The Briar Hill Bulletin Our weekly newsletTER: 18.12.23

A Message from Miss Cooksley

Welcome back to our final weekly newsletter of 2023. The end of a year always provides the opportunity for reflection and this term has truly been inspiring and a spectacular one; from the Nativity, to carol services to our winter fayre, it really has been a special and joyous time for us all. As always, the adults in school are in absolute awe of the children's brilliance; they shine so brightly and have showcased their hard work and successes as learners. Thank you to all the adults at home who have supported and shown such kindness too. I'm certain we are all looking forward to a winter break full of festivities, and we sincerely wish each and every family a wonderful time together.

The school will also be launching the BHA Listening email inbox for the upcoming winter break. If you find you do need support over the holidays, please visit the school website for the email address, which will be there as a pop up. Please note that the Safeguarding team are always available and this contact information can be found on our website too. Thank you.

As the winter festivities draw to a close, we want to thank you for your engagement and support. We look forward to welcoming you into school for some of these events we have remaining. If you have any questions, please contact the office or your child's class teacher.

Reminder: Now winter is here 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.

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

Year 1 produced some amazing “defeat the monster” amber writes last week! Just look at that amazing handwriting and presentation. Fantastic work Year 1.

Year 6 have shone with their facts and life-cycles about different animals. They have been able to create brilliant PowerPoint presentations and we are so proud of them.

Last week Year 5 were creating shared banks of information in their computing lesson this week. The challenge was to build a slideshow within a group, only communicating virtually. Great work, Year 5!

Last week Year 4 had fantastic day at Chester House with the little ones! The air was buzzing with excitement as kids delved into history, exploring the wonders of the Romans. Learning + Fun = Unforgettable ,memories!

Nursery had a fantastic Christmas Craft morning with our wonderful parents! Thank you to all who attended!

Year 3 enjoyed their performance showcasing the skills they have learned on their strings project with NMPAT over the last 8 weeks. Well done Year 3.

Last week, Reception followed instructions and independently made something special for their adults at home today… can you guess what they are ? You're right... it's peppermint creams!

In Year 2, the children have loved learning all things Geometry! Great work Year 2, just look at those wonderfully high standards of work!

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 – Emanuel
  • Year R Donaldson – Luanne
  • Year R McKee – Alaiyah C
  • Year 1 Rosen – Evan
  • Year 1 Ahlberg – Sophia
  • Year 2 Potter – Matjev
  • Year 2 Dr Seuss - Marie
  • Year 3 Dahl – Eddie
  • Year 4 Rowling – Summer
  • Year 4 Kinney – Rachael
  • Year 5 Morpurgo – Rebecca
  • Year 6 Pullman – Ilia
  • Year 6 Jobling - Bella C

The Briar Hill Brilliance Senior Leadership Team Award

Freddie - Year 2 Dr Seuss

Reading Rocks Winners

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

Attendance Winners

  • 1st place - Year 6 Jobling
  • 2nd place - Year 1 Ahlberg
  • 3rd place - Year 2 Potter

Behaviour Winners

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


The class who made the best effort with wearing the correct uniform this week is Year 6 Pullman - well done!

Mr Bump

The class with the fewest accidents this week are Year 5 Morpurgo – well done!

Handwriting Award

  • Year R Donaldson – Rosie-Leigh
  • Year R McKee – Alaia
  • Year 1 Rosen – Augustin
  • Year 1 Ahlberg – Melita
  • Year 2 Potter – Macey
  • Year 2 Dr Seuss – Valeria
  • Year 3 Dahl – Amanda
  • Year 4 Rowling – Maurice
  • Year 4 Kinney – Maha
  • Year 5 Morpurgo – Victor
  • Year 6 Pullman – Sareshta
  • Year 6 Jobling – Timas

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

Please watch this space for all new awards in 2024!

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

  • 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
  • Friday 5th January - Reception WOW day
  • Thursday 11th January University of Northampton will be visiting Year 6
  • Monday 12th February and Wednesday 14th February - parents evening 3:30pm - 6pm
  • Half term week - Monday 19th February - Friday 23rd February
  • Monday 26th February - the school reopens to pupils

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.