Skip to content ↓

Brakenhale School

Update 31st January

Extra-curricular activities, Pre-public exams, Attendance, Headteacher appointment

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope this finds you well. We are closer to our half term than the Christmas break! Weeks do seem to pass us by.

As always, it is great seeing our children at the gate in the morning, throughout the day in lessons and during break and lunch. Our pre-Christmas ‘Fun Factory’ events have clearly been memorable as more and more students are eager to get Culture Cards signatures! These all add to the weekly updates. In the week before the Easter holidays, events have been planned which include the top 10% going to Go Ape, all paid for by the school. As I have relayed previously, the Student Council had previously discussed rewards and opportunities and something they wanted senior leaders to consider. We listened, and acted. As a result, we introduced Culture Cards as a mechanism to capture students’ positive attitude to different aspects of the school on top of House Points and Golden Tickets which, in turn, leads to such rewards. It’s great to see students engaging with these.

Extra-curricular activities

Whilst learning has been happening in lessons, we have had additional events going on: the Globe Theatre in school performing two plays for all students in Year 10 and 11; a vet from a local practice has been in school to speak to students who are interested in pursuing a career in this field; Y10 History visited Whitechapel, London to gain a better understanding for their learning; Sports Leaders supported 25 Bracknell Forest schools for an indoor athletics event; Year 9 careers assembly included Ms Loj showcasing our Sixth Form as well as some external providers sharing what they have to offer. We have also had Addams rehearsals in full flow. The performances are next week. If you have yet to buy tickets, please do so. As always, we continue to plan to enrich students’ learning with more to come in the next few weeks.

Pre-Public Exams

After half term, Year 11 and 13 students will begin their second round of PPEs from this academic year. February half term classes will also be running this year. Students will be invited in for specific classes or they will have the space to study independently should they need it. It is imperative that students take these seriously as they are the final set before the summer exams. Every lesson makes a difference. We know that dedicated time to studying and preparing for them will lead to better outcomes.

With the above in mind, we have had almost 150 applicants for the Year 12 intake for 2024-25 which is great to see. The Sixth Form team is working on a plan to interview all applicants so that they get a better understanding of what each student wants to do and their career path.

Today also marks the deadline for UCAS (university applications for the 2024 intake). The Sixth Form team has been supporting students, right up to the deadline, to ensure they apply in readiness for September. We have a range of courses and universities which have been applied for. We also have a Year 13 student who has been offered a place at the University of Cambridge to read History. This is pending the A*AA entry requirements but it is an excellent achievement given the competitiveness of places at such a prestigious university. This will be our first to Cambridge in a fair few years!


In the last week, we have seen overall attendance drop. It has been healthier for the previous three weeks. I know the change in weather and associated illnesses means that some will be off. However, can we ensure that students are encouraged to be in so that they can have access to quality learning. We know that there is a direct link between good attendance and progress.

Headteacher appointment

Yesterday, our Trust (GLT) were in the process of appointing a new Headteacher to begin after the February half term as I will be leaving our school next Friday. A further communication will be sent out today, from the Chair of Governors, with an update on this process.

Kind regards

Mr B Tailor, Headteacher