Welcome from the Headteacher
The choice of secondary school is a hugely important one both for the parents and the child. We all want to choose a learning environment that not only creates the opportunity for academic success but also one that will develop the social and personal skills that are such an important part of our lives. Most importantly we want everyone to be happy and feel safe. This is what we do at Brecon High School.
We have defined our vision as “Preparing students for their future by developing strong values, and maximising personal potential in a safe and caring learning environment”
This is a commitment that we seek to achieve not only each day, but also to know that we can always keep developing and refining the ways in which we do it.
The pupils have a range of opportunities to experience and develop their skills in a number of areas, notably sport and the arts. There are numerous extra-curricular trips both at home and abroad. Recent trips have been to America, to Sealyham and to London. Over recent years our pupils have been supporting in achieving national and international honours in a number of sports, most recently in athletics and kick boxing.
Success is achieved through a partnership between the pupils, the parents and the staff, not only in regards to the teaching and learning and the progress made but also in the links to our community.
This prospectus provides a snapshot of what we offer and how we support the pupils and I hope it is helpful to you.
We welcome visitors to our school and I believe there is no better way to judge a school than to see it action. Please do visit us at our Open Evening or contact the school to make an appointment to visit the school during a working day.
The Vision for Brecon High School
The vision for Brecon High School is defined as:- preparing students for their future by developing strong values, and maximising personal potential in a safe and caring learning environment.
This will be achieved by:
- Each student taking responsibility for their learning
- Providing the skills for every student to be prepared for their future
- All staff to have high expectations for all students
- Providing a high quality teaching and learning experience
- Developing independent learning skills
- Making education a journey, not a competition, creating lifelong learners
- Raising the profile of our Welsh identity both within the school and our local community
- Offering a range of opportunities in and outside the classroom
- Staff, students, governors and parents being united to achieve success
- Being inclusive and consistent for all students
- Celebrating the success of our students
- Communicating through a range of media
- Setting aspirational yet achievable targets for all students
- Creating a learning environment that inspires and supports learners
Resources and Accommodation
Brecon High School has a wireless system running throughout the school’s classrooms and all classrooms have electronic whiteboards.
There are four, dedicated ICT Rooms; up to date technology is available in the Design Technology Department and there is a well-resourced Drama Studio and a suite of Music Rooms.
A Learning Resource Centre acts as a hub for supporting students’ independent learning as well as offering opportunities to extend their learning through the loan of reading books, CD’s and DVD’s.
PE facilities include a multi-purpose hall, gymnasium, astro turf, extensive football and rugby fields and an athletics track, as well as the use of the Leisure Centre, its pool and other facilities.
All students at Brecon High School enjoy a full and varied curriculum in line with national requirements. To maximise student achievement (help students do their best) we use a mix of setting and mixed ability groupings. A variety of teaching strategies, both traditional and modern, are employed, including whole class teaching, individual, paired and group work. ICT is used extensively in lessons to aid learning which is why all classrooms are networked.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9) The following subjects are offered to all students in English:
Welsh Medium Education
Brecon High School promotes bilingualism. Indeed, Estyn have noted that “Bilingualism is a strength and is actively promoted throughout the school.” All students study Welsh until the end of Year 11. In addition students are offered the opportunity to study the majority of subjects through the medium of Welsh. Students follow the same curriculum as pupils in the English stream except that they study the following subjects through the Welsh Medium:
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)
Compulsory subjects. All students study the following subjects:
|Physical Education||Welsh 2nd language||The Welsh Baccalaureate at Intermediate Level|
Option subjects. Students make a selection from the following GCSE Subjects:
|Art and Design GCSE||Motor Vehicle Maintenance||Triple Science||Business Studies||Construction||Design and Technology|
Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)
Compulsory subjects. All students study:
|The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma|
Optional subjects. Brecon High School is part of a Post-16 South Powys Consortium of schools offering students access to a range of over 30 Level 3 subjects. Students can study the AS/A Level subjects below at Brecon:
|English||Business Studies||Design and Technology||Religious Studies|
Drama, Music and the Arts
The artistic life of the school is rich.
Individual tuition is provided across a wide range of musical instruments by staff, and there is a long tradition of concerts and productions involving our choirs, orchestras and a number of additional instrumental ensembles. Many of our students become regular members of South Powys Youth Orchestra.
Students have several opportunities to become involved in drama productions throughout the year, whether it be working in sound, make-up, costume, lighting, front of house duties or performing in front of large audiences at Theatre Brycheiniog. Recent productions include Grease, Joseph, Our House and Les Miserables.
Walking around the school provides visitors with the opportunity to see the excellent standard of Art work produced by our students as it is proudly displayed in the school’s offices, corridors, foyers and classrooms. Students develop their skills through exciting opportunities provided to work with visiting Artists and the Art club is very popular. The school holds a bi-annual Art exhibition at Theatre Brycheiniog.
Our pastoral system recognises, and rewards, progress and achievement. In order to produce pupils who are self-reliant, responsible and confident members of society, we provide a well-ordered and safe environment where each individual is treated with respect and courtesy. Our pastoral system recognises, and promotes, rewards, progress and achievement. On joining the school pupils are allocated to form groups and usually remain under the guidance of their Form Tutor for five years. The Form Tutor plays a vital role in working with the pupils to ensure that the highest standards in terms of attendance and punctuality, work, appearance and behaviour are achieved. Each year group has its own Progress and Guidance Manager who is actively involved in monitoring and guiding the pupils in order to ensure that each one has the opportunity to reach his/her potential.
A successful partnership between the school and parents is essential if this is to be achieved and parents can contact the Progress and Guidance Manager if they wish to consult the school about the progress of their child.
Student Responsibilities / Student involvement
At Brecon High School we actively encourage pupils to play a positive role in all parts of school life and take ownership of their learning.
The School Council, made up of students elected by their peers, meets half-termly to discuss issues raised by students.
Prefects / Sub Prefects
Students who have shown themselves to be excellent ambassadors for the school are chosen to become prefects or sub-prefects and they have substantial responsibilities and status within the school.
Year 12 students undertake training to become Peer mentors. As such they support younger pupils with their education.
The House System
All students are attached to one of four Houses: Cynrig, Honddu, Senni and Tarell. They remain in these Houses throughout their time at the school and are provided with the opportunity to be part of a community that goes beyond a form or year group. Representing their House allows many pupils to take part in events in which they might not otherwise participate. Teams from the different Houses take part in various events during the year, including the Swimming Gala, Sports Day, Eisteddfod, Quiz, Karaoke and a variety of other competitions! The House system engenders a sense of responsibility in its members and all pupils have the opportunity to become House representatives who play a significant role in planning and organising activities.
Sport and Fitness
Students at Brecon High School enjoy lessons on extensive playing fields, including an astro-turf pitch and all-weather track, as well as having access to the pool, sports hall and fitness suite in the onsite Leisure Centre.
Lessons are complemented by an extensive extra-curricular programme, with training and interschool fixtures in rugby, football, hockey, netball, basketball, cricket and rounders. Competitive sporting experience and ‘esprit de corps’ for all students is fostered via a full programme of sporting events based on a house system. Tours and trips are arranged.
The 5 x 60 programme, aimed at providing opportunities for all, offers variety such as golf, skipping, dance, table tennis, horse riding, climbing, girls tag rugby, led by a sports development specialist working with, and in, the department.
Community links with clubs and primary schools are well developed. National and international success is enjoyed in sports like rugby, karate, dance and football. The department recognises commitment, dedication and loyalty through a Sports Ambassador scheme.