1 A State Boarding School St Brigid s School Plas yn Green, Denbigh St Brigid s is a Voluntary Aided School State Boarding School, an establishment where the funding for the school is provided through the Local Authority and boarding facilities can be purchased by parents. The school is very proud of its traditional values and high standards that are maintained and achieved. The School was established in 1939, by the Congregation of St Brigid, at the invitation of the then Bishop of Menevia, and set up in premises in the town of Denbigh. In 1943, they moved to the present premises, and the school became St Brigid s Convent School, catering for children from the age of 4 to 18. Over the years, it became a very successful Boarding School, with over 90 boarders and became known as Brigidine Convent High School, until 1990, when due to a lack of Vocations, the Congregation were concerned over the future of the school. Great efforts by several people were able to persuade a former parent to purchase the property, and lease it to a newly-formed Trust, which ran and developed the school once more as St Brigid s School. The coeducational Junior School was reintroduced, and the school grew as an Independent Boarding School. In 1994, the school applied for Grant-Maintained Status, which was approved in 1996, since when the school has become the first Maintained Boarding School in Wales. With changes introduced in 1999, by the Schools Standard and Framework Act, the School became a Voluntary-Aided School supported by Denbighshire Local Education Authority. Education is free, with fees for weekly or full boarding facilities. Pupils may also board overnight. St Brigid s serves a large catchment area stretching from Llandudno in the West to the Welsh Borders in the East, and beyond Ruthin in the South. Boarders come from a wide area of the United Kingdom, from within the European Community, and from former British Territories overseas. The school is beautifully situated on the A543 on the outskirts of Denbigh, a Mediaeval Walled Town, set in the grounds of an early-victorian House, surrounded by parkland. The Boarding accommodation is contained within the main building, which also houses the Chapel, Library and Dining Room. 26/03/2009
2 The School Philosophy Mission Statement: To prepare today s children for the challenges of tomorrow developing intellectually, spiritually and physically within a Christian family environment. Aims The Aim of St Brigid s School is to provide a good Christian Education which will enable each individual girl and boy to develop their talents to the full and produce the qualities of Character, both spiritual and academic which will lead them naturally into responsible adult life. St Brigid s provides an atmosphere where the basic values of Christian family living are of prime importance. A place where education and culture are appreciated for their intrinsic worth, where the development of the whole person through a multitude of disciplines gives each one a sense of dignity and worth. The Pastoral Care of Pupils The Pastoral care System at St Brigid s School is based on the Christian principals of respect, consideration, care and concern for every member of the school community. Pastoral Care is centred on the Form Group. In the first instance, Form Tutors should be informed of pupil s educational and personal difficulties, and usually problems are resolved at this level. Sometimes however they need to be passed on to the Headteacher, who may involve outside agencies. The Pastoral aims of the school are: to nurture a concerned and caring school community to help each pupil enrich her/his personal life to help each pupil to make meaningful and relevant choices to help create and maintain an orderly and happy environment where pupils can grow and learn. Religious Education. The School has a Roman Catholic Foundation, and in accepting a place, parents and the child must agree that the education will follow a Roman Catholic ethos, and they will enter fully into the religious life of the school. In so certifying, parents forego the right to withdraw their child from these activities. All pupils attend school assemblies and follow a course of Religious Education which is included in the core subjects to GCSE. Religious Studies is an optional subject offered at Advanced Level. Sporting Aims and provision 26/03/2009
3 The school fosters an enthusiasm for as many sporting activities as can be provided with the existing facilities. All pupils follow a course in Physical Education, and this is supplemented by after-school activities such as Soccer in both Primary and Secondary Departments as well as Orienteering, Cross- Country, Netball, Tennis, Athletics and Aerobics. Netball is a particular strength in the Senior School, but Football is increasing in popularity in both departments. There is often an annual trip to a ski resort in France which is extremely popular, and many pupils have become expert skiers.
4 Curriculum - Primary Department It is the aim of the school to develop a broad balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum which recognises the importance of the whole child. In accordance with the National Curriculum it is the school s aim that all children s learning should be planned to enable each pupil to experience the following aspects, in a consistent and continuous manner as he/she moves through the school. English. In accordance with the National Curriculum, great emphasis is placed on Literacy Skills. Speaking, listening and writing skills are taught, encouraged, enriched and used through every aspect of school life. Handwriting and spelling skills are developed by a variety of methods. Reading is taught from the earliest stages through the appreciation and love of books, and reading schemes are used to supplement this approach as well as a wide selection of picture and story books. Drama is used to strengthen and extend language. Mathematics. Children are given a wide range of activities and experiences, in accordance with the National Curriculum, thus enabling them as they develop their numeracy skills to think logically, imaginatively and to become skilled exponents of mathematics. Science Pupils are taught Science according to the National Curriculum requirements, developing investigative, research and evaluative skills, in order to encourage their scientific awareness. Information and Communication Technology The development of ICT skills is considered an essential part of each curriculum area, using the latest technology available in the school. History, Geography and Design Technology The school follows the guidelines as found in the national Curriculum. Welsh. The teaching of Welsh as a second language is presented as an exciting, interesting and relevant experience both in the classroom situation and in the everyday life of the school. All Primary children are encouraged to join in the Urdd activities. Music Music is introduced to the children from the beginning of their school life as a live experience are taught skills which will enable them to take an increasingly active part in music making and to become a more understanding listener. In addition to class music lessons there are opportunities for children to learn to play various musical instruments. Art/Craft and Design Children learn to work through a variety of two and three dimensional media, such as drawing, painting and model making. Visits from local artists enrich their experiences. Physical Education PE is taught throughout the school. Gymnastics, movement and dance are taught indoors together with various outdoor games and activities. Years 3-6 receive swimming instruction at the local pool and are entered for various awards.
5 Foundation Phase adventure play area. Curriculum - Senior School Key Stage 3 Years 7-9 (Age 11-14) In years 7, 8 and 9 there are 2 forms and subjects are taught mainly in form groups with some setting. Pulils in these year groups follow National Curriculum courses in Religious Education, Art, Design Technology (including resistant materials, food, textiles and information technology), Drama, Dance, French, Geography, History, Mathematics, Sciences, Music, Physical Education, and Welsh (Second Language). Year 9. Towards the end of Year 9, after full consultation between staff, pupils and parents, Students make choices regarding their GCSE Courses which are in keeping with their interest and ability. Care is taken to ensure that career aspirations are protected whenever possible within budgetary constraints. Key Stage 4 - Years (age 14-16) Students take up to ten subjects at GCSE which are chosen in year 9. The curriculum in these years is directly related to GCSE Examinations, and girls can choose from a range of optional subjects in addition to the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Sciences, Religious Education, Physical Education and Welsh. The Sixth Form (years 12-13) In the Sixth Form students usually follow a two-year course studying four subjects to AS Level, with three subjects in the second year to A2 Level. A course of lectures forms part of our Sixth Form Curriculum. The aim of this course is to encourage students to explore in a mature way some of the questions of life and to see in faith how we cope with them. Each student participates in an afternoon of physical pursuits with a programme of activities specifically designed for them. Year 12 Students are encouraged to participate in the very successful Young Enterprise Scheme. Careers Education. A Personal and Social Education programme is followed by all year groups. Vocational education is an integral part of this programme with particular emphasis on careers education in Years 9, 10 & 11 and is also reinforced through a programme of work experience in Year 10 and Year 12. Language Policy. The School has a policy for developing pupils language, which recognises that success in school subjects is likely to be greater if pupils are encouraged to practise their language skills within all curriculum areas. The School actively promotes the Welsh language and culture in accordance with the National Curriculum, as well as reflecting its position within the local community. The School is developing its participation in the Urdd Movement. Complaints Procedures about Curriculum and Related Matters. Under the terms of Section 23 of the Education Reform Act 1988, procedures have been laid down concerning complaints made by parents or others on specific items. Any concerns expressed by parents and others about the school curriculum and related matters will continue to be considered and, so far as possible, dealt with through informal discussion with teachers and the Headmaster in the first instance.
6 Where the issue is not resolved, the matter may then be the subject of a formal complaint and, if appropriate, referred to the Governing Body. If deliberations fail to provide a satisfactory response to the complainant, the issue will then be referred to a Curriculum Appeals Panel. A copy of the document detailing arrangements for the consideration of complaints is available for inspection at the school.
7 The Combined Cadet Force The School has a Combined Cadet Force which is available for all pupils over the age of 12. Cadets join in Year 8 and are expected to attend Annual Camp in June/July. The Contingent meets on a Wednesday evening from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Uniform (except boots) is provided. Cadets can join either the Army or RAF Sections. The training leads towards Advanced Proficiency Certificates, The Duke of Edinburgh s Award and BTEC in Public Service. There are many opportunities for Adventure Training and openings for sport and expeditions. Cadets have the chance to be selected for visits to Canada, Cyprus, Patagonia and Kenya. The School Day The School operates a 5 day week comprising 25 hours total teaching time in the Senior School. Each day is organised as shown below: Junior School Lessons Start at , Morning break, , Lesson Lunch, afternoon lesson , Afternoon Break Infant lunch Class 3& Class 5& Senior Registration; 8.50am, Assembly 9.10am, Morning Break 11.10am-11.30, Lunch Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Boarding School 5:00 pm Boarders Prep. 6:30 pm Boarding School Supper. Arrival: Pupils should arrive at school not later than 8:40am and proceed to their Form Base for registration. Morning Break: Snacks and drinks are available. Lunch. Pupils are expected to take School Lunch in the Dining Room by Forms. Pupils who do not take lunch are supervised in a classroom. No pupils are allowed to leave the School premises during the lunch period. Dismissal. The School finishes at 3.35pm unless pupils are engaged in an activity under the supervision of a member of staff. Leaving the Premises. Under no circumstances is a student allowed to leave the school during the school day without the express permission of the Headmaster. Permission is normally granted when a pupil produces written request from a parent. These requests are usually for dental or medical appointments or urgent matters which cannot be dealt with outside school hours.
8 All pupils will remain on the premises throughout the school day unless: parents have requested in writing for them to be allowed out of school in certain exceptional circumstances. they are year 11, 12 or 13 pupils who are allowed out of school by special arrangement. Absence. All periods of absence, however short, should be covered by an explanatory note addressed to the Form Teacher. When a pupil is likely to be absent from school for an extended period, it would be appreciated if the parent informed the school by letter or telephone. Holidays. The School strongly discourages holidays being taken during school terms as such absences are likely to have a negative effect on children s education. If parents wish their children to accompany them on holidays during school time permission can be granted for a period not exceeding ten school days, provided the appropriate holiday form is completed and returned to School. Such forms can be obtained from the School Office. Please note the official school holiday dates on the School s Annual Calendar. Special Education eeds St Brigid s School as a community reflects and celebrates the diversity of Christ s kingdom where the able and gifted can learn from and with, those with disabilities of whatever order. Our commitment is to the needs of every child admitted into the school, and this policy addresses our responsibility for those children with special educational needs whether long or short term, related to physical, emotional or behavioural difficulties or learning needs. We aim to be partners with parents who are the first educators of their children. Admissions We welcome those parents seeking integration into mainstream schooling for their child in the context of our Admissions Policy. Our criteria includes a statement that special consideration will be given to applications supported by an educational or other assessment of need, and we will seek to meet parental wishes as far as practicable and in the best interests of the child. Provision for eeds Governors have appointed the Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) responsible for Special Educational Needs. The SENCO will ensure that for new pupils, existing statements of need are made known to all who will teach the child and that appropriate provision, within financial constraints, is available in all curriculum areas. A review of progress will involve both child and parents so that realistic targets can be set and monitored. Our aim is to build on the child s strengths to allow maximum participation in all school activities. Special attention will be given to the child s spiritual development and preparation for the Sacraments to reinforce the sense of dignity and value established in the individual child. It is the professional responsibility of every teacher to be alert to the onset of a special need in any pupil and liaise directly with the SENCO, and the parents of the child. Assessment of, and provision for the child s needs may require assistance form outside agencies including the Educational Psychologist, Medical Officer, or Advisory Services of the Local Education Authority. Staff will have regard to the WAG Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational eeds in addressing special needs.
9 Sex Education Policy This School incorporates in its general teaching curriculum appropriate teaching on matters of human love, the functions of the body and an understanding of God s creative love as embodied in human reproduction at a level suitable to the growing child at various stages of development. Sex education as such is not a subject in itself on the curriculum. However there will be from time to time specific classes devoted to various aspects of sex education in a variety of subjects. Moral teaching on sexual behaviour will be covered from the Catholic point of view in all subjects although the RE department may take special initiatives in this area in liaison with other subjects. Questions arise in wide variety of topics. Teachers are asked to answer questions honestly, taking care that especially in the case of younger pupils answers are simple and straightforward and do not give rise to confusion or anxiety. All pupils will be encouraged to refer to their parents for further information and should it be thought necessary by the Headteacher, parents may be contacted.
10 Equality Opportunity Pupils who are admitted to the School and their families must be fully aware of the aims and objectives of the Catholic Church and the School, and parents agree to support them as required in the admissions criteria. Every pupil is to be held in equal esteem as a child of God. Their individual needs are to be carefully assessed and monitored in the light of their abilities, talents, previous and present experience and their full entitlement to educational and spiritual provision made to them. The overall structures and policies and attitudes are to be kept under review in order to see that no individual adult or child is subject in any way to prejudice or discrimination in terms of their membership of the school community. School Security, Health & Safety The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring the Security, Health & Safety of all persons who have access to the School, including Pupils, Staff, Parents and other visitors. Whilst it is impossible to secure the whole site, measures have been taken to ensure access to individual buildings is controlled. Digital Locks have been fitted to most entrances with locks to individual classrooms. Playground supervision, litter removal and careful supervision of pupils uniform adds to safety within the site. No vehicles are allowed on the playground during play times. All Governors, staff and classroom assistants are subject to Criminal Record Bureau checks, and all visitors are required to sign-in at the Office. Examination Performance Results in the various examinations have been excellent. In the External Examinations and National Curriculum Standard Assessment Tests (SATS ) as shown in the table below: Stage St Brigid s LEA Wales A Level (16 pupils) A-E Grades 100% 92% 94% 2 or more A-C 80% 66% 68% GCSE (53 pupils) 5+GCSE A*~C 94% 47% 51% 5 at grade A*~G 100% 83% 85% core subject indicator 62% 35% 38% Key Stage 3 (53 pupils) English Level % 71% 65% Mathematics % 68% 70% Science level 5+ 96% 73% 73% Core Subject Indicator 89% 56% 57% Key Stage 2 (28 pupils) English 4+ 89% 78% 78% Mathematics 4+ 85% 78% 78% Science Level % 88% 89% Core Subject Indic 77% 70% 72%
11 School Uniform Full School uniform is worn by all pupils during the school day, and a Uniform List will be supplied. Costs to Parents Although the major cost of pupils education is borne by the Welsh Assembly through the Annual School Maintenance Grant from Denbighshire, parents are still required to pay for some specific items, some of which are essential and others desirable. All pupils must possess full School Uniform, together with Physical Education Kit, geometrical instruments for Mathematics, a calculator, pens, pencils and rough books. The School provides text books and neat exercise books or paper. It is normal for parents to provide dictionaries, atlases and the like in the senior school. Costs of activities such as Sports fixtures, day Field Studies and visits within the Curriculum are funded by the School. Parents are asked to contribute when necessary towards the cost of other activities. Any activity overnight will be charged to the parent, but their school will do all it can to supplement the cost to parents. A charge is made for materials or ingredients for Technology Subjects to ensure conformity of effort, but the pupil will be able to retain the product. Resits of public examinations are charged, as are individual lessons in Music, Drama or Dance which will be charged at the appropriate rate. Destination of School Leavers Year 11 (56) 37 Returned to Sixth Form Year 13 (37) All to Higher Education Attendance for 2007/08 Autumn Term 95% Primary 92% Secondary Spring Term 95% 91% Summer Term 94% 90%
12 BOARDI G AT ST BRIGID S St Brigid s has been a Boarding School since 1945, and offers parents a secure base for girls only to be resident in school. Full and weekly boarding is available. Weekly boarding offers many advantages, giving the busy family freedom from the worry of meals and deadlines during the week, but the opportunity for quality time, together at the weekend. Boarders come from a variety of backgrounds; some parents work abroad, those who move out of the area at a critical time in their education, from Service families, and also from those nearer home who recognise the value of a boarding education for their children. The Boarding House is at the centre of school life, which ensures an authentic family atmosphere. All accommodation occupies the upper floors of the main building, above the Dining Room, Library, Resource Centre, the Chapel and Administration. There are TV rooms, and lounges. Junior Girls sleep in roomy suites, and older girls in double or single rooms. Staff and pupils together organise evening and weekend activities. There are many extra-curricular activities including an active Combined Cadet Force Detachment, with both Army and RAF Sections. The Duke of Edinburgh s Award Scheme, as well as ski trips, foreign exchanges, and visits to the theatre. Music, Dance, Horse Riding and Sport flourish, and Drama productions are of a high standard. Swimming is a regular weekend activity. Weekly Boarders The Matron and her assistant are always at hand for advice and to ensure there is close communication between home and school. Once a formal offer is made, which may be conditional on GCSE or other examinations, parents will be asked to confirm their acceptance of a place. Parents should be aware that formal acceptance of a place commits them to the first term s fees, unless the conditions of a conditional offer are not met. Fees There are three bands of fees for boarding Overseas Boarders which includes EFL, Full Boarders, An up-to-date list of fees is available from the Bursar or All Fees are payable each term in advance and no later than the first day of Term. Parents must give one term s written notice if they wish to withdraw their child from the boarding provision.
13 St Brigid s Voluntary Aided School, Denbigh ADMISSIONS POLICY PRIMARY St Brigid s School is founded to provide an education for Catholic and other children. Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority will always be given to Catholic applicants in accordance with the criteria listed below. Practising Catholic applicants wishing to claim priority will be required to provide the name of a priest to whom reference can be made and to produce a copy of a Baptismal Certificate. The responsibility for determining the arrangements for admission shall rest with the Governors of the School. 2 St Brigid s School provides 10 Nursery places for children under the age of 4. However, parents should note that pupils cannot be formally entered into the School until they reach the age of 4 on or before August 31 st of that calendar year children are admitted to the Reception class in the academic year following their 4 th birthday, and 7 day pupils in Year 3 Class in the academic year following their seventh birthday without any conditions. However should the number of applications exceed these admission numbers the following oversubscription criteria, listed in order of priority will be used: 1 Looked-after Catholic Children 2 Children with an older brother or sister at the school; 3 Baptised Roman Catholics; 4 Children of other Denominations, and whose application is supported by a Minister of Religion; 5 Children who have no religious denomination, whose parents wish them to have a Catholic education. 4 In addition, up to 2 boarding places for girls are available in Year 3. The following oversubscription criteria, listed in order of priority, will be used; 1 Looked-after children; 2 Children with pressing social needs, where evidence is provided at the time of application, supported by a Doctor, social worker, or the LEA; 3 Children of armed service personnel. 5 In the event of oversubscription in any of the above categories, places will be allocated to those living nearest to the school. Distance will be measured along the shortest route. 6 Pupils will only be admitted in other years subject to availability, and Parents wishing to effect admission to the school mid-term and at any other time must make an application which will be dealt with in the context of the School s Admissions Policy.
14 St Brigid s Voluntary Aided School, ADMISSIONS POLICY SECONDARY 2009 Denbigh 4 St Brigid s School is founded to provide an education for Catholic and other children. Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority will always be given to Catholic applicants in accordance with the criteria listed below. Practising Catholic applicants wishing to claim priority will be required to provide the name of a priest to whom reference can be made and to produce a copy of a Baptismal Certificate. 5 The responsibility for determining the arrangements for admission shall rest with the Governors of the School who intend to admit; 25 pupils into year 7 in the school year which begins in September 2009 following their 11 th birthday, subject to their achieving the equivalent of Level 4 at Key Stage 2 in English, Maths and Science in the Governors Entrance Examination. 2 Girls as boarders subject to their suitability for boarding, in accordance with the order of priority listed below; and 25 Students into the Sixth Form, subject to their obtaining the minimum criterion of six GCSE passes at Grade C or above. 3 Where there are more (or less) than the total of places available, places will be offered in the following order of priority; 1 Looked-after Catholic Children 2 Children with an older pupil at the school; 3 Baptised Roman Catholics; 4 Children of other Denominations whose parents or Guardians wish them to have a Catholic education, and whose application is supported by a Minister of Religion; 5 Children who have no religious denomination, whose parents wish them to have a Catholic education. 4 The Governors may increase the priority of an application where evidence is provided at the time of application, that the home circumstances are seriously prejudicial to the normal development of the child, where this is supported by a Doctor, social Worker or the LEA. 5 In the event of oversubscription in any of the above categories, places will be allocated to those living nearest to the school. Distance will be measured along the shortest route. 6 Pupils will only be admitted in other years subject to availability, and Parents wishing to effect admission to the school mid-term and at any other time must make an application which will be dealt with in the context of the School s Admissions Policy.
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