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Head’s Blog 7th December 2018

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

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

Guess the Baby

I’m a teacher get me out of here

Hot chocolate, sweet stalls

A Christmas Fayre

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

Teachers being custard ‘pied’

and much, much more.

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

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

Thank you for your support.

Head’s Blog 30th November 2018

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

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

Friday 14thDecember

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

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

Monday 17thDecember

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

Tuesday 18thDecember

Periods 2/3   Year 8 Inter-House Sport competitions

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

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

Wednesday 19thDecember

Trips/visits day

Thursday 20thDecember

AM                 Year 9 Inter-House Sport competitions

Period 3+4    Music Dept concert at Bridgend Resource Centre

Period 5        Senior Football Team v Staff

Friday 21stDecember

School closes at 3.25pm

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

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

Thank you for your support.

Head’s Blog 23rd November 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your support

 

Head’s Blog 16th November 2018

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

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

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

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

Best wishes

Head’s Blog 9th November 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best wishes

Head’s Blog – 26th October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 15thNovember     5.30pm Y7 Parent partnership meeting

Thursday 22ndNovember Y13 Parents’/Carers’ Evening

Monday 3rdDecember  Y11 Mock Examinations

Tuesday 18thDecember 7pm   Carol Service

Friday 21stDecember 3.20pm End of term

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

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

Have a good half term break!

Ryan Davies

Headteacher

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.