The Briar Hill Bulletin Our weekly newsletTER: 27.11.23

A Message from Miss Cooksley

Welcome back to our weekly newsletter, we hope that you continue to find this newsletter useful. Last week was full brilliance, a great example of this was the Briar Hill School dance troupe's performance at the weekend. All the rehearsals and practice ensured that they shone like stars, as they took full command of the stage. As a school we would like to thank all the adults and parents and carers who supported this event.

Last week, we also had the pleasure of facilitating a whole school trip to Cineworld as part of the Into Film Festival. The children were a credit to the school; their behaviour was exemplary. The children beamed with joy as they returned to school after their cinema experience, which was a delight. Again, thank you to all the adults at home for your support and thank you to all the adults in school who made this experience possible.

Reminder: Now that the clocks have changed and the nights draw in quickly, it's important to think about your child's safety in the dark, particularly road safety. This is why we have asked that all parents/carers collect children from after school clubs.

Reminder: We also have an exciting upcoming raffle draw for all children who have 100% attendance over the term and also arrive at school punctually every day. All eligible children will be entered into the prize draw for the chance for one lucky winner to win their family a food hamper at the of term.

We always enjoy seeing and speaking to parents and carers, if you have any questions do just ask the teachers on the door at the end of the day, via Class Dojo or chat to a member of the pastoral team or leadership team if you need to. We are always here to listen and happy to help.

Friendly Reminders

We know lots of you also like to send children with a packed lunch, so below you'll find some information about how to plan for healthy packed lunches.

A reminder school starts at 8.45 a.m. - every minute counts so please ensure your child is on time for school. Thank you all.

A reminder, if you send children to school with earrings they must only be a small stud. This is for health and safety reasons. Children may wear a watch. Thanks.

Finally, a reminder that we expect children to read at home at least 5 times per week, 20 minutes a day. This must be recorded in their reading record and signed by an adult.

A Message from the Care Team

5 ways to Well-being - Step 5

This week we shall be looking at the next stage of improving and sustaining our mental health using the '5 Ways to Well-being strategy. Step 5 is 'Giving to Others'

Helping others, saying thank you, or giving someone a smile can help to improve your self-esteem and improve your emotional health.

Research shows that carrying out acts of kindness can increase your feeling of personal well-being and happiness.

Giving to others and co-operating with them can stimulate the reward areas in the brain, creating positive feelings. Helping and working with others can also give us a sense of purpose and feelings of self-worth. Giving can take lots of different forms, from small everyday acts to larger longer term commitments.

  • Volunteer in your local community.
  • Sign up to a mentoring project, in which you give time and support to someone who will benefit from it.
  • Offer to lend a hand if you see a stranger struggling with bags or a pushchair.
  • Offer to help a relative with DIY or a colleague with a work project
  • Say thank you to someone, for something they’ve done for you.
  • Phone a relative or friend who needs support or, company.
  • Ask a friend how they are and really listen to the answer.
Briar Hill Primary School, rated OUTSTANDING by Ofsted, November 2022

Briar Hill rated OUTSTANDING!

' a culture of excellence' (Ofsted, November 2022)

Attendance Matters

Your child’s attendance at school each day is important – every day counts. We place a high value on classroom based learning at Briar Hill and expect every parent to share this commitment by supporting your child to attend each day and arrive on time. We ensure that from the start of school at 8.45 am, fast paced learning is taking place within all our classrooms and because of this, if your child is absent, they are likely to miss out on significant learning that day.

Government research has shown the impact that just a handful of days absence each year has on primary aged children’s attainment and progress. Below we have included a simple guide for parents indicating what each level of attendance means and hours of learning lost:

We’re here to help! Your child’s learning and attendance at school is also important to us. Please let the school know as soon as possible if you require any support to ensure your children's arrival at school or, if you know of any issues, home or school related, which may be preventing your child from attending each day. Thank you for your continued support to ensure your child attends school, on time, every day. If you require any further information or would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact Miss Leslie (Attendance Lead).

Our Uniform Expectations

It is brilliant to see the effort families are making in ensuring uniform is as expected. Please do let us know if you have any questions or queries regarding uniform.

The basic Briar Hill uniform consists of:

  • Briar Hill logo grey jumper or cardigan (available from Karl Sports)
  • plain white polo-shirt or plain white shirt
  • black trousers or knee length skirt
  • black shoes (not trainers)
  • blue check summer dresses or smart black shorts (only in summer months)
  • a Briar Hill school book bag
  • Year 5-6 - will be given a teal tie - please see the office if you need to reorder one.

Our PE Uniform

  • plain white t-shirt
  • black shorts or trousers
  • jumper or jacket can be worn outside
  • trainers or plimsolls

A Lens into Learning at Briar Hill

Great work from Year 1 being dictionary detectives with some tricky words from our model text. Fantastic effort Year 1!

Year 2 have really impressed their teachers with their fantastic work ethic and focus, particularly during their maths lessons. The children have been working hard to calculate a time duration and read the time on both digital and analogue clocks!

In Year 6, the migration unit has covered some serious topics in which the children have discussed and responded to with great understanding and sensitivity. They have made links to more recent events which may share similar themes.

Year 4 students this week have put their heart and soul into completing their double-page spread about Roman women! Check out the incredible outcome – a testament to their hard work and creativity. Extremely proud of these young historians!

Nursery have had a fantastic time exploring colour mixing this week!

Lat week the Woodland classroom centred around fun and fine motor development for Reception this week! The children were mixing there own mud paint was a super success, as well as using the hammers safely too. We are extremely proud of Reception’s independence, resilience and determination.

In the build-up to Christmas, Year 3 have been exploring the enquiry question ‘Has Christmas lost its true meaning?’. In their recent lesson the children looked at religious symbols and how they link to Christmas for Christian followers.

In Year 5, the children are continuing their diversity reading unit looking at the poem ‘The Day War Came’. There have been some great conversations about what the children like and dislike about the poem.

Take a Tour of our School


Star of the Week

A huge congratulations to all the children who have been presented with a star of the week award. You are all shining role models and the school is incredibly proud of you all. Well done and THANK YOU!

  • Nursery – Stella
  • Year R Donaldson – Rosie-Leigh
  • Year R McKee – Aarish
  • Year 1 Rosen – Aizah
  • Year 1 Ahlberg – Zofia
  • Year 2 Potter – Jack
  • Year 2 Dr Seuss - Whole Class
  • Year 3 Dahl – Lily-Rose
  • Year 4 Rowling – Sirat
  • Year 5 Kinney – Amelia
  • Year 5 Morpurgo – Godfred
  • Year 6 Pullman – Defne
  • Year 6 Jobling - Bella CG

The Briar Hill Brilliance Senior Leadership Team Award

Augustin - Year 1 Rosen

Reading Rocks Winners

  • 1st place - Year 1 Ahlberg
  • 2nd place - Year 1 Rosen
  • 3rd place - Year 4 Kinney

Attendance Winners

  • 1st place - Year 2 Dr Seuss
  • 2nd place - Year 3 Dahl
  • 3rd place - Year 5 Morpurgo

Behaviour Winners

  • 1st place - Year 6 Pullman
  • 2nd place - Year 4 Kinney
  • 3rd place - Year 1 Ahlberg


The class who made the best effort with wearing the correct uniform this week is Year 4 Rowling - well done!

Mr Bump

The class with the fewest accidents this week are Year 3 Dahl – well done!

Handwriting Award

  • Year R Donaldson – Sofia
  • Year R McKee – Sylver
  • Year 1 Rosen – Julia
  • Year 1 Ahlberg – Alex
  • Year 2 Potter – Ademide
  • Year 2 Dr Seuss – Marie
  • Year 3 Dahl – Kyah-Rose
  • Year 4 Rowling – Kristo
  • Year 4 Kinney – Zoyah
  • Year 5 Morpurgo – Jack
  • Year 6 Pullman – Grace
  • Year 6 Jobling – Albert

Positive Points

How can you be rewarded for being positive?

Being POSITIVE is so important here at Briar Hill. Having brilliant behaviour is a skill for life and we support children in this. Children can earn these positive points throughout the school day. Once they reach each threshold, they will be awarded a special certificate. At the end of the academic year, the bronze, silver and gold winners will all receive a special treat!

Bronze Certificate Winners

  • Watch this space as our points build and awards roll in!

Reading Rocks at Briar Hill

At Briar Hill Primary School, we expect all children to read at home five times per week for 20 minutes. Reading is promoted, within school, in a number of ways, including reading for pleasure sessions, class novel time and the DRET Reads reading for pleasure challenge.

Reading books are sent out on a Friday and are to be returned on a Thursday. We expect that all home reading to be recorded within your child's reading log, this allows us to monitor reading at home and also helps to decide which class wins our weekly reading competition 'Reading Rocks'.

The house system is an integral part of Briar Hill and is predominately utilised during inter-school competitions, each with a different focus.

Our children are proud to be part of their house teams. Every child and member of staff is allocated to one of four houses, which they then support. Our houses teams are grouped vertically which enables children to socialise and engage with peers and staff beyond their everyday environment. It is an essential part of school life as it facilitates a growing community spirit and enables children to participate collectively, involving children from all year groups who are contributing to something bigger than themselves.

It was important for the house teams to be named after relevant, diverse and inspiring individuals, from different backgrounds. Therefore, the houses are all named after four successful artists. These artists each have a different discipline within art, they are: Gormley, Hockney, Banksy, Wiltshire. The House captains each year are members of Year 6.

Food Allergy Information

Please remember that at Briar Hill children are not allowed to have nuts or nut products at school. If staff see products containing nuts, the will need to remove these. This is in order to protect pupils at school who have nut allergies.

Dates for the Diary

  • Wednesday 8th November - PTA Meeting with Mrs Perry, 2.30-3:00pm
  • Friday 10th November - Book at Biscuit 3:00 - 3:15pm
  • Monday 13th November - Odd Socks Day - children can wear odd socks in support of Anti-bullying Week
  • Tuesday 14th November - Dentist visit with Year 6
  • Friday 17th November- Children in Need Day. This will be a non-uniform day and children will participate in activities whilst at school. The school will ask for donations which will go to the Children in Need charity.
  • Friday 17th November - Nursery Stay and play session for parents/carers from 9:00 – 10:00am
  • Friday 17th November - Y2 Potter library visit, walking to Hunsbury Library for 1.30pm - returning to school by the end of the day
  • Thursday 23rd of November- Year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will visit Six Fields Cineworld to watch Super Mario Bros. Movie. Certificate PG. The school have secured tickets as part of the Into Film Festival and we ask for a donation of £5.50 towards the cost of transport - letter with specific information to follow via MCAS.
  • Monday 27th November - Thursday 30th November - After school scholastic book fair will be held in the hall for parents/carers to purchase books 3:30 - 4pm - more information to follow
  • Monday 4th December- final week of school clubs
  • By Wednesday 20th December, pupil Autumn Term Reports will be shared via MCAS
  • Wednesday 20th December- the last school day of the term
  • Thursday 21st December - the school is closed
  • Thursday 4th January - the school reopens to pupils
  • All winter festivities will be shared via an information leaflet as soon as possible

Useful links from the STEM Team

Messages from the Pastoral Team

Below is our school Mental Health Strategy as well as useful bank of helpful contacts to guide, advice and training around mental health and well-being.

Home Learning

Useful Links for Parents and Carers

Sunshine Club (Breakfast Club) and Stargazer Club (After School Care)

Breakfast club and after school care is extremely popular and is regularly full. Please book in advance as we are sometimes unable to accommodate late bookings.

If you require breakfast club and after school care please read and sign the terms and conditions to ensure we can accept your booking. Bookings must be made in advance of when care is required.

Breakfast Club is available every school day during term time.

Breakfast club opens at 7.45am and closes as the school day starts at 8.45 am. The club costs £3.00 per day and children are provided with a healthy choice of breakfasts and drinks.

The academy is consulting on the Academy’s admission arrangements. These arrangements are for students who will be starting in September 2025.

The consultation is taking place for a period of six weeks, between Monday 13 November 2023 – Sunday 31 December 2023.

Consultation will also be undertaken via North Northampton Council’s coordinated consultation process and will be on the North Northampton School Admissions Consultation website from the start of the consultation period.

Why are we consulting?

The Trust must set (‘determine’) admission arrangements annually. Where changes are proposed to admission arrangements, the Trust must first publicly consult on those arrangements. If no changes are made to admission arrangements, they must be consulted on at least once every 7 years.

The academy is not proposing any changes to its admissions arrangements for 2025 however is consulting in accordance with the requirement to consult on a 7-year cycle.