Brill Church Of England School

With the Wind in our Sails

Open Morning on Monday 11th November 9.00-11.30am. See News page for more details.

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

A Musical Visit - The New Mozart Orchestra

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A huge thank you to the members of the New Mozart Orchestra who came and visited us in school today. We were all delighted by the story of Hansel and Gretel and the musical accompaniment. Being introduced to all the different instruments in the orchestra was inspirational and the children enjoyed hearing a little more about each family of instruments. 

For the majority of our children at Brill, this was the first time they had seen an orchestra playing live, which was really exciting and enlightening. "I really liked being able to see all the instruments playing together!" (Arthur)

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Run, Brill, run!

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Wet weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of our KS2 distance runners as they took on Long Crendon and Haddenham schools at cross-country last week. Mr Dickson brought out a Brill team in full strength: 33 runners from Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 competed in six races with many of our children placed in the top three.

Special mention to the winners in their categories: Lara C (Yr 3), George H (Yr 3), Alfie F (Yr 4) and Lyla V (Yr 5).

Our hosts, Long Crendon School, ensured it was a well-organised occasion and we were delighted that Brill carried home the trophy for overall team performance. Congratulations to all our cross-country champions!

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Maths Challenge Day!

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Stop the clock! Year 6 sent a team of four talented mathematicians to Magdalen College School in Oxford for the afternoon on Tuesday 1st October, ready to pit their wits against a series of eleven challenges devised by staff and sixth formers at the school. These included Triangular Solitaire, Pentomino and the Tangram Plane puzzle; a large stop clock gave participants just four minutes to complete each station, ensuring some quick mental arithmetic.

Claudia B said, “I enjoyed working as a team to solve the problems,” while teammate Nina B liked the challenge of the timed element. The group performed very well, finishing all bar two of the problems within the allotted time. Well done Tijmen P, Nina B, Alice C and Claudia B.

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Our Stars of the Week and Star Spellers - Well Done!

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Jeans for Genes

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Our school uniform was slightly adapted today as we raised funds for a very worthwhile charity. Jeans for Genes helps some of the most vulnerable children in the UK. We want to help children who have to cope with genetic disorders and this was one way we felt we could. The total raised was £223.86

Thank you to everyone for your support.

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Brill Highlights

Parent Update Evening 2019

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To listen to podcasts from the evening, click here.

2019 Priorities

As you will all know, we had a short visit from OFSTED inspection in the spring. The inspector gave us very positive feedback, even describing our school as “a jewel of a school in beautiful surroundings”. One reason they came to see us is the excellent progress pupils have made over the last three years. In the inspector’s words:

“In the 2018 national tests and assessments, pupils’ achievement was exceptionally strong. Pupils’ results were particularly impressive in key stage 2. You and your staff have not been complacent following these top-notch results. There is a strong ethos of self-improvement.”    (You can read the inspector’s short letter here and by then clicking on the OFSTED 2019 image)

She encouraged us ‘be brave’ and develop our ethos and curriculum even further. So that is what we are setting out to do this year. Our three top priorities are:

Develop our curriculum

OFSTED are changing the way they inspect schools. They are now looking for depth of learning across all parts of the curriculum rather than focusing narrowly on maths and literacy. Here’s what they had to say about our school:

“They (the children) are exceptionally well stimulated by the challenging topics they study. Pupils are also enthused by the raft of additional opportunities provided by the school, which are a feature of the curriculum.”

We know our curriculum can be even better. We want children to understand what it takes to be a ‘Brill Geographer’ or a ‘Brill Historian’ and challenge themselves to learn more about their topics. This term the teachers are focusing on Art and History. They started the year with an abstract art workshop with a practising artist to learn more about teaching the subject. We’ll be updating our website to explain more about our approach and give you the information you need to support your children. Please see link to our Curriculum Intent document for more detail.

Challenge our children even more to help them grow as individuals

The inspector said the children were “a credit to us” (and you!) and praised their resilience, knowledge and the way they look after each other. 

We believe that children’s ability to respond to challenge, learn independently and find their interests and talents is every bit as important as curriculum learning. Our Christian values and the activities we build in through their school years (from the buddy system to forest school, residential trips to pupil-led fundraising activities) are a key part of their personal development. We want you to understand the intention behind this approach and our expectations for the children because it shapes homework, behaviour systems and more. We’ll be explaining more during this year (starting with homework). We are also doing lots in class to encourage children to stretch themselves further with all their learning. Look out for blog posts with more about this.

Please see this link 'How to help every child for fill their potential'

Develop our facilities

With your support (and our wonderful PTA of course!) we have been lucky enough to develop our facilities a great deal over the last few years, from the library and IT suite, to this year’s interactive whiteboards and lockers. We are now looking ahead to the next 3-5 years with ambitions to develop our sporting facilities further, in collaboration with the village community. The children will be involved in our plans and we’ll tell you more as we progress. 

Parent Survey 2019

We are delighted so many of you filled in our parent survey again this year (72 people) and that your feedback was so positive! You can see the results here.

We had positive comments on things that got better last year including:

  • how we support our pupils with additional needs and work with their parents
  • The breadth of extra-curricular clubs on offer
  • how we communicate with you
  • the sports opportunities on offer for all children

We’ve also taken account of all your suggestions for further improvement.

Homework

Parents have different views on homework so we’re trying something new! We hope that giving children a choice of tasks for the half term will help them learn independence and enable them to choose the kind of homework that suits them. We are just starting out with this and will adapt it as children, teachers and parents try it out. Let us know what you think and tell us if you need more information.

Communicating about children’s progress

A few parents told us they would like to understand their child’s progress more clearly. We will use the first parent council of the year to find out more about what parents want. Please look out for a request for input from your class reps and tell us what you think.

Communicating with parents

Most of you told us we are doing a great job and that you have enjoyed parent information evenings, online club booking and the website. We know there is always more we can do so we will be updating the website through the next couple of terms, in particular to share more information about our exciting curriculum developments - more on that coming soon!


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!


Our Year 1 Safety Spokespeople Go Live!

Miss Chenery could not have been more proud, Miss Reynolds had to wipe a tear away and Mr Dickson was waiting in the wings to join the performance if needed.........but Caitlin had it covered. What a performance! We wanted to share and we hope you enjoy watching Caitlin as Matilda. I have a feeling this is just the beginning.