Brackenfield School Charity 2019-20

Dementia Forward are an experienced and established team, passionate about supporting people living with dementia and those who care for them. The charity supports people living in North Yorkshire, particularly Harrogate and Knaresborough.

They provide a number of services and different avenues of support and information to anyone who is interested in dementia, whether they have received a diagnosis, have concerns about their memory, support someone with memory problems, work in dementia care or just want to know more!

We will be running a number of charity events over the course of the year to support this good cause.  Representatives of the charity will also be coming into school very soon to take an assembly about the work that they do for local people.


Harvest Festival

Thank you for all your support and kind donations that your children have brought into school for the Harvest Festival.  Our service was led by Father Gary and was attended by many Brackenfield families.  All of the donations will be taken to Harrogate Homeless Shelter early next week. The children sang and read beautifully, it was a very uplifting service.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated.


Macmillan Coffee Morning October 2019

Thank you everyone who supported the coffee morning on 11th October, we raised a fantastic £722.15. Well done to our Year 6 children for their efforts with the very imaginative stalls, you helped us to reach this magnificent total.

Problem solving in Little Brackens October 2019

This morning children from Little Brackens built a ball bridge and enjoyed watching the balls run down it.

Story time in Little Brackens

We love story time and this book was particularly interesting this morning….

Brackenfield Open Days

On Friday 4th & Saturday 5th October, Brackenfield held an open morning for prospective new families. Our Yr 6 school guides welcomed many new faces and showed them around the school, answering questions and proudly showing off their refurbished classrooms and the brilliant work that is displayed around school. Parents and children had the opportunity to talk to teachers and pupils and to view our vibrant school in action.

Success for Brackenfield at the Tolly Richardson Swimming Gala

The annual swimming gala took place at the Hydro on Thursday October 3rd, where Brackenfield competed against 17 other local school. The Brackenfield team were successful and the team must be congratulated for their enthusiasm, effort and excellent sportsmanship.

Brackenfield School celebrates the World Cycling Championships - September 2019

Harrogate welcomed the cycling world last week and Brackenfield School celebrated in our own way. On Monday 21st September we held a house activity morning, where they worked together in house teams and took part in lots of different activities and challenges, which included learning about 2 different countries taking part in the races, designing a jersey and learning about the UCI colours, learning about the flags from different countries and making a bike with items found in the hall.

The children went out to watch some of the time trials during the afternoon, the school choir entertained the gathered crowds with ‘Yorkshire’ songs, they shared their knowledge of the flags from different countries with our neighbours. They cheered on the riders as they passed by.

Para cyclist visits Brackenfield - September 2019

We had the pleasure of meeting William Bjergfelt one of GB’s Para-Cycling team in Harrogate for the UCI World Championships. He spoke in assembly about the challenges he faced and overcame following a serious road traffic accident to enable him to be competing at this level and then hopefully making it to the Tokyo Olympics next year. Congratulations on his achievements at the recent UCI event.


Friends of Brackenfield School - September 2019

Thank you! Over £650 raised at our Fish & Chip Quiz Night

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Quiz Night in the School Hall on Friday and helped to create a great atmosphere. With special thanks to our Quiz Hosts, Fraser and Cristina Black (parents of Charles and Georgina).

Congratulations to ‘Last Plaice’ the winning team who now hold the trophy until next year. (2nd were ‘First Plaice and 3rd were ‘E=MC Hammer’)

Congratulations to 'The Question Crackers' who won the bottle of champagne and chocolate for best decorated table, with their Fish & Chip newspaper theme.

Brackenfield School shortlisted for award - September 2019

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for an ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Performing Arts 2019; one of just 3 shortlisted schools from over 520.  What a superb achievement in recognition of the hard work of all our staff and pupils!  We look forward to finding out the overall result in November…

 Brackenfield School help Bettys Celebrate their 100th Birthday - It was very exciting and an honour to be part of Betty celebrations and to sing live on Look North. After their performance the children and staff enjoyed sandwiches and Bettys famous cakes. The song the children sang was especially written for Bettys 100th birthday by Helen Leaf, our Head of Music, called “Bettys for Tea”.

Visit to the Mayor of Harrogate in Chambers

A group of children were invited for tea with the Mayor.  They were privileged to sit in the council chambers for a Q&A session where they learnt about the structure of local government.  They had a great time fun trying on the robes and chains of office.

Tour de Yorkshire - This morning we gave a big Brackenfield good luck cheer to the Tour de Yorkshire!

Y4 Residential to Bewerley Park 2019

Monday 1st April, it was no joke Y4 were going to Bewerley Park!! 20 intrepid adventurers set out on a journey which would encourage them to cave, climb, canoe, build a camp fire, shelter build and orienteer. With their usual gusto and enthusiasm, Y4 met all challenges head on and in the process improved their teamwork, communication and listening skills.  All in all a fantastic trip throughly enjoyed by pupils and staff. A huge thank you to Mrs Moon, Miss Mortimer and Mr Bolton for joining us.

Year 5 Girls Creative Writing Workshop at Harrogate Ladies College

On Thursday morning the Year 5 girls walked to Harrogate Ladies College to attend a creative writing workshop which was lead by author of ‘Red Ribbon’ Lucy Adlington.  The girls said that it was interesting and adventurous and it inspired them to write.  They also enjoyed their lunch with some former Brackens.

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Year 5 visit to the Boating Lake at Valley Gardens - Year 5 had an exciting finish to their D.T project of ‘Building a model boat.’ The class walked to the Valley Gardens’ boating pond on Thursday afternoon to test out their designs. With my shorts rolled up (Mr Olesqui) I waited to have to go and wade out in to the water to retrieve broken boats, but unsurprisingly and demonstrating Year 5’s hard work, I found myself not needed. All boats successfully moved through the water under their own power, working very well. With an audience of members of the public and the children bursting with happiness from their success, all the Year 5 boats sailed around the pond time and time again, working effectively and very efficiently. Well done to all of Year 5 for their hard work.


 Police Visit Little Brackens - PC Walker came to visit Little Brackens on Monday morning, they had their fingerprints taken and sat in the police car, and they thoroughly enjoyed their time;

When asking the children what they liked about the visit…

Henry - ‘All of it’

Georgina - ‘Fingerprints’

Levi - ‘The Sirens’

Zachary - ‘Seeing the Police car’

Anna – ‘Going in the car’

George – ‘The loud noises’

Eli – ‘It was all amazing’

Year 1 Visit to Harlow Carr - Year 1had an interesting day at Harlow Carr on a ‘Woodland Explorer workshop.  After a picnic lunch on the lawn (such a beautiful day!) We followed a ‘Botanical Trail’ all the way to the bird hide. A super time!

500 Words Competition - Congratulations to Sophia, Jude and William on winning the 500 Word Writing Competition. They thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Waterstones and then Baltzersens to enjoy some sweet treats on Thursday 28th March as part of their prize.

Brackenfield Choir

Brackenfield Junior Choir has had a busy but very successful few weeks of performances. On Saturday 16th March 2019 our talented choristers entered the Year 6 and under choir class at the Harrogate Competitive Festival of Music and Drama.  Performing ‘The Rhythm of Life and ‘Medley for Yorkshire’ arranged especially by Ms Leaf.  The choir won the class and was awarded the Mauer Trophy with Distinction.

The following day on Sunday 17th March the Junior Choir were invited to perform in ‘Voices Across the Water’ at St Wilfrid’s Church with the Newsome Chorus from Florida.  The children sang a 45 minute programme of choral arrangements and solos and received a standing ovation following their animated performance of ‘Choral Suite’ from ‘Les Miserables’.  Both choirs helped raise funds for the Home Farm Trust and St Wilfrid’s Development Fund.

The school Spring Concert gave the choir an opportunity to reprise the award-winning festival programme featuring some lovely soloists including Elisabeth playing the cornet.

Brackenfield Junior Choir rounded off an extremely hectic week by singing at the Mayor of Harrogate’s Banquet on Sunday 24th March. The Choir gave another fabulous performance delighting the Mayor and his guests. A huge well done to all the children who participated and to the team of staff who supported Ms Leaf at all of these wonderful events.

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Year 4 Visit to the Sikh Temple Year 4 had a wonderful trip yesterday, when they visited the Gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Bradford. After taking our shoes off and donning our head scarves, we were given a guided tour of the temple. The children found out so many new and interesting facts that really brought our topic on Sikhism to life. The children were extremely well behaved and definitely came away with a greater understanding of their key beliefs

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Reception visit to RHS Harlow Carr.

Reception had fun in the sun at Harlow Carr.  We learnt about what happens in the garden in spring and planted seeds to grow in our outdoor garden. After that we explored the garden searching for seeds. We had a lovely picnic then had a wonderful time in the adventure zone.  We returned to school exhausted but happy.


World Book Day 

Thankfully our World Book Day celebrations were not disrupted by snow this year! The children all looked wonderful in their costumes and enjoyed the opportunity to display their efforts during assembly on our 'cat walk', before completing a morning of book-related activities! In the afternoon, the children chose a story to listen to whilst enjoying a drink of hot chocolate! We were careful not to 'judge a book by its cover' and made our decisions based only on a short summary of the story. 

Fiction Mission

On Monday we had a very exciting visit from Paige Turner, who needed the children's help to fix some of our favourite stories that had been spoilt by her arch rival, 'NIM'. Luckily, the children's fantastic imaginations meant that we were able to find a way to put the stories back to how they should be!  

500 Word Competition


This term, Years 1-6 took part in our annual 500 Words Competition and all of the entries were of a very high standard! The children's stories were a pleasure to read and demonstrated what talented children we have at Brackenfield! Miss Kitchingman and Mrs Moon are looking forward to taking the Gold Winners to spend their Waterstone's vouchers and enjoy some coffee and cake at Baltzersens! Well done to all! 

Infant Silk Painting Workshop A  lovely day silk painting with Anne Findlay:

Mrs Findlay spent a great day with Reception, Years 1&2 silk painting. Each of the children had a wooden frame with silk pinned on it and were asked to cover the silk with the dies in the pallets.  This stimulated much discussion about mixing of colours and what flavour the water pots might be! Sprinkling salt on the silk to enhance and add interest to their design was something the children found fascinating. The children were relaxed and happy doing their painting.  Mrs Findlay commented the children were attentive to instructions and a joy to work with. See some of their fabulous designs! 

Year 6 Snowboarding at Xscape

On the last day of term Year 6 pupils enjoyed an afternoon of snowboarding.

Little Gym - Little Brackens and the Infant Department had a lovely afternoon at the Little Gym yesterday.  The children participated in an age-appropriate movement session and all had the opportunity to explore the qym equipment.  A great time was had by all! 

Reception Class Pyjama Party

To conclude our work on instruction writing we had a pyjama party. Year 2 said it looked such fun that they asked to join in. A great time was had by all; playing games, listening to stories and having a midnight feast.

Y3 visit Danelaw 2019

21 ferocious Vikings descended upon Danelaw village, Yorvik, intent on causing mayhem and chaos and sailing back to Scandinavia with gold, silver and slaves a plenty!

In reality they all had a fabulous learning experience in the authentic frozen North where they made oil lamps, tended the fields, made bread and chased away an Anglo Saxon. Grrr!

Year 3 Visit to the Shree Laxmi Hindu Temple

The children enjoyed their visit to the Hindu Temple, they learnt about how Hindus worship and were able to experience a Mandir. They enjoyed exploring the shrine and learning about Hindu weddings.

Years 5 & 6 visited Ampleforth College for a day of Maths workshops.

On Thursday 17th, the Year 5 and 6 pupils enjoyed a great day of Magic Maths at Ampleforth College.  They were mesmerised by the amazing Maths of renowned author Kjartan Poskitt and they thoroughly enjoyed learning Maths related puzzles to test out on unsuspecting parents and friends.

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Nigel the donkey visits school

Photos from our Junior Carol Service held at St Peter’s Church

Sir Gary Verity and Christian Pruhomme were special guests at our Infant Production “Christmas in Yorkshire”

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Tour de Yorkshire race directors visit Harrogate — Harrogate Informer -

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL and Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme have been on a mini tour of the county – 6 December 2018

Tour de Yorkshire race directors visit Harrogate — Harrogate Informer -

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL and Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme have been on a mini tour of the county – 6 December 2018

Infant Production

The Infant department’s original nativity “Christmas in Yorkshire”, attracted a host of famous people. Sir Gary Verity and Christian Prudhomme came for a special rendition of Miss Leaf’s song on Thursday and on Friday morning, ITV news presenter Christine Talbot said it was the best nativity play she’d ever watched. To top off our wonderful couple of days we have been named the regional winners of “Virgin TV’s Best Original Nativity Play”. Merry Christmas from the hugely talented Infant Department.

Christmas Card Competition

We had some excellent entries for our Christmas Card competition. There was great deliberation over the winning design and so the decision was made to have two winners. Congratulations to Martha and Beatrice.

WWI Commemoration

The children had a wonderful day expanding on their knowledge of World War I with workshops from John Sheehan, author of Harrogate Terriers, Ivy Rogers talking about the effects of losing an uncle in war and James Cornock showing World War I memorabilia and a wonderful story about two horses who served at The Front.  To add to the excitement, we had a visit from “real soldiers’ who provided a hands on exhibit and helped to make our 2 minutes silence even more memorable for the children.

Our day concluded with a tea party and World War I sing-a-long for visitors including our Founder, the Mayor and Mayoress, our friends from Hampden House and other special friends of Brackenfield.  Thank you for all your messages of appreciation, highlighting how our day made events more meaningful for the children. 


We are very proud to announce that we have now joined the Independent Schools Association (ISA) which is the registered charity that represents the Heads of 506 of the UK’s best independent schools.  This represents a kitemark of our quality as an independent school, as there is an exacting process of requirements to join. The ISA provide Members and their staff with a wide range of membership services, including high quality training courses and conferences, networking opportunities, advice and support, and they actively pursue charitable objectives by supporting a wide range of charities.

We look forward to working with ISA over the coming years to enhance our school provision further.



Y5 Pizza

Year 5’s DT task of creating, making, baking and selling pizzas concluded yesterday with a pizza sale after school in the playground. A wondrous and extravagant range of pizzas were on sale with flavours like ‘Candy pop’ ‘Spageroni pizza’ and ‘Breakfast pizza’. The children developed their understanding of company design, profit margins, costings and other business skills. All in all an impressive £157.02 was made by the sale, with all profits going to the school charity.

Well done Year 5, watch out Sir Alan Sugar

WWW Commemoration

A big thank you to the staff, pupils and parents that helped make the school ready for our remembrance assembly and tea party today. 

Years 5 and 6 visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park

On Thursday, Year 5 and 6 went on their Art trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The children had a fantastic day looking at lots of different pieces of art. They tried their hand at sketching, string sculptures and spent most of the afternoon designing and making a large group sculpture based on the inspiration of famous sculptures. The children seemed to really enjoy the day, with many of them wanting to return with their families in the near future.


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Year 1 Assembly

Clad in cagoules, Year 1 took their families and the rest of the infants to Antarctica for the story of Captain Scott.They sang, waved ribbons and played instruments as they portrayed the events on board the Terra Nova…. Life in Base Camp…. and the journey to the South Pole.Their moving rendition of ‘Blow the Wind Southerly’ was a fitting tribute to the final five men who, sadly did not return.

Charity cake sale in aid of Home Farm Trust

Two Year 6 pupils held an early Halloween cake sale on Monday after school, the cakes sold out very quickly and they managed to raise over £100 for the school’s chosen charity Home Farm Trust.Well done girls

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Our Charity of the Year

This week we are pleased to announce our school charity for the year. Having previously supported a variety of charities in the past, the school have selected a charity with links to the school.

This year, we will be supporting The Home Farm Trust, a charity that operates nationally to support people with learning disabilities. After being founded in 1962 by a group of parents with children with learning disabilities, HFT now support 2,500 adults across the country. This is something that HFT could not do without the support of donations and fundraising.

On Monday, Miss Kitchingman, who has family connections with The Home Farm Trust, gave an assembly on the charity and the work that they do, explaining how important the support that they provide is.

In addition to The Home Farm Trust being selected as this year’s school charity, Miss Kitchingman is also running the London Marathon to raise money for the cause. This will be her first marathon and she is keeping a blog of her journey ( to share with the children at school and anyone else who would like to read it! It is Miss Kitchingman’s hope that documenting the ups and downs of her marathon training on a public platform will raise the profile of both reading and writing across the school, as she believes it is important for pupils to see adults they know producing writing for a purpose. She also hopes to inspire the children to be physically active both in and out of school, hosting a weekly running club at Brackenfield, as well as encouraging pupils to attend their local Parkrun at the weekend.

However the children’s involvement in this challenge doesn’t end there. Miss Kitchingman is asking all the pupils to suggest a song for her marathon playlist, to encourage her around all 26.2 miles.

Mrs Matthews, Headteacher, said “We are very excited to be supporting a charity that has a personal link to one of our staff. Miss Kitchingman has been able to show the children photos and family stories that demonstrate just how vital the work of this charity has been for her family. The children were so inspired they have already arranged their first Cake Sale for next week!”


Year 1 & 2 Visit Bradford Industrial Museum

Year’s 1 & 2 enjoyed a great Victorian day out at the Industrial Museum in Bradford.  The Year 1 children experienced a ‘washing day’ workshop whilst Year 2 learned all about the art of weaving. A fantastic learning experience!

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Year 4 Art Workshop - Harlow Carr

Year 4 spent a morning creating Hockney inspired artwork at Harlow Carr Gardens. They worked as a team to create a ‘bigger picture’.


The Planetarium came to school

Thank you to FOBS for organising the planetarium visit. All pupils had the opportunity to visit the dome and learn about the solar system, planets and stars. It was a very enjoyable experience.