Learning should never stop and it is a priority for Braeburn to provide learning of the highest quality not only to our pupils but to our teaching and non-teaching staff on a regular basis.
This week we welcomed our fourth overseas trainer of teachers for this academic year. In August, we learned how to provide an even more adaptive and responsive curriculum to our Early Years pupils so they could learn about things that were of greatest interest to them. We also looked at developing excellence in mathematics and science for our pupils in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. Then in November the senior leadership team enjoyed a very informative course on developing wellbeing in the pupils and staff while the Learning Support department participated in a special educational needs course.
This week, leaders and those aspiring to become leaders from across the Braeburn group of schools, have spent 4 days reflecting on leadership, management and how they can develop in these areas. They found the course engaging, stimulating and highly rewarding, with comments on how it was the finest professional development they had experienced. The 6 teachers from our primary school emerged from the course even more energised and inspired than they had been when it began on Monday morning. They and we very much look forward to the impact this will make on taking our school to new heights.
Chinese Cultural Day was a great success, organised to celebrate the approaching traditional Chinese New Year and to provide an opportunity for pupils and parents to have an experience of Chinese culture.
Counselor Wang Xuezheng and the Chief of Communication Zhang Gang from the Chinese Embassy participated in the celebration and brought cute pandas as new year gifts to students.
A variety of activities were prepared for people to sample some of the richness of Chinese culture, such as tea culture, tasting Chinese food, Chinese calligraphy, paper-cutting, lantern making and the chopsticks challenge.
Braeburn has been hosting the Confucius Classroom since 2014, providing a variety of after-school club lessons ranging from Year 1 up to Year 12 for pupils to learn Mandarin as an additional or first language. The Chinese lessons have seen growing popularity among pupils.
On Saturday 26th January our 2nd team boys, with a couple of 1st team players to fill in spaces left by those unable to attend, went to Brookhouse in Karen for the annual U13 hockey tournament.
The boys started off slowly, drawing 0-0 against Cavina and losing 3-2 to Oshwal. They then started to understand the hard work that is necessary in 7-a-side hockey and also to gel as team. They went on to beat St.Christopher’s, Brookhouse Runda and Braeside to come second in their group and reach the semi-finals.
In the semis they played a talented Premier Academy side which had won all their group games. The game proved to be very close, ending as a draw at full time. In extra-time, Braeburn scored a great goal, proceeding to the final.
The final proved even closer. Despite having lost to Oshwal in the group stages, we looked the better team throughout and scored early on. Oshwal came back with a score late in normal time. This time, extra time could not separate the two teams and penalty run-ins were necessary. We managed to convert 2 out of 3, compared to Oshwal’s 1 out of 3, this despite the fact that Sari was playing goalkeeper for the first time in his life! Congratulations also to Rafe who was rightly named player of the tournament.
It was an impressive achievement for a group of boys who had never played together (or even practised as a team) before the tournament. They were playing against other schools’ full ‘A’ teams so to come out winning the tournament was a great accomplishment. All the boys were a credit to Braeburn, not only in their hockey, but also in their determination, their behaviour and their sportsmanship. Both Mr. Adongo and Mr. James were extremely proud of them.
Pupils from Foundation Stage 2 to Year 8 were wowed on Thursday morning by the performances of over 50 of their peers, ranging in age from 4 to 13.
Pieces were played on the piano, guitar, violin, clarinet, drums and some used the beauty of the human voice. Well known and loved pieces were performed, as well as some original songs written by the pupils themselves. This included 'Hope', a poignant song written and performed by a Year 8 pupil in response to the Ducit2 attack.
Some of the pupils have been learning to play music for years, and their performances greatly impressed their audience. Others have been playing for only a few months yet confidently and competently took the stage and played really well. There was also a Year 8 pupil whose abilities have only just been revealed. He was a natural on stage and will be taking a lead role now in this term's musical.
Around 200 of our pupils play an instrument and hopefully others will now be inspired to take up an instrument and develop a love of all things musical. The Mega Morning of Music was the first of a number of musical events this term and our appetite for more has certainly been whetted.
A superb morning by all concerned - congratulations to all of our wonderful musicians!
Located at 6,999 feet above sea level in Naro Moru, Batian's View Camp on the base of Mt Kenya was the site for the annual Braeburn Schools Mega Camp. Four Schools converged at the site to forge friendships amongst scouts and learn some outdoor activities.
The camp ran from Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th January. The programme of activities was exciting, with scouts zip-lining, sky-walking, building shelters and cooking their own dinners. The scouts took it all on with great pride and energy, finishing all the tasks wonderfully.
To cap this, they managed to take a hike to the pine forest nearby and enjoy the view of majestic Mt Kenya and the rolling Aberdare Range opposite. They appreciated the fresh air that was on offer as well as delicious and energy giving meals.
They never forget that they are scouts and since they were in the neighbourhood of where the founder of the scout movement lived, they paid a visit to Nyeri to see his house and where he was laid to rest when he died. In the lush grounds of Outspan Hotel in Nyeri, they visited 'Paxtu' the last home of Lord Baden Powell. Here, they imagined how life must have been with the help of Mr Benson from Outspan Hotel. They noticed that Baden Powell was in love with Mt Kenya, because on the verandah, they could see, through the tree branches, the glorious mountain. At is final resting place, three kilometres away, they noticed that he was buried at a site which ensured that Mt Kenya was visible.
The scouts hugely enjoyed the trip and learnt many things about the great outdoors.