Year 8 News

Dear Parents and Students,



Carly Bassinder

Head of Year

Shelf Lifers enjoy Calderdale Children’s Book of the Year Event

Brooksbank’s Year 8 Shelf Life reading group had a fantastic day at Calderdale Children’s Book of the Year event, organised by Calderdale Libraries.  Readers spent the day, at Halifax Town Hall, working with four nominated children’s authors, staff from Calderdale Libraries and students from other secondary schools.

The four books nominated for the award were: Flying Tips for Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain, Twister by Juliette Forrest, The 1,000 Year Old Boy by Ross Welford and Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.  Students loved meeting the authors and enjoyed discussing the four books.

There was excitement in the chamber as the winning book, voted for by students, was announced.  It was Twister by Juliette Forrest.  Four Shelf Lifers won prizes for their excellent reviews: Finn Cullimore, Niamh Robinson, Jordan Gibbons and Joseph Mitchell.

Reading alert … New Year – New DEAR!

Drop And Read Day 2019 (800x400)

Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) is taking place during period 5 on Friday, 1st February.  This year we have developed the DEAR idea of community reading as follows.

Students in each year group and their class teacher will read the same short story:

Year 7 – Dream Daddy by Brian Martin;

Year 8 – The Watcher Society by Ellen Draper;

Year 9 – The Story of Blue Beard by Brigid McCauley;

Year 10 – Man from the South by Roald Dahl;

Year 11 – The Darkness Out There by Penelope Lively.

Also new for 2019 is the addition of a competition.

Those who have enjoyed reading the story can try one of the following tasks:

  • write a review of the story in under 100 words;
  • produce a biography on one side of A4 after carrying out research on the author;
  • write a short story that follows a similar theme in under 500 words;
  • produce a news report on your interview with one of the characters about their experience.

Competition entries can be posted in the competition box in the LRC by Friday, 8th February.

Prize winners will be announced at the end of half-term.  Good luck, everyone!!


Aim High Essay Comp Twitter_ Website 2019

Year 8 students flex their essay writing muscles in essay competition

While most of us were engaged in nailing our Christmas gift list, students in Year 8 were feverishly typing their Aim High essays to meet the December 17th deadline.

As we all know, there are no short-cuts to fifteen-hundred word essays and there’s no way you can pull them out of a Christmas cracker.  However, Mr Miller (Aim Higher Coordinator) had every confidence that our students would rise to the challenge.  After all there was a juicy range of questions to consider.

Here are our two favourite picks from each category.  Which would you choose?


  • Are the Harry Potter stories simply tales of good versus evil?
  • Is studying Shakespeare still relevant in today’s society?


  • Why was Elizabeth I a great queen?
  • What is the point of studying history in school?


  • “Our earth is heating up.” Is this because of human activity, or is nature to blame?
  • Why do many poor countries struggle to develop? 

Six essays will be shortlisted and judged by a crack team of essay experts (aka teachers).

The final step is a grilling interview where entrants will be will be asked to expand on the main points of their musings.  Finally, first, second and third prize winners will be announced and congratulated in assembly.  The winning essays will be displayed for all to read.  We can’t wait …


The hills are alive …

In just one month’s time, forty-six students from Year 8 and 9 will be breezing down the ski slopes of Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria.  The #SkiAustria2019 party departs Friday, 15th February by coach and arrives in the Glemm Valley at around 4.00pm on the following day.  Top on the itinerary is skiing! … and lots of it!  Also on the agenda are ice skating swimming and shopping.  The party will also watch a live ice hockey match and celebrate their accomplishments with a fun-filled awards evening.


Saalbach Hinterglemm Ski

Leeds mid-fielder Ava dreams of turning professional

Brooksbank student, Ava Pickard, has been playing football since she was around seven years old.  She followed her older brother into the sport and began playing for Greetland Goldstars.  While there she was talent spotted by scouts at Leeds United and was invited to join their Regional Talent Centre.

Football focussed Ava, who has been playing for the club for four years, is now attending training camps for England and is hoping to join the Under 15 squad where she will play her first games for her country – an impressive track record for a youngster who is still in Year 8!

Ava was spotted for Leeds United when she played for the Goldstars, where she discovered a taste for the sport in Year 3.  Playing in central midfield position, Ava rules the midfield and scores plenty of goals to boot.  Playing a key role in both attack and defence, Ava works with the keeper, strikers and wingers on the pitch.

“I love the game and enjoy the commitment,” says Ava.  “This year I’ve scored ten goals in fifteen games and set up over twenty assists.”

Football must be a popular subject in the Pickard household: with Ava and her inspirational brother, who inspired her to take up the sport, Dad who supports top flight Chelsea, and mum who favours Premier League Champions, Manchester City.

We wish Ava all the very best in achieving her dream to become a professional footballer.


Holiday dates …..

  • Summer – Opens Tuesday 4th September 2018
  • Autumn Half Term – Closes: Friday 26th October 2018 / Opens: Monday 5th November 2018
  • Christmas – Closes:Friday 21st December 2018 / Opens: Monday 7th January 2019
  • February Half Term – Closes: Thursday 14th February 2019 / Opens: Monday 25th February 2019
  • Easter – Closes: Friday 12th April 2019 / Opens:  Monday 25th April 2019
  • May Day – Closed: Monday 6th May 2019
  • Spring Bank – Closes: Friday 24th May 2019 / Opens: Monday 3rd June 2019
  • Summer – Closes: Thursday 18th July 2019