Reason to be cheerful in these times of unrelenting challenge

The children thoroughly enjoyed Breakfast with Santa, time in the grotto and the snow machine. A huge thank you goes out to all those who helped make this wonderful moment happen. Especial thanks go out to parents who helped, namely: Katheryn Smart, Clare Timmins, Carrie Downton, Abbie Parsons, Rebekkah Collins, Tracey Edwards and Clair Smout. They have given up so much of their time this week. 

Our School Priorities for 2018-19

1. Raising the achievement of our children, particularly in writing and 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 10th December, 2018

There is no football club now until after Christmas. 

This is week 2 of the rolling lunchtime menu that can be found in the Key Information tab.

Our fortnightly value & learning theme that runs until Friday 14th December is to 'Be Present'. It's one part of our '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 wlecoming 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. 

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. Weneever 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.  

We've got three videos for you this week. For adults this is the 'Fish Philosphy'

For children this is what it means to 'Be Present'. 

Our song for the week is Harry Chaplin's 'Cat's in the Cradle'. It's the story of a father who is too busy to spend time with his son and all too late realises, that in the winter of his own life, his son no longer can find the time for him. 

Monday 10th December - Y3 Pupil Premium 'fun and games' competition at Crestwood Secondary (letters should go out to families of participating children). 

Tuesday 11th December - Y3 Roman Day. This has been rescheduled from November and earlier this month - third time lucky!

Tuesday 11th December - Year 2 Bedtime Stories in school from 4:30 to 5:30. Please see the Year 2 team for details.  

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

Thursday 13th December - Our last Sunshine Club before the Christmas holidays. The first session is free so this would be the perfect time to 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 up to Thursday 13th December - Year 2 gymnastics. Miss Beech, our gymnastics coach, will have identified children who she thinks would most benefit from an after school gymnastics club (running from 3:15 to 4:15). This is the last week as next Thursday the hall is in use for the Afternoon Nursery Nativity. 

Friday 14th December - Our end of term Shining Stars assembly. This takes place in the school hall between 9:00 and 10:00 and is by invitation only. 

Friday 14th December - Christmas box meals 1 of 2.

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

We have just added online feedback forms on our website for our Parent Voice group (in the Key Information 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.

Monday 17th December - Cluster schools Carol Service at Crestwood Secondary from 6:00. 

Tuesday 18th December - Christmas themed MUFTI with all donations of food and/or winter clothes (particularly hats, scarves, gloves and thick socks) being passed to Albion Street Food Bank.

Tuesday 18th December - Children's Christmas meal.

Wednesday 19th December - Y6 Christmas party (children come in uniform and change into party clothes for the afternoon). Y6 are having their party on Wednesday so they can party downstairs. 

Thursday 20th December - Children's Christmas parties for all year groups except Y6. Children in EY and KS1 can come in party clothes but KS2 children should come in uniform and change for the afternoon parties.  

Thursday 20th December - Nursery Nativities at 10:30 and 2:00 in the school hall. Family members most welcome. 

Friday 21st December - Nursery closed so that staff can undertake home visits for January starters. 

Friday 21st December - school closes at normal times for the Christmas holidays. This will also be our traditional Carol Services day at St John's. KS1 starts at 9:30, Years 3 & 4 at 10:45 and Years 5 & 6 at 1:30.

Friday 21st December - Christmas box meals 2 of 2.

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.

Thursday 10th January - Our first Sunshine Club for pre-school children runs from 9:00 to 11:00. The sessions are led by our learning mentor, Mrs Gutteridge. The first session is free. 

Thursday 10th January - Y3 begin their afternoon gymnastics sessions with Miss Beech. These will run up to the February half-term with an after school club for children chosen by Miss Beech running from Thursday 17th January up yto the half-term. 

Fridays - Reading Buddies group re-starts for 2019. 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.

Friday 11th January - Y4, 5 & 6 football club re-starts. No new letters are needed unless you are new to the club. 

Wednesday 16th January - Reception Stay and Learn session for parents, carers and children in the School hall from 9:00 to 9:30. 

15th January is the closing date for applying for September 2019 Reception places. Currently there are a significant number of outstanding applications for Reception intake September 2019. Please could we ask you to remind parents of children born between 01.09.14 and 31.08.15 to complete an application.  Parents can apply online at www.dudley.gov.uk /admissions or they can phone the office on 0300 555 2345 for a paper form. 

Wednesday 23rd January - Nursery is closed so that the staff can undertake Team Teach training. This is an approach to taking the heat out of behavioural challenges before they get out of hand. It is used by our partners in the Specialist Nursery.

Monday 4th February - Y4, 5 & 6 netball tournament.

Friday 15th February - This is the expected last day in school for Miss Bodman (Y2 teacher) before she starts her maternity leave. Her classroom duties 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.

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

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.

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

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.

Friday 18th October 2018 - School closed for Team Teach training. This is a whole school approach to taking the heat out of behaviour problems before they get out of hand. 

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.

Nursery build update - As you will see work has finally begun on building our new Nursery. We apologise for the inconvenience this is causing but we are managing this to the best of our ability. The work on converting our existing nursery into a specialist Pupil Referral Unit is now well under way so that we can welcome the Specialist Nursery Unit from January.

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?

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