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    Head’s Blog 21st September 2018

    As you may be aware, our move to a new system of communication using SIMS Parent/Student apps and this has been quite a challenging transition as I know many students, parents and carers have found difficulty in registering and accessing the apps.  Our plan is to move to a system where all information is shared using these apps. and when we finally arrive at this stage, I am sure that you will find that the communication between school and home has improved significantly.  There is, however, quite a way to go before we reach that stage and in the meantime, all information will still be shared using the usual channels (Facebook, Twitter, email, text, letters home, pupils making notes of their homework).

    It seems that many of the records that we relied on when transferring to the new system were incorrect in that email addresses had changed or the information that was entered into the school system contained errors.  This explains the reason why some parents and carers did not receive the invitation to register with the system.  There are other issues that we have found with the app and links which are being sent and we are working closely with our colleagues in BCBC to rectify this.

    Our plan going forward is as follows:

    Week ending

    Week ending Friday 28thSeptember – ensure all year 7 and 11 pupils, parents and carers have access to the apps.

    Week ending Friday 5thOctober – ensure all year 8 and 9 pupils, parents and carers have access to the apps.

    Week ending Friday 12thOctober – ensure all years 10, 12 and 13 pupils, parents and carers have access to the apps.

    It is hoped that access to the apps will be earlier than the dates highlighted above but it is important to share our plan with you now in order that you have a clear idea of what is to be expected.  The situation is not ideal but, as mentioned previously, no pupil will be disadvantaged as the information channels used previously will continue to be used.

    Last year, I started a series of Open Meetings with parents and carers which proved to be very productive. I plan to have the first meeting for parents and carers of pupils in years 7-9 on Wednesday 17thOctober at 5.30pm (upper school hall – Ewenny Road entrance).  For those who have not attended one of these meetings before it is your chance to ask me questions, to find out more about our provision and so on – the agenda is determined by the parents and carers who attend.  Usually the meetings last for about one hour and it would be good to see as many parents and carers as possible.  Please remember, this is an open forum and for those parents and carers who have a more specific or personal query, please feel free to contact me at any time.

    The photo of the week comes from one of our assemblies where pupils were treated to a superb performance of some of the numbers from our forthcoming performance of High School Musical.  Tickets are selling fast and so, if you would like to support our wonderfully talented cast, click on the link below before it is too late!

    http://grand pavilion porthcawl

    Thank you for your support.

     

     

    Head’s Blog 14th September 2018

    We have had such a positive start to the new year with many new and exciting developments.

    Pupils are getting used to using their lockers, which now seem to be working quite well. Initially, when pupils had changed or forgotten their locker code, the only solution was for the parent/carer to contact the locker company directly but now we are able to rectify this in school.

    Some of our pupils have been asking if there are any lockers left and how they go about purchasing one.  It is relatively straightforward –  you are interested, simply visit www.locker.rentals  and follow the on-screen instructions.  Pupils can even choose where in the school their locker is located (if available).

    As you are aware, we spent the day on Wednesday asking pupils to choose their options for enrichment in the coming year.  The response from pupils has been amazing – especially when they were faced with not being able to have their first choice activity as some had limited numbers.  We are now going to identify the oversubscribed activities with a view to attempting to increase the capacity of these over the coming year in order to ensure that more pupils receive their first choice options.

    Whilst we have only just welcomed our new year 7 pupils into our school, the process of planning for next year has already started!  It has been a pleasure to be able to visit our cluster primary schools this week to talk to the year 5 and 6 pupils about our Open Evening which takes place on Thursday 27thSeptember.  I think that we are so lucky to have such an outstanding range of primary schools to work with and know that the future for our school is extremely bright judging by the response which we had from the pupils during our visits.

    As mentioned last week, our new system of communicating with parents, carers and pupils has been introduced (SIMs Parent, Student and InTouch) and the first few weeks have not been without some glitches.  We are working hard to ensure that these issues are addressed as a matter of urgency – a large number of the issues are as a result of incorrect email addresses and it would be helpful if parents and carers could check to ensure that we do have the correct details (if the app is working for you then you can assume that the details are correct).  The new system will take a little while to become established but when it does, the communication between school and home will improve significantly.

    The photo of the week shows some of our pupils relaxing during an expedition.  Our Duke of Edinburgh award provision is something which we are very proud of and would urge all pupils to consider participating at some point during their time with us.

    Thank you for your support.

    Head’s Blog 7th September 2018

    It has been a fantastic start to the new school year with there being a real ‘buzz’ about the school. Having a long summer holiday is nice but it is also good to be back in school with such an amazing group of pupils and staff.

    One of the areas which we have worked hard on over the past year is our communication.  Hopefully, you will all have recognised a lot of activity on our Facebook and Twitter accounts as we celebrate the many positive aspects of life in Brynteg.  This year, we have moved to a new system of communication for parents, carers and pupils and hopefully this will further add to the way in which you are kept informed. The new developments are as follows:

    • Parent app – you may have received an email (or will shortly do so) inviting you to download this app to your phone (Apple or Android).  Once installed, this will provide you with important information about the school such as term dates, training days, rewards, homework, sharing reports, attendance information and so on.
    • Student app – soon all pupils will also be invited to download an app which will allow them to view their timetable, homework, events and so on.  This has taken the place of the paper-based planner.
    • Intouch – this will allow us to communicate with you by email or text and will be used primarily to monitor attendance.  Your responses will automatically be logged in our attendance system.

    With such a significant change, there are bound to be teething problems as we move to the new way of working and would ask you to work with us. Your support would be welcome in terms of downloading the apps as soon as you receive the email and encouraging your son/daughter to do so as well.

    Our photo of the week shows some of our new year 7 pupils who seem to have settled so well.  There is certainly a lot to look forward to!

    Thank you for your support

    Head’s Blog 20th July 2018

    At the end of this incredibly busy but enjoyable year I thought I would take the opportunity to thank you as parents and carers for your support and hope that, as we move forward, there will be may more opportunities for us to work together.

    This is a fantastic school with our outcomes at all three key stages being extremely positive but there is still a lot for us to do.  When making statements like this, it doesn’t mean that things aren’t right but that the school itself is seeking to build on the high level of success which it already achieves.  In order to do this, the input of parents and carers is essential.

    Over the past year, I have introduced a series of open meetings with parents and carers where the agenda was set by those who attended the meetings.  Whilst only a few parents and carers chose to take up this offer, the discussions held during the meetings were incredibly productive and helped guide us as staff to focus on areas which need to be developed.  These meetings will continue next year and more details will be made available in the autumn term.

    One of the areas which parents and carers have asked us to develop is that of communication.  At the start of the new academic year we will be introducing a new system of communicating with you using apps (Sims Parent and Student apps)  and also Sims InTouch (which will replace MyEd).  These  will help us to be far more effective in the way in which we communicate with you.  Again, further details will be made available at the start of the autumn term.

    The photo of the week shows some of our pupils who took part in our recent residential at Llangrannog – they all came back incredibly tired but eager to go again!

    Thank you for your support this year.  It is a privilege to be the headteacher of such a wonderful school and I look forward to what I know is an incredibly bright future.

    Have a safe and relaxing summer holiday.

     

    Head’s Blog – 13th July 2018

    As we approach the end of a very successful academic year, I would like to update you with some important information.  Hopefully, you will have received a copy of ‘Brynteg Summer News’ where you will be able to see a large number of activities which have taken place this year.

    We are coming to the end of our second week of wearing PE kit as a result of the hot weather and the response from pupils has been excellent. They have all arrived at school wearing the correct Brynteg PE kit creating that important image of the school whilst at the same time being far more comfortable in this unusual period of high temperatures.  This is something which I will also support and see it as a sensible response to the wellbeing needs of our pupils.

    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.

    The school has a clear approach when it comes to mobile phone usage. Quite simply, pupils are not permitted to use their phones anywhere on the school premises.  Pupils who do not follow this simple rule risk having their device confiscated for the remainder of the day and in some cases, it will only be returned to parents and carers.  In some lessons, under the direction of the class teacher, mobile phones maybe allowed if it is felt that use will aid learning at that point.  If brought into school, mobile phones should be stored out-of-sight and are the responsibility of the pupils.

    At the request of a large number of pupils, parents and carers, we will be providing a limited number of lockers for use by our pupils from September. If you are interested in renting one of the lockers (it is not compulsory) then all you need to do is visit the company’s website (www.locker.rentals) where you can select the specific location in the school and once payment is made, you will be sent the unique 4-digit code for use in the combination lock (there are no keys required).  Please do not send money to school for the lockers, this is an arrangement which is completely controlled by the company we have entered into the agreement with.

    On our return to school in September, we will be embarking on our new enrichment programme.  This will involve all pupils (year 7-13) and will take place on the Week B Wednesday afternoon.  Pupils will need to sign up for activities in the coming weeks where they will be able to choose from a wide range of exciting options.

    Sadly, at this time of year we often have to say farewell to staff who are leaving us and this year is no exception.  The staff who are leaving us are:

    Mrs A Grabham (Deputy Head), Mr R Hopkins (Deputy Head), Miss C Nightingale (Assistant Head), Dr M Kyriakides (Biology), Mrs H Jones (English), Ms K Vallance (Welsh), Ms L Waters (RE), Mr P Benson (ICT), Mr M Gibbs (Network Manager), Mr M Donovan (Business Manager), Mrs L Hancock (Examinations Officer) and Mrs S Stacey (Attendance Officer).

    The colleagues who are leaving us have all made a huge impact on Brynteg School and, as they leave, so will a great deal of experience (over 183 years to be precise).  We are lucky to have had a productive period of recruitment and I will update you with a complete list of all of our new staff at a later date.

    On behalf of the Brynteg School community, I would like to thank those colleagues that are leaving for all that they have done for the pupils of our school.Finally, the photo of the week come from the spectacular year 8 Expressive Arts project which took place this week; seeing pupils having so much fun, whilst at the same time learning really did demonstrate the importance of developing similar activities in the future.

    The photo of the week come from the spectacular year 8 Expressive Arts project which took place this week; seeing pupils having so much fun, whilst at the same time learning really did demonstrate the importance of developing similar activities in the future.

    Best wishes

    Headteacher

    Ry.davies@bryntegcs.bridgend.sch.uk

    Head’s Blog – 6th July 2018

    What a fantastic week we have had at Brynteg!   It has been absolutely packed with activities with some of the highlights being:

    Sports Days – for the first time for a number of years, we have held these events on our school site. Whilst it has been difficult trying to ensure there is adequate shade for our pupils, it has also demonstrated to us what a wonderful facility we have at our disposal.  The pupil response to has been excellent and we feel that more were able to participate as a result of the new arrangement.

    Summer Prom – this was the opportunity for pupils from year 7-13 to demonstrate their musical talents – which they certainly did.  I think the most powerful aspect of this event was the fact that all pupils were encouraged to perform from relative beginners to those who are more advanced. A true celebration of the rich and varied talents of our pupils!

    Transition Day – 272 pupils joined us from their primary schools as part of their welcome into Brynteg. This is the largest year group we have had for many years and they all demonstrated just how vibrant and keen they are – there certainly is a lot to look forward to.

    We are coming to the end of our second week of wearing PE kit as a result of the hot weather and the response from pupils has been excellent.  They have all arrived at school wearing the correct Brynteg PE kit creating that important image of the school whilst at the same time being far more comfortable in this unusual period of high temperatures.  This is something which I will also support and see it as a sensible response to the wellbeing needs of our pupils.

    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 during this period.   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.

    Our photo of the week shows some of pupils enjoying the display created by our art department for The Incredible Journey which was the theme for our recent Languages, Literacy and Communication cluster project.  The look on the faces of the pupils is a real tonic!

    Thank you for your support.

     

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    Head’s Blog – 29th June 2018

    Thank you for your support this week as we all enjoyed record-breaking temperatures!  I think allowing pupils to wear their PE kit during this period has really worked well for all concerned with pupils claiming that they have felt much more comfortable in their lessons.  This to me should be the way in which we approach ‘summer uniform’ – when the temperature gets to a point where it is simply too uncomfortable to wear uniform in the classroom then pupils should be allowed to wear their PE kit.   As was the case this week, parents and carers will be informed through social media and our new SIMs parent app if pupils are allowed to wear their PE kit (this system worked extremely well this week). Going forward, I would propose that this replaces the polo shirt and I will be informing parents and carers of our new year 7 (September 2018) of this fact.

    In only 4 school weeks time we will be returning to a new and exciting year and, as you are aware, this year we are introducing our enrichment programme for all pupils (years 7-13).  The enrichment session will take place on the second Wedensday of the timetable and pupils will be able to choose from a wide variety of activities with the first round of options taking place in the next few weeks.

    It is hoped that this initiative will allow pupils some freedom in a very busy timetable. There will be no examinations or tests involved with pupils (and staff) being allowed to enjoy activities without these additional pressures.  Of course, the enrichment programme will depend on the positive and mature approach from all of our pupils; it is not optional but having seen the range of activities, neither will pupils have to do something which they will not enjoy.

    This is such an exciting project and I firmly believe it will make a positive impact across the school in all lessons and I am sure this blog will contain lots of information about the activities in the coming months.

    The photo of the week shows members of the hockey team who are looking for sponsorship for new kit – if you know of anyone who will be able to help, please let us know.

    Thank you for your support.

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    Head’s Blog 22nd June 2018

    As you may be aware, the school has investigated the possibility of having lockers in school for our pupils.  This was at the request of our pupils and members of the School Council.  Whilst we have a beautiful school site, it is rather spread out with the result being that pupils have to carry their bags for quite a distance during the day.

    Purchasing the lockers was our original intention but it was not too long before we realised that this was way beyond our means.  Even for the basic internal lockers, the best price we could find was £92 for a block of 3 meaning an outlay of £43,000 for the whole school.  The type of lockers we have identified which are both suitable for use internally and externally are more expensive again.

    Our solution has been to approach a company who will site the lockers in school for us at no cost. If parents/carers would like to purchase a locker for the year then this is done by accessing the company’s website and paying a rental fee of £15-£18 per year.  It will also be possible to specify the exact location of the locker.  Once payment has been made, an email will be sent back to the parent/carer with the location/number of the locker together with a 4 digit code which pupils will use to gain access to the locker by means of a combination lock (there are no keys involved at all).

    The school will not receive any money from this venture at all but it does give us immediate access to lockers (which would not be possible if we had to purchase them outright). In an ideal world we would be able to fund the lockers ourselves and not have to charge pupils for them but sadly this is not the case.

    Pupils will not be required to have a locker and it is envisaged that some will choose not to do so.  It is hoped that this initiative will make life a little easier for pupils at Brynteg.

    Our photo of the week shows some of the members of our wonderful orchestra and was taken during one of the lunchtime rehearsal sessions this week.

    Best wishes

     

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    Head’s Blog 15th June 2018

    What a week we have just had in Brynteg – at this time of year you would expect that we would begin to slow down but this is definitely not the case here!

    One of the highlights of the week has been our year 7 learning project (The Incredible Journey) which was designed and delivered jointly with Brackla, Penybont, Tremains and Litchard primary schools. The week focussed on developing extended writing skills and saw joint teaching across primary and secondary with our teaches delivering in primary schools and vice versa.  This model is one which will become more important as the new Curriculum for Wales is developed.  I think that the school community is very lucky to have such a talented group of staff and to be able to work with these wonderful primary schools really is a privilege.

    I am just about to discuss with our School Council the possibility of having lockers .  The company which has been identified (Locker Rentals) basically site lockers in schools themselves and then parents/carers have the opportunity to rent them for a year by contacting them directly.  There are no keys involved as all lockers have a combination lock.  If the School Council members feel that this is something which they would like then a restricted number of these lockers will be ordered in the first instance in order to evaluate how the scheme works before committing any further.

    The Young Enterprise scheme is an important initiative which has been running in schools and colleges for many years now and at Brynteg, it is an important part of our provision. This year, a group of sixth form pupils formed their own company (Diverge) which developed a product known as ‘Eco-Toes’.

    The group thought about children in less developed countries who walk to school without shoes and came up with a highly innovative solution to the problem.  Their idea was developing a kit which would allow schools around the world to turn as few as 8 carrier bags into shoes which can then be worn by the children.  I am sure you will agree that this is a highly innovative idea and so much so, the group made it through to the all Wales final. Sadly, they didn’t win but maybe someone out there will pick up on this fantastic idea.  As a small consolation, they have been chosen as the photo of the week.

    Best wishes

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    Head’s Blog 8th June 2018

    We are committed to improving communication between school and home and have recently been working to develop a new system which will launch in the near future.

    Whether it’s sharing information on attendance, homework and timetables or school reports and conduct, parents and carers can stay on top of their child’s progress. We will easily be able send automated alerts and notifications directly to parents’ phones. A clear dashboard gives parents an overview of their child’s school life, making for more meaningful conversation at parent/carer evenings.  The app will also allow us to efficiently manage extra-curricular activities such as school trips, homework clubs and after school activities.

    Additionally, the data collection functionality within the SIMS Parent app lets us easily collect the most up-to-date contact information from parents/carers.

    Working alongside the Parent app, the SIMS Student app lets students view important information, such as their timetable, homework they’ve been set and feedback once it has been marked. They can also receive alerts through the app to remind them of key information, for example, there is a careers fair happening at school tomorrow.

    These apps will be fully functional for the start of the new academic year and in preparation for this, in the coming weeks you will be sent log in details where you will be given access to the apps in order for you (and us) to get used to them.

    We have recently finalised our calendar for 2018-19 with some of the key dates being:

    Training Day 1                                 Monday 3rd   September 2018

    School Opens to pupils                Tuesday  4th  September 2018

    Training Day 2                                 Monday 5th November 2018

    Training Day 3                                 Friday 22nd February 2019

    Training Day 4                                 Monday 3rdJune 2019

    Training Day 5                                 Monday 22ndJuly 2019

    Finally, at the end of the half term break, a large group of our pupils from y8 visited France led by our wonderful staff.  The feedback from the visit has been so positive with our pupils representing Brynteg School in the best way possible. Our photo of the week comes from the trip and shows the new Brynteg snail-eating champions (I think they are enjoying them).

    Best wishes

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