Reason to be cheerful in these times of unrelenting challenge

Well done to our Year 3 and 4 maths team children. They have qualified for the Dudley Maths Championship finals. 

The children in this school always impress us with how much they care but this one really brought a tear to our eyes. Two brothers in school have donated their tin of coppers and silver coins towards our sponsored walk. It's their pocket money since Christmas! 

Our School Priorities for 2018-19

1. Raising the achievement of our children, particularly in writing and maths. Our internal data shows that we are making great strides in doing so. 

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. At the start of February we were audited by the Education Endowment Foundation out of UCL and their findings show just how effective our growing teaching assistant workforce are in terms of making a difference. 

3. Quality assuring the work we do in school so as to ensure that our efforts are purposeful and manageable. We don't believe in making excuses for why some of our children haven't done so well in tests we are far more interested in finding out what would make our children learn best! We are listening to parents, staff but most of all our children to find out what best suits them as learners. 

4. Managing the development of our new nursery facilities with as little disruption to teaching and learning as is possible. The Specialist Nursery is now fully operational and our own new Nursery is taking shape. We can only thank you, as parents and carers, for your ongoing patience whilst this work takes place. The children are spellbound at its development. 

With this in mind here's the latest Nursery build update - With the frame now in place the side walls and windows should be fitted in the next two weeks. Over the half-term we hope our existing Reception toilet block will be refurbished. Sometime in early March Rec. Hickman/Hyde will be closed for a week (with the children sharing Rec Sutch's classroom and the practical area) while their exterior walls and windows are knocked out to be replaced with interior low wall and glazing. The builders hope for completion around Easter and we may be able to move our Nursery children into the new build (with Year 6 coming back downstairs) around the Whitsun summer half-term.  

What's On: Week beginnings Monday 11th February, 2019

Following on from last weeks Safer Internet Week in school can we remind parents and carers to limit screen time on phones, tablets and computers to one hour per night (and not direclty before bedtime). This is the medical advice we should all follow. 

Our fortnightly value for the weeks beginning 11th & 25th February is 'to encourage others so they may believe they can succeed'. This relates to our 'FISH' mentality (see bottom of this web page for more details) where we are asking the children to have faith in one another and encourage those around them to have a go.

We have now introduced a learning focus to go alongside each value. For the current fortnight it is 'to have a go'. We're asking the children to encourage each other to believe in themselves and overcome whatever obstacles stand in their way.   

Our song for the week to support or belief value is 'Believe' by Mumford and Sons. 

Monday 4th February is the start of our Fizz Free February challenge! Could you and your family give up fizzy drinks for February? Taking part in Fizz Free February is a great way to reduce your sugar intake by cutting out fizzy drinks. It can also help you on your way to drinking fewer sugary drinks for the rest of the year.
Here are three great reasons to go Fizz Free this February:
  • you can save £438 a year if you stop drinking one bottle of soft drink, per day, for a year
  • Drinking just one 330ml can of fizzy drink a day could add up to over a stone weight gain per year
  • Tooth decay is the leading cause for hospitalisation among five to nine year olds in the UK. The dental hygiene of many of our children is not what it should be. 
  • Across the week - Sponsored walk (please do try to raise money for our children).

    Monday 11th February - Reception classes are closed due to the need to deep clean toys, trays etc to help address the number of children who are unwell in that area of school. Working parents/carers who cannot find alternate care for children may bring them into Nursery for the day. 

    Mondays - Performing arts in the school hall at breaktime.

    Tuesday 12th February - Year 3 are taking part in a 'Bully for You' theatre workshop to support them in tackling bullying.  

    Wednesday 13th February - Reception Sutch learn maths with your child for parents and carers in the school hall from 9:00 to 9:30. Please do try to attend. 

    Wednesdays - Performing arts in the school hall at breaktime. 

    Wednesdays - Our Reception classes have their Forest Schools learning (see Reception Team for details).

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

    Wednesday 13th February - Nursery is closed for parent consultations. Please see Mrs Holtham and the Nursery team for a slot. It is vital that a parent or carer of every single child makes an appointment whether it be on this day or another. 

    Wednesday 13th February - Target setting meetings with staff (from 1:30 to 6:30). Appointments can be made via the School Life App or by popping into Reception. As with Nursery it is vital that a parent or carer of every child in school makes the time to meet teachers to discuss learning and well-being. Even if you can't make the 13th teachers will bend over backwards to find a day and time that works. 

    Thursday 14th February - The Specialist Nursery is closed - they are going trampolining (our own Nursery is open). 

    Thursday 14th February - Our Rising Stars praise assembly for all those children who have made the most progress since September. As this runs from 9:00 to 10:00 in the School hall unfortunately there will be no Sunshine Club this week. If your child is receiving an award you should have received confirmation. 

    Thursdays - Y1 children have their after school phonics club. This is to help prepare the children for the Y1 phonics screen that takes place in the Summer Term. Up to the February half-term this is for all Y1 children. After half-term the Y1 team will select the children who they feel will most benefit from extra sessions. 

    Thursday 14th February - Y4 have their last afternoon gymnastics sessions and after school club with Miss Beech. From Thursday 28th February Y3 will begin afternoon gymnastics sessions (with Miss Beech choosing children for the after school club which will begin on Thursday 7th March and run up to Easter).

    Friday 15th February - This may be the last day in school for Miss Bodman (Y2 teacher) before she starts her maternity leave. Whether she lasts for another few weeks or not from Monday 25th February her classroom duties will be covered by Mrs Hamilton on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with Mrs Birks taking the class on Fridays. 

    Fridays - Reading Buddies. 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 up to half-term - Y4, 5 & 6 netball club begins to tie in with our local schools competition calendar. Letters can be picked up from the school office. Football will re-commence after the half-term.  

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

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

    Thursday 28th February - Year 3 gymnastics begins (an after school club - with participants chosen by the sports coach - will run from March 7th up to Easter). 

    Monday 25th February - Maths championship for Y5 & 6.

    Tuesday 26th to Thursday 28th February - Year 3 and Year 5 bikeability (please see Mrs Stanton for details). There will be a final session for Y5 only on March 1st. There are spaces still available and if you wish your child to ride a bike to school in Year 6 they must take part in this. 

    Wednesday 27th February - Adult learning classes start (please see Mrs Stanton in the school office for details as it's not to late to sign-up now).

    Thursday 28th February - Sycamore rewards trip for Rising Stars children.

    Wednesday 27th February - Our Adult Learning programme begins. 

    Friday 1st March - Year 6 Mexican Fiesta (see Year 6 team for details). 

    Friday 8th March - This will be Mrs Burudi's last day in School. Mrs Burudi predominantly supports teaching and learning in Year 5 and has served at Brockmoor for nearly 20 years. She then starts a new lease of life down south. 

    Wednesday 13th March - Year 3 trip to Tamworth Snowdome as part of their 'Fire & Ice' learning journey. 

    Tuesday 19th March - Year 2 trip to Warwick Castle as part of their 'Turrets & Tiaras' learning journey. 

    Monday 25th March - Y4, 5 & 6 Pupil Premium football fun drills tournament.

    Wednesday 10th April - Easter Egg decoration competition entries into the school hall from 8:30. Easter disco evening (Rec, Y1, 2 & 3 from 5:30 to 6:30 with Y4, 5 & 6 from 6:45 to 7:45). 

    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.

    Thursday 2nd May - School IS OPEN. The Local Elections Polling Station will be in the Specialist Nursery.

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

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

    Monday 20th May - Y4, 5 & 6 Pupil Premium indoor athletics 

    Friday 24th May - We break up at normal times for the Whitsun half-term. Children return to school on Monday 3rd June.

    Friday 7th June - CHarlotte's Web theatre production and workshops for Year 6 as a post SATs treat. 

    Week beginning Monday 10th June - Year 6 careers week. Please speak to Mr Walters or Mrs Manning if you could contribute in terms of your working life. 

    Week beginning Monday 10th June - Year 1 phonics screening across the week. Children in Year 2 who did not 'pass' in 2018 are required to resit the screening this year. 

    Monday 17th June - School is closed for staff training (Pupil Progress).

    Saturday 29th June - Our Summer Fayre from 12:00 to 3:00.

    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.

    Monday 8th July - Y4, 5 & 6 indoor athletics tournament.

    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.

    Tuesday 3rd September - School re-opens for children. Staff training is taking place on Monday but anxious children can pop in between 1:00 and 2:30 if it helps settle their nerves about the new school year. Our Pastoral Care Team will also be on hand to discuss any concerns parents or carers may have. 

    Tuesday 7th January, 2020 - Our school pantomime is 'Robin Hood'. Again we hope to offer this free to children and only a £1 for parents. 

    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

    Please note that from Monday 19th November the Norwood Road gated entrance will not be opened until 8:20. Breakfast Club children will need to be brought in through the Belle Isle entrance to school. This is for safeguarding purposes.

    Please note due to the building work on our new Nursery now starting both Reception classrooms will need to come in and go out of the entrance next to the library. We've tried to delay this for as long as is possible. 

    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.

    We raised £311 for the Poppy Appeal organised by Brierley Hill British Legion. This was the second largest amount raised in the Brierley Hill Township. The British Legion value our friendship so much that all of the slapband rulers they had were sent to Brockmoor!

    Our School Choir sang at the Moor Centre on Friday 9th November as part of Brierley Hill's Remembrance weekend. Mrs Lester has said how proud she was of the children and that they were a credit to the school. As always thanks go out to Mrs Lester and Mrs Hickman for their passion for singing here at Brockmoor. 

    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?

    Brockmoor Primary School is committed to a 'FISH Philosophy'. Here are the four steps to a 'Fish Philosophy'.

    1. 'Choose your Attitude' - however well or badly your day starts it's up to you to choose the right attitude. Other's won't know what's going on in your mind but they have a right to be treated with respect and dignity even if you're having a bad day. Parents often ask me why I'm so jolly and welcoming even on the gloomiest of days. The answer is simple, I choose to be!

    2. 'Be Present' - This means that when someone's talking to you you put down the tablet or phone, turn away from the telly or computer and look and really listen. This improves communication no end and makes people feel valued. 

    3. 'Make Their Day' - I always try to go out of my way to go the extra mile for people. You can't do it for everybody all of the time but if you share this around people feel valued. It's part of the reason why we are such a caring school. And why do we do it? If you have a 'Pay it Forwards' mentality it will make the world a better place for us all. 

    4. 'Play' - All the research strongly shows that allowing yourself time to enjoy what you really like or just playing improves mood and increases productivity. Whenever I have the time I try to play dodgeball with the older children at the end of lunchtime. The children love it and so do I. It also puts a spring in my step for the afternoon and reminds me who I am really here to serve.  

    For adults this is how you can use the 'Fish Philosphy'.

    Having Your Say - Your comments, concerns and feedback

    We have just added online feedback forms on our website for our Parent Voice group (in the Parents tab) and Governors (who have their own tab on the homepage). There is a simple online form that can be completed in seconds. This will be picked up by Mrs Manning who is clerk to both the governing body and our Parent Voice group. Ideally any concerns are best met by coming into school to discuss them but we recognise that there are times this may be difficult for parents and carers. Please be mindful this is not the vehicle to raise complaints about school or staff it's more to do with helping us improve our school.

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