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! Join us to see the School at work at our Open Morning on 8th November. Please contact the School Office to book your place.

BRILL SCHOOL NEWS

Year 1 Musicians Show What They Can Do!

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Year 1 are very keen to share their new musical skill: Reading, writing and playing different musical rhythms. WOW! 

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Year 6 Trip to RAF Halton

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Last week, our Year 6 children went on an amazing trip, to RAF Halton. In the words of Sophia H-C Y6; “In one of the workshops, we watched a drone with a camera. We were lucky enough to wear VR viewer goggles, which allowed us to see the bird’s eye view from the drone. We were taught how to communicate using walkie talkies. We learnt lots of facts about airfields and weather devices, such as how to read a weather sock, and were told what that information could mean to a pilot. My favourite thing was sitting in the 2-seater plane and learning what it is like to be a pilot, which was very interesting and exciting.”

 

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Year 6 Inspired by Oxford Student

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Last Thursday, Year 6 welcomed Beth, a Year 13 student from Oxford, who shared with them a fascinating presentation of her recent trip to Germany. Beth then taught some German and shared photos of her visit. Danke schön, Beth, es war fantastisch!

 

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Brill School Priorities for 2018-2019

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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.

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We need your help!

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We are lucky to have incredibly supportive parents. Parents run extra-curricular clubs, read with children in class, organise PTA events and more.

We depend on the money raised by the PTA for all big developments in school, to help pay for school trips and for many smaller expenses like PE equipment. With school budgets the way they are, this support is more important than ever.

Right now you could:

  • Earn the school free money just by doing your regular shopping with easyfundraising. More info at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/brillcoepta.
  • Support the PTA: Come along to events, volunteer, join the team, or make a donation. Contact brillpta@gmail.com to volunteer.
  • Use your skills in school: Can you run a lunchtime or after school club? Chess? Knitting? Gardening? What is your passion?
  • Become a parent governor. Apply by 28th September (see this letter)

We also depend on you to help us keep improving the school: your feedback and willingness to come and talk to us straight away with problems helps us get better. Please tell us what you think:

  • Contact your parent council reps,
  • Talk to the staff or governors.
  • Leave a comment on our news posts!

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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!

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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.

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Brill School Council 2018 - Results!

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We are pleased to announce our new Year 6 School Council members.

Congratulations to: Issy.H, Scarlett.M, Annabel.W, Ayjah.S, Sophia.HC and Freddy.H.

A new political era begins!

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School Council Elections

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Excitement was building first thing this morning in Yr 6 as School Council candidates prepared to deliver their speeches.  Articulate and engaging, the candidates captured the attention of their audience with their presentations.

The results will be released when the ballots have been counted and verified...watch this space!

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Brill School on Sky News!

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Screenshot from Sky News report featuring Brill School

Our fantastic year 3s and Mr Gore were stars of a Sky News report last night about maths.

Researchers had found that a little known condition - dyscalculia - which makes it harder for people to learn maths, may be as common as dyslexia.

The producers wanted to see a primary school teaching maths and asked if they could come to Brill.

Mr Gore - our maths coordinator as well as year 3's teacher - explained how we teach maths to engage all abilities, and our year 3s showed how fun learning maths can be!

You can see the report here.

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Windmill Pre-School is officially OUTSTANDING!

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Windmill Pre-School

Some fantastic news from our neighbours Windmill Pre-School.

They have just been assessed by OFSTED and have been rated Outstanding!

The inspector said the "management and staff team are extremely passionate and dedicated in providing the very best quality practice. They have an uncompromising and highly successful drive to ensure that all children are making outstanding progress in all areas of learning" and praised the "partnerships with and support for parents" as "exceedingly strong".

You can read the full report here .

As you know, many of the children from the pre-school join year R - and we're delighted all the hard work Claire and the team at the pre-school have put in, has been recognised!

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Our End of Year results

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End of year results, 2018

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Spanish Food Tasting

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Years 5 and 6 have been working very hard learning new vocabulary and how to express opinions in Spanish lessons this term. As a reward, they were treated to a food tasting lesson so they could use their new language in a realistic context. 

Many of the children had never tried paella or freshly prepared tortilla and most were pleasantly surprised to find that they liked them. They were able to say so in Spanish!

" I wish every Spanish lesson could be like this" summed up the opinion of the majority of Year 5 and 6 pupils after trying 9 different sorts of traditional Spanish food. ¡Viva español!

 

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My personal experience in Boreatton Park, by Holly, Y6

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Years 5 and 6, from Brill C of E School, recently visited Boreatton Park. Boreatton Park, also known as PGL, is an educational, residential trip where children across the world visit. There are multiple PGLs across England, even some in Australia. PGL is a place for school children to experience new opportunities, for example: bringing out a new, brave side, with daring activities. This is my experience of doing everything scary I could get my hands on.

When my classmates and I arrived, two main instructors were there to greet us in our camp ground. They would later be the instructors who would be there all the time unless we were doing activities.

It was a pleasant surprise when we got into out tents to find mattresses and a bed frame. Personally, I thought we would be on a concrete floor with our sleeping bags and pillows. However, the surprises didn’t end there. The food was the best surprise of them all because it was absolutely, delicious. It was amazing quality- you really couldn’t go hungry. They even had a range of good food for people with allergies. There were two hot food sections; a fruit bar with apples oranges and bananas; a salad bar with every veg you could think of plus things like pasta salads and potato salads and there was unlimited water and juice. Anyway enough about food, let’s move onto other exciting things.

The activities offered a chance for teamwork and friendships to be built. The activities were definitely the best part. My personal favourite was the giant swing because you were pulled up 15 meters and the only way to get back down was to pull a string which would release the swing and you would fall! My other favourite part was the zip wire; it was the view which was the best part. I did everything and I don’t regret a thing.

Boreatton Park is the best experience I will ever have- that was one amazing week. You really should go if you can and all you really need is courage. When you do everything, you get a good feeling and you’re so busy you don’t even get home sick. Finally, when you’re home, your trip will be the conversation starter which never ends.

 

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Brill trip to Tiggywinkles! By Samantha and Lennon, Y6

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Children from each class were invited to visit ‘Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.’ It started in Les Stocker’s garden shed and now is Europe’s leading wildlife hospital.

We were able to see the polecats being fed- they grabbed their food and scurried into tunnels to eat the food privately. They are extremely lucky animals because, in the early 1900s, they were severely endangered, due to the ‘Fur trade.’  People would make their fur into scarfs and coats; fortunately, that became illegal.

When we saw the animals that had been trapped or hit by a car, we thought about how much pain the animals felt and we felt their pain too. All the animals in Tiggywinkles were wild ones that people had tamed and made into pets. The staff try to keep them wild and release them back into their natural habitat. However Scarlett, the hedgehog, can’t go back into the wild because she has lost an eye due to a lawn mower accident and she damaged the muscle that goes round her body that enables her to curl up into a ball.

How to help local wildlife:

  • Leave piles of sticks for hedgehogs to live in- hedgehogs don’t like gardens too tidy!
  • Remember DO NOT feed them milk, as they are lactose intolerant; although, they can have soft dog food.
  • Hedgehogs like hedges! If you have a garden fence make a small hole so they can crawl through to find food.
  • Try not to disturb or move a hedgehog’s habitat- let them move themselves. Parents may abandon their young if they smell like a human.

 

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Yr 1 Trip to College Lake

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Last week Year 1 and their teddies went to the beautiful College Lake to look for the mischievous Edward Bear. During their search for him, Year 1 awakened their senses in the herb  and flower gardens, as well as attending an exciting nature concert.  Unbeknown to them the cheeky Edward Bear had taken their teddies and packed lunches to a teddy bear’s picnic! We eventually found them and enjoyed munching our lunches in the great outdoors. In the afternoon we enjoyed learning about what living things need to survive through a selection of fun games.  A huge thank you to Miss Turner, Miss Parke and Mrs Birmingham for all your amazing help.   Lots of learning, smiles and sunshine made for a memorable, lovely trip.

 

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Visit by Leysa Henderson, Author of ‘Lost Lives’

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This week, the author (Leysa Anderson) of ‘Lost Lives’ visited our school and talked to KS2 about the conservation of rainforest animals and the impact of global warming.

Scarlett said: 'It's changed my life- I'm now not eating palm oil.'

Leah and Izzy thought the videos were 'moving' and they loved learning about new places and animals.

Many children have been inspired to reduce waste and re-use what they can. 

Remember: everything that we do has an impact on the environment- what can we do to make sure that it's a positive one? 

 

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Yr 6 Mixed Tag Rugby Level 2 Festival

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We took a team of 8 children to Buckingham School to play in a tag rugby festival.  We made a start by winning all of our pool games confidently, putting us through to the finals round where we played Bourton Meadow School.  This was a very tense final, with unbelievable determination to win from both sides.  We drew the final match meaning we had to play a ‘golden try’, which we triumphantly won.  Brill School came 1st overall and have made it through to the finals at Aylesbury Rugby Club next week.  We are so proud of all the children involved, their amazing standard of play and attitude shown throughout the festival.  We are all very excited for next week! Congratulations Milla CP, Fergus G, Tilly J, Freddie L, Nat M, William P, Harry S and Lula S.

 

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Yr 6 American Flag Football Festival

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Ten children from Yr 6 spent the day on Thursday learning the rudiments of American Flag Football, under the expert eye of specialist coaches at the Mandeville School in Aylesbury.  After a morning spent on skills and drills, learning how to throw and catch the ball ‘US-style’ and mastering basic rules of the game, the children took part in some fast-paced, competitive matches against other schools during the afternoon.  All of the children performed with enthusiasm, winning three out of four matches, and showed great team spirit.  Well done Esme B, Samantha D, Eavie F, Fergus G, Freddie H, Tilly J, Dan N, William P, Raul Q and Lula S.

 

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High Five Netball Friendly v Long Crendon

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In preparation for the Level 2 Games next week we took our qualifying High 5 team to play a friendly against Long Crendon.  We were really proud of the team who showed compassion, sportsmanship and amazing skill.  The final result was 13-9, well played Billy H, Milla C-P, Lara M, Abi O, Harry S and Anna W.

 

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Yr 5/6 Girls Football Friendly v Long Crendon

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Two Brill football teams consisting of year 5 and 6 girls, took part in a friendly against Tetsworth on Wednesday afternoon. The girls have been training very hard and these matches were a perfect opportunity to show what they were capable of.  The girls are all extremely proud of themselves, as they should be.  Each one of them showed courage and determination in every minute of both games. Well done, Tilly J, Esme B, Sophia H-C, Samantha D, Lara M, Abi O, Francine E, Evie T, Ayjah S, Milla C-P, Anna W, Lula S and Eavie F.

 

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KS2 Thame Partnership Sports Event

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This was our first time participating in this event and what a great success it was!  All children involved thoroughly enjoyed their event, whether it was a sack, egg and spoon, obstacle, skipping, sprint or relay race!  We came 4th overall but as always amazing effort and determination was shown by all children who represented Brill School brilliantly.  Well done Ava Ba, Jakey O, Grace, Ryan W, Siena H-C, Emilia A, Ewan M, Callum B, Izzy A-G, Hugo B, Annie H, Dita J, Ellie E-M, Nina B, Grace A, Joe G, Tijmen P, Theo B, Edward D, Leah G, Evie T, Freddy H, Annabel W, Sophia H-C, Francine E, Jack W, Sam G-H, Lula S, Will P, Bea C, Fergus G, Hugo P, James T, Zack A, Eavie F, Coco L and Tilly J.

 

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BBC 500 words Final!

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500 Words Final by Isobel (Yr 5)

We were delighted that one of our pupils attended the 500 Words final. Her report follows:-  On Friday the 8th of June, I went to Hampton Court Palace for the 500 words final. There were over 3000 people there and we saw lots of celebrities, such as John Newman, Jim Broadbent and David Walliams. I also liked listening to some of the winning stories. It was an amazing day. By Isobel (Yr 5)

  

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Big Brill Camp

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Nick Cope

Thank you to everyone who supported the Big Brill Camp last weekend. It certainly looked like everyone had a great time...from the children sliding down the water slide, acting as hungry hippos, and making some excellent slime - to the adults enjoying one or two drinks, watching the sunset, listening to some great music and showing off some fantastic moves at the Silent Disco.

It would not be possible to put on such an amazing, impeccably organised event without the hard work of a group of amazing people who go above and beyond to bring this event to Brill School and our community. To all who were involved in the organising committee and those who took on some of the bigger responsibilities on site, from the set up and take down crew, those involved in recruit-ing and looking after the bands, and organising of all the activities, the wonderful catering teams who delivered up a feast, a really BIG THANK YOU! You are all truly amazing!

Thank you also to everyone who volunteered their time to help on site; the event couldn't have happened without this wonderful support, as well as everyone who bought a ticket, and to Caroline David for allowing us to use her land. And lastly, thank you to the endlessly wonderful and munificent Alan Horton for organising and implementing the spectacular totem pole art structure—another triumph of imagination and skill which provided a worthy centrepiece for the event.

With so many people volunteering their time to organise and support Big Brill Camp for this term, we have decided not to hold the Summer fete this year, but hopefully it will be back next year.

One of the camp attendee this year - Barry Duncan - has made a fantastic video showing some of the fun that was had. You can see it here.

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Our New Website

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For a while, we have wanted to re-launch the school's website.

Mrs White and the governing body were becoming increasingly frustrated that our site didn't reflect the special, unique school we know that Brill is - warm, achieving and in our fantastic location in our beautiful village on top of the hill. We also wanted to make the website simpler and easier to navigate for parents and pupils, to find the information and news you want to know.

A small group of us have been working with our website provider, Webanywhere, on the redesign and this is the result. We are indebted to the fantastic Victoria Timms who has taken many of the photos that you can see here.

We are very keen to hear your comments - what you like, what you don't like, what's missing, what you think we could change. Please leave any comments below.

Thanks very much!

Nick Phipps - governor and parent

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School Uniform - summer promotion

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The M&S Your School Uniform Summer Promotion is here!

All uniform for your school that appears on the Your School Uniform website will be reduced by 20% from 5th June to 3rd July 2016.

This offer is running during the peak school uniform buying period so parents will get to make a great saving, especially those in need of a complete uniform ready for new enrollments in September!

Remember the promotion ends 3rd July and all orders should be received by 31st July to ensure delivery for the new term

If you have any queries on this please call the support team on 0333 014 8419.

The Your School Uniform Team

www.mandsyourschooluniform.com

* Applies only to uniform available at www.mandsyourschooluniform.com. Subject to

availability.

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Big Brill Camp - one week to go!

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Just one week till we get together!

We are proud of the fact that Big Brill Camp is a safe and friendly environment for everyone of all ages to enjoy not only the great outdoors but also some great live music. Many of the children who attend have their first experience of seeing a live band at the Camp. We hope that this may inspire some of them to take up music themselves or encourage them to take things further and start playing with others and performing.

So this year it's very exciting that the brilliant tutors from our local music academy, XYZ Music, will be with us all day on the Saturday to offer free, no obligation, taster lessons on guitar, keyboard and drums! Drop-in sessions will run from 10am - 4pm and will be run on a first come, first served basis. However, they will do their best to book specific times for people on request.

You can see more on the Big Brill Camp on our Facebook page.

Next stop the Big Brill Camp stage!

www.xyzmusicacademy.com
https://www.facebook.com/xyzmusicacademy
https://www.instagram.com/xyzmusicacademy/

Michael Swan, Big Brill Camp organiser

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College Lake trip

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Year four had a wonderful time at College Lake nature reserve in early May.

They explored the beautiful habitats there and were involved in lots of role play pretending to be an animal or plant that called the reserve its home.

As well as this, they also considered how humans can damage an environment and the knock-on effect this would have on wildlife.

Overall a very educational and exciting trip enjoyed by all!

Miss Webb, Year 4 teacher

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