February 2017 Newletter

Posted: Friday 10th February 2017

Although we have only been back at school for just over 6 weeks, when I reflect on this half term, we have been very busy indeed.

We welcomed Debbie Mallam in January. Debbie was Assistant Headteacher at Langtree School before joining us at Brookfields School as Deputy Headteacher. Many of you will have already met Debbie when you have visited the school or had an Annual Review. Debbie supports Key Stage 3 and is leading on CPD, Performance Management, Teaching and Learning Observations, Extended Services…to name but a few.

“I have felt very welcomed and supported by the staff and the parents. It has been a long held ambition of mine to work at Brookfields. I look forward to getting to know our families”.

We also welcomed Nancy Slater to our Early Years teaching team. Nancy is a very experienced teacher of young people with learning difficulties and additional needs.

Those of you who have visited the school will have seen our new reception, which was completed and handed over on 10th January. We were very aware that our previous reception allowed visitors direct access to pupil areas. As Safeguarding is of the highest importance for the school and our governors, the governors agreed that we could reconfigure the reception thus restricting visitor access to pupil areas. We have had very positive feedback from visitors to the school about the new reception, which will eventually be an area where we will be displaying pupils’ artwork.

The beginning of 2017 started with us hosting a regional conference for 90 delegates from a range of professionals from Local Authorities, special schools, mainstream schools, EP’s and therapists. The conference was titled ‘The Implications of the Rochford Review: Assessment for 21st Century Children with SEND’ and led by Prof Barry Carpenter, Richard Aird, Jo Edgerton and Bev Cockbill. The team spoke about the implications of ‘life without levels’ and how the Engagement Profile  might be used to support the tracking of pupil progress and achievement over time. Brookfields School was one of the Pilot Schools chosen in 2010 by Prof Barry Carpenter to trial and develop the use of the Engagement Profile. We continue to research and develop our ‘basket of assessment tools’ through which we monitor, track and report our pupils’ progress, achievement and attainment. In the summer term, we will be organising an information evening for families to learn about the work we have been doing on curriculum development and assessment.

This week is ‘Careers Week’ for pupils in Key Stage 4 and the 6th Form. The Pathway to Employment team have organised an amazing range of employment related activities for the students. These activities give the students a range of experiences to allow them to develop their understanding of the employment options they have when they leave school as well as developing their individual employment skills, knowledge and understanding. Students have been developing and practicing their interview skills; visiting a range of businesses to learn first-hand about the world of work; planning, preparing and hosting an afternoon tea for some of our Business Partners; leading business enterprise projects such as up-cycling, and developing their life skills. Look out for more news and information about Careers Week on the school website.

Key Stage 2 pupils have been having great fun this half term exploring their cross-curricular topic of ‘Let’s Get Messy’. Those of you who have kept an eye on the schools’ website will have seen some of the activities that the classes have done. The whole Key Stage took part in an amazing day that involved a range of messy activities and science based activities let by ‘Science Boffins’.

The teachers we are training to be special needs teachers through our BTA (Berkshire Teaching Alliance) have been in placement in a mainstream setting this half term. We are looking forward to welcoming them all back to Brookfields next half term to continue to support their journey to become highly skilled and outstanding teachers of young people with learning difficulties.

Here are some dates for your diary for next Half Term

Tuesday 28th February – Communication Course Those who have applied for our Communication Course for family members will receive joining information shortly after the start of next half term.

Wednesday 8th March – ‘What’s Next?’ This event aims to provide information to Secondary aged pupils and their parents about the range of provision available to them when they are older so that they are able to make an informed choice about the options available to them as they begin to think about life after Brookfields.

Friday 24th March – Red Nose Day This is always a fun day at Brookfields with the pupils and staff raising money for Children in Need.

Tuesday 28th March – Pupil Progress Evening This will be an opportunity for families to meet with their child’s Teacher or Tutor to think about and review how they are developing and progressing. We will be sending you details about the evening nearer the time

Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th & Friday 31st March – Secondary Production Rehearsals for this year’s Easter production are well underway. More details to follow!

Friday 7th April – End of Term Pupils will be leaving school at 1.00pm.On behalf of all the staff and governors at Brookfields School, I wish you a safe and happy half term.

We look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday 20th February 2017.

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