Brill Church Of England School

With the Wind in our Sails

Brill School is in the top 10% of Buckinghamshire schools for progress and attainment!

Brill: Highlights

Brill Results!

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Brill School in the top 10% of Buckinghamshire schools for progress and attainment!

Our school has gone from strength to strength with outstanding results for our 7 and 11 year olds in SATs. Did you know their hard work puts Brill’s results in the top 10% of the 229 Buckinghamshire primary schools for reading, the top 7% for writing and in the top 6% for maths? We’re especially pleased because these percentages are based largely on progress (how much children develop between entering and leaving the school) rather than just the scores they got.

We are ambitious for all our pupils and aim to be in the top 10% or higher over the coming years. Yet this isn’t all we are ambitious about.

We are not satisfied with only great results in core subjects. We want resilient, creative learners guided by strong values and we want to give them enriching, happy and secure primary school years.

We think what makes Brill special is the work we put into developing a curriculum and learning environment that means pupils develop in all these ways, flourishing as individuals, and leaving Brill ‘with the wind in their sails’.

Our priorities for the coming school year are rooted in our belief that our pupils will do best when we get this balance right, when we create a caring environment rooted in our Christian values and when we work together as a whole school community.

If you would like to see more detail on the school's results, then please read this blog post on how we did last year - or go to the government's Compare Schools website here.

Parent Survey 2018

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Thank you to all the parents who took the time to fill in our survey. We had a great response. Over 70 parents replied and 97% would recommend our school!

Your answers indicate that almost all of you are very happy with most of what we do. We are particularly pleased about the overwhelmingly positive response to questions about how happy, safe and well taught you feel your children are.

We had positive comments about changes made last year including:

  • Improvements in communication, especially the online booking system
  • The daily mile - you would like us to keep it going!
  • The improved safety of the school site
  • Regular guided reading

It’s also very helpful to hear where you think we could improve. Four main themes came out of the suggestions this year:

1) Communication

Last year we made lots of improvements and you liked these. Some of you would like there to be fewer emails. We’re trying to work out how to reduce these and communicate more using the website.

Some of you asked for more notice of events, particularly those that involve transporting children and anything with fancy dress! We have already sent you all the fancy dress dates for the year and staff are timetabling other events as early as they can. Some sports fixtures and other events are only organised with short notice but we hope you understand we want the children to be able to take part in as many as possible and do our best to tell you as soon as we know dates.

2) Children’s progress

We hope you’ll think the school's results speak for themselves, but we are going further to ensure children make rapid progress in core subjects. Classes will now be doing maths, guided reading, literacy and wizard maths in the mornings and the management team are reviewing every child’s progress in science with their teachers half termly in the same way as we do for maths and literacy.

A few parents wanted to be sure their children were being stretched enough. Growth mindset is a big focus this year and will help pupils challenge themselves whatever level they are working at. To hear more, read about our priorities for 2018-2019.

Some parents want to understand their child’s progress better. We had very positive feedback about the new format for parents’ evening last year. This year we’ll look at how we explain the way progress is communicated and make sure it’s clear and useful.

3) Homework

This is a tricky one. 24% of respondents don’t feel their children get age appropriate homework. What’s difficult is that people disagree on whether it’s too much or too little and on what type of homework would be best! We’re having a think about homework and we plan a parent information evening and some other communications to explain our approach and how best to help children. Look out for a request from your parent council rep to tell us what you most want to know about.

4) Extra-curricular clubs and events

We had lots of positive feedback about the number of clubs and extracurricular events on offer.

Some of you want to understand more about how children are selected and how we make sure all get a fair chance to be involved. Staff try very hard to help all children take part in activities and keep a record of who attends what. We agree we could be clearer about how and why we select pupils in different ways for different events so children and parents understand. You’ll soon get some information on the principles we use to select or encourage pupils to take part in different sports events.

You also asked us to consider more clubs like choir as well as all the sports clubs. We have listened and drama club is starting this term. Maths club is on the way and choir will be back. Can you help with this? Do you have a passion you could share with the children in a lunchtime or after school club? Chess? Gardening? Knitting?

Enormous thanks to all of you who took part. If you haven’t seen the issue you raised in this summary, please be reassured we have taken account of all your comments.

Keep telling us what you think: your feedback and willingness to come and talk to us straight away with problems helps us get better. You can always talk to staff or to governors. You can also contact your parent council representative or even leave a comment on our news posts!

Brill School Priorities for 2018-2019

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As you’ll see from our results, last year was the latest in improving progress for pupils.

Last year we focused on improving guided reading with regular class sessions and homework to prepare for them. With the help of our amazing volunteers, we encouraged even more use of the library. We also developed wizard maths to include number facts for younger years and put in place short, daily sessions in spelling, grammar and punctuation which are fun and engaging.

This year writing is a big focus. Teachers will be finding exciting stimuli and contexts for writing to motivate children. There will be lots of work on editing and improving writing so that children understand the process or ‘journey’ and have fun with it. Classes have been involved in naming their books for this: they have ‘Brilliant Brainwaves’ books for drafting and ‘Wicked Work’ books for final drafts. Teachers are also changing the way that literacy is assessed with the larger focus on grammar and handwriting that is now expected in schools.

In maths, we will be using more ‘hands-on’ maths equipment to help all children get a deep understanding of number. Have you seen Mr Gore talking to Sky News about this? Maths equipment especially helps children with ‘dyscalculia’ (the number equivalent of dyslexia) but is very important for all maths learners.

Did you know that children’s progress is tracked very carefully each half term? All class teachers meet with the leadership team to review where every child is with maths and literacy and what challenge or support they need next. This year we’re going to track progress in science in the same way.

Growth mindset

Making rapid progress is partly about children having the confidence to challenge themselves. Our pupils understand growth mindset but we need to go further and help all of them rise to a challenge, take risks and see failure as a learning opportunity. We’ll be running an evening for parents about how to help with this - dates coming soon.

Supporting every child

Last year we started using our highly skilled teaching assistants slightly differently in some classes. We organised their time so they could support all children, including those with additional needs, and to actively help children develop their independent learning skills. This approach has really helped children of all abilities and needs tackle more challenging learning tasks, make rapid progress and feel successful.

We have also learned that many strategies for helping children with specific learning needs can help all learners, whether it’s hands-on maths equipment, different coloured backgrounds to help reading, or using different shapes to teach about word types. More and more of these powerful strategies will appear in all our classrooms.

We are tracking the impact of our new timetable for specialist support and continuing to improve how we work in partnership with the parents of children with additional needs.

We will also be offering some workshops and information evenings for parents who want to know how to support their child at home, whether or not their child has any additional needs.

Improving our learning environment

After successful development of the library and the ICT suite, the process of transforming our Year R space has begun this summer. Our new teacher, Gill Salt, has created an imaginative and purposeful outdoor space. Parents and children now come in together at the start of the day through our new entrance and more is to come. Read more on the new Year R blog!

We remain keen to tackle our smallest classrooms in Year 3 and 4 and expand the hall next. We’re very constrained by budget as you can imagine but we’re exploring all the options we can.

Finding out more

If you'd like to hear more about our plans for 2018-19, please watch the videos of our Parents Update evening from September 2018. You can see Mrs White's introduction here, our chair of Governors Liz Cotgreave here, our Deputy Head Mrs Baker here and our Assistant Head Mr Gore here.

Latest Newsletters

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Well done to our Stars of the Week and our Star Spellers

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1st Place in KS1 Multi-Skills Festival

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A team of Year 2 children went to a multi-skills festival at Waddesdon Secondary School on Tuesday evening. The children competed in a range of different activities that practised the skills of agility, co-ordination and balance. Each child earned points on the activities for their team. Our team showed a great level of determination to succeed and we came an amazing 1st place! Miss Butler, our amazing sports champion, was delighted for the team who thoroughly deserved the win. Well done to all of you (yes, including you, Miss Butler!).

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Nerve-Racking Win in Knockout Cup Match for our Y6 Boy's Football Team

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Having progressed through to the next round of the knockout cup tournament, Brill welcomed Oak Green School from Aylesbury. It was an even game with both sides having their share of possession. Oak Green scored first and Brill found it hard to break through their impressive defence. Half-way through the second half, Brill managed to pick up the pace and as a result of some brilliant teamwork, Freddy managed to score. With the score level at full time, the match went to extra time. Brill were relentless and following some excellent passing, Freddy scored a brilliant goal in the top corner. Oak Green fought back, but with some brilliant saves by Jasper, they were unable to affect the score line. Final score 2-1 to Brill. Amazing play by all the Year 6 boys. Well done!

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GB Athlete, Toby Olubi, Promotes Growth Mindset

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Toby Olubi, Olympic bobsleigh athlete, inspired us all during his visit through his messages promoting the value of effort and having the mindset of never giving up. In a whole school assembly, Toby told us all how he focused when he was at school. He told us that had to learn to learn; this helped him to focus on his goal to become an Olympic athlete. 

During the morning, all classes enjoyed practical sessions with Toby and loved working on a variety of sports skills. Everyone felt very fortunate to hear how important a growth mindset has been for a real life Olympian!

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Year 4 Travel Back in Time

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During their trip to Reading Museum this week, Year 4 experienced life in a Victorian school room. It was a hugely insightful day and gave a real experience of what school was like for children in Victorian times. Here are a few comments from the children about the day:

"My arms ached because I had to keep my hands behind my back all the time."

"I wasn't allowed to use my left hand, even though I am left handed." 

"The teacher was very strict."

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Magic Maths Club

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Here is our Magic Maths club in action. The children are having great fun in these sessions and are learning so much about the magic of maths!

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Latest Football News

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Following a recent loss against Long Crendon, in which our boy's team showed great resilience to the final whistle, they won their latest match 5-2. Passing was excellent and shots on target! Well done.

Our girl's team lost their most recent match but showed determination in their approach and refused to give up. We are really proud of the Growth Mindset they demonstrated. Great job, girls!

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We Love Pudsey!

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Today, many of our children came to school wearing spots or mufti so that we could raise money for Pudsey and Children in Need 2018. We managed to raise £259.80 and are pleased we could play a part in helping other children who need our support.

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Are You Safe when Online?

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We know that internet safety is vitally important for all and this forms part of our e-safety lessons within our computing curriculum. In addition to this, our PCSO has been in school this week delivering appropriately pitched sessions to all our children from Year R to Year 6. Children have been learning about how to protect themselves when using the internet and also what they need to do if they are worried about anything they see or encounter when online. Thank you to Sue, our PCSO, whose help has been hugely valuable. 

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Dance troupe wow Aylesbury!

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See dance by clicking here.

Our amazing dance troupe took to the stage for the big Christmas lights switch on in Aylesbury town centre last night. Before the huge crowds, the team performed with confidence and great style. Amazing! Well done to all involved. What a huge success! 

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