Our School Priorities for 2018-19

1. Raising the achievement of our children, particularly in maths.

2. Maximising the impact of the work of our teaching assistants so they can further accelerate the progress of our most vulnerable children in terms of their happiness, safety and learning.

3. Quality assuring the work we do in school so as to ensure that our efforts are purposeful and manageable.

4. Managing the development of our new nursery facilities with as little disruption to teaching and learning as is possible!

What's On: Week beginnings Monday 15th October, 2018 (back to week 1 of the lunchtime menu that can be found in the 'Key Information' tab)

Our fortnightly value & learning theme for this week and next and this is to show RESPECT (for ourselves, our school, our property and for learning).

How to gain people's respect without being a bully. In a world where we have never seemed so unable to listen to each other it's an approach that can really work. It has three underlying principles that we all could do with following, namely:

1. 'Pace your reality' - Even when you don't share someones opinions and beliefs at least try to understand them and where they are coming from.

2. Keep your listeners attention - Make it relevant and interesting as others will be far more willing to listen to your ideasif you do! That's how we use stories in learning assemblies to underpin our values. 

3. Encourage dialogue - allow people to talk about their feeling and genuinely listen without judging.  

To support this our music of the fortnight is Erasure's 'A Little Respect'.

The video below is of Jordan Peterson a rare voice of reason in the increasinlgy hostile and angry world of North American politics and debate. It shows how to gain repsect without being a bully. 

Unusually our website of the week is another video. It's 12 rule to a better life. Rule 5 is really good for working with children to improve their behaviour. 

Tuesday 16th October - Year 5 and 6 will be watching 'My Mate Fancies You'; this is a relationships theatre show followed by workshops with the children. You will be receiving further information via a letter. 

Wednesday 17th October - Open evening for Reception to Y5 children. This is a chance to meet with your child's new teacher and talk about their well-being and progress. Appointments can be booked via our SchoolLife App or at the main office. 

Due to the building work in school at 3:15 Reception children will have to come out through the Reception toilets (please leave a space for them to do so). Y1 will come out through the former Y1 entrance by the library. Y2 will come out through the library. Y3 will come out through their morning netrnace. Y4 will come out through the Y6 morning entrance (near the red gate to the side of school that is at the bottom of the car park). Year 5 will come out through their normal exit but Y6 will come out through the main office entrance. 

Wednesdays - Y4 cornets lessons (during the school day).

Thursday 18th October - Reception to Year 6 nasal flu sprays. You will be receiving a permission letter regarding this. 

Thursdays - The Sunshine Club for pre-school children runs in the school hall from 8:45 until 10:45. This will be run by Mrs Gutteridge our learning mentor. The first session is free so come along and see how we try to give children the best start in life and make you feel part of the Brockmoor family.

Thursdays to half-term - Year 1 gymnastics club begins (running from 3:15-4:15). Miss Beech, our gymnastics coach, has already identified children who she thinks would most benefit from this.

Fridays - Reading Buddies group. This desperately needs parent volunteers who are willing to spend half an hour from 9:00 to 9:30 listening to children read. If you're interested simply approach Mrs Lester in Year 2.

Fridays - Y5 drumming lessons! This is during the school day.

Fridays - Years 4 to 6 football club runs from 3:15 to 4:15.

Friday homework - One of the many decisions made during our visioning day that took place in January was to change the way in which we set homework. The reason for this is we put an awful lot of effort into setting, collecting and marking homework for actually very little impact. Indeed the children who most need to do the homework are often those who are least likely to hand it in! So from now on children will be set weekly spellings to learn every Friday, a times table to practice and we actively encourage you to please listen to your child read at least three times a week, discussing the content with them. Guidance on how to help at home is in the 'Parent's pencil tab. Practicing these basic skills genuinely makes a difference. For those of you who don't YOU are holding your child back!

What's coming over the hill? Dates for your diary

Monday 22nd October - Brierley Hill Methodist Church volunteers will be in school poppy making with children. 

Tuesday 23rd October - Y6 are at Dudley Zoo as part of their 'Out of Africa' learning journey. 

Wednesday 24th October - Y2 are at Cadbury World. Y5 are at Hartlebury.

Thursday 25th October - Nursery is closed to allow for three way consultations for parents and carers of nursery children. Please see the nursery team for details. 

Thursday 25th October - This is Mrs Homer's last day in school. She has worked tirelessly in school for a number of years to support some of our most vulnerable learners. Her role will be taken up by Mrs Msysk. 

Friday 26th October - school closed.

Monday 29th October - Friday 2nd November is our Autumn half-term.

Friday 23rd November - School closed for Primary Writing Project training. 

Friday 21st December - school closes at normal times for the Christmas holidays. This will hopefully also be our traditional Carol Services day at St John's.

Mrs Senior (Y6) starts her maternity leave. Her classroom duties will be covered by Mrs McCormack on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and by Mrs Bytheway on Thursdays and Fridays. 

Tuesday 8th January - children return for the Spring Term (Monday is being used to prepare classrooms for the Spring Learning Journeys).

Tuesday 8th January - Beauty and the Beast pantomime for our families (this will be free for Brockmoor children - thanks go out to our School Governors for this). Details to follow.

Friday 15th February - This is the expected last day in school for Miss Bodman (Y2 teacher) before she starts her maternity leave. Her classroom duites will be covered by Mrs Hamilton on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with Mrs Birks taking the class on Fridays. 

Monday 18th February - Friday 22nd February is our Spring half-term.

Thursday 11th April is the last school day of the Spring Term (staff are preparing classrooms for the Summer Term Learning Journeys on the Friday).

Monday 29th April is the first day of the Summer Term.

Monday 6th May - school is closed for the May Day Bank Holiday.

Week beginning Monday 13th May is Year 6 SATs week.

Week beginning 8th July is our Astley Burf residential week. Places will be first offered to our Year 5 children with any spare places then offered to Year 4 children.

Thursday 18th July - Year 6 leavers party and sleepover in school.

Friday 19th July - The last day of the 2018-19 academic year. School closes at normal times for all children except Year 6 who can be collected at 1:00.

What's On in Dudley - The Family Information Service website shares what's on in our town. Simply click on the link below.

ONGOING INFORMATION

Our Breakfast Club

Our breakfast club runs from 8:00 until the start of the school day. Each session costs £1.50. If you are interested in a place please pop in and ask for a booking form or speak to Mrs Gutteridge (our learning mentor).

Lunchtime arrangements

With growing pupil numbers and the building works that are taking place across school we have lost our Early Years outdoor area and a chunk of our KS1 playground. Consequently we're having to tweak lunchtime arrangements as follows: Reception lunch runs from 11:30 to 12:30, KS1 from 11:50 to 12:50, KS2 from 12:10 to 1:05. This is for every day of the week.

Keeping our children safe

Can we remind parents and carers that if you allow children in your care onto the adventure playgrounds before or after school their supervision and safety is your responsibility not ours. It is Parent/Carers responsibility to make sure the conditions are safe for use. Children should be in your line of sight at all times and are not allowed in the Forest Schools Area.

Nursery updates

The children who had 30 hours of 'wraparound care' have settled particularly well into our Reception classes. If you are in receipt of certain benefits you are entitled to this 30 hours of free nursery provision. Simply pop into the school office or speak to Mrs Holtham, our Nursery champion, for more information.

Nursery build update - due to delays beyond our control building work on the new Nursery will now not begin until the October half term. For this reason we are 'reclaiming' the playground lost to us until this work commences. This will not affect the entries and exits used by Reception children last week. Work on converting our existing nursery into a specialist Pupil Referral Unit is now set to begin on the 15th October.

Reason to be cheerful in these times of unrelenting challenge

A huge thank you to everyone who made a donation to our Harvest Festival. 10 crates and 24 large carrier bags of food have been passed to the needy of Brierley Hill through St John's Church thanks to your generosity.

Our analysis of the annual Parent Questionnaire is really positive. We had over 160 families respond and overall parents and carers view of the school is very positive. Whilst once again concerns around bullying are your biggest concern this has reduced from last year (and that was a reduction on the previous year). The full picture will be placed in the 'About Us' pencil tab of our website this week.

We are particularly proud of the way in which children were able to talk about how they want to support British Values at Brockmoor during our recent 'In your hands' theatre show and workshops. Children spoke passionately about freedom of speech, the rules we follow, respect and tolerance.

Governors Day in School - Thursday 20th September

Well done to Year 1. They had a great morning at The Bear Factory and a number of staff and members of the public commented on how polite and well behaved they were. 

Seven non-teaching Governors were in school to look at how we keep our children safe, happy and learning. Here is an abridged account of their thoughts:

Feedback - Whole School Strengths:

 Overall very favourable view of how well the children have settled back into school routines.

 Behaviour viewed as outstandingly good with the little low level disruption dealt with highly effectively by both teachers and TAs.

 SEN children are well supported both in the class & in withdrawal groups.

 Good manners of children shone throughout the school with children polite, welcoming and attentive.

 Children are keen to discuss their learning and could uniformly articulate the school's vision and current value. They could also talk about their need to make the right choices as part of our school rule.

 Good engagement of children in all lessons. Children want to do well and are provided with the tools to do so.

 Reading for pleasure clearly evident.

 Children dealt with potential disruption of governors in classrooms and SEN Supergroup learning hubs exceptionally well.

 Children totally engrossed in learning.

 Peer assessment a model of good practice with children confident in challenging each other to improve their work in a compassionate and thoughtful manner.

Specific examples of good practice:

 Nursery provision beyond governors expectations considering use of adapted Y6 classrooms, two separate classes and outdoor toilet block.

 SEN children's needs and abilities well catered for in SEN Supergroups (internal school data supports this view).

Lunchtimes:

 Earlier lunch for Reception children at 11:30 working really well in terms of settling the children into eating in school. Reception and lunchtime staff are keen to engage with the children and to help them develop basic skills, e.g how to use a knife and fork.

 With it being a wet play and lunchtime there could have been a number of challenges both in terms of organisation and behaviour. This was not the case with robust systems in place, children and staff knowing what to do and where to be.

 The range of food on offer, including Halal options, was good and portion sizes generous. Children with little on their plate where challenged as to the reasons why.

 The salad bar is becoming increasingly popular but was not topped up. This meant for groups later into the hall some healthier options were reduced.

Even Better Ifs:

 If maths is of such importance is this reflected in timetabling? Should the day start with maths as these sessions are slightly longer?

 Whilst children encouraged to use cutlery appropriately, the use of scissors for cutting packaging sporadic at best. Does this represent a need for more basic skills work?

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