Bristol Brunel Academy Newsletter

Term 6 2015

Welcome to our newsletter!

News and events that have taken place this year. We hope you enjoy reading about the fantastic things that happen in our Academy.

Dates for the Diary

23rd June - CLF Summer Showcase at the Colston Hall

14th July - BBA Summer Concert (TBC)

24th-28th August - Summer School for new Y7



Earlier this year, Bristol Brunel Academy’s Expressive Arts department presented its annual musical to an enthusiastic audience. This year’s production was the popular musical We Will Rock You! - a tongue-in-cheek glimpse into a world where music is banned. Crowd pleasing songs by Queen rocked the Main Hall performed by a talented cast of students from Year 7 through to Year 13. It was a truly collaborative project. The Art department designed an amazing futuristic landscape for the show, while the Music department took charge of the microphones, sound effects and technical wizardry! The Drama department prepared the students for the show with rehearsals starting back in November ready for the March performance.

Big image
Big image
Big image

We are just about to start preparing for a Key Stage 3 showcase which will take place at the end of the school year. This will be comprised of a series of performances of monologues and duologues showcasing the talents of our younger students. Rehearsals are currently taking place on Mondays after school.

We are also excited to be involved in the Shakespeare Schools Festival for the first time. A performance of a reduced version of a Shakespeare play will take place at the Tobacco Factory in November, but we have already started planning and casting the show from a talented pool of current Year 10 students.


In the Library

9,306 Loans this Year!

Author Visit


Engineering for Life – From Cradle to Grave

How can engineering let us see inside ourselves, make our lives safer, and push the boundaries of science?

In October, the school hosted an interactive show from Science Made Simple (Cardiff). The fun-filled show was entitled Engineering for Life: Cradle to Grave.

The interactive presentation looked at how engineering improves our quality of life from before we’re born! Students learnt about digitised pregnancy tests, portable ultrasounds, super-absorbent gels in disposable nappies, Nobel prizes and blue LED, car safety - seat belts and air bags, cyrogenics - could we live forever?

BBA pupils from Year 9, 10 and 11 were lucky enough to enjoy the presentation. We were privileged to host Year 6 students from St Josephs Primary and share our love of science learning across three key stages.


Careers and Employability

Bristol Brunel Academy had a Successful assessment for the Employability Chartermark Award yesterday and is looking forward to receiving the much coveted plaque on 20th May. It will be displayed in the Reception area asap for all to see.

On 29th April Bristol Brunel Academy hosted a very successful Careers Fair for all of our students and parents/carers. 47 Stand holders came to meet our students including some big names locally e.g. Airbus, Renishaw, HMRC, ATKINS, Bristol University, UWE.,Bath Spa University, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, City of Bristol College and Bath College. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!

Coming soon is Work Experience week (29th June - 3rd July)*. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to see their skills and personal qualities in action and to understand what the work place is like. I am sure they will all have a brilliant time - we hope to visit our students in their work places to show them how proud we all are. For students not going out on work experience we are busy planning ways to ensure they are also able to gain evidence of their skills whilst still in school.

If you would like to discuss Careers for your son/daughter with Suzy Paice please ring up to book an appointment time. Follow twitter: @BBACareers for information on opportunities as they appear!

Big image


Real Rugby Heroes Award

Congratulations to Mr Matt Leek who is the proud recipient of the Real Rugby Heroes Award. Mr Leek visited Twickenham to be presented with the award, pictured below with 2 of his young stars, Sam Tiley and Mike Zeike.

This is a prestigious national award and recognises the ground-breaking work Mr Leek has achieved with the CLF Elite Rugby Squad and the links with Bristol Rugby, the first of its kind for any state school in the area.


Girls Rugby

Ellie Y9: We have been given a fantastic opportunity to play rugby in school and it's made me realise that rugby is a passion of mine. We have trained with King's Oak girls to develop our CLF team which has given us the chance to play at tournaments. At one of the tournaments we met two players from the England Women's team. Being able to talk to them was mindblowing! The girls' rugby team has been so great in every way. It has helped us all with fitness and socially. Some girls have even started playing for clubs. A big thanks to Miss Jones (who plays for Bristol Women) and Miss Summerell (Miss Jones' partner-in-crime) - they both make Friday training sessions unforgettable.

Jenna Y9: This year our PE department gave girls the chance to be in a rugby team. Since it started we have participated in two touch/full contact tournaments. We also train every Friday. I have really enjoyed this experience and it has benefited me with my fitness, team work and my social life. I am very thankful for the girls' rugby team!!

Big image


Teachmeet at Bristol Brunel

I attended the Teachmeet session last October .
It was a really exciting event, I felt the buzz and took away some interesting ideas that I have reflected on for the past academic year - how our education system compares with the rest of the world.
My Teachmeet is about something close to my heart; Maths and Numeracy.
This is a real passion for me and my vision is that others feel more confident and begin to show more love for Maths and Numeracy.
I have been leading Numeracy at Bristol Brunel and it has been a fantastic journey so far .
I wanted to use the coaching model to meet with staff from different departments and talk to them about how they were using numeracy in their lessons.
"People are not your most valuable asset; the best people are " Jim Collins (Good to Great).
At the heart of this is Teaching and Learning so I was privileged to see some Learning Walks. Students were expected to access Numeracy in these other subjects which should be a daily occurrence in their learning lives. The Teachmeet is encouraging cross-curricular numeracy.
Because it is important for our students to access numeracy at every area of their lives, starting in school .

Teach a starter or plenary with numeracy at the heart of it every 2 weeks. Talk to myself or a maths teacher once a term about how you are using numeracy in your subject area. We love nothing more than talking about maths and our students.

At the Teachmeet, I am hoping for some big names as Keynote speakers, and for some of our colleagues to lead a workshop and show others how they already use Numeracy in their lessons.
This will be a great opportunity to create a Maths buzz around Bristol Brunel; staff and students to continue to grow in confidence in using Maths and Numeracy everyday.
I am expecting 'a culture shift' to quote a member of staff whom I met with one Friday lunchtime at the 15-minute forum.
At the event educators will be able to take something away ready to use the next day. What could be better? I am turning up just for the goodies!
And there will be some raffle prizes to be won, those are worth coming for too.
I am really excited and I believe it's up to us to build on the momentum and it can only increase to bigger and better things for Bristol Brunel and for our students.
Interested in leading a workshop at the Teachmeet on the 8th of October?
Email me at


Music - Christmas Concert

On December 16th the hall was transformed in readiness for the festive celebration with fairy lights decorating the stage.

There were some superb performances from students in Years 7 to 11. The concert started with a group performance by three Year 7 students; Stephanie Branch (who later sang a solo), Kiera Massiah and Ellice Floyd-Jones. We also had an instrumental group for the first time; Felicity Sheppard (oboe), Charlie Allward (clarinet), Mollie Densley-Robbins (violin) and Michele Montouri (piano) playing traditional carols.

Battle of the Bands

The Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) staged its annual Battle of the Bands competition at Bristol Brunel Academy. All seven secondary academies took part in the competition Bristol Metropolitan, Bristol Brunel, Hans Price, Bath Community, John Cabot, Hanham Wood, King’s Oak and this year they were joined by The Grange School.

With students from Year 7 to Post 16 taking part the line-up of acts included Millie Grant, Chloe Smith and Ashley Danbury from BBA. The acts performed music from different genres in front of a packed main hall, at BBA.

This competition has been set up to showcase the best acts across the federation with the winning act hosting next year’s competition.

While the judges deliberated over the winning act last year’s winners ‘Only My Alibi’ performed for the large audience of supporters and fans.

This year a band from Hans Price won the overall competition with accolades being given to a number of acts for their superb performances by the main judge - CLF Chief Executive Officer, Mr Taylor.

Mr Williams, Teacher of Music, from Bristol Brunel said, “There was an amazing amount of talent on stage, all the acts were brilliant and did their academies proud. This is just one of many events where federated academies compete against each other.”

Conductive Music

Three project workers came to academy on the 26th and 27th March to run a project for 20 year 7 students.

As well as developing composition and performance skills, students made their own electronic instruments that they then used to perform on.

It was a really interesting way of combining technology, science and music.


Maths Challenge

Ninety KS3 students took the maths challenge on the 30th of April.
This was an important event as other students up and down the country were taking that same exam.
The students took it seriously and were very well behaved.
The exam took an hour and the papers have been sent off. As a result, those who took part will receive 20 house points each.
The UK Mathematics Trust usually take about six weeks to mark them, a fact I shared with an eager year 7 student who was asking me the next day whether I had marked all 90 papers!
I am excited to get the results back and hoping some of our students will be able to progress to the next challenge which is the Intermediate Kangaroo Challenge.


Art Dept - Birds of Prey

Y10 Art students were fortunate to have a visit from a peregrine falcon & a hawk this term! Usually used to being employed for pest control, these two birds suddenly found themselves life models for forty inquisitive Art students.

But being used to humans, the two birds were not fazed by us. It was an incredible opportunity to see such stunning creatures so close by and to hear about their individual personalities, the work they do around Bristol as well as learning about their care and training.

The Art department would like to thank Mr J. Garland and Skanska for helping to organise the visit as well as Harvey Pinnegar from NBC Bird and Pest Solutions for giving up their time to come in and talk to us.

MFL Dept - Spanish Trip Easter 2015

Barcelona was an amazing trip where we visited many famous sites like Nou Camps, Las Ramblas and the town of Girona. The cultural city offered us the chance to enjoy the work of the iconic artists, Salvador Dali and Guadi, at Park Guleu, the Sagrada Familia and Dali Museum. Many enjoyed the exhilarating rides at Porta Aventura, one of Europe’s popular theme parks. We stayed at Tossa de Mar, a small coastal area. Also, we spent our nights entertained by a magician and Miss Thielen’s dance moves.

Overall, it was an incredible experience, despite the draining 24-hour journey!

Staff Corner

Ms Jennifer Pickup

I am one of the two Deputy Curriculum Leaders for English at Bristol Brunel Academy, and I have taught English here since the Academy opened in September, 2007. I am a teacher with a love of telling stories and, when I'm not teaching, I can be found glued to my computer, writing. I had my first novel, Unbelievable, a supernatural thriller for teenagers, published in 2012 through Unbound (, and I am currently working on the sequel, Unforgivable ( I also regularly compete my horse, Lucas, a 16.1hh British Warmblood gelding, in dressage competitions. So far this year, we have qualified for four different dressage championships at three different levels! Lucas is a very talented horse, but also very naughty - sometimes he leaps into the air, or sideways, and I have to hang on very tight!


Parent Councillors Wanted

We currently have vacancies for parent councillors on the Bristol Brunel Academy Council and you are very welcome to put your name forward should you wish to stand for election.

Much like a Governing Body, the Academy Council’s role is to ensure children learn in a safe environment and to the maximum of their ability. The Academy Council also support and challenge the leadership of the Academy.

All parents are welcome to put their name forward for this role.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact:

Wendy Hellin, Clerk to the Academy Council on 0117 2446230, Ext 1403 or speak with Jon Jones or Sue Limb at Bristol Brunel Academy on 0117 377 2700.

If you would like to put your name forward for Parent Councillor, please advise Sue Limb in writing or by email as soon as possible.


Please email for any news, updates or information that you would like to share.