January Newsletter 2016
NEWSLETTER, January 2016
Hello and a very “Happy New Year” to you all. Our
young people have returned to school relaxed and
having enjoyed the Christmas break. We hope you
enjoy reading about the activities from last term.
Please make a note of the dates in the diary section,
further details of these events have been sent home,
or are to follow.
Pen Portrait – Jenny Baker
Hello, my name is Jenny Baker. I have been at Kennel Lane School now for just
over 4 years, and I am currently leader of the Secondary Department, whole
school Assessment Lead and a Staff Governor. Before coming to Kennel Lane
School I worked in a mainstream Secondary school where I was Deputy Head of
the Humanities Faculty and Acting Head of House.
My main aim for the learners in Secondary is to prepare them to be ‘next stage
ready’ whether that be leaving Kennel Lane School to go to college, taking an
apprenticeship or going into paid employment. ‘Working’ experience is also really important for
all our young people and I hope you will support Key Stage 5’s new enterprise business, Green
Leaves, by booking our Afternoon Tea event for you and your young person later in the academic
Outside of school I like to spend time with my friends and family as well as taking my two dogs,
Teddy and Mr Darcy, for long walks.
Pen Portrait – Gaynor Murphy
Hello, my name is Gaynor Murphy. I have worked at Kennel Lane for 10 years,
currently within the Secondary Department. My daughter Megan attends the
school and is now in her final year of sixth form.
Originally, I started as a volunteer in the Primary Department supporting
swimming and cooking sessions and decided I quite liked it so applied to
become an unqualified teaching assistant. Over the last 10 years I have
completed two NVQs and am now a qualified teaching assistant (QTA). I am hoping to complete
my higher level teaching assistant qualification in the near future.
My current role is to support students across Secondary in Independent Living and Careers and to
generally give support where needed. I teach Rebound Therapy three times a week within
Secondary which I thoroughly enjoy and I think the students do too.
In my spare time, I am kept busy being my daughter’s personal taxi service, taking her to all her
after school activities! I like to keep fit and go to an exercise class called TRX and Gravity Fit on
the trampolines at Gravity Force. When I’m not doing that, I enjoy baking cakes for friends and
We all enjoyed our Christmas lunch celebrations at
the end of term. There was singing, joke telling and
much laughter (as well as yummy food!). Thank you
to all the visitors who came to share this event with
us again, and massive thanks to our wonderful
catering staff who cooked the meal for us.
Primary Production – “Grandma Saves Christmas”
There was a Superhero in the Primary department on the run up to
Christmas - for those of you who managed to come and see our
Christmas play, you will know exactly who we are talking about!
We took a different approach our Christmas
production this academic year and created our own
show called ‘Grandma saves Christmas’. Stacey Lees and Kat Croser worked
collaboratively to link R.E, Music and Drama together to create a carol concert with
a twist; a play where we had a bedtime story being told about a villain (Crazy
Cracker) and his sidekick (Broken Bauble) trying to ‘zap’ all the Christmas spirit out of
every Christmas performance and only Grandma could save the day!
Stacey and Kat shared the same creative vision of wanting the children to be at the
heart of the show. This meant they took control telling the story, introducing the acts through the
script, having class prepared Carol performances but also included technical elements, jokes for
audience entertainment and creative props (our favourites were the water spray gun and
cracker explosion). Each class chose a traditional Christmas carol to
perform and we had a reasonable sized cast sharing the lead roles.
The standard of the performance exceeded all expectations, the pupils
were professional superstars! There were laughs, cheers and boos from the
audience throughout the show adding to an electric performance
atmosphere and the feedback received from parents and carers who
came to see it was very complimentary indeed! We were so proud of our
performers, we really challenged them this year and not only did they rise
to the challenge, they smashed it!
Thank you to Stacey and Kat, the children and all the staff in the Primary department for all their
hard work J
Secondary Christmas Production – “Secondary School Musical”
This year, the Secondary performance took the theme of a school
preparing for a Christmas production! It was of course nothing like
our own preparations – in this performance, “staff and assistants”
complained about the workload, “kitchen staff” complained that
lunch was always late, and the “students” complained about
having to do a nativity!
followed, but of course everyone pulled
together to ensure a wonderful show!
Every class took a different role in the story, including teachers,
teaching assistants painting the scenery and parents waiting at the
school gate. They all worked very hard to sing and dance to
demonstrate how they felt about the rehearsals. Students from the Performing Arts options played
the speaking roles of students and teachers, and even Kennel Lane staff got involved, playing
parents receiving the inevitable ‘costume letter’.
The production again showed the wonderful performance skills of our
students, with lovely humorous moments. The audience were very
appreciative of their efforts and were very complimentary. We are
always very grateful for the support of our parents, not only at the
performance, but also in helping to provide costumes and support
students in learning their parts.
Kennel Lane Staff Get Crafty!
It’s not just your young people who have lots of fun at school! Oh
no, some of our secondary staff were treated to an hour of getting
crafty, making their own Christmas wreaths. The rivalry was fierce, as
each class team, and some more competitive individuals, battled to
make the most impressive wreath! Standards were that high, to
select an overall winner would have been impossible! Thank you to
Jenny and Mr Chris who organised this fun, end of term activity for
Set the Video Recorder!
In the November newsletter, we told you about one of our Primary pupils, Martha in
Jet class, taking part in an episode of “Something Special” with the fabulous Mr
Tumble. This episode will be aired on Monday 1st February at 9.45 and 1.45. It will also
be available to view on BBC iPlayer for 30 days. Don’t miss it!
Stay Safe Scheme in Bracknell
A number of local shops, businesses and amenities within Bracknell Forest have
agreed to be ‘safe places’ and will display a sticker in the window like the one
printed here. Each location that has signed up to be a safe place has agreed
that their staff will offer assistance to people with learning difficulties and autism as
well as those with dementia and mental illness. For further details go to www.bracknellforest.gov.uk/safeplace
Thank you for supporting our recent collection of good quality second hand
clothing, which in turn supports developing countries. Through this excellent
organisation, the school has raised £102.46. Key stage 4 learners boosted
our campaign by working with our local residents who also donated items
for us. The money will be used to help complete works in the sensory
garden, an area that has recently been constructed and added to the
learning environments available for learners at Kennel Lane School.
We would like to thank Mrs Fiona Dunbar, one of our parents, for working with the school in
organising this event.
Dates for your Diary
Don’t forget to check the website for up-to-date and urgent news. More details of all of the
events below will be sent in due course. Please note that the Family Fun Afternoons for Primary
and Secondary are now taking place in March. Look out for the flyer in your young person’s
home link book.
w/c 8th February
Year 11 Work Experience week
Tuesday 9th February
Internet Safety Day
Mon 15th – Fri 19th February
Wednesday 2nd March
Primary Family Fun Afternoon 3.00pm – 4.45pm
Thursday 3rd March
World Book Day
Wednesday 9th March
Secondary Family Fun Afternoon 3.00pm – 4.45pm