The Briar Hill Bulletin Our weekly newsletTER: 11.03.24

A Message from Miss Cooksley

Welcome back to this week's Briar Hill bulletin this term, we hope that you continue to find this newsletter useful. Please scroll down to the 'Lens into Learning' section where you can see some of the wonderful lessons which took place last week. Last week's learning included celebrating World Book Day. A special thank you to all the children who enjoyed their afternoon of joy exploring books and to those who joined us in our big book exchange! It was a huge success!

In addition, Year 5 had an exciting week and as one of the Year 5 children said, 'a once in a lifetime opportunity!'. Last week, the children, in Year 5, performed a scene from Hansel and Gretel in collaboration with DRET Primaries and The Royal Opera House. The children were phenomenal and they shone on the stage. The children should be incredibly proud of their achievement and as another child said, 'you really had to be there to experience it.' The team at school couldn't be prouder.

A friendly 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.

Our Book and Biscuit event will continue to run on the first Friday of every half term. Due to its popularity, and to make it accessible for as many families as possible, we will run both a morning session from 8:45am - 9:00am and an afternoon session from 3:00 - 3:15pm. We look forward to seeing as many families on our next Book and Biscuit event on Friday 19th April 2024.

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.

We also have an exciting upcoming end of Spring Term 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.

Votes for Schools

Each week, our children (Year 1 - 6) participate in topical talk. To find out more about Votes for Schools, please read below.

Votes for Schools at Home 11.3.24

This week our Briar Hill voters will be exploring the world of AI-generated images in celebration of British Science Week. Based on this, voters will be exploring the increased sophistication of images created using artificial intelligence tools, and how easy it is to tell when something is not genuine. Meanwhile, the assembly looks at inventions and innovations from history, and reflects on the reception these got when first introduced to the public.

If you would like to continue the conversation and discussion around each week's topical talk, please refer to the information provided below.

KS1 discussion: Can you tell when photos are real?

KS2 discussion: Are AI-generated images too believable?

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

Our Year 4 mathematicians are on a roll. Last week, they delved into the multiplication table, creating vibrant bar graphs to showcase repeating patterns in the ones digit. Building solid foundations for future mathematical exploration.


Year 1 completed some observational drawing in Science this week! The are learning about the similarities and differences between trees and flowering plants.

Nursery chose their favourite fruit from Talk for Writing 'The Hungry Caterpillar’ Look at all those wonderful fruits! The children had a great session exploring these.

Year 3 really enjoyed dressing up to celebrate World Book Day 2024. They even had a class based quiz on different story covers, authors and characters from well known stories. Each table team competed very well!

Year 2 have really enjoyed learning, exploring and discussing Africa in their recent Geography lessons.

Year 6 are continuing to look at the Second World War in their history lessons. Last week, the children looked at the Women’s Land Army, how people responded to it and why it was so important. It reiterated previous learning, looking at the changing roles of women during and after this time.

Last week, Year 5 have been starting to think about what we need and how they can create a brilliant set of instructions. The children had a quick go today in our writing lesson.

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 - Everyone
  • Year R Donaldson – Amelia
  • Year R McKee – Azlan
  • Year 1 Rosen – Carmen
  • Year 1 Ahlberg – Anastasia
  • Year 2 Potter - Alex
  • Year 2 Dr Seuss - Amelia
  • Year 3 Dahl – Cayan
  • Year 4 Rowling – Amelia A
  • Year 4 Kinney – Isabelle
  • Year 5 Morpurgo – Ayaan
  • Year 6 Pullman – Daniella
  • Year 6 Jobling - AJ

The Briar Hill Brilliance Senior Leadership Team Award

Noor - Year 6 Pullman

Reading Rocks Winners

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

Attendance Winners

  • 1st place - Year 1 Rosen and Ahlberg
  • 2nd place - Year 2 Potter
  • 3rd place - Year 5 Morpurgo


The class who made the best effort with wearing the correct uniform this week is Year 3 Dahl - well done!

Mr Bump

The class with the fewest accidents this week are Year 2 Potter – well done!

Handwriting Award

  • Year R Donaldson – David R
  • Year R McKee – Wrika
  • Year 1 Rosen – Vihaan
  • Year 1 Ahlberg – Lilly
  • Year 2 Potter – Michelle
  • Year 2 Dr Seuss – Vaniyak
  • Year 3 Dahl – Jenson
  • Year 4 Rowling – Reuben and Elliott B
  • Year 4 Kinney – Lexi-Mai
  • Year 5 Morpurgo – Ion
  • Year 6 Pullman – Grace
  • Year 6 Jobling – Tillie

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 Spring Term 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

  • Thursday 7th March - World Book Day - a letter has been shared via MCAS
  • Spring break begins Friday 29th March 2024
  • School reopens for the Summer Term on Monday 15th April 2024
  • Book and Biscuit - Friday 19th April - session 1: 8:45am - 9:00am and session 2: 3:00pm - 3:15pm

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.