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    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

    Head’s Blog 21st December 2018

    We are at the end of a long and busy term, one which has been incredibly successful with some of the highlights being:

    The introduction of our enrichment programme.  We do know that there is still quite a lot of developmental work to be undertaken but this major initiative has proved to be a huge success in so many different ways.  We are currently planning the programme for next year with a number of new external providers already offering to run activities for us. If you think you can help in any way, please contact Adam Rosser at the school.

    Our performances of High School Musical attracted a great deal of positive feedback from so many people.  The pupils and staff who were involved in this really did demonstrate why performing arts plays such an important part in the life of Brynteg School.

    The launch of the SIMS Parent and Student apps was perhaps a little more challenging than we have anticipated but, as we work through each year group, we are now experiencing considerably fewer problems.   Whilst it was disappointing to us all that these were not fully functioning from the start of the year, we do know that when they are, they will have a hugely beneficial impact on communication between school and home.   Thank you for your patience with this.

    We have recently started the process of moving to a cashless system for all aspects of school life (trips, visits and so on) with the first ‘cashless’ activity being the Christmas Concert.   This has proved to be very successful with tickets selling out way before the actual performance.  Moving to a cashless system will mean that pupils will not be asked to bring in large amounts of money to the school and, as a school, we will not be in the position of having to manage significantly large sums of money.  We do realise that there may be some parents and carers who would prefer to use cash and arrangements will be made with those directly.

    A new system for requesting absence during term time has been adopted this term.  For parents and carers who unavoidably have to request that the time is taken off in school, a form should be collected from either the upper or lower school reception offices.  Forms should be completed in as much detail as possible and returned to the offices at least 2/3 weeks before the planned absence.  It should be noted that a headteacher can authorise up to 10 days absence during an academic year however this is not an entitlement.  Requests for absence during an examination year will not be authorised unless the request is due to a family emergency and so on. Thank you for your support in this matter.

    All schools are expected to reflect on their practice and undertake a self-evaluation of all aspects of provision.  At Brynteg we have developed a ‘research and development’ model which, as well as identifying areas for improvement, really does encourage staff to be forward-thinking and innovative. This is only the second year that this model has been used and already there are so many positives arising from this model as staff strive to deliver ever more challenging learning opportunities. You may be approached by some subject areas to try to gather your views about learning and teaching in that area and, if this is the case, I would urge you to take up the offer as your opinions really do matter.

    On Thursday 31stJanuary we are holding a Careers Fayre and Sixth Form Options Evening.  Parents and carers are invited to the school from 3.30pm where there will be the opportunity to meet with employers who will have spent time with us during the day. At 5.30pm, year 11 pupils, parents and carers will be able to find out about the courses we have on offer in our sixth form.  Pupils who would like to return to our sixth form will need to complete an online application form and return it to us by Thursday 14thFebruary.

     

    Lastly, our Santa Appeal may possibly be the highlight of the term.  The very fact that our pupils are concerned for those who are less fortunate than themselves at this time of year demonstrates just how compassionate they are.  They have worked so hard, often in terrible weather conditions to raise over £4,600.  The gifts they have bought with this money have all been delivered to BCBC who will now distribute them on our behalf.  What an amazing school community we have here at Brynteg.

    Thank you for your support this term.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

     

    Head’s Blog 14th December 2018

    Our theme of the week has been ‘happiness’ and there certainly have been a lot of smiling faces around Brynteg over the last few days.  We are committed to ensuring that wellbeing is placed firmly at the core of all of our work as we know happy children learn.

    I know I have written a great deal about our enrichment programme but it seems perfectly appropriate to mention it again the context of our theme of the week.  As I walked around the activities which were on offer during the last enrichment session of the term, the sense of happiness and enjoyment was palpable.  I can honestly say that despite all of the measures that are used as indicators of success in education, smiles on the faces of pupils (and staff) mean more than anything.  Once again, I would like to thank the pupils and staff for making this major new initiative such a success.

    We held a staff meeting on Monday evening where plans to remodel the school were discussed.  Part of the plans involve locating a central reception area as part of a Wellbeing Centre where the languages block is currently located.   It is planned to locate our additional learning needs provision in the centre as well as a medical room, counselling rooms and so on.   The location would offer clear access to parents, carers and visitors through the existing bus bay.  Plans are at a very early stage but your input would be most welcome.

    Finally, our photo of the week is another which requires little explanation.  It is taken from one of our Santa Appeal fundraising activities and is wonderful!

    Best wishes

     

    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.