What a great start we have had to the Autumn Term! The boys have come back to School raring to go and they have been a real joy to teach.
I plan to send you a Newsletter each half-term to give you a round-up of what’s been going on. I hope that this, combined with the regular Photo News Bulletin we will be sending you, will help you feel part of the action and in-touch with us. In addition, we will send half-termly School Reports.
There is much that is exciting and new this year, all designed to have a positive impact onyour son’s continued development and enjoyment.
We have created Houses in order to give the boys a sense of belonging to a group or team.Each House is named after a famous explorer – Walter Raleigh, Captain Scott and Captain Cook. The students have spent some time researching the journeys made by these explorers and the challenges they faced. You should have received details of your son’s own House int he recent Photo News Bulletin.
Our School Values have recently been published on our website: www.broadlands-hall.co.uk. Each week, we are looking at one of these values in class and in the weekly School Assembly. These have been selected because they represent core values which we would like to help the boys develop and attitudes and beliefs which we, as the staff, have committed to uphold to support the students in our care.
New technology to help the boys’ progress in Literacy and Numeracy has been acquired. An on-line graphic generation product called SYMWRITER is used to help students link words to objects and sounds to words. You can explore the system further if you wish at the widget website: https://widgitonline.com. In addition, all students now have personal Mathletics and Spelldrome accounts. These fun, learning on-line, activity programmes supplement traditional classroom learning. Again, if you are interested, the web site is http://www.mathletics.co.uk/ and gives you lots of information.
Away from cyber space, boys continue to enjoy physical activity such as weekly swimming sessions, optional horse-riding and a multi sports afternoon at Haverhill Sports Centre.
Captain Cook House takes part in a weekly Out-and-About adventure where they experience different forms of travel, different locations, eating out and making choices as well as learning about the world in which they live. So far, they have visited the Abbey in Bury St Edmunds (and learnt about churches), the public park (where they have looked for wild animals and birds) and a trip on a double decker bus to Cambridge where they visited the Fitzwilliam Art Gallery.
Students in Captain Scott’s House have a similar range of opportunities but their pathways are more individual. In addition to sporting opportunities and visits to the local vocational skills farm for some, they all participate in shopping trips and eating out at least once a week. They also have cookery lessons which everybody seems to love! These activities are geared to helping students develop independence and life skills.
Some of the students in Raleigh are working very hard towards GCSE-standard qualifications next year. We recognise this is quite momentous and very exciting. We have applied to become an Examination Centre so that our students can take their examinations here in familiar surroundings.
Last week, our Macmillan Coffee Afternoon raised over £100. Not only did the boys participate in the event but all the cakes were homemade by them, including a totally delicious Lemon Drizzle cake baked by the youngest member of Raleigh House.
Our Library continues to develop and we have a super range of fiction books – many of which are specifically for older readers who need extra assistance with their literacy. We are now looking to build further our non-fiction stock. Our own Library is supplemented by regular visits to Haverhill Library.
I am also delighted to report that the School’s horticultural endeavours this summer have been recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society, which has awarded Broadlands Hall a Level 3 Certificate for Excellence in the School Gardening Awards. We are very fortunate to have both the facilities and in-house expertise to offer the boys this programme. We intend to double the horticultural capacity which will provide even more opportunity in 2016.
Daniella Tudorache joined us this term as a member of staff. She is a Business Masters graduate, turned LSA as a result of her passion for working with young people and her big heart. At the end of this term, we will be joined by Sam Monro. Sam is currently a senior science teacher with SEN experience and a great deal of pastoral experience. She comes to us highly recommended, will lead Raleigh House and will be a fantastic asset to the School.
Later this term, we have some major events coming up. Most students will have the opportunity to visit the Suffolk Skills Show at Ipswich, which is an amazing, massive, Careers Exhibition which I hope they will enjoy. Our students who are thinking about possible college options in a year’s time will be taken to West Suffolk College Open Evening in October.
We plan to go on a ‘Big Day Out’ to London where we will be tourists for the day and visit the London Aquarium. To finish off the half-term with a flourish, we have planned a History Trip to West Stow to see how the Iceni lived (and students will be creating Art inspired by the period).
One of our own students has secured a role in a Christmas Pantomime with a local drama society, so obviously we will all be going along to support him in December, which I am sure will be lots of fun.
The Headteacher! I thought you might want to know something about me in this first issue. I have worked for several different schools as a senior leader and English Teacher (secondary). Teaching is my second career (my first was in business and technology). I re-trained for teaching because I truly believe that everyone deserves to be given a chance to be the best they can and that every student is capable of more with a little encouragement. For your assurance, professionally, I have a BA (Hons), PGCE and the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers. I am also a qualified assessor of Leading Practitioners in teaching. I have a thirty-year-old son and a seventeen-year-old daughter. My claim to fame is that I was the 2007 British Riding Clubs National Show-Jumping Champion. I live less than 10 miles from the School and so I really can give the role a great deal of my time. So far, I am loving every minute of it. The boys are a delight and the staff are some of the most caring, resilient and hard-working people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Just before half-term, you will receive a School Report and, at the end of November, I will send you another Newsletter.
Please do contact me if there is anything at all you are concerned about or would like to know and I look forward to meeting you some time soon.