Skip to main content

    Head’s Blog 19th July 2019

    We are so lucky to have such a talented group of staff at Brynteg but as is usually the case at this time of year, we sadly have to say farewell to some of them.  Staff who are leaving us this year are:

    Kate Perna                                          Director of Learning/Curriculum Leader Geography

    Louise Smith                                        Welsh (temp)

    Catherine Bennion                             Welsh (temp)

    Lynsey Morris                                      RE (temp)

    All have  made a big impact on life at Brynteg and they will be missed.  On behalf of pupils, staff and governors, we wish them well and thank them for all that they have done.

    The following staff will be joining us in September:

    Lauren Mackie                        Deputy Headteacher

    Natasha Tasker                       Teacher of English

    Tia Holmes-Dwyer                  Teacher of Geography (temporary 1 year)

    Juliette Courtais                     Teacher of French (temporary 1 year)

    We are also looking forward to welcoming back Mrs Gemma Thomas, Miss Keera Davies and Mrs Bethan Cooper who are all returning after a period of maternity leave.

    The staff at Brynteg really are wonderful and when you add to this the fact that we have brilliantly talented pupils, the future really is bright for our school!

    Our final photo of the week for the academic year shows year 11 pupil Olivia (no. 14) who is currently representing Wales in the U16 Women’s European Basketball Championships – to say we are proud is an understatement!

    I hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable summer.

     

    Head’s Blog 12th July 2019

    Here are some extracts from the end of term newsletter which highlight some of the exciting new developments are Brynteg School.

    Enrichment

    We are pleased with the way in which our pupils have responded to this major initiative this year and have already made plans to add more activities suiting a wider range of interests.  Our aim is to create time during the week where pupils and staff can relax, away from the pressure of examinations and so on. To a certain degree, the actual activity which is undertaken is irrelevant, in that it is the time with the lack of emphasis on results which is important but we are working hard to ensure that pupils have more success in the choices that they make.

    If you feel that you can help us in any way by providing an activity or by helping out with some of our existing activities, please contact us at the school.

    Reports

    We are aware that our current system of reporting needs updating to ensure that the learning needs of all of our pupils are reflected accurately in them. For example, at the present time, the grades of the pupils who have really put in a great deal of effort into their work do not seem to reflect this.  Similarly, those pupils who are ‘coasting’ are not accurately identified. A new report is in the final stages of development and will be introduced throughout the first term.

    Review Meetings

    At Brynteg, we recognise that the form tutor plays a crucial role in the school experience of pupils in his/her form.  At the moment, there is no formal communication channel between the form tutor and home and we feel that this is missing an important opportunity. During the new academic year, all parents and carers will be invited to 2 review meetings with their son/daughter’s form tutor.  It is very much hoped that these meetings will be led by the pupil with support from the tutor and it will give all present the opportunity to discuss areas of strength and areas for development.  These meetings will be in addition to the subject-based parent/carer evenings.

    The learning and teaching structure

     Over the past few months, we have been working on developing the school in order to ensure that we have the structure in place to meet with the demands of our 21stCentury learners.

    The school is now organised into 6 learning clusters as follows:

    Health, Wellbeing and Wider Learning                       Cluster Leader Mr David Ince

    (PE, PSE, Skills Challenge, Careers, Work-related learning)

    Expressive Arts                                                             Cluster Leader Mrs Shirley Pearson

    (Art, Drama, Music and Digital Competence)

    Languages, Literacy and Communication                  Cluster Leader Mr Chris Jones

    (MFL, Welsh and English)

    Science and Technology                                            Cluster Leader Mrs Nicola McCarthy

    Humanities                                                                   Cluster Leader Ms Nicola Lane

    (Geography, History, RS, Sociology, Psychology, Business and Economics)

     Maths and Computer Science                                     Cluster Leader Mrs Deb Kinsey

     Each Cluster Leader is supported by a number of Learning Coordinators. In the new academic year, my weekly blog will focus on each cluster in turn where more information will be made available at that point.

    In addition to redesigning the staffing structure, we have taken the opportunity to reorganise the layout of school to ensure that all learning clusters are situated together, helping to develop learning experiences and hopefully reducing the need for pupils to move so far around school.   Welsh and MFL are moving to the lower school site (known as the Languages, Literacy and Communication Centre from September) and Geography, Business and Economics are moving in to the upper school site (Humanities Centre).

     Wellbeing and Reception Centre

    Work is due to begin during the summer holidays on redeveloping the current languages block into a Wellbeing and Reception centre.  This will become the reception area for the school with parents, carers and visitors accessing this through the bus bay (off Ewenny Road) during the school day (there will be no access via Heol Gam/Brynteg Gardens during the school day).  Also included in the new centre will be a pupil reception, first aid and medical facilities, a base for all year leaders and members of the pupil support team, the school counsellor, careers and so on.  New automatic barriers will be installed on the Heol Gam and Ewenny Road/Brynteg Gardens entrances which will be operated from the new centre. It is hoped that this will significantly improve the way we control access to the site in terms of safeguarding and also provide a much better and more efficient service to pupils, parents, carers and visitors.

    The work is due to be completed by the end of the first half term and I will write with further details about these changes nearer the time.

    Eastern Hub

    Building work is due to start soon on another exciting development which will see the Eastern Safeguarding Hub being based at Brynteg.  Over 40 social workers, youth workers and Educational Welfare Officers will be based in the hub when it is complete (scheduled for March 2020).  This will move us closer to being the central hub for the community which we aspire to be and also improve our ability to draw on the wide range of expertise contained within this team.

    Google

    After much deliberation, we have decided to move to using the Google ecosystem from September.  In the first instance, it will be our new year 7 pupils and years 10 and 12 who will have their accounts fully provisioned with the remainder quickly following on from this.  We intend to use Google Classroom as a means for setting and receiving homework and this combined with the SIMS Parent and Student apps will allow us to ensure that all pupils, parents and carers have access to all of the homework information which is required.

    Our photo of the week show the  English department and 60  of year 9 pupils just setting off for  Belgium on Wednesday for a WW1 Battlefields tour – another example of the many opportunities on offer at Brynteg School.

     

     

    Head’s Blog 5th July 2019

    It has been a another exciting week at Brynteg with some of the highlights being:

    • Our year 10 pupils continuing to impress those outside the school with their approach to their community project as they collected litter on the beaches of Porthcawl
    • The transition day where it seems as though we have yet another brilliant year group joining us – thank you to the huge number of parents, carers and pupils who attended the welcome evening
    • The Expressive Arts ‘Project Generation’ which was such a success with our year 8 pupils.  The learning model really is something which provides a clear sign to us of what works as we begin to plan our approach to Curriculum for Wales.  Feedback from the pupils was universally positive with many stating that they can’t wait to see what other clusters will do

    Once again, thank you for your support with our uniform.  In September, some of the areas we are going to focus on are as follows:

    Skirts should be no shorter than 5cms above the knee.  Girls are able to wear trousers should they wish to do so

    Shoes should be plain black and leather/leather effect.  Canvas/nylon-type materials are not permitted (and this is becoming a bit of a trend at the moment

    Polo shirts cease to become part of our uniform from September.  Summer uniform will involve relaxing the rules regarding the need to wear a jumper/blazer

    As mentioned last week, we are planning some major changes to the way in which the school layout is organised.  One of the things we would like to do is have areas of the school allocated to particular year groups and, from this year, pupils staying with their form tutors for five years (and not changing at the end of year 9 as has been the case in the past). Having a year group together in one part of the school will bring many advantages however it does mean that for this year, a number of forms have had to be attached to different tutors. We have tried to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum but it may be the case that some tutors will have to change this year (and this will not happen again) as we move to this new system.

    Our photo of the week shows some of our pupils who had so much fun as part of the Expressive Arts project this week.

    Thank you for your support.

    Head’s Blog 28th June

    I would like to thank all of the pupils, parents and carers for the support we have received this week. The situation which we have heard about through the media is tragic and our thoughts must be with those who have been so deeply affected.  The school is quite a different place now, one which is looking forward in terms of developing all aspects of provision and making the school the best it can be for all of our current  pupils and those who will join us  in the future.

    On Tuesday evening we held our Summer Prom which is where our music department showcased the huge array of talent that we have in the school.  It was so pleasing to see pupils involved from every age group and level of ability.  Particularly pleasing to see was the pupils who, for many, this would have been the first time that they had performed on a stage infront of an audience.  This demonstrates just how important music is to our school and it is an area which we are going to nurture and grow as part of our future plans.

    The news that April and Luke (two of our year 9 pupils) won an award in the English Speaking Union Shakespeare competition last week really was special.  The competition involved schools from across the UK and this achievement really did demonstrate, on a national scale, that our pupils are second-to-none.

    Finally, we held our annual sports day in the wonderful surroundings of Leckwith Stadium on Monday.  The response from the pupils was outstanding and it convinced us that activities such as these are worth undertaking on a regular basis.  The PE team who spent so many hours organising the event deserve a particular mention for their hard work.

    Our photo of the week shows some of our pupils thoroughly enjoying their enrichment session as part of Mrs Morgan’s Marching Band!

    Head’s Blog 21st June 2019

    Thank you to all of our parents and carers who have commented so positively on our move to ensure that the length of skirts is suitable in the next academic year (no more than 5cms above the knee).  I know that this will be quite a change for some of our pupils but, as I have stated previously, there is the alternative of wearing trousers should the change to the rule around skirts be deemed to be too difficult.  I have been informed by one of our suppliers (Uniforms2Go) that the skirts they provide are of the length required and am awaiting a response from the other.  Thank you for your support with this matter.

    I mentioned last week that we are in the process of constructing a new Wellbeing and Reception centre in school. In addition to this, we are also moving around some of the other areas in school in order to offer our pupils a better and more efficient learning experience.  Changes include:

    • Upper School becomes the Humanities Centre
    • Sixth Form moving to a new Sixth Form Centre (off the Brynteg Gardens entrance)
    • Lower School becomes the Languages, Literacy and Communication Centre (English, Welsh and MFL)
    • Year groups/form rooms will all be situated together (as opposed to being distributed across the school
    • It is felt that all of this work will bring huge benefits to our pupils and staff and these changes will be in place from the beginning of September.

    Please remember that next week I am holding an open meeting with parents and carers (Wednesday 26thJune at 5pm Upper School).

     

    Our photo of the week shows members of our  Clwb Cymraeg  proudly showing off their new badges and lanyards.

    Best wishes

     

    Head’s Blog 14th June 2019

    As we near the end of the examination period, our thoughts are turning to planning our new academic year and to make all aspects of our provision even better.

    One area of concern for us is the layout of the school and the fact that it is so open, with no real reception area. This obviously poses safeguarding concerns as well as not creating the most welcoming environment as parents, carers and visitors enter the school. Our proposal is to locate a central reception area which will serve the whole school, located near within the current languages block.  This will be part of a Wellbeing Centre which will also house a pupil reception, medical room, counselling and interview rooms, our additional learning needs facility and so on.

    The Wellbeing Centre will also be a base for all of our year leaders (as opposed to them having offices throughout the school).  This means that during the day, parents, carers and visitors will be able to use the bus bay entrance to park outside the reception/wellbeing centre and then have access to a range of services.  Automatic gates will be positioned on the other access points and will be closed during the day meaning we will be able to manage traffic flow and visitors into the school.

    We are working closely with colleagues from BCBC on this project and, whilst we would like the work to be finished in time for the start of the new academic year, the deadlines we are working to mean that it is more realistic to expect that the new facility will be ready by October half term.  I would hope that you would see that this is a major improvement in the way that the school is organised and  I am sure that pupils, staff,  parents, carers and visitors will see a major improvement in the way in which we operate.

    There is a lot more which I would like to share with you  and I will do so in the coming blog posts.  There will be an opportunity to discuss these developments (amongst other things) in the next Open Meeting with the Head which will take place on Wednesday 26thJune at 5pm (Upper School).

    Our photo of the week shows some of our brilliant year 7 pupils during the Religion, Ethics and Philosophy visit to Nolton Church.

    Best wishes

     

    Head’s Blog 7th June 2019

    One of the key pieces of feedback  I have received from parents and carers over the past two years is that more opportunities to meet with staff would be very beneficial.  Next year, we are introducing a system of ‘review meetings’ where pupils, parents and carers will have the opportunity to meet with form tutors to discuss progress in all aspects of school life and to set targets to move forward.  The review meetings  will be in addition to the traditional subject-based parent and carer evenings and will take place on two occasions throughout the year.

    The form tutor is in a unique position in that they have a complete oversight of all aspects of provision for the pupils in the group. In a way, we wish to replicate the experience of primary school where the pupil, parent/carer and the one class teacher have such a productive relationship.   The type of conversation they can have in a review meeting will hopefully pull the whole of the experience at Brynteg together in one coherent package and place pupil wellbeing and happiness at the core.

    Once again, this is a demonstrates the way in which we are looking forward at Brynteg.  We want all of our pupils to achieve to the best of their ability whilst at the same time enjoying every single moment of their time with us, the form tutor has a key role to play in this and the new review day model will help develop this further. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

    Our photo of the week shows Benjamin and Ethan  who completed the 5K charity Race for Life on Sunday 2nd June raising £110.  Our pupils are quite brilliant!

    Best wishes

     

     

    Head’s Blog 24th May 2019

    This week we held our first literary festival which culminates today with the whole of our year 7 cohort experiencing the delights of the Hay Festival.

    This week, our pupils will have experienced:

    “Meet a Sport Journalist” with Callum Ellis

    “Meet a Journalist” with Gareth Lewis, Rebecca John and Kate Scott-Williams

    “Meet a Play Wright” with Jon Berry

    This really has been a special week and is something which I know pupils will always remember. Grateful thanks must be extended to the wonderful staff team at Brynteg who somehow, always seem to find the energy to provide such a superb range of opportunities and in-particular to Mr Jones and Mrs Fender who have led this new initiative wonderfully.

    Our pupils who are sitting examinations really have impressed us in the way which they have applied themselves.  The exam season seems to creep earlier every year and this adds to the pressure that our pupils are placed under as they lose the essential revision time which they traditionally had in the run-up to Whitsun.  As a school, we are making representations to the WJEC and to the Children’s Commissioner about this and would welcome your support should you feel able to do so.

    Please remember that Monday 3rdJune is a training day and pupils return to school on Tuesday 4thJune.

    Our photo of the week shows some of our pupils in our pop-up ‘reading café’ which we introduced as part of Literary Week.

    Best wishes

     

     

    Head’s Blog 17th May 2019

    As the academic year seems to be flying by, your thoughts may be turning to the new year and purchasing items of uniform and so I thought it timely to remind you of our uniform guidelines and to alert you to some changes.

    One of the areas of concern with our current uniform is the length of girls’ skirts which, in many cases is far too short.  Having skirts which are so short is simply not practical in school and this will change in September.  Should girls choose to wear skirts then these should no shorter than 5cms above the knee and must be worn as intended, not rolled up at the waist to make them shorter. Skirts will continue to be part of our uniform for the next year however, if it is felt that there is still an issue with the length of skirts then governors will be asked to consider removing the option  to wear a skirt with all pupils wearing trousers from September 2020.

    This is important for parents and carers who are considering purchasing skirts as often, those that are on sale are too short, made of the incorrect fabric (stretchy) and so on.  Hopefully, informing you of this change at this early stage will help you to be able to plan your uniform purchases carefully.

    The other change (one which you are already aware of) is the fact that polo shirts will no longer form part of our uniform in the summer – during that period pupils will not be required to wear their blazers/jumpers.

    Girls Uniform Boys Uniform
    Skirt Plain mid/dark grey – Sensible length – no more than 5cms above the knee
    Trousers Plain mid/dark grey, straight cut (no turn-ups, no black or flared) with a navy, black or grey belt if needed. Trousers should not be tight, short or jean type material Trousers Plain mid/dark grey, straight cut (no turn-ups, no black or flared) with a navy, black or grey belt if needed. Trousers should not be tight, short or jean type material
    Shirt Plain white shirt/blouse Shirt Plain white shirt
    Blazer Official School Blazer Blazer Official School Blazer
    Jumper Plain navy v neck with school badge. Neither sweatshirts nor hooded tops are acceptable Jumper Plain navy v neck with school badge. Neither sweatshirts nor hooded tops are acceptable
    Ties Lower School – Broad stripes. Upper school – Narrow stripes. Clip on ties prefered Ties Lower School – Broad stripes. Upper school – Narrow stripes. Clip on ties prefered
    Socks Dark grey or grey tights. Grey or black socks to be worn with trousers Socks Dark grey or black
    Shoes Black sensible shoes(not trainers or any type of boots). Shoes Black sensible shoes(not trainers or any type of boots).

    Thank you for your support with our uniform as, on the whole, the standard is extremely high.

    Our photo of the week shows some of our y9 pupils enjoying the recent Techniquest workshops and is another example of the fantastic range of opportunities which are offered to our pupils.  Next week, my blog will focus on our first literary festival which we are all eagerly awaiting  – watch this space!

    Thank you for your support

    Head’s Blog 10th May 2019

    This week the  external exam season began in earnest.  It really does only feel like yesterday when I was speaking to year 11 pupils and saying that the year would ‘fly by’ – and it certainly has!

    Exams are important but not more important than wellbeing.  I want all pupils to do well, do the best they can but to appreciate that, as long as they have tried their best, then that is good enough.  The pressure on young people is immense and even though some journalists seem to suggest that it isn’t the case, exam pressure is mounting year-on-year.  There is a role for everyone to ensure that pupils are supported over the coming weeks, whether that is by giving the time and space they need, by ensuring there is a plentiful supply of custard creams to hand or by some simple words of encouragement – this support can all make a difference.

    Our pupils have been bombarded with revision tips and advice over the past few months and so here I have taken the liberty of sharing with you what I think are the top pieces of advice for parents and carers:

    • Agree the balance between work and social life and stick to the agreement. Again, flexibility is the key – if a special night comes up, agree that they can make up the work at a specified time
    • All students fall behind, feel demotivated or overwhelmed, or struggle with the balance of social, work and school demands at times. When your child feels like this, berating and threatening them will have a negative effect. Talk to them about the issues, acknowledge their feelings and adopt a sensible attitude in wanting to find a solution
    • Be flexible – use the 80/20 rule. If your child is sticking to what they are supposed to be doing 80% of the time, they will be doing alright
    • If your child asks for your support, encourage them by helping them to see the difficulties in perspective. Teenagers often take an all or nothing ‘catastrophic’ approach to difficulties – “I’ve messed up this essay, I might as well give up.”

    Exams can be stressful for parents and carers too but please remember your support is invaluable!

     

    Our photo of the week shows Year 7 pupils starting their exciting 3-year science project with Trio Science Cymru.

    Best wishes