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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

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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

Teaching and Learning News, Summer edition 2017

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The Fifteenth National Students’ Art Exhibition‎ 2017

Congratulations‎ to our Year 11 artists Holly Jones, Naomi Johnson, Jessica Laimons and photographer Katie Hastings whose work was selected to be exhibited in the NSAE held at the prestigious Mall Galleries under the patronage of The Royal Society of British Artists. We are delighted that eight pieces of work were exhibited by our students demonstrating the exceptional talent and commitment to excellence at Oathall. Art pieces submitted by Tristan Redgrove and Millie Brown were also highly commended.
Chris Russell, CEO, “It is encouraging to find that in times of serious funding problems, schools still want to celebrate their art at national level. Anyone seeing the impact of selection on the artists, teachers and parents will be uplifted, as they will by the enormous effort and commitment that goes into such an exhibition.”

Faculty News

Art and Design and Technology Faculty

GCSE Exhibition 2017

Congratulations to our Year 11 Art, Photography and Design Technology students who exhibited their GCSE exam work in our annual exhibition. The standard was very high quality this year and we are very proud of our students’ achievements. Thank you to students, parents and friends who attended the private view to celebrate.

Haywards Heath Horticultural Society Annual Summer Show 

The Oathall Photography Exhibition and our entries for “The Pot Competition” (open to all local schools) at the Haywards Heath Horticultural Society Annual Summer Show were both very successful.

The Mayor of Haywards Heath, James Knight, opened the exhibition and congratulated our students on their creativity and their high-quality work. He was particularly impressed by two of our students whose photographs he purchased for himself.

1st prize for the Best Pot – Ashton Baker
1st prize for Photography – Vicky Payne
2nd prize for Photography – Emily Brock
3rd prize for Photography – Molly Lowe
4th prize for Photography – Harry Emms

Year 7 and 8 Art Masterclass

Well done to our Gifted and Talented art students in Years 7 and 8 who were invited to attend a Master Class after school recently. Students created large scale ink and bleach observation studies in just over an hour. The ambitious pieces look fantastic.

Primary School Art Masterclass

Years 4 and 5 Primary students were selected from our feeder schools to attend an Art Gifted and Talented Master Class at Oathall. The focus was on printing, and students created a series of prints working from feathers. Students are invited to attend master classes in Art, Science and DT which we run every half term throughout the academic year.

Art and Design and Technology Cross-Curricular Week

Last week was the Art and Design and Technology Cross-Curricular week. The theme was ‘Designers and Inventors’. Every faculty took part, and activities took place mostly but not exclusively during lesson time. At Tutor Time, the students did a quiz, placing different inventions in their date order, which they enjoyed. Here are some photos from the English faculty where the students were reading a book set in Victorian times and involved the invention of the sewage system. They focused on Joseph Bazalgette, London’s first Chief Engineer. They also looked at other Victorian inventors over the two weeks.

English Faculty

Amazing Book Awards in the Library

This year, for the first time ever, Oathall participated in the Amazing Book Awards (ABA), which is a book award that was established by Sussex school librarians in 2011. Students from over 30 schools in Sussex are able to suggest books to go on the long list and then vote for their favourite five to go onto the short list. Then all participating students read all five shortlisted books and award them points according to their preference. All points are then added up, counted and the winner and runners-up are announced at a grand ceremony in June.

Fifteen of our Year 8 and 9 students signed up to be part of the after-school ABA read-and-rate book club held in the library and run by one of our librarians, Ms Fogarasi. Students considered issues prompted by the novels, such as ‘what would you do if you know you couldn’t die’ or ‘how might the layout of a book add to our reading experience’; we also looked at a range of themes from feminism, friendships, and relationships to mental health. The students remarked that this was their favourite part of the ABA experience.

The students met one of the shortlisted authors, CJ Daugherty, when she visited Oathall. The final part of the process was a trip to the actual Awards Night held at Shoreham Academy, where they could meet the authors. 

Ms Fogorasi said, “As a librarian, it gave me enormous pleasure to see these lovely youngsters come together after school, discuss the books and get excited about reading. We will definitely be running the club again next year – the ABA is already taking suggestions for the long list.”

You can read more about the ABAs at the following website: http://amazingbookawards.co.uk/.

English Speaking Competition

Congratulations to all the Year 7 and 8 students who were finalists in our annual Public Speaking Competition. Their speeches, in front of their entire year group, were based on the topic “Let me persuade you about…”. We had all manner of topics, such as: Playing the Guitar, Mantis Shrimps, Autism, and Never Giving Up.

The staff and judges were very impressed with the quality of all the speeches and the students’ thorough preparation and confident delivery.

The results are as follows:

Year 7

1st place:  Dominika Knotkova-Hanley, 2nd place: Zoe Downey, Joint 3rd place: Isla Mustin and Billy Reid

Congratulations to the other finalists: Milena Karwat, Bethany Thomas, Abel Thomas, James Upchurch, Lola Jones, Lily Ramsbottom, Joe Friere-Luaces and Holly Hughes.

Year 8

1st place:  Abigail Cooper, 2nd place: Felix Carte, 3rd place: Georgia White

Congratulations to the other finalists: Ben Rickman, Henry Forresr, George Stubbs, Ed Newey, Nathan Ozkan, Ewan Kemsley, Patrick Stedman, Josh Povey, Sam Brading, Isabelle Hateley, Lily Franklin

Harry Potter in the Library 

The Library has had a Harry Potter makeover to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publishing, on Monday 26 June, of the very first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Lindfield Life Book Reviews

In January we were offered the opportunity to submit book reviews by students to the monthly Lindfield Life publication. Our librarians approached keen students, and they rose to the occasion to be featured in four editions of the magazine.

Thanks to Kate Garwood, Umarah Ahmed, Nate Parker and Dominika Knotkova-Hanley for their excellent reviews which you can read here. We look forward to continuing this partnership during the next academic year.

Summer Reading Suggestions 

The Times Educational Supplement has created a list of books they think students should have read before leaving secondary school. They have suggested 100 titles, many of which we have in our school library. We would like to encourage you to share this with your children and see how many they can tick off. Don’t forget: a lot of these books will be available at both Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill public libraries. You don’t need to buy the books to enjoy reading them.

Humanities Faculty

History FacultyTrip to Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace provided Year 8 pupils with many tangible examples of how the pursuit of power drove the Tudor dynasty forward. It combined the glamorous side of court life, such as the Grand Hall and Henry VIII’s apartments, with the functional mechanics behind the scenes that make such splendour possible, such as the Fish Court and the kitchens. They saw evidence of the conflict between Church and Crown: the Palace itself is very much a symbol of the Reformation. By incorporating William III’s apartments into the visit, students were able to experience the grandeur and expression of power from another dynasty, the Stuart / Williamite dynasty, as found in Year 8 studies of  “The English Civil War, the Restoration and Glorious Revolution”. They could see how things changed socially and culturally as well as in terms of religion, power and expressions of wealth between 1515 and the early 1700’s.

Modern Foreign Languages Faculty

Language Mentor Scheme

In October, a carefully selected group of Year 8 students met for the first time with their Year 11 language mentors. The Year 8 students had been identified by their language teachers as being keen and able linguists. Year 11 students were looking forward to developing their language skills in a fun and supportive environment. Every Friday, our language mentors would meet in the LRC to speak, write, listen and read in French, German and Spanish. The atmosphere was always purposeful, yet relaxed and enjoyable. Six months later, Year 11 students said goodbye to their Year 8 partners in advance of their GCSE exams. Year 8 students have taken their GCSE language options, and many of those involved in the Language mentor scheme have been chosen to continue with two languages. Well done everyone!

La Rochelle Trip 2017

Ooo la la! This year’s trip to La Rochelle has been a ‘tour de force’. From the very start, students have been immersed amongst French history and culture from the visit to the medieval city of Poitiers to the spectacular show at Puy-du-Fou.The influence of the Romans, the Vikings, Jeanne d’Arc and Napoleon are now recognised by students as historically significant of French culture. However, it is not just French history that has engaged our students but also the future.

Our visit to the Futuroscope brought us back to the 21st century with science in all cross-curricular links and the unique experience of advanced 4D technology. Not only did the students marvel at this inspirational environment, but their French language skills also made great leaps.

Each day, regardless of each place of interest, students had to listen carefully to narrative instructions in French as well as speaking. They had to ask questions requesting either ‘une glace’ or even ‘une gaufre au chocolat’ and asking more complex questions such as getting directions to various places.

Finally, to round off a trip of immeasurable value, we joined the National celebrations of Bastille Day with a grand finale in the form of a magnificent fireworks display.

Valencia Trip 2017

In the first week of July, the Modern Foreign Languages faculty took a group of Year 9 and Year 10 students to the vibrant Spanish city of Valencia in Spain. The students were able to practise their language skills with an immersive cultural experience.

On the first day, the students got to see a small piece of Africa in the heart of Valencia. At Bioparc they got to walk with the lemurs and learn about conservation of the planet.  After this, they got to explore the medieval old town taking in the architecture at La Plaza de La Virgen. They then got to dine on traditional tapas in a stone vaulted restaurant at the heart of the old town. After lunch, they were able to investigate the culinary delights found in the Mercado Central and practise their language skills in a real life situation.

On the second day, the group were able to relax at the water park Aquapolis in Cullera just south of Valencia. This was a chance to also be adventurous after such a busy first day.


The group spent the final day at the City of Arts and Science. The highlights of this packed day were a 3D-film at “el Hemisfèric”, an IMAX cinema; the amazing sights in the interactive displays of the Science Museum; and then a visit to Europe’s largest aquarium L’Oceanogràfic where students could contemplate so many amazing wonders of the oceans from  ‘las Medusas’ to ‘las Belugas’.


Performance Faculty

U15 stoolball champions

Following a local qualifying tournament, our stoolball team progressed to the Sussex School Games Finals at K2 in Crawley to represent Mid Sussex by beating Downlands, Sackville and St Paul’s.

The finals involved eight teams all representing a different region of Sussex. The Oathall team was determined to win and played with maturity and focus to see off the competition one by one, not losing a single match. Not only does this group possess a lot of physical skill, but they are also quick thinking and have a strong sense of teamwork, which is a perfect yet deadly combination!


Region School Result
Brighton & Hove Dorothy Stringer 44-5 runs
Hastings & Rother Claverham 70-30 runs
Central Sussex Millais 61-31 runs
South Downs Ringmer 65-37 runs

The competition began in 2012, and Oathall has qualified every year and even more impressively, has received the G medal every year, barring one.

Congratulations to the following students for an emphatic win:

Kia Layne, Millie Herbert, Holly Herbert, Thalia Barnaby, Sophie Mitchell, Eliza Humphreys, Megan Sims, Issy Peacock and Imy Wilkins

Leading the Way in P.E.

Throughout the year, all of our Year 10 students have been training hard in P.E. lessons to develop their sports leadership skills. During summer term our students have visited our local primary schools to plan, organise and lead P.E. sessions to children in year 1-6.

Yet again our Year 10 students have done a superb job, and the children that have taken part in the sessions have been inspired by their energy, enthusiasm and empathy. Thank you, Year 10. We are so very proud of you.

Cross-Curricular Weeks

This year the Enrichment Team has been working hard to drive forward a new addition to our school calendar; ‘Cross-Curricular Weeks’. Throughout the year, each faculty has selected a theme, and students have experienced lessons with a link to chosen theme. 

Faculty Theme
Performance Teamwork
Maths & Science British Science Week
MFL European  languages
Art and Design Technology Designers and inventors
English Harry Potter
Humanities Maps

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.

Work-Related Opportunities at Oathall

Engineering Day

Six Year 8 students recently attended an ‘Introduction to Engineering Day’ run by Rockwell Collins UK Ltd in Burgess Hill who manufactures aircraft training simulators. The students learnt about the various engineering job roles within the company and participated in practical activities including building a small projector, 3D modelling using Photoshop and making a large mirror using the same material crisp packets are made from. They also got to fly and land a plane!

Matthew Brennan, Esme Brigden, Zoe Nelson, James Polhill, Jessica Ruddock & Patrick Stedman

Enterprising Students at Oathall

Twenty-five students from Years 7 to 9 enthusiastically participated in the very first Oathall Enterprise Day in June. The event was organised by Madeline Mills from Young Enterprise and supported by four local business volunteers (air traffic controller, recruitment, IT manager, and a financial consultant).

The students created their own company name and logo and then had to address the following activities:

  1. An Innovation Challenge  – developing a marketing plan.
  2. Managing Credit and Debt – an introduction to the concepts of credit, debt and interest.
  3. The Trading Game – this activity developed their employability skills of teamwork, problem-solving, communication, negotiation and taking risks.

The students were full of innovative ideas from creating prototype headsets, which would talk to passing drones, to a fantasy unicorn experience!

Each team further developed many of the skills that they had acquired during Tenner Challenge. They impressed the business volunteers with their excellent communication skills as they negotiated better prices, politely coped with a range of unexpected events and challenged any incorrect change given to them!

The volunteers were so inspired by our students that they have all signed up to support other work-related activities in the school. A successful day was had by all.

Year 10 Work-Related Learning Week

Oathall’s Year 10 students have just enjoyed a week of work-related learning experiences. The week is designed to broaden their experience and understanding of the world of work and to support them as they consider their future career pathways.  

The students were immersed in a wide range of work-related learning activities:

Monday – The students chose to visit either Crawley College, the University of Sussex, or Plumpton College. The students toured the campuses, learned about what life would be like as a student and participated in subject taster sessions.   

Tuesday – We were very pleased to welcome back some former Oathall students: Sarah Caddy (Post-doctoral Research Fellow @ Cambridge University), Sarah Fairbairn (training to become a criminal barrister), Jo Taylor (Head of Production at Label1 Television Ltd.), Trevor Butler (journalist), James Wilson (Director of a national charity), and David Amor (computer games designer). They came to talk to students about their career paths and experiences of the world of work. They are all members of the Oathall Alumni Association, which allows us to keep in touch with our former students.

Wednesday – The year group visited the Big Bang Fair, an event that focussed on career opportunities linked to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Thursday – The students spent this half term preparing for mock interviews. We had many business volunteers who acted as interviewers for our Year 10 students. The mock interviews helped to prepare our students for their college interviews. The business volunteers were very impressed by our students, stating that they were mature, polite and came very well prepared. In the afternoon, the students all attended an apprenticeship assembly. This gave them an opportunity to understand how the National Apprenticeship programme works.

Friday: Work Observation Day – The students were able to observe a parent, friend or relation at work. The students had to complete a world of work survey whilst on their placement too. We always ask the students to evaluate the week. Here are some of the comments made:

  • “ Every aspect of the week was fun and educational.”
  •  “I really enjoyed my visit to Sussex University because it helped me decide what I want to do when I am older.”

Year 8 Students Lead the way in YoYo Project with Lloyds Bank

Thirteen Year 8 students are involved in Project YoYo (You Own Your Opportunities) throughout June and July. This is led and organised by Joe Turpin Antonio from Lloyds Bank in Haywards Heath.

In the first week, the students focused on team-working, first impressions and the qualities of an effective team. The students completed a colour questionnaire which helped to identify their default behaviour/character style. The Lloyds Bank team explained that they sometimes use this questionnaire when they create teams for specific projects.

During the second week, Oathall students went to visit the Lloyds Bank offices in Perrymount Road. The students thoroughly enjoyed the range of activities which helped them to develop their self-confidence. They all participated in a range of activities including a “Dragons Den” activity. Furthermore, the students were able to appreciate an office environment from undergoing the security checks to benefitting from the wonderful air conditioning as it was a very, very hot day!

Week three saw the students focus on “What makes you unique?” The students worked in groups on their unique selling points and how they could present this to employers.

Students involved:

Harvey Alcock, Ellie Easley, Henry Forrest, Sam Grant, Kirsten Jones, Charlie Lewis, Alex Martin, Ben Merryweather, Abbi Neale, Louie Toleman, Kitty Underhill, Amy Vaughan, Georgia White

Oathall’s Tenner Challenge – Ten Pounds, Four Weeks, One Goal!

Oathall students have participated for the first time in the Young Enterprise national “Tenner Challenge”. The Tenner Challenge has provided an opportunity for students to set up a business for one month. Over 40 Year 7 through 9 students participated selling a wide range of goods (see below). Each company was pledged £10 that enabled them to set up their business. They had four weeks to make as much profit as they could. Their products were showcased at lunchtimes in our school sports hall and at the Orchards shopping centre in Haywards Heath.

At the end of the four weeks, the companies returned their initial £10 and paid £1 as a legacy donation to Young Enterprise to support next year’s event. We are pleased to report that every company made a profit. The participants are free to keep any hard earned profits but special mention should go to Modern Upcycles who have donated their profits of over £500 to Chestnut Tree House, Professional Handmade Cards who have donated £156.50 to Cancer Research, Colour Collison who have donated £100 to Woodlands Meed School and Kawaii who have donated £25 to Macmillan Cancer Research. Well done to all involved.

And finally…

House Championship Competition Heats Up, Heading to the Grand Final!

The Oathall House Championship Points Table shows how close the race to be Top House has been! Check the school website on the last day of term for the final results. Whatever the outcome, be assured that we are proud of efforts each and every one of our students has put in for their House.
We wish you and your families a full and enjoyable summer and look forward to welcoming your children back in September for another jam-packed year of teaching and learning.


Teaching and Learning News: Summer term 2017

Respect  Aspire  Achieve  Enjoy


After many weeks of planning, it was good to finally see the contractors on site as they begin the first phase of improvement works to the Oathall campus. A series of ‘enabling’ works will be taking place throughout the remainder of this term in readiness for the closure of our current science and maths block, scheduled for late July.

We look forward to new Heads of House and Careers offices being completed over the next few weeks with new and enhanced ICT provision following shortly after. Significant decorative improvements are also taking place to a number of classrooms in the college in preparation for the temporary relocation of science and mathematics faculties for the 2017 /18 academic year.

As I write, we have now embarked on the first week of the final GCSE examinations. I would like to extend my thanks to Mrs Aldridge and her team for managing the examinations programme at the school and I am sure that you would want to join me in sending the very best of wishes to all of our Year 11 students at this very special time.

House News

We are in the final term of the year and excitement over the House Championship is hotting up (just like the weather). Attendance scores are in for March-April and we have Discovery in 1st place, followed by Pioneer, Voyager and Endeavour, all pushing hard to gain the top spot.

This leaves the House Championship table looking like this.

Bake-Off Feedback

Pun intended! Our students had enormous fun taking part in Bake-Off. There have been plenty of photos on the main school website for you to look at, this is a reflection of what they learned.

  • They had to come up with their own design ideas
  • They then had to use their creative skills to make their ideas a reality
  • They had to work to a deadline
  • They experienced how it felt to be judged by adults with knowledge of commercial cake making.

Their cakes will be on display at the Ardingly Showground, in the Norfolk Pavilion.

Geography Field Trip

Just before Easter, 90 Geography students from Year 10 visited the River Tillingbourne near Box Hill for a practical, hands-on day of learning. Their objectives were to measure the width, depth and velocity of the river, as well as to observe local surroundings. Students were also able to follow the river as it changed downstream. They wore “attractive” waterproof trousers and wellies, which meant they could get into the river and feel it moving around them, to understand and feel its velocity, museumand to see how it changed depth and width. The students all appreciated how this made what they had learned in their textbooks come alive.

History Trip to Ypres

Recently, more than 40 students from Year 9 spent the day in and around Ypres in Belgium. They visited the Tyne Cot Cemetery, which is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Hooge Museum in Ypres, and walked through a trench. They attended a Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. They learned about warfare techniques used by both sides including the use of gas. Despite a long day, taking in all the experiences and emotions, they still had time to visit a local chocolate shop and enjoy delicious Belgian chocolate, a positive note to end on.

Modern Foreign Languages Week

Just after the Easter break, Oathall was treated to a week celebrating Modern Foreign Languages. Teachers of all subjects were encouraged to add something to their lessons in another language or from another country, encouraging cross-curricular participation. Some language lessons were held in the library and teachers ran a quiz. The canteen staff treated us all to cuisine from France, Germany & Spain. It was a timely reminder to us all of the languages we teach and the languages some of us speak in addition to English, here at Oathall.

Library News

Last term, our Year 8 Graphic Novels and Manga Club, completed the Stan Lee awards as reported in the previous bulletin. The group were so enthused by the competition that they decided to continue to meet and make their own graphic novel. Sophie Hamilton, a Year 11 Art student, came in and mentored them in the art of designing and creating their own Manga illustrations and was a real inspiration to the group. Next term, they have four weeks to bring the project together and publish their work.

Half-term is a great opportunity for Year 11s to find all their Library books and English texts and return them to us as soon as possible.

Music News

Ensemble Reza Community Orchestra Concert

Students and siblings, teachers and an Oathall parent played in the Ensemble Reza Community Orchestra Performance under the baton of Steve Dummer on the 7th May 2017. The program included Radetsky’s March by Strauss, Czech Polka and a brilliant finale of Badelt’s Themes from Pirates of the Caribbean. A highlight was the guitar concerto with Adrian King, a parent at the school, the soloist.
Seren Billson, a flautist from Oathall said “I really enjoyed it and I learnt a lot, especially from Grieg’s Norwegian Dance which was quite a challenging piece.” Martijn Van Galen, a music teacher at the College said how enriching and valuable it was for our students to perform with advanced musicians and the professional players from Ensemble Reza. He also said “It was great to have the opportunity to play Jazz with this Classical Ensemble as this shows that regardless of the style of music, that quality musicianship enables musicians of all styles to enjoy playing together.”
Staff and students are now looking forward to the next performance which will be part of the Power of Music Festival at The Orchards on 10th & 11th of June followed by the Oathall Summer Concert in the main hall at the college on Tuesday 27th June 2017 at 7 pm.

Teaching and learning news Spring term 2017

There is no doubt that our website is the best place to keep you up-to-date with all that is happening at Oathall. This news thread, replacing our former Teaching and Learning Bulletin, aims to collect items specifically related to learning and teaching. I am sure that you find it an interesting and informative read.

As we approach the end of the Spring term, I am very pleased to report that the project to fully refurbish our Science and Mathematics (SAM) block is well underway and progressing well. The contractors, WL Stirlands have been appointed and are due to commence work on site shortly after the Easter break. Initially, their focus will be on the ‘enabling works’ undertaken to ensure that we are able to function effectively next year whilst the ‘SAM’ block is closed. Whilst we look forward to moving into our very much enhanced facilities in September 2018, it is critical that these substantial site improvements do not negatively impact on the learning of the students next year; we are very much focused on ensuring that this is the case.

The architects are finalising plans for the block at the moment and I will share these with you as soon as I am able. In the meantime, we look forward to various enhancements being undertaken to the main school site. This will include the refurbishment of a number of classrooms, the relocation of our Heads of Houses so that they can work more effectively together as well as re-siting our Special Education Needs and Inclusion facilities to the ground floor.

E. Rodriguez, Headteacher                      Eddie Rodriguez Aug16


 Ten Pounds, Four Weeks, One Goal.

Oathall students have participated for the first time in the Young Enterprise national “Tenner Challenge”. The Tenner Challenge has provided an opportunity for students to set up a business for one month. Over 40 year 7-9 students participated selling a wide range of goods (see below). Each company was pledged £10 which enabled them to set up their business. They had four weeks to make as much profit as they could. Their products were showcased at lunchtimes in our school sports hall and at the Orchards shopping centre in Haywards Heath on Saturday 11 March.

At the end of the four weeks, the companies returned their initial £10 and paid £1 as a legacy donation to Young Enterprise to support next year’s event. We are pleased to report that every company made a profit. The participants are free to keep any hard earned profits but special mention should go to Modern Upcycles who have donated their profits of over £400 to  Chestnut Tree House, Professional Handmade Cards who have donated £156.50 to Cancer Research, Colour Collison who have donated £100 to Woodlands Meed School and Kawaii who have donated £25 to Macmillan Cancer Research. Well done to all involved.

Colour Collison  – Salt dough shapes and letters (Abigail Cooper, Kitty Underhill, Luke Derrick, Felicity Moore, Molly Atkinson)

Doodle Notes – Decorated notebooks and handmade bookmarks (Amy Vaughan, Katie Reed, Ella Middle)

Heart Decker – Clothing and accessories (Daisy Southerton, Keira Harris)

Kawaii – Mother’s day cards, bookmarks and knitted purses (Nicole Crockford, Rose Worsley, Olivia Morley, Ciara Ryan, Jessica Kettle)

Melodies – Plectrums (Jude Silk, Will Hagger, Henry Forrest, Sebastian Williamson)

Modern Upcycles – Upcycled a range of products (Molly Hord, Zoe Downey, Martha Sansom)

OCC – Handmade lino cut cards (Jessica Ruddock, Leane Roy, Hannah Hill)

OCCS – Staff car washing services (Harry Russell, Felix Carter, James Simpson)

Professional Handmade Cards – Greetings cards  (Jessica Sams, Zoe Nelson, Seren Billson)

Pure – Handmade cards, candles and jewellery (Kira Ashworth, Jamie Figurera)

The Crafters –  Stress balls (Fionnuala Lingard, Katie Rimmer, Fatou Colley, Amy Taylor)

Revive – Wooden hearts (Scarlett James, Thandi Sibandi, Holly Hughes)

P3110090 P3110091 P3110093 P3110094 P3110095 P3110096 P3110097

Year 8 Future First Workshop

Some of our Year 8 students were lucky enough to attend a workshop run by Future First, the charity that co-ordinates Oathall’s Alumni Association, around the themes ‘building motivation and overcoming barriers’.  We were thrilled to welcome back eight alumni to Oathall, who kindly gave up their time to talk to our students about their education and career paths, and in doing so provided valuable guidance and inspiration to the students.  We have received very positive feedback from the current and former students who took part, but of particular note:

70% of the students said they are now more confident or much more confident about being successful in the future now they have heard from former students;

82% of the students said they will now work harder or much harder at school as a result of having spoken to the former students;

76% of the students agreed that ‘the session improved my knowledge of courses and jobs that I could do in the future’;

77% of the students agreed that the session helped them understand how their school work might help them get a job in the future.

DSC_1701     DSC_1695

Yo Yo project at Oathall (You Own Your Opportunities)

An exciting new pilot project has been launched to all of the Year 8 students in a special assembly. It is a work skills programme called Project YoYo (You Own Your Opportunities) delivered by Lloyds Banking Group volunteers.  The focus of the project is to develop a range of key skills including communication, leadership and self-confidence.  It will provide students with an awareness of the opportunities available to them and ensure they have the knowledge to achieve their full potential in the work environment.

A small group of students will be identified to be representatives for the year group.  The selected Year 8 students will participate in six tailor-made sessions held at Oathall and the Haywards Heath branch of Lloyds.  Finally, the group will feedback their work to the year group at the end of the project in a special assembly. 

Pianoman Master Class – Scholarship awarded to three Oathall students

Our young musicians were privileged to be able to take part in a piano master class with concert pianist Richard Meyrick on Monday 27th March 2017. Hana Konig, Ted Maslin, Andrew Galt, Hayden Newnham, Jess Ruddock and Molly Hord were selected by audition to perform a piece for Richard, parents and guests. Richard then provided feedback to each student to help them improve their interpretation, technique and help them set goals for the preparation and presentation of their pieces.

The programme has been running for eleven years and is sponsored by Sir and Lady Harvey McGrath. It has enabled Richard to visit a number of schools to present his inspiring piano master classes and as a result, dozens of promising young pianists have been awarded scholarships. We are delighted that three of our students were selected to receive a scholarship and look forward to hearing the results of Richard’s tuition in future concerts at the school.

You can hear Richard Meyrick in concert playing Liszt transcribed by Vladimir Horowitz at the following link http://www.pianomanscholarships.co.uk/

It was a stimulating and informative afternoon for all pianists and musicians who attended the event. Congratulations to Hana, Molly and Jess who are the recipients of the scholarship.

Library news

It’s been a busy term in the library. We celebrated World Book Day with the Big Book Swap, where students brought in unwanted books from home and swapped them with each other. We had 62 books brought in and only 4 were left at the end; our students were thrilled with their “new” books.

For the first time ever, Oathall ran DEAR time. This stands for Drop Everything And Read and we quite literally, did just that. The bell rang and the whole school stopped what it was doing, picked up a book and read for 20 minutes, staff and students alike. It was wonderful, you could hardly hear a pin drop.

We have formed Graphic novels and Manga club for Years 8 students which meets every Thursday. We are currently reading and reviewing books for the Excelsior Award and next term, we hope to write our own graphic novel. As this generation read in a very different way to previous generations, the library is rising to the challenge and encouraging reading in all its forms. This is a fascinating article by former Comics Laureate for Great Britain, recently featured in the Times Educational Supplement.

However, the highlight of this term as been last week’s visit by author C. J. Daugherty who spoke to our Year 7 students, they were enthralled as she regaled them with tales of her life and what inspired her to become an author. She took lots of questions and really engaged our students; they are still coming into the library talking about her visit and borrowing her books. Here are some photos from her visit.

DSC_1856edit DSC_1854


Maths Super Hero Day

Our students were treated to a Super Hero Maths day yesterday (6th April) and they were so inspired. Here is a glimpse of the department in full costume.

20170406_133824 20170406_133839

Creativity in Design Technology

Mrs Kirkpatrick and Mrs Lamb have been very impressed with the outcome of the new Year 9 smart materials project in Textiles. The students have worked hard on their light-up key-rings and here are two of the results so far, from Matilda Pardoe (9EFH) and Charlie Kneller (9EFH).”

DSCF9160         DSCF1324

House news

Click here to see the latest House Championship table. “It is not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage.” Henry Ward Beecher
Voyager gain the most credits this term…still in it!

Attendance is something our students have been working hard on; click here and here to see the latest tables.


Year 7 football report

The game started quickly, both teams fighting for the ball. It went tackle to tackle, throw in to throw in, but finally, the first goal was scored by Erica, 1-0 Oathall! Sackville started with the ball but soon got tackled with a quick pass to Erica and a second goal scored. Sophie tackled hard but two goals from Sackville went in and that made it 2-2. Oathall scored once more and then Sackville equalised. With minutes left, both teams desperate to win, Emily scored the winner, 4-3 to Oathall! Well done everyone! Josie Milson was awarded ‘players’ player’ of the match.

Team front row L to R

Maitland Delaney, Emily Jury Carmichael (2 goals), Liv Jury Carmichael, Erica Marriott-Tremlett (2 goals) and Sophia Taylor

Middle row L to R

Lucy Bland, Anna Piper, Sophie Hammans, Molly Aplin (vice-captain) & Ella Greenslade (captain).

Back row L to R

Hannah Taylor, Josie Milson, Zoe Nye and Ashleigh Davies-Fletcher.