Ensure current access arrangement allocations are adhered to
Use of prior data:
● Where the summer assessment does not represent a fair outcome for the student in relation to our expectations and predictions, teachers will consider evidence of prior achievement from robust assessments, such as mock exams, coursework (if applicable), practical demonstrations, and class work.
● The final grade given is an assessment of the evidence of what students have achieved, not a prediction nor a judgement of potential.
● Where a student is unable to sit an assessment, they may be given another opportunity and, if necessary, we will use prior data.
● We will re-issue/issue the assessment point data used to reach a decision for transparency. This will include any in class assessments, non-examined assessments, and the class teacher’s professional prediction so you can see what evidence has been generated. We cannot release final grades, these will come from the exam boards in August.
Will appeals be available?
● When results are released in August, students can appeal to the school (with priority given to those whose university/college applications may be affected). The appeal to the school is a clerical check to make sure there has been no data error or error in communication to exam boards. Students will then be able to appeal to the exam boards (via school), exam boards will then review school evidence.
● Students will have the option to sit a paper in the autumn if they are unhappy with an outcome.
Expected timescales?
● Most summer assessments will take place between 26th April and 7th May for GCSE and A-level
● Staff will complete marking by 27th May at the latest
● Departmental moderation will be completed by 11th June at the latest
● Whole school moderation and submission to exam boards will be completed by 18th June
It is therefore important that students continue to work hard towards their assessments, and we will continue to prepare them to fulfil their potential.
There is inevitably anxiety around the end of post-16 education, especially with next steps to university and apprenticeships closely linked to the grades which students achieve. We must be mindful that grade inflation damages the system and validity of all grades awarded. The school will be open and honest about grades, is aware of the need to be broadly in line with prior performance but will also ensure students are not disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic or our awarding process. Students will be given a grade that fairly represents the assessment evidence we have. Please be assured that we will have the best interests of all students at the heart of all decisions throughout this process.
Kind regards
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher
hwhitaker@brakenhale.co.uk

5th March: Exams - Summer 2021 - Year 10/11

Good Evening
Exams – Summer 2021
You will have seen recent announcements regarding the determination of qualification results this summer. There is some relief that the process will allow schools to award grades using robust processes and assessments that allow for disruption to learning that students have faced in Year 10 and Year 11.
OFQUAL outlined the process on Thursday 25th February and schools are due to receive the specific details prior to the Easter holidays. Rather than wait until Easter I wanted to share with you our thinking on the process in order that students have maximum notice. These outline proposals will be subject to amendment when exam board information is received, but this is unlikely to change the broad principles.
The school will use summer assessments because:
● This gives students an opportunity to demonstrate progress that has been made over lockdown and the return to school.
● It will provide further evidence to support school decisions.
● Many students have worked towards examinations in subjects and will have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and learning
● Completion and preparation for assessments support students into the next phase of education
The summer assessments:
● Will use exam board materials and mark schemes to support consistency and equality
● Will be moderated internally and use exam board grade boundaries
● Will only cover topic areas that staff have delivered to students
● Will be sat in lessons where possible
● Access arrangements will be in place
Use of prior data:
● Where the summer assessment does not represent a fair outcome for the student in relation to our expectations and predictions, teachers will consider evidence of prior achievement from robust assessments, such as mock exams, coursework if applicable, practical demonstrations, and class work.
● As a school we completed robust mocks using exam board materials, mark schemes and boundaries which were internally moderated during November 2020.
● The final grade given is an assessment of the evidence of what students have achieved, not a prediction nor a judgement of potential.
● Where a student is unable to sit an assessment, they may be given another opportunity and, if necessary, we will use prior data.
● We will re-issue/issue the data used to reach a decision for transparency. This will include summer assessments, November PPE results and the class teacher’s professional prediction so you can see what evidence has been generated. We cannot release final grades, these will come from the exam boards in August.
How will students be supported and treated fairly given the disruption caused by the pandemic?
● Prior data will be used in addition to summer assessments
● The summer assessments will constitute around 50% of the external exams that would have been taken. This is to reduce pressure and anxiety whilst still giving an opportunity to get the best possible outcome.
● Assessments will only cover content that the teacher and department is satisfied has been fully covered.
● Teachers will make students aware of the broad topic areas and skills that will be covered in assessments. This will reduce the volume of revision.
● Assessments will be open book, meaning students will be able to bring some materials into the assessment with them. These will be produced in class before the assessment takes place.
● Assessments will be shorter, and will be conducted within a normal lesson time but will cover content and skills that allows students to demonstrate the assessment objectives
● We will release assessment timetables and topic areas prior to Easter to give maximum preparation time.
● All access arrangements will be in place.
● Assessments and grade decisions will be moderated across classes, departments and the school to ensure consistency, fairness and eliminate unintended bias.
● Coursework will contribute to the overall grade in the same way as it normally would.
● Practical subjects will have the opportunity to demonstrate those elements of the course in order to evidence non-examined content.
Will appeals be available?
● When results are released in August, students can appeal to the school (with priority given to those whose college applications may be affected). The appeal to the school is a clerical check to make sure there has been no data error or error in communication to exam boards. Students will then be able to appeal to the exam board (via school), exam board will then review school evidence.
● Students will have the option to sit a paper in the autumn if they are unhappy with an outcome.
Expected timescales?
● Most summer assessments will take place between 26th April and 7th May for GCSE and A-level
● Staff will complete marking by 27th May at the latest
● Departmental moderation will be completed by 11th June at the latest
● Whole school moderation and submission to exam boards will be completed by 18th June
It is therefore important that students continue to work hard towards their assessments, and we will continue to prepare them to fulfil their potential. There is anxiety for all students with the return to school, different assessment methods across subjects and differences between qualifications.
The school will be open and honest about the grades achieved in the summer assessments, together with the PPE and AP2 grades that were sent out prior to Christmas. However, we will not be able to provide the final grades submitted to the exam boards as they will be released on 12th August. We are aware that all schools need to be broadly in line with prior performance but we will also ensure students are not disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic or our awarding process. Students will be given a grade that fairly represents the assessment evidence we have. Please be assured that we will have the best interests of all students at the heart of all decisions throughout.
Significant grade inflation damages the system and validity of grades. Exam boards will issue grade descriptors that will be used to ensure teacher assessments are fair and consistent. Exam boards will conduct quality assurance to provide meaningful checks in the system.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher
rcorry@brakenhale.co.uk

5th March: Cycling to School

Good afternoon
Cycling to School
When the school reopens next week, if your child plans on cycling, please note the following points:
1. The old cycle shed is now closed. Bikes are to be left at the new cycle storage which is located within the school grounds directly behind the new sports pitches and in front of the Music/IT block. This can be accessed via Rectory Lane or Coningsby.
2. Students will still all need to have a helmet, a cycle pass, a road worthy bike and a lock. The Cycle storage facility does not feature a lockable gate like the old one so a cycle lock is an absolute necessity.
Any questions, please do email me on hthomas@brakenhale.co.uk.
Many thanks
Mr H Thomas

5th March: A Guide to School Attendance Minor Illness and Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Dear Parents/Carers
A Guide to School Attendance Minor Illness and Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Introduction
At Brakenhale we have a continual focus on ensuring school attendance is as high as possible. There is a demonstrable link between attendance and achievement and we will always ensure we do all we can to give our pupils the very best possible opportunities in life. Attendance to school is mandatory and these usual rules on attendance apply including:
-Parents’ duty to ensure that their child of compulsory school age attends regularly at the school where the child is a registered pupil.
-Schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence.
-The ability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices, in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.
As parents and carers you have a key role to play alongside us to ensure that your child attends school for all sessions unless there is a valid reason not to do so.
Arrival to School
For pupils in year 7-10 our school gates close at 8.35am in order for your child to be in their tutor base by 8.40am. Pupils in Year 11 start school at 8.30am for turbo tutor, if they arrive late but before the main gate is locked they will receive a detention from their Head of Year. If they arrive after 8.35am the same procedure as Year 7-10 will stand.
Any pupil arriving after 8.35am but before 9.30am will be required to enter via main reception. If there is no valid reason for their lateness, they will be set a detention of 15 minutes on the same day and will be marked as present on the register. You will be notified by email if this is the case. Any student arriving after 9.30am will be recorded as an unauthorised late unless a note is received from parents/carers explaining the reasons.
Medical / GP Appointments
It is important to book all non-urgent appointments out of school hours. If a pupil has an appointment during school hours, please ensure evidence of date and time to be authorised is provided prior to the appointment.
Illness
If your child will be unable to attend school due to illness please phone or email the school immediately: 01344 423041, extension 229 or attendance@brakenhale.co.uk
If no communication regarding an absence is received, it will be recorded as unauthorised. If your child has any authorised absence marks on the register, every half term you will receive a letter requesting the reason for the absence, if no response is received the absence will remain as unauthorised. These absences are shown on their school record and references truancy.
If you have previously been sent a medical evidence letter you should supply evidence for each absence your son/daughter is not in school, failure to do so will show as an unauthorised absence and will affect their attendance percentage.
** If the absence is in relation to coronavirus please follow the guidance below and ensure you contact the Attendance Officer.
Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Although school attendance is mandatory from Monday 8th March, there are some circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
A pupil should not attend school because their travel to, or attendance at, school would be:
-Contrary to guidance relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) from Public Health England (PHE) and/or the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)3.
-Prohibited by any legislation (or instruments such as statutory directions) relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Circumstances for non-attendance related to COVID-19 during academic year 2020-21
NHS England has the following advice in relation to Coronavirus and symptoms. Full guidance can be found here. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
-A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
-A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
-A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Pupil has symptoms
-Pupils who have symptoms should self-isolate and get a test.
-If a pupil tests negative and if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating and return to school.
-If a pupil tests positive, they should continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms.
-They should only return to school if they do not have symptoms other than a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste (anosmia). This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone.
Someone in the Pupil’s household has symptoms
-The household should self-isolate and the member of their household should get a test.
-If the member of the household tests negative, the pupil can stop self-isolating and can return to school.
-If the household member tests positive, the pupil should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days from when the member of their household first had symptoms.
-In all cases of self-isolation, Brakenhale School will ask parents to inform them immediately about the outcome of a test.
To support decision making reference should be made to relevant government guidance available here
Pupils who are required to self-isolate because they are a close contact of someone who has symptoms or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19)
Brakenhale School will follow the procedures detailed below when pupils may not have symptoms themselves but may be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus (COVID-19):
-The NHS NHS test and trace states that a person should self-isolate for 10 days if they have had recent close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
-In the event of a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) case in the school community, the local health protection team will provide advice on who this applies to, advising them to self-isolate for 10 days since they were last in close contact with the person that has tested positive when they were infectious.
To support decision making reference should be made to the relevant government guidance available here
Other Information
Vomiting and Diarrhoea
If your child vomits, keep them at home until they can keep food and water down. A child with diarrhoea should also be kept at home.
They can return to school as soon as they are feeling better, there is no recommendation that they need to be absent from school for 48 hours.
Cold and Coughs
Pupils may attend school with minor colds and coughs. However, if they have a persistent cough, they will need to stay at home and follow NHS Coronavirus advice.
Sore Throat
If your child complains of a slight sore throat and no other symptoms, they are fit for school.
If the sore throat occurs with a raised temperature, they need to stay at home. Please follow NHS Coronavirus advice.
Raised Temperature
If your child has a raised temperature you should contact your doctor and follow the advice given. Children with a temperature must not be sent to school.
Minor Aches and Pains
In most cases your child will be well enough to attend school; however, if your child has a persistent tooth or ear ache, they need to see a dentist or a doctor.
For example, you don’t need to keep a child at home whose only complaint is a minor headache, again take the recommended steps.
Family Holidays
Brakenhale does not authorise holiday absences during term time and any requests may result in an unauthorised absence where a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued. Family holidays are expected to be taken during school holidays.
If your child will be absent from school, a Leave of Absence Form should be completed and returned to Main Reception at least one month prior to any proposed holiday leave, for consideration in exceptional instances.
Please contact me:
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance you should contact me via Main Reception on 01344 423041 ext. 229.
The school will contact you if:
-Your child is absent from school.
-Your child’s attendance rate falls below 95%.
-Your child is regularly late for school.
-A regular pattern appears in your child’s absences.
-Calls or Letters from you are not received explaining absences.
Kind regards
Mrs Collette Silvey, Attendance Manager

5th March: Covid Testing W/C 8.3.21

Dear Parents/Carers
COVID Test – Week commencing 8th March 2021
You should have received communications detailing what time your child needs to be in school for their first COVID test next week.
On the day, please can you advise your children that they will need to enter the school site via the Coningsby Road entrance and make their way around the outside of the school to the fire exit of the Sports Hall (this entrance is adjacent to the public entrance to the Trampoline Centre). There will be no other access point due to building works.
As soon as your child has taken their test they are allowed to go straight home. Results will be emailed or text to you by the end of the school day once they have all been uploaded.
Kind regards
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider

4th March: Face Masks

Dear Parents/Carers
Face Masks
I am writing to clarify with you the position with regarding the wearing of face masks when students return next week. As you may be aware, the government has now advised that students should wear masks in the classroom in addition to the corridors and social spaces. This new guidance relating to the classroom is not compulsory and whilst we would encourage students to wear their masks in the classroom this cannot be enforced by the teacher. I would hope that unless a student has a medical exemption that they would see the benefit of protecting others by wearing their mask even though I fully accept that it is not the most comfortable thing to do. Staff in the classroom will wear a mask where they cannot maintain a 2 metre social distance.
The wearing of masks in the corridors and social areas is compulsory unless a student is exempt and students who deliberately refuse to wear a mask will face a sanction in line with the school behaviour policy as they did before Christmas.
Students were excellent during the first term in complying with the rules surrounding masks and I am sure that this will continue.
I fully understand that this is not an ideal situation and that for some people they will feel strongly that masks should not be worn and for others that they should. However, the rules surrounding the wearing of masks are not set by myself and I hope that we will soon be in a position where they are not required at all, as ever thank you for your support.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

3rd March: Admissions Arrangements 2022/23

Dear Parents/Carers
Admissions Arrangements 2022/23
In accordance with the School Admissions Code 2014, the Greenshaw Learning Trust has consulted on the admissions arrangements for Brakenhale for entry in September 2022/23. The consultation closed in December 2020.
Please click on the link below to view the determined admission arrangements for the school.
Admissions Arrangements 2022/23
Kind regards
School Office

3rd March: Year 10 Virtual Parents Evening

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Year 10 Virtual Parents Evening – Thursday 4th March 2021
I would like to invite you to attend our virtual parents’ evening on Thursday 4th March. This is an important evening and provides you with an opportunity to speak with your son/daughter’s subject teachers. You will be able to discuss your child’s progress and ask questions linked to their work.
We recognise the importance of attending parents evening however we understand that due to work commitments some parents/carers may be unable to attend. If this is the case then your son/daughter can attend individually to discuss in detail their progress with their subject teachers. This is a crucial opportunity for you son/daughter to understand the next steps in learning to help them prepare for the year ahead to achieve the highest possible outcomes in any future examinations.
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.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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. 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/guardian 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
It is vitally important that if you can not attend our Year 10 virtual parents evening your son/daughter are encouraged to attend. We will be awarding house points to each student who attends parents evening and have a prize draw on our return.
Kind regards
Miss Wilson

3rd March: Year 10 GCSE Science

Dear Parents/Carers,
Year 10 GCSE Science
Firstly, thank you for your continued support at home during this period of virtual learning. We have been really pleased with the continued engagement at home by your son/daughter. Secondly, ahead of the upcoming parents evening, I wanted to share with you a few details of the current course of study your son/daughter is on for GCSE Science. These details are as follows:
Course Title and Assessment – AQA Trilogy is a double award and worth two GCSE’s. It is assessed by six, 1 hour and 15 minute exams. It is a combined Science course that incorporates Biology, Chemistry and Physics. As the course is worth 2 GCSE’s, the overall grades are given as a pair.
Revision and Resources – We are in the process of purchasing revision guides and workbooks to support the continued preparation in school and at home for the Summer 2022 exams. These will be the exams that decide the overall grades.
Consolidation of Online Learning – In Year 11, we run a compulsory P6 which is aimed at retrieving lesson time whilst focusing on GCSE preparation.
Upcoming Assessment Points – AP3 will be based on an in-class assessment which should be completed before Easter (date and content to be confirmed soon). End of year 10 exams will continue as normal in the summer term. AP4 reports on these results.
More information on the specification for the course can be found here:
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464
Beyond GCSE – Students will be able to choose across A-levels for Biology, Chemistry and Physics should they meet the entry requirements for these courses.
Should there be any further queries, please do not hesitate to make contact with me.
Best wishes
Mr J Radcliffe, Head of Science
jradcliffe@brakenhale.co.uk

3rd March: NCS is Back! Year 11 and 12

Dear Parents and Students,
NCS will aim to run their programme this summer. Please have a look at this video – NCS is back!
This is a great opportunity to build new skills and gain confidence. It’s great fun and something that could help you stand out from the crowd.
Don’t miss out on the adventure, spaces are limited this year.
Regards
Mr Beukes, Assistant Headteacher
rbeukes@brakenhale.co.uk

1st March: Bright Sparks Masterclass Talks

Dear Parents/Carers
Bright Sparks – Masterclass talks available now
For those interested in developing their skills and knowledge outside of lessons, the Greenshaw Learning Trust is organising a range of interesting talks on a wide variety of subjects and topics that you can sign up to and enjoy.
Each session is around an hour and you can select from a range of interests. Three of the sessions are being delivered by staff from Brakenhale – so your support will be very welcome!
Sessions will run from 4pm until 5pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week and you can sign up to just one session or the whole set via this link http://tinyurl.com/1wdbf33x
Schedule
Tuesday 2nd March – How do you compose an award-winning song?
Thursday 4th March – Can parasites control our behaviour?
Wednesday 10th March – How did Trump become President?
Thursday 11th March – Nuclear Fusion – The Holy Grail of free, clean energy?
Wednesday 17th March – How can you make sure you never read a boring book in your life?
Thursday 18th March – Should university be free?
Wednesday 24th March – What are the best top tips and tricks for Digital Illustration?
Thursday 25th March – Where do pilots and cabin crew rest and sleep when flying around the world?
Kind regards
Mr A George

1st March: Covid-19 Home Testing Information

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Home Testing Information
We have been informed, that in addition to home testing for students, households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age students are eligible for twice weekly home testing too. For further information please click on the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff
Please note that only home-tests for students will be provided by the school – please see the link above on how to get them for others in your family household, childcare or support bubble. Students will be tested three times in school and we will issue students with their own home test kit to commence after their third test in school.
If you are a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of staff or a student you can get a twice-weekly test:
· through your employer if they offer testing to employees
· at a local test site
· by collecting a home test kit from a test site
· by ordering a home test kit online
Please refer to my previous correspondence for further information on testing and return to school dates.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

26th February: Covid Testing Schedule

 

Test 1

Monday 8th March

Test 1

Tuesday 9th March

Test 1

Wednesday 10th March

11B 9.30 – 10.15 9B 9.00 – 9.45 7B 9.00 – 9.45
11R 9R 7R
11A 9A 7A
11K 9K 7K
11E 10.15 – 11.00 9E 9.45 – 10.15 7E 9.45 – 10.15
11N 9N 7N
11H 9H 7H
11S
11C
P16B 11.00 – 11.30 10B 10.30 – 11.15 8B 10.30 – 11.15
P16R 10R 8R
P16A 10A 8A
10K 8K
P16K 11.30 – 12.00 10E 11.15 – 11.45 8E 11.15 – 11.45
P16E 10N 8N
P16H 10H 8H

 

Test 2

Thursday 11th March

Test 2

Friday 12th March

Test 2

Monday 15th March

Year 11 13.30 – 14.30 Year

9

13.00 – 14.00 Year

8

13.00 – 14.00
Sixth Form 14.30 – 15.30 Year

10

14.00 – 15.00 Year

7

14.00 – 15.00

 

Test 3

Tuesday 16th March

Test 3

Wednesday 17th March

Test 3

Thursday 18th March

Year 11 13.30 – 14.30 Year

9

13.00 – 14.00 Year

8

13.00 – 14.00
Sixth Form 14.30 – 15.30 Year

10

 

14.00 – 15.00 Year

7

14.00 – 15.00

Students will be dismissed from school after their second and third tests.
Students who are not being tested will go home at the same time as their year group are being tested.

26th February: Friday Fun Challenge

Good morning
Fun Friday Challenge
It’s the Fun Friday Challenge – Get to Work! #getinvolved #teambrakenhale
Kind regards
School Office

25th February: Lockdown Lottery Draw

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Lockdown Lottery
This week’s ‘Lockdown Lottery’ draw will take place this afternoon. All winners will be contacted and will also be announced in this week’s Parent News on Friday.
The attendance and house points will be based on Monday – Thursday this week. From next week we will include Friday – Friday for all draws.
Despite the name ‘Lockdown Lottery’, we will continue to run the competitions for the rest of this term.
We would also like to the take this opportunity to thank all the local business for their support in helping with the prizes for our students.
Kind regards
Mr Beukes

25th February: Berkshire Active / YST

Dear Parents/Carers
Berkshire Active / YST
I have an exciting opportunity to be able to offer to Brakenhale pupils, to do with leadership in PE and Sport.
Berkshire Active and the YST (Youth Sport Trust) have teamed up to offer young people in the county an opportunity to get involved with becoming leaders.
This promotes lots of fantastic skills that are to be developed when taking part in the course and it can all be done from home.
If you would like to take part in the programme, then please contact myself and I will send you the link to sign up. Please email me at mpotter@brakenhale.co.uk
The deadline is tomorrow, Friday 26th February, so please action this as soon as you can.
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

25th February: Year 9 Options

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Options
We are delighted that all options were submitted by the deadline and we thank you for your support with this. We are now creating next year’s school timetable and will then be able to allocate students to their options classes. This process takes a long time to complete as it involves the staffing for next year, Year 11 moving into the Sixth Form, and we have to change or amend certain courses. Whilst we would like to get this completed as soon as possible the allocated options are unlikely to be confirmed until mid-June.
If there are any issues with students allocations I will speak directly to the students when they are back in school and notify all parents/carers.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

24th February: Safe Cycling

Dear Parents/Carers
Safe Cycling
As we return to school, we would like to remind you that at Brakenhale we welcome our students cycling to school. It is good for the environment and their health. In addition, Bracknell has numerous safe cycle paths that students can use to avoid busy roads as much as possible.
We have a ‘Brakenhale Safe Cycle Scheme’ where all students will require a cycle pass to be able to ride their bike or scooter to school and use the bike store.
Students who wish to cycle to school must have a roadworthy bike with working brakes and must be prepared to wear a safety helmet at all times. A cycle pass may be withdrawn if a student is seen riding their bike in a dangerous manner.
We have a designated area to keep bikes but would ask that students bring an individual lock.
If your son/daughter would like to cycle to school, please ensure they have read and are familiar with the contents of the attached:
· Cycle Safety Information sheet and
· Department for Transport National Standard for Cycle Training information.
To request a cycle pass, please click on the link below. Once your request has been approved, your son/daughter will be issued with a pass via their tutor. When completing the form below, please use the tutor group they will be moving up to in September.
https://forms.gle/a4cdQMVgxmvjL1GMA
For students who already have a cycle pass, there is no need to reapply and I will issue them with a new 2019/20 pass next term.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours faithfully
Mr H Thomas, Assistant Headteacher
hthomas@brakenhale.co.uk

24th February: Return to School - Additional Information

Dear Parents/Carers
Return to School
Further to our previous correspondence, we would like to confirm that if your child has tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 90 days, they should not be tested at school when they return as the result of the lateral flow test may give a false positive result. If this is the case and you have previously provided consent, please advise by email mainreception@brakenhale.co.uk that they should not be tested.
We would also like to take this opportunity to advise that when students return to school full canteen services will be operating for student lunches and we would ask that ParentPay accounts are topped up ready for students to enjoy school meals.
Kind regards
School Office

23rd February: Lockdown Lottery

Good afternoon

Lockdown Lottery
Please see attached information on the lockdown lottery!
#getinvolved #teambrakenhale
Kind regards

School Office

23rd February: Return to School

Dear Parents/Carers
Return to School [please read in full]
Further to yesterday’s government announcement regarding the return to school schedule, we are delighted to be able to update you on the plans for students return. You may be aware we are required to test all students whose parents consent three times across a two week period from Monday 8th March. As I am sure you can appreciate this is a huge logistical task which requires almost 4,000 tests to be undertaken. Therefore, we will be planning a phased return in order for us to be able to do this and the table below outlines the plan. On-line learning will continue for students until their return to school date. Students who have been accessing the on-site provision will be contacted separately regarding what we are able to offer between Monday 8th and Wednesday 10th March.
We will send further details next week regarding the specific time that your son/daughter will be required to attend for Test 1. On their return to school date timings will be as usual with the day starting at 8.30am.

Test 1 (school uniform is not required to be worn for Test 1)
Years Test Date Return to School
11/12/13 Monday 8th March Tuesday 9th March
9/10 Tuesday 9th March Wednesday 10th March
7/8 Wednesday 10th March Thursday 11th March

 

Test 2
Years Test Date Time
11/12/13 Thursday 11th March Lunchtime / P5*
9/10 Friday 12th March Lunchtime / P5
7/8 Monday 15th March Lunchtime / P5

 

Test 3
Years Test Date Time
11/12/13 Tuesday 16th March Lunchtime / P5
9/10 Wednesday 17th March Lunchtime / P5
7/8 Thursday 18th March Lunchtime / P5

* When students have their second and third tests, they will be permitted to leave school as soon as their testing is complete. Students who do not have consent for testing will return home at lunch-time.
If you completed our Covid-19 Test Consent Form in December there is no need to complete again, if you didn’t complete, please click on the link below to provide consent. If you have changed your mind, please do not hesitate to contact us.
https://forms.gle/NLB2R676MCa36Mx9A
Other Important Information
School Uniform:
We look forward to welcoming our students back into school and our high expectations continue to apply in all areas including uniform. Students who do not adhere to our uniform policy will be subject to the same consequences as normal and we would ask parents to ensure that they are supporting us in this. This also applies to jewellery, make-up and extreme hair-cuts and colours. Students now have two weeks to ensure that any piercings are replaced by small plain plastic studs and that hair dye is removed.
We would like to remind you that students should be in full school uniform including school shoes when they return together with all the required Tools for Learning.
We fully understand that many students will have outgrown their uniform and shoes and it is harder to purchase this during the current lockdown.   Mrs Theal has spent some considerable time researching available uniform and stock in the local area and attached to this email is a detailed list to help you. If you are struggling in any way to purchase uniform, please let us know via uniform@brakenhale.co.uk and we will be able to help you. If you have any uniform you wish to donate or exchange, please also contact us on this email address.
Our school uniform can be purchased online from The Direct Clothing Company https://www.thedirectclothing.co.uk/school/the-brakenhale-school/
We have a limited stock of ties available to purchase from Main Reception at a cost of £7.00 and these can be paid for via ParentPay.   Individual items of stationery may be purchased for cash from the LRC or alternatively filled pencil cases, Art Books and Calculators can be purchased via ParentPay
Face Masks:
Students are now required to wear a face mask during all their lessons as well as moving around the corridors and when not eating in the dining hall and we would therefore remind you that students must bring a plain face mask to school. If a mask is not brought to school a disposable mask can be purchased from Head of Year Office at a cost of 50p – we would request that money for the mask is brought in the following day. You will be advised via schoolcomms if your son/daughter has been given a disposable face mask. Students who do not wear a face mask and do not have a previously agreed exemption with the school (Head of Year) will be subject to the behaviour policy and sanctioned accordingly.
New site layout:
Students will notice a considerable change to the school site and they can now enter and exit the school via Coningsby or Rectory Lane.   The old bike shed is now closed and if students cycle to school they should use the new cycle shed area.
While we await the installation of the new gates on Rectory Lane, parking still remains for staff only at Coningsby and parents are unable to park onsite.
Student Conduct to and from school:
Guidelines still require that students should not gather in large groups before and after school and we would appreciate that you remind your son/daughter that they should not get together with friends outside of school hours until such time as the government announces further changes.
We understand that the return to school will be a huge adjustment for our families so please be reassured that we are always here to talk through any concerns and our Student Support Team will be able to make appointments to see individual students if they wish to discuss any worries or anxieties.   Please feel free to email Head of Year or Tutor direct.
Finally, all at #teambrakenhale are incredibly excited to at last be able to have our students back on site with us and as ever thank you for all your support across this very challenging time.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

23rd February: Bracknell Forest Inter-School Distance Challenge

Dear Parents/Carers
Bracknell Forest Inter School Distance Challenge
Time to prove that Brakenhale students are the best!
2 week challengeStarting Monday 22nd February
Which Bracknell School can travel the furthest?
Enter the number of KMs you have walked/run/cycled using the QR code to record your distance for Brakenhale.
To record your distance download strava and search for Brakenhale PE (press explore – clubs – Brakenhale PE).
Ask to join the club and start recording your distances.
Physical house points are up for grabs for those who take part in the challenge and join Brakenhale PE Strava club.
Please note that strava will ask for some personal information, however all privacy setting have been activated on the club and only club members will see your engagement on the app. Additionally, you can turn privacy setting on your own account too. If you do not wish to share your information please do not use the app.
Kind Regards,
Miss Butler, PE

12th February: Fun Friday Half Term Challenge

Good afternoon
It’s the Fun Friday Half-Term Challenge #getinvolved #teambrakenhale
Roses are Red

12th February: Year 10 Virtual Parents' Evening - 4.3.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 10 Virtual Parents Evening – Thursday 4th March 2021
As you may already be aware, in previous years we have always held an annual Parents Evening for Year 10 students, providing parents and carers with the opportunity to meet with their child’s subject teachers to discuss their progress, pastoral well-being and any other relevant items to date so far. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, we are unable to hold this event in school as we have in previous years.
We recognise the importance of this event and would therefore like to invite you to a virtual Parents Evening on Thursday 4th March 2021 between 4pm and 8pm.
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.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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. 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/guardian 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.
Regards,
Miss Wilson, Head of Year 10

10th February: Russell Group University Webinars

Dear Parents/Carers
Russell Group University Webinar
Please be reminded of this week’s Russell Group University Webinar series:
Webinar 5 – 10th February – Exeter University: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—5
The event will cover themes such as:
An introduction to Higher Education, university life, finances, joining clubs and social events, applying to competitive universities, hearing from student ambassadors, and having a real chance to ask questions that will help you get a better understanding of what Uni life is like.
Replay links – Crowdcast
Webinar 1 – 13th January – Nottingham University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series–
Webinar 2 – 20th January – Birmingham University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—2
Webinar 3 – 27th January – Bristol University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—3
Webinar 4 – Wednesday 3rd February – Cardiff University: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—4
All events run from 2-3pm on a Wednesday, and you need to register early to save your space.

Kind regards
Mr R Beukes, Assistant Headteacher

10th February: Digital Detox Day Friday 12.2.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Digital Detox Day – Friday 12th February
In support of the Digital Detox Day a variety of engaging and character-building activities will be posted in your son/daughter’s Year Group Google Classroom.
They are linked to our Character Education programme, which focuses on a specific Character Strength which aims at developing values and virtues for a holistic educational approach.
Students will have the opportunity to gain 3 House Points towards their Character Badges for each assignment completed.
The main aim of Digital Detox is to look after young people’s mental health and give them a well-deserved break from the screen. We have therefore put together a variety of options so students can choose the assignments they would like to focus on. The expectation is that students’ complete activities across the school day 9am – 3pm.
For those students on-site, a similar and varied programme of activities will be provided across the day, relating to a specific Character Strength whilst supporting them with a screen break and positive wellbeing.
Kind regards
Mr R Beukes, Assistant Headteacher
Plan for Students

9th February: Covid Winter Grant Scheme

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid Winter Grant Scheme
Bracknell Forest Council are supporting local families to keep students working from home warm this winter and may be struggling with fuel bills.
Please click on the link below to see if you would be entitled to assistance:
COVID Winter Grant Scheme | Bracknell Forest Council (bracknell-forest.gov.uk)
Kind regards
School Office

8th February: National Apprenticeship Week

Dear Parents/Carers
Please see attached information for students.
https://brakenhale.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/National-Apprenticeship-Week-Plans-for-students-FINAL.pdf
School Office

5th February: Fun Friday Challenge - Beat It

Dear Parents/Carers
The Fun Friday Challenge this week is Beat It.

Kind regards
School Office

5th February: Year 8 HPV Vaccinations

Dear Parents/Carers
HPV Vaccination – Year 8
A letter was sent home from the School Nursing Team regarding the above vaccination for Year 8.
The School Nursing Team will be in direct contact with parents to offer individual drop in appointments for 23rd February.
Kind regards
School Office

5th February: Parent Governor

Dear Parents/Carers
Parent Governor
Following the ballot for the election of a new parent governor to fill the vacancy on the school’s governing body, the votes were counted on 1st February 2021 and the following parent has been elected:
JOHN HUMPHREY
On behalf of the school and the governing body I would like to thank those who stood for election and all parents and carers who voted.
Kind regards
Dawn Deykin, Clerk to the LGB, Brakenhale School and Crown Wood Primary School

3rd February: Russell Group University Webinar

Dear Parents/Carers
Russell Group University Webinar
Please be reminded of this week’s Russell Group University Webinar series:
Webinar 4 – Wednesday 3rd February – Cardiff University:
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—4
The event will cover themes such as:
An introduction to Higher Education, university life, finances, joining clubs and social events, applying to competitive universities, hearing from student ambassadors, and having a real chance to ask questions that will help you get a better understanding of what Uni life is like.
Replay links – Crowdcast
Webinar 1 – 13th January – Nottingham University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series–
Webinar 2 – 20th January – Birmingham University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—2
Webinar 3 – 27th January – Bristol University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—3
All events run from 2-3pm on a Wednesday, and you need to register early to save your space.

Kind regards
Mr R Beukes, Assistant Headteacher

1st February: In School Provision

Dear Parents/Carers
In School Provision
Please can I remind you that whilst your son/daughter is accessing on school provision they must follow all the normal school uniform regulations. Trainers may only be worn for PE, at all other times school shoes must be worn. If your son/daughter does not currently have a pair of school shoes that fit, please advise us and we will do our best to supply them with a pair from our school provisions.
Hoodies and non-school uniform jumpers are also not allowed and again we are happy to loan school jumpers if needed.
Finally, can I please ask you to remind your son/daughter that they should not be using a mobile phone on site, breaches of this will result in mobile phones being confiscated in line with our usual mobile phone sanctions.
Many thanks for your co-operation and support.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

1st February: Year 8 HPV Vaccinations

Dear Parents/Carers
HPV Vaccination – Year 8
Please see letter sent home from the School Nursing Team regarding the above vaccination for Year 8.
The School Nursing Team will be in direct contact with you to offer individual drop in appointments for 23rd February.
Kind regards
School Office

29th January: Virtual Experience Days for Free School Meal Students

Dear Parents/Carers
Virtual Experience Days
The University of Surrey is offering Half Term Virtual Experience Days across February Half Term to give Brakenhale students a taste of University life with subject tasters, society tasters and wellbeing sessions.
There will be a JustEat voucher provided so that you are able to attend the virtual social lunch, as well as a £10 Tesco voucher to support with meal provision during Half Term.
Please see the attached flyer for details of which days are offered for students depending on their Key Stage; sign-up is required in advance of the sessions.
We hope that these sessions give you an insight to the opportunities available to you via University Unlocked.
Best wishes
Mrs Lister and Miss Rushby

@SurreyOutreach
Half Term Virtual Experience Day
Join our team and current students as we virtually invite you to the University of Surrey. Each day of interactive virtual sessions will encourage your child to take part in higher education activities filled with hands-on Subject Tasters, Society Tasters & Wellbeing Sessions.
DATES
Monday 15th February Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9
Tuesday 16th February Key Stage 4 – Year 10-11
Wednesday 17th February Key Stage 5 – Year 12-13
Thursday 18th February Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9
Each day is for young people in receipt of Free School Meals and tailored to students from Year 7 to Year 13! We can also support with digital devices and connectivity to make sure everyone who wants to can access University Unlocked.
Each day will run from 10am to 2pm and the content is tailored to the milestones for each Key Stage – KS3: Choosing Options,KS4: Next Steps & Careers, KS5: University Life
To sign up, complete the form here:
https://surrey.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/
For more information, contact Maisie atwp@surrey.ac.uk
#SurreyUniWPO

28th January: Russell Group University Webinars

Dear Parents/Carers
Russell Group University Webinars
Please see the updated replay links for the Russell group University webinars:
Webinar 1 – 13th Jan – Nottingham University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series–
Webinar 2 – 20th Jan – Birmingham University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—2
Webinar 3 – 27th Jan – Bristol University – replay link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—3
Next week’s webinar 14:00 – 15:00
Webinar 4 – 3rd Feb – Cardiff University: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—4
Kind regards
Mr R Beukes, Assistant Headteacher

27th January: Password Security

Dear Parents/Carers
Password Security
It has come to our attention that a small number of students email accounts have been accessed by other students. Please can you remind your son/daughter that they should not share their password with anyone else and/or allow anyone to access their email accounts.
If your son/daughter believes that someone else has used their account could you please ask them to contact their Head of Year who will arrange for their password to be changed.
Many thanks for your support.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

27th January: Next Russell Group University Webinar Bristol

Dear Parents/Carers
Russell Group University Webinar
Please be reminded that the Russell Group University Webinar series is today: Bristol University https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—3
The event will cover themes such as:
An introduction to Higher Education, university life, finances, joining clubs and social events, applying to competitive universities, hearing from student ambassadors, and having a real chance to ask questions that will help you get a better understanding of what Uni life is like.
All events run from 2-3pm on a Wednesday, and you need to register early to save your space.
Kind regards
Mr R Beukes, Assistant Headteacher

26th January: Home Learning Help from DfE

Dear Parents/Carers
Home Learning
The Department for Education have offered additional provision to assist with households that are struggling with mobile data and broadband connectivity.
Full details of the DfE offer can be found here:
https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/about-increasing-mobile-data
As part of the Greenshaw Learning Trust (GLT) we are able to submit requests and then order additional support in bulk from the DfE.
If you meet all three of the criteria below please could you complete the Google Form and GLT will apply to the DfE on your behalf.
1. Do not have fixed broadband at home
2. Cannot afford additional data for their devices
3. Are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education
https://forms.gle/psRESESMwGsVtmSM8
Any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

26th January: SLT Assembly

Good morning
SLT Assembly
Please click on the link below to view this week’s Assembly from Mr Corry, Deputy Headteacher:
SLT Assembly – Mr Corry, Deputy Headteacher
Kind regards
School Office

25th January: Performing Arts Update Years 7-9

Dear Parents/Carers
Performing Arts Update – Years 7, 8 and 9
The Performing Arts department have created a website full of fun and exciting tasks that students can complete as enrichment to continue to develop their Performing Arts understanding.
For Years 7, 8 & 9, there is an opportunity for students to expand their skills and explore different aspects of the Performing Arts from home. The website can be found on your son/daughter’s Year Group Google Classroom and here:
https://sites.google.com/brakenhale.co.uk/performing-arts-online/home
There are a range of activities to choose from including reviews, fact files, costume and set design, stunt work or music promotion to list a few! Students are encouraged to take a look at their year group’s page and pick their favourites to complete. Tasks can be completed by submitting photos, videos, drawings, written answers or a combination of everything – the choice is theirs! The website provides all the details of tasks and how to submit student work.
Along with all the exciting tasks on the website, students can also view performances from past and present Brakenhale students. From coursework to competition entries, the Brakenhale Performing Arts students have performed some amazing work that we are very proud to share with you. Students can earn house points just by watching these videos and telling us what they think!
We are really looking forward to seeing the amazing work that students complete and will be sharing the most creative and thoughtful work in future editions of Parent News and via our Twitter account @PABrakenhale – please make sure you follow us!
The site will continue to be updated as long as we are learning online. If students have any ideas for tasks or performance pieces they would like to see on the website, they can let us know at performingarts@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
Charlotte Duffy, Head of Performing Arts

22nd January: Year 9 Dance

Dear Parents and Carers
Year 9 Dance
Due to school closures, we have been unable to rotate the PE and Dance groups for Year 9.
Usually, this would take place after Christmas. This means that if your son/daughter wanted to study Dance this academic year, they will not have had the opportunity to rotate classes yet.
This also means that a Parents Evening slot to talk about progress and options in Dance will not have been available to you for Parents Evening. If you would like any further information or an appointment, please feel free to contact Mrs Duffy directly to arrange this via email cduffy@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
The School Office

22nd January: Fun Friday Challenge

It’s the Fun Friday Challenge – Tap to Tidy.

Kind regards
School Office

21st January: Year 9 Parents Evening

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Parents Evening
Apologies SchoolCloud are experiencing technical difficulties which may mean that you are unable to connect to your Parents Evening appointments this evening – they are currently investigating the issue. If you have been unable to get connected for your appointments please rest assured that we will reschedule this evening for a later date – we will keep you updated as soon as we receive an update.
Kind regards
School Office

20th January: Family Learning Fortnight

Good afternoon
Family Learning Fortnight
Calling all (lovely and possibly stir-crazy) parents & carers……the BFC Family Learning Team have put together a collection of fun and easy home learning projects that are FREE for everyone to use. Starting on Sunday 24th January, there will be a new activity suggestion posted each evening – the ideas are play-based but with educational benefits and designed to be low maintenance. “Family Learning Fortnight” is being hosted on the Open Learning Centre Facebook page, all you need to do is go to https://www.facebook.com/bracknelladultlearning and like or follow. The first post will launch on Sunday 24th January at 7pm and there will be more activities posted every day for two weeks – just look out for #familylearningfortnight
Kind regards
Community and Continuing Education, Bracknell Forest Council

20th January: Russell Group University Webinars

Dear Students
We would like to offer you the opportunity to join in on the Year 11, 12 and 13 University Webinar experience as we know that some of you will find this highly informative regarding your future aspirations. These talks will be hosted by Russell Group Universities (Top 24 Universities in the UK).
These events will cover themes such as:
An introduction to Higher Education, university life, finances, joining clubs and social events, applying to competitive universities, hearing from student ambassadors, and having a real chance to ask questions that will help you get a better understanding of what Uni life is like.
All events run from 2-3pm on a Wednesday, and you need to register early to save your space.
Here’s the link to this week’s webinar event with Birmingham University – Wednesday 20th January, 2- 3pm: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—2
If students choose to attend the Webinar please can they email their HOY so they are aware.
Kind regards
Mr R Beukes, Assistant Headteacher

19th January: Well-being Advice

Dear Students
Please see below information from The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) who have published advice for young people signposting when and where you should seek help during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kind regards
Bracknell School Nursing Team

It can be confusing to know what to do when you are unwell during the coronavirus outbreak. Remember that the NHS is still providing safe care.
GP practices and hospitals have made changes to help reduce the risk of infection. Please follow government guidance – keep washing your hands regularly, wear a face covering in
enclosed spaces and maintain social distancing.
Remember: if you are unwell, seek advice and medical attention. Here is some advice to help:

RED: If you experience any of the following:
• Pale, mottled skin and feeling abnormally cold to the touch.
• Severe breathing difficulty – going blue or breathless to talk / eat / drink.
• A fit/seizure (unless these are expected for you).
• Become extremely confused, difficult to wake or unresponsive.
• Develop a rash that does not disappear with pressure (the ‘Glass test’).
• Severe testicular pain.
• If you have seriously harmed yourself, please tell an adult and seek urgent medical help.

RED: You need urgent help: Go to the nearest A&E department or call 999

AMBER: If you experience any of the following:
• Finding it hard to breathe but can still talk in full sentences / eat and drink.
• Dehydration (feeling very thirsty, sunken eyes or no wee for 12 hours).
• Becoming drowsy (excessively sleepy), irritable or confused.
• Shivering or muscle pain without an obvious explanation.
• A fever of 38°C / 100.4°F or above for more than 5 days.
• Persistent vomiting.
• Worsening or persistent abdominal pain.
• Blood in your poo or wee.
• Increasingly thirsty and weeing more.
• Any limb injury causing reduced movement or persistent pain.
• Head injury causing persistent pain or drowsiness.
• You are getting worse or if you are worried.

AMBER: Immediately contact your GP and make an appointment to be seen that day or call NHS 111 – dial 111.
We recognise that during the current COVID-19 crisis, at peak times, access to a healthcare professional may be delayed. If symptoms persist for 4 hours or more and you have not been able
to speak to either a member of staff from your GP practice or to NHS 111, then consider going to your nearest A&E.

GREEN: If none of the above features are present:
• If you have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough or loss of taste/smell) stay at home and arrange to be tested via the NHS testing website or by calling 119. You and anyone in your support bubble must remain at home (isolate) until your test results are back.
• If you have been burned, visit: https://safetea.org.uk/first-aid/ for first aid advice and for information about when to seek medical attention.

GREEN: Continue to recover at home.
If you are still concerned, contact NHS 111 – visit 111.nhs.uk or dial 111.

MENTAL HEALTH: If you’re feeling extremely distressed, or are experiencing suicidal feelings:
• Call 24/7 Mental Health urgent helplines, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-healthservices/where-to-get-urgent-help-for-mental-health/
• Call Papyrus Hopeline UK on 0800 068 4141.
• Text SHOUT to 85258 – the Crisis Messenger for free 24/7 support.
• Call Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone) – they will listen to you.
If you’re worried about your mental health, talk with a trusted adult or seek guidance from your local GP, YoungMinds (visit https://youngminds.org.uk), Every Mind Matters (visit https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters) or call 0800 1111 for Childline.

18th January: Ivy League Lectures - Birmingham 20.1.21

Ivy League Lectures
Please see link below to this week’s webinar event with Birmingham University – Wednesday 20th January @3pm.
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series—2
Kind regards
School Office

18th January: Home Learning

Dear Parents/Carers
Home Learning
After a full week of live lessons for the whole school we have a few amendments to get the most out of the home learning experience:
– All students should join the google meet live lesson with their camera turned off. Each individual teacher will inform the group if they wish for cameras to be turned on – if your child has one or if they feel comfortable to do so.
– All students should remain on mute throughout the lesson unless they are requested to contribute. If they want to ask a question they should raise their hand (virtual function as part of google meet) or ask a question in the chat function (if it is turned on).
These expectations are for everyone’s safeguarding and well being.
Kind regards
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

18th January: Sixth Form Interviews

Dear Parents/Carers,
Thank you for your son/daughter’s application to our Sixth Form – we are delighted to be able to offer them an interview. I am writing to let you know what the plan and time frame is for holding our interviews virtually this year.
Interviews will be held using Google Meets over a 2 week period starting on Monday 25th January, and ending on Friday 5th February. These will be 10 minute appointments with the Sixth Form Leadership team and members of the Senior Leadership Team, and will be based on the applications that students have made.
These discussions will be based around the student’s ambitions, their option choices, and the general questions that the students have already answered on their applications.
Students will receive an invite to their school email address, and will need to access the interview using the ‘Join Google Meet’ link on the invite at the time of the interview. Students will be able to leave their ‘Live Lessons’ in order to attend these interviews, and will be reminded of their interview in the morning during ‘Turbo Tutor’. It is really important that students are aware of their interview time and that they attend their meeting on time – any support that parents/carers can give with this would be greatly appreciated.
Students will then receive a confirmation communication of their place at Sixth Form in early February sent through SchoolComms and to their school email.
If you have any questions at all please do let me know. Thank you for your support with this and we look forward to another incredibly successful round of interviews with what is a very talented cohort of year 11s.
Many thanks,

Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

18th January: Year 11 & Sixth Form Consultation on the awarding of qualifications in 2021

Dear Parents/Carers
Consultation on the awarding of qualifications in 2021
Ofqual and the Department for Education have now launched their consultation process on the awarding of GCSE and A Level qualifications this summer, as well as a separate consultation for vocational qualifications including BTECs. The consultation period will be open for two weeks, closing on Friday 29th January.  To access the consultation documents and respond, see links below.
GCSE and A Level consultation
Vocational award consultation
Respond to the consultation
Key proposals from Ofqual and the DfE

  • Students will continue with their education during this academic year
  • A student’s grade in each subject will be based on their teachers’ assessment of the standard at which the student is performing
  • Students will be assessed by their teachers in a period beginning in May into early June
  • Exam boards will provide guidance and training and make a set of papers available for teachers to use with students as part of their assessment
  • Teachers will continue to assess any non-exam assessment or coursework that a student has undertaken in a subject
  • External quality assurance by the exam boards will be ongoing throughout June
  • Results will be issued to students once the quality assurance process is complete, most likely in early July
  • Student appeals could be submitted immediately following the issue of results

It is important to note that these are only proposals at this stage – we are not expecting confirmation of the final arrangements until the end of February at the earliest, and any of Ofqual’s suggestions above and in the attached may change as a result of the consultation process.
I am sure that you and your children will have views about how qualifications should be awarded this year and I would encourage you to participate in the consultation process and make sure that your voices are heard.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

15th January: Character Challenge - Fun Fridays

Dear Students
Character Challenge (Fun Fridays) and House Competitions
In bid to raise spirits, gain Character Strength House Points and encourage friendly House Competition, we relaunched the Fun Friday Challenge. This week we have decided to once again team up with The Greenshaw Learning Trust. This will mean a slight change to our challenges that we advertised last week.
Please keep an eye out every Friday as we launch a new Challenge.
All entries to character@brakenhale.co.uk
Each entry will receive 3 House Points in line with the Character Strength.
A winner and a runner up will be selected in each year group.
1st place = 10 additional House Points
2nd place = 5 additional House Points
3rd place = 3 additional House Points
Kind regards
Mr R Beukes, Assistant Headteacher

15th January: Careers: Live Broadcast Lectures

In addition to the Ivy League ‘Live Lectures’, please see other ‘Live Events’ students can access.

Here is next week’s full Live Broadcasts Schedule. Please feel free to share the schedule with your students!

WEEK STARTING MONDAY 18th JANUARY 2021

 

DATE SPEAKER INFO
Tues 19th January 5-6pm

 

LINK TO JOIN

Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Education for KS4-5/S4-6 Anthony Salcito is the Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Education and was previously the Vice President of the Public Sector & Government. Anthony’s role involves empowering educators and inspiring students to achieve more. He aims to transform the way we all learn, with the support of the best technology, to help build the skills needed for the 21st century workplace. In this SFS broadcast, tune in to hear Anthony’s thoughts on how technology has impacted education, what skills are important for your future career and get the opportunity to ask your questions!
Wed 20th January 10-11am

 

LINK TO JOIN

Sophie Darlington, Wildlife Cinematographer for KS3-5/S1-6 Join us to hear Sophie Darlington share insights into what it is like to be a Wildlife Cinematographer. Sophie will be interviewed by SFS on what it was like to work on “Our Planet” and “Perfect Planet”, where she gains her inspiration from and will be sharing some top tips on filmmaking. A broadcast not to be missed for students interested in nature and filmmaking.
Wed 20th January on ZOOM

 

2-3pm

 

FORM TO SIGN UP

 

Introduction to Animation & VFX with Industrial Light & Magic for KS3/S1-3 Join Industrial Light and Magic for this ZOOM webinar about what it’s like to have a career in VFX! There will be the opportunity to hear from people who work for ILM and how they started in their careers and more about their work. There will be the opportunity to ask the speakers questions too.

 HOW TO JOIN THE LIVE BROADCASTS

LIVE BROADCASTS LIBRARY & MORE

  • Watch pre-recorded broadcasts from our library here
  • Please see our Schools Guide here.
  • Below my signature is more information on the SFS activity sheet
  • The colour codes can be found under my email signature below

Kind regards

School Office

14th January: Year 9 Parents' Evening Links

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Options Evening
Please see link below to the Year 9 Options Evening:
https://youtu.be/12pjeAc2iCU
Once you have viewed this, click on the link below to view the Options website where you will be able to view videos and information from each of the subject teachers.
https://sites.google.com/brakenhale.co.uk/ks4options/home
Tomorrow both students and parents will receive an email from SIMS with instructions on how to register option choices online via Parent Lite.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

14th January: Changes to Year 9 Parents' Evening

Dear Parents/Carers
Changes to Parents Evening
Due to recent set changes, some teachers will not have taught their new set. In order to make these changes, it has been necessary to delete the current Year 9 Parents Evening and remove all booked appointments.
We will send out a new link later today in order for you to re-book appointments.
The date and timings of the evening remain unchanged and will still be Thursday 21st January 2021 4pm to 8pm.
We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused and thank you for your understanding.
Kind regards
School Office

13th January: Parent Lite App

Dear Parents/Carers
Parent App Lite
Please see attached information (on website) on how to access the Parent App Lite – Year 9 will be using this App to select their option choices but it is useful to whole school to access to view information regarding your son/daughter.
Kind regards
School Office

13th January: Year 9 Virtual Parents' Evening - 21.1.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Virtual Parents Evening – Thursday 21st January 2021
As you may already be aware, in previous years we have always held an annual Parents Evening for Year 9 students, providing parents and carers with the opportunity to meet with their child’s subject teachers to discuss their progress, pastoral well-being and any other relevant items to date so far. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, we are unable to hold this event in school as we have in previous years.
We recognise the importance of this event and would therefore like to invite you to a virtual Parents Evening on Thursday 21st January 2021 between 4pm and 8pm.
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.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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. 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/guardian 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.
We recognise you may wish to speak with subject teachers regarding GCSE option choices. Please prioritise these as staff will have limited opportunities to meet with all students and parents who request appointments.
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.
Regards,
Mr Hilton

12th January: House Captain Applications

Good Afternoon All Students
Have you got lots of ideas?
Do you want to make a difference?
Do you want to really fly the flag for your House?
Do you see yourself as an inspirational leader?
If so your house needs you!
We are looking for House Captains across all year groups.
If you would like to apply, please click on the link below to submit your application as soon as possible.
https://forms.gle/xyaqeq4p6P43uGBj7
Good Luck
Mrs C Harris – Head of House Farley
Mrs D Turner – Head of House Swinley
Mr C Maye – Head of House Jennetts
Mrs C Duffy – Head of House Temple

12th January: Year 9 Options

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 Options – Thursday 14th January 2021 – 6pm
We are pleased to attach our Year 9 Options Booklet for your information.
We have looked at each individual student and placed them on a pathway which we believe has qualifications which are best suited to their learning style and ability.
We hope that you will be able to attend the virtual Options Evening on Thursday. The evening will commence at 6pm with an introduction from Mr Corry which will provide you with information about the process of options, key information on curriculum and the core subjects, tips on supporting your son/daughter through their GCSE’s and an update on the new GCSE’s you will be studying. After the talk you will be able to view a website displaying all of the pathways and options subjects, and you will be able to select videos from each department alongside key information such as number of exams, coursework requirements and why students should take that particular option. The site will also contain contact details of all subject leaders should you have any further questions.
We hope that this virtual event will cover all the information required to help your son/daughter make informed decisions regarding their option choices.
Please be reminded that our Virtual Parents Evening will be on Thursday 21st January – full details on booking online will follow shortly.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher
rcorry@brakenhale.co.uk

11th January: Home Learning - KS3 Live Lessons

Dear Parents/Carers
Home Learning – “Live” Lessons
Well the first day of live lessons for Key Stage 3 has been an overall success, some technical issues were dealt with and we hope that they will not persist tomorrow. The live lessons have been received well by the majority and we hope to improve on these over the next few weeks. Thank you for all your encouraging emails today, they are much appreciated as we strive to provide the very best educational experience for our students.
There have been a very small minority of students who have not behaved according to our high expectations and going forward any student behaving in an inappropriate way will be removed from the google meet immediately. An email will then be sent to you detailing their removal and the class teacher will let you know what your child did to warrant removal. If disruption occurs a second time they will be removed for the rest of the day, a third time would be removed for a full five lessons and further consequences would be applied if behaviour continues to disrupt the learning of others. Once they are removed they will be required to work from the GLT shared curriculum, as they have done previously.
We hope you understand our need to ensure that the learning environment is suitable for all our students to progress well during a very unsettling time for the majority.
Kind regards
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

11th January: Year 9 Virtual Options Evening - 14.01.21, 6pm / Year 9 Parents' Evening - 21.01.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Reminder – please calendar the Year 9 Options Evening on Thursday 14th January @6pm and click on the link sent out to join the meeting.
Additionally, the Year 9 Parents Evening will be on Thursday 21st January.
We look forward to welcoming all students and parents/carers to both of these important events to discuss your son/daughter’s subject choices as they make the transition to Key Stage 4 and their GCSE studies.
Kind regards
School Office

11th January: Russell Group Universities Webinars

Dear students,
I am writing to you to share news of an exciting series of university talks we are launching.
We know this is not the start to the Spring term you (or we) had hoped for, and much is still left to be decided regarding GCSE results until we gain a clearer understanding of the assessment measures for Summer 2021 set by the Department for Education. What we do know is that many of you are still casting your sights firmly on the future and keeping focused on the goals you hold for life beyond Brakenhale.
One way we are able to support you is to provide you with this great series of webinar events, led by speakers from Russell Group universities across the UK.
Here’s our programme for this half term:
Wednesday 13th January – Nottingham University
Wednesday 20th January – Birmingham University
Wednesday 27th January – Bristol University
Wednesday 3rd February – Cardiff University
Wednesday 10th February – Exeter University
Talks start at 2pm, arrive at 1.55pm. You must register for each event in advance, links will be sent by email. First come, first served.
We encourage you to sign up to each event and follow our set of guidelines on the next page to get the most out of these events. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t (or aren’t applying) to these universities. They will still be invaluable in broadening your understanding of higher education.
Please note that we will open up each event to Year 11 students a day after Year 12 and 13. There are limited spaces on these events and we will be joining with all other Greenshaw Learning Trust schools, so if you don’t register in plenty of time, you’re likely to miss out.
These events will cover themes such as:
An introduction to Higher Education, university life, finances, joining clubs and social events, applying to competitive universities, hearing from student ambassadors, and having a real chance to ask questions that will help you get a better understanding of what Uni life is like.
All events run from 2-3pm on a Wednesday, and you need to register early to save your space.
You can register for our first event with Nottingham University using the link below.
Register here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/university-series–
Any questions, please email rbeukes@brakenhale.co.uk or jmingay@greenshaw.co.uk.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Kind regards
Mr Beukes, Assistant Headteacher

Year 11, 12 & 13 Ivy League Lecture Programme
University Talk Series – Spring 2021
Rules for joining GLT webinars
Register for each event early
We will be releasing spaces to Year 12 and 13 each week, and then Year 11 a day after that, so everyone needs to book early to save their own space. We have a lot of GLT schools joining each of these events.
Check you can access the webinar in advance
You need to register for each event in order to attend, so sign up way before the event and check you can access.
Check your sound works
Make sure you have your sound on – headphones are fine.
Arrive to each webinar early
Show up 5-10 minutes early. Connect with others by using the chat function to say hello, give people your first name and which school you’re from.
Remove distractions
Find yourself a space in the house where you can keep focussed and put your phone away to concentrate fully.
Be respectful
Be supportive of the speaker. They are giving their time free of charge to talking to us so be kind, polite and encourage them.
Get involved
During the talk, use the chat function to respond to comments the speaker makes. Please note: any attendees who choose to misuse the chat function will be banned.
Ask questions
Ask questions using the ‘ask a question’ function at the bottom of the screen. These are the questions the speakers will read when we get to the questions section. Now is the time to ask our speakers anything you want answered regarding university. It’s quicker and simpler than trawling webpages for answers!
Vote for which questions you want to be asked/answered
On the webinar platform, there is a function where you can look in the ‘ask a question’ window and vote up or down any questions you want to be answered.
Take an interest
After each talk, explore the university’s webpage further.
The UCAS website also has some great links to Virtual Tours of different universities across the country: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/open-days-and-events/virtual-tours

11th January: Home Learning

Dear Parents/Carers
Home Learning
Today is our first day of live lessons for all students across the school. On the whole the experience so far has been very positive with over 170 students signing in at the time of the lesson for KS3; we expect this number to grow as technical difficulties are ironed out and also once the recordings are uploaded onto the google classroom for students to watch after the lesson time.
As with all new experiences there have been some teething problems and we thank you for your patience. We would like to remind you that classroom etiquette still applies to live lessons and students who are unable to behave in a suitable manner will be removed from the live lesson and may be required to work in future from online resources. In these challenging times we want everyone to show kindness to one another, everyone is experiencing their own struggles, we would really appreciate you helping us to maintain a positive environment for all students and families.
Kind regards
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

11th January: Year 7 Flu Vaccination Information

MESSAGE FROM: Berkshire School Aged Immunisation Team
Dear Parents/Carers
The main flu season occurs in the first 3 months of the year, so now more than ever, it is important that children are protected from flu. Vaccinating your child not only protects them, but also protects the wider population as children are known to be the main spreader of the flu virus. Most children will receive the nasal flu vaccination, but for some children, this can be given as a small injection in the arm.
As you can appreciate during the Covid pandemic, it is now even more important to have your child vaccinated, to maintain the health of the population, reduce the pressure on the NHS system and reduce hospital admissions. We are pleased to be able to continue our school-aged immunisation service, even if your child is not attending school during the current lockdown. We are working closely with our colleagues in education to provide clinics in schools where possible, otherwise the service will be provided in alternative local venues. Details will be published on our webpage (link below).
We are pleased to be able to offer various locations in the Windsor & Maidenhead, Slough and Bracknell areas. Our service offers the nasal flu or injectable flu vaccination (for those children who are unable to have the nasal flu vaccination due to the porcine gelatin).
What to do now?
If your child missed their flu vaccination and you would like to arrange for your child to be vaccinated, please contact us on 0300 365 0077 option 1 to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, you can contact us via email SchoolImmunisationTeam@berkshire.nhs.uk
Please check our Immunisation Website for up to date information about School Aged Immunisations and clinics which will be taking place from now until the 5th February 2021.
https://cypf.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services/public-health-nursing-health-visiting-school-nursing-immunisation/immunisation-team/
Kind Regards,
The School Aged Immunisation Team
Tel: 0300 365 0077
www.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk
www.berkshirecommunityhealthservices.nhs.uk

8th January: Year 13 Update

Good afternoon year 13,
I hope you are well.
Thank you to everyone getting logged onto Live Lessons – attendance has been good!!
Further to my email on Tuesday, this summer’s A Level exams have been cancelled, and will be replaced by a teacher-assessed grade. What we don’t know yet is what this will look like, and there is a consultation going on between teachers, schools, Ofqual and the Government to decide what to do. You therefore must continue with all of your lessons, as it is likely that your current teachers will have to provide you with a grade that you will receive in the summer, subject to moderation – it is going to be very difficult for them to award you an accurate grade without you being engaged in your lessons; they need to be able to justify what they will be awarding you. If you get on to all of your lessons, complete all of the class work and homework set you will be putting yourself in a much stronger position than if this wasn’t the case.
Vocational exams in January and February have been cancelled by the school. Vocational exams from March onwards (Btecs, Hospitality and Catering and ICT) are currently still expected to go ahead, so you will need to continue preparing for these. We don’t yet know how these units/exams that have been missed will be graded.
Teachers and support staff will be contacting you and your parents each week to check in on your well-being. Please feel free to email your tutor to let them know you are ok if they ask. If you are unable to join in live lessons please let us know to stop all of your teachers phoning home.
Please keep in touch with your friends to ensure they are ok, organise Google Meets, Zoom’s, Facetime with one another, and look after yourself. Staying in your houses all day is difficult, take advantage of the opportunity to exercise and stay healthy.
I understand that it’s a challenge at times, but you need to put yourselves in the strongest possible position for however grades are awarded. If you need any support emotionally, academically or technologically then please just let me know.
We will inform you of any return to school updates as we receive them.
Many thanks,
Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

8th January: Notification of Illness or Covid Results

Dear Parents/Carers
Notification of Illness or Covid Results
If your son/daughter is unwell or has a medical appointment where they are unable to attend online/live lessons can you please inform us by sending a message via gateway or emailing attendance@brakenhale.co.uk.
If they do not engage in lessons we will be making daily contact.
We also still need to report any students that have a Covid-19 test – can you please complete the form on the following link:-
Covid Notification Form
The form can also be found on the front page of the school website.
Kind regards

School Office

8th January: Year 11 Updates

Good afternoon Year 11
Thank you for joining in with your live lessons this week. I know how hard the adjustment has been to working in your bedrooms and kitchens, and how demotivating this must be to be stuck at home all of the time.
I just wanted to update you on a few things that will impact you.
Further to my email on Tuesday, this summer’s GCSE exams have been cancelled, and will replaced by a teacher-assessed grade. What we don’t know yet is what this will look like, and there is a consultation going on between teachers, schools, Ofqual and the Government to decide what to do. You therefore must continue with all of your lessons, as it is likely that your current teachers will have to provide you with a grade that you will receive in the summer, subject to moderation. Please do not email your teachers asking what you need to do to improve your grade, as they cannot answer this question until we know what it will look like in the summer.
Vocational exams in January and February have been cancelled by the school. Vocational exams from March onwards (Btecs, Hospitality and Catering and ICT) are currently still expected to go ahead, so you will need to continue preparing for these. We don’t yet know how these units/exams that have been missed will be graded.
Teachers and support staff will be contacting you and your parents each week to check in on your well-being. Please feel free to email your tutor to let them know you are ok if they ask. If you are unable to join in live lessons please let us know to stop all of your teachers phoning home.
I’ve noticed a few of you logging into the lesson and then disappearing for the hour. This is not acceptable. How can a teacher give you a good grade if you are not taking part and producing work?
Please keep in touch with your friends to ensure they are ok, organise Google Meets, Zoom’s, Facetime’s with one another, and look after yourself. Staying in your houses all day is difficult, take advantage of the opportunity to exercise and stay healthy.
We will inform you of any return to school updates as we receive them.
Stay safe.
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

8th January: School Nursing Team - New contact number

Dear Parents/Carers
The School Nursing advice line has a new number!
Your School Nursing Service is aware that the Coronavirus pandemic continues to be a difficult and worrying time for everyone and during this time there have been additional pressures on children, families and young people. We are here to help with advice and support regarding physical or emotional concerns.
The School Nursing advice line is available to support children, young people and their families who live in West Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell; it is an easy way to reach us, is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm and can give you the advice and support you need.
Call us on 0300 365 0010
Many thanks
Bracknell School Nursing Team

8th January: STEM Webinar Opportunities - Years 10-13

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
STEM Webinar Opportunities – Years 10 – 13
Please see below the following STEM Webinar opportunities available to students. These are truly remarkable and would benefit any students that have an interest in the world of STEM, in particular, students that have ambitions to attend Russell Group Universities or Higher Apprenticeships in the future.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer these for free. It is £8.00 per webinar and students can follow the link to register themselves.
If your child is taking part, please can you let the school know for our records and we can ensure we have follow up conversations.
Wednesday, 20th January: 1pm – 3.45pm: Engineering in Action – Aimed at KS4 and KS5
In three highly interactive sessions, our team of engineers will explore different types of engineering including civil, structural, mechanical and more. Our aim is to encourage the uptake of Engineering at the highest level and instil curiosity in all. The day will be brought together with a unique opportunity to ‘Ask an Engineer’.
Session 1: Recipe for a skyscraper with Roma Agrawal: Even wondered how the bridges, buildings and tunnels which surround us in the city were designed and built? Roma will show you how people, cars, nature and materials are turned into numbers to make sure our structures don’t collapse.
Session 2: Engineering in a spacesuit with Jackie Bell: Dr Jackie Bell will give us an insight into her career journey so far and the engineering needed to get in to space! She’ll explore the real-world (and in some cases out-of-this-world) problems engineers need to solve to send astronauts into space.
Session 3: Robotics and AI: Where next? with Dave Cliff: The rate of progress in computer technology over the last 50 years has been phenomenal, but we are close to hitting unavoidable limits. This forces us to think of new approaches and to draw inspiration from biology.’

Engineering in Action


Tuesday, 26th January: 9.30am – 12.15pm: Medicine in Action – Aimed at Year 10 to Year 13
‘Medicine in Action returns with a special half-day online programme for aspiring medics. Uncover the Science and Technology driving medicine, discuss the societal implications and find out what life is really like as a medic as we explore the field, culminating in an ‘I’m a medic, ask me anything’ panel session.
Session 1: Seeing inside the brain – a surgeon’s eye view with Alex Alamri: Join Alex as we cover all the latest technological advancements that allow brain surgeons to look inside the brain before, during and after complex and often life-changing surgery.
Session 2: 24 minutes in A&E with Ed Hope: Your first patient as a junior doctor in A&E, you read the triage note: 70M HI + LOC GCS 14/15, PMHx AF, DH NOAC NKDA, NEWS 7, RR24, Sats 95%RA, Temp 38.8, HR 110 (irreg), BP 90/35. What do you do? We take a guided tour of assessing your first patient.’

Medicine in Action


Friday, 29th January: 9.30am – 12.15pm: Climate in Action – Aimed at KS4 and KS5
‘Climate change impacts just about every aspect of our lives and will determine the societies of the future. Using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint for how we want the world to look, we will welcome experts to not only discuss the impact of climate change, but to show us the options for developing a more sustainable world. We will explore economics, science, infrastructure and society as we look to the future and discover the ways the next generation can enact real change.’

Climate in Action


Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions on ryoung@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
Miss Young, STEM coordinator

8th January: Year 11 Careers Interviews

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Careers Interviews
I am writing to keep you updated on our plans to assist Year 11 pupils as they consider their next steps. In normal circumstances, this can be a challenge, however, the current pandemic situation will no doubt be adding extra concerns to pupils as they consider their options and try to plan for the future.
Please be assured we are here to support pupils in this process and over the next term they will all have the opportunity to discuss their current plans with either myself, or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Pupils who have decided they do not wish to continue onto Sixth Form at Brakenhale and are unsure about the alternative pathways, will meet with me before February half-term. These meetings will be virtual, via Google Meet and I will be inviting parents to attend these meetings if they wish to. This is not essential, however, as the current situation means these discussions will take place from home, but I thought I would extend the invitation should you have the availability and are also working from home. A Google Calendar invitation will be sent to pupils and parents via email and this will contain a link to join the scheduled meeting.
Pupils who have applied to the Brakenhale Sixth Form will be invited to a virtual meeting with either Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form, or a member of the Senior Leadership Team. These meetings will take place during this term and an email invitation will be sent out to pupils advising them of the date and time.
Quite a few pupils have already applied to local colleges and will be waiting for an interview and an offer of a place. The local colleges have also moved to online interviews and pupils will be contacted via email by the admissions team at their chosen college(s). We have strong links with our local colleges and should any pupils require support with this process we can help them. The best way to ask for any assistance would be to send me an email in the first instance and I can then liaise with the colleges: jlane@brakenhale.co.uk
If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact me on the email above.
Kind regards
Ms Lane, Careers Leader

7th January: Career Opportunities

Dear Parents/Carers
Career Opportunities
Information giving opportunities for virtual work experience, insight days and webinars in various industries.
Kind regards
School Office

As we enter another lockdown and period of remote learning I wanted to make you aware of all the excellent opportunities available to learn and experience various careers, develop skills and gain valuable experience through virtual work experience, insight days and webinars. Please take hold of these fantastic opportunities as it is bound to open future doors as you take those next steps in life!

You can sign up for these opportunities by clicking on BLUE LINKS. Please pay careful attention to the age restrictions for certain events.

HSBC Work Experience
We have some really exciting news to share, HSBC Work Experience is now live! Opportunities across the whole of the UK, in financial services, investment banking, marketing, digital, compliance and HR.

The Work Experience opportunities will be available through June to August 2021 and will be 1-week long.

Open to all secondary school or college students in Y10, Y11, Y12, Y13 applications close on 21st February!

Marks & Spencer’s Webinar
2020 has proven how much retail means to our communities, so why not be a part of transforming it at one of the UK’s most iconic brands.

M&S are recruiting Retail Management and Fashion apprentices across the UK, giving you the ultimate fast track to managing your own department and looking after multi million pound budgets, all while being coached and mentored by their retail management experts.

If you’d like to consider applying for a M&S apprenticeship program and are interested in Business, Retail, Management or Fashion then you can find your unique sign up application link below to this webinar!

Key Details:
● Thursday 28th January, 5pm – 6pm
● Insight to M&S (one of the UK’s most iconic brands)
● Open to all Y12 / S5, Y13 / S6 and Y14 students
● Great opportunity for students looking to get into business, management, retail or fashion!

Corporate Strategy & Corporate Finance Virtual Work Experience
During this virtual work experience you will experience first-hand what a career as a management consultant, corporate financier and investment banker entails. You will work as part of a senior team that has over 100 years of collective City work experience behind them from some of the most prestigious firms in management consulting, investment banking and corporate finance.
· 9th February
· Eligibility: 18+
· Application Deadline: 11th Jan.

Farrans Construction Insight Day
Farrans Construction is structured in to two primary divisions: Building and Civil Engineering. We have live projects throughout the UK and work in various sectors which include healthcare, homes, utilities and transportation.
· 24th February
· 16:00-18:00
· Eligibility: 16+
· Application Deadline: 22nd Jan.

An insight to Tourism with VisitBritain/VisitEngland (Click on dates)
Learn more about VisitBritain/Visit England and how they work to build Britain’s tourism product and develop the visitor economy.
Insight Days: 15th February or 19th February
· Eligibility: 14+
· Application Deadline: 15th Jan – 19th Jan.
Three Day Placement: 16th-18th February
· 10:00-15:00
· Eligibility: 16+
· Application Deadline: 17th Jan

Devan`s House – Property Services (Morgan Sindall)
We are looking for enthusiastic students who are keen to work as part of a team to design, plan and create a space for a person with disabilities and mobility issues
· 15th-19th February
· 09:00-15:30
· Eligibility: 14+
· Application Deadline: 29th Jan.

Construction Management (Morgan Sindall)
We are looking for individuals who can work as part of a team to deliver a project brief to design, programme and cost a sustainable construction project.
· 15th-19th February
· 09:00-17:00
· Eligibility: 14+
· Application Deadline: 29th Jan.

Virtual Work Experience with a Leading Company including Ecology and Archaeology
Fusion are a joint venture of three major construction companies, currently working with HS2 on their enabling works. This work experience opportunity will enable you to understand more about working in the construction industry, and open your eyes to a number of different career paths you may not have known even existed, these include archaeology, ecology, engineering and planning.
· 17th-19th February
· Eligibility: 14+ Students from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Coventry and Warwickshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire
· Application Deadline: 11th Jan.

Build Yourself with Wates – London & South
Build Yourself, our school engagement programme, aims to address misconceptions and promote careers in construction to the next generation.
· 15th -19th February
· Eligibility: 14+
· Application Deadline: 15th Jan.

Virtual Work Experience for Y10 within Tesco F&F Clothing
Workshop highlights include: An introduction to Tesco, Meet our clothing and footwear teams, Look inside the different business areas within Tesco through our videos, Learn about the wide variety of roles in Tesco, Employability skills
· 15th-19th February
· 10:00-16:00
· Eligibility: Year 10
· Application Deadline: 15th Jan.

South of England- Willmott Dixon Management Careers Virtual Work Experience
Are you looking for a career in management? Do you think construction is a dirty, low paid profession? Willmott Dixon’s Virtual Work Experience Week introduces you to management careers in construction.
· 15th-19th February
· Eligibility: 14+
· Application Deadline: 31st Jan.

Marsh & McLennan Companies 2-Day Insurance Work Experience
Finished your A-levels or in your final year at Sixth Form? If you are curious about Apprenticeships, interested in learning more about insurance broking, risk management and reinsurance, then we would like to invite you to attend our 2-day Work Experience.
· 15th-16th February
· 10:30-15:00
· Eligibility: 17+
· Application Deadline: 8th February

Your Army – a compelling live-hosted video presentation about the Army (Click on dates)
What is the Army? What does it do, and how does it work? What skills and activities does it offer. What is life as a soldier like? And how does the Army contribute to society? Join our Your Army session, and you`ll find out.
· 2 available Dates:
. 16th February
. 17th February
· Time: 10:30 – 12:30
· Eligibility: 14+
· Application Deadline: 29th Jan & 1st Feb

Insights into Infrastructure and the Built Environment – SCS Railways
For 5 interactive days we will offer you the opportunity to jump on board and fast track your experience to understand more about Europe`s largest infrastructure project in 100 years!
· 15th-19th February
· 10:00-16:00
· Eligibility: 15+
· Application Deadline: 15th Jan.
VWEX for ambitious open-minded young women – careers within construction (Danny Sullivan)
Accounts, HR, Commercial, Marketing, Social Value, Sustainability, Engineering, Trades & Labour are just some of the careers and opportunities available within the construction industry. Hear from leading women (and men) within the sector working on one of the most demanding and exciting transport projects in Europe.
· 15th-19th February
· 10:00-15:00
· Eligibility: Year 11, 12 & 13
· Application Deadline: 15th Jan.

Royal Air Force Careers Insight Day – Access All Areas (Click on dates)
Ranging from Aviation, Engineering and Medicine to Logistics and Hospitality – Find out about over 50 careers available through the RAF and the 23 Apprenticeships available.
5 available Dates:
o 1st March
o 2nd March
o 3rd March
o 4th March
o 5th March
· Time: 10:00 – 15:00
· Eligibility: 15+
· Application Deadline: 29th Jan – 5th February.

BRINGING CONSTRUCTION TO YOU! – Robertson
Your virtual work placement will give you the opportunity to connect with the construction industry. You will gain an introduction to our industry, our organisation and careers within it, as well as recognising and developing the skills you will need for the world of work.
· 1st-3rd March
· 10:00-13:00
· Eligibility: 15+
· Application Deadline: 12th Feb.
Please encourage your students to apply as soon as possible to have the best chance of success. Opportunities may close early if many applications are received.

Virtual Work Experience – A week at Spotify
● Minimum Age 14
● Duration 5 Day/s
● Industry
Internet
● Department(s)
Research, Finance, Digital Media & Publishing, Creative, Content, Analysis, Ad Sales
● Closing Date
15/01/2021
The days will be planned between 10:00 and 15:00 from 15th February to 19th February 2020. We look forward to getting your application!

This is just a sample of the placements we have available. For a full list of placements – sign in here to search and apply.

6th January: Home Learning Update

Dear Parents/Carers
Home Learning update – Apologies for the error on break time – which is as usual 11am – 11.30am
Thank you for all your support following the recent government lockdown announcement, we are now in a better position to give you more information about what to expect from your child’s educational experience in the coming weeks.
Live tutor time and lessons will commence for all year groups from Monday 11th January. These will ensure the learning taking place is more engaging and interactive. Years 7-9 will be on an amended timetable which will be released each day by the Heads of Year (all links available to the live lessons via google classroom).
Attendance will be monitored to all live lessons, if your child is unable to complete their work for any reason (e.g. illness, technological malfunction) please let Main Reception know. Students within our on site provision will also be following the live lessons remotely. We would encourage all students to complete their work on google docs so they have access to it remotely and it can easily be shared with their teachers, also reducing the need for exercise books.
To ensure our lessons are received well we have some online learning etiquette whilst we are home learning:
Students are welcome to have their camera on as the class teacher will require the class to interact with them, they can interact verbally or through the chat function
If your child has their camera on they must be in an appropriate place (e.g. communal area), wearing clothing that is suitable for a learning environment (e.g. not pyjamas)
For safeguarding reasons your children must ensure:
Their language and behaviour is suitable for a school context
They contribute politely and not talk over others
They do not share the details of the virtual lessons to anyone else
They do not take videos, screenshots or photos of the live lesson
Parents/carers please be aware of when lessons are on and help us by reminding all members of the household that they must also be suitably dressed and use appropriate language and behaviour when nearby
The lesson times for each day will be the same across all year groups:
Tutor time – 8:40-9:00
Period 1 – 9:00-10:00
Period 2 – 10:00-11:00
Break – 11:00-11:30
Period 3 – 11:30-12:30
Period 4 – 12:30-13:30
Lunch – 13:30-14:00
Period 5 – 14:00-15:00
We will also be calling you to check in and make sure the remote learning experience is going well, we have a variety of people making these calls from home so their number will come up as withheld. If you have a voicemail function they will leave a message to let you know who they are and when they will call back.
Best wishes
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

6th January: Exams Update

Dear Parents/Carers
URGENT – Exams update
I am writing to you to confirm that we will now not be holding the examinations scheduled for January and February. This is all BTECs, Hospitality and Catering, CTEC Sport and OCR Information Technology.
This decision has been taken after the announcement in the House of Commons this afternoon by the Education Secretary and confirmation today from the exam boards that no student will be disadvantaged if they do not sit the January exams.
“Pearson and OCR have agreed the following with Ofqual and the DfE to ensure that no learner is disadvantaged.
· We will certificate any learner who is unable to take their exams and has enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression.”
I am aware that for many students this decision will be a relief as they have felt much anxiety surrounding the prospect of coming into school at this point in the pandemic. Based on the very high levels of infection in Bracknell we fully appreciate this and we know that this could adversely affect their performance in the exam. Please be assured that all work undertaken to this point will not be wasted and will be taken into account when teachers are assessing performance towards the final grade. The government has now announced a 2 week consultation to decide how and when grades will be awarded. We will update you when we have received confirmation from the consultation.
Thank you for your patience during this turbulent time which we very much understand is not easy for the students.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

6th January: Free School Meals

Dear Parents/Carers
Free School Meals
Following the government announcement that we have now moved to a home learning provision until after half-term, if you are eligible for free school meals you may wish to reconsider your choice of being able to opt in to collecting a food parcel for your son/daughter. If you have previously opted in there is no need to complete an additional form.
To ensure that we can order the correct number of meals required, we would be grateful if you could click on the link below if you wish to opt into this provision (please complete the form for each student requiring a food parcel).
Free School Meal – Food Parcel Request Form
The Food Parcels will be available to collect from school on a weekly basis and we will contact you to advise a suitable day and time for collection from main reception.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact mainreception@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
School Office

5th January: BTEC Examinations - Update

Dear Parents/Carers
BTEC Examinations
As you may be aware the government has this evening announced that BTEC examinations scheduled across the next 4 weeks can still go ahead if the school ‘judges it right to do so’. We believe we can still run the examinations and therefore they will still go ahead as planned.
I am aware that some students are feeling anxious about coming into school and therefore if they choose not to take their examination then we understand. What I cannot unfortunately tell you is how not sitting the examination will affect final grades as I have not been given this information.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

5th January: BTEC Exams - Music, H&SC

Dear Parents/Carers
Following Government Guidance, the BTEC Exams will still be going ahead.
Covid testing will be taking place on Thursday morning at 8:30 in the Sports Hall. Please remember to wear your mask and full school uniform.
You will require your Tools for Learning for your exam.
Kind regards and good luck.
Sarah Seymour, Exams Officer

BTEC Music Exam –  9:00 on Thursday 7th January in the Main Hall – Once tested please wait outside by the dining room, where you will be escorted down to the Main Hall.

BTEC HSC Exam –  13.30 on Friday 8th January in the Main Hall – Covid testing is now scheduled for Thursday morning at 8:30 in the Sports Hall.
On Friday afternoon, please come in via the Sports Hall entrance and then wait outside by the canteen. Please ensure that you are on site by 13:15 at the latest. I will come and meet you there and then escort you to the Main Hall.

BTEC HSC Exam – 9:00 on Monday 11th January in the Main Hall – Covid testing will be taking place on Monday morning at 8:30 in the Sports Hall – Once tested please wait outside by the dining room, where you will be escorted down to the Main Hall.

5th January: Year 11 Exams

Hi Year 11
I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year, even though circumstances have meant that none of us could do everything that we wanted. I’m sure all of you are aware of the Government’s announcement last night that has resulted in school being shut until at least February half term. Whilst I share the anxiety and frustration this will course, you are all able to cope and deal with this, having done it so well at the end of last year.
It is important to understand fully what this means for you.
Exams – The Government stated last night that “We recognize that this will mean it’s not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal.” We don’t know yet that exams will be cancelled, or just changed to allow you to take some part of them. As soon as we know what is happening we will be in touch to let you know. This means you must carry on studying for all of your subjects and assume that you will still be assessed in each of them.
Those of you taking vocational exams in January or February are currently still expected to sit those in school, so please keep revising, attending the lessons and studying for your opportunity to take the exam. If things change, again I will let you know immediately.
You will have access to all of your lessons as ‘Live Lessons’ through Google Meet using the Meet links on Google Classroom. It is really important that you attend these lessons as you would if we were in school. Here’s why:
1. You may still be assessed at the end of the year so it is really important that you keep up with all of the content that you need to have covered in year 11. Even if exams don’t end up taking place teachers will still need you to work to be able to give you the grades you deserve in each subject.
2. Your own well-being – your timetable will give you structure for your day and provide you with something to do, interaction with other people, and a chance to learn and develop your brain. I know some would argue that the Xbox and Playstation will do the same thing, but they doesn’t provide you with as many career opportunities as school does.
3. You all worked incredibly hard both during the previous lockdown, and the first term from September to Christmas. Your PPEs were amazing and showed how resilient you were to revise and work hard to make a huge effort to do well. Don’t let this slip away now as may all be back in just a few weeks.
4. You are still a student, and so it is important that you attend your lessons – registers will be taken as normal. Many of you want to attend either sixth form, college, or gain an Apprenticeship. Not only will you need the knowledge gained in these subjects, but attendance will be recorded for future use.
We will communicate with you any updates that we receive. All of your teachers are now at home too, many with children, distractions, dodgy wifi, not enough rooms, etc, all whilst dealing with Covid and the challenges presented. You’ve already demonstrated how adaptable you are when faced with huge uncertainty and I’m confident you will be able to do this again.
Please log in to each of your lessons, inform us of any illness or absence from school, attend your vocational exams, and I will see you all when I can.
Kind regards
Mr R Corry, Deputy Headteacher

5th January: Year 12 Update

Dear Parents/Carers,
Please see the below message that has been sent to students in year 12 – we are sending it to you to try and ensure that we are all on the same page, and information is shared with you as much as we can.
Good morning Year 12,
I hope you are all well and had a good winter break and New Years.
I am sure you will have seen the announcement made by the government last night closing schools until at least February half term.
I wanted to write to you for two reasons – firstly to let you know of what we know at the moment, and secondly to reassure you.
Firstly, what we know. Currently, all BTEC/CTEC exams scheduled for this January and February are still taking place – if you have an exam scheduled in these months in your course, those will still happen as outlined in previous communications.
All other exams scheduled for the summer have been cancelled, and you will not be in school until at least February half term.
Currently that is all the information that we have from the government, and as soon as we are updated by the Department for Education with more information we will make sure that you have it.
You will have access to all of your lessons as ‘Live Lessons’ through Google Meet or Zoom. It is really important that you attend these lessons as you would if we were in school. Here’s why:
1. You will likely still sit exams in year 13, and so it is really important that you keep up with all of the content that you need to have covered in year 12. If you aren’t attending lessons now then you will likely find yourself in a tricky situation later on in the year or in year 13 with regard to knowing and understanding content.
2. Your own wellbeing – your timetable will give you structure for your day; as there are now tougher restrictions on what you can do with your time, it is important that you use your lesson time to ‘see’ other people and give your days more focus.
3. You have worked so hard over the last year – please don’t let your standards slip now.
4. You are still a student, and so it is important that you attend your lessons – registers will be taken as normal.
Secondly, I want to tell you that we are here for you, just as we would be in school. Please do reach out to your tutors or myself or Miss Loj (new assistant head of Sixth Form – what a time to start!!), or Miss Whitaker if you need anything at all. We will make sure that you are not alone, and that you are looked after. You will not be disadvantaged by this; we are ‘on it’, in your corner, and will do everything we can for you. I promise you when I say that (to quote Troy and Gabriella) ‘we are all in this together’.
Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this, but like I say – when we get more information from the DfE we will update you.
Many thanks,
Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

5th January: Year 13 Update

Dear Parents/Carers,
Please see the below message that has been sent to students in year 13 – we are sending it to you to try and ensure that we are all on the same page, and information is shared with you as much as we can.
Good morning Year 13,
I hope you are all well and had a good winter break and New Years.
I am sure you will have seen the announcement made by the government last night closing schools until at least February half term.
I wanted to write to you for two reasons – firstly to let you know of what we know at the moment, and secondly to reassure you.
Firstly, what we know. Currently, all BTEC/CTEC exams scheduled for this January and February are still taking place – if you have an exam scheduled these months in your course, those will still happen as outlined in previous communications.
All other exams scheduled for the summer we remain unsure about. The Prime Minister suggested last night that exams would not be going ahead but we haven’t had official confirmation of this and we are not aware yet of what they would be replaced with, if as we are led to believe they will no longer happen. You will not be in school until at least February half term.
Currently that is all the information that we have from the government, and as soon as we are updated by the Department for Education with more information we will make sure that you have it.
You will have access to all of your lessons as ‘Live Lessons’ through Google Meet or Zoom. It is really important that you attend these lessons as you would if we were in school. Here’s why:
1. We don’t yet know what the government will do with regard to grades – if your teachers are going to be entering grades you need to show that you are capable of achieving the grades that you want through attending lessons, your classwork, and assignments that are set for you.
2. Your own wellbeing – your timetable will give you structure for your day; as there are now tougher restrictions on what you can do with your time, it is important that you use your lesson time to ‘see’ other people and give your days more focus.
3. You have worked so hard over the last year – please don’t let your standards slip now.
4. You will get grades in these subjects, and so it is important that you fully understand all of the content, and are deserving of your grades at the end of the year. If you do not attend lessons or complete set work you may find that you don’t know what you should either at University, or in your apprenticeship or job.
5. You are still a student, and so it is important that you attend your lessons – registers will be taken as normal.
Secondly, I want to tell you that we are here for you, just as we would be in school. Please do reach out to your tutors or myself or Miss Loj (new assistant head of Sixth Form – what a time to start!!), or Miss Whitaker if you need anything at all. We will make sure that you are not alone, and that you are looked after. You will not be disadvantaged by this; we are ‘on it’, in your corner, and will do everything we can for you. I promise you when I say that (to quote Troy and Gabriella) ‘we are all in this together’.
Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this, but like I say – when we get more information from the DfE we will update you.
Many thanks,
Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

4th January: January / February Exams

Dear Parents/Carers
January/February Exams
We would like to advise that exams are still going ahead across the next 4 weeks and for those students sitting exams next week and the weeks following we will send an updated testing timetable.
Kind regards
School Office

4th January: Covid Testing - Update (Suspended)

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid Testing
Due to this evenings government announcement we would like to advise that all Covid testing is suspended with the exception of key worker and vulnerable students attending school and any student sitting an exam this week. Those students sitting exams on Friday need to be tested if they wish to do so tomorrow between 8.30am and 10am. May we please remind students coming in for testing that they should ensure they are wearing face masks.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

4th January: Year 11 Turbo Tutor Group Rotation

Dear Year 11 Students and Parents/Carers
I hope you have had a good break and are ready for the start of the new term tomorrow.
Starting tomorrow morning at 8.30am will be your new turbo tutor group rotation. As you may have seen on the school gateway you have been placed in a new turbo tutor group. This group is different from your ‘normal’ tutor group.
All turbo tutor groups are now a mix of students across all 9 tutor groups. This is to ensure your turbo tutor group sessions are targeted to your specific subject needs.
1. If you haven’t checked the school gateway then please check the attached list to find out which subject and teacher you have been allocated.
2. Until we are physically back in school, all turbo tutor group sessions will take place virtually via a live lesson (8.30-9am) as it was before the Christmas break.
3. Please go onto google classroom and accept the invite to your new turbo tutor group before tomorrow.
If you have not been sent a link then please email your turbo tutor group teacher as soon as possible.
Any issues with logging in to the lesson need to be directed to the teacher first and then to myself.
All lessons will be live as per your timetable until you are physically back in school, please ensure you are present for each lesson, attendance is being monitored to ensure all students have full access.
Period 6 will start the week commencing 11th January!
Please ensure you check your emails and the google classroom regularly to ensure you are kept fully up to date with any changes.
Kind regards
Miss L Rushby, KS4 Raising Standards Coordinator

2nd January: Back to School

Dear Parents/Carers
Back to School
We would like to confirm the return to school dates:
Monday 4th January – Inset Day
School is closed for all students (unless you are a Year 10/11 BTEC Music student sitting an exam on Thursday and you are being tested for Covid-19)
Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th January
Students sitting exams only
Years 7 – 9 online learning
Year 10-13 live lessons
w/c Monday 11th January
Year 11 and 13 students back to school
All other Year Groups will continue with home learning.
w/c Monday 18th January
All Year Groups return to school.
* Key Worker Students who have submitted a request for a place can attend from Tuesday 5th January.
Please be reminded we will be unable to test any students for Covid-19 without the consent form being completed https://forms.
Kind regards
School Office

1st January: Mass Testing

Dear Parents/Carers
Mass Testing update
Further to previous correspondence regarding the Covid-19 mass testing commencing next week, if your child is currently in self-isolation they should not attend school to be tested. Please advise our attendance line in the usual way of their isolation dates and we will allocate them a testing slot when their isolation period finishes.
Students coming into school to be tested do not need to wear school uniform.
Kind regards
School Office

31st December: Return to School - January 2021 - Updated

Dear Parents/Carers
Update – Back to School – January 2021
You will have heard in the press about the staggered re-opening in January and the implementation of rapid testing for secondary school students to limit the spread of Covid-19 after the Christmas break. The information provided by the government on this can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-and-childcare-settings-return-in-january-2021/schools-and-childcare-settings-return-in-january-2021
As I hope you know, I have, and will continue to follow government guidance and directives and as such I am writing to give you the information about our response to this.
As per previous correspondence the staggered re-opening will work as follows;
● Brakenhale School will be closed to onsite provision for students all students between Tuesday 5th and Friday 8th January apart from students in Year 10 and 12 who have public examinations. These students will need to access the site to sit their exams.
● Students in Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 will have live lessons and students in Years 7. 8 and 9 will follow our online curriculum which they will access daily via their google classroom.
● Students in Year 11 and 13 will start back on site on Monday 11th January. Whilst all other year groups will remain at home this week they will ALL be taught via live lessons
● Children of key workers, those who have EHCPs or who otherwise require an onsite provision will be on-site in designated, socially distanced study areas. If you believe your child may be eligible for this because they have an EHCP or you are a key worker and you have not already done so, then please book their place by clicking on this link https://forms
How will rapid Covid-19 testing work?
● We are implementing rapid Covid-19 testing in school from the 4th January.
● We are working hard to ensure our site and staff are ready to deliver these safely. The schedule outlined for testing is subject to receiving the correct amount of testing kits and we will update you on 4th January if we feel we need to adjust our plans at all from the ones I am sharing here
● Below I have organised the explanation of on-site testing into the questions I think you’ll find most useful:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/947799/schools_and_colleges_testing_handbook.pdf
What is a rapid Covid-19 test?
A rapid Covid-19 test involves a simple swab, which the child can administer themselves in their mouth under the supervision and guidance of a trained test assistant. Here’s a visual guide to show you what to expect:
When can my child have their test?
Test 1 – Test 2
Year 10 BTEC Music exam students – Monday 4th January 15:00-16:00 – Thursday 7th January 7:30-8:30
Key worker and vulnerable students on site – Tuesday 5th January 8:30-9:30 – Friday 8th January 8:30-9:30
Year 13 – Tuesday 5th January 10.00 – 12:00 – Friday 8th January 10:00 -12.00
Year 11 – Tuesday 5th January 13:00 – 15:30 – Friday 8th January 13:00-15:30
Year 12 – Monday 11th January 8:30-9:30 – Thursday 14th January 8:30-9:30
Year 7 – Monday 11th January 10:00-12:30 – Thursday 14th January 10:00-12:30
Year 8 – Monday 11th January 13:00 – 15:30 – Thursday 14th January 13:00 – 15:30
Year 9 – Tuesday 12th January 9:30-12:00 – Friday 15th January 9:30-12:00
Year 10 – Tuesday 12th January 13:00 – 15:30 – Friday 15th January 13:00 – 15:30
Is testing compulsory?
Participation is voluntary and active consent is required. You can provide consent using the form linked below. If you decide that you would NOT like your child to be tested this does not prevent them coming into school. It would mean that if they were confirmed as a direct contact they would have to self-isolate for 10 days as opposed to being given a daily test on site at school for 5-7 days. This allows them to remain in school each day if they are negative.
How will we be told the test result?
Test results take at least 30 minutes to process so we will require all students to leave site once they have completed their test, unless they are part of the on-site provision. We will then contact, by telephone, anyone whose test result was positive. If you haven’t heard from us then this means your test result was negative
How many times to do I have to be tested?
This first round of testing is known as mass testing. This is where we test all members of our school community. To complete the testing process, you must be tested twice, 3 days apart, the two test times are written below.
Where do students go for this test?
Enter via the main student gate on Coningsby. Make your way down to the main sports hall. The sports hall will be the testing centre and staff and signs will be in place to direct you to the correct entrance and route through. Parents will not be permitted to accompany students onto site.
What happens if my child tests positive for Covid-19?
Your child and their household must self-isolate and follow the government guidance linked here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/ . They will also be required to complete an additional PCR home testing kit test which is available nationally. We will provide remote work for them to complete during their isolation time.
What do parents need to do now?
· Firstly, please complete the form linked here: https://forms.gle/oRZ9mhja6jqNFY3QA
o Use this to indicate consent for testing, which must be complete before your child’s test date. Any child who arrives on site without consent will not be permitted to have a test.
Free School Meals
A number of families are in receipt of FSM and we will continue to be offering food parcels for you to collect from school. To ensure that we can order the correct number of meals required, we would be grateful if you could click on the link below if you wish to opt into this provision – please complete the form for each student requiring a food parcel. We will contact you to advise a suitable day and time for collection of the food parcels from main reception.
Free School Meal – Food Parcel Request Form
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact mainreception@brakenhale.co.uk
Thank you as ever for your continued support as I try to navigate my way through some very unknown territory. As ever I can assure you that I will be doing all I can to keep your children safe.
I hope you have had a safe and restful Christmas and I wish you a very Happy New Year, let’s hope that 2021 brings us an easier way forward.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

18th December: Return to School - January 2021

Dear Parents/Carers
Return to School in January 2021
You will no doubt have heard all the latest announcements from the government, including the decision to make a staggered start to the physical return of students to school in the first week of next term. Whilst there will be a considerable amount of detailed planning needed once we get further details, we wanted to let all parents know the outline plan for the first week as soon as possible.
Year 11 and Year 13 students will all be expected to be in school from Tuesday 5th January, following their full timetables. We will also have provision for children of key workers and the very small number of Year 12 students who will be taking BTEC exams at the end of the first week and the beginning of the second. Key worker children will be in their year group bubbles in study areas with computers and will be expected to continue with their online learning as they would have done at home. We will send out a google form on the morning of 5th January for any key worker parent wishing to take up a place. We will contact parents of vulnerable students who are eligible for a place in school.
The vast bulk of students in Years 7-10 and Year 12 will therefore be asked to remain at home for the first week and we will be providing a full programme of remote learning for these students. All lesson links will be uploaded onto google classrooms every day from Tuesday 5th January to Friday 8th January inclusive.
We will need to spend time in this first week putting in place and beginning the provision for the new testing regime in school, although our expectation is that all year groups will be back in school from Monday 11th January. As I am sure you can appreciate being asked to set up a testing programme for over 1300 people as we shut for Christmas is not an easy task, so please bear with me and I will send further details about the testing when I have these myself.
It would certainly not be my choice to be writing to you so soon after breaking up for the holidays with major adjustments to the way we are starting the new term, and I am sure that you will understand that this is something which I was only made aware of yesterday late afternoon.
I would like to thank you for your continued support and understanding as we manage these challenging times.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

16th December: PSHE Portal

Good afternoon
At #teambrakenhale we are so fortunate to be a part of a rich and diverse community. For this reason – we would really like to hear from you!
PSHE Portal @Brakenhale (launching in January 2021) has been set up to enrich our students and community members with eclectic pieces of knowledge and information that will continue to build our cultural capital as a community.
We want family history and heritage stories, we want recipes for food that has symbolic meaning, we want fascinating hobbies and interests that will spark an interest in others and we want to highlight causes that mean the most to us so we can continue to support one another…by educating us all in the process. The more informed we are the more good we can do!
If you are interested and would like to contribute, please click the link below to complete the very quick form.
PSHE@Brakenhale
Thank you so much.
Ms H Ioannidis, PSHE Lead

16th December: PSHE Portal

Good afternoon
At #teambrakenhale we are so fortunate to be a part of a rich and diverse community. For this reason – we would really like to hear from you!
PSHE Portal @Brakenhale (launching in January 2021) has been set up to enrich our students and community members with eclectic pieces of knowledge and information that will continue to build our cultural capital as a community.
We want family history and heritage stories, we want recipes for food that has symbolic meaning, we want fascinating hobbies and interests that will spark an interest in others and we want to highlight causes that mean the most to us so we can continue to support one another…by educating us all in the process. The more informed we are the more good we can do!
If you are interested and would like to contribute, please click the link below to complete the very quick form.
PSHE@Brakenhale
Thank you so much.
Ms H Ioannidis, PSHE Lead

16th December: Year 10 HPV Immunisations

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 10 – HPV Immunisation
As you are aware, we were unable to complete the Year 9 (Female Only) 2nd dose of HPV in the Summer Term 2020, due to the COVID pandemic and the closure of schools.
In the Spring Term of 2021, we will be completing the 2nd dose of HPV for all female pupils in Year 10 that are outstanding their 2nd dose on a date to be advised.
As you can see in the letter sent out, we do have the capacity to offer the HPV Vaccination to any female students who previously did not consent.
If you have any queries, please contact the School Immunisation Team on the telephone number or email address given in the attached letter.
Kind regards
The Medical Team

14th December: Locker Contents

Dear Parents/Carers
Locker contents
If your child is currently working from home and has anything in their locker they will need during the holidays, please call to arrange a time to collect (01344 423041). You will need the locker number and padlock code/key.
Kind regards
School Office

14th December: Year 9 Virtual Options Evening 14.01.21

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 9 “Virtual” Options Evening – Thursday 14th January 2021
Please calendar the above date for the Year 9 Options Evening together with Thursday 21st January for the Year 9 Parents Evening.
We look forward to welcoming all students and parents/carers to both of these important events to discuss your son/daughter’s subject choices as they make the transition to Key Stage 4 and their GCSE studies.
Kind regards
School Office

14th December: Error Google Classrooms

Dear Parents/Carers
Error Google classroom
Apologies there is currently a global error on google classroom.
Kind regards
School Office

14th December: Year 7 Flu Vaccinations - 15.12.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 Flu Vaccinations – Tuesday 15th December
Just a reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday 15th December, we have the School Immunisation team in, to administer the flu vaccinations for year 7’s. If your child is in school and you have given consent, they will be given their vaccination in the morning.
If you have chosen for your child not to be in school this week, but you would still like them to have the vaccination, they can come into school any time between 0945-1200hrs to receive their vaccination. Please make sure your child enters via main reception where they will be directed straight to the school hall to have their vaccination and then released again from main reception. Please note that no one else is allowed on the school site except for the child receiving the vaccination.
If your child is self-isolating due to direct contact with a positive case of COVID-19, please do not send them in to school.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider
fcarrjones@braknehale.co.uk

14th December: Year 7 Flu Vaccinations - 15.12.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 Flu Vaccinations – Tuesday 15th December
Just a reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday 15th December, we have the School Immunisation team in, to administer the flu vaccinations for year 7’s. If your child is in school and you have given consent, they will be given their vaccination in the morning.
If you have chosen for your child not to be in school this week, but you would still like them to have the vaccination, they can come into school any time between 0945-1200hrs to receive their vaccination. Please make sure your child enters via main reception where they will be directed straight to the school hall to have their vaccination and then released again from main reception. Please note that no one else is allowed on the school site except for the child receiving the vaccination.
If your child is self-isolating due to direct contact with a positive case of COVID-19, please do not send them in to school.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Ms Faye Carr-Jones, Health Coordinator & Principal First Aider
fcarrjones@braknehale.co.uk

14th December: Performing Arts - Christmas Showcase

Dear Parents/Carers
Christmas Showcase
Whilst we are very disappointed we can’t invite you into the school to watch our students perform this term we are very pleased to announce our Christmas Showcase! You can watch our festive trailer here:

The Brakenhale Performing Arts Department and P16 Dance Company have put together a collection of performances from across Drama, Dance and Music to showcase student work from this term. This has been brought together and is available to purchase as an online event and DVD. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to share their amazing work with their friends and family from the comfort of their own homes. You are being contacted as your son/daughter has performed as part of the showcase and is included in the event; please note that students may only be involved in one performance piece and you might want to check this with your child before purchasing.
The Showcase is already available to purchase on Parent Pay for any student taking part. It’s available under other items as ‘2020 Christmas Showcase’ and the suggested donation is £5, but it can be purchased for any amount. All funds will cover the cost of putting the showcase together and go back into the Performing Arts Department. Please add a note to request a physical hardcopy of the DVD or contact us directly by emailing cchaston@brakenhale.co.uk
All orders need to be made by 15th December. If your child is still in school they can collect their DVD from the main reception from the 16th December. If your child is isolating the DVD will be available in January from the Performing Arts office.
Access to the videos will be available from the 15th December when the event goes ‘live’. You will receive an email to your school address with the link that will contain all details regarding access to the videos/online event. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email.
Kind regards
School Office

14th December: No Canteen Service this week

Dear Parents/Carers
REMINDER – NO CANTEEN SERVICE THIS WEEK
Further to previous correspondence, we would like to remind you that we have no canteen service this week.
If your child is entitled to Free School Meals we will have a selection of sandwiches only for them to choose from.
Kind regards
School Office

11th December: Consultation on Admissions Arrangements for St Sebastian's School

Good afternoon
Please see information below on an update to admission arrangements:
Saint Sebastian’s CE Primary School and Nursery is an academy School. The Keys Academy Trust is consulting on changes to the 2022-23 admission arrangements for Saint Sebastian’s Primary School and Nursery.
Please find attached the following consultation documents:
Consultation document summarising the proposed changes;
The proposed admission arrangements for 2022-23.
These documents can also be found on the school website: https://www.st-sebastians.wokingham.sch.uk/useful-information/admissions-22-23-consultation
The consultation takes place between 9th December 2020 and 19th January 2021 and comments regarding the proposed changes can be emailed to: admin@st-sebastians.wokingham.sch.uk
Please can we ask that you share the documents with all parents, governors and staff.
Kind regards
School Office

10th December: 'A Christmas Carol' Performance for Year 10 and 11

Dear Parents/Carers
We had originally planned for all of our Year 10 and 11 students to watch a live, streamed version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ from the Old Vic Theatre on Wednesday 16th December from 1-3pm. We are unable to reschedule this (due to the live nature of the event) and, as such, hope to be able to make it accessible to our students through a live stream from school.
Students will be sent a link allowing them to access Google Classrooms for the performance. This will be different from their usual Google Classroom link and they must be online for 1pm with their mics off. Students will be put into virtual groups and ‘accompanied’ by a member of staff. Year 10 and 11 lunches that day will be scheduled for 12:30-1pm, allowing them an adequate food and toilet break.
This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to see the performance of a key exam text and of course, an excellent story.
Feel free to sit with your child and enjoy the show!
Miss Hodgson, Head of English

10th December: Additional Inset Day - 18.12.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Additional Inset Day – Friday 18th December
Following the announcement by the Minister of Education on Tuesday 8th December that schools would be allowed an Inset Day on Friday 18th December, in conjunction with Greenshaw Learning Trust we have decided to implement this. By finishing on Thursday 17th December we can complete the majority of essential contact tracing ahead of the Christmas bubble system coming into force.
Public Health England have said that schools should have six clear days to carry out essential contact tracing after the end of term and finishing a day early will enable me to do so. The school will not be carrying out contact tracing from Thursday 24th December, from that date all contact tracing will be carried out by NHS Test and Trace. Please can you familiarise yourself with the procedure below should you receive a positive COVID-19 test.
● If your son/daughter tests positive for COVID-19, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace
● For the first six days after teaching ends (up to but not including Thursday 24 December), if your son/daughter tests positive for COVID-19, having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, please contact us immediately via headteacher@brakenhale.co.uk The school will assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school
Any child identified as a close contact needs to self-isolate for 14 days. This means that they must not join any Christmas bubble while they are in self-isolation in order to protect their family and friends.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

9th December: PE @ Home

Dear Students
With the festive holiday season round the corner, here are a couple of fun facts about the Xmas break and the food and drink we will all be eating…
· The average adult eats 27 mince pies over the Christmas period…
· With all of the coca cola drunk over the break, you could fill 57 Olympic size swimming pools!
· There is a total 230,000 tonnes of food wasted at Xmas…
· A fully grown turkey can run up to 25 mph…
· The world record for as many sprouts you can eat in 1 minute is…..31 – set in Nov 2008 by a Swede…he was Swedish…haha get it???
So…to combat this, here are a few work outs that you can do at home to try and combat the crazy amount of food you will be eating and also to keep you active for when you are not in PE with us in school!
Work out 1 – good for the morning when you wake up!

Work out 2 – when you want something easy to do that will get your body moving a bit

Work out 3 – cardio based work out to feel the burn and get your heart beating

Work out 4 – want those beach worthy Abs…try this!

Remember – tag us on social media (twitter or instagram) to show us how you are getting on – @brakenhalepe!
Thanks all
Mr Potter and The PE Staff

6th December: Getting More out of PE this Winter

Dear Parents/Carers
Getting more out of PE at Brakenhale this winter…
With the cold weather coming in, here is how to get the best out of PE at Brakenhale this winter.
Mr Potter’s top tips for PE…
Wear PE tracksuit bottoms/leggings rather than PE shorts/skorts
Wear your PE jumper on top of your PE shirt as an extra layer
Put a plain t shirt (black or white) or vest under your PE shirt for another extra layer (see acceptable kit item photos)
If you have a skin/thermal style top, these can be worn if black or white only.
Bring a pair of fingered black gloves to keep your hands warm (see acceptable kit item photos)
Ensure your socks are correct (PE socks – long knee socks or white sports socks) and don’t wear your black school socks for PE as your feet will get cold as they are thin (see acceptable kit item photos)
Keep active as soon as you are changed and get to your lesson – start warm ups and dynamic stretches to keep moving and keep warm – plus it will impress your teacher.
***Due to health and safety, we do not allow full outdoor coats, PE/Brakenhale hoodies, scarves, snoods or beanies to be worn in PE***
Being in the outdoors all year round is a brilliant thing, but we do understand that the weather can be tough on students, that is why it is key to get students adequately prepared for the lesson.
If for whatever reason a lesson cannot go ahead due to inclement weather, there is a pre-planned indoor space for students to be taught in, by their PE teacher. This will be the sports hall, fitness suite, one of the movement studios, the main hall or trampoline centre.
Many thanks and I look forward to seeing your children continue to be active throughout the winter months.
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

3rd December: Drug Detection Dog

Dear Parents/Carers
Drug Detection Dog
Today we were visited by the drug detection dog. The dog performed a thorough sweep of the school site, including a walk around the perimeter surrounding the school. The students were incredibly positive towards the dog and were keen to make its acquaintance! We are pleased to report that nothing was found by the dog.
As we have communicated previously this initiative is part of our robust zero tolerance policy of no drugs on the school site. It is pleasing to see that our student community is responding so supportively to our stance on this issue.
Thank you for your continued support with this matter.
Kind regards
Mr H Thomas, Assistant Headteacher

2nd December: E-Scooters - Thames Valley Police

Dear Parents/Carers
Please note the following information from Thames Valley Police.

It is illegal to ride a privately owned electric scooter in public.
They are classed as motor vehicles so in theory you need an MOT, road tax and insurance to use one.

Full information was sent out in parent news.

Kind regards
School Office

1st December: Uniform - Winter Coats

Dear Parents/Carers
Uniform – Winter Coats
As the weather is set to turn colder in the next week and students will be wearing coats to school, we would like to remind you of our dress code. Coats should be plain black with no prominent logos. Plain black or school house scarves may be worn to and from school, not in the school building.
Kind regards
School Office

27th November: Year 11 Virtual Parents' Evening - 10.12.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Virtual Parents Evening – Thursday 10th December 2020
As you may already be aware, in previous years we have always held an annual Parents Evening for Year 11 students, providing parents and carers with the opportunity to meet with their child’s subject teachers to discuss their progress, pastoral well-being and any other relevant items to date so far. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, we are unable to hold this event in school as we have in previous years.
We recognise the importance of this event and would therefore like to invite you to a virtual Parents Evening on Thursday 10th December 2020 between 4pm and 8pm.
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.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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. 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. 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.
Regards,
Ms S Douse, Head of Year 11

27th November: Make Your Mark

Dear Students
We have sent you a video from our Head students Miriam and Dragos reminding you to participate with Make Your Mark.
Make Your Mark gives young people aged 11-18 the chance to select one issue affecting individual nations or the UK and one issue affecting their local communities. For the first time since the campaigns inception, voting will only take place online due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus. The ballot includes issues such as climate change, tackling child poverty, mental health and hate crime.
1) Watch the video
Explainer video including all topics (3 mins)
2) Click to get to the Voting page English
The deadline for voting is Monday 30th November. It takes 30 seconds to make your voice heard. Make sure it is.
Many thanks
Ms H Ioannidis, Head of Vocational & Alternative Curriculum/PSHE lead

26th November: Careers Information

Dear Parents/Carers
Careers Information
Please see the latest initiative from our online Careers Platform – Unifrog which has been sent home.
If any students wish to explore Virtual Work Experience opportunities please direct them toward their Unifrog account.

24th November: University of Surrey Engagement Programme

Dear Parents/Carers
Your son/daughter has been nominated to enrol on a sustained engagement programme with the University of Surrey, designed to increase attainment within GCSEs in addition to raising aspirations towards future study and career options.
The Year 10 Programme is a 4 month initiative in which both you and your son/daughter will be able to attend a selection of weekly FREE ONLINE subject workshops, careers webinars and GCSE revision masterclasses within English, Maths or Science. In addition, students are invited to complete a group research and presentation project that supports independent learning and key employability skills.
Starting on Saturday 16 January, you will receive access to an online resource hub alongside live virtual events on Saturday mornings between 10:00 and 12:00. All live events will be interactive whilst videos, downloads and forums will be available 24:7 for regular access. You will also be assigned a mentor who is available for you to ask questions about study pathways, required skills and work experience for specific subject areas.
Towards the end of the programme, we are currently planning to offer all participants the opportunity to visit the University of Surrey in April for a campus experience day before hosting a Graduation to celebrate the research and presentations of each student. For further details regarding the programme schedule, please visit our webpage at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/schools-colleges/secondary/year-10
Online mentoring is a controlled online environment in which content and communication is moderated. Our student mentors have completed safeguarding checks in addition to receiving online safeguarding training. Members of University of Surrey and Brightside Mentoring staff have access to communication and manually moderate messages that include the following: flagged words, contact numbers and addresses, files, web links. Any messages shared that do not comply with the safeguarding policy will be declined. Further details with regards to safeguarding policy and site security can be found at: Brightside site security
Please complete the attached form by clicking on the link below by 4pm on Monday 30th November Allocation onto the programme will be a first come first served basis as we only have a limited number of spaces available.
https://forms.gle/TqChtqRRrfcs5swA9
If you and your son/daughter consent then their Brakenhale email address plus your email address will be shared with the University of Surrey. Parents will then receive an online application form to complete to confirm their son/daughters registration onto the programme. Registration will not be finalised until the application form has been completed.
Should you have any initial further questions or queries about the programme, please contact the team at wp@surrey.ac.uk or myself at lrushby@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
Miss L Rushby, KS4 Raising Standards Coordinator

23rd November: Youth Parliament

Dear Students,
Youth Parliament
As active youth citizens at Brakenhale we would love you to participate with Make Your Mark.
Make Your Mark gives young people aged 11-18 the chance to select one issue affecting individual nations or the UK and one issue affecting their local communities. For the first time since the campaign’s inception, voting will only take place online due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus. The ballot includes issues such as climate change, tackling child poverty, mental health and hate crime.
1) Watch the video
· Explainer video including all topics (3 mins)
2) Click here to get to the Voting page English
Currently we have had 80 votes from Brakenhale and we would love to have as much of the school student population voting as possible.
Many thanks,
Ms H Ioannidis

20th November: Year 11 Sixth Form Taster Day - 23.11.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Sixth Form Taster Day
We are really looking forward to welcoming you on Monday 23rd November for the Taster Day, either for Brakenhale Sixth Form or alternative Colleges. We can no longer make changes to the day, due to capacity of the classes, the timetables and roomings already being complete.
Please come to the Main Hall at 8:35am for your introductory assembly where you will be handed your timetable for the day. If you have not received your timetable via email, please do not worry it will be ready for you on Monday. If you have selected Dance as an option, please remember to bring suitable clothes for the lesson.
All Year 11 students will be allowed to follow the Brakenhale Sixth form dress code for Monday 23rd November only. We would ask that no offensive language or slogans are displayed on clothing, and low-cut tops and low-cut trousers are avoided. Shorts and skirts are permitted, but the length of these items needs to be at least to mid-thigh. Midriffs should be covered, and the top of the shoulders should also be covered. We would also ask that students do not have extreme uses of makeup or hair colours.
Have a great weekend
Ms Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

20th November: Year 12 Virtual Parents Evening - 3.12.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 12 Parents Evening Thursday 3rd December
We recognise the importance of this event and would therefore like to invite you to a virtual Parents Evening on Thursday 3rd December 2020 between 4pm and 7pm.
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.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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. 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. 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.
Regards,
Mr J Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

18th November: Christmas Lunch

Dear Parents/Carers
Christmas Lunch
We are delighted to advise that Christmas lunch will be served at school on Wednesday 9th December (Years 7, 10 and 11) and Thursday 10th December (Years 8, 9 and Sixth Form).
You are now able to book and pay for Christmas lunch via ParentPay at a cost of £3.75. Please ensure that booking is made by no later than Tuesday 3rd December.
Should students not want a Christmas lunch, usual break food will be available together with pasta, sandwiches and paninis at lunch time.
Kind regards
School Office

18th November: Year 11 - Post 16 Options

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Post 16 Options
On Monday 23rd November all Year 11 students will have the opportunity to explore their post-16 options.
We appreciate that students will be considering different routes and they will require different information to help make their decisions, so we are therefore providing everyone with the opportunity to choose between the two following options on Monday:
Option 1 – Staying at Brakenhale Sixth Form to study A Levels or BTEC qualifications
Option 2 – Moving on to a local college or applying for an apprenticeship
Students who choose Option 1 will choose their option day subjects and will be able to experience a lesson in these subjects.
Students who choose Option 2, or who are currently not meeting the entry requirements for Brakenhale Sixth Form will attend the following sessions:
Session 1 & 2 Bracknell & Wokingham College – information session, course choices and entry requirements + life in a college setting
Session 3 – Apprenticeships/Ask Apprenticeships – information session on the range of apprenticeship and T-level opportunities in the local area
Session 4 – Activate sessions – resource session to support informed choices
Session 5 – reflection, evaluation, plan – students given the opportunity to gather information on open days, entry requirements for courses, apply for apprenticeships. 1:1 Q&A with a careers advice specialist
It is important for students to be aware of the entry requirements for the subjects and courses they wish to apply for, so please be advised a student’s suitability for their chosen courses will be based on grade predictions and achieved grades to date. This information can be found in your son/daughter’s latest grade report.
We will be supporting pupils to make their choices through these sessions and their forthcoming careers interview, however we would also urge you to start talking about and exploring the options available to your son/daughter.
All Year 11 students will be allowed to follow the Brakenhale Sixth form dress code for Monday 23rd November only. We would ask that no offensive language or slogans are displayed on clothing, and low-cut tops and low-cut trousers are avoided. Shorts and skirts are permitted, but the length of these items needs to be at least to mid-thigh. Midriffs should be covered, and the top of the shoulders should also be covered. We would also ask that students do not have extreme uses of makeup or hair colours.
Kind regards
Miss L Rushby, KS4 Raising Standards Coordinator

18th November: Christmas Card Competition

Dear Parents/Carers
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 2020 Brakenhale Christmas Card for Ms Coley to send out. Previous entries have been amazing and it is a really good way to get into the Christmas spirit.
The competition will be the second Character Challenge for the Community strength. The winning entry will receive 10 community points and everyone who enters will received 2 points.
Students should submit entries by Friday 4th 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!  Entries to main reception please.
Kind regards
School Office

17th November: Apprenticeships and Careers Webinar - 25.11.20

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Apprenticeships and careers with the Armed Forces webinar
Amazing Apprenticeships will be hosting an exclusive webinar with the Armed Forces to explore the apprenticeship opportunities available within the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
Join us on 25th November at 3:30pm to find out more!
Book your free place now by clicking below:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0sf-6przsqG9Z2HVFOXbhU9RvWUT69Kd_u
Careers Advisers, Careers Leaders, Parents and Carers, Teachers and students are invited to join this exclusive webinar.
All three services we recently listed in the top 10 of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers (British Army secured #1, Royal Navy secured #3 and Royal Air Force #10) which is a phenomenal achievement.
Hosted by Amazing Apprenticeships, we will speak with leads from each of the service areas to understand more about the vacancies and opportunities that they have and how you can access them.
Kind regards
School Office

17th November: School Values Survey

Dear Parents/Carers
School Values
As part of the school improvement plan, Ms Coley and the Senior leadership team are currently exploring the support and policies we have in place to ensure that Brakenhale is a school which rightly reflects values of equality, diversity and inclusivity across the school community.
The aim is to ensure that we have an environment where all students thrive together, feel safe and included, and one where we recognise and celebrate how individual characteristics of us all, make people unique, not ‘different’.
To help us to know how to improve, we have asked your child to complete a short student survey in order for us to gain an understanding of their opinion and perception of this very important aspect of life at Brakenhale.
Please could you support the school in ensuring that your child does complete the survey by the end of day Thursday 19th November.
Many thanks
Mrs T Cresswell, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Whole School Literacy Lead

17th November: Sixth Form Information re 23.11.20

Good Afternoon,
I hope you are well and everything at home is going as well as it can be.
I am writing to inform you of our plans for Monday the 23rd of November, as it will impact on our year 12 and 13s.
We have our Year 11 ‘Taster Day’ on Monday, where students in year 11 will have the opportunity to see what the Sixth form is like, try out lessons, and make decisions about what they want to do next year (just as year 12 and 13 have had in previous years). With COVID restrictions needing to be in place, this will mean that we will be asking our year 12s and 13s to work from home for that one day. Work will be set on Google Classrooms where necessary, and students can use the opportunity to get ahead (or caught up!) in their A Level work and BTEC assignments. We will be available throughout the day for any questions that arise through email, it’s just that we can’t have the students in the same spaces as the year 11s, and the teaching spaces and staff members usually associated with the Sixth Form will be used for the ‘Taster Days’.
I hope that makes sense; if you do have any questions please do let me know on JDuffy@Brakenhale.co.uk.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the parents and Sixth Form students for all of their support and understanding so far this year. The community of support and care that we have across the staff, parents, and students in the Sixth Form is something that I am very appreciative of; thank you.
Many thanks,
Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

16th November: Christmas Foodbank Collection

Dear Parents/Carers
Christmas Hamper Collection – Reminder
As part of the Brakenhale Community ethos, we will be collecting food items for the Foodbank located at the Kerith Centre in Bracknell. The items collected will used in the Christmas hampers to help support families in need. Items needed are:
· Tinned salmon
· Christmas puddings
· Christmas/nice biscuits, chocolates, sweets
· Gravy, Stuffing
· Custard
We are asking that each student, if possible, donates at least one item. Please donate by Friday 20th November so items can be dropped off at the Kerith Centre by the end of that week. Donations can be handed in to Main Reception or Head of Year Office.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Kind regards
Ms S Douse, Head of Year 11

16th November: Free Maths Webinar - 24.11.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Maths Webinar (free)
We have been given information about a course that may interest you.
Craig Barton is hosting a free webinar for parents about how to build mathematical resilience and reduce maths anxiety in children aged between 10-13.
The webinar is on Tuesday 24th November at 8pm.
You can reserve a place by clicking the link:
https://bit.ly/31wGpye
Kind regards
Mrs C Masson, Head of Maths and Economics

16th November: Christmas Jumper Day - Friday 18th December

Dear Parents/Carers
Christmas Jumper Day – Friday 18th December
We are pleased to confirm we are once again supporting the Daisy’s Dream Charity by taking part in Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 18th December
Daisy’s Dream do fantastic work in supporting children and their families who have been affected by the life threatening illness or bereavement of someone close to them.
https://www.daisysdream.org.uk/
Christmas jumpers can replace school jumpers and blazers, all other uniform must remain as usual.
Kind regards
School Office

13th November: Activate Learning - Virtual Collage Open Evenings

Please see the following Virtual Open Evenings from Activate Learning our College partner.
Saturday 14th November 9.30am – 1.30pm at Reading College
Wednesday 18th November 4-8pm at Bracknell & Wokingham College
We are inviting students to book up to three virtual 1:1 appointments with either a subject specialist tutor or a member of our careers, support or Apprenticeship teams. Each appointment is a 15 minute chat during which students can ask as many questions as they have, discuss course details and their next steps. These appointments can be booked via our website:
https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/ReadingCollege1@ActivateLearning.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/
https://www.activatelearning.ac.uk/events/2020/nov/reading-college-november-open-event
https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/BracknellandWokinghamCollege@ActivateLearning.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/
https://www.activatelearning.ac.uk/events/2020/nov/bracknell-and-wokingham-college-november-open-even
An introduction from our Heads of Campus – put a face to a name and find out what their plans are for this academic year:
Reading College https://youtu.be/qYvj9NUnEEI
Bracknell & Wokingham College https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDC9nXj8DaU
Our current Apprenticeship vacancy page – for any students considering an Apprenticeship, there is a comprehensive list of vacancies across a range of employers for them to start looking at:

Apprenticeship Vacancies

13th November: Year 13 Virtual Parents Evening - 19.11.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 13 Virtual Parents Evening – Thursday 19th November
As you may already be aware, in previous years we have always held an annual Parents Evening for Year 13 students, providing parents and carers with the opportunity to meet with their child’s subject teachers to discuss their progress, pastoral well-being and any other relevant items to date so far. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, we are unable to hold this event in school as we have in previous years.
We recognise the importance of this event and would therefore like to invite you to a virtual “Parents Evening” event on Thursday 19th November between 4pm and 7pm.
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.
https://brakenhaleschool.schoolcloud.co.uk
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. 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 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.
Regards,
Mr J Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

12th November: Year 11 Next Steps - Sixth Form Taster Day - 23.11.20

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Next Steps
I am writing to you regarding the upcoming events planned for Monday 23rd November 2020. During this date students will be involved in post 16 taster activities, allowing them to experience what life would be like should they return to Brakenhale Sixth Form. Students will be given the opportunity during tutor time this Friday 13th November to select a number of different courses to attend that will enable them to make a more certain selection on their upcoming post 16 applications.
This day is a great day to begin the process of post 16 education and it provides the opportunity to select courses that have not currently been studied or to see what a current favourite might feel like at post 16.
For some students where Level 3 courses such as A Levels and BTECs are not part of future plans, they will attend a number of sessions organised around a typical college and careers day, organised by Ms Lane. This will include the local college offerings and a look at apprenticeship offers in the local area.
On Monday 23rd November, students will not be required to wear uniform and will not take part in Turbo Tutor or Period 6. They will begin the day with an assembly at 8:30 and finish at 3:05.
This event has been a great success in the past. It has provided a real gateway for the students and allows many of them to crystallise their future choices.
Kind regards
Ms S Douse, Head of Year 11

10th November: Standards Week Update

Dear Parent/Carers
Standards Week
Standards Week has been going well so far with over 750 Gold Tickets issued in Day 1, there were very few sanctions given yesterday which is a huge credit to the amazing standards seen across Brakenhale.
On the rare occasion that a student receives one sanction in a day they will be required to stay in school until 3.15pm; should they receive two sanctions during one day, they will be required to stay until 3.30pm. For Year 11 students this will be 4.15 and 4.30pm respectively.
Kind regards
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

9th November: Year 10 Virtual Information Evening

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
Year 10 “Virtual” Information Evening
We would like to invite you to our “Live” Virtual Information Evening on Wednesday 18th November at 6pm which will last approx. 30 minutes.
The evening will be hosted by Mr Corry – Deputy Headteacher who would like to share with you information on preparing Year 10 for the coming year.
With this year being so incredibly hard for our students, it is especially important that you join us to understand the plans and support we have in place to help students achieve their full potential.
As the event will be streaming live, you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The link for the event was sent out.
Kind regards
School Office

6th November: Careers - Subject Discovery Student Webinars

Dear Parents/Carers and Students and Staff,
Subject Discovery – Student Webinars
We would like to share with you a series of Webinars that will be launched through the careers platform on Unifrog.
The target audience is Year 11 and 12, however, some of our students will find this interesting regardless of what year group they are in. We would encourage ALL STUDENTS to take part.
Students will be able to access this directly through their Unifrog accounts – https://www.unifrog.org/student/webinars
Parents will be able to access these webinars if they have signed up with their parent account.
You can sign up here: www.unifrog.org/code)
Please encourage your $son/daughter$ to take hold of these opportunities as this will help them make more informed decisions regarding their next steps when the time comes.
Students accessing these webinars will achieve House Points under the Character Strength of Aspiration. This will help them develop the Character Virtue of Ambition.
Don’t forget to check out our Careers Website – https://brakenhale.co.uk/curriculum/careers/
Kind regards
Careers@Brakenhale

5th November: Sixth Form Virtual Open Evening - 11.11.20 at 6.30pm

Don’t forget to join our Sixth Form Virtual Open Evening next Wednesday.
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/5guxs30k
Kind regards
School Office

5th November: Standards Week - 6th - 13th November

Dear Parents/Carers
Standards Week: 9th – 13th November 2020
I am writing to you to let you know that we will be holding our first ‘Standards Week’ of the year from Monday 9th November. The aim of these weeks is to raise the profile of such important personal attributes as punctuality, politeness, be a ready participant in lessons, appearance and conduct. We focus on the positives and want to give our students praise for the amazing job they are doing so far this year. Students are able to receive a Gold Ticket for anything from perfect uniform to greeting a teacher in the corridor to helping a fellow student in need. All staff members will be able to issue Gold Tickets and students are encouraged to receive as many as possible. For each Gold Ticket they will be awarded a House Point, which will feed into a form and year group total; there will be multiple winners at the end of the week. Our students are already fantastic and we want to ensure that they receive credit where credit is due.
Alongside the positive elements of Standards Week, we also issue detentions to students who are not quite getting it right. Please can I ask that you ensure that your son/daughter has their face mask with them and all of their Tools for Learning ready for Monday. The school shop is located in the LRC and all the equipment is available to purchase at cost price. You can also purchase a filled pencil case online using ParentPay, if you choose this option, students should collect from Main Reception.
Secondly, please can I ask that all uniform, particularly piercings, hair, skirts, shoes and coats, are compliant with our uniform code. As you know we insist, unless there is a medical reason, that students wear a school supplied replacement if their own clothes or footwear is not part of our dress code.
The school has made great strides within the last five years and overall, behaviour is hugely improved and uniform despite it being November remains incredibly smart. However, we are always keen for further improvement, hence why we holding ‘Standards Week’ next week.
Don’t forget you can view all your son/daughter’s achievement points via the school gateway.
Best wishes
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

5th November: Covid Guidanace: After School Clubs Cancelled

Dear Parents/Carers
After school clubs cancelled from today
Further to our previous correspondence, we can confirm that after school clubs are cancelled from today, if you have made arrangements to collect your students from school later and alternative arrangements cannot be made, students are welcome to stay at school in the library and complete homework for today only.
We apologise for the late notice of this change however, the government advice was not received until late last night and we had hoped that we would be able to continue with clubs.
Kind regards
School Office

5th November: Covid Guidance for PE in Schools

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 Advice for PE at School
It is with regret that in line with the new Covid19 guidance for school, all PE extracurricular clubs are postponed to the week of 7th December 2020.
PE lessons will still take place as normal, in year group bubbles with dedicated changing rooms, spaces and equipment for specific year groups and classes being used.
Can I also ask that you ensure your child has additional adequate PE clothing (Brakenhale tracksuit bottoms, sport/PE trainers, black gloves, Brakenhale PE jumper) to spend time taking part in lessons outdoors. This is due to the fact that we have a reduced amount of indoor space due to the closure of the trampoline centre (Covid19) and loss of the sports hall due to examinations taking place in there this term.
Please be assured that the safety and learning of your child will always remain at the heart of what we do and we will make all decisions based on these factors to ensure your child has a positive and meaningful experience within our subject.
Many thanks
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

5th November: Updated Covid Guidance

Dear Parents/Carers
Covid-19 updated guidance
As the new lockdown starts today, we would like to share with you the link below to the latest government advice. Much of this we have already implemented and so there are very few changes for us. With regard to the wearing of face masks this is now a legal requirement within secondary schools, not just a school rule. Students will need to wear masks in the dining hall as this is classed as a communal area but not when they are sitting at the tables to eat.
The guidance also refers to students who are clinically extremely vulnerable. If you believe that your child is in this category, please can you contact us as soon as possible. All students must be in school during this period of lockdown unless they fall into an exemption category as outline in the guidance.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020
Unfortunately, we are now no longer allowed to run after school clubs that do not fall under the category of revision sessions with the exception of the CCF (Combined Cadet Force). Therefore these are all suspended with immediate effect.
Finally, please can I remind you that unless you have a pre-arranged appointment booked with a member of staff, we will not be able to admit you onto the school site. This also includes dropping off forgotten items during the school day.
I would once again like to thank you for your support during this challenging time.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

5th November: Year 10 English

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 10 English
The English department have begun to teach the AQA literature specification this half-term to year 10, this requires them to read and analyse three exam texts: Macbeth, An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol. We would like each student to have their own personal copies, which they may annotate if they wish. The ownership of the texts will also aid their revision closer to the exams as we will not allow the school’s texts to be taken home or written in.
The cost of these three texts in total is £9 and we would be grateful if payment for the books could be made via ParentPay as soon as possible.
Thank you in advance.
Kind regards
Miss R Hodgson, Head of English, rhodgson@brakenhale.co.uk

4th November: The Importance of PPE Exams

Dear Parents/Carers and Students
As a school we would like to acknowledge the hard work and tenacity year 11s have shown since the start of Year 11. With these uncertain times we appreciate that many students can feel anxious and overwhelmed. In order to reduce this we would like to reassure you that we have put in place many interventions to ensure the best possible grades can be achieved.
In school:
* Revision guides issued for each subject
* Turbo tutor – English, Maths and Science intervention
* Period 6 – subject specific intervention
* How to revise workshop
* Revision material – flashcards, post it notes, notebooks
* Subject masterclasses – invitation only targeted intervention (running over the 2 weeks before PPEs)
* Live lessons for students self-isolating
* Google classrooms for subjects to access work from home
At home:
* Ensure punctuality to school
* Awareness of PPE schedule so revision can be prioritised
* Testing your son/daughter using their flashcards + revision guides
* Quiet study space (if this is not possible the LRC is open 8-8.30 Monday to Friday and 4-5 Monday to Thursday)
* Contacting school of any issues
In addition to this, we would like to highlight the importance of PPE week (16-20th November). If teacher predictions and previous in school assessments are to be used again to inform final year 11 grades, we want to ensure all year 11 students are fully prepared for the exams.
If you have any questions regarding interventions or PPEs please contact us
Sincerely
Miss L Rushby, KS4 Raising Standards Coordinator

2nd November: Site Access

Please be reminded that access to the site between 8.45am and 3pm is now via the pedestrian gate on Rectory Lane.
Regards
School Office

1st November: Lockdown and Brakenhale

Good evening
Lockdown and Brakenhale
Further to yesterday’s announcement that we will be in lockdown from Thursday this week, we would like to confirm that schools will remain open as usual for all students.
We would like to assure you that keeping our students and staff safe in these uncertain times remains our key priority and with this in mind we will be continuing with the wearing of face masks in corridors and shared spaces outside of the classrooms. Students who fail to adhere to these measures and do not have an exemption will be given a detention for defiance. We have plentiful supplies of sanitizer and classrooms and corridors are fully stocked for students to use whilst moving around the school building.
We would like to remind students of the necessity to adhere to the government guidelines in order to keep the vulnerable within our community safe and ensure that they do not mix in other students houses and they walk straight home after school.
Please click on the link below to view new guidelines:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

1st November: Back to School

Good afternoon
Back to School
Just a reminder that we are back to school tomorrow and it will be WEEK A.
Please check your timetables and pack the correct books.
Kind regards
School Office

23rd October: Year 7 Meet the Tutor Evening Thursday 12th November

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 Meet the Tutor Evening Thursday 12th November
As you may already be aware, in previous years we have always held an annual “Meet the Tutor” evening, providing parents and carers with the opportunity to meet with their child’s tutor to discuss their progress, pastoral well-being and any other relevant items to date so far. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, we are unable to hold this event in school as we have in previous years.
We recognise the importance of this event as part of the Year 7 settling-in process. We would like to invite you to a virtual “Meet the Tutor” evening on Thursday 12th November between 4pm and 7pm.
Families are requested to use our automated online booking system which is open now to make appointments. This allows you the flexibility to book times directly with your child’s teachers. Time slots are for five minutes each and 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.
To schedule your appointment, please follow the link below and enter the relevant information:
https://brakenhaleschool.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/
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. Booking will close at 5pm on Wednesday 11th November 2020.
Regards,
Brakenhale School

23rd October: What Career Live

Dear all,
On Saturday the 7th of November, between 11:00 – 15:00, ‘What Career Live’ will be hosting a virtual Careers Event.
https://www.whatcareerlive.co.uk/virtual-november-2020
We have signed up all our students in Year 11, 12 & 13 to this event. They will be sent all the details of how to access the event closer to the time. Please could you encourage your child to attend this event as it will cover the following:
Chat with top companies and universities to explore apprenticeship and degree opportunities
Get one-to-one advice in the Careers Advice Lounge
Learn more about careers and university in over 40 free presentations
Take part in interactive activities such as Future Skills Workshops
Parents can also sign up by following this link.
Please see attached documents for more details of the event.
Thank you
Brakenhale Careers Team

23rd October: Sixth Form Open Evening

Dear Parents/Carers
Sixth Form Open Evening
We are pleased to announce our hosting of the live virtual Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday 11th November at 6:30pm. This event will provide an overview of our Sixth Form offering, there will be an opportunity for questions and an accompanying website with complementary information will also be available. Links for the event and the website will be sent to you before 11th November.
We look forward to virtually welcoming you then.
Best wishes
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

23rd October: Science Resources

Dear Parents/Carers
Science – Anatomy and Biology
Please see link below to a free Science resource your son/daughter may find of interest.

Home


Kind regards
School Office

23rd October: Year 11 Next Steps

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Next Steps
Please see information below from Bracknell & Wokingham College:
Open Events
Our first Autumn Open Events have taken place. If your students were unable to attend, or would like to re-cap, there is lots of information available on our websites:
https://www.activatelearning.ac.uk/voe/bracknell-and-wokingham-college-virtual-open-event
https://www.activatelearning.ac.uk/voe/reading-college-virtual-open-event
Information about our next events and college tours will be sent out following the October break.
Applications
Applications are now open for learners wanting to start from September 2021 and can be accessed via our website:
https://www.activatelearning.ac.uk/study/how-to-apply
I have also attached a PDF version of the form that can be either printed out or completed digitally. Please email, or scan and email.
Kind regards
School Office

22nd October: Proposed Admission Arrangements for entry in September 2022/23

Dear Parents/Carers
Proposed Admission Arrangements for entry in September 2022/23
In accordance with the School Admissions Code 2014 the Greenshaw Learning Trust is currently consulting on the admission arrangements for all schools within the Trust for entry in September 2022/23.
The main changes are;
· The inclusion of a priority for exceptional social and medical applications for schools where it was not previously included
· Inclusion of a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) for all exceptional social and medical applications (all schools)
· The inclusion of a priority for Children of Staff where it was not previously included
· Removal of the SIF for Children of Staff applications (Broadwater School only)
· Alignment in the order of priorities within admission arrangements for all Greenshaw Learning Trust schools
· Alignment in criteria definitions for all Greenshaw Learning Trust schools
The consultation will be held from Wednesday 21st October until Wednesday 2nd December 2020.
Responses must be received by the Wednesday 2nd December 2020 and should be sent by post or email to;
Head of Admissions
The Greenshaw Learning Trust, Grennell Road, Sutton, SM1 3DY
mfrancis@greenhsawlearningtrust.co.uk
Please click here to view the proposed admission arrangements for Greenshaw Learning Trust schools.
Kind regards
School Office

21st October: School Uniform

Dear Parents/Carers
Uniform
As we come to the end of our longest term this academic year I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all bearing with us during these uncertain times. Students have behaved impeccably throughout, with their uniform standards being maintained and attendance being good overall.
I would like to remind you of the high standards of behaviour and uniform (please see attached) that we have at Brakenhale, especially as we approach a half term holiday. One area we are keen to address is the length of skirts, as it should be to the knee with the logo showing at the waistband. We appreciate that students will have grown considerably during the lockdown and summer period however, with half-term it is an ideal opportunity to purchase new skirts and avoid difficult conversations and sanctions. If your daughter has difficulty in complying with the skirt length, they are permitted to wear school trousers (not tight fitting). Please also be reminded that students are not to use their mobile phones whilst on the school site, a student using their phone will have it confiscated.
To remind students of the high expectations at Brakenhale we will be having Standards Week from Monday 9th November. If you are new to Brakenhale School the Standards Week is a time for us to reflect on the appropriate behaviours, actions and uniform that we expect every day from our students. We fully notify the students of our requirements prior to Standards Week, with students having the opportunity to receive positive ‘gold tickets’ for exemplary behaviour and attitudes whilst also applying sanctions if these standards are not seen.
We appreciate your support in maintaining the high standards of behaviour and uniform we expect in Brakenhale students. We hope that they, and you, have a great half term
Kind regards
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

21st October: Adverse Weather Conditions

Dear Parents/Carers
Today’s weather conditions
We would like to advise that due to today’s poor weather conditions, may we please remind students to wear coats and bring an umbrella. In order to maintain the social distancing guidelines and the year group bubbles, students should not arrive on the school site before 8.20am as we are unable to accommodate all students inside the school building. Students will be permitted to go to their tutor rooms from 8.20am.
As previously advised, students are able to attend breakfast club between 7.45 and 8.30am but must be eating breakfast at tables. Access to breakfast club is not permitted after 8am – food can be purchased from the outside hatch until 8.30am.
May we also take this opportunity to remind you that school coats must be plain black (no logos).
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

20th October: Rotary Club Raffle Tickets

Dear Parents/Carers
Raffle Tickets
We would like to advise that students will be bringing home raffle tickets this week.
Brakenhale are selling raffle tickets to raise money for a much needed outside canopy.
Our fundraising efforts are being supported by Easthampstead Rotary Club Draw. With their help, last year, we raised £7,000 towards the equipment and fittings that were desperately needed for our new building.
Please note:
· You are under no obligation to sell all or any of the tickets.
· Tickets are £1 each or a book for £5
· If you are willing to work with us on this, please sell as many tickets as you can and return the money and ticket stubs (with a name and contact phone number written on them) with your son/daughter as soon as possible, but by Friday, 27th November at the latest. Please return any unsold tickets.
· If you are able to sell more tickets than you have been allocated, please e-mail mainreception@brakenhale.co.uk and we will make sure we get them to you straight away.
The cash prizes include:
1st Prize £500 – 2nd Prize £250 – Plus ten prizes of £100 and 5 prizes of £50
If you would prefer that your son/daughter does not bring raffle tickets home, please e-mail mainreception@brakenhale.co.uk and state your son/daughter’s name and tutor group.
Thank you very much for your support and I hope that you will be among the lucky winners.
Kind regards,
The School Office

19th October: Brakenhale Fitness Suite - Sixth Form

Dear Parents/Carers
Brakenhale Fitness Suite
As part of our quest to enrich and activate the lives of our sixth form students even further, we are now offering them timetabled access to the new Brakenhale fitness suite. The suite has a range of weighted resistance machines and cardiovascular machines that students can use to work out, by booking in at selected periods throughout the 2 week timetable.
This is providing that they:
1) sign up and complete a gym induction with a member of the PE staff, which has been sent out this week
2) complete all necessary paperwork (induction sign off sheet and PARQ)
3) parents/carers give consent for their child/ren to use it
The use/access of the fitness suite will be linked to their privilege pass and how engaged/up to date students are with their work. As the phrase ‘student athlete’ states “the student comes first at all times”.
If your son/daughter in the sixth form has signed up to the fitness suite and has completed an induction, then please can you complete the sheet to give them permission to use it. Even if they have not mentioned it or signed up, it would be a great thing to allow them permission so they could use it in the future if they so wished. The link to the Parental User Agreement was sent home.
Many thanks
Mr M Potter, Head of PE
mpotter@brakenhale.co.uk

19th October: Unifrog - The Complete Destinations Platform

Dear Parents/Carers

Unifrog – The Complete Destinations Platform

In keeping with our commitment to provide students with outstanding careers guidance and tailored support when choosing their next step after school, we will now be using Unifrog; an award-winning, online careers platform. All students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 now have access to this excellent website.
Unifrog brings into one place every undergraduate university course, apprenticeship, and college course in the UK, as well as other opportunities, such as School Leaver Programmes, MOOCs and every college at Oxford and Cambridge. This makes it easy for students to compare and choose the best university courses, apprenticeships or further education courses for them. They can also explore exciting opportunities further afield by looking at English-taught undergraduate programmes available in Europe and the USA.
Additionally, the platform helps students successfully apply for these opportunities by using Unifrog to write their personal statement, applications and CVs and guiding them through the process, allowing teachers to give live feedback.
Students access the platform by clicking a link in their welcome email, where they create a password and can begin using the platform. They login to Unifrog using their email address and password and they can do so 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.
We have also set up a parent login so that you can use Unifrog as if you were a student yourself, allowing you to truly support your child. The form code you need was sent home.
For more information, go to www.unifrog.org
Kind regards
Brakenhale Careers Team

19th October: Parenting Teenagers Course

Dear Parents/Carers
Parenting Teenagers Course
Please see Parent News for information, if anyone is interested in a parenting teenagers course or and understanding your teenager’s brain course the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) are funding four different Solihull online parenting programmes which are free for families in Bracknell Forest.
Kind regards
School Office

16th October: Year 11 'Live' Virtual GCSE Information Event

Good Evening
We would like to invite all Year 11 Parents/Carers and students to our “Live” Virtual GCSE Information Event on Thursday 22nd October at 6pm which will last approx. 30 minutes.
The evening will be hosted by Mr Corry – Deputy Headteacher who would like to share with you information on preparing Year 11 for their pre-public and summer exams.
With this year being so incredibly hard for our students, it is especially important that you join us to understand the plans and support we have in place to help students achieve their full potential.
A link for you to join the event will be shared with you next week, as we will be streaming live, you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
Kind regards
School Office

15th October: Year 7 Maths Home Learning

Dear Parents/Carers
Thank you for your continued support with the work your students have been doing from home. We have reflected today that it would be beneficial to students to revisit some of the learning they have done over the past few weeks in maths and consolidate their knowledge whilst working at home.
We will therefore be setting work using Hegarty moving forward rather than the GLT online curriculum. This will allow us to select the tasks that students complete and monitor how well they are doing so that we can adjust our curriculum for their return.
From tomorrow students will be set 1 or 2 maths tasks (depending on the length) each day to complete for maths via Hegarty. Students will be expected to watch the video, copying down the examples in the front of their book, then complete the quiz.
Students login details are their name and Date of Birth, their passwords were selected by them. If they have forgotten their password then they need to click the reset password button and we can reset it. Alternatively they can contact Mrs Dani Turner, Hegarty Coordinator on dturner@brakenhale.co.uk
Some students will not have used Hegarty before so we have sent a video to show you how to log in.
Please also ensure that students are completing their homework on Sparx each week, this is set on a Friday and due in on Thursdays. Some students have some incomplete tasks from previous weeks and this is an ideal opportunity to get caught back up.
Thank you for your support
Mrs C Masson, Head of Maths and Economics

14th October: School Site Visitor Access

Dear Parents/Carers
School Site
We would like to remind you that unfortunately, we cannot accommodate parents on site without an appointment. If your child is ill during the school day, they should access the medical room or tell a member of staff, but they should not ring home themselves. If students do ring home themselves, please could we ask that you call the school rather than immediately coming up to the school to collect your child.
We are sure you will appreciate that if this happens and we are unaware of the call home, we then have to locate the student and get a member of the Senior Leadership Team to authorise that the student may leave the site, which can take time and is frustrating for parents waiting to collect.
Many thanks for your support.
Kind regards
Ms H Whitaker, Deputy Headteacher

13th October: Maths Home Learning - Years 8 and 9

Dear Parents/Carers
Maths Home Learning
Thank you for your continued support with the work your son/daughter has been doing from home. We have reflected today that it would be beneficial to students to revisit some of the learning they have done over the past few weeks in maths and consolidate their knowledge whilst working at home.
We will therefore be setting work using Hegarty moving forward rather than the GLT Online Curriculum. This will allow us to select the tasks that students complete and monitor how well they are doing so that we can adjust our curriculum for their return.
From tomorrow students will be set 1 or 2 maths tasks (depending on the length) each day to complete for maths via Hegarty. Students will be expected to watch the video, copying down the examples in the front of their book, then completing the quiz.
Student login details are their name and date of birth, their passwords have been selected themselves. If they have forgotten their password then they need to click the “reset password” button and we can reset it. Alternatively, they can contact Mrs Dani Turner, Hegarty Coordinator dturner@brakenhale.co.uk
Thank you for your support.
Mrs C Masson, Head of Maths and Economics

13th October: Year 11 Careers Advice and Guidance

Dear Parents/Carers
Careers Advice & Guidance for Year 11 Students
We appreciate there is uncertainty around us currently, however, it is still really important students start the process of planning ahead and consider the options available to them once they have completed Year 11.
We want to reassure you that across the course of the year all students will receive support, advice and guidance ensuring everyone feels confident in the choices they make. We will do this by providing all students with information, resources and current labour market information, which will be particularly important given the current situation.
It is a requirement that all schools have a nominated Careers Leader and I have taken on this role alongside my teaching of Business Studies as I have experience in providing careers advice and guidance to young people. The process of supporting students will begin with all Year 11’s completing a short survey which has been emailed out to them today as a Google Form. It is important students answer all the questions on this form as openly and honestly as possible because this will help me understand their individual needs. I have attached a link to the survey and would be grateful if you could remind your son/daughter of the need to complete it: https://forms.gle/MMoRNuRhWX45sXq4A
Once we have gathered this information students will then have the opportunity to attend a careers guidance interview. This thirty minute interview will provide students with an opportunity to find out information about the opportunities available to them, to ask questions and at the end the interview they will have an action plan with clear goals and next steps.
These interviews will begin after October half-term and students will be advised of their interview time by their tutor. The interviews will take place in the Careers Hub of the LRC where there will be resources available for students to take away and share with parents.
With over 200 students in Year 11 I hope you understand the process of interviewing all students will need to take place over a period of time, however please be assured every s will have the opportunity to meet with me.
In the meantime I would recommend students sign up to Pathwayctm.com. This free, online careers platform has a wide range of videos and information to help students and using this platform alongside Unifrog will ensure they have access to a wide range of balanced careers information. There is also a very useful Parent page which provides information and we would recommend parents sign up to their newsletter.
Students: https://pathwayctm.com/for-school-leavers/
Parents: https://pathwayctm.com/parents/
I will be sharing information and updates as the year progresses and we may find there are some obstacles to navigate due to Covid-19, however, I am sure that with your support and working together we can ensure students feel confident in their plans for the future and life after Year 11.
Kind regards
Ms J Lane, Careers Lead
jlane@brakenhale.co.uk

13th October: PSHE Links at Home

Dear Parents/Carers
PSHE Links at home
We are excited to announce that Brakenhale PSHE Portal will be launching officially in January 2021! A new calendar year to focus on bringing our diverse community together through sharing stories, interests, insights and highlights from anyone who is part of #teambrakenhale.
This will be a place to highlight important topics and issues from the people around us and our networks to enrich your learning and knowledge of your community and the wider world.
Our first link to guide you to a very important topic and that is to: Climate Change.
Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. The goal: To build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 in the race to a zero-carbon world – a world that is safer, cleaner and fairer for everyone.
Join Countdown for the first-ever free TED conference here YouTube.com/TED
This virtual Global Launch vividly explained the climate crisis, sharing the solutions needed and calling for leaders and citizens to step up. More than 50 speakers, activists, actors and musicians took to the stage over five curated sessions that combined TED’s signature blend of actionable and research-backed ideas, cutting-edge science, and moments of wonder and inspiration.
Please catch it on the replay to better your understanding of climate change and actionable goals that as a Brakenhale community we could implement further in our local area.
Kind regards
Ms H Ioannidis, Media, Criminology & T&T Teacher

10th October: Sports Captains

Sports Captains
Over the final 2 weeks of the first half term, we start our quest to find our Sports Captains of 2020/21 at Brakenhale. You have an opportunity to really feed into what we do as a school and how we do it when it comes to PE, sport and physical activity.
Sports Captain nominations and submissions open this week (12/10/20) and will stay open for 2 weeks giving all students at Brakenhale the chance to apply.
All entries will then be read over half term and our Sports Captains will be selected based on these. A male and female Sports Captain is required for each house in each year group.
Once selected, our Sports Captains will promote and champion all things to do with PE, sport and physical activity at Brakenhale as well as become members of our Sports Council.
The Sports Council meets termly to discuss and develop the student experience within the subject of PE but also for clubs, trips, events and other sport/PE/physical activity based experiences.
All entries can be made via the link sent home, for those of you who wish to be considered for the role.
Many thanks and I look forward to reading the applications over the coming few weeks.
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

8th October: Change in Weather Conditions

Dear Parents/Carers
Change in weather conditions
We would like to advise that as the weather is changing, in order to maintain the social distancing guidelines and the year group bubbles, students should not arrive on the school site before 8.30am as we are unable to accommodate them inside the school building.
As previously advised, students are able to attend breakfast club between 7.45 and 8.30am but must be eating breakfast at tables. Access to breakfast club is not permitted after 8am – food can be purchased from the outside hatch until 8.30am.
We can confirm that we are currently raising funds to purchase some outside canopies and help in providing outside shelter.
May we also take this opportunity to remind you that school coats must be plain black (no logos). Scarves must be plain black and must not be worn inside the school building. We have fleece scarves with house coloured logos available from the uniform shop at a cost of £12.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

8th October: Year 11 Pre-Public Exams

Dear Parents/Carers and Students,
Pre-public Exams
Year 11 will be sitting their first round of Pre Public Exams (PPE) the week commencing Monday 16th November. Students will be sitting in the Sports Hall with all Access students in the SSC.
These will be run under full exam conditions with Exam Board Rules and Regulations applying at all times. We will be holding an exam assembly to fully brief all students but please find attached a copy of the JCQ regulations. If you have any questions relating to any of the rules please do not hesitate to contact me.
Attached is a copy of the timetable for the week.
Kind regards,
Sarah Seymour, Exams Manager

  Monday 16th Nov Tuesday 17th Nov Wednesday 18th Nov Thursday 19th Nov Friday 20th Nov
Period

1 & 2

English Language Paper 1

1 Hour 45

 

English Language Paper 2

1 Hour 45

 

Maths 1 Hr 30

Foundation/Higher

Calculator

Option C

History 1 Hr 20 – 11C/Hi

Geography 1Hr 30 – 11C/Ge

Computer Science 2 Hr 11C/Cp

Business GCSE 2 Hr – 11C/Bs

HSC 2 Hr – 11C/Hs1

Dance 2 Hr – 11C/Da in MS

BTEC P/A 2 Hr – 11C/Br1 in L01

GCSE PE 2 Hr – 11C/Px1

BTEC Sport 1 Hr 15 – 11C/Bp

 

Option A

History 1 Hr 20 – 11A/Hi

Geography 1 Hr 30 – 11A/Hi

Computer Science 2 Hr 11A/Cp

French 11A/Fr1 Foundation Reading 30 min and Writing 1 Hour

Higher R 50 Min and W 1 Hr 15

Spanish 11A/Sp1 Foundation Reading 30 min and Writing 1H

Higher R 50 Min and W 1 Hr 15

Business GCSE 2 Hr – 11A/Bs

Enterprise 2 Hr 11A/Et1

HSC 2 Hr – 11A/Hs1

Economics 1 Hr 30 – 11A/Ec

DT 2 Hr – 11A/Dt

 

Period

3 & 4

Maths 1 Hr 30

Foundation/Higher

Non Calculator

Maths 1 Hr 30

Foundation/Higher

Calculator

Combined Physics F/H OCR

Paper 1 – 1 Hr 10

 

Physics F AQA Paper1 – 1Hr 45

Option B

Geography 1Hr 30 – 11B/Ge

IT OCR – 1 HR 45 11B/Bn1

French – 11B/Fr1 – Foundation Reading 30 min  Writing 1 Hr

Higher R 50 Min and W 1 Hr 15

Spanish 11B/Sp1 Foundation Reading 30 min  Writing 1Hr

Higher R 50 Min and W 1 Hr 15

Business GCSE 2 Hr – 11B/Bs

Hospitatlity 1 Hr 30 – 11B/Hy

Media 1 Hr 30 – 11B/Me

Art 2Hr – 11B/Ar in A02

Photography 2 Hr – 11B/Pt in B17

BTEC Sport 1 Hr 15 – 11B/Bp

 

Option D

History 1Hr 20 – 11D/Hi

Geography 1 Hr 30 – 11D/Hi

IT OCR – 1 HR 45 11D/Bn1

Enterprise 2 Hr – 11D/Et1

Photography 2 Hr – 11D/Pt in B17

Drama 2 Hr – 11D/Dr in L01

Art 2Hr – 11D/Ar in G04

French – 11D/Fr1- Foundation Reading 30 min and Writing 1H

Higher R 50 Min and W 1 Hr 15

FS English 2 Hr – 11D/Li

 

 

Period

5

Combined Biology F/H OCR

Paper 1 – 1 Hr 10

 

Biology  F AQA Paper 1 –  1 Hr 45

Combined Chemistry F/H OCR

Paper 1 – 1 Hr 10

 

Chemistry F AQA Paper 1 – 1Hr 45

Yr 11 Polish Higher 1 Hr 15

Yr 11 Portuguese 1 Hr 20

Yr 10 German – 1Hr 15

Yr 10 Polish Higher  1Hr 15

Yr 10 Polish Foundation 1 Hr

Yr 10 Portuguese Higher 1 Hr 15

Yr 10 Italian Higher 1Hr 15

 

8th October: KS3 Inter-house Fun Run

Dear Parent/Carer and Student
KS3 – Inter-house Fun Run
I am delighted to announce the Inter-house Competition for this term for your son/daughter in PE.
In your son/daughter’s first PE lesson of the week of the 19th October, we will be hosting the inter-house fun run. This is a non-exhaustive run for all students to take part in and to allow some competitive spirit for students in their houses and support the whole school house system.
All students will be taking part as this is an inter-house competition and full PE kit will be needed. Students will need to ensure they bring adequate footwear for the run so that they can take part out on the field.
We will aim to complete the run in the first lesson of the week but, in the case of poor weather we may postpone until the second lesson. Please see the table below for the planned days, dates and lessons, including the reserve lesson.
Year and side – 1ST LESSON – 2ND LESSON (RESERVE)
7 X (B R A K) – Thursday 22nd October, Period 5 – Friday 23rd October, Period 2
7 Y (E N H) – Monday 19th October, Period 5 – Wednesday 21st October, Period 1
8 X (B R A K) – Tuesday 20th October, Period 3 – No reserve day
8 Y (E N H) – Tuesday 20th October, Period 4 – Thursday 22nd October, Period 2
9 X (B R A K) – Tuesday 20th October, Period 2 – Wednesday 21st October, Period 4
9 Y (E N H) – Thursday 22nd October, Period 4 – No reserve day
If your son/daughter cannot take part in this event, then as per normal PE lesson rules, please ensure that a note is provided for the lesson. Students who do not have a valid note and do not bring their kit to take part will be sanctioned in line with the PE department no-kit policy.
All students that take part in this event will receive a ‘Community’ house point under our fantastic new house point system, Character Education. Additionally students who finish in the following places will also get Physical House Points for their efforts:
– Top 5 Boys and Top 5 Girls in each house get DOUBLE house points
– Top 5 Boys and Top 5 girls in each half year group get TRIPLE house points
Many thanks and I look forward to seeing students out on the run, championing their houses.
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

7th October: Health and Well-being Support from the School Nursing Team

Your Local School Nursing Service
The School Nursing team in Berkshire Healthcare is here to support the health and well being of school-aged children and young people who attend state-maintained schools, free schools and academy schools in Bracknell, Wokingham, Reading and West Berkshire as well as those who are home-educated.
Please click this link for a message from the School Nursing Team:

In June this year a telephone support line was set up as an additional service so that despite Covid 19 restrictions in our schools children, young people and their families could still access health advice, support and signposting from the school nurse. Although initially a response to the Covid pandemic, this initiative has proved popular and in response to feedback from our service users is planned to continue. Following the initial call, if it is felt necessary by the caller and nurse, a referral into our service is made to offer ongoing targeted support. Since the launch of this new initiative, we have received an increasing number of calls as awareness of the line has improved. These are a few of the comments we have received in our feedback evaluation.
“Very kind and polite staff and extremely supportive”.
“The school nurse I spoke to was very knowledgeable and really helpful”.
“Great friendly service and I had no idea the range of support available. I heard about the service from my daughter’s school and thought I’d call”.
“Nurse was very knowledgeable and sympathetic”.
“Helpful, quick, easier then getting appointments and wasting doctors time”.
Currently parents/carers have mainly been calling the service requesting advice and support with a whole range of health concerns. We will again be promoting the service further to young people, year 9 and above, in secondary schools so they are also aware how to access this valuable support by speaking to a School Nurse directly.
If you wish to discuss a health concern of a school aged child/young person please call us.
0118 9312111 select ‘Option 4’ to speak to a School Nurse from our team.
The line is available from 9am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Further advice and support on the health and development of children and young people can be found by accessing Berkshire Healthcare’s School Nursing web-pages;
https://cypf.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services/public-health-nursing-health-visiting-school-nursing-immunisation/school-nursing/
…and our blogs;
https://cypf.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/blog/

6th October : Year 7 Brakenhale Explorers Club

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 Brakenhale Explorers Club
We are delighted to share with you details of a new club starting for Year 7 students “The Brakenhale Explorers Club”. The club is being set up by as an introduction for Year 7 of what to expect should they wish to join as a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) member in Year 8.
The club will be starting on Monday 2nd November after October half-term and will run from 15.05 to 16.00 every Monday.
During club, we will be covering areas such as:
Team Building tasks – blindfolded height chart, tower building, cover the gap and other such fun games
Learn the country code – How we impact the environment and how we can help protect nature around us
First Aid – Basic first aid skills will be covered such as – What information you will need when or if you need to make a 999 call, Recovery position, How to help someone having a seizure and other basic first aid principles
Living in the field – Tent building, Cooking in the field, How to keep safe in different climates (Cold weather and warm weather) and How to maintain personal hygiene
Peer support – What makes a good friend and how we support each other
Mind/body and soul – This will look at how we can keep our mind healthy, our body healthy, How and where we can seek support if things get tuff
Professional talks – I will be looking at inviting guests to give talks to the students such as PCSO, Fire service, Ambulance service and Army (Giving displays or visits to their work places once allowed)
Community support – We will go into the community (local) and support with such things as litter picking, help tidy up local church grounds and support any other local community members with such things as hand-made Christmas Cards (delivered by the students to local homes).
Due to staff to student ratio requirements, we only have 35 places available which will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
If your son/daughter would be interested in joining the club, please click on the link sent home to register their interest. Applications need to be submitted by 5pm on Monday 19th October. Students who have been successful in their application will be advised by Thursday 22nd October.
We look forward to receiving applications.
Kind regards
Mr A Bury, Interventions Coordinator – SSC
SSI – Brakenhale School CCF
abury@brkenhale.co.uk

5th October : Year 7 Annual Flu Vaccination

Dear Parent/Guardian,
Your child’s annual flu vaccination is now due.
This vaccination is recommended to help protect your child against flu. Flu can be an unpleasant illness and sometimes causes serious complications. Vaccinating your child will also help protect more vulnerable family and friends by preventing the spread of flu.
Please complete the electronic consent form (one per child) via the link within the letter sent home.
It is important to note that the consent form still needs to be completed even if you do not consent.
Kind regards
School Office

2nd October : New Key Word Initiative

Dear Parents/Carers
New Key Word Initiative
Living Literacy – Word of the Week – Mrs Lewis
A key word will be selected from a scheme of work from each half term per subject. These key words will have been used in lessons and students will have seen them on knowledge organisers.
We want to test students’ memory.
Can they remember which key words were used in which subject?
Can they remember which teacher introduced it/used it/ praised them for it?
In lessons:
Staff will have introduced key words in lessons. Students may have had a chance to pronounce the key word correctly themselves in lessons and may have even been rewarded for using it!
Each half term, students will be sent a Google Form. Their job is to match the key words with the correct subject.
We will collate results and measure the impact that the key words are having on students’ learning.
Please encourage Students to complete and send back the Google Form when they receive it.
If they have been successful, they will receive achievement points and a certificate.
Good luck!
Kind regards
School Office

2nd October : Year 9 School Photos

Dear Parents/Carers
Subject Year 9 School Photos
We will be taking individual studio photos at your child’s school on Wednesday 7th October 2020
The photos are used for the school database only, However you will have the opportunity to purchase them.
www.imagojuniors.com
Please visit our website to view the type of images we produce.
Our passion is to provide a small beautiful portfolio for you to select from.
Clothes
Please ensure your child is wearing the appropriate uniform as required by the school.
Viewing your images:
View online via secure login
We will send you your contact sheet with your secure passcode and login to the school as soon as your images are ready (this should be approximately 3 weeks after the shoot).
If you require changes to your images please use our online changes request.
Kind Regards
Mrs Lynda Theal

2nd October : Poor Weather

Good morning
Due to the poor weather today, please can students bring their plain black coats and umbrellas and arrive at school as close to 8.35am as possible. At 8.35am students will not be required to line up outside, they should enter school wearing their masks and go directly to their tutor rooms.
Kind regards
School Office

29th September: Go Behind the Scenes with Forensics

Dear Parents/Carers
Go Behind the Scenes With Forensics
Please see message below from Thames Valley Police regarding a Facebook Live event on Thursday 1st October:
—————————
Ever wondered what a police forensics department is really like? Now is your chance to find out.
Kay Hannam, Head of Forensic Services and Will Davies, County Forensic Manager are going to be taking your questions and talking about their jobs and the roles of their team in a Facebook live event at 7pm on Thursday 1 October.
From crime scene attendance to evidence analysis through to crime scene reconstructions, the forensic department are more than what you may have seen on TV or in films. There are so many roles and teams, all applying science to policing and supporting crime investigations across the Thames Valley.
Join us at www.facebook.com/thamesvp from 7pm on Thursday 1 October. You don’t need a Facebook profile to watch the event but you do to submit a question.
If you would like to ask a question but don’t have a Facebook account then just send a reply to this alert with your question and we’ll try and answer as many as we can on the night.
Hopefully you’ll be able to tune in and we look forward to giving you an insight into the world of forensics.
Message Sent By
Luke Stratford (Police, Comms, HQ South)
—————————————
Kind regards
School Office

29th September: Change to Menu Thursday 1st October

Dear Parents/Carers
Change to Menu – Thursday 1st October
Break: Southern Fried Chicken Burger
Lunch: Hot Dog and Spicy Wedges

25th September: Drug Detection Dog

Dear Parents/Carers
Drug Detection Dog
Today we were visited by the drug detection dog. The dog performed a thorough sweep of the school site, including a walk around the perimeter surrounding the school. The students were incredibly positive towards the dog and were keen to make its acquaintance! We are pleased to report that nothing was found by the dog.
As we have communicated previously this initiative is part of our robust zero tolerance policy of no drugs on the school site. It is pleasing to see that our student community is responding so supportively to our stance on this issue.
Thank you for your continued support with this matter.
Kind regards
Mr H Thomas, Assistant Headteacher
hthomas@brakenhale.co.uk

25th September: Hegarty Maths

Dear Parent/Carer,
We are really lucky to have a Hegarty/Sparx coordinator at school called Mrs D Turner. Once a fortnight your son/daughter has a maths lesson timetabled in the computer room with Mrs Turner to use this fantastic system to support their maths learning. Sometimes during these lessons students are required to watch videos to support them.
With the current Covid 19 restrictions in place it would be really helpful if your son/daughter could bring their own set of headphones in to use during these lessons. The headphones need to be able to plug into the computer. We do have sets of headphones that we can use if students are unable to do this, but these will need to be cleaned after every use which will restrict the amount of lesson time the students will be engaged with their Maths.
Students will need to ensure that they are not using headphones for any other reason around the school and we therefore ask they are stored safely in their bags until they are in the classroom and put away again before they leave.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with myself or Mrs D Turner.
Yours Sincerely
Mrs C Masson, Head of Maths and Economics

24th September: Child Employment - Information from Bracknell Forest

Dear Parent / Guardian
Child Employment
We are writing to parents/guardians of children informing them of legislation concerning Child Employment and what they need to know should their child wish to take on part-time work while still at school. The law is there to prevent accidents and ensure that children are safe and able to benefit fully from their education.
The Law states that children may work from the date of their 13th birthday but are only permitted to engage in ‘light-work’ such as; Newspaper Delivery or work in a Shop, Office or Café.
However, there are restrictions on the number of hours they are permitted to work and the types of work they can do. For example, they cannot work before 7am or after 7pm and no more than 2 hours on a school day or a Sunday. This applies even if the child is working for a parent/relative or whether the employment is paid or voluntary. There are slight variations in permitted hours once they reach their 15th birthday, however the types of work remain the same until the child reaches the end of Compulsory School Age (the last Friday in June of Year 11).
Once the child has found work, the employer must apply for a Work Permit from the Child Employment Officer at the Council. The form states the type of employment and hours a child will work. This form must be countersigned by the parent/guardian before returning to the Council.
Permits are free of charge and are unlikely to be refused, providing the types of work and hours are safe and legal and will not interfere with the child’s education. We also require employers to confirm that they are following all Government guidance relating to Covid-19 and that they operate a safe workplace.
Please note:
• The Permit only applies to a particular job, if a child changes employer or type of work; they must apply for a new permit.
• A Permit can be revoked by the Child Employment Officer if it is believed that the type of work differs from what was stated on the application form or the work is interfering with the child’s schoolwork or punctual attendance.
• If a child is working without a permit, they are working illegally, not only does it mean that should an accident happen it is extremely unlikely they will be covered by any insurance but also the employer could be prosecuted in a Court of Law.
• The employer must carry out a thorough Risk Assessment for the place of employment and share the results with the parent/guardian.
If your child is currently working and they do not have a work permit please contact me straight away, their employer will need to apply for one immediately for them to continue the employment.  Please also check the list below to make sure the type of employment and hours they are working comply with the regulations.
These regulations do not apply to children working in the Performing Arts, there are separate laws governing this work and a Child Performance Licence would be required.
More information can be found by visiting the Council website at https://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/extra-curricular-activities/child-employment
or contacting: Child.Employment@bracknell-forest.gov.uk
Kind Regards
Helen Rider, Child Employment Officer 01344 464 714

 

Paper round

Shop Work

Office Work

Cafes & Restaurants (not in the Kitchen)

Cleaning

Light Agricultural or gardening work

(no Machinery to be used

Work in a Hairdressers (not using chemicals

Light work in a Riding Stables

Coaching & tuition assistant

Wash cars by Hand

Party Hosts

 

 

 

Types of work NOT permitted

 

Sell, deliver or serve alcohol

Deliver milk

Work in a commercial kitchen

Collect money or sell door to door

Use chemicals

Collect & Sort Refuse

Work in Butchers Shops or similar preparing Meat

Undertake the personal care of residents in an old people’s / care home or similar

Work on market stalls

Undertake any Factory work

Telephone Sales

Work more than 3 meters above ground (Indoor or outdoor) i.e.: Climbing ladders etc.

Work in a cinema, night club, Pub, Bar, Off Licence, Betting shop or similar

Attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade

Undertake any work which involves the use of Machinery

Deliver fuel

 

 

 

Hours of Work

 

TERM TIME
All Ages

Max 2 hours on a school day

(maximum of one hour before the commencement of school)

All Ages

Max 2 hours on Sunday

13 to 14 yrs:

Max 5 Hours on Saturday

15 to 16 yrs:

Max 8 Hours on a Saturday

All Ages

Total of 12 Hours per week

All Ages

Not before 7am or after 7pm

 

 

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
All Ages

Max 2 hours on Sunday

13 to 14 yrs:

Max 5 Hours per day Mon – Sat

 

15 to 16 yrs:

Max 8 Hours per day Mon – Sat

Total of 25 hours per week Total of 35 hours per week
All Ages

Not before 7am or after 7pm

23rd September: Sixth Form BTEC Exam Timetable

Dear Student/Parent/Carer,
BTEC Exam Timetable
The Exam timetable was sent out. This relates to a BTEC exam that students will be sitting in January 2021.
All exam board rules and regulations apply, so please ensure that you make yourself familiar with these before sitting the exam, failure to do so can result in disqualification.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Sarah Seymour, Exams Officer

18th September: Parent Meetings

Dear Parents/Carers
Parent Meetings
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation we are having to review our policy on meetings between parents and staff at school. To help safeguard the school community all meetings between parents and staff will have to be pre-arranged. If the meetings can be completed virtually we will endeavour to do so where possible. This will continue to help safeguard the school community and reduce unnecessary transmission risks.
In light of this any parents or carers who arrive at the School without an appointment will not be able to see a member of staff.
May we also ask that you remind students to pack all necessary items for the day in their bags as we cannot accommodate parents dropping off items to reception during the school day.
Please remember we are always available via email at mainreception@brakenhale.co.uk or you can call on 01344 423041 where we will ensure the member of staff will get back to you within 24 hours.
We appreciate your support at this difficult time.
Kind regards
School Office

17th September: Year 12 and 13 Pre-Public Exams

Dear Students/Parents and Carers,
Year 12 and 13 Pre-Public Exams (PPEs)
Post 16 students will be sitting their first round of PPEs the week commencing Monday 5th Oct. These will be taking place in the Sports Hall, those students with Access Arrangements will be notified of where their exams will be.
The timetable has been sent out. Students should be lined up outside their exam venue at least 15 minutes before the start.
The Brakenhale School Exam Booklet along with JCQ exam documents have also been sent out. We strongly suggest that you familiarise yourself with all of these before sitting any exams.
You will need to bring all equipment for your exam as we are unable to lend this out.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of the exams team.
Kind regards,
The Exams Team

16th September: Year 7 Extra Curricular Clubs

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 – Extra-Curricular Clubs
The settling in process for our Year 7 students is well underway at this point and I hope that this has been a positive experience for both your son/daughter and your family. I hope you agree that it is lovely to be back into a routine and to have some resemblance of normalcy in what has been an extraordinary year so far. “Settling in” phone calls from the Year 7 tutor team, Miss G. Lawry and myself are also underway and we look forward to having a conversation with you about your time with us so far.
I am writing to you to express my encouragement for your son/daughter to get involved with the Brakenhale community beyond the classroom and take advantage of our many sporting and non-sporting extracurricular activities and clubs that we have available. One of the many advantages of moving from primary to secondary school is the many new opportunities that can be seized that simply would not have been available in a primary school setting.
Often our young people like to stick to their comfort zones (especially when they have already undergone such a change to their lives) and need strong encouragement to try something new. I would strongly encourage you to ensure that your son/daughter takes advantage of at least one of our extracurricular activities here at Brakenhale.
Extra-curricular clubs are not just simply something to do for an hour after school. They provide fantastic opportunities for your son/daughter to learn valuable life skills such as team-work, problem solving, resilience and perseverance, all of which are strongly sought after by employers in a crowded and competitive job market. They also provide your son/daughter an opportunity to form friendships and relationships with other students and staff that they would simply not cross paths with otherwise. These extracurricular activities can add so much to the Brakenhale experience that would be a shame to miss out on.
From my own experience, I can say that many students I have encountered in my career that have perhaps struggled to enjoy school or find motivation to want to come to school every day often do so when they join an extracurricular club as it can provide them with an additional reason to want to come into school every day beyond lessons. As a result, this often leads to improved attendance, punctuality and even academic achievement. It also enables students to buy-in to the Brakenhale community and feel a sense of pride and belonging in their school.
For your convenience, both the sporting and non-sporting extracurricular clubs timetables can be found on our website page:
Clubs & Activities
If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Yours sincerely,
Mr Philip McKane, Head of Year 7/Teacher of Business
pmckane@brakenhale.co.uk

16th September: Character@Brakenhale

Dear Parents, Carers and Students
Character@Brakenhale
Now that we are back in the full swing of school life, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new initiative at Brakenhale called Character@Brakenhale. It is a Character Education Programme that will work alongside our House Points and House System.
At Brakenhale, success is not just measured by exam results, but by the character of an individual.
Our aim is to make every child in our care the very best version of themselves through nurturing talent, channelling creativity, exposing ambition and competing for excellence. Students at Brakenhale will experience a wide range of opportunities that will shape choices, develop pride and confidence, as well as prepare students for their next steps in life.
To prepare our students for life outside of school we will offer a range of opportunities for students to participate in. These will be categorized into 6 Character Strengths:
– Community
– Physical
– Academic
– Culture
– Leadership
– Aspiration
Through a variety of activities and actions, students will earn House Points that are linked to each Character Strength. Through accumulating a set amount of House Points in each Character Strength, students will be recognised with an official badge that they will be allowed to wear on their school blazers.
Within these Character Strengths’ students can work through the different tiers of Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students that have achieved Gold in all 6 Character Strengths will be awarded with the highest honour a Brakenhale student can achieve – Platinum status. House Points will be carried over year on year to allow students to progress.
We are currently monitoring and reviewing the tariffs for each Character Strength. As this is a new system, some tariffs are likely to go up or down depending on the average House Points earned. Students in older year groups will still have the opportunity to achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold as the tariffs will be adjusted to reflect the amount of time they have left in school.
Issuing House Points:
Staff are encouraged to award students House Points through SIMS.
1 to 3 House Points matching the Character Strength displayed:
1 = Good
2 = Excellent
3 = Exceptional
Staff can request to give students a higher tariff when students have gone above and beyond.
House Point requests can go up to a maximum of 20 House Points. (Maximum House Points are reserved for activities/actions that have displayed commitment and effort over a long period of time.)
Examples of activities that go above and beyond:
– Organising and raising money as part of charity events.
– Completing recognised extra curricular awards e.g DofE, Student Leadership Accreditation, etc.
– Competing at a Maths Challenge.
– Consistent and exceptional performances at fixtures over time.
– Outstanding contributions to a Performing Art event.
– Serving the community in a leadership role.
For general enquiries regarding House Points, please email – housepoints@brakenhale.co.uk
For more information please see our website page:
Character Strengths, House Point Tariffs & Tiering Systems
Kind regards
Mr Beukes

15th September: Face Masks

Dear Parents/Carers
Face Masks
We would like to thank everyone for their support in wearing face masks this week. Could we please ask for you to remind students that face masks are required everyday and they should ensure that they have their mask with them before leaving home in the morning. We only have a limited supply of disposable masks available and our supply will not last very long, if students do not remember their masks.
Kind regards
School Office

15th September: School Photos Year 7

Dear Parents/Carers
Subject School Photos
We will be taking individual studio photos at your school on 16th September 2020.
The photos are used for the school database only, however you will have the opportunity to purchase them.
www.imagojuniors.com
Please visit our website to view the type of images we produce.
Our passion is to provide a small beautiful portfolio for you to select from.
Clothes – Please ensure your child is wearing the appropriate uniform as required by the school.
Viewing your images: View online via secure login
We will send you your contact sheet with your secure passcode and login to the school as soon as your images are ready (this should be approximately 3 weeks after the shoot).
If you require changes to your images please use our online changes request.
Kind Regards
Mrs Lynda Theal

15th September: Sixth Form Bursary Fund

Good morning,
I hope that everyone is well. I am writing to let you know of our bursary fund for 16 – 19 students.
The bursary fund is money that we are allocated by the government in order to support students with their studies. There are two types of bursary that students can apply for, our Discretionary bursary, or our Higher Level bursary – the criteria for both is below:
Eligibility Criteria – Discretionary Bursary
To qualify for the Discretionary bursary fund, students need to meet all of the below criteria:
Between the ages of 16 – 19
Live or reside in the UK
Have a combined household income of £30,000 or less
Attend our Sixth Form on a full time basis (Studying 3 subjects or more)
Eligibility Criteria – Higher Level Bursary
To qualify for the Higher Level bursary fund, students need to fall into at least one of the following categories:
A looked after young person
A care leaver
A young person in receipt of Income Support;
A disabled young person in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance
If you believe that a student in your care qualifies for bursary support, please fill in the attached application form and return it to Mr Duffy or Mrs Perryman physically, or scan and email it to the sperryman@brakenhale.co.uk.
We will need to ask for evidence of income-assessed benefits or income so if that could be attached to the form then that would be great, and will limit any delay in getting the funds allocated to students.
Please also be aware that bursary funds can only be used on things that we can justify will have a positive impact on students’ education. This may be travel to Open Days, UCAS applications, books and equipment, or anything that students need for their courses. We are very happy to advise students if they are not sure on anything. If you do think that you might be eligible I would urge you to apply, and urge students to spend the money once it is allocated; it can really help.
If you have any further questions please do let me know on JDuffy@brakenhale.co.uk.
Many thanks,
Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

15th September: Year 11 Programme - Revision Material

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 11 Programme – Revision Masterclass
As part of our Year 11 Programme, we are pleased to announce the following interventions are now in place.
Following the success of last year’s Revision Masterclass, on Monday 21st September, Joe Ambrose from Greenshaw Learning Trust will be delivering a one-hour session with Year 11 students.
In addition to this, all students in Year 11 will be receiving a revision pack. The pack will contain revision flash cards, post-it notes and an A5 lined notebook. The masterclass will not only go through how to use these aids effectively but will also discuss the use of Cornell notes as a proven revision technique. As a school, we have also ordered revision guides for each student for the subjects they have taken. The masterclass will go through how to effectively use the guides and where they can provide a supportive addition to classroom learning.
Year 11 School Day
In order to maximise the school day the following quiet working spaces are available exclusively to Year 11:
Location: LRC
8.00am – 8.35am – Flying Start
4.00pm – 5.00pm – Champions Hour
This is in addition to the Turbo Tutor sessions on English, Maths and Science that we run Monday – Thursday 8.35 – 9.00am and the compulsory Period 6 sessions 3.05pm – 4.00pm Monday to Friday, for each subject.
As a reminder, Period 6 lessons are compulsory timetabled lessons as part of the Year 11 school day. As ever, we ask you to avoid booking any appointments during school hours as so to maximise lesson time learning.
If you feel your $son/daughter$ would benefit from attending Flying Start and/or Champions Hour as an additional time for them to work and revise away from distractions, please encourage them to attend. There is no need to sign up, just turn up! Sessions are supervised by a member of staff to ensure a quiet working environment is maintained.
Yours sincerely
Miss L Rushby, KS4 Raising Standards Coordinator

14th September: Year 7 September 2021 Intake

Dear Parents/Carers
Year 7 September 2021 Intake
We would like to advise that the application process for Year 7 students for September 2021 is now open until 31st October, 2020.
Our Virtual Open Evening is on Thursday 17th September at 6pm via a link which will be emailed to you on the day. The event will cover all the information that you would have received should you have been able to attend in person. Ms Coley will deliver her parent talk live on the evening from the school hall, she will be using software that will enable you to send in questions during the talk which she will respond to in a session at the end. After the talk there will also be a video available which will tour each of the departments.
If you would like to attend, please click on the link below to provide your contact details:
Open Evening 2020 – Contact Information
Kind regards
School Office

14th September: Parent Governor Vacancy

Dear Parents/Carers
Parent Governor vacancy
Please see the attached letter regarding our current parent governor vacancy. We do hope you will consider the vacancy.
Dawn Deykin, Clerk to the Governors

14th September: Social Media

Dear Parents/Carers
Social Media
We are aware of extremely distressing content currently being circulated on social media platforms. The content originated on TikTok but has quickly spread to other platforms. This is in relation to a video that was circulated involving the streaming of an adult male taking his own life. There now appears to be various clips showing content of self-harm, fake suicide, users’ suicidal thoughts and users’ upsetting reactions having seen the initial video.
Following reports raised to the platform, TikTok has been attempting to take down the video but is struggling due to the numerous reposts. TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide reported to the media:
“Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide. We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips and we appreciate our community members who’ve reported content and warned others against watching, engaging or sharing such videos on any platform out of respect for the person and their family.”
However, despite their automatic detecting systems, TikTok appears to now be flooded with similar content despite stating such content has been banned. Please be aware that even with the ‘wellbeing’ parental control, these videos can still be viewed.
Why should we be concerned?
• Children are being exposed to violent and graphic images currently while using TikTok and other social media platforms.
• Children who view this content may be significantly psychologically harmed.
• These clips can feel real for children and those already struggling with their mental health may harm themselves.
• This content does not even require a search. It appears on their feed with no option but to view while using TikTok. There is no protection against it.
• This is not specific to one country, it is global.
What can parents do?
1) Ensure you know what your child/children can access online and review this regularly. Despite the comments made by TikTok, there currently appears to be limited safeguarding in place around this content. Therefore, the risk of your child being exposed to this is extremely high while using TikTok and apps at the moment.
2) Speak to your child/children and establish if they have viewed anything upsetting or disturbing on TikTok or other platforms and offer support. For additional support around children and young people’s mental health, please visit: www.kooth.com also found on Facebook. There is also a number of suitable mental health apps available.
3) The NSPCC publishes advice and guidance for parents on discussing online safety with their children, as well as Net Aware – the UK’s only parental guide to social media and gaming apps: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
The constantly evolving digital world means there is a steady influx of new apps and games and it can be hard for parents to keep track. That’s why it’s important for parents to talk regularly with children about these apps and games and the potential risks they can be exposed to.
If you need any further support with this, please contact the Student Support Centre on SSC@brakenhale.co.uk
Kind regards
School Office

14th September: Year 13 - University Entrance Exams

University Entrance Exams
Please may I remind you all that if the University that you are hoping to attend has entrance exams, these need to be booked ASAP.
If you contact the Exams team, we are located on the first floor, next to the Head of Year office, we will be able to provide help and support.
You will need the course code and your UCAS number. These tests normally need to be booked before the end of September.
Kind regards
Mrs Seymour, Exams Officer

14th September: PE Knowledge Organisers Years 7, 8 and 9

Dear Students
Knowledge Organiser – Half Term 1
Each half term you will see on show my homework a new knowledge organiser for PE which requires you to learn weekly ‘powerful knowledge’ for your PE lessons.
This ‘powerful knowledge’ is to support your physical activity in lesson with understanding some key concepts of PE.
The ‘powerful knowledge’ focus for year 9 is all about ‘Exercise and the brain’
The ‘powerful knowledge’ focus for year 8 is all about ‘Exercise and training’
The ‘powerful knowledge’ focus for year 9 is all about ‘Exercise and the body’
It is up to you to learn the weekly topic point so that this can be applied and developed in your PE lesson.
We have sent home the first half terms ‘powerful knowledge’ organiser as they start this week.
Thank you
The PE Department

11th September: Hello Farley!

Hello Farley!
We are now at the end of our first week and I don’t know about you but it is good to be back at school and in a routine!
I would like to welcome the new year 7s to Farley and hope the rest of you are all well.
If you do not know who I am, I am Miss Willimott and I am your Head of House.
We have had a positive start to the year so we need to continue with this.
More details about house competitions, house captains and assemblies will follow soon.
If you have any questions, you can come and find me in the PE office.
COME ON FARLEY! LET’S DO THIS!
Miss Willimott, Lead Coordinator of Girls PE and Head of Farley House

11th September: Year 11 - Welcome Back

Dear Year 11
Welcome back!
I hope you have all managed to settle back into school life! It is very noticeable how well you have adapted to turbo tutor and period 6 lessons and we thank you all for this great start.
As part of our offer to Year 11 from Monday 14th September we will be opening up the LRC for you to complete work/revise after p6. This time slot is known as Champions Hour!
The LRC will be a quiet study space available for you from 4-5pm Monday to Thursday each week. This is a great opportunity for you all to revise, complete homework or coursework without distractions. Computers and table space are available for you to use as a year group with teacher supervision to ensure a productive atmosphere.
With the in class assessments starting on Monday this time can be used effectively for you to get in an hours revision each day. Your teachers will be able to let you know which day your assessment is so you can plan your revision timetable effectively.
In addition to this the LRC is available 8-8.30am each morning for you to use before turbo tutor starts.
You do not need to sign up, just turn up to the day or days that suit you!
We look forward to seeing you there!
Miss L Rushby, KS4 Raising Standards Coordinator

11th September: Sixth Form - Good Morning

Good morning everyone
Wow – what a week!! I just wanted to send you all a quick message to say well done on your first week back and thank you for support and continued maturity as we navigate a testing start to the year. If we can come out the other end still smiling we can cope with anything!! If you do need anything at all – support, someone to talk to, any information or questions answered just let us know.
Please can I ask that we continue to get to all of our lessons on time and maintain our high standards of behaviour and engagement – your teachers are working incredibly hard for you so if you could do the same for them that would be very much appreciated.
If you are absent for any reason other than illness (and even if you are ill and you can), please ensure you attend your lessons online – Teachers have been asked to email me a list of names of students who do not attend the live lessons for me to follow up on – if you do not attend these and there is no acceptable reason for this then it will impact on your privilege pass at a later date… I really don’t want to have to start limiting people’s independence, but if that’s what needs to happen then that’s what will happen.
Thank you for signing in and out and for emailing us to let us know where you are and when you are coming in – keep it up!! The study room looked focussed and had a purposeful atmosphere yesterday when I managed to get in there – top work.
Thanks again everyone – great start all things considered. Keep your heads up – keep going, but ask for support if you need it; it’s what we are here for!
Have a great day.
Mr J Duffy, Head of Sixth Form

11th September: Sparx Maths Home Learning Programme

Dear Parent/Carer,
Sparx Home Learning Programme
The purpose of this letter is to inform you about an exciting Home Learning Maths programme we are running with our Year 7 pupils this year. Brakenhale is part of a group of schools across the UK launching the Sparx Programme this year and we are really excited about the benefits for your children.
The aim of this programme is to provide a top quality Home Learning platform to students so that, along with fantastic teacher-led maths lessons in school, your child will be supported at home with their Maths learning. At home, students may struggle to remember concepts they learnt in class and parents often find it difficult to help their child through the methods as they were different methods to when they were at school.
This Sparx system makes it easier for a child to engage with their maths work. It delivers tasks based on the school’s curriculum, uses algorithms to ensure the questions are tailored to the individual child’s ability whilst also being challenging.
Your child will have homework once a week from the Sparx platform and each homework will take approximately one hour to complete properly. The homework will be set on a Friday and will need to be completed by the following Thursday. Your child can complete additional work should they wish to by selecting optional or targeted homework but this is not a requirement.
Every week your child will be set tasks based on what they have been learning in class and revisiting topics previously taught throughout the year. Our main focus is on the effort that your child puts into their homework, the care they take with their notes and the pride they take in their work. All workings out and answers must be written in the back of their Maths books. Students should mark their work in their books as they go along on the computer. They will need to note down the given book code as this will be asked for during the homework.
There is a video on show my homework, which can also be access here, to detail how your child can log on for the first time, but in short:
1) Go to www.sparx.co.uk
2) Click Log In, choose student log in
3) Type in the school name
4) Select new user
5) Write in their first name, last name and date of birth (these details needs to be the same as on the school system)
6) Students will be issued with a password. Students should write this password in their Maths books and Parents/Carers should take a copy of the password in case your child forgets it.
If for any reason your child will have difficulties accessing the online homework, we can make provisions at school, so please let us know so we can help.
Thank you very much for reading this letter.
We look forward to working with you this year.
Very best wishes,
Maths Department

10th September: Homework - ShowMyHomework/Satchel One

Dear Parents/Carers
ShowMyHomework (SMHW) also known as Satchel One
Firstly, thank you to those who have highlighted to us some access issues with our homework platform, ShowMyHomework. I would like to advise you of the following to support both you and your son/daughter.
Next week, each tutor group will have a session in an ICT room to allow them to do two things, firstly, ensure that they can access ShowMyHomework, their emails and Google Classrooms; secondly, to be familiar with these platforms to support them in accessing homework and resources.
We understand that there are many different routines and processes moving to secondary school and we hope that this will remove those barriers that some are experiencing.
In addition, we have asked teachers where possible to not set Year 7 homework until Monday 21st September to allow this session to take place. Some subjects may have already set, or will need to set, homework for the coming week to support in lesson learning but no student will be sanctioned during this period: Thursday 10th September to Friday 18th September. If students are able to access ShowMyHomework, during this period, then we strongly encourage them to give any homework a go.
Once students have had their ICT session, we will send out login information for parents so that you are able to keep up to date with their homework.
Finally, an additional communication will be sent from the Maths department to support Hegarty Maths homework. Please be aware that Maths homework is automatically scheduled and some may see this from tomorrow.
Many thanks for your support.
Kind regards
Mr B Coley, Deputy Headteacher

9th September: Asthma and Allergy Actions Plans

Dear Parents/Carers
Asthma and Allergy Action Plans
If your son/daughter suffers with Asthma or an Allergy, please read the letter sent home from the School Nursing Service and complete and return the relevant form as soon as possible to ensure that we are giving the best possible care to your son/daughter whilst at school.
Please ensure that your child has their inhaler &/or adrenalin auto injector available for use in school at all times. We would also like to remind you that it is your responsibility to check that the medication kept for your child in school is in date.
If you have already done this, please ignore this letter.
Kind regards
School Office

4th September: School Site Access Safety

Dear Parents/Carers
I really need your hep with the parking situation in Coningsby. This afternoon there has been a car accident outside the school with significant damage to one of the vehicles. Luckily nobody was hurt but they could easily have been. Part of the reason for the accident was cars parked on yellow lines and an unacceptable amount of traffic congestion. This is also a very real issue for the residents in the area. Please can I ask that you only drop off and pick up in Coningsby if it is absolutely vital to do so. I fully understand that Year 7 students this week would have felt anxious and nervous and may have wanted to be dropped off but a number of older students were also being collected and dropped off.
Kind regards
Ms J Coley, Headteacher

4th September: Year 11 Back to School

Dear Parents/Carers
We were delighted to see our Year 11 students back in school today.
We were immensely proud of the way in which they have conducted themselves throughout the day, sticking to the new guidelines we have put in place such as no talking in the corridors and responding well to the initiatives being put in place next week to continue to support their progress. The students had a number of successful lessons today and their teachers are extremely positive about the attitude being displayed.
We look forward to seeing everyone back next week.
Kind regards
School Office

4th September: Year Team Structure 2020

Good morning
We are pleased to attach an up to date Year Team Structure list which shows tutor bases.
Kind regards
School Office

3rd September: PE Extra Curricular Clubs Half Term 1

Good afternoon
We are delighted to share with you the sports extra-curricular timetable which start next week.

Clubs and Activities


We look forward to seeing everyone back enjoying their sports #getinvolved
Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

3rd September: Safe Cycling

Dear Parents/Carers
Safe Cycling
At Brakenhale we welcome our students cycling to school. It is good for the environment and also for their health. In addition, Bracknell has numerous safe cycle paths that students can use to avoid busy roads as much as possible.
We are pleased to advise that we have a ‘Brakenhale Safe Cycle Scheme’ where students who wish to cycle to school must apply for a cycle pass in order to ride their bike and use the bike store. A pre-requisite to being issued with and keeping hold of a pass is the mandatory wearing of a bike safety helmet. Any students seen riding their bike in a dangerous manner will have their pass revoked. All bikes ridden to school must be deemed road worthy and safe with working brakes, if bikes are not safe students will not be allowed to bring them onto site for a set period of time and parents/carers will be notified via email. Please note this scheme also applies to scooters.
We have a secure area to keep bikes during the day however, students are required to provide their own lock to secure to the railings inside. Please be advised that bikes are brought into school are at your own risk and although the bike store is equipped with a CCTV camera, we cannot be held responsible for their safety.
Before you consent to your son/daughter cycling to school, I request that your son/daughter becomes familiar with the content of the attached Cycle Safety leaflet on our website https://brakenhale.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Cycle-Safety-Information.pdf and the national bike safety scheme below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-standard-for-cycle-training
If you would like to request a cycle pass, please click https://forms.gle/QQXd1tRnQMvYt6fn7 to submit your request.
Please note that cycle passes will be distributed to students via their Tutor during their first week of school.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours faithfully
Mr H Thomas, Assistant Headteacher

3rd September: Keeping Safe in PE

Good afternoon
Keeping students safe in PE
Please see the attached information and link below advising of the changes the PE department have made to keep students safe whilst taking part in PE.

Kind regards
Mr M Potter, Head of PE

2nd September: Year 7 Return to School - Final Reminders

Dear Parents/Carers
We are delighted to share some final reminders before your child joins us tomorrow. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all Year 7’s to Brakenhale School. Please find below some key reminders and some points of clarification:
First Day arrangements
On Thursday students should arrive at school at 8.30am via the Coningsby entrance and make their way to the tennis courts. As they enter the gates they should turn left and follow the road down behind the trampoline centre. Staff will be on hand to direct students. Students will be able to cycle to school and the cycle sheds will be open for student to lock their bikes up during the day – please remember a cycle helmet must be worn.
We would ask any parents walking with their child to school say their goodbyes at the school entrance where staff will direct them onsite.
At the end of the day students will be dismissed at 3pm, if parents are collecting, please wait outside the school gates at the Coningsby entrance.
On Friday students are asked to make their way to their tutor base at 8.30am staff will be on hand to support. At the end of Friday students will be dismissed in the same way as Thursday.
From Monday 7th September students will follow their normal school timetable and are required to be in tutor by 8.40am – gates close at 8.35am. Any student arriving at school late will be directed to main reception. Any student arriving early should enter the school building and wait outside on the benches in the centre of the school.
The canteen area is open from 7.30am with a breakfast service available to purchase.
For Year 7 break-time is 10.30am – 11am students may bring a snack or the canteen is open to purchase food. Lunch-time will be from 1pm-1.30pm.
Lunch on Thursday
A full lunch will be provided free of charge for all students on Thursday, if any students wishes to bring their own packed lunch, they may do so. From Friday a normal canteen service will be available and students may choose to use this service or again bring a packed lunch. Please ensure your ParentPay accounts are topped up ready if your child wishes to use the canteen.
If your child usually receives free school meals, we will have received this information from their Primary School. The FSM allowance is a maximum spend of £2.50 per day which is enough for a hot meal. If your child wishes to purchase food/drinks in addition to the £2.50 allocated please ensure that you add funds to their ParentPay account to cover this. We would encourage you to have a conversation with your son/daughter to ensure that they understand if they spend their FSM allowance during break, additional FSM funds are not added to cover lunch.
Should you wish to add a daily limit to your son/daughter’s ParentPay account, please email admin@brakenhale.co.uk
Biometrics
We operate a biometric payment system in the canteen. Due to the current COVID-19 situation we will not be using fingerprints to pay for items in the canteen, students will instead give their name to the cashier. However, in order to be prepared for when we are able to use fingerprints again, we will be using part of our time on Thursday to get this set-up.
We will ask all students to hand sanitise prior to and after using the biometric scanner.
If you do not wish your son/daughter to take part in this on Thursday, please let us know by emailing sbest@brakenhale.co.uk.
PE Kit
Year 7 do not require their PE kit on Thursday or Friday of this week, their full timetable will begin on Monday 7th September – Week B.
Transition Website
Many thanks to all students who have contributed to the subject challenges. The subject challenges will close on Friday 4th September giving you an extra couple of days to gain some House Points for your House.
Parking
There is limited parking around the school site and we would appreciate you parking considerately to our neighbours and do not block driveways.
Kind regards
Mr B Coley, Assistant Headteacer i/c of Transition

2nd September: Return to School

Dear Parents/Carers
In response to a number of queries, we would like to confirm that when students return to school, we do not want them to bring in the work they completed over Covid-19 school closure, due to concerns about large quantities of material being brought onto the site and any potential transmission risk. Please keep the work at home and if we feel that it would be safe to do so, we may request that it is brought in at a later date.
Students will attend school as normal in uniform and bring their PE kit to change into on the days they have their PE/dance lessons. As a school we are ensuring that students stay in their year group bubbles throughout the school day and have extensive cleaning and hygiene routines for the PE/dance areas and equipment both during and after lessons to ensure full compliance of keeping our areas clean and safe for the use by our students.
Students who have a PE or Dance lesson during period 5 will go home in their PE kit.
Kind regards
School Office

1st September: Sixth Form Return to School

Good afternoon,
I hope that everyone is safe and well and is looking forward to returning to the Sixth Form on Friday.
I wanted to make sure that I sent out a quick communication to be sure that everyone knows the plan for the next few weeks and to offer the opportunity for questions and feedback. There has been a slight change in where students go first thing which should make things a little more straightforward.
The first day back for the Sixth Form students is on Friday the 4th of September along with our year 11s and new year 7s, with years 8, 9, and 10 starting back on Monday the 7th of September. This is to ensure that we can get the Sixth Formers settled back with fewer students in the school, and so that we can get them registered properly and issued with timetables and tutor groups and so on.
The students will need to arrive at 8:30am, enter the school site via the Coningsby entrance, and go to the Sixth Form area where there will be sign in sheets and students will get their tutor groups, along with their tutor rooms – they will then be taken to their new tutor spaces.
Students will then receive their timetables and will be able to raise any questions or point out anything that doesn’t look quite right for us to resolve. I understand there have been a couple of issues with the Gateway app and timetables showing as incorrect; please don’t panic, we have allowed ourselves time to ensure that students get the right timetables and so on.
Students will need a bag, some note pads and folders, and something to write with – if this is a struggle we do have some resources that we can distribute to students where necessary.
We will be telling the students that for now, they will only need to be on site for their timetabled lessons, and tutor if they have a lesson P1. This will allow us to limit the amount of students on site and entrust them with some independence. Students are very welcome to stay on site during the school day if they would rather, but we thought allowing them the freedom to leave if they like would be beneficial. I should say now though that any student who is not meeting our expectations in terms of punctuality, attendance or application/attitude in lessons will have this privilege removed and will be required to stay on site throughout the day. I am sure that the students will approach this with the maturity that we like to see in our Sixth Form students, and this is a real opportunity for students to demonstrate to us that they are ready for more independence and freedom. I would like to take this opportunity to remind students that the times that they are not in lessons is for study, and as such no work shifts should be taken between the hours of 8:30 and 3:20. Similarly, driving lessons should be organised for outside of the school day as students may be required in school for PSHE sessions and so on.
The first 4 weeks of Sixth Form will be used to secure the content that students should have covered in year 11 and year 12. We will then have some assessments in October after 4 weeks of settling in and revisiting year 11/12 content to ensure that we know where students are at with their learning, and how best to support them moving forward to year 12/13. As teachers we really do need to know what areas of the specification need re-addressing (if any) after having such a long time away. The exams are just a tool for staff and students to identify where there may have been some struggles with content at a distance, and to plan for the best way forward for our students.
I hope that helps explain our thinking around this approach; it does come from a place of wanting to support students in achieving well, as well as being very aware that some students will have been better suited to lockdown learning than others. This way we can look after students and help to ensure that they get the grades they need at the end of year 13 when they go off to their next steps.
If you do have any questions please do let me know on JDuffy@brakenhale.co.uk and I will do my best to answer them. On a personal note I would like to say thank you for your continued support with the Sixth Form, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to work with this cohort of students and parents this year to ensure that the young people in our care achieve their significant potential.
Many thanks,
Mr Duffy, Head of Sixth Form