Updates from Brill School
Vision Evening 2021-22
We were delighted to host our school update evening for parents in person this year. Staff and Governors shared the aims and school priorities for the upcoming year. Parents shared their experiences of Brill School with staff and Governors; enabling us to build stronger foundations by listening to feedback and working in partnership.
For those of you unable to attend the event, please click here to view the ppt shared; we will shortly be sharing a video of the evening too.
Aim 1: Brill children move on with ‘the wind in their sails’: with the resilience, thirst for learning and values to sustain them beyond their Brill School years.
Aim 2: Brill children, whatever their starting point, make progress that is well above the national average. They will have secure skills in maths and english, a depth of understanding across the curriculum, good awareness of our diverse and changing world, and the confidence to play their part in it.
Aim 3: We have continued to attract and develop outstanding people committed to our Brill ethos. Our outward looking team collaborates and innovates alongside partner schools and organisations to inspire and improve.
Aim 4: We will develop our learning environment to enable innovative outdoor education, reduce our environmental impact as much as possible and create safe, inspiring learning spaces for 30 children in each class.
Live Q&A Session
For those who were unable to attend our live Q&A Session on the 19th Nov, we have uploaded a recording of the Teams call, please see the link below. The live session offered an opportunity for members of the SLT, Staff and Governing team to address raised questions from our parent body, following the sharing of the videos as part of our Parent Update Evening. The selection of videos capture our aims and priorities for this academic year.
We hope you find this useful.
Parent Update Evening
Our 3-5 Year Aims and Priorities for 2020-2021
Below is a presentation from our Chair of Governors, Liz Cotgreave. Liz shares our aims for the next 3 to 5 years and the outcomes of our 2020 Parent Survey, then highlights a few of this year's priorities. We've picked some of these to tell you more about in the videos that follow.
The following set of slides are a more detailed version of those in Liz's presentation, and you can see the 2020 Parent Survey results here.
Priorities for 2020-2021
Below Mrs White and the Team share videos explaining how we plan to address some of these priorities and why we feel these are important areas to focus on this year. We will share more videos updating you on our progress in each area of our priorities throughout the duration of the year.
Aim #1: Brill children move on with ‘the wind in their sails’: with the resilience, thirst for learning and values to sustain them beyond their Brill School years.
Priorities for 2020-2021:
- Ensure all stakeholders have a clear understanding of what a ‘BRILL child’ means and have clarity on our school vision.
The video below will explain to you our curriculum's vision for all pupils at Brill School and explains to you what we mean by 'The Brill Child'.
Watch the short video below where Mrs White focusses on, in more detail, three areas of the 'Brill Child'.
Our Curriculum's Vision
See below for a clearer version of our curriculum's vision. This document identifies our vision and aims for the curriculum drawing on its Intent, implementation and impact.
The Whole Child
Watch the short video where Mrs Keeping talks about how we put emphasis on developing the 'Whole Child'.
Progress is a priority for us this year. We will be working hard to support all pupils to make accelerated progress, build on their growth mindset and reignite their thirst and love for learning.
Aim #2: Brill children, whatever their starting point, make progress that is well above the national average: They will have secure skills in Maths and English, a depth of understanding across the curriculum, good awareness of our diverse and changing world, and the confidence to play their part in it.
Priorities for 2020-2021:
- Secure our progress in Maths and Literacy with baseline assessment and create catch-up plans informed by our SEND ethos and practise.
Watch the video below to hear Tania Flask, one of our Governors, explain what progress is, how we ensure our pupils make progress and how we measure and collate evidence to monitor and track progress.
Communicating about children’s progress
We will be informing you of your child's progress through parents evenings, which will be held termly. The staff will be working closely with your children to establish secure understanding of where their strengths are and to identify and support areas for development. We will continue to use parent council this year to find out more about what parents want to hear and be informed of. Please look out for a request for input from your class reps and tell us what you think.
Aim #3: We have continued to attract and develop outstanding people committed to our Brill ethos. Our outward looking team collaborates and innovates alongside partner schools and organisations to inspire and improve.
Priorities for 2020-2021:
- Collaborate and innovate with other outstanding settings to develop staff professionally and positively impact on our school practise.
In the video below Mrs White identifies the strengths of the Brill Team which includes; staff, pupils, parents and our local community. Despite the current restrictions, the staff continue to be outward looking, striving for improvement, innovating and collaborating to improve our practise for the benefit of the pupils.
Watch the short video below to hear Madame Tate sharing her passion towards Modern Foreign Languages.
Watch the short video below to hear from Mrs Oliver, our new SENCo.
Please visit the subject pages on our website, under the Curriculum tab to hear from other members of the team talking about how we approach specific areas of the curriculum in engaging and innovative ways.
Aim #4: We will develop our learning environment to enable innovative outdoor education, reduce our environmental impact as far as possible and create safe, inspiring learning spaces for 30 children in each class.
Priorities for 2020-2021:
- Enable pupils to lead and make changes in our behaviours and approach to waste and consider how we can reduce our environmental impact.
Watch the short video below to hear from Mrs Green who explains how the new outdoor area for Year 1 enhances and enriches Year 1's curriculum.
Watch the short video below to hear Mrs Keeping sharing her passion for Forest School and its benefit on the children's curriculum.
Parent feedback and Q&A session
Please watch the video below to hear about our follow up Q&A session, which will be held on Teams.
office on: Brill Highlights
To listen to podcasts from the evening, click here.
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.
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!
office 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.
office 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:
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.
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!