Brill Church Of England School

With the Wind in our Sails

BRILL SCHOOL TOP IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE! Our end of Key Stage 2 SATS results have placed us at the top of the Buckinghamshire Primary Schools League table for Reading

Latest News

Our Year 1 Safety Spokespeople Go Live!

School News

Day 3 - International Day 2019 (including a visit by 10 local school leaders!)

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It turns out, there was a didgeridoo after all. Mr Birt, was that you practising last night?

During Day 3 of International Week, we were also visited by 10 local Head Teachers who had come to join in some of the fun! Our visitors were VERY impressed by what they saw and they all wished they could spend more time with us. Shown around school by our Year 6 tour guides during the morning, the Head Teachers were hugely positive about all the learning and activities they saw and the conversations they had with our children in all classes. We let them have a look at our Brilliant Brainwaves and Wicked Word books too, while they were here. They thought the books and the content were BRILLIANT. It was lovely to be able to hear the children talk proudly about our school and to be so confident with our invited guests.

We now only have one more day to get ready for INTERNATIONAL DAY 2019! Time for an early night!

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Our Year 1 Safety Spokespeople Go Live!

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You may have noticed we had our gate into the car park closed this morning. Three children from Year 1 are sharing the reasons why in the small video clip at the top of the page. 

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It's International Week 2019!

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Do keep an eye on our International Blog this week. You'll find it on our Home Page. Scroll down to the 'International Links' area to see our daily updates on some of the learning and experiences happening in class this week. We are aiming to do daily updates so that we can share the build up to our International Day on Friday, when all the children will be visiting different countries in each classroom!

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SEN Information Evening & Film Night

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Thursday 28th February 2019

3.30pm and 5.20pm, Brill Schoo.l

Dyslexia? Dyscalculia? ASD? Do you have anyone you know who has any kind of additional need? How does school support children who have additional needs? How does external support work within Buckinghamshire? Are you interested in finding out more for yourself or a friend or a family member? If you answered yes to any of these questions or if you are just interested, do please come along to these information sessions.

Our dynamic and creative school councillors are currently planning two film nights for our children to happen simultaneously alongside our evening information sessions. We hope this will enable as many of you as possible to attend. Details will soon follow once the councillors have designed and created their adverts and their plan for the film nights.

SEN and additional needs can be very sensitive topics and do be assured there will be no pressure to share any personal information. The aim of the evening is to recognise that the more we learn from each other and the more we work together, the better the support will be for our children who have additional needs. You are warmly welcomed to come and hear about our ethos around SEN support in school, some of the strategies we use and some of the positive impact that has happened when we work together for the best for our children.

If you have any questions ahead of time, do contact the school office on We would love to see as many of you there as possible so that we can learn to support one another and, most importantly, our children.

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Year 4 or a Roman Banquet......or is it an Invasion?

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Year 4 became Romans for the day on Wednesday this week. They made Roman shields and victor's wreaths. For their Roman banquet they wrote their own Roman menus before trying out some food. This was followed by some marching around the play ground and practising of their battle formations. Miss Webb led the troops for the day and was very proud of her Roman army. Everyone's costume looked amazing. Well done, Year 4!

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Some of the Many Reasons we Love Forest School!

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Half of Year 2 had a morning filled with problem solving last week in the forest with Mrs Keeping. One of the smaller groups were so keen to get the bucket to travel down the rope, they just kept trying new ideas until they made it work. There was also the chance to create their own challenges and even to be artistic in several ways. Was any of it it easy? No! Did all the tasks take several attempts? Yes! Did some mud get spilt along the way? Absolutely! Did the children work together to find a solution? They most definitely did!

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New Books!

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Thank you to all parents that supported our Book Fair back in November.  The way the Fair works is that Travelling Books give us a percentage of the total sales as credit to spend on books for the School.  This is just a selection of the new books that we've bought for the library with our credits!  Thank you!

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Website Highlight - Sports Focus

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There's so much to explore on our website that we have decided to occasionally pick out a particular highlight. 

Have you seen our Sports page?

As you will all be aware, we have an amazing champion for sport at our school in Miss Butler. Her energy and enthusiasm for creating as many opportunities as possible for our children is simply outstanding. 

On this snow day, why not be inspired as you read about some of what we do in sport in school and why we do it? The eagle-eyed amongst you will no doubt notice the references to the importance of a Growth Mindset! (Yes, I'll include reference to it as often as possible - it's important!) At the bottom of the sports page, for any who might not yet have noticed the selection policies, do have a look. Miss Butler created these several months ago to make clear how we select children for clubs, festivals, tournaments and squads. I sat with Miss Butler yesterday as we were in the final stages of sorting clubs for next half term and was staggered at how many children have already been included in tournaments and festivals this academic year. Astonishing!

We will continue to strive to do our best. We will continue to teach resilience. We will continue to show excellent attitude in sports. We will continue to be very proud of all of our children in their engagement and approach to the challenges of sport. Let's Do This Team Brill!

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It's a musical day today!

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Many musical sounds have been heard around and about school today. Monday is officially our most active day in terms of music. We've had tuneful violin action, melodious flute playing, musical piano playing, string instruments being represented by a few guitarists and their guitars, the sounds of happy singing and some djembe drum action in the music room. What a musical bunch we are!

For those of you who haven't yet heard the news, we have a performance slot each Friday, as children come into the hall for our star of the week assembly. The performances so far have been amazing. The slots can be for instrumental playing, singing or dance. The audience is always very appreciative. Do encourage your child to sign up for next half term. Be brave! Have a go!

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Well done to our Star Spellers and Stars of the Week! 25.1.19

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Latest Newsletters

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.