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    Head’s Blog 22nd March 2019

    It is important that we  always look for ways to positively influence the wellbeing of our pupils and staff in a school system that has so many external pressures.  As you are aware, we planned to hold formal internal examinations in the coming weeks for pupils in years 7-9.  These would be in addition to the national reading and numeracy tests which are also due to be sat in May.

    The additional pressure of sitting internal examinations in a formal setting (mainly in the Sports Hall) is unnecessary and something which we can control.   The decision has therefore been taken to move the examinations to a class-based situation where pupils will still sit the planned papers but within familiar surroundings.  The class-based tests will take place during the allocated exam period but not necessarily following the planned timetable which was distributed earlier (pupils will be informed by their teacher when these are to take place).

    This simple change will have a positive impact on the wellbeing of our pupils whilst, at the same time, still allowing them to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding in a more informal situation.

    School is about so much more than classroom-based learning and at Brynteg, there are so many extra-curricular opportunities which are offered to pupils.  This week a visit to Poland was organised by our Religion, Ethics and Philosophy department where, amongst other things our pupils:

    • Visited the Galicia Museum where they met a concetration camp surviror
    • A tour of the permanent exhibitions and buildings at the Auschwitz I-Main Camp and the original camp buildings in Auschwitz II-Birkenau
    • Experienced a guided tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mine and of Krakow City

    Visits such as these provide pupils with experiences that they will never forget.  I am most grateful to the staff at Brynteg who willingly give up so much of their time in order to provide such opportunities to our pupils.

    Our photo of the week shows our pupils and staff with a survivor of the holocaust who they had the privilege of meeting.

    Best wishes

    Head’s Blog 15th March 2019

    Thank you to the 198 parents and carers who completed our online questionnaire regarding all aspects of our provision.  The results are now being analysed and they will be presented during the ‘Open Meeting with the Headteacher’ which is taking place on Wednesday 3rdApril at 5.00pm.  During the meeting it is not only intended to present the findings, but also to discuss with you what is planned to be done in order to address the issues identified.

    There are a number of exciting developments taking place at school all with the aim of providing our pupils with even better provision.  For example, at the present time we are currently reviewing our reporting system, developing a new and more balanced calendar of events, discussing how we can offer parents and carers more 1 to 1 feedback and so on.  This certainly is an exciting time at Brynteg and it is so important that parents and carers take every opportunity to play a key role in this.

    Our year 9 option process continues as the option form is now live.  All pupils now need to complete this form and ensure that it is returned by Friday 29thMarch.  Hopefully, pupils, parents and carers have all found the information contained in the online course booklet, the advice given in special assemblies and the discussions with teachers last night’s parent/carer evening as helping with the decision.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at school should you require any further assistance with this decision.

    The form can be accessed using the following link:

    https://goo.gl/forms/x4vzvoBZBcWPcNAf1

    A number of parents and carers have queried the position regarding wearing polo shirts after Easter – here is an extract from the newsletter which was sent out in July 2018 which I hope clarifies the situation:

    As your thoughts may be turning to purchasing uniform for next year, it is important to explain to you the new arrangements for the post-Easter period.  Pupils in years 7, 10 and 12 will continue to wear their shirt and tie – there will be no requirement for them to wear a jumper/blazer.   This means that parents and carers will not have to purchase polo shirts in these year groups for what is, a relatively short period of time.  As these years progress through the school, so will the new arrangement.  Pupils in years 8,9,11 and 13 (Easter 2019) can wear polo shirts if they have already purchased them but this is optional – they may well wish to continue with the shirt and tie arrangement as described above.   In addition, a reminder that the transition arrangements for moving to our new school uniform have now ended and on our return in September, all pupils will be required to wear the school blazer.

    Our photo of the week is another from our recent Eisteddfod.  The festivities continued this week as we held our Eisteddfod celebration concert where, once again, our amazing pupils demonstrated how talented they are.

    Best wishes

    Head’s Blog 8th March

    What an amazing first week back!

    On their return to school on Monday, pupils will have noticed that they upper school canteen has been transformed to include a coffee shop.  This was work which was done by the BCBC catering team during the half term break and arose out of requests from the School Council.  Pupils and staff now have access to a range of hot and cold drinks as well as some far too tempting sweet and savoury snacks.  The coffee shop is open for our sixth form pupils to access it throughout the day, with the rest of the school having access at breaktime.  The input of our colleagues from BCBC is greatly appreciated as this has meant that our pupils are starting to see a real difference in the quality of the facilities they have at school.

    Our lower school Eisteddfod took place yesterday in the Grand Pavilion Porthcawl.  It was decided to hold the event in this way in order to allow pupils to experience the feel of a house competition as a group of over 700. The quality of the performances was outstanding and what was really impressive was the way in which so many of our pupils took to the stage for the first time in order to help their team. Mention must also be made of the fantastic quality of the off-stage entries, which really did demonstrate the wide range of talents of our pupils.

    Finally, thank you to the 200 parents and carers who completed the online questionnaire about our provision.  The findings from this are now being compiled and will be communicated via social media and used as a focal point of the next Open Meeting with the Head which is taking place on Wednesday 3rdApril at 5.30pm.

    Please remember, as previously informed, we are not moving to wearing polo shirts after Easter.  Pupils will only need to wear their shirt and tie to school during the warm weather and, as was the case last year, in extreme conditions, pupils will be able to wear their PE kit.

     

    Finally, the photo of the week shows one of the many stars of the Eisteddfod who obviously completely enjoyed the event.

    Best wishes

    Head’s Blog 22nd February 2019

    When we return after the half term break, our year 9 pupils will be working through the option choice process.  The key dates are as follows:

    Monday 4th March –  Course booklet available online (see below)

    Thursday 14th March – Parent/Carer Evening* (which will take the usual subject-                                                    based format but also with the opportunity to meet teachers of subjects which will have not been studied previously

    Friday 15th March – Application form available online

    Friday 29th March 8.30am – All applications need to be submitted by this date/time

    * Appointments will be made with subject teachers in the usual way. Teachers of ‘new’ subjects will also be available on the evening (no appointment required).

    All of our options information is available online (including the application form) and can be found in the locations:

     

     

    Finally, our photo of the week shows Mr Tyler who, as a result of his wonderful effort where he cycled 175km in  a day, managed to raise over £900 towards funding the KS3 Eisteddfod.  Da iawn Mr Tyler – a brilliant effort.

    Have a good half term.

     

    Head’s Blog 15th February 2019

    It seems quite unbelievable but even though we are just at the start of the new calendar year, our thoughts are turning to planning the next academic year and try to develop our provision still further.

    Whilst we are proud of our achievements, there is still quite a lot we would like to do and this is where you as parents and carers come in!  Over the coming months, you will be invited to take part in a number of consultations which will help to identify where you think we can improve.

    To help begin our planning for the coming year, it would be really useful if parents and carers could complete an online questionnaire (closing date March 1st) which can be found at:

    https://goo.gl/forms/v9hNT3xm4UUkeZO03

    The information collected will be analysed and the findings presented to parents and carers with an opportunity for further discussion in the regular termly headteacher’s meeting which will take place on:

     Wednesday 3rdApril 5pm School Hall

    Your input is so important and combined with feedback from pupils, staff and governors, the priorities for Brynteg School should be clearly identified as we move forward.

    Please remember that pupils break up for half term next Thursday (21st February) as Friday is a training day for staff.  We start back to school on Monday March 4th.

    Our photo of the week shows some of our year 7 pupils who were spreading the Valentine’s message by sending cards some of which were romantic but lots which were thanking others for their friendship.  Brilliant!

     

    Best wishes

     

    Head’s Blog 8th February 2019

    Safer Internet Day took place on Tuesday with the aim of ensuring that children are safe online. The impact of technology on everyday lives is huge and in terms of our pupils accessing this, I feel that it is important that the school teaches them how to use it properly and perhaps, more importantly, safely.

    At present, there is a very clear mobile technology policy in school where pupils are permitted to bring such devices in to school but they are not allowed to use them without permission of a member of staff.  This applies to ‘free’ time during the day as well as during all lessons.  However, it is what our pupils are doing when they are not in the control of staff that perhaps is the area which is needed to be worked on.

    All staff are encouraged to discuss with pupils about how they use technology and how to stay safe whilst doing so but there is also a role for parents and carers to play in this as well; the Safer Internet Day website (www.saferinternet.org.uk) has some really useful tips and resources to help do this.  One of the pieces of advice given on the website is how to begin to have a conversation with your son/daughter about online activity where they have come up with the following conversation starters:

    1. Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
    2. Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
    3. Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
    4. Encourage them to help someone! Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
    5. Think about how you each use the internet. What more could you do to use the internet together? Are there activities that you could enjoy as a family?

    Technology is such an important part of our lives and could be an incredibly powerful learning and teaching tool but we do all need to work together to ensure that it is used in a way in which every pupil feels safe and secure in doing so.

    Our photo of the week shows two of our year 9 pupils tucking in to the delicious burgers they made as part of their food technology lesson!

    Best wishes

     

    Head’s Blog 1st February 2019

    I apologies that we we had to cancel  our Sixth Form options event last night.  In order to ensure that you have enough information in order to make a choice, subject teachers of the ‘new’ sixth form courses will deliver talks to year 11 pupils in assemblies next week.  In addition, I intend to organise an evening where parents and carers can drop in to discuss general options/progression issues – I will provide you with this information in the near future.    Some of our pupils have said that they are quite confident with their subject choices and they are encouraged to complete the form  as soon as possible.  The application process is now live  and the form can be accessed by clicking on one of the following links:

    For Brynteg pupils:

    https://tinyurl.com/bryntegpupils

    For pupils not currently studying in Brynteg:

    https://tinyurl.com/non-brynteg

    Our thoughts now turn to our year 9 options.  The process will be fairly similar to that of our sixth form including accessing the options booklet and option form online.  They key dates in the process are as follows:

    During March                    Assemblies led by the teachers of ‘new’ subjects

    Thursday 7thMarch           Options booklet available online

    Thursday 14thMarch         Year 9 Parent/carer evening*

    Friday 15thMarch               Option forms live on the website

    Friday 22ndMarch              Options close

    * the parent/carer evening will follow the usual format of pupils/parents/ carers making appointments with subject teachers (including the core subjects) to review progress and so on.  In addition, teachers of subjects which are new to year 10 will also be available to talk to those who may be interested in these as an option.

    The option booklet and option form (from 15thMarch) can be accessed in the following ways:

    Website                       www.bryntegschool.co.uk

    Twitter                         @bryntegschool

    Facebook                   brynteg school

    It is hoped that this new system will make it easier for pupils, parents and carers to make the decisions relating to pathways for years 10 and 11.

    As you are aware, there is a formal consultation being undertaken in terms of the provision of sixth form education in Bridgend in the future.  The consultation closes on March 1st.  On February 20th, representatives from BCBC will come in to school to seek the views of various stakeholder groups and at 5.30pm there will be an opportunity for parents and carers to take part in the consultation.  Please take the opportunity to feedback on the proposals.

    The online consultation document can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

    www.bridgend.gov.uk/consultation

    The photo of the week is taken from the last hot chocolate with the head meeting.

    Best wishes

     

    Head’s Blog 25th January 2019

    It always seems to be busy in Brynteg and next week is no exception.  Amongst a whole range of other activities and events, the highlight is probably the Careers Fair and Sixth Form Options Evening which is taking place next Thursday.

    During the day, all pupils (year 7 to 13) will have access to a range of local employers, training providers and further/higher education providers.  They will be free to discuss with them what they have to offer and hopefully then be open to a wide range of possibilities as they continue their studies.

    To round off the day, our year 11 pupils together with their parents and carers, will have the opportunity to speak to the staff who are providing courses in our sixth form.

    This promises to be an exciting event for us and I am most grateful to all those who have helped to organise it and those who have given up their time in order to present to our pupils on the day.

    As I have mentioned previously, there is such a wide range of opportunities on offer to our pupils at Brynteg.  We are proud of all of our pupils and if you follow us on social media, you will have read about the success of some of our teams on a national scale this week.  However, I do want to focus on the sporting success of a number of our girls (Milly, Freya and Isabel) have been selected for the U17 Welsh Netball Talent Centre. This is a major achievement considering the fact that these girls are only 12/13 really does demonstrate how talented they are – congratulations Milly, Freya and Isabel and indeed, well done to all of our sporting participants who have performed so well this week.

    Finally, our photo of the week shows Abbi and Megan from our School Council who recently attended the student ambassador conference with @childcomwales learning all about Children’s Rights.  This comes at the start of our journey towards becoming a Rights Respecting School  and with pupils such as these leading this development, there is so much to look forward to!

    Thank you for your support

    Head’s Blog 18th January 2019

    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