Farm Open Day success

This year’s Farm Open day was a huge success! The weather was fine and we welcomed 100’s of visitors from the local community to the farm.

Our students were on hand to explain and answer questions about the farm and livestock care as well as being integral in the event organisation. Visitors got the opportunity to get up close to see farming practices in action.  Alan Kensett gave sheep shearing demonstrations. Students helped visitors hand-feed orphan lambs. And, of course, our youngest visitors were able to sit in our tractor driving seat, always one of our most popular activities.

The Wealden group of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers demonstrated the ancient art of spinning and our resident beekeepers, Beatrice Sales and Gill Waterton were on hand to explain how bees make honey.

Music was provided by ‘The Jazz Dukes’ and country dancing group ‘Roses are Red’ from Shoreham, entertained our visitors whilst they tucked into delicious Oathall sausages and burgers cooked up on the BBQ.  We sold out of tea and cakes, the greenhouse did a roaring trade in plant sales and our cows obliged with the cow patch stall.

Mr. John Blackholly, Head of Farm unit said:

“The day was a great success and we raised £2400 towards the upkeep of the farm and animals. Thank you to everyone who came along on the day and to all our volunteer helpers, students and staff who made it all possible.”

For more photos from the day see our Flickr page here.

Judo success for Oathall students

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The Mid Sussex Martial Arts School Judo Team, with Oathall students Hannah (pictured kneeling on the far left), Azhar (pictured front row, fourth from the right) and Thomas (picture standing back row, second from left).

At this year’s 2016 Sussex County Judo trials, Oathall students, Hannah Nelson, Azhar Ahmed and Thomas Abram were worthy winners of Bronze medals in their respective categories.

All three students train at Oathall and at the Mid Sussex Martial Arts School where they are taught Judo as a martial art and not as a ‘competitive sport’. Despite that, our students have gone on to compete and as a result have all secured places in the Sussex County Judo Squad for 2016.

Click here for a full report on the 2016 Sussex County Judo Trials 

Worth Less? – update

Worth less logoIn the past few months, all schools in West Sussex campaigned to secure interim funding for the academic year 2016-17.  This campaign took place against a wider context of securing fairer funding arrangements for all schools nationally.

Unfortunately in spite of everyone’s best efforts and support, schools in West Sussex have not received any additional funding for 2016-17.  This was required to act as a bridge to the proposed new Fair Funding Formula that is currently being considered.

Heads and Principals across the county are very frustrated that pupils in our care will not receive the fair and crucial extra funding during the current academic year. Whilst the concerns of Headteacher representatives were listened to carefully by the Minister for Schools, Sam Gymah MP, it is extremely disappointing that the Department for Education chose not to provide the vital interim funding that we have campaigned so hard for.

Click here for a full response from Mr Rodriguez about this issue

The Spirit of Rock Challenge

This March, 60 Oathall students showcased their dancing and performance talents by competing in 2016 Be your Best Rock Challenge. The event, held at The Hawth Theatre in Crawley takes place in front of a large audience and involves schools from across the region competing against each other in a dance contest.

Oathall’s dance, titled, ‘Is Alice in Wonder Land?’ focuses on a young girl with mental health issues who struggles to distinguish between reality and her perception of reality, the so-called “Wonderland”. Students were involved in the whole process and contributed to the development of choreography, costume, set and make-up. On the day, the dancers were also supported by stage crew, hosts and of course, staff.

Oathall was placed 4th overall and were rewarded with 9 awards of excellence in several categories. We were also pleased to have been voted into first place by the other competing schools for the school that most embodied the ‘Spirit of Rock Challenge’.

More photos from the event can be seen oin the college Flickr pages.