October 2016 Newsletter

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October 2016 Newsletter

October 2016

Dear Parents and Carers,

Everywhere you look, schools are struggling to implement new strategies and deliver even more information to students in an effort to keep up with all the new demands or, quite simply, in the pursuit of excellence. Of course Broadlands Hall is also integrating all those things and possibly, because we are small and our offering highly personalised, we are able to deliver topics such as e-safety, British Values and Sex Education far better than most other schools. However, for all of the new (and important) additional content in the school day, we remain utterly focused on driving up standards by primarily making students feel fantastic about doing the right thing, including, making progress, showing compassion and for behaving in all the ways that will serve them well in the adult world.  We believe that one of the keys to this lies in the language we use day-to-day, modelling gratitude, politeness and selflessness.   There is enormous mileage in saying ‘thanks’ and ‘well done’ and the result of this approach has been vividly evident so far this term. All of our visitors this year have been greeted with warm, pro-active handshakes and smiling welcomes; it is quite simply ‘beautiful’ and heart-warming and whilst this is somewhat of an abstract notion, the school feels like a very ‘happy’ place as a result.

In addition to the usual curriculum diet, special activities so far this year have come along fast and furious.

Macmillan Coffee Afternoon

The boys hosted a coffee and cake event to raise funds for Macmillan this term. They are all so good at Baking now!  With twenty senior citizens from the local village attended, along with a few of our neighbours. The boys served coffee, collected donations and, most wonderfully of all, joined the visitors for extended conversations. All of our guests had a lovely time and have asked if they can come again. – and the boys raised £116 for the Macmillan Charity.

Choir Workshop

A passing thought from our Music Therapist resulted in an amazing choir concert where our boys were joined for the afternoon by a local ladie’s choir. The student’s performances included, ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ and ‘Singing In The Rain’ (signing and singing) and they were thrilled when the ladie’schoir came in with harmonies to complement their renditions.  This was a super whole school event that certainly drove our ‘happiness quotient’ even higher.

Lessons with an Olympian medallist

The boys have a new sport that they are absolutely loving this term – and they are being given lessons by none other than a Paralympian Gold Medallist! Dan Bentley is an expert Boccia sportsman and has been kind enough to give his time on Friday afternoons to train the boys at the local sports centre. While they loved the sport, their excitement was increased when Dan, very generously, allowed all the boys to hold his Gold Medals. Dan also gave a presentation about his climb to success and the challenges he encountered along the way, which was extremely inspiring.

1066 celebrations with English heritage

Our Big Day Out this half-term was a trip to Castle Priory in Norfolk. We joined English Heritage for a celebration of the Norman Conquest. 1066 was a momentous year for England. The death of the elderly English king, Edward the Confessor, on 5 January, set off a chain of events that would lead, ten months later, to the Battle of Hastings, so, on Friday 14th October 2016, 950 years after the battle, we visited the spectacular Castle Priory to discover more about the battle itself , its impact and  The boys enjoyed participating in a re-enactment of a Norman ‘market day’ as well as a Norman themed craft making activity, that included clay sculpting and calligraphy writing, as well as a glorious picnic in the castle grounds.

Democratic Elections

As part of our British Value’s week, the boys have voted for eight student Leadership positions. These include Transport Manager, Health and Safety Rep, Charities and Sport Captains and Accessibility Rep. The boys really took on board what they had learnt during the week and produced campaign leaflets  whilst later, listened to the results in a very polite and respectful manner. During the week the students all examined ‘multi-culturalism’ and what it means. We have collectively decided that Britain is like a tin of Quality Street: much more interesting because of the wide variety of colours, shapes and flavours, offering something for everyone: how lovely!

Exam Results – 100%! WOW!

Not many schools can boast a 100% exam success rate – BUT WE CAN! In addition to all the ASDAN certifications gained, the students who sat Edexcel public examinations in Maths and English as well as those that completed Arts Bronze Awards all passed – and all GCSEs were C grade or better. This was our first year as an exam centre and we couldn’t be more proud of the students – their preparation and conduct was as exemplary as the results.

New Staff

Mark Goldring joined us in September, swelling our QTS teacher ranks even further. Mark is an Advanced Skills Sport and PE specialist who also happens to also have Psychology qualifications and experience. He is heading up a new House (Drake).

What’s coming up?

  • Monday 31st October – PD Day: all staff but no students in school
  • Tuesday November 1st – students return to school after half-term
  • Wednesday 2nd November – whole school Theatre trip to see Sister Act
  • Wednesday 29th November – Big Day Out to the Science Museum in London
  • Tuesday 20th December – last day of term

Kindest regards,

 

Hazel Simmons

Head Teacher

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