Want to hear about our latest meat sales?

Prime Oathall meat available from the farm
The farm will be open for meat sales on Friday 7 December 2.30 pm to 5 pm and on Saturday 8 December from 9 am until midday.

On both dates, we will be selling our prime British Blue cross Ayrshire beef and pork products. There will be a selection of:

Beef
Roasting joints, silverside and topside – typically around 2 – 2.5kg.
Steaks – rump, sirloin, fillet and rib-eye.
Braising steak
Brisket
Beef mince

Pork
Shoulder joints
Chops
Sausages
Pork mince
There will also be some frozen meat available to purchase.

The shop will also be open on 21 December for lamb, pork, gammon joints and frozen beef meat sales. Please sign up to the newsletter by clicking the link below for more details.

To pre-order please email your request through to farmshop@oathall.org. If you prefer you can call on 01444 883211 but please only call on Tuesday or Friday as the office is not manned at other times.

We regularly send out emails with information about the latest sales of meat and other farm produce. If you would like to sign up to receive our emails with details of the latest meat sales then

Click here to be taken to the sign-up page

Too busy to sign up? Just call us at the farm and someone will be happy to let you know when the next sale of meat will be taking place. It gets very busy down on the farm so the best days to call us are Tuesdays and Fridays between 8 am and 4 pm. Our direct line is 01444 883211 or you can email us on farmshop@oathall.org

Extra-curricular activities

We offer a range of extra-curricular activities and opportunities encompassing a wide variety of interests. We encourage students to join at least one club during their time at Oathall. For most activities, unless specified, students can join at any point throughout the year.

We try to make sure the information in this section is current. Some clubs especially PE clubs change during the year. If you can’t find details of an activity here please check the weekly Student Bulletin for the most up-to-date information.

Extracurricular clubs at Oathall 

 

School Meals at Oathall

Our school meals are freshly prepared each day

Our school meals are freshly prepared each day

School meals at Oathall are prepared and served by our own in-house catering team.

Catering Manager Mrs Denyer and her staff are committed to delivering the highest standards using fresh, good quality ingredients.

Menus are rotated every three weeks with themed days being a regular feature.  They are varied, nutritionally balanced and cater for all dietary needs. We offer a range of food items that cater for all budgets and most of the meals can be pre-ordered. See our current price list for details of our product ranges and pricing.

If your child doesn’t want to queue at lunchtime they can pre-order food from the canteen from 8am – 8.40am or at morning break time.

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Duke of Edinburgh Award Centre

Oathall Community College can proudly boast one of the biggest and most successful units in West Sussex with over 100 students involved in the award at any one time.

The concept of the Duke of Edinburgh award is simple – anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a programme at one of the three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. Oathall offers the award at Bronze level (Year 10).

With assistance from adult leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:

  • Volunteering – undertaking service to individuals or the community
  • Physical – improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities
  • Skills – developing practical and social skills and personal interests
  • Expedition- planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad
The award is run and overseen by the Award Centre Coordinator, Miss Arlington.   If you have any questions or want to find out more about the award please contact the school.
More information about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the charity can be found at www.dofe.org

Raising funds for Oathall

There are many ways you can help support the PTA in raising money for the college. We’ve all got busy lives and pressures on our time so here are a few easy ways that you can help.

What is OPTA?

Oathall’s busy Parent Teacher Association (or OPTA) is a friendly and enthusiastic group of people with a desire to contribute positively to school life.

We aim to encourage positive relationships and communication between parents and teachers, tackling the wellbeing of the school and the welfare and development of our children together.

Like other PTAs we fundraise for those extra things that the school budget cannot cater for whilst strengthening the school community through social events and activities.

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Rock Challenge 2019 ‘Black Swan’

On Monday 25th March, around 50 students from Oathall took part in the 2019 Rock Challenge Competition. This was the culmination of 7 months hard work and dedication from the performers, stage crew and lighting team. The achievement from each and every student was outstanding.

Oathall’s performance this year was titled ‘Black Swan’. This was a contemporary, street dance fusion piece that explored the physiological and psychological struggles of a mentally delicate dancer and her strive for perfection, only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity as she descends into madness from the pressure of perfection. To succeed, she will have to transform herself into something she has never been.

The Rock Challenge was established in order to combine the benefits of taking part in a large scale dance production with involvement in a positive ‘ drug-free’ activity.

Although Oathall did not win, the students’ performance was recognised with awards gained in the following categories

• Award of Excellence in Lighting
• Award of Excellence for Entertainment
• Award of Excellence for Visual Enhancement
• Award of Excellence for Stage Use
• Award of Excellence for Costuming and Character
• Award of Excellence for Soundtrack

Performance faculty enrichment leader, Mrs Avery said

I am proud that at Oathall the Rock Challenge event brings students of all ages, backgrounds and gender together in order to work collaboratively on a brilliant production. The students take charge not only of choreography but costumes, sound, lighting and scenery.

I would like to thank every student who took part in and contributed to this year’s production, you were all a pleasure to work with. Finally, thank you to all the parents & staff who kindly support dance at Oathall and help to encourage our students to achieve amazing things.

 

Teaching & Learning Bulletin, Winter 2019

Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

It was such a pleasure to have been in the college hall earlier this term to witness the orchestra bringing together the musical talents of the young people from 5 local secondary schools. The quality of sound resulting from more than one hundred young musicians was something to behold. My thanks go to Mrs Mactaggart and all those involved in producing this wonderful event at Oathall.

This latest bulletin again highlights the breadth of experience at the school. This may well, of course, be through the usual curriculum subjects but significantly sees students engaging with opportunities beyond the classroom. The “Tenner Challenge” is particularly exciting and I am looking forward to hearing some of the students pitch their ideas after the break.

My congratulations to the junior team for winning the latest round of the Youth Speaks public speaking competition who now move on to the district finals. I wish the intermediate team every success at their competition next week. Sporting successes have also been notable over this term; well done to all involved.

Movement to Music

Mid Sussex Orchestra Day at Oathall Community College 

Mrs Mactaggart

Oathall musicians joined forces with musicians from Downlands, St. Paul’s, Warden Park Academy and Burgess Hill Academy to work on learning and performing five pieces of music in just one day!  We are very privileged to have several experienced instrumentalists and musical directors in our local schools who, between them organised the event and conducted the pieces as well as providing expert support for the strings, brass, woodwind and percussion sections in the orchestra.

The aim of the project was to enrich and broaden the musical experience of our orchestral players by providing them with an opportunity to play in a symphony orchestra under the direction of expert musicians in a positive, inclusive and social environment. This aim was well supported by West Sussex Music and musicians from Ensemble Reza, violinist Andrew Thurgood and cellist Sarah Du Bost-Carvalho.

The final performance at the end of the day was fabulous and was well supported by parents and friends. Students mentioned how exciting (and a bit scary) it was to see their head teachers in the audience as well and Mr Rodriguez remarked on how proud he was of Oathall’s musicians.

Feedback from all was very positive and plans are already underway for a repeat performance in 2020. Some comments received were:

“Congratulations to you all for a fantastic day indeed. I am very impressed with the quality of the concert the orchestra gave after only a half day rehearsing together”;

“I found the idea to join forces between all local secondary schools in a big orchestra a fantastic one and a great success (including the different conductors for each piece).”;

“It was brilliant and inspiring to work with you all…”;

“That was the most fun ever!”

“My students mentioned how much they enjoyed the experience of being conducted by different people! Each had different approaches and I think this has been hugely beneficial to them”.

“Many congratulations on achieving such a valuable and high-quality musical experience for your young musicians. It was a real treat to be at Oathall this afternoon to witness the fruits of your labour – it was a powerful image seeing 100+ musicians in performance. I’m sure it’s an experience that none of the pupils will forget”.

Youth Speaks

Ms C Slade

On Saturday 9th February our Junior Public Speaking team travelled to Cranleigh for the next round of the Rotary Club’s ‘Youth Speaks’ competition. The team, made up of Molly Hord, Matty Mackay and Tom Underhill had already secured a clear victory at local level and were now facing the District Semi-Finals. This was a larger heat with a total of 6 teams, all fighting for one pace in the District Final!
All three students brought their A game and proved from the outset they were serious contenders! The hours of rehearsal and the time and effort they had all put in paid was evident as they delivered a confident and faultless entry. Not only did Molly take the award for Best Speaker, and Matty for Best Chair Person but the team also took the overall prize, securing a palace in the District Finals in March.
Well done to all involved.

Movement in Science

 Emily Stockwell (8VDI):
‘This half term in science, we have been learning about forces and motion. Within this topic, we have learnt how forces affect our lives. An example of this application is crumple zones. We discovered how different sizes of crumple zones on cars affect the safety of the car and the damage during a collision. As a result of this, we designed and tested cars we had made with crumple zones and measured the impact.
We have also learnt about parachutes and how air resistance affects them. We made and tested our own mini parachutes that had different surface areas to time how long it would take them to fall.
I have really enjoyed this half term’s topic as it has been really interesting and fun to see the applications!’

Words in Motion

Shakespeare Whoosh! Words flying across the library.

Ms Rocke
Year 10 started a new unit today which is Shakespeare’s infamous ‘Macbeth’.  In order to get a basic understanding of the plot, we did what’s called a “Whoosh” which runs through the basic outline of the plot summary in modern-day English, with an added bit of humour to make it a fun introduction to the topic. Everyone got involved in the activity and Poppy (the troll fluffy duster) did a great job of “whooshing” everyone around in-between scenes.

Shakespeare Raps

Ms Fisher

Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, Ms Fisher’s Year 9 students brought Shakespeare into the 21st century by creating pop sonnets. Students were challenged to choose a song and apply the rules of the sonnet including perfect iambic pentameter–just like the star-crossed lovers when they first meet. As always, students excelled by creating pithy sonnets that blended Shakespearean language with more modern vernacular. Particular standouts were Rita Mihalcut and Megan Banks’ version of “Another One Bites the Dust,” Billy Reid and Miles King’s “Rap God” as well as several modern interpretations of “God Save the Queen.” However, the class prize went to Freddie Ashman, Archie Raffan, and Paul Hipperson’s reimagining of Childish Gambino’s “This is America” as “This is England.”
Enjoy a sample from Rita Mihalcut and Megan Banks’ “Another One Bites the Dust”: 
Another one looked out for thy danger,
Another one fell ere he could ev’n think,
Let me go along! Me and a stranger,
No coward will run when their world will shrink.
Hey! Finally I’m gunna get the last,
Quickly now another one bites the dust!
In the Diverse Voices unit, Year 8 has explored a range of under-represented voices across a variety of text types. For Ms Fisher’s students, the unit culminated by considering the historic protest song through Bob Dylan’s iconic “Times They Are A-Changin'”. After examining how Dylan galvanised support for his call for change, students conveyed the voice of the younger generation by re-writing a stanza of his timeless classic. A range of issues was expressed with poignancy and purpose, from calling for gender equality to eliminating poverty to rethinking the education system. A class favourite was Oliver Streeter, Max Barnett, and Rudi Cooper’s rapped protest song about the “pessimism” in our world.
As always, our Oathall students expressed important issues with creativity, sensitivity, and flair.

Students will be bringing their entries in after half-term and displayed in the English corridor for all to admire.

Words are lifted off the page thanks to innovative ways of presenting poems.

Mrs Perrin
A selection of poetry entries and winners from National Poetry Day, 2018, on display in the library shows that poetry is more than just words. The poems are lifted off the paper as students demonstrate their artistic abilities to give greater meaning and emphasis to their poems.

Walking-Talking Mock session

Ms Evans

On Valentine’s day, Miss Evans shared her love for the novella “A Christmas Carol” with Year 11 during her walking-talking mock session. Students were treated to a lecture and note-taking session around the theme of poverty. They considered the ideas around physical poverty (lack of food, shelter, money and basic needs) plus the importance of emotional richness (friendships, positive relationships and enriching experiences). Miss Evans then linked these key ideas to three key moments in the text, exploring the actions of Scrooge at the start and at the end of this classic text. Walking Talking Mocks are a very useful tool to ensure students are used to exam hall conditions, can practise their skills in this environment and look at key questions together. “A Christmas Carol” is examined in the upcoming March mocks, so hopefully students will feel more confident in their revision of this key text. The English Faculty will be providing more Walking Talking mock opportunities in the weeks ahead.

Delving deeper into Mathematics

Mrs Griffiths

In Maths our Year 7 students are currently following a mastery curriculum. The mastery approach ensures that students acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Students at Oathall are being challenged by a deeper analysis of the mathematical content and by applying the content in new and unfamiliar problem-solving situations. In our most recent unit of work, we are investigating fractions. Students are getting a deeper understanding of the topic through a variety of questioning and teaching techniques. Our students are also being supported in their understanding of fractions by using our new equipment bought with the money fundraised by the OPTA.

If your child would like to explore some more enrichment problems on this topic please direct them to https://nrich.maths.org/8707

Learning from the Workplace

Visiting Jeremy’s 

Mrs Slater

Recently, Year 10 Hospitality and Catering students visited Jeremy’s restaurant at Borde Hill, click here to find out more.

The Tenner Challenge, a national competition for young people aged 11 – 19.

Mrs Griffiths

The Maths Faculty is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Tenner Challenge, a national competition for young people aged from 11 – 19 years. 

Taking part in the Tenner Challenge will help our students to develop crucial employability skills and financial experience alongside an important insight into how core curriculum learning will serve them well in this fast-changing world of work. Students will work in small groups to come up with a product or service they believe will grow into a successful small business. Students will pitch their ideas and one group will be chosen from each class to be part of the challenge. Each student from the winning group will then be given £10 from the Tenner Bank and this will be used as start-up capital to get their enterprise off the ground. Students will be pitching their ideas after half term!

Visit from Alumni

Mrs Griffiths 

Our Year 11 girls had a recent workshop with some of our female alumni, Hannah, who is Director of Citizenship Strategy at Barclays, and Connie, who is currently studying Maths at Sussex University. We are very grateful that they kindly gave up their free time to talk to our students in relation to Maths.
Conversations about future careers, pathways and study were in full flow during the sessions and students were able to hear about real-life experiences from two role models who had used Maths to further their career.

Sporting Prowess

Ms Froud

It may be too frosty or wet to use the sports field for athletics, but that doesn’t stop our athletics students from competing. Recently, the Under 12s athletics team took part in the Mid-Sussex round of the County Athletics Championships and were thrilled when the Year 7 girls’ team won the event! The boys’ team came a credible 5th and we are proud of them both.

Both teams celebrating together

Year 8 boys on winning the 1st round of the indoor athletics competition at Sackville

Congratulations to the Under 12 football team on a 7-0 win over The Weald yesterday. This means they have finished the season unbeaten. Special mention to Mary McDonagh who scored 3 goals.

Linking Learning

Mrs Lindsley

Geography paper chains! Christmas may be a now distant memory, but in Geography we are still keeping the vibe alive! Year 11 students have been using creative methods to help them remember how coastal landforms are made. We have been creating paper chains to help memorise the sequence of events that occur in the formation of wave cut platforms, sand dunes and more!

Library Life

Accelerated Reader

This is our second year using the Accelerated Reader programme. Over the next few issues of the bulletin, we would like to take the opportunity to explain in more detail what this means for your child.

Mrs Perrin

As we reported in the last bulletin, all Year 7 & 8 students, plus a few additional students in Years 9 & 10, are enrolled automatically on the scheme. So far this academic year, students have completed two STAR tests (multiple choice quiz style test) and they now have their reading ranges from which to chose a reading book. We have purchased books to support readers at all levels and we encourage students to challenge themselves to read a variety of genres.

Every student has their own Accelerated Reader booklet where they record their STAR test results as well as each book they read. There is space for parents to sign each time students read at home so you can monitor how they are getting on. This is also where students write down their quiz results and where the librarians and teachers can watch their progress. The booklet has space for students to write their own wish-list of books they would like to read next, a great way to find out what they might want for their birthday! The booklet is also part of their equipment check, so we would encourage you to remind your child to bring it along each day.

Students on the Accelerated Reading scheme have read over 122 million words in almost 2,500 books since September, an amazing achievement.

Book Clubs

Mrs Perrin & Mrs Fogarasi

Two new book clubs have started recently in the library, aimed at taking a deeper look into specific titles to enhance and enrich students’ understanding and enjoyment of reading fiction.

The Amazing Book Awards club is for Year 9 students and follows the fastest growing book awards programme in the UK, click here for more details. The club meets monthly after school on Mondays until 3rd June, after which the group will go to the finals at Shoreham Academy. It has been a hugely successful club in the past and we are thrilled that three of our year 11 students have loved it so much that they are still attending and reading the books. We aim to build lifelong readers and these three prove that happens.

Following the delivery of our free books from BookTrust, we have set up a book club for Year 8 students. Following a similar pattern to the ABA club, it meets monthly and looks at five different titles. They are Boy 87 by Ele Fountain, A Good Day for Climbing Trees by Jaco Jacobs, Star by Star by Sheena Wilkinson, The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson and Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. In June, we will collectively decide our favourites, probably by having a Balloon Debate, giving students the opportunity to use their powers of persuasion to keep their book in the air.

Lindfield Life

Mrs Perrin

We are also lucky to have the opportunity to submit book reviews for the Lindfield Life magazine. If your child wants to see their name in print, all they need to do is to write not more than 250 words about a book they have recently read and email it to the librarians at lrc@oathall.org and we will do the rest. When it is published, they can come and collect a copy of the magazine.

Oathall’s Sporting Superstars

It has been a fabulous sporting start to 2019 for Oathall’s PE teams. We have been successful against local schools in Football, Futsal, Indoor Athletics, Indoor Cricket and Hockey to name but a few.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the highlights

The U12 boys’ hockey team (pictured above) played in the annual tournament in Crawley with 5 other schools, with a combination of U13 and U12 teams. Despite being the youngest team present they finished unbeaten with 4 wins and 1 draw.

Our Indoor Athletics teams were successful in the Mid-Sussex round of the Countywide indoor athletics competition with the Year 7 Girls & Year 8 boys winning their rounds.

The Under 12 Girls Football team have completed all of their West Sussex league fixtures and have finished the season unbeaten.

Keep up the good work everybody!

If you need a reminder of our Autumn successes in the performance faculty catch up with their newsletter here.

School tours for prospective students

We offer a series of tour dates throughout the first half term of the new academic year to families with children looking to start with us in Year 7 in the September of the following year. You are invited to contact the Oathall school office either by phone on 01444 414001 or by email at office@oathall.org if you would like to book yourself and your children on to one of these tours.

We are also happy to offer tours throughout the school year to anyone interested in sending their child to Oathall. This would again be by appointment and would be subject to the school calendar and timetable although we will try to accommodate requests as far as possible.

Youth Speaks public speaking success

On Saturday 9th February our Junior Public Speaking team travelled to Cranleigh with Ms Slade for the next round of the Rotary Club’s ‘Youth Speaks’ competition. The team, made up of Molly, Matty and Tom had already secured a clear victory at a local level and were now facing the District Semi-Finals. This was a larger heat with a total of 6 teams, all fighting for one place in the District Final.

All three students brought their A game and proved from the outset they were serious contenders. Speaking on the theme of ‘Welcome to our World – a unique insight into the world of teenagers’ the team delivered a confident and faultless entry. Not only did Molly take the award for Best Speaker, and Matty for Best Chair Person but the team also took the overall prize, securing a place in the District Finals in March.

Commenting on their performance Ms Slade said,

I am really proud of our team’s achievement. The hours of rehearsal and the time and effort they had all put in was evident as they delivered their speech. I am looking forward to the next round and wish them the best of luck.

 

Speed dating for career inspiration

How do you get over 200 Year 9 students to find out about a wide range of careers? Get them to go along to a Careers speed dating event!

Students in Year 9 have just taken part in our annual Careers Speed Dating event, during which they had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of professionals and representatives from the world of work.

This event 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. Small groups of students were given 5 minutes to meet and learn about the occupations of each of our 26 visiting professional guests representing a wide range of employment sectors including banking, engineering, surveying, medicine, hairdressing, publishing, veterinary, medicine, uniformed services, scientific research, sport, nursing, physiotherapy and more. Feedback from the employers has been extremely positive. All our year 9 students were enthusiastic and made a good effort to ask lots of interesting questions.

One of the many positive comments from attending guests was: ‘The pupils were an absolute pleasure and without exception friendly, polite and chatty.’

Hairdresser Jade Laker from Pruners commented that refreshingly it was the boys that seemed more interested in hearing about her career than the girls!

Dr Sarah Bruce reported how impressed she was at how engaged and well behaved our students were during the session.

Thank you to all the business volunteers for giving up their time so generously to support our students.

2018 end of year Teaching and Learning Bulletin

Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

We are now approaching the end of what no doubt seems to many as being a very long term.  Of course, it has been a very full and exciting one too.  The paragraphs that follow in this latest learning bulletin will serve in giving you a sense of just how active and involved Oathall students have been over the past few weeks.

I was delighted to able to attend the Youth Speaks public speaking competition held here at Oathall recently.  The standards were extremely high and the performances of all our teams were outstanding.  I look forward to seeing how they progress in the future rounds of the competition next year.

There is a theme threading throughout this bulletin revealing how our students actively engage in activities that support others. A variety of learning mentor programmes see benefits for all involved and I am really pleased to see that the ‘Them and Us’ project is developing so well.

The last few days of term always feels particularly busy. Just two nights ago we held a splendid winter concert.  I received many exclamations of the breadth and indeed depth of the talent amongst Oathall students across all year groups.  It really was a wonderful evening and my thanks go to all those involved.  The Christmas lunch and our traditional ‘Carols in the Barn’ will seal the end of another successful term at Oathall.

On behalf of the governors and staff, may I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy 2019

Mr Edward Rodriguez – Headteacher

Learning in a variety of ways

Geography Homework interpreted differently – Alice Burwell explains the homework
This term in geography, we were given a sheet with a range of projects to choose from and given roughly two weeks to complete a series of tasks. The activities were categorized into three different levels, there was a starter, main and dessert. It was compulsory to complete a task from the main course. The tasks ranged in ability, we were encouraged to try the hardest ones. I chose to create a 3D model of a volcano and the other task I did was research a volcano and write a fact file on it. The volcano I chose for the fact file was Mt Vesuvius in Italy. I was among a number of students who were chosen to show their homework to Mr Rodriguez.  I know we all felt very proud of having achieved this honour.  

Carla Muskasa and Jennifer Woods made a video of ‘Tectonic Poetry’ to demonstrate their understanding of the topic and Niamh, Bella and Alice wrote a poem.

Art students have embraced a Masterclass to stretch their knowledge
A group of seven brilliant Art students have been coming to a lino printing masterclass after school, namely Isla McPherson in Year 7, Paige Nesbitt, Mollie Hooper, Annabel Gale, Sarah Galt, Finley Jenner and Charlie Rouse in Year 8. They are working through the process of designing and creating lino prints of animals. They start by transferring their drawings onto lino and then cut the design away using lino cutting tools. They have then used printing ink to print them and some have created colourful backgrounds too. I think you’ll agree that they are beautiful!

Peer Mentoring helps our younger students learn from our older students
Language Mentors
The Language Mentor scheme runs every Friday during afternoon registration. Keen and able students in Years 8 and 11 were nominated at the start of the year by their language teachers to take part in the scheme. Every Friday we meet in the library and Year 11 students lead language learning tasks with our Year 8 linguists. There is always a fantastic atmosphere and Year 11 students have shown creativity and flair in their leadership of the activities.

Maths Mentors
Our mentors have been doing a fantastic job for the last two years in supporting students in achieving their full potential, and in sharing and developing in others their love for learning maths. With the arrival of the December mocks, their work has come to an end and we are looking forward to selecting students in Year 10 that would like to continue their efforts.

The maths mentoring scheme is a very successful one where students in Years 10 and 11 support some very able mathematicians from year 7 students in theirs. Their work ranges from extending Year 7 work by working on higher topics, revision sessions and preparation for the junior maths challenges. If you would like to get involved speak to Miss Calleja or your maths teacher.

Reading Mentors
This year sees the third anniversary of the library reading mentor scheme. It takes place during Tuesday and Wednesday tutor times and is designed to encourage reluctant and struggling year 7 readers.

Mentees are identified through their Accelerated Reader scores and paired up with year 9 and 10 mentors. The mentors have volunteered for this role and received training to equip them. During the 20 minutes available to them, year 7s read to their mentors, who will listen, clarify, help, ask questions and encourage. It is an informal time, but students are still expected to read and they do engage very well with the format.

Our mentors are highly motivated as there was oversubscription for the role and some of them were mentees themselves three years ago and have now come back to the scheme to encourage and support the new year 7s with their reading. As the year progresses, we will start reading in larger groups; we will read plays and poetry, flash fiction and, of course, books on the Accelerated Reader programme. There are currently over 30 year 7s on the programme, all of whom really seem to enjoy the experience and the relationships they are building.  

Rewarding and helping

Maths goes to the movies – Ms L Griffiths
On Tuesday the 27th of November the Maths department held a film night for our Year 10 girls. We watched the incredibly inspiring film Hidden Figures. The film tells the story of three brilliant African-American women working at NASA who served as the mathematical brains behind the USA’s launch into orbit  They had to overcome many barriers due to their race and gender.

Maths students enjoying the film, The Christmas Chronicles.

In a largely male-dominated field, we want to encourage our girls, to demonstrate that there are no obstacles standing in their way that they cannot overcome. If they want to have a career in the sciences it is so important they know they can achieve this. And of course, it wouldn’t have been a successful night without bags of popcorn!

On Tuesday the 4th of December the Maths department held a Key Stage 3 reward evening. Each teacher selected a handful of students who had consistently shown outstanding effort in Maths this term. 45 students from Year 7, 8 and 9 came along to an evening of popcorn, sweets and the new Netflix film The Christmas Chronicles. It was a really enjoyable experience to acknowledge all their hard work!

Them and Us, the ripple effect

Tutor group 7ELMS wrote a thank you postcard to a member of staff who has helped them settle into Oathall or who has inspired them in lessons.
Ms Sandford received a beautiful card from a Year 8 student to say thank you for helping her. Ms Sandford said, ” I was delighted as it was so unexpected!”
A lovely gift from a student in 7VAS which is going into one of our Christmas boxes for the YMCA DownsLink Group. The student has donated 5 books and has written this note in each one.

Rewarding Readers – Mrs D Perrin
Students who have read over a million words on the Accelerated reader scheme were rewarded with certificates in their House assemblies. Congratulations to the following students, you are all amazing! To find out more about Accelerated Reader, please read the library news further on in the bulletin.

Two of our Year 8 students have achieved outstanding word counts on Accelerated Reader. To date, Niamh Chapman has read 8,277,770 words and Tasha Lawrence has read 7,956,724. Well done girls, I suspect these numbers will have increased before long!

Tasha & Niamh, word multi-millionaires

Word Millionaires in Year 7
Archie Ramsden, Bobbie Clark, Dan Polhill, Ebba Wilson, Emily Jones, Freya Josephs, Harry Musson, Isobel Dupee, Megan Williams and Olivia Beck.

Word Millionaires in Year 8
Anna Bedingham, Harry Banks, Jake MacMahon, Marissa Joseph, Niamh Chapman, Tasha Lawrence and Bea Carter.

Word Millionaires in Year 9
Amie Moxon, Bobbie Steel, Deacon Stephens and Henry Tucker.

Challenging other schools

Taking part in ‘Youth Speaks’ – Ms C Slade
On Monday 26th of November, Oathall hosted the annual Youth Speaks competition with the Rotary Club. Youth Speaks objectives are to:

  • Challenge your public speaking abilities and perform, persuade and entertain the audience with your display of wit and knowledge of a topic.
  • In teams of three participants present arguments and points of discussion, before taking questions from the judging panel who are, themselves, skilled orators.
  • Participants can select a topic which is important to them, giving them an opportunity to delve deep into research, formulate ideas and build confidence.
We had four teams in this heat and they were obviously keen to go through to the next round, especially competing on home turf! The teams had been working really hard after school and in their lunchtimes in order to be ready – the juniors, in particular, were against some pretty tough competition.
Senior team 2 – Ben McDowell, Henry Forrest and Felix Carter are through to the District round, winning the overall competition in their age group. Ben McDowell also received Best Speaker, Kitty Underhill got Best Chairperson and Felix Carter got Best Vote of Thanks.
In the Junior competition – Oathall 1 – Molly Jordan, Matty Mackay and Tom Underhill beat Great Walsted A and B teams to go through to the District round! Matty Mackay took Best Chairperson, Bea Carter took Best Speaker and Great Walsted took Best Vote of Thanks.  Mollie McConnell also deserves recognition, after her teammates dropped out in the early stages of preparation, she could not compete but she chose to turn up to every practice to coach and work with the others. She also attended the evening to support all the teams. Well done Mollie!

Entering the ‘Senior Maths Challenge’ – Miss M Calleja
Following the success from last year, fifteen Year 11 students took part in the Senior Maths Challenge with over half of them obtaining a bronze award or better.  The Senior Maths Challenge is run by the UK Mathematics Trust and is supported by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. It is aimed at those in Years 13 and below and mostly taken by students in Further Education so we are very pleased with the success of our students. Our pupils achieved 2 silver and 8 bronze certificates in this competition taken by over 80,000 students from across the UK. A special mention should be made for Toby Watkinson and Jack Townsend who obtained silver awards. We wish our students good luck and further success in these competitions!

Matt Curtis, Jon Harper, Eliana Harrison, Harrison Kane, Alex Korniotis, Teddy Kell, Ted Maslin, Ed Mason, Rachel Neller, Alex Rhys-Williams, Mehul Rodney, Lauren Schou, Georgie Tingley, Jack Townsend, Toby Watkinson, Aoife Wright.

Demonstrating sporting prowess against Millais School – Ms Z Froud
I would like to congratulate the Under 12 Girls football team for holding Millais to a 1-1 draw in the County League recently. Both teams were unbeaten going into this match and it was a nail-biter! Player of the match nominated by the Millais team was Goalkeeper Millie Hopkins who made some exceptional saves. She was thrilled as I am sure you can imagine.

Under 12s Girls’ Football Team

Oathall Big Sing 2018 – Mrs C Mactaggart
We were very privileged to welcome international tenor Andrew Rees to lead our Oathall Big Sing 2018. What a brilliant morning of beautiful choral and contemporary singing by our primary feeder schools, led by the Oathall School Choir and accompanied by the very talented musicians from the College Jazz Band, Orchestra and Rock Band.

Miss Holmes from West Sussex Music who also attended the morning was very impressed by the standard of musicianship on display. She was able to promote vocal and instrumental lessons which are offered by West Sussex Music in schools across the County or at the Saturday morning school at Oathall, to inspire our next generation of musicians.
Mrs Mactaggart, Head of Music at Oathall commented on how much she is looking forward welcoming the Big Sing 2018 attendees to our choir and ensembles when they join the College next year and encouraged the wonderful young singers to consider joining the local Cora Nuova Youth Choir which is directed to Andrew Rees to further their skills.

Big Sing 2018

Oathall Marks the Centenary of World War One
The centenary of the end of World War One was marked by staff and students in a number of ways this year.  Mr Parry organised our ‘Field of Remembrance’ which gave students and staff the opportunity to honour and remember individuals from a number of past conflicts by donating to the Royal British Legion and dedicating a wooden cross to a particular soldier. The subsequent field of crosses in our piazza area provided a focal point for our remembrance and it was here we held a short ceremony on Friday 9th November, led by Mr Rodriguez.  Against the poignant backdrop of our ‘Field of Remembrance,’ we held a one minute’s silence and Felix Carter (Year 10) played a rendition of The Last Post and the Reveille in this incredibly well-attended ceremony.

Year 9 also gathered in the hall on 9th November to watch an advance screening of ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’, an Imperial War Museum film commissioned to mark the centenary of World War One where original footage from the trenches was brought to life with the use of colour and sound technology.

Other activities included a poetry competition open to all year groups, tutor time activities and House assemblies led by Mr Hastings. Our students have, as always, impressed us with their response to the various remembrance events and we were honoured to have played our part in commemorating this important anniversary.

Winners and runners-up of the poetry competition received prizes, certificates and House points from Head Teacher, Mr Rodriguez.

Cuckfield Remembers concert
Students from Oathall Community College and Warden Park Academy joined forces to perform Holt’s Mars and Elgar’s Nimrod at the Cuckfield remembers Community Concert under the batons of Carol Mac Taggart and Martijn Van Galen. The pieces were well received and students were complimented on the high standard of the music as well as the respectful and friendly conduct of our students. We are all now very much looking forward to the launch of the WISDOM orchestral day to be held at Oathall on the 11th January 2019 where all the local Mid Sussex schools will be performing together like a symphony orchestra in a project led by local Heads of Music and the West Sussex Music Hub

Library news
The library has been as busy as ever, supporting our students with their reading and research during lesson times and encouraging them to engage in a variety of activities at break and lunchtimes. There is a lovely atmosphere in the library, it’s a busy place with lots going on.

Accelerated Reader
This is our second year using the Accelerated Reader programme. Over the next few issues of the bulletin, we would like to take the opportunity to explain in more detail what this means for your child. All year 7 & 8 students, plus a few additional students in years 9 & 10, are enrolled automatically on the scheme. So far this year, students have completed two STAR tests (multiple choice quiz style test) and they now have their reading ranges from which to chose a reading book. We have purchased books to support readers at all levels and we encourage students to challenge themselves to read a variety of genres.

Students on the Accelerated Reading scheme have read over 84 million words in 1,669 books since September, an amazing achievement.

Here are some reading suggestions for over the holiday period you might like to share with your children.

Puffin Books reading suggestions  

Winter reading challenge here  

Geography faculty suggested reading

https://www.readbrightly.com/why-reading-aloud-with-older-kids-is-best/

TV programmes based on books being shown over the Christmas period have been shared by a librarian colleague and can be found  here

Battle of the Books
We have also started up a new book club this term called Battle of the Books. Based on an American competition that has been running since the 1930s, it is a reading incentive programme where students read chosen books, organise themselves into teams and then ‘battle’ against each other to see who knows the most. Each question starts ‘in which book’ which eliminates potential confusion and there is a bonus if teams can remember the author of the book. Students from Year 7 and 8 have been reading since October and we now have five teams ready to start ‘battling’ in the new year. Our highlight will be when we ‘battle’ a teacher team during World Book Week in March. The students have been a delight, they are keen and organised – a librarians’ dream.

Scholastic Book Fair
We also had an incredibly successful Scholastic Half Price Book Fair where we sold over £815 worth of books. Not only do your children benefit by getting everything at a 50% discount, but the library can then chose books to the value of £81, all at half price. We are thrilled with our selection and they are now available for your children to borrow.

Lindfield Life
We are also lucky to have the opportunity to submit book reviews for the Lindfield Life magazine. If your child wants to see their name in print, all they need to do is to write not more than 250 words about a book they have recently read and email it to the librarians at lrc@oathall.org and we will do the rest. When it is published, they can come and collect a copy of the magazine.

Fun in the library
The idea that a library is a place of silence, that librarians go around saying ‘shush’ all the time is well and truly gone. Libraries are a hive of activity, the only rule being that your noise doesn’t impact on someone else’s activity. During break and lunchtimes, our library is transformed into a bustling place, full of students swapping their books, checking their homework, printing out whatever they need for their studies, reading our magazines and chatting to friends. They also play chess and yu-gi-oh plus there is a drop-in, student-led origami club on Fridays.

Happy Christmas from all the staff at Oathall

Winners of the best jumper award went to the Maths faculty.