Information for new students starting in September 2018

Welcome to all of our new students.

Transition team

Our transition leaders, Mrs Jane Newnham and assistant Headteacher, Mrs Faye Hatchard have been working with our local primary schools to prepare students for moving on to secondary school. On July 10, your child will attend the induction day and meet their tutor. Your child’s tutor will be responsible for your child’s pastoral care. Mrs Newnham also works with our team of Assistant Heads of House. They provide pastoral support for all of our students.

  • For enquiries about transition arrangements please contact Mrs Jane Newnham, Transition Coordinator
  • For enquiries/discussion about children with medical conditions please contact Mrs Polly McDonald
  • For all other enquiries, please contact Your message will be directed to a member of Oathall staff who is in the best position to help you.


Parents of new year 7 students have been sent information packs in May. These contain forms and information about the transition process. Please refer to these if you are unsure about any of the arrangements for starting at Oathall.

In late August, we will contact you again with further information about the online systems we use for homework, timetables, school reports and our online payment system.

You may also find this information of use.

Starting Secondary School – A Parent’s Guide

Starting Secondary School checklist


Students need to be prepared for lessons at all times. Our ‘Be ready for learning’ leaflet provides you with details of the equipment that we expect students to carry with them in school.

In your first fortnight, you will find out what you need to bring for DT or PE lessons and your teachers will be happy to help you if you’re not sure.

We recommend students check their timetables the night before to ensure they are prepared for the next day.

Uniform 2018

New students starting at Oathall in September 2018 will be required to wear the Oathall uniform. All new students will be expected to wear a white collar shirt and Oathall tie as part of the uniform. 

Full details can be found here.

Food and drink at school

Students are expected to remain in the college during break and lunch times. Students may bring their own food to eat or they may eat in the canteen. Students will be registered with a canteen account on their first day. Information about the canteen and how this works is included in your information pack. Online payment details will be sent out in late August.

Travel to school

We expect all of our students to travel to school using sustainable transport. Most students walk to school or arrive by school bus. Students should enter by the Washington Road footpath, the Albemarle Drive or the Appledore Garden entrance. There are no other entry points into the school.

We expressly ask parents not to drive onto the school site to drop off or collect students in the morning or after school. The vehicle access into Oathall is narrow and not designed to allow for a large number of vehicles to arrive and turn around at the same time. This entrance is used by the school buses which must take priority over other vehicle users. The narrow drive entrance is also located in a residential area and a build-up of traffic at our entrance causes congestion and inconvenience to our neighbours. If you have to drop your child by car please drop them off or collect them at the Washington Road roundabout entrance where there is more space.

For evening events we allow parking on site.


Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

I write as we approach the end of another busy and successful term.  Just last evening we hosted our annual celebration evening in the college hall. It is so important that we are able to stand back and say well done to all our students who have worked so hard throughout the year, contributed so much, made excellent progress and achieved so highly. I was delighted that so many parents could join us for this evening of celebration.

The most exciting news to share of course is that the major re-development of our maths and science block is now complete with the building being handed back to school last week. The final pieces of new furniture and equipment are currently being installed and staff are busy ensuring all is ready for the students to return in September.

The new facilities really are exceptional with 8 brand new maths classrooms, 8 brand new science laboratories and a computing suite.

As you know, our extraordinary Parents’ Association managed to raise a staggering amount of money to provide additional equipment that will significantly enhance the learning of the students. I am truly humbled by and profoundly grateful for the generosity of so many people.

Whilst the block will be open for teaching from the first day of the autumn term we are currently organising an official opening event that will take place later in the term. I look forward to sharing more details of this in due course.

In meantime, do enjoy reading the articles in this latest teaching and learning bulletin and on behalf of the governors and staff at Oathall, may I wish you and you families a restful summer break.

I look forward to seeing everyone again when we return in September.

Mr E Rodriguez


Radio Two’s “500 Words” success

At 5am on 8th June, we jumped onto our bikes and cycled the 3 miles along the towpath to Hampton Court Palace to go and watch the final of Radio 2’s competition “500 words”.  I had submitted my story as my English holiday homework and couldn’t believe my eyes when an email came through inviting me to be part of the audience.
On arrival, we were greeted with a massive queue which we joined wondering whether we would ever make it in as it was moving so slowly.  Before we knew it we were weaving our way to our seats.

A jester warmed the audience up practising cheering and clapping for the show and then Chris Evans and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I got to see 3 live bands and watched famous people reading out the talented winners stories.  It was such an exciting morning and being so close to the live radio show action was a real experience.

The icing on the cake was being able to meet some of the famous people. My favourite story was The Poo Fairy read by David Williams. I also got the chance to have my photo taken with some of the famous people most excitingly with Malorie Blackman because we have just read her book Noughts and Crosses in our class. It was a morning that I won’t forget for a long time.

By Joby Barnaby

Showcasing Art in the wider community

At the National Students’ Art Exhibition 2018

We are delighted that Oathall’s Year 11 Art GCSE work was recently selected to be exhibited at the NSAE, Mall Galleries, London. The opening of the exhibition was the 18th of July and it celebrates the best of students’ artwork from across the country.
Mr C J Russell, Founder NSAE, “The standard of submissions has again been extraordinarily high. It is a marvellous accolade for the artists and schools selected”.
Congratulations to Honey Latter, Molly Watts, Maddie Wareham and Nina Kashdan who all had their work exhibited and well done to Mia Jones whose pieces were highly commended.

Ms J Smith-Hashim

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At the Haywards Heath Twinning Association Community Art Project

This year Haywards Heath celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Twinning with Traunstein and the 20th Anniversary with Bondues.

To mark this special occasion Haywards Heath Twinning Association created a Community Art Project on the theme of “Friendship”.

Lead by textile artist and teacher, Jan Hunt, three wall hangings were produced which express the theme of Friendship between Haywards Heath and the two twin towns. Oathall students and local Primary schools participated in workshops with Jan. Community groups also took part making the project uniquely intergenerational.

Year 9 student Izzy Hateley created original graffiti lettering designs and year 10 students Bradley Turner, Izzy Bain, Lily McDonald, Freya Smit, Lottie Brooks, Kerry McCarthy and Emily Brock created impressive textile art pieces.

At a formal ceremony on the 30th June, two of the wall hangings were presented by Mayor Jim Knight to Mayor Christian Kegel and Mayor Patrick Delebarre as symbols of their enduring relationship.   The third wall hanging will be displayed in the Town Hall.


Learning to care for the next generation

Year 10 girls recently completed their child first-aid course over two lessons in the Albe for part of their Child Development course. They all did really well and had lots of fun doing a practical element to the course. They learnt CPR, how to treat cuts and burns and dealing with choking both on a child and a baby.

Mrs S Kirkpatrick

Learning by experiencing 

At Hampton Court Palace

Over two days, 115 Year 8 students recently visited Hampton Court Palace on a History school trip.  We spent the day participating in a variety of educational activities, including team building skills, fact hunting and exploring the historical palace and grounds.  We enjoyed getting lost in the oldest standing maze in the country. We discovered a range of intriguing and interesting facts.  For example, did you know that back in the Tudor era, the residents and guests of the palace drank an astonishing 600,000 gallons of beer in only one year!
Ms Z Froud
 A Year 8 student said, ‘visiting Hampton Court Palace has made me more enthusiastic about History and has inspired me to take it for GCSE.’

In Ypres

On Friday 8th of June, a group of around 30 students and some teachers and teaching assistants went on a history trip to the battlegrounds of Ypres in Belgium. After a five-hour coach journey, our first stop was the Hooge Crater Museum. It was very interesting as we got to see a lot of the weapons used in the First World War, as well as things like medicine in those times, gas masks and the soldiers’ uniforms. We also stopped for a while to be shown where we were on a map and how the Battles of Ypres progressed around the Ypres Salient. We then went to Hooge Chateau, which was an old battleground, where we got to walk through some of the old trenches.

After that, we went to the Hooge Crater Cemetery, where 5,916 World War One soldiers are commemorated. We found the gravestone of H.S.Tindall, who was a British soldier in the Royal Berkshire Regiment. We found out he lived on Oathall Road, which we found was very interesting. We laid a cross on his grave to commemorate him. Then, at Essex Farm, we found a Muslim grave, which I found very interesting; to show respect, instead of putting flowers around it, people place stones on top. We also found the grave of a fifteen-year-old soldier, Valentine Strudwick, who died fighting.

Then we went to Tyne Cot Cemetery, where there are records of 11,956 people who gave their lives in WW1, 8,369 of which are unidentified. There were hundreds of white marble graves, but there was also a long wall around one edge of the cemetery, commemorated to those whose bodies were never found. It was very emotional to see all the thousands of people who died fighting for their country: for all of us.

Finally, we went to Ypres town for dinner and for the Menin Gate wreath ceremony, where Felix and I got to lay the school wreath in front of a crowd of people. It was a bit scary to do it but I was glad we got to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives for us. It was a very fun trip and I was glad I got the opportunity to go on it as it was very interesting and gave me a much better insight into what actually happened in the War, and it gave us a much better idea of the vast amounts of sacrifices made.

By Esme Brigden

In the west of France

Travelling along the motorway to the beautifully stunning La Rochelle provided our students with their first opportunity to practise their French as we stopped for a traditional French breakfast of pastries and coffee at the service station.  Although some were initially timid, all students spoke with their best French accent when purchasing their products.

After dinner at the hostel, Auberge de Junesse staff and students experienced the delights of La Rochelle harbour, beach and evening market.

When presented with a myriad of ice-cream(s) to devour on the golden sands of Les Minimes beach, students couldn’t wait to use their French to order the delights on offer.

Students found the seafront night market an exciting occasion to immerse themselves in traditional French culture, products and atmosphere.

Following an early morning start on Tuesday, students learnt about the historic three towers of La Rochelle while waiting for the boat to Ile d’Oleron.

The journey to Ile d’Oleron took us past the historic 17th Century Fort Boyard.

Ile d’Oleron gave students the chance to mix history and culture.  Visiting the traditional French indoor food market in the market town of St Pierre d’Oleron, walking through the cobbled streets surrounded by picturesque stone buildings was a real treat.  Here students explored the vast amount of products on offer and independently used their skills to buy gifts, order food and navigate their way around the area.

Puy du Fou Grand Parc was a truly exhilarating and memorable experience.   Experiencing five events in one day was a challenge planned with military precision by Monsieur Henri which resulted in all students and staff watching wonderful and amazing shows.  Each show was narrative as well as visually spectacular thus students had to use their knowledge of spoken language to understand the plot.

The aquarium in La Rochelle was beautiful and fascinating.  To learn about the creatures students were encouraged to read the information provided next to each marine feature.

Our final destination was Futuroscope – wow, a genuinely unique, stimulating and thrilling experience!  Entering a world of 3D, 4D and now 5D is an adventure not to be missed.  Within the theme park, students had to use all their speaking, listening and reading skills to either understand the stories/information being told on the rides, ordering food, understanding what an attraction offered or simply navigating where to go.

 At Cuckmere Haven

120 students from Year 7 went to Cuckmere Haven to study a variety of geography themes including river meanders and management, the impact of tourism on the area and the geology and erosion of the coastal cliffs.  Students also scaled the chalk cliffs / first peak of the Seven Sisters cliffs to experience the amazing view of the whole Cuckmere Valley.

Year 10 Work Related Learning Week

Oathall’s Year 10 students have recently enjoyed a week of work-related learning experiences.  The week allowed students a taste of college/university life as well as an insight into possible career paths.

Monday – The week began with college taster days at Crawley and Plumpton college and the University of Sussex.  The students participated in subject taster sessions of their choice at Crawley and Plumpton.  The Motor Vehicle session was reported as being fantastic!

A most enjoyable and informative day was had at the University of Sussex.

Tuesday – We were very pleased to welcome back some former Oathall students: Sarah Caddy (Post-doctoral Research Fellow @ Cambridge University), David Amor (Computer Games designer), Ben Higgins (Head of Human Resources at Societe Generale), Hilary Cornish (Research, Evidence and Learning Adviser at Christian Aid), Petr Esposito (Architect at MATT Architecture) and Rebecca Cooney (Attorney/Lawyer at Floran Glennon).  They came to talk to our students about their career paths and work experience and are all members of the Oathall Alumni Association, which allows us to keep in touch with our former students.

Wednesday – The students spent this half term preparing for ‘mock interviews’.  We had many business volunteers who acted as interviewers for our Year 10 students.  Our mock Interviewers were very impressed with them and commented that they were well presented, personable and polite, enthusiastic, very engaged and asked some good questions.  The employers enjoyed the experience and said it was a pleasure to meet such lovely young people and that the school should be very proud.

Apprenticeships – In the afternoon we were visited by an education expert who delivered a presentation on apprenticeships.  This gave our students an opportunity to understand how the national apprenticeship programme works.

Thursday – Our visit to the Big Bang fair was a great experience for many of our students as they were able to find out about various vocations in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Friday – Work observation day – The students organised their own work observation days where they were able to observe a parent, friend or relation at work.  As part of this, the students completed a world of work survey.

Mrs K Ferros

Public Speaking competition results

Winners of the Year 7 public speaking competition. From the left: Tasha Lawrence (end), Paige Nesbitt (joint 3rd), Ben Tame (1st) and Matty Mackay (joint 3rd).

Year 7 winners


Winners of the Year 8 public speaking competition. From the left: Ella Tingley 93rd place), Molly Aplin (2nd place) and Dominika Knotkova-Hanley (1st place).


Year 8 winners

Well done to all the finalists who represented their classes. They did themselves proud.

Ms P Sullivan

Mid-Sussex sports

Mid Sussex Athletics competition

On Thursday 28th June Mr Mills along with 19 Sports Leaders from Year 8 organised a ran the Year 7 Mid-Sussex Athletics competition at Broadbridge Heath.
The leaders were absolutely superb and ran a seamless competition demonstrating great organisation, fantastic communication and a level of maturity beyond their years.
In addition to this, I am also extremely pleased to tell you that our Year 7 boys team came first in the event beating 11 schools from the Mid-Sussex area. A fantastic achievement. The girls’ team were stretched due to injury and illness of a number of the team so didn’t place on this occasion. They did, however, do Oathall proud and should be commended for their attitude and commitment.
Ms Z Froud

Festival of Sport

On Wednesday, 6 June. 50 students in Years 9 & 10 were given the opportunity to attend The Festival Of Sport at the University of Chichester. The Festival offered an arena for students to try out different sports, learn about the effects of exercise on the body and discover what facilities and courses were on offer.

 Students were able to learn from world-leading researchers and external experts from local and national organisations. Students participated in activities ranging from climbing, blind football, wheelchair hockey and rugby, alongside the biomechanical and physiological effects of physical activity. Activities were run as either drop-in sessions in which students could dip in and out of, and throughout the day and scheduled for 30-minute sessions.

 “Many Thanks for leading such a wonderful trip today. I and many others were able to enjoy the day and work independently on activities we wanted to whilst also having fun and enjoying ourselves. I for one found it very inspiring to see the different careers available in a sport as well as participating in the practical side of sport.” Year 9 student.

Ms C Avery

Junior Maths Challenge Success 2018

Pupils at Oathall achieved 8 gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze certificates in this year’s UKMT Junior Maths Challenge. Over 260,000 pupils from across the UK sat the Junior Maths Challenge with roughly the top 6% receiving a gold certificate, the next 13% silver and the next 21% bronze.

Students with the highest results are invited to sit a follow-on competition: up to 1200 top JMC scorers are invited to take the Junior Mathematical Olympiad and the next approximately 7000 take the Junior Kangaroo. Congratulations to Daniel Reed (7VMT), Ella Tingley (8VRB), Afdhal Azard (8VRB), Molly Hord (8DSA), Nathanael Brown (8ESML) and Toby Colvin (8PCAS) as they qualified for these follow up rounds. A special mention should be made to Toby Colvin and Daniel Reed who achieved a merit from Junior Maths Kangaroo and Olympiad, respectively. Daniel is our youngest student ever to go on to qualify and succeed in the Olympiad round!

The Junior Maths Challenge is run by the UK Mathematics Trust and supported by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. It is aimed at those in Years 7 and 8 and is sat in schools The UKMT is a registered charity whose aim is to advance the education of children and young people in mathematics. It organises national mathematics competitions and other mathematical enrichment activities for UK secondary schools pupils. Further information about the Trust and its activities is available at

“The Maths Challenges provide material to provoke student’s mathematical thinking and test their problem-solving skills in an accessible and yet challenging way. Many congratulations to Oathall Community College on their success in the Junior Maths Challenge; it is great to see achievement in mathematics recognised.”

Rachel Greenhalgh, UKMT Executive Director

Sample question from this year’s Junior Maths Challenge (answer on UKMT’s website)

Gill scored a goal halfway through the second quarter of a ‘teachers versus pupils’ netball match. At that point, what fraction of the whole match remained to be played?

A  ¼ B ⅜ C ½ D ⅝ E ¾

If you could work out the answer to this problem and you will be a year 7 or 8 student next year, then you may have the desired skills to succeed in this competition. Oathall’s maths faculty also runs the Intermediate and Senior Maths Challenges for years 9, 10 and 11 with similar success.  Letters will be sent home soon with more details about these competitions. For more information, you can ask your teacher or speak to Miss Calleja

Ms M Calleja

Reading activities in the classroom and in the library

At Oathall we’re thrilled that our Year 7 and 8 students have engaged so well with the Accelerated Reader scheme. We’ve found that on the whole students have enjoyed silent reading time within their English lessons and a chance to explore new authors and the range of books that we stock in the library.

In the last two weeks, we have awarded certificates to students who have made progress in terms of the amount that they have read in their spare time and those who have read the most words in their year group.
According to our Renaissance software, Molly in Year 7 has managed to read 5,949,661 words this year (71 books). Well done Molly!

Ms A Chinn

For this final term in English, Year 9 students have been exploring Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s seminal story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and the issues around it, such as mental health and gender roles. Students were assigned an independent creative project that linked to the story. Miss Evans and Ms Fisher were treated to a wide range of interpretations including displays, film trailers, new excerpts, art, research, and speeches. Hopefully, this will inspire students to read more widely in preparation for the challenge of GCSE. Please visit the English corridor to marvel at our students’ excellent work.

Ms L Fisher

Summer reading suggestions

Keen to keep your child reading over the long summer break? Why not try reading as a family? Here are some suggestions of how you can make reading fun and spend quality time together. Summer can be a time to relax together as a family,

  • Start a family reading club. Each person chose a book, promote your book to each other and then everyone votes for their favourite book. Read it aloud to each other or silently to yourself, draw characters from the book, make up a different ending, draw an alternative cover – have fun with the book.
  • Get a book of science experiments and have a go – remember, everyone must help clean up afterwards!
  • Play an audiobook to everyone in the car on a long journey
  • Talk about what you are all reading around the dinner table, share what you are reading as well as finding out what your children are reading
  • Watch a film based on a book you’ve read and then compare which you prefer and why.
  • Use the public library, it’s free!
  • Enter the Jacqueline Wilson writing competition

Here are some useful links for book titles

Mrs D Perrin


Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

Our latest bulletin, as always, provides an insight into the breadth of experience and opportunity made available to Oathall students. Their continued commitment to all that is on offer never fails to impress.

The practical examinations in Photography and Art signal the start of the formal GCSE season. Students often tell me how their 10 hour examinations seem to ‘fly by’ as they get so completely absorbed in their work. As always, I have been so impressed by the quality of the pieces they produce. It was a real joy to see work on display in the college hall in an exhibition enjoyed by students, parents and carers, and the wider Oathall community. The art and photography was exhibited together with samples of work from Design Technology and the contribution from our Food & Hospitality students made this a real faculty event.

If you have passed through the college reception recently, you would have seen the display of Oathall’s winning submission in the recent Mid-Sussex STEM challenge. I am very proud to say that Oathall students were awarded both first and second place in this inaugural event against very stiff competition from local schools. My congratulations to all those involved in this project.

Whilst working under somewhat challenging circumstances this year, the science department has certainly not shied away from giving students a practical experience in their learning; the ‘Race for the Line’ challenge being a case in point. However, it is fair to say that they, along with their mathematics colleagues, are very much looking forward to moving into their new accommodation. I am delighted to confirm that the constructors are still reporting that all is proceeding to schedule and anticipate a completion date in early July.

I am so grateful for the work being undertaken through our parents’ association to raise additional funds to provide exceptional resources to enhance the teaching and learning in this new block. I am struck by the generosity of so many people whose contributions will have a profound impact on the experiences of Oathall students. Further details of the crowdfunding website can be found here.

Mr E. Rodriguez


GCSE Art, Photography and DT Faculty Exhibition 2018

Well done to our talented Art, Photography and Product Design Year 11 students who recently exhibited their exam work in the main hall. Students’ work was celebrated with a private viewing, well attended by students, their families and their friends. Year 10 GCSE Food and Hospitality students made canapes for the event which were delicious!
Thank you to all who attended and supported the event.

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Visit by Dr Who Author Daniel Blythe

By Ms Fogarasi

We were very excited to host Daniel Blythe at Oathall on the 24th April. Daniel has written over 20 books for adults and young adults, both fiction and non-fiction, Dr Who books and books for reluctant readers.

In the morning assembly, he told Year 7 students how he grew up in a small town and used to go ghost-hunting with his friends. He told them how he used to sit on his swing and make up stories and then he showed us his very first attempt at writing which was a cartoon strip about  a character called Techno Mouse. Oathall students were fascinated by his stories, short videos and pictures of him growing up. At the end they had a lot of questions to ask about his influences and advice for budding writers. Students also had a chance to ask him further questions at the book signing.

Later in the day some Year 8 and 9 students had the opportunity to take part in an ‘Outrageous Openings’  writing workshop led by Daniel. Together they discussed what to include in the opening of a book or essay and how to structure and develop their ideas. Students wrote their own opening paragraphs inspired by their choice of fascinating pictures provided by the author. Daniel gave ideas and advice and some students were even brave enough to read their openings out loud. Other students, who had already made a start on writing projects, had the opportunity of running their creations past Daniel and receive his advice.

Both students and staff had a brilliantly inspiring day with Daniel Blythe; we learnt about the writing process, where ideas come from and staff were treated to a little trip down memory lane. Students are encouraged to pop into the library to borrow any of our Daniel Blythe books: we have all his young adult and reluctant reader novels and, of course, his latest Dr Who adventure. We’re already planning our next author visit, which we’re super excited about, so watch this space!

Food, Glorious Food…

By Mr Parry
Year 8 has been conducting an in-depth study of fast food companies as part of their work on healthy eating during PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, Education) classes. In delivering presentations to their classmates, they have been considering whether fast food companies or their customers are responsible for health issues caused by eating that type of food.
The speeches have been of an extremely high standard demonstrating strong research skills, teamwork, analytical thinking and confidence building. Some students even brought in samples of fast food and home cooked food to demonstrate the lack of decomposition in fast food after 3 weeks. An imaginative, if a bit stomach-turning, idea!


By Mrs Slater

If you were at the recent Art/Design Technology exhibition and enjoyed the canapes, you might be interested to know they were made by our Year 10 Food Technology students.

Creativity in the English Faculty

Adventures into the mystery of Harris Burdick.

By Mrs Evans

Creativity has been bursting across the English Faculty as students across Years 8 and 9 have been exploring the ‘Mystery of Harris Burdick’. Harris Burdick walked into a children’s book publishers and said “I have an idea for a book. I have drawn some pictures for it. What do you think?” The publisher was very interested. The pictures were amazing! Harris Burdick said “I will come back tomorrow with the words.”  He never returned…

Students were then challenged to create a piece of creative work based on the pictures. It could be a story, a cartoon/storyboard, a news report, a script for a play, another picture to add to the collection or an interview with the mysterious Harris Burdick. Students worked individually or in teams and set about creating a range of interesting and exciting projects. Ms Fisher and I were then treated to sensational performances alongside a gallery of superb images and stories. Books became killers, pictures came alive and wizards roamed the classroom.

As always, the students of Oathall rose to the creative and imaginative project with glee. If you want to find out more and read more examples of work around this mystery, I recommend this weblink…if you dare…

Celebrating Excellent Homework

By Mollie Macconnell, Year 7

“For our Geography homework, we were asked to complete tasks from a grid to earn stars. Our aim was to earn at least 15 stars. The tasks covered topics ranging from Fairtrade, Kenyan tribes, Silhouette Art and Book Reviews through to Tourist Guides. I learned many interesting facts about the Maasai Tribe; which foods in the supermarket are Fairtrade and how this impacts Kenyans working on the farm; how lots of children in Africa still do not get a good education as well as what traditional Kenyan homes really look like. This homework was great because it gave me an insight into other countries cultures and how different they are from the UK.  I also enjoyed how we could choose the tasks that interested us, which for me was all of them, and we could present them in written form as well as more exciting ways such as designing posters, models and artwork. I was thrilled to be able to share and discuss homework with Mr Rodriguez”.

Explaining to Mr Rodriguez

Skills Recognition and Reward

By Mrs Holmes
Dan Rouse received this honour recently.  Mrs Holmes awards this honour to one Year 10 history student each fortnight.  The winning student has a purple velvet cushion to sit on and a robe and crown to wear.  It is awarded for effort, attitude and contributions to the lesson.

Historian of the Month Dan Rouse, wearing his robes.


By Mr Van Galen
The Tech Team say farewell to Thornley Thomas-Atkin who is moving on to 6th form. He has been a team member for nearly five years.

Back row: Thornley Thomas-Atkin (Year 11) David Wheatley (Y9) Joshua Bullimore (Y9) Front row: Monty Goodyer-Deen (Y8) Okan Erdem (Y9) Jamie Padgham (Y8)











The team prides itself on providing professional technical sound and lighting support for the end of term assemblies, special Oathall guests, poetry readings, productions, concerts, dance productions (Rock challenge) and any other sound and lighting needs. The team learns and becomes proficient in sound mixing, light programming, proper microphone placement, professional standards for equipment care and setup, health and safety awareness as well as an understanding of the arts that they are supporting. They pride themselves on their work ethic which is needed in order to do the job correctly. Alumni of the S&L (sound & light) team have been hired and are currently working for professional sound and light companies demonstrating that the skills and positive professional approach that is nurtured at Oathall are welcomed by our community.

Competing In The Community

By Mr Robinson

In March, six teams from Oathall, Warden Park Academy and St Paul’s Catholic College took part in the final stage of the Mid Sussex STEM challenge. Both Oathall teams got through to the final stages where they had to present their business plan for their electric bikes to a panel of judges in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ scenario. Both teams presented well, answering some really tough questions from the panel which included local MP Sir Nicholas Soames.

At the end of the presentations the Oathall team, ‘The Cycling Five’ were victorious with the ‘Hairy Cyclists’ our other team, taking second place.

The students were presented with a shield by Sir Nicholas Soames at Mid Sussex District Council offices on Friday 23 March.

Sir Nicholas said: “I was thrilled to present the Mid Sussex STEM Challenge Award to Cycling5 from Oathall Community College in Haywards Heath, whose other brilliant team, the Hairy Cyclists, were runners-up. It was a remarkable display of skill and business acumen in the design of an electric bike.”


‘Race for the Line’ Regional Final

By Ms Costelloe

In May four industrious Year 7 students (along with Mrs Isley) attended the ‘Race for the Line’ Regional final at Brambletye School. Violet Smith, Abigail Hartfield, Oliver Faulkner and Ed Rosling competed with 23 other schools from East and West Sussex and Kent.

Cars were engineered from blocks of polymer foam and wheels and axles added. Our team name, ‘Oathall Fire 2,’ was emblazoned across the car along with the obligatory ‘go-faster’ flames.

After the cars were made they went through a rigorous quality assurance process and we passed with flying colours!

The cars were raced with rocket motors and our car reached an astonishing 32.657 mph, coming fourth overall.

We had a fabulous day and met lots of other students from other schools. The event was organised by Dendrite, a STEM organisation running projects with schools all over the UK.

Well done to Violet, Abigail, Oliver and Ed (Team Oathall Fire 2) for a very successful result.


Well done to all the students who entered the Rotary Club Annual Photography Competition this year. We selected six students to be entered into the district stage of the competition.
We are delighted that Esme Brigden achieved 3rd place in the district intermediate competition, a fantastic achievement. Here are her photos.
Congratulations also go to these talented photographers:
Key Stage 3 Oathall Winners
3rd – Tamia Morton -Yr 7
2nd – Olivia Fisher Yr8
1st – Esme Brigden Yr9
Key Stage 4 Oathall Winners
3rd Matilda Pardoe – Yr10
2nd Holly Taylor – Yr10
1st Lukas Blackman – Yr10
The judges were very impressed with the quality of our students photography and the clever interpretation of the theme ‘A Different Perspective’.


Our Under 13 Cricket team are celebrating after beating Sackville recently in the Sussex Under 13 Cricket league. The score was Oathall 93 and Sackville 70. A great all-around team performance but a special mention to Emily Stockwell and Molly Hepburn who made their Oathall cricket debuts.

Connecting With Other Schools

All Year 10 students have been visiting local Primary schools developing and mastering their leadership skills which they have been working on since September. Sessions have involved multi-skills, striking and fielding and athletics. The leaders have been excellent role models and ambassadors for Oathall and the young people they have been working with have enjoyed their sessions greatly.

 A huge thank you to the Primary schools for giving Oathall this opportunity, the Oathall PE department for their hard work and of course our fantastic leaders from Year 10.

Broadening Our Horizons

By Mrs Sandford and Mr Henri

At the beginning of this term, Oathall celebrated the European Week of Languages in a variety of ways.

Year 7 students took part in Oathall’s very own Eurovision song contest. Each class learnt a song in either French, German or Spanish. Rehearsals took place and students diligently learnt their lines and their dances. We then recorded each song and all students voted for their favourite tune. Voting was a very tense affair, however, Mr Henri’s class,  7ab/Fr2 group won the competition with their song ‘Magie dans l’air’. Féliciatations!

During the week, Year 8  students were invited to play detective, taking part in a ‘hello’ competition. Students had to identify a member of staff who could say hello in any of the languages on their card. Best detective prize went to Amy Pinchard, who won the competition.

Other groups completed a quiz about Europe, designed by the Learning Resource Centre (Library) team.

Finally, everyone had the opportunity to sample some different dishes, thanks to our wonderful canteen staff who laid on à Spanish themed menu.  Students and staff enjoyed the famous ‘paella’ rice-dish and churros for dessert.

Information about trips

We are looking forward to our upcoming languages trips to France and Germany.

Dates for your diary: La Rochelle students and their parents are invited for an information evening on Tuesday 12 June at 6.30 pm.

Looking ahead to July 2019, Y9 and Y10 GCSE Spanish students will be enjoying a one-week Spanish residential, which will include visiting the magnificent cities of Barcelona and Girona. The trip will combine both cultural and water-sports activities as well as  Spanish language sessions.





Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

Greetings from Edward Rodriguez, Headteacher.

This latest Teaching and Learning Bulletin provides testament to a very busy and productive term at Oathall.  Our cross-curricular themed weeks have provided the stimulus for some truly imaginative learning experiences that have really challenged our students.  Moreover, you will read examples of a plethora of enriching opportunities that students from Year 7 to 11 have enjoyed.

Whilst the weather did its best to interrupt proceedings earlier in the term, I am pleased to report that the substantial renovation of our science and maths block is still on schedule for its July completion.  A number of visits have taken place this term with students, staff, and parents.  The project is really progressing very well indeed and with plaster on the walls, second fix electricals being completed and flooring being fitted, there is a real sense of being on the ‘home-straight’ for this major development.

I have to commend the Oathall science staff in particular for the manner in which they have secured excellent learning experiences this year for the students; despite the additional challenges they have faced teaching in somewhat unconventional settings.  I know they are very much looking forward to moving into their splendid new accommodation.

I am also grateful for the hard work and commitment of our Parent Teacher Association who are striving to secure additional funds to augment the facilities in our new maths and science block.  Following recent mailings, they are currently leading a number of student assemblies and I would like to thank you all in advance for your support of their fund-raising efforts.

We now focus our attention on our year 11 students as they approach their final few weeks with us at Oathall.  I am sure that you would want to join me in wishing them every success in their forthcoming examinations.

May I wish you a restful Easter break and I look forward to what promises to be a very exciting summer term at Oathall.

Teaching & learning outside the box

Oathall has embraced cross-curricular themes since the New Year. They give us an ideal opportunity for our students to appreciate that their learning takes place through several disciplines and viewpoints. We want to challenge them to take something they have learned in one subject and apply it in another.

The whole school has participated in various cross-curricular week themed learning in the Spring Term. We have had lots of exciting activities going on which encouraged our students to think around their subjects in a new way.

The English faculty did some fantastic written work around art designers, as can be seen below. A display of the work has been put up along the English corridor.

The Geography faculty capitalized on the students’ love of English, using  Harry Potter to teach contour mapping in an innovative way whereas the library chose to take traditional maps and challenge students to think about the information on them

Here are the maps produced by the library staff

Different world maps challenging our students to look at the world in a different way

A map of the London Underground showing the average salary at each station









The Maths faculty joined forces with DT, as they like presenting maths in a real life context and to open our students’ eyes to a current world where maths is used in numerous disciplines. For example looking at how maths can help support different jobs such as the construction industry. 

In English students were writing mathematical poems taking inspiration by using its digits as a template for the number of letters in the words that made our poems. Some of the best poems written by our students went on display in the library

Pi poems


In Humanities students were given the opportunity to learn more about map skills and combined maths knowledge to support them. They used scales and six-figure grid references to find places of interest in the local area and bearings to describe directions. Our students feel confident with these very important life skills!

In Art and DT students investigated maths elements of tessellation and in particular the work of Escher, where they designed their own display poster of tessellations in an artwork.


Teamwork was the focus of the Performance Faculty, and during this week students took part in a number of challenges during lessons, working together to solve more complex problems and mathematical challenges. Teachers ran mathematical relays and activities where teamwork and communication skills were essential.

Maths Teamwork

Students have enjoyed being given the opportunity explore different aspects of Maths in the context of other subjects, and we are very much looking forward to taking part in the upcoming cross-curricular weeks.


By Ms Bird

On Friday 12th January, Year 9 students attended the annual Careers Speed Dating event where they had the opportunity to speak to business representatives from across the county and beyond.  It is organised to inspire our future workforce about real jobs; practise those all-important communication skills, and hopefully dispel some myths and challenge gender stereotypes.   This event complements the Year 9 options process and students’ feedback is always very positive.

In fast-paced 5-minute slots, students asked a barrage of questions of the 32 different volunteers representing a wide range of employment sectors including banking, engineering, medicine, hospitality, hairdressing, publishing, veterinary medicine, uniformed services, scientific research, sport, childcare, geological surveying, nursing, retail, architecture, physiotherapy and many more!

Speed dating

Feedback from the employers has been extremely positive.  Year 9 students did themselves proud.

Reflecting on his first experience of Oathall’s Careers Speed Dating, Jon Parry – Geologist commented: ‘I was genuinely impressed by the level of engagement and enthusiasm of the students.  Thank you for inviting me to take part in the experience, which was both enjoyable and rewarding.’

Sarah Breeze – an Architect, said: ‘The students had some great questions.  Many were interested in creative subjects, especially art and design technology, and we discussed various careers that are linked to these.  They were also interested in university life and also travelling as part of a job.’

Claire Batchelor – Primary School Teacher (and a former head girl at Oathall) commented: ‘The students were a credit to the school and showed interest and respect the entire time.  It made me feel proud to be a teacher and after selling the profession to the students, I came away remembering why I do the job.’

Thank you to all the business volunteers for giving up their time so generously to support our students.  It was especially pleasing that some of the participants were former Oathall students and members of the school’s Alumni Association.

STEM TRIP for girls

By Ms Calleja

Fifteen Year 8 girls students attended the Girls do STEM conference at the AMEX stadium in Brighton at the end of January. This event was run by Albion in the Community, the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. The aim of the conference was to get more girls inspired to choose STEM-based subjects such as computing, ICT or media when considering their GCSE options, and to “open their eyes” to what they could achieve in the place of work and how studying a STEM-based subject could support and enhance their own future career. Also, very importantly, that these subjects and exciting job roles are not just for men!

These fifteen lucky students met several female role models in meetings that took a form similar to a speed dating event. Our girls felt really fired up and inspired after meeting some very successful women in different STEM careers.

STEM trip for girls

Making words come alive

In Zine Club…

by Ms Sullivan

Zine club runs every Friday. Last term, the students compiled a Year 7 zine as part of House Challenge Week. This term the group are producing some pages for their own zine.

…and through reading

By Ms Chinn

All Year 7 and 8 students have been taking part in the Accelerated Reader reading scheme we launched in October of last year. They are reading books within one set lesson which is timetabled on a fortnightly basis. After finishing a book within their level, they take quizzes on the library computers to prove their understanding of what they have read. As they accumulate quiz results the computer is able to recommend a new level based on their results and the system figures out how many words they have read so far in total.
Well done to 7AB3 and 8CD2 who have done particularly well this term!
We are pleased to announce at this stage that we have a number of ‘Word Millionaires amongst us!
Word Millionaires in Year 7
Tasha Lawrence, George Hughes, Niamh Chapman and Jacob Grey
Word Millionaires in Year 8
Molly Gaydon, Theo Billson and Alex King

According to recent data we are also proud to announce that the whole cohort has read over 42 million words!

Team Oathall!

Some team competitions are sports based but this term as well as celebrating lots of sporting achievements we also share news from the Maths faculty on their team success and the Science Faculty as they entered “Race for the Line”.

By Ms Froud

Congratulations to the Under 13 Girls Cricket team who have progressed through to the County finals of the Lady Taverners Indoor Competition. They convincingly beat Sackville, Millais and Birchwood Grave schools.

Under 13 Girls Cricket team

The Under 15 Girls Cricket team competed in the Sussex Schools Indoor cricket championships this week. They won convincingly against Millais School and Ardingly but narrowly lost to Warden Park by 7 runs. A great team effort and yet again the most wonderful displays of sportsmanship from all involved.

Under 15 Girls Cricket Team

The Under 12 Girls Football team showed grit and determination to beat The Weald School 1-0 in the West Sussex League.
Players of the match – Eva Marley, Alice Burwell and Millie Somerville.

Under 12s Girls Football Team

The Year 7 boys represented Mid Sussex in the County finals of the Indoor Athletics Competition at the Triangle last week. There were over 100 competitors from all over success and the team managed to secure a Bronze medal. What a fantastic achievement.

J Sullivan, L Keane, E Roslin, A Hale, J Wood, Bronze medal winning team representing Mid Sussex


By Ms Calleja 
Not all maths competitions take the form of a paper. Every year students take part in team maths competitions which combine mathematical, communication and teamwork skills. The competitions consist of different rounds where students can demonstrate these skills when solving problems and cross-numbers in their team together with relay and shuttle rounds.
Two teams entered the regional competition of the Year 10 Maths Feast Team competition run by the Further Maths Support Programme. Our teams achieved third and sixth place. A further team formed of two Year 8s and two Year 9s took part in the regional round of the team maths challenge run by the UKMT. The challenge took place at Lancing College and our students competed with many other schools in the area, achieving 8th place. Well done to all students involved

During the spring term, our students have entered individual and team maths challenges and competitions achieving multiple successes. 60 Oathall students entered the individual maths challenges. These challenges are run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust as a way to stimulate interest in maths and give students the opportunity to solve interesting mathematical problems in multiple choice question papers.


57 students from Years 9-11 entered the Intermediate Maths Challenge achieving the best results in recent years. Over half of the students that entered this competition received an award: 2 students received a gold award, 17 obtained a silver award and 14 obtained a bronze award. Moreover, 8 Year 11 students took part in the Senior Maths Challenge, designed for students of up to year 13, with half of them obtaining a bronze award.

A special mention should be made for Leon Lochan who obtained gold and bronze awards in these challenges respectively. Leon was best in school for both papers and he has qualified for the next round of the Intermediate Challenge. Hence, he will be sitting the Pink Kangaroo challenge in March. We wish Leon good luck and further success in this competition!


Year 7 – Race for the Line

“During our science week we made Rocket Cars to race as part of a national competition. We carved, decorated and had lots of fun in our teams and, when the racing day came, blocks of foam were completed masterpieces. The military rocketeers came to the school to launch our cars across the finish line. When they were set off they made a huge bang and went so fast that some of them lost their wheels and snapped in half. We really enjoyed our science week project”.

By Bethan Steel and Rosie Walker (7TS)


Image result for race the line