Heads Blog


Welcome to the Headteacher's blog. It is used to share information and showcase the variety of learning that takes place here at Brunel.  Along with Facebook, Twitter and our newsletters, this blog will also be used for posting information on events happening in school.  I hope that you find it useful and will check back regularly.

Suzanne Cooper - Headteacher


Excellent Egyptian Essays! 

Posted: 14/10/2019
Suzanne Cooper

Year 3 have been using their knowledge of ancient Egypt to write a story with a historical setting. They began by using a WAGOLL to create a toolkit, a list of everything they would need to include for their writing to be successful.

WAGOLL stands for ‘What a Good One Looks Like’ and they are ‘good’ examples of work that teachers give students to look at to provide inspiration for their own work. They help set a certain standard that children should be aiming to achieve in order to meet the lesson objectives. By examining the WAGOLL together pupils can create a list, or Toolkit, of everything they need to include to make their own writing successful.

These children were really proud to read their finished stories to me and each had identified their favourite sentence........

The intelligent guide stopped at each mesmerising display to inform the excited children about the unique artifacts.

Evelyn wasn't looking where she was going so she crashed into a beautiful, tall pyramid with bricks as rough as a rock and a lovely sandy colour that spread across the thick extraordinary pyramid. 

Well done.


Okehampton Outdoor Education Week 

Posted: 30/09/2019
Suzanne Cooper

Last week our year 6 pupils enjoyed five jam packed days of outdoor activities at Okehampton. Qualified instructors ensured that all the children, whatever their ability, were able to experience a variety of pursuits such as  kayaking, surfing, cycling and team building. 
Everyone, adults included, enjoyed finding out about each other's hidden talents! 


If you go down to the woods...... 

Posted: 20/09/2019
Suzanne Cooper

On Tuesday afternoon, a large contingent of Lower Key Stage 2 children and staff descended on Coombe Woods, armed with trowels and suitably dressed, to help plant daffodils.

This is the third year we have been invited by Jon Foster (a former Brunel parent) to take part in this amazing community project and we are already looking forward to visiting in the Spring to see the results of the children’s hard work.

Many thanks to all those who kindly donated bulbs. 



Posted: 16/09/2019
Suzanne Cooper


Summer Fayre 

Posted: 14/07/2019
Suzanne Cooper

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Summer Fayre yesterday. I'm sure you'll agree that it was a lovely family occasion from the moment Gloria Challen (Saltash Town Mayor) cut the ribbon to open the event, right through to the announcement of the very last prize winner.

We are so very lucky to have such a dedicated group of supportive parents who worked really hard to make the day a success. Sarah Elwell and the rest of the BFA committee did an amazing job of attracting stall holders and allocating tasks to the many parents, grandparents and staff who helped.

To all the teachers, TAs, cleaners, kitchen staff and caretaker who came to school for a sixth day this week I would like to say well done and thank you - the holidays are nearly here!

So whether you were an organiser, stall holder, helper, donator of goods or one of the many who brought their children along to spend their money, you all helped to make our Summer Fayre a successful community event that raised an astounding £1,780.

Thank you all very much.


Armed Forces Day 

Posted: 02/07/2019
Suzanne Cooper

On Saturday 29th June I spent an amazing day on the Hoe in Plymouth where our Field Gun Crew were taking part in the Armed Forces Day celebrations. 

Brunel's Field Gun teams have only been in existence for just over two months and yet were able to hold their own when racing against teams that have been established for many years.

The Crew took part in events from early morning until 4.00 pm and did exceptionally well to keep going on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far.

The origins of Royal Navy Field Gun lay in 1899, in the Second Boer War.  The British Army was besieged by Boer fighters in the garrison town of Ladysmith, Natal  when the Royal Navy landed guns from HMS Terrible and HMS Powerful to help in the relief of the siege. Special carriages and mountings for these guns had been improvised before the Naval Brigade manhandled six field guns each weighing nearly half a metric tonne over rough terrain to provide assistance to the British Army.

Brunel's Crews showed immense strength and teamwork. Every single member played their own individual but vital part in ensuring the very heavy gun was moved and reassembled perfectly.

The Crew would like to pass on their thanks to all the parents, friends and staff who turned out to support them. A special mention must go to Mr Knight and Mrs Newman for not only training the Crew but running every event along side them!


Brunel Engineers 

Posted: 12/06/2019
Suzanne Cooper

On Monday, we had a whole school celebration assembly to recognise the very special achievements of three of our upper KS2 children. As part of the Engineering Leaders Award, tens of thousands of children from both primary and secondary schools entered a competition in which they had to identify a problem and then find an engineering solution.

Maddie designed a set of foldaway steps to help the elderly and infirm gain easy access to the bath.

Jimmy designed a self-cleaning open fireplace.

Mark designed a gutter cleaning machine.

Out of over 30,000 entries, 317 were shortlisted with 214 being deemed good enough to be put on public display.  Maddie and Jimmy were both shortlisted with 'Distinction' whilst Mark was given the additional recognition of 'Judges' Highly Commended'. All three designs are now on public display at the University of the West of England in Bristol. We are sure that you are as proud as we are of their achievements and the excellent way in which they have represented Brunel Primary and Nursery Academy.


Red and Yellow Day 

Posted: 24/05/2019
Suzanne Cooper

For the second year running, all the children in Lower KS2 have been lucky enough to take part in the Archie Project, which links young people with the elderly.

This has resulted in weekly visits to St Anne’s Residential Home, where, along with the residents, the children have taken part in cooking, games, dance and craft, to name just a few.

Today, as part of Dementia Awareness Week, children and staff at Brunel have been invited to wear red and yellow to school; for these are the last colours to be recognised by the ageing eye.

We would like to thank everyone who donated to this worthy cause. Y3/4 pupils have also been writing letters this term to persuade the Anchor Homes group to continue funding this wonderful project for another year.


New Reward for Good Behaviour 

Posted: 16/05/2019
Suzanne Cooper

As you know, at Brunel we pride ourselves on the kind, courteous and good behaviour displayed by our pupils and are always looking for different ways of rewarding those many children who are; 

'Always in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.' 

Look out for these postcards that will soon be coming home as a way of letting you know that teachers have been particularly pleased with your child.

Thank you to Mr Parry for the painting on the front.


Parent Questionnaire  

Posted: 16/05/2019
Suzanne Cooper

Dear Parents and Carers,

Your views are important to us .Please complete our summer  2019 Parent and Carer Questionnaire which is now live.

Simply click on the link below.


Many thanks for taking the time to complete this survey. We will share the results prior to the end of the summer term.


RNLI - Water Safety 

Posted: 03/05/2019
Suzanne Cooper

This week began with a presentation in assembly from the RNLI.

Living in a town situated by a river and within easy reach of numerous beautiful beaches, it is really important that our young people are aware of how to keep themselves safe by water and what to do if things go wrong. 

The RNLI talked about how important it is to take notice of parents and other adults and always swim between the red and yellow flags at the beach. There are four key safety messages to remember;

  • Stop and think; - is this a safe place to swim?
  • Stay together  - never swim alone
  • Float - if you accidentally fall into water or are struggling against a current
  • Call 999 - if you see anyone in trouble
  • The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) offer this additional advice: The Water Safety Code - Spot the dangers!

    Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold water. The dangers of water include:

  • it is very cold 
  • there may be hidden currents;
  • it can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks);
  • it can be deep and it is difficult to estimate depth
  • there may be hidden rubbish, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass;
  • there are no lifeguards;
  • it may be polluted and may make you ill
  • For further information visit rnli.org


    Years 3 and 4 Poetry Workshop 

    Posted: 27/03/2019
    Suzanne Cooper

    We are always looking for different ways to inspire the children, and the local environment provides us with many opportunities. This week years 3 and 4 went on a visit to Saltash Waterside as part of their poetry unit on 'Rivers'.  The children immersed themselves in the atmosphere, sights and sounds of the river and produced some ambitious vocabulary to use in their work.  We are now looking forward to reading their finished poems.


    The Elmer Project 

    Posted: 26/03/2019
    Suzanne Cooper

    For 10 weeks in the summer of  2019 a  parade of 40 large, and 20 mini, fabulously colourful and unique elephants will be appearing all over the city of Plymouth and Mount Edgcumbe estate as part of "Elmer's Big Parade." Each elephant will feature a design created by both well-known and emerging local artists including pupils at Brunel! 

    The children were introduced to our very own Elmer sculpture  in assembly on Monday and everyone, from Nursery to Y6, will be helping to paint it over the next few weeks. In addition to providing opportunities for creative expression and participation in community events, the Elmer project is raising awareness and funds for St Luke's Hospice.

    Learning about giving and helping others gives children a feeling of empowerment and helps instil the children with a mindset that they can makes a difference. Reaching out to those in need, through fundraising, volunteering or donating is central to developing empathy and is part of our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural curriculum (SMSC). 
    I would like to thank the Brunel Friends Association for helping us to fund this project and Miss Wood for organising everything.


    Brunel Junior Field Gun Crew 

    Posted: 18/03/2019
    Suzanne Cooper

    Junior Field Gun Comes To Brunel!

    The whole school (from Nursery to Year 6) were delighted last Friday to receive our very own Junior Field Gun following a presentation in assembly by David Worral (school’s trainer) from Future Fit. This charitable organisation was created to allow young people, their parents and school staff to set up Junior Field Gun club, from which a team may be selected to represent them at various events, including the Armed Forces Day on Plymouth Hoe. Mr Knight and Mrs Newman have kindly volunteered to run the club as an after school club at Brunel (more details to follow).

    As a starting point today, (Tuesday 19th) all the children of KS2, were invited to take part in a taster session with Tom Luther, who has kindly volunteered to be our trainer and David. To say it was a huge success would be an understatement!

    Now, we can’t wait to begin our own Junior Field Gun Club and would like to thank Future Fit, David and Tom for choosing Brunel.


    Trauma Informed Schools 

    Posted: 07/03/2019
    Suzanne Cooper

    Brunel Primary and Nursery Academy believe in providing every child with the opportunity to experience an outstanding education; academically, emotionally and socially. We believe that by rigorously identifying the barriers to learning, providing an inspiring and relevant curriculum that considers the whole child and providing the necessary support for children to achieve and develop, all children will reach their true potential.

    We are committed to ensuring that Brunel children develop positive mental health and resilience, enabling them to fully engage in life and learning. There is a growing body of research and understanding of the impact of childhood adversity on long term mental and physical health and the protective factors that mitigate the potential impact. It is our aim to maximise the protective factors of school by creating an environment of safety that has strong, positive and  supportive relationships at its heart.

    I would like to say a huge well done to Mrs Payne, Teaching Assistant,  and Mrs Richards, Parent Support Advisor, for recently completing a 10 day diploma  course to become fully fledged Trauma and Mental Health Informed Practitioners. Their hard work will be of huge benefit to the pupils at Brunel. 


    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 

    Posted: 01/03/2019
    Suzanne Cooper

    On Friday 15th February, the children from KS2 who have instrumental lessons, enjoyed a morning music workshop with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, where they took part by playing various percussion instruments.

    The BSO also performed several pieces to the whole school and the instrumental students joined in, showing what they had learnt.

    All the children enjoyed listening to the music performed and the different instruments played. Two lucky members of the audience were selected to have a go at conducting the orchestra. This was more difficult than it looked!

    Brunel offers many additional instrumental lessons, including keyboards, guitar, flute, violins and drums. These are provided by Mr Jane and Mr George.  If you require any further information regarding these instruments please contact the school.


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