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    We have recently been celebrating the excellent offers from universities which our sixth form pupils are receiving on a daily basis.  144 Brynteg pupils are currently going through the application process with many  having received notification of the grades which they require to study at their chosen university and some still patiently waiting.

    Our pupils have applied to universities in every corner of the Unitied Kingdom and, if pupils end up in some of these, then their families will certainly be covering some miles in the coming years.  The fact that our pupils are still looking for the best possible university and course for them and not allowing themselves to be too restricted as a result of concerns about finance and so on is admirable.

    The courses that pupils have chosen demonstrate their enormous breadth and interests and passions and again is such a positive feature of this group of pupils.  Some of the subjects they have chosen to study are:

    • Veterinary science
    • Sport and exercise science
    • Film and theatre
    • Acting
    • Medicine
    • Physics with Astrophysics
    • Illustration
    • Criminal Justice and Criminology
    • Education
    • Social Work
    • Youth and Community Work
    • English and Creative Writing
    • Journalism
    • Economics
    • Politics and International Studies
    • Psychology
    • Diagnostic Radiotherapy
    • English Language and Linguistics
    • Digital Media
    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Marine Biology
    • Accounting
    • Performing Arts
    • Law
    • Mental Health Nursing
    • Religion and Theology
    • Computer Games Development
    • Mathematics

    And many more.

    I think the above information really does demonstrate just how talented our pupils are.  The coming months really are going to be hard work for them as they prepare for their final exams and I wish them the best of luck. It really is a privilege to be the headteacher of a school with such a wonderful group of pupils.

    Our photo of the week shows some of our sixth form pupils working together in one of their science lessons – which seems appropriate as we build up to our sixth form Open Evening (31st January).

    Best wishes

     

     

    Head’s Blog 11th January 2019

    Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!  After the long autumn term, the spring term really does seem to be packed with activities and events. For our year 11 and year 9 pupils this is the term when they will need to think carefully about option choices for the future.  I will give more details about year 9 options in a future blog post, but now would like to focus on some of the key information for our current year 11 pupils.

    Monday 21stJanuary – the sixth form subject booklet will be available online.  This lists all of the subjects which will be offered this year, the entry requirements, scheme of assessment, progression opportunities.

    Wednesday 23rdJanuary, Thursday 24thJanuary – presentation to year 11 pupils  from Mr Martin (assistant headteacher) and Mr Harris (Head of Sixth Form) regarding the process for choosing sixth form options, how to make a decision about A Levels, BTECs  and so on.

    Wednesday 30thJanuary – assembly led by some of our current sixth form pupils who are going to share their tips and ideas for choosing options.

    Thursday 31stJanuary 5.30pm – 7.30pm – Sixth Form Options Fair (lower school).  All subject areas will be represented and pupils/parents and carers will be able to discuss with staff the courses on offer.

    Friday 1stFebruary – the online option form will be made available to pupils to complete (to be submitted by 3pm on Friday 15thFebruary)

    Friday 8thMarch – all pupils will receive confirmation regarding courses and option choices.  If numbers on any course are not sufficient then sadly, it may not be possible for these to run.  No changes will be made to the school’s offer after this point however it is recognised that some pupils may wish to discuss changing their options and we will be only too pleased to work with them on this.

    Whilst this gives a brief insight into the process for our year 11 pupils and does not immediately apply to all pupils, I hope that this provides everyone with a useful insight into what could be happening in the future!

    Our photo of the week shows y7 pupil Callum demonstrating his mixing skills in a recent music lesson.

    Best wishes

    Head’s Blog 21st December 2018

    We are at the end of a long and busy term, one which has been incredibly successful with some of the highlights being:

    The introduction of our enrichment programme.  We do know that there is still quite a lot of developmental work to be undertaken but this major initiative has proved to be a huge success in so many different ways.  We are currently planning the programme for next year with a number of new external providers already offering to run activities for us. If you think you can help in any way, please contact Adam Rosser at the school.

    Our performances of High School Musical attracted a great deal of positive feedback from so many people.  The pupils and staff who were involved in this really did demonstrate why performing arts plays such an important part in the life of Brynteg School.

    The launch of the SIMS Parent and Student apps was perhaps a little more challenging than we have anticipated but, as we work through each year group, we are now experiencing considerably fewer problems.   Whilst it was disappointing to us all that these were not fully functioning from the start of the year, we do know that when they are, they will have a hugely beneficial impact on communication between school and home.   Thank you for your patience with this.

    We have recently started the process of moving to a cashless system for all aspects of school life (trips, visits and so on) with the first ‘cashless’ activity being the Christmas Concert.   This has proved to be very successful with tickets selling out way before the actual performance.  Moving to a cashless system will mean that pupils will not be asked to bring in large amounts of money to the school and, as a school, we will not be in the position of having to manage significantly large sums of money.  We do realise that there may be some parents and carers who would prefer to use cash and arrangements will be made with those directly.

    A new system for requesting absence during term time has been adopted this term.  For parents and carers who unavoidably have to request that the time is taken off in school, a form should be collected from either the upper or lower school reception offices.  Forms should be completed in as much detail as possible and returned to the offices at least 2/3 weeks before the planned absence.  It should be noted that a headteacher can authorise up to 10 days absence during an academic year however this is not an entitlement.  Requests for absence during an examination year will not be authorised unless the request is due to a family emergency and so on. Thank you for your support in this matter.

    All schools are expected to reflect on their practice and undertake a self-evaluation of all aspects of provision.  At Brynteg we have developed a ‘research and development’ model which, as well as identifying areas for improvement, really does encourage staff to be forward-thinking and innovative. This is only the second year that this model has been used and already there are so many positives arising from this model as staff strive to deliver ever more challenging learning opportunities. You may be approached by some subject areas to try to gather your views about learning and teaching in that area and, if this is the case, I would urge you to take up the offer as your opinions really do matter.

    On Thursday 31stJanuary we are holding a Careers Fayre and Sixth Form Options Evening.  Parents and carers are invited to the school from 3.30pm where there will be the opportunity to meet with employers who will have spent time with us during the day. At 5.30pm, year 11 pupils, parents and carers will be able to find out about the courses we have on offer in our sixth form.  Pupils who would like to return to our sixth form will need to complete an online application form and return it to us by Thursday 14thFebruary.

     

    Lastly, our Santa Appeal may possibly be the highlight of the term.  The very fact that our pupils are concerned for those who are less fortunate than themselves at this time of year demonstrates just how compassionate they are.  They have worked so hard, often in terrible weather conditions to raise over £4,600.  The gifts they have bought with this money have all been delivered to BCBC who will now distribute them on our behalf.  What an amazing school community we have here at Brynteg.

    Thank you for your support this term.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

     

    Head’s Blog 14th December 2018

    Our theme of the week has been ‘happiness’ and there certainly have been a lot of smiling faces around Brynteg over the last few days.  We are committed to ensuring that wellbeing is placed firmly at the core of all of our work as we know happy children learn.

    I know I have written a great deal about our enrichment programme but it seems perfectly appropriate to mention it again the context of our theme of the week.  As I walked around the activities which were on offer during the last enrichment session of the term, the sense of happiness and enjoyment was palpable.  I can honestly say that despite all of the measures that are used as indicators of success in education, smiles on the faces of pupils (and staff) mean more than anything.  Once again, I would like to thank the pupils and staff for making this major new initiative such a success.

    We held a staff meeting on Monday evening where plans to remodel the school were discussed.  Part of the plans involve locating a central reception area as part of a Wellbeing Centre where the languages block is currently located.   It is planned to locate our additional learning needs provision in the centre as well as a medical room, counselling rooms and so on.   The location would offer clear access to parents, carers and visitors through the existing bus bay.  Plans are at a very early stage but your input would be most welcome.

    Finally, our photo of the week is another which requires little explanation.  It is taken from one of our Santa Appeal fundraising activities and is wonderful!

    Best wishes

     

    Head’s Blog 7th December 2018

    As we approach the Christmas holiday period, it is so good to see our pupils involved in fundraising for those who are less fortunate than themselves.  The Santa Appeal is something of an institution at Brynteg and it offers form groups the opportunity to come up with ‘wild and wacky’ ideas to raise money in order to buy presents for other children in the Bridgend area.

    Anyone who says that the youth of today don’t care about others needs to spend a lunchtime in our school at the moment.  If they do, they will see pupils of all ages going about their business, trying to raise as much money as possible from the ventures.  Already we have seen activities such as:

    Guess the Baby

    I’m a teacher get me out of here

    Hot chocolate, sweet stalls

    A Christmas Fayre

    Cycling the distance from Bridgend to Cardiff in the upper school foyer

    Teachers being custard ‘pied’

    and much, much more.

    The actions of our pupils will certainly brighten up the lives of those who are less fortunate than themselves.  They certainly are outstanding examples of caring, compassionate citizens and I am so proud of them all!

    The photo of the week shows some of our amazing sixth form pupils who really are a fantastic advertisement for our school.

    Thank you for your support.

    Head’s Blog 30th November 2018

    Our year 11 pupils are now busy preparing for their mock examinations which take place next week. Whilst these exams come ‘mid-way’ through their studies, they are still important for pupils to gauge just what they will need to do in order to prepare fully for June.  Good luck Year 11 – I know that you can do it!

    As there are only four weeks left until the end of term, I thought I would share with you some of the plans for the final week.

    Friday 14thDecember

    Christmas Jumper Day – donation to Save the Children.  Pupils can wear Christmas jumpers/hats etc should they wish but it is not essential. They should wear the rest of their school uniform as normal (eg trousers/skirt/shirt/tie)

    Christmas Lunch –  served in the lower school canteen with year 7 and 8 having lunch early in order to be able to accommodate everyone.  Pupils who do not want Christmas lunch will need to go to the upper school cante where ‘Quick Bites’ only will be served.

    Monday 17thDecember

    Assembly     Upper School  – sixth form assembly where the mayor (Councillor John McCarthy) will present the school with a plaque in recognition of the success of the senior rugby team.

    Tuesday 18thDecember

    Periods 2/3   Year 8 Inter-House Sport competitions

    7pm         Christmas Concert- tickets are selling fast. If you would like to attend, please visit the following website:

    www.ticketsource.co.uk/boxoffice/select/VpGHkQMQEJLa

    Wednesday 19thDecember

    Trips/visits day

    Thursday 20thDecember

    AM                 Year 9 Inter-House Sport competitions

    Period 3+4    Music Dept concert at Bridgend Resource Centre

    Period 5        Senior Football Team v Staff

    Friday 21stDecember

    School closes at 3.25pm

    Finally, can I remind you once again that it is important that pupils wear a suitable coat to school at this time of the year and this no longer has to be dark in colour – I would prefer pupils to stay as warm and dry as possible!

    Our photo of the week comes from our enrichment programme where thanks to the support of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, our pupils really are having an outstanding experience.

    Thank you for your support.

    Head’s Blog 23rd November 2018

    This year our annual Christmas Concert will take place in our lower school hall due to the church not being available on this date. The concert itself will be just as spectacular and a true celebration of the spirit of Christmas.  Being based in the school will also allow us to raise funds which we aim to use to support future school events and also donate some to a local charity. One of the new initiatives we are launching is the sale of tickets using an online distributor.  The benefits of this include the school not handling such large amounts of cash, easier access to ticket sales for those wishing to purchase them and so on.  You have the option to either print out the tickets at home or download the ticket onto your smartphone.    There is a small transaction fee for this service which is paid to the company (not us) at the time when you buy the tickets.

    The Christmas Concert is taking place on Tuesday 18thDecember at 7pm in the Lower School Hall. Please support us – this really does promise to be an excellent event. If you would like to attend, please click on the following link:

    https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/brynteg-comprehensive-school

    We plan to hold our Eisteddfod for pupils in years 7- 9 in the Grand Pavilion Porthcawl (pupils in other year groups are going have an assembly-based event).  Due to the size of our year groups now, it is proving very difficult to get them all together in one place for an event such as this. It really will be a special occasion and will allow us to celebrate being part of Wales together as a community. There are obviously costs involved in staging an event of this nature (incidentally, these are roughly similar to the costs involved in hiring the necessary equipment to stage it at Brynteg) and in the coming months, we will be undertaking a series of fundraising activities to support this and other such events in the school.

    Here is our photo of the week – it is another example of some of our pupils thoroughly enjoying their learning:

    Thank you for your support

     

    Head’s Blog 16th November 2018

    We are now well into our enrichment programme and whilst there are some areas which we would like to improve, there are so many positives coming out of the programme.

    To see pupils from all year groups working together during these activities is a joy to observe and is a rare opportunity for them to do so in the way in which the curriculum is organised now.  Perhaps this provides us with an idea of how learning could be organised in the future with pupils working together and progressing when they are ready (as opposed to being told to progress according to their age).

    Another positive to come out of the programme is the way in which the pupils are utilising the whole of the school site – there is no corner of school left untouched during these sessions. Additionally, some pupils are also working hard to improve the way in which the site looks by planting bulbs and so on.

    Here are some photographs from this week’s enrichment session – the photo of the week showing a proud member of the gardening club!

    Best wishes

    Head’s Blog 9th November 2018

    As you are aware, we started the week with a Professional Development Day and as I have often been asked by parents and carers about what actually is done in these, I thought I would share some of the details with you.

    The day itself focussed on our current year 11 pupils, their performance and how to ensure that every single one of them achieves to the best of their ability.  The overarching theme for the day was ’65 days’ – referring to the actual number of teaching days left before pupils being their final examination period and so time is of the essence.

    One of the key issues we discussed on the day was the impact that poor attendance has on results and how it is important that our year 11 pupils all attend regularly for their remaining time with us.  Missing even just a few lessons, often puts our pupils at a significant disadvantage.

    The opportunity for us to remember those who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts is such an important one for us as a school.   A long-standing tradition at the school has been where our sixth form join together with past members of staff and other guests in a service which has been used since the school was a grammar school.  Pupils in years 7-11 also have had  time to reflect with once again, an incredibly thought-provoking assembly led by our drama pupils and also time spent together with their forms.

    As the weather turns less favourable, can I stress, once again, the importance of pupils being appropriately dressed.  This is a large site which requires a great deal of walking during the day and at this time of the year, a good coat (of whatever colour) is essential.

    In terms of uniform, one of the suggestions that has been made by many parents and carers is moving to trousers for girls as, more often than not (and despite repeated requests) the length of skirts is not deemed to be appropriate.  This is something that will be discussed by our School Council in the coming months but it would be very interesting to hear the views of parents and carers as well.

    The photo of the week comes from one of our year 7 drama lessons – learning can be fun!

    Best wishes

    Head’s Blog – 26th October 2018

    What a final week of half term.  The third enrichment afternoon proved that this important initiative is just getting better and better by the week.  Of course, the highlight must be the amazing performances of High School Musical at the Grand Pavilion Porthcawl.

    Thank you for your support as we have tried to implement the new SIMs Student and Parent apps. The problems we faced were as a result of the system not being able to cope with the way in which we have entered the email addresses from parents and carers into our database.  Resolving this has meant that all of the records have had to be manually re-entered by our administrative team and this (as you can imagine) has taken a significant amount of time.  All pupils should now have access to the student app (either through a smart phone or through the website) and we are moving to a situation where the majority of parents and carers have access as well.

    Monday October 22ndsaw the introduction of a new pro-forma which needs to be completed by parents and carers (years 7-13) who are requesting term-time absence from school for their son/daughter.  These forms should be collected from the school and returned to the upper school office at least 4 weeks before the intended absence. Please note that it is highly unlikely that pupils who are in years 11,12 or 13 will be granted permission to miss time during the year (unless there are exceptional circumstances – such as a family emergency); neither will absence be authorised if the pupil’s attendance is a cause for concern.

    There have been many positive comments regarding our uniform and I really do appreciate your support in order to helping this high standard.  As we now are entering the period of less favourable weather conditions, please could you ensure that your son/daughter has an appropriate coat – although the uniform policy states that this needs to be dark in colour, I really don’t mind what colour it is as long it helps to keep pupils warm and dry!

    Finally, here are some key dates for the coming half term:

    Monday 5thNovember – Staff Training Day (School closed to pupils – apart from y11 pupils sitting GCSE Numeracy)

    Thursday 15thNovember     5.30pm Y7 Parent partnership meeting

    Thursday 22ndNovember Y13 Parents’/Carers’ Evening

    Monday 3rdDecember  Y11 Mock Examinations

    Tuesday 18thDecember 7pm   Carol Service

    Friday 21stDecember 3.20pm End of term

    Please refer to our Facebook and Twitter pages for the most up-to-date information.

    The photo of the week comes from our school show and highlights the joy pupils take from experiencing an activity such as this.

    Have a good half term break!

    Ryan Davies

    Headteacher