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.
Last week, Year 7s enjoyed 4 days of thrilling adventure in Sagana-Savage Wilderness Campsite. 64 students and 7 teachers stretched their mental capacities to explore what was possible and impossible to complete.
During the days, in their respective groups, the students zip lined, kayaked, rock climbed, river ducked and did some archery. The evenings were filled with night games and fun activities. Sleep came easily and most were quiet (maybe sleeping) by 10pm and had to be roused from the tents/cabins the next morning at 7am.
On the last night the students shared their highlights of the week and by a huge consensus, the surprise night walk on the first night and the delicious food were voted as most memorable.
Overall, the students showed fantastic teamwork, creativity and resilience among other skills throughout the week. Thanks to the students for behaving mostly impeccably and also to the staff that supported the trip. It all made for a very enjoyable week.
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!