Brill Church Of England School

With the Wind in our Sails

We are delighted to share news of the outcome from our recent Ofsted visit. Many highlights are included in the letter on our Ofsted tab!

School News

Respect on the rugby pitch

admin on: School News

  

What a week for sport at Brill School! On Thursday 20th June, Brill’s Y5/6 rugby squad headed off to the Mixed Tag Rugby Finals at Aylesbury Rugby Club, having qualified on their previous outing. An all-day event on grass, the festival opted against an official scoring system – rather, the competition was judged by the School Games Values on display, alongside effective play. Eventual winners were decided by all the participating schools voting for other teams, as well as the tournament referees casting their own votes: we are chuffed to bits that Brill won the award for Respect, a key value in our own school. We couldn’t be prouder of the team: Freddy H, Jasper D, Joe G, Annabel W, Ayjah S, Edward D, Olly C, Isobel S, Bryn G, Leo V and Sam G-H. Congratulations (and respect) to all!

0 comment


Alice Shares!

admin on: School News

        

We wanted to tell you about Alice's decision concerning her recent haircut because she and her family are feeling really pleased she has been able to help others by sharing her hair! Alice had a 36cm hair cut and has sent her hair to Little Princess Trust, to make a wig for a child who has cancer. Very thoughtful and kind, Alice. A true demonstration of our school values!

0 comment


Netballers are Lv 2 winners – next up, County Champs!

admin on: School News

  

They’ve only gone and done the double! A few short weeks after qualifying for Level 3 County Championships in hockey, our Y6 pupils arrived at the Lv 2 Games Festival at Stoke Mandeville Stadium ready to take on the best of the Buckingham Partnership in netball.

They’d worked hard under the expert eye of our parent coach, Andrea Keegan, volunteering for extra practise sessions (having great fun at the same time, it must be said) and it had already been an exciting journey getting through the earlier rounds. On Wednesday, they took it up a notch: the team played 8 matches throughout the day, drawing two and winning all their others to finish in a fabulous 1st place. This means they go through to the Lv 3 County Championships, representing the Buckingham Schools’ Partnership.

Mrs Tuffley was courtside, having been a regular presence at training, supporting players and coach: "Highlights were their mature attitudes and encouragement of one another, particularly as we had to follow the guidelines of rotating players each game so they didn't play in their preferred positions," she says. "Ayjah showed calm and consistent play; Francine was like a terrier in defence; Olly demonstrated great shooting; Sophia was nippy at getting into space; Annabel was courageous in every position; Freddy showed superb marking, heaping pressure on the opposition; and Sam's accuracy when shooting gave the team a huge morale boost in the opening game."

It is an outstanding result in what is shaping up to be Brill’s best-ever year for sport. We are delighted for Mrs Keegan, Brill’s very own ‘netball mum’, who has supported and encouraged all our players over many months: “I am so proud of them all," she says. "There were lots of goals across the day and they showed great communication and teamwork.” We owe Andrea huge thanks for all her hard work, and our appreciation also goes to the Y6 parents who have routinely helped out at practise sessions – thank you, Mrs Soden and Mrs Tuffley. Congratulations to the team: Ayjah S, Annabel W, Francine E, Freddy H, Olly C, Sam G-H and Sophia H-C.

0 comment


Our school values shine bright at the Lv2 Games Festival

admin on: School News

   

   

On Wednesday, we took five fantastic teams to the Level 2 Games Festival at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, an Area final for those who qualified when representing Brill at the Waddesdon Family Level 1 Festival. Participation was against a number of schools and the standard, as you’d expect, was high.

We were delighted to have so many children taking part at this level with representation across the disciplines and in different year groups. All the children showed respect and fair play, finishing the day with some very creditable results, too – a whopping 42 teams entered at Lv 1 so to finish in these positions is a superb achievement:

  • Y3/4 tennis team came 5th
  • Y3/4 badminton team came 4th
  • Y3/4 hockey team came 4th
  • Y5 badminton team came 4th
  • Brill’s Y6 netball team came away in 1st place (see separate report).

Competitors, you all made Brill staff very proud! Miss Webb said the Y3/4 hockey players showed “pure determination” in a tough competition and never gave up. Mr Dickson was impressed by the “confidence and persistence” of Y5’s badminton players, while Miss Butler praised the whole Brill team for embodying all our school values on the wider competitive stage. "They were all amazing," she said, "I'm so proud of them and the values, and sportsmanship, they showed."

0 comment


Wow! Respect!

admin on: School News

A whole blog post, just for you, Tai! Earlier today, I visited the children in their classrooms and we discussed the importance of showing respect to all adults at all times, including those who visit us sometimes (like the brilliant Mr Lee, one of our music teachers). Tai was caught doing the right thing by Miss Freeland in his music lesson today, even though he didn't know Miss Freeland was watching. It wasn't just for part of the lesson, it was for the whole lesson. Tai could have made some different choices about behaviour, but he consistently made the right choice and Miss Freeland was very proud of him for that!

I especially love to have visits from children in school when they are feeling proud of themselves and today, Tai felt very happy with himself! I have never given out 5 Headteacher stickers before and I probably won't again - but today, this was well deserved. For our value of respect, Tai, you have been a real advocate!

0 comment


Miss Armstrong Takes One Small Step

admin on: School News

  

We have been very fortunate to have had Miss Armstrong on our team for the past few months. In assembly this afternoon, following a rendition of 'You've Got a Friend in Me' by the whole school, Miss Armstrong was presented with an amazing card made by the children and a lovely bunch of flowers. We will be sad to see Miss Armstrong go BUT we are very excited for her as she begins her journey towards becoming a teacher. As Oliver said during assembly, you are indeed 'Terrific' and it has been said you are also 'A Netball Goddess'! Stay in touch, Miss Armstrong. We'd love to hear how you are getting on!

0 comment


Hockey players finish 1st: we’re off to County Championships!

admin on: School News

     

Yet again, our Y5&6 hockey stars played with complete passion at the Buckingham School to clinch a place at July’s upcoming Lv 3 County Championships: in the event, they did it comfortably, not dropping a game. Following success in the first round of the competition back in May, our talented players are thrilled to be representing the Buckingham Schools' Partnership at the next level, having finished first in the Finals round on Thursday night.
Playing six-a-side, rotating two subs, they drew two games and won three – the only team in the competition not to concede a match. Five squad members scored goals – Olly C (5), Sam G-H (2), Freddy H (1), Nina B (1) and Ivy H (1) – and we are particularly pleased that two of these attacking players come from our Y5 class; congratulations to Nina and Ivy on stepping up, seamlessly, to join Y6. Annabel W was strong in defence, Sophia H-C demonstrated good control, and Francine E made some great crosses. All of them demonstrated speed, strength, agility and determination – it was, as you’d expect at this level, a whole team performance. Well done on a fantastic result; you never cease to amaze us!

0 comment


Girls’ football grows in strength

admin on: School News

 

Our Y5&6 girls’ football team, approaching the close of its inaugural year, played through sunshine and showers, in two teams, to finish 4th and 8th out of a field of 14 schools at the Buckingham Girls’ Football Festival on Tuesday. Split into Brill 1 and Brill 2, the players all enjoyed themselves with each team competing in six matches overall.
One of our goal scorers, and member of Brill 1, Francine E, says: “In our pool, we won one game and drew all the others which meant we went through to play off for 3rd place. Unfortunately, we lost out to Overstone, so we finished 4th but we have improved so much.”
Congratulations to all the girls who took part – as ever, you showcased effort, good humour, persistence and a fantastic attitude: Sophia H-C, Evie T, Leah G, Hermione A, Annabel W, Ayjah S, Francine E, Ivy H, Holly G, Annie H, Georgia A, Alice C, Ellie E-M and Bella M.

0 comment


Young golfers tee off!

admin on: School News

  

Building on the work of our after-school golf club, we entered two teams in the Tri Golf Festival at Buckingham School this week, a participatory event for children in Years 3&4, taking along a grand total of 19 players.

Under the keen eye of Miss Butler, the children put their skills to the test at a variety of stations; each one tested something different, offering opportunities to practise chipping, putting or aiming at targets. A special mention must go to Tyler M (Y3) who showed great promise with a natural swing, and Grace T and Maisie H in Y4 who managed to score the highest points on one station across the competition.

All the children said how much they enjoyed the event with Brill finishing 2nd and 3rd out of the four teams taking part. It’s a super start for our young golfers! Congratulations on a great day out to all the participants: Beau P, Maggie G, Millie A, Georgia M, Ava Bl, Edward A, Callum B, Rowan F, Tyler M, Oliver M, Ava Ba, Grace T, Maisie H, Lilly K, Sophie P, Ewan M, Lucas M, Arthur H and Harry C.

0 comment


Check Out Our New Interactive Screens!

admin on: School News

  

  

We are very excited to share some photos of our new screens in action! Funded by the monies raised at Art of the Hill 2019, we had our new screens installed during the half term break. Now, every class (including the music room) has an interactive board that can facilitate sound, images and interactivity simultaneously, which is something that wasn't previously the case in some classrooms!

Thank you again to the Art on the Hill committee and our very active PTA committee. Without you, this would not have been possible!

0 comment


Our Year 1 Safety Spokespeople Go Live!

Brill Highlights

Brill Results!

nphipps on: Brill Highlights

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

nphipps on: Brill Highlights

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

nphipps on: Brill Highlights

Progress

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.