Congratulations to the Oathall year 8 boys athletics team who won the Mid-Sussex indoor athletics round at Sackville on Monday 14 January. This is the first round of the Sussex School games and the boys will now go on to represent Mid-Sussex schools at the County finals at the Triangle in Burgess Hill.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Winter reading challenge here
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.
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 email@example.com 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
This year, as part of the ‘Them and Us’ project, Oathall students and staff have been putting together Christmas boxes of gifts and food donations to give to charity. We have chosen to support the YMCA DownsLink Group through their “Love in a Box” scheme. This charity works predominantly with young people who are homeless or in supported housing and they also offer counselling services which our students can access. These boxes ensure that every young person the YMCA DLG work with has something to open at Christmas and will hopefully show that our students and staff have been thinking about them and will continue to think about them during what could be a difficult or lonely time of year.
There has been a terrific response from the school community with gifts ranging from the basics, like toothpaste and soap, to warm winter clothing and a tent!
The ‘Them and Us’ project is all about bringing down barriers and helping young people to understand the importance of kindness, respect and living without harm. We are looking forward to carrying out further projects like this in the new year.
Oathall students & staff have marked the end of the First World War and remembered and honoured those who have paid the price for our freedom.
Students in year 9 spent the morning watching Peter Jackson’s First World War film ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ after which the whole school gathered around the Oathall Field of Remembrance for a period of reflection and silence. The last post was played on the bugle by one of our students.
In recognition of the centenary of the end of the First World War, 100 crosses provided by the Lindfield branch of the Royal British Legion have been placed out in a field of remembrance. Each cross will be dedicated to an individual who has been nominated by members of the school staff and student body and a donation will be made to the Royal British Legion.
If you missed this year’s Open Day there’s still a way for you to capture a flavour of the evening by watching our short film.
This film was produced by a team of talented Oathall students – we hope you enjoy watching it.
Oathall students and staff have attended the launch of this year’s Mid Sussex STEM Challenge. The event took place at Mid Sussex District Council offices and was officially launched by the High Sheriff of West Sussex Caroline Nicholls. The Drone 500 challenge has been developed to encourage an interest in STEM subjects amongst young people and to help them understand how these subjects will be applied in industry in the future.
In the first year, the challenge was won by Year 9 students from Oathall. In this, the second year of the competition, more schools from across Sussex have entered for the chance to win. Over the next six months, each school is being tasked to build a drone for £500. The drone will be required to meet a number of very specific requirements which will be tested at the final next March. As well as this each team will be required to produce a business case which they will pitch to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel. Each team will be supported and mentored along the way by members of the local business community.
Head of Art and Design Technology, Pete Robinson said,
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain an insight into the world of engineering and design. Not only does it encourage an interest in STEM but it develops team building and a work ethic at an early age. We will, of course be working hard to retain our title!”
Oathall was delighted to take delivery this week of a much-needed new school minibus. The acquisition of the new minibus was made possible by the kind generosity and support of Fairfax Properties who fully supported the purchase for the school.
The minibus has been designed specifically for school use and can transport up to 17 people; it has also been adapted so that it is fully accessible by wheelchair users.
Handing over the minibus keys, Fairfax Director, Jon Ball, said:
“We are proud to be able to support our local community in this way.”
Headteacher, Edward Rodriguez said:
“We are incredibly grateful to Fairfax Properties for their support of the school in this way. This new bus will be used extensively by the school and especially the PE department where it will enable teams and reserves to be transported to school fixtures without incurring additional transportation costs.”
New this year, a chance to see our brand new maths and science classrooms.
On Thursday 20 September, Oathall will be opening its doors from 4.30pm to 8.00pm to prospective KS3 students and their families. The purpose of the evening is to give you an introduction to Oathall and allow you to meet our staff and get a feel for our school. Members of the Oathall team will be available to answer any questions you may have about the school, the curriculum, pastoral and SEN provision and the transition process for Y6 pupils.
Every faculty will be putting on activities in which your child will be able to participate. This will be an excellent opportunity for you and your child to gain hands-on experience on how learning takes place at Oathall and we do hope you will be able to join us. There will also be two presentations during the event at 5.30pm and 7pm.
Please note that if you live locally and are coming to the evening, please consider leaving your car at home out of consideration for our neighbours and the traffic in the area.
Visit our crowdfunding page and help us to inspire thousands of secondary school students to become future scientists, engineers and inventors. We want to buy state of the art equipment for Oathall Community College’s new science and maths classrooms which are opening this September. So, we have not got long to raise our target of £25,000 by June 23rd.
Our aim is to provide students with:
- digital microscopes
- anatomical models
- specialist cameras
- Lego Mindstorm kits
- exciting maths learning software
- digital screens
- display posters
All these things will bring alive the worlds of science and maths for thousands of current and future Oathall students.
Oathall’s PTA, in collaboration with the college, has launched a crowdfunding campaign with a target of £25,000.
The campaign aims to raise funds to equip the newly refurbished maths and science classrooms with state of the art equipment that will inspire a love and passion for science and maths that will allow our students to become the inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs, and engineers of the future.
Since last July, the old SAM block has been undergoing a long-awaited transformation with almost every part of the building being completely refurbished and modernised. The project itself ensures the building is fit for day to day teaching needs. However, the school staff, governors and parents have very high aspirations for our students.
Oathall has a tradition of excellent science teaching and our mathematics results are above the national average. We want to maintain and build on this reputation. We want to enhance the environment in the new building with state of the art equipment and resources that will inspire a love and passion for science and mathematics.
This is not about test tubes, heat mats and calculators; this is about having ambitious state of the art technology and equipment such as digital microscopes, thermal imaging cameras, anatomical models as well as display posters, digital screens and signage to bring the building and the teaching of these subjects to life.
These are not the normal items you find in a school science or maths classroom and are beyond even the best-funded schools. We believe our staff and children deserve the opportunity to learn using up to date teaching technology and hope that with the help of the whole community we can achieve this.
Our target is to raise £25,000 by 23 June 2018. You can support the campaign by visiting the Oathall crowdfunding page.
You can keep in touch with updates about the campaign on the PTA Facebook page.