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Head’s Blog – 19th October 2018

It has been another busy and varied week at Brynteg with some of the highlights being:

Diwrnod Shwmae -The first Shwmae Sumae day on October 15, 2013 to promote the idea of starting every conversation with shwmae, su’mae or shwdi! The event aims to show that the Welsh language belongs to us all – fluent speakers, learners or those shy about their Welsh. Our pupils certainly enjoyed the activities which were held on that day and our thoughts are turning to how this can be developed for next year

Year 11 mock interviews – year 11  pupils have spent this week being interviewed by a range of local employers.  This is excellent preparation for them as they begin to consider life beyond school.  Being placed in the position of being interviewed in this way for many was a new experience and one which would have highlighted to them the keys skills which need to be developed in order to be successful.  The support from those who gave up their time so willingly in order to do this is most welcome – it has made a real difference to our pupils.

Open Meeting with Parents and Carers – this is something which was started last year as a means of having a dialogue about our provision.  There is no set agenda with the sessions always being led by the parents and carers who are in attendance.  This time, some of the issues which were discussed were as follows:

mobile phones, uniform, SIMS parent and student apps, IT facilities, toilets, communication, enrichment and much more. Look out for details of the next meeting in December!

The photo of the week comes from Diwrnod Shwmae – a fantastic time was had by all!

Finally, good luck to the pupils and staff who are taking part in our school show (High School Musical) next week.  The fun, energy and sheer commitment which surrounds this production is simply a joy to see and really does prove why there should always be a place for performing arts in the secondary curriculum.  As you are aware, the performances are being held on October 24th-26th at the Grand Pavilion Porthcawl.  There are still some tickets available for the Tuesday and Wednesday evening and it would be so good for the pupils involved if all of the performances were a sell-out.

Financially, the staging of a production such as this is expensive and more often than not, revenue from the sales of tickets just about covers the costs involved.  Please support us by coming along to see this fantastic show – you will not be disappointed and your support will help to ensure that ventures such as this will continue in the future!

http://www.grandpavilion.co.uk/events/3630/high-school-musical-presented-by-brynteg-comprehensive-private-hire/

Thank you for your support

Head’s Blog 12th October 2018

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I offer the opportunity to parents and carers to come in to school for an Open Meeting.  This will give the opportunity to parents and carers to ask questions about any aspect of our provision.  The first meeting of this academic year has been arranged for Wednesday 17thOctober at 5.30pm (Upper School hall).  In the past, these meetings have taken the form of questions from parents and carers, a general discussion and so on.  The agenda is completely determined by those who turn up on the evening – there is no pre-prepared presentation!

We have worked hard in the last few weeks to improve the way in which pupils access our lower school canteen.  A new queuing system is in place which now means that pupils are able to order their food and find somewhere to sit to eat it in a much more relaxed atmosphere. There is a trend for our pupils to purchase their food and eat this outside (even in torrential rain and sub-zero temperatures…) and ideally I would like them to find the time to sit down to eat their food in the canteen. There is plenty of room for our pupils to sit and enjoy their food in the canteen and I would appreciate your support in trying to encourage pupils to do so (even if only for a few minutes).  Not only will it offer a much more civilised lunch experience for pupils it will help reduce litter around the site as well!

Finally, two of our year 8 pupils feature in our photo of the week.  This was taken during a very sunny break-time and catches the girls reading to each other.  Brilliant!

Head’s Blog 5th October 2018

It was a pleasure to meet with our newly elected School Council members this week as they planned the year ahead and the tasks they would like to complete.  They certainly are an incredibly talented and dedicated group who immediately displayed a commitment and passion to helping to develop our school for the benefit of all pupils.  Some of the things we discussed were:

The Enrichment programme – members of the School Council were extremely positive about this and felt that it would be a good idea to review the programme at the end of this term by undertaking a survey of pupils. The fact that some pupils were not able to have their first choice of activity was discussed but it was felt that the opportunity to relax and simply do something different was important.

Charity fundraising – our School Council members have always led the way when it comes to thinking of others less fortunate than themselves.  It was agreed to support Children in Need and the Wear it Red day for the Velindre Cancer Centre (in addition to the usual Santa appeal efforts)

Lockers – felt that these were a welcome addition to the school.  Some could be placed in better positions (eg more in lower school and the lower, ground level lockers were sometimes difficult to access).

Future work – two important areas of future work for the School Council were discussed.  Firstly, the fact that we have committed to working towards achieving the Rights Respecting Schools Award – an extremely important whole-school initiative.  Secondly, the School Council have been asked to evaluate our current progress report system with a view to making improvements to these in the near future.

This is just a selection of the range of topics which were discussed during the meeting and I think demonstrates quite well that this is a very creative and thoughtful group of pupils who are going to make a real difference to the school.

The photo of the week shows some of our pupils enjoying the cakes which were sold during our MacMillan coffee morning.

 

Best wishes

Ryan Davies

Head’s Blog 28th September 2018

Thank you to the pupils, parents and carers who attended our Open Evening on Thursday.  It was so good to be able to share with others the work that we are doing at Brynteg and our vision for the future.  If there is anyone who was unable to attend, or indeed would like to  visit the school again, please do not hesitate to contact us at the school.

This week also saw our first enrichment session taking place.   There was an excellent atmosphere across the school on Wednesday afternoon and it was so good to see pupils (and staff) relaxed and enjoying the activities.  This is a huge initiative for the school and with something of the scale, there will always be things that need to be developed – and this will be done in the coming months.  I would ask that if anyone feels that they would like to discuss this aspect of our provision then please contact me at the school as I would appreciate being able to work together in order to make this important project work for all pupils.

As mentioned last week  there have been a number of problems with the launch of the parent and student apps.   We have established that he only solution is for each record to be checked and errors corrected manually. This is taking some time and a number of the admin team have made great progress in doing this however, I would ask you to work with us as we ensure that the data is entered correctly over the coming weeks.

 

The photo of the week is taken from the science club which is part of our enrichment programme. It shows pupils from years 7-11 working together on a science problem.  Opportunities for  pupils from across the school to work together in this way are rare but our enrichment programme has made this possible!

Thank you for your support.

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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