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






Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

Greetings from Edward Rodriguez, Headteacher.

We are now approaching the final few days of what has been another busy and successful term at Oathall. Whilst our students and staff are looking forward to a well-earned winter break it is important to reflect on all that has been achieved over the past few months.

As always, the students have shown excellent commitment to their studies and have enthusiastically engaged with all that is on offer at the school. This has been the first full term in which we have operated in somewhat constrained circumstances due to the extensive building work that is being undertaken to our science and mathematics block. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the students and of course, their teachers for how well they have adapted to the changes in the school.

I am pleased to report that the building work is on schedule and we are very much looking forward to enjoying these excellent new facilities from September next year. It is very satisfying to see that the new roof and the fenestration are all but complete, along with the new exterior finishes. We hope to see the scaffolding being removed early in the new year with the focus very much moving to the internal build. This is also progressing rapidly and, with all internal walls constructed, mechanical and electrical installations are now well underway. I have been really pleased to take a number of students on tours of the site. Observing a building in this state of construction has been of particular interest to our GCSE engineering students, of course.

Our Year 11 students are now approaching the end of their mock examination period. They have worked hard and will no doubt use their experiences to focus their efforts as they look forward to their final weeks of study next year.

I write following another outstanding Christmas concert, in which the depth of talent at Oathall was so richly displayed. We look forward to our college Christmas lunch this week and of course our celebrated ‘Carols in the Barn’ on Monday evening. Our final traditional Christmas assemblies on the 19th December signal the close of a long autumn term.

On behalf of the governors and staff at Oathall, may I wish you all a very peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Oathall remembers

By Jo Godbolt

This year, staff and students in Voyager House have come up with a special way of marking the Remembrance period and supporting The Royal British Legion, their chosen House Charity at the same time.

Inspired by the 2014 ‘Blood Swept Lands’ art installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, Voyager House decided to install a Field of Remembrance – a small patch of ground where pupils and staff could plant small wooden crosses dedicated to individuals who died as a result of armed conflict. This installation dedicated to the fallen will help focus minds during this period of remembrance.

Field of Remembrance

The whole school is involved as the Field of Remembrance sits in the middle of the school grounds and everyone will pass by it several times a day. Staff and students have been asked to dedicate a cross to family members or people of personal significance. Students in Voyager House will be assisting Mr Parry, Head of Voyager House in placing out the crosses and maintaining the installation over the time it is in place.

Field of crosses

Mr Parry said,
“I am very grateful to everyone who has supported this idea with their kind words and donations; in just one week we have raised over £100 for the Royal British Legion which is outstanding. ”

The crosses will be left in place until next week after which they can be taken away by the individuals who dedicated them.  Any remaining will be moved to the Haywards Heath War memorial.

Students in the field of remembrance


Creativity at Oathall

Year 8 Geographers have been making volcano models.

By Kim Garrick

We’ve had a huge variety of models ranging from those made of wood, clay and papier mache to those made out of cake! Students made a huge effort to ensure their models represented real life volcanoes and some of them even erupted.


Year 10, Symbolism and Christingles

By Mike Parry

Year 10 GCSE Religious Studies class learning about symbolism in Christian celebrations of Christmas by making Christingles.The students enjoyed reliving their primary school days making Christingles and exploring different interpretations of the nativity story.

Christmas has turned scientific in S1 with our beautiful (non-acidic!) Chrismas Chemis-tree! 

By Debbie Isley
O Chemis-tree, O Chemis-tree,
How acidic are thy branches….
Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas from the Science Faculty

Oathall in the community

By Penny Sullivan

On 27th November, three teams of Oathall students represented the school at our annual Youth Speaks event run by the Haywards Heath Rotary Club. Our topics were: ‘An Experience in Voice Acting’, ‘Why the Voting Age should be lowered to 16’ and ‘Inspirational Women’. The students all fulfilled their roles of Chair Person, Main Speaker and Vote Of Thanks giver admirably and did the school proud.

Well done to Molly Hord, Abigail Cooper, Kitty Underhill, Henry Forest, Tom Underhill, Ben McDowell, Bea Carter, Felix Carter and Tasha Lawrence.

Youth Speaks participants


Year 11s on the A Christmas Carol trip.

By Emily Evans

On Wednesday the 14th of December, Year 11 English students and Year 10 Drama students were treated to an interactive performance of A Christmas Carol in Brighton. Performed at The Spire (a converted church) students were left musing at the sense of hope and message of redemption suggested in the play which is apt at all times in the year. Students danced along with the cast and enjoyed the experience immensely.

Marden Sayers, a Year 10 drama student, reflected “It was very good. The lighting was superb especially when the ghost of Christmas Future was towering over Scrooge.”

Oathall students showed brilliant behaviour and were a credit to the school.

The girls’ cricket team competed in the first Under 18 Sussex Cricket event of the year at Bede’s school, Upper Dicker. This was a friendly event with Oathall playing teams from Millais, Brighton and Hove High School and Bedes. It was an opportunity for them to practice and develop their skills and they also had an opportunity to meet the England Ladies Wicket Keeper and Batter Sarah Taylor, pictured above with the Oathall team.

Oathall debates

By Mike Parry

Mr Parry’s Year 9 RE/PSHE class has been fully engaged in learning about the arguments that surround the legalisation of drugs. They particularly enjoyed putting forward different points of view and so they decided to hold a debate.

Oathall makes music

By Carol MacTaggart

Oathall musicians have been working very hard arranging and rehearsing their music for the Christmas Concert, and Carols in the Barn Service, with over 120 students taking part. Mrs Mac Taggart, Mr Van Galen and our guests who attended the performances enjoyed them immensely. A highlight was the showcasing of the music videos presented by Year 9 students.

Staff, students and ex-students taking a well earned dinner break having set up the sound and lighting for the concert in record time.

Staff and students in Performance are very much looking forward to beginning work on the school play, Macbeth in January 2018!

Oathall excels

Celebrating Outsanding work with Mr Rodriguez

By Faye Hatchard

This term Year 8 geographers have been busy learning all about tectonic plates. The following students were selected to show their amazing earthquake homework to the Headteacher; Eleanor Barnes, Hannah Taylor, Simonne Gautron, Isla Mustin and  Erica Marriott-Tremlett. Isla explains in more detail below:

“This term, for our geography homework we were asked to design and research an earthquake-proof building or home. We could complete this project however we wanted; some people made posters, models, booklets or sketches. I chose to create a large poster, with a drawing of my earthquake-proof offices, lots of information about the importance of earthquake-proof buildings and the effects of an earthquake. From this project, I have gained the knowledge and understanding of how these structures are formed, as well as developing my architectural skills. I was very pleased and excited when I was chosen to see Mr Rodriguez, to show him my homework, because it is very satisfying to know that all of my hard work had been recognised and rewarded. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this homework, as I was able to showcase my skills, as well as receive acknowledgement from senior members of staff.”

By Isla Mustin, Year 8 Student.


Adapting to our surroundings

Science – Year 7 has been learning all about British mammals. 

By Debbie Isley

Students have reseached about their favourite British mammal and presented their information for others to learn from. What they eat, what eats them, where they live and adaptations to living in their environment were all studied.

 Fabulous work was completed by everyone but a special mention must be to Ellie Bennett who did her work on Deer, Olivia Fox who studied the Red Fox and Sam Kelly’s excellent work on Grey squirrels. Well done everyone.

The Science Faculty is adapting to its temporary accommodation.

By Emma Costello

As you can see, we have been keen to still do as much practical science as possible despite being in temporary accommodation this year. Here is one of our portable Bunsen burners in action!


Oathall library news

By Debra Perrin

The library continues to be a centre for all our students, be they reading, doing homework, revising for tests and exams or just finding a space to hang out at break and lunchtimes or to catch up with friends.

We are seeing an impressive increase in borrowing of books thanks to the Accelerated Reader programme that has been rolled out for Years 7 & 8. The reading programme has made it much easier for students to find books which are the right level for them and, as one student who usually struggles to find a book told me recently, “this book is just right for me. I can read it. I can’t wait to turn over the page and find out what happens next” The smile on her face and the joy in her eyes was a privilege to experience.

Bookshops are full of attractive displays, especially at this time of year, promoting books but if you would like some suggestions, here are some lists which might help.

For reluctant readers, try any on this list from BookRIot

The Guardian best books of 2017 are here

The UK’s top book award winners for 2017 are here

Young Adult books that are being made into films next year include

  • Eleanor And Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • A Tale Dark And Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate
  • Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  • Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness
  •  The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
  •  Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Thanks to everyone who supported the Scholastic Half Price Book Fair last week. We sold over £550 worth of books, posters and stationery. The library gets 10% of that figure to spend on books and we chose these fantastic titles which will be ready for students to borrow after the holidays.


Extracurricular at Oathall

Year 7 Science Club

By Emma Costello

The new Year 7s have proved themselves to be enthusiastic scientists with a record number of attendees at this terms Science Club. The highlight of the term must have been making slime with over 40 keen students giving up their lunch break to discover the magical ingredients that are used in the making of slime. Another session found the students making and lighting their own sparklers in preparation for November 5th. Other popular activities have included making glass, salt flames, bath bombs and rainbow fizz.

The club runs every Weds A from 1.20 to 1.45 in S4 and is open to all of year 7. Please see Mrs Pringle if you are interested in joining.


Sports news

By Zoe Froud

Girl’s Cricket

The girls’ cricket team competed in the first Under 18 Sussex cricket event of the year at Bede’s school, Upper Dicker. This was a friendly event with Oathall playing teams from Millais, Brighton and Hove High School and Bedes. It was an opportunity for them to practice and develop their skills and they also had an opportunity to meet the England Ladies Wicket Keeper and Batter Sarah Taylor, pictured above with the Oathall team.


Sports Ambassadors

On the 13th December, a small group of sports leaders were chosen to become Sports Ambassadors and to attend a Sports Leaders’ training day at the Sussex cricket ground run by Mid Sussex Active. They were picked because they had shown excellent skills in coaching and leadership over the past 18 months within their primary schools.
Schools from the whole of Mid-Sussex attended the day, including Sackville, Burgess Hill Academy, Warden Park and Downlands.
The pupils had a fantastic day at the ground where they learnt the importance of being a leader, and how they could be the best leader possible. They all got given a free sports leaders hoodie and received training by the Sussex cricket coaches on how they should teach cricket in primary schools.
They had a fantastic day and are now looking forward to planning events.


And finally….

Staff raised £50 for the NSPCC after paying to wear a Christmas jumper on the last Friday of school.


Teaching and Learning News, Back to School edition, Autumn 2017

Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

Dear Parents

The opening few weeks of the Autumn term have once again been very busy with students enthusiastically engaging with their learning and all that is on offer to them here at Oathall. The concluding week to the half-term saw students, in all years and across all subject areas, actively involved in House challenges. The final, whole-school assembly provided a fitting occasion to celebrate all that had been achieved as well as support the healthy competition developing between the houses.

Much work had taken place on the site during the summer break to ensure that we were ready to start the academic year, following the closure of the Science and Maths block at the end of July. The mathematics faculty moved into 8 fully refurbished classrooms in the main school block and practical science activities have been accommodated via the commissioning of a number of dedicated areas in the school. Both areas have been supported with the installation of the latest interactive technologies. I am very pleased to see how both faculty staff and students alike have responded following these changes.

A redesigned and newly equipped ICT classroom in the Art & Design Technology faculty has been completed to support, amongst other things, our new Engineering GCSE course. This has been joined by another new ICT suite built next to our Learning Resource Centre.

Work to the main Science and Maths block continues apace. Shrouded in scaffolding and safety netting, the replacement roof is almost complete and internal walls are now beginning to be constructed. The exterior will be transformed over the coming weeks as the thermally efficient windows get fitted. We are very excited to see the progress, over the coming weeks and months, of what will be excellent facilities for our students and staff.

No doubt, the bulletin that follows will give a flavour of the many exciting things happening at Oathall at the moment.

Edward Rodriguez


Exciting launch of “Oathall 8” and our “4 Pillars of Learning”


Staff used the two INSET days at the start of September to great effect when they were invited to think carefully about what constitutes an outstanding lesson. We also collaborated to consider what classroom routines we expect at Oathall from our students.

From this work, we are pleased to announce the “Oathall 8” which details student responsibilities as outlined below. All students have been introduced to these important elements and they are displayed and referred to regularly in lessons.

In addition, we have teacher responsibilities to ensure we give your children the best possible learning experiences

By Mrs Hatchard

Pillars of Learning

To ensure we deliver engaging lessons with positive outcomes we are focusing our staff training this year around 4 important areas. We are calling these our “Pillars of Learning” as they form the foundation of what is happening in your child’s day.


By Mrs Hatchard

Faculty News

English Faculty

In September, Oathall celebrated Poetry Week in what was our first cross-curricular day of this academic year. Staff and students embraced the opportunity to read and write poetry and take part in a host of poetry-related activities: an Open Mic Session in the LRC, chants in PE lessons, turning mathematical formulae into poems, to name a few. The English faculty held its annual poetry competition for years 7-9 as part of National Poetry Day; winners will be announced after half term.

By Ms Sullivan

Library news

It’s been a busy start to the school year in the library. We celebrated Roald Dahl Day, using his books and life as the basis for a treasure hunt in the shelves to help our new Year 7 students find their way around the library. Lunchtimes have been a hive of activity, we’ve had a poetry slam, with students and staff reading their favourite poems; students finding places to read, playing games such as chess, doing homework or revision and this month has seen students planning for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award expedition. We are grateful to have prefects in the library who take on Student Librarian duties, and this month they have been especially helpful in preparing our books for the Accelerated Reader scheme which will start after half-term; more news in the next bulletin.

By Mrs Perrin

Humanities Faculty

Geography Department 

Year 10 Geography students recently spent a day studying coastal erosion and coastal management on the Seaford and Newhaven coast. Students were very busy measuring the beaches and the pebbles to find out how coastal management has influenced the natural processes of the coast.

Mrs Garrick

Year 9 Geography students recently spent a day in the honeypot village of Alfriston investigating the issue of tourism. Students conducted many tests looking at air pollution, traffic and footpath erosion. Visitors and business owners were also interviewed by our students to find out why it is so popular with visitors.

Mrs Garrick

Modern Foreign Languages Faculty

This year we marked 40 successful years of the German exchange with our partner school in Traunstein. Accompanied by Miss Stockley, Mr Moore and Mrs Newnham, 17 enthusiastic linguists from Years 9 and 10 headed to Traunstein for a week filled with German culture, sightseeing and language learning.

Students had been getting to know their partners since January which meant that meeting them for the first time on our arrival in Traunstein could be made just a little less daunting!  

During our stay, there were sightseeing visits to Munich, Salzburg and Berchtesgaden National Park, including the salt mine, and boat trip and swim in the Königssee.  The students then spent the weekend with their host families where they were able to enjoy a wide range of activities such as hiking in the mountains, visiting King Ludwig’s Chiemsee castle and socialising in a typical German environment.

Lots of the students commented on how much they felt their German language skills had improved during the trip and how much they enjoyed their time with their German families.  It certainly wasn’t just the teachers who were not ready to come home at the end of the week.

It wasn’t long before the exchange partners were back here in Haywards Heath. Whilst here, our German guests visited London, Brighton and Eastbourne.  They were also hosted by the mayor, town councillors and members of the twinning association at a very informative session at the Town Hall.

We are in the process of recruiting for 2018 so please come and see me (Miss Stockley) if you are interested.

Miss Stockley

Performance Faculty

There was plenty of activity in the Performance Faculty and in this bulletin, we would like to focus on our successful  Under 16 Girls cricket team, whose victory 79 Runs to 44 against Millais School was resounding, well done girls!

By Miss Froud

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Last weekend, six teams of Year 11 students set off on their final Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition. After a soggy start, the weather cleared and all the teams enjoyed their walks across either the Ashdown Forest or South Downs.

We are incredibly proud of the students for their teamwork and perseverance and are pleased to announce that all students successfully completed their expedition.

Miss Arlington

Oathall Student Voice

The Student Council has launched the ‘MakeYour Mark Campaign’ which involved discussing 10 key issues with their respective tutees.  Each member of the tutor group then voted on the issue they felt most passionate about with the collated results added to a National Database.

The top 3 issues our students voted for were:

Mental Health – Services should be improved with young people’s help

Transport – make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all

Work Experience Hub for 11-18-year-olds – knowing where to find work experience can be challenging.  The Government should reverse the proposed cuts to schools so that each young person has an equal chance to succeed.

The issue that receives the most votes is then debated by the UK Youth Parliament at the House of Commons.

Thank you to the Student Council Members for their hard work in collating these results.

By Miss Gyngell

Cross-Curricular Weeks

I am pleased to announce this year’s  ‘Cross-Curricular Weeks’ are:


Faculty Theme Week Commencing Year
English Poetry 25 September 7-11
Humanities Maps 15 January 7-10
Art and Design Technology Influential designers of the 20th century 29 January 7-9
Performance Teamwork 5 February 7-11
Maths Data 26 February 7-11
Science British Science Week 12 March 7-11
MFL European Week of languages 26 March 7-11


Throughout the year each faculty has selected a theme and students experience lessons with a link to the chosen theme.

Thank-you to the enrichment team for their hard work in pulling this together, the staff for planning exciting lessons and indeed the students for ‘buying into’ the idea with such enthusiasm.

By Miss Gyngell

House Competition News

Congratulations to Discovery who emerged victorious as House Champions last year, with Voyager taking the Credit Cup and Endeavour the Attendance Cup.

We are hoping for another year of closely fought competition and this week 16-20 October) will be our first ever ‘House Challenge Week’ where our students will compete in various challenges within lessons in order to gain points for their House.  These challenges will range from team quizzes to solo assessments and can be mental, physical or creative tasks.

Click on the link to view the full list of competitions and the current standings in our  Championship Table.

Good luck to all the Houses!

Miss Gyngell

Extra Curricular Clubs

We have a vast array of clubs at Oathall for students in all years.

Please click on this link to see what is available.


By Miss Gyngell