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

Oathall at the South of England Show

This year, over 60 farm club students attended and helped out at the South of England show at Ardingly.
 
The South of England society provided the college with a large marquee to display a selection of our chickens, lambs and pigs to the public. Visitors were then able to get up close to the animals and our students were on hand to answer questions. The event gave our students the opportunity to show their knowledge and skills to the public.
 
Students also took part in the main livestock parade. They walked in front of the cattle holding up the cattle breed boards. We also showed our three commercial pigs, and the judges awarded them third in their class.

Students rise to the Tenner Challenge

Enterprising students at Oathall Community College have raised £1586 for charities by participating in Young Enterprises ‘Tenner Challenge’. Over four weeks students use £10 pledges to get their student business ideas off the ground and make as much profit as they can.

This year, 18 teams made up from over 40 students in year 8 and year 9 took part. Teams provided a range of services and products such as chocolate pizzas, car washing, gardening services, arts and crafts and dog-walking. Students could sell their products & services to friends and family as well as at lunchtime fairs in school. Students commented that the challenge had taught them a lot about being independent and that it gave them a good experience of the financial & marketing side of running a business.

At the end of the four weeks, the teams returned their initial £10 and paid £1 as a legacy donation to Young Enterprise to support next year’s event. Students donated £1586 of their £2309 profits to their chosen charities.

Mrs Laura Griffiths said,
It has been remarkable to see how well the students have taken on this challenge. Their dedication and commitment has been fantastic. They have shown how well they can work together in a team and have overcome obstacles they have faced. It has been a great experience for them to see what it is like to run a business of their own taking into consideration costs, advertising and profits. I am very proud of what they have achieved and that a huge amount of their profits went to such fantastic charities

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.

 

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.

 

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.

DRONE 500 Challenge

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 Bake Off

‘Royal Wedding’ was the theme in this year’s Bake-Off competition. The competition is run annually and is open to students in years 7,8, 9 and 10. The competition and prizes are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Haywards Heath and the entries are judged by the WI. Students are given 4 hours to bake and decorate a cake which is then judged on taste, appearance and technical difficulty. The winning entry was made by Emily, who has now won on three separate occasions. Well done to all of the students who took part.

Festival of Sport

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

Students participated in activities ranging from climbing, blind football, wheelchair hockey and rugby, as well as learning about the biomechanical and physiological effects of physical activity. Activities were run by world-leading researchers and external experts from local and national organisations.

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

Year 9 student.

TEACHING AND LEARNING NEWS CHRISTMAS 2017

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.