Brooksbank enjoys a number of inspiring friendships with individuals, groups and organisations. We believe that developing friendships and collaborations with our wider community develops and enhances student learning.
In Art lessons, our students enjoy learning new techniques by engaging with notable artists such as, Jake Attree and Papa Essel. The department also enjoys links with The Artworks art school, Halifax.
Opportunities to play music are abundant at Brooksbank and students enjoy lots of occasions and events where they perform live. The school’s connections with Music For Youth, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band and Opera North are especially rewarding and successful. Our Christmas programme of events runs throughout December and features performances across Calderdale, beginning with impromptu carols at our Christmas Fayre, a Christmas tree gathering in West Vale, our school Christmas Concert, an afternoon appearance at Harveys of Halifax and our annual Carol Concert for Year 7 students at Blackley Baptist Church. The event at Blackley enables soloists and ensemble members to perform for all of their peers in Year 7, who take their turn to raise the roof with some festive singing.
Student learning is enriched by inspirational talks and skills development workshops with the acclaimed children’s author, Phil Earle. Phil has made a number of appearances at Brooksbank, speaking candidly to students in Year 8 about how his reluctancy to read, and honing writing skills with Year 11 students ahead of their GCSE examinations. A guest appearance at Brooksbank Into Books and book-signing brings out the reading/writing bug in all of us!
Friends and colleagues join us every year for our annual French Food Fair. Taking place in the Spring term, this fun-filled event is exclusively for Year 9 students and boosts their linguistic skills and confidence. Our guests join with members of staff to speak in French and are always impressed by the levels of enthusiasm and participation as students go to a lot of effort in the kitchen and in Studio 3, to create the vibe of a busy French market. Flags, bunting and posters trim confectionary stalls offering every confection from chocolate cake, brandy snaps, brownies and cupcakes – tempting anyone with a sweet tooth!
Brooksbank enjoys a profitable relationship with Lepra, the long-established charity which works in India and Bangladesh to treat and rehabilitate those affected by Leprosy. This learning programme takes place during assemblies and form periods when students learn about the work of the charity. It culminates with a noisy Zumba-thon and a valuable cash collection. Recently, students from Year 7 raised a colossal £1,606.44 for people affected by Leprosy.
At The Brooksbank School, we work closely with our primary partner schools to ensure our students make as smooth a transition to Brooksbank as possible. Each year, curriculum departments invite youngsters from Year 6 to sample subject lessons so that they become familiar with learning in their chosen secondary school.
Primary school children also join us for sports events and activities throughout the year and transition lessons in the summer term. We also enjoy strong sporting links through Brooksbank School Games. The process builds towards an exciting and memorable transition day for all our new students. Members of our sixth form also benefit from working with our family of schools to enhance their skills and experience.
Sporting activities for young people across Calderdale are going from strength to strength thanks to Brooksbank’s connection with School Games, the national school sports organisation, funded by Sport England.
Our School Games Organiser, Colin Crowther, is based at Brooksbank and co-ordinates a fantastic array of sports competitions involving an expansive network of schools. The competitions enable young people from fifty-seven schools from across Calderdale, including nine secondary schools, forty-five primary schools and three special schools, to come together to meet, compete and enjoy a wide range of sports and activities. Sports include: athletics, boxing, karate, rugby, cricket, boccia, dodgeball, football, hockey, kurling and frisbee.
Calderdale Music Trust supports music provision at Brooksbank through instrumental teaching programmes and curriculum support.
The Trust also provides expert individual, paired and small group instrumental tuition in a range of different instruments. Parents who wish to take advantage of these opportunities in music may find out about tuition fees and download an enrolment form by clicking here.
The Music Trust also provides opportunities for pupils to play with other young people in a variety of musical ensembles which cater for players of all abilities. The ensembles rehearse at two venues: Heath Music Centre (based at Heath Training and Development Centre, Halifax) and West Calderdale Music Centre (based at Scout Road Academy, Mytholmroyd).
The school has a long association with The Rotary Club of Elland which has given invaluable support to many students over many years. The connection is strengthened by a member of our school’s Governing Body, who is also an Elland Rotarian. The Club kindly sponsors students to take part in national competitions in public speaking (Youth Speaks), cookery (Future Chef), and technology (the Technology Tournament). Rotarians also provide our students with valuable career-building advice and interview support in Key Stage 4. An especially successful aspect to our partnership is the school’s participation in Youth Speaks. Youth Speaks is a national public speaking competition with local, regional and national finals. Elland Rotary have supported many Brooksbank teams of public speakers who have succeeded in competing in the national finals.
The school connects with Invictus Wellbeing Services, a Calderdale-based company who aim to deliver wellbeing and support services to students of all ages. With 10% of young people in the UK having a diagnosable mental health condition, our partnership with Invictus is important to us. Students, parents and carers may speak in confidence to members of a trained team of staff at Brooksbank or contact an Invictus confidential helpline regarding issues including safeguarding, sexuality, bereavement, stress, self-harm, eating disorders, bullying, social media issues and much more by calling the helpline number for support, guidance and advice on 07484 545411. The Invictus helpline service is open from Monday to Thursday 6 pm – 8pm and Friday 5pm – 7pm. For further details please go to www.invictuswellbeing.com.
The Brooksbank School has a long history of developing cultural links with students living in other countries. A school trip to Belgium got the ball rolling in 1936, when a successful visit to took place. Opportunities to travel abroad are flourishing at Brooksbank with sports holidays, Geography and History trips all proving very popular.
Equally rewarding are our cultural exchange visits to Perpignan. Students and staff at Brooksbank enjoy a warm relationship with their counterparts at Cours Maintenon, a private school located on the outskirts of the town. This particular exchange which began in 2013 is maturing well, with meet-ups happening regularly throughout the year. “The thrill of being immersed in a new culture – where even the most mundane acts like asking for a loaf of bread – are unmatched by anything else!” says one student who has taken part in every exchange while attending Brooksbank.