It has been great to see the children back at School, and wonderful to welcome our new members of the Brabyns Family, the most new starters we have had in a long time! The first day, and week, of term is always one of the highlights of the year for me, with everything new and fresh and the excitement felt amongst children, staff and parents for the coming year. I’m pleased to say that this excitement continues, in different ways, throughout the year!
I have enjoyed hearing the children's tales of the summer and learning about their aspirations for the year. Our first assembly provided the opportunity to remind the children about all of the staff in School, their roles and the fact that we are all ‘safe’ adults, who they can turn to for anything they may need. They were also introduced to our new staff Miss Norcliffe (our Year 4 Teacher), along with Mrs Belfield who is a qualified teacher and helping lead and support lessons in a variety of year groups. Year 6 enjoyed asking the staff questions to find out a bit more about them.
Year 6 have also started their duties in their various Captain and Prefect roles. I have been incredibly impressed with them so far in all that they have done. I am a big believer in giving them responsibility to enable them to grow and ensure they are ready for their Senior School transition, added to the fact that they should have real ownership of Brabyns as it is very much their School. They are also working hard, with those sitting exams just 18 weeks away from the first one. On that note, do you think you could do the work (and under time pressure!) that they do? Have a go at some of the example papers on the website or try these questions and put yourself in their shoes.
For me, this year I’ll be carrying on teaching every class PE once a week as well as supporting Mrs Lawford with the Year 6 Reasoning lesson (and then to Year 5 after the exams are over). The PE will be supplemented by Gymnastics, Dance and Games specialists in various areas so the children really get maximum benefit and opportunities from these lessons.
Our start of term Staff Training Days were of real benefit to us all. We discussed plans and priorities for the year, had some English training, input from Bellevue, Safeguarding training, discussed individual children and their needs and spent time sharing our ideas about the curriculum for the forthcoming year. This included looking at the book Teaching Backwards by Andy Griffith and Mark Burns, (it was homework for all staff to read it over the summer) – which we are using for various strategies to aid the children’s learning. We may have had our excellent inspection report at the end of the last academic year, but we are always looking to further enhance the school in any way we can to help the children flourish and achieve all they can.
We all renewed our First Aid Training, which is something we don’t have to do but we believe is good practice.
We are carrying on with our highly acclaimed ‘101 Things to Achieve Before Leaving Brabyns’. If you haven’t got fully involved in this yet with your child, please take a moment to do so. Whatever their age there are lots of exciting milestones to achieve, with a lovely balance of home and School achievements, and ones that are academic focused, fun and physical. Please do take time to go through this with your child/ren.
It continues to be a pleasure to work with such dedicated and inspirational children and staff. The Brabyns family continue to surpass my expectations in so many ways. Always at the heart of this is to ensure that each individual child flourishes, is incredibly well cared for, inspired and given numerous opportunities so they have notable achievements during their time at School. It promises to be a great year and I look forward to sharing it, and my thoughts along the way, with you.
Lee Sanders, Headteacher