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.

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.

 

Carols in the barn

Our annual carols in the barn service will be held on Monday 18 December from 7.00pm until 8.00pm. Join us in the Oathall farm barn for carol singing surrounded as usual by some of our farm animals. Music will be provided by members of the Oathall orchestra and choir. Refreshments including mulled wine, hot drinks and mince pies will be available. Wrap up warm, we look forward to seeing you there.

 

Power of Music Festival

On 19 June, the Oathall Community College Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble performed at the Power of Music festival at the Orchards Shopping Centre in Haywards Heath. They performed a wide selection of music that culminated in a grand finale where they accompanied the choirs of three local primary schools for a very appreciative audience.

The Oathall jazz band performing Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke with students Tomas Henshaw, Seren Billson, Felix Carter in the foreground. Andrew Galt, Hana Konig, Eleanor Grey, Nathanael Van Den Dolder and Isaac Clarke (just behind Seren) in the background.

Teaching and Learning News: Summer term 2017

Respect  Aspire  Achieve  Enjoy

DSC_1909edit

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

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

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

House News

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

This leaves the House Championship table looking like this.

Bake-Off Feedback

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

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

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

Geography Field Trip

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

History Trip to Ypres

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

Modern Foreign Languages Week

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

Library News

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

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

Music News

Ensemble Reza Community Orchestra Concert

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

Rebetiko Carnival

Earlier this year, the Rebetiko Carnival, one of the most exciting and biggest music festivals in Europe landed on the shores of the UK. The infectious, uplifting traditional music of Greece and Asia minor resounded through the streets of cities of the UK from Brighton, Shrewsbury, Bristol and Manchester, with the heart of the festival in London before arriving at Oathall this November. This culminated in a wonderful workshop and concert bringing together incredible musicians, young and old, Oathall students, amateurs and professionals.

What is Rebetiko?

Rebetiko is the music of an urban sub culture of musicians called “rebetes”. Although they openly emerged in Greece in the 1920’s, rebetiko music is a rich synthesis of music from all over Greece that expresses the pain and suffering of the people at the time. In a heartfelt way of reflecting life, these songs can be full of humour and profound beauty. The instruments used vary depending on the style of song. Most common are the bouzouki, baglama, guitar, oud, violin, kanonaki, santouri, hand held percussion. The voice, of course is a very important aspect of this music and one must not forget the dance. The songs are based on the many different types of rhythms found throughout this part of the world and it spirit of dance drives every song.

BBC Ten Pieces

Hannah Newson Xylophone Felix Carter Mrs Van Galen Rose Fredericks Trumpet

Rehearsing for the concert performance

Since last summer students at Oathall & pupils from 6 Mid-Sussex Primary schools have been feverishly practising and rehearsing in preparation to take part in the BBC Ten Pieces performance. Ten Pieces is an exciting initiative for schools, led by BBC Learning and the BBC Performing Groups that aims to open up the world of classical music to a generation of children and inspire them to develop their own creative responses to ten pieces of music. The project culminates today with a concert at the Kings Church in Burgess Hill.

Listen here to a BBC Sussex radio interview about the project.

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Music Clubs 

Orchestra
Tuesday, Room 91 after school 3:10 – 4:30. See Mrs Mac Taggart or Mr Van Galen for details
Jazz Band
Thursday, Room 92 at lunch – see Mr Van Galen for details
Boys Singing Group
Thursday, room 91 at lunch – see Mrs Mac Taggart
Singing group
Thursday, Room 91 after school 3:10 – 4:10. See Mrs Mac Taggart for details.

Instrumental and vocal lessons
We have a great team of instrumental and vocal teachers at Oathall. If you are interested in taking lessons, you can apply by clicking on the links below to access the online application forms or see Mrs Mac Taggart for more details.

Love Music specialise in teaching singing, guitar, bass and piano both individually and in small groups. Love Music teachers are passionate and creative musicians and teachers who share the best of their knowledge in a way that is interesting, inspiring and above all, makes sense.  Whether students are learning ‘just for fun’ or working towards a particular goal (such as grades or audition pieces), our tutors take care to listen to students and work out what they are aiming for – helping them achieve their musical goals whatever they may be. Lessons are competitively priced and offered individually or in small groups. All students are offered one free trial lesson to see how they get on – we even provide resources to get them started!

West Sussex Music teach a the full range of orchestral instruments including; flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, trumpet, trombone, horns as well as contemporary instruments like keyboard, drum kit and guitar. There is a scheme to help with the fees for children attending a West Sussex maintained school [local authority, academy, free] to learn one instrument. This scheme applies to group lessons and award lessons. As leaders in high-quality music education, West Sussex Music aims to nurture, inspire and enrich, changing lives through music. Nearly 180 teachers support over 18,000 children with their music-making across the county’s schools and colleges.

Lunchtime musical concert

Oathall musicians went along to watch Ensemble Reza’s cellist Sarah Carvalho-Dubost and guest bassoonist, Susana Dias for a lunchtime concert at the Haywards Heath Methodist Church in Perrymount Road last week.Music-Ensemble Reza

They were treated to a varied and very interesting programme which included music by Beethoven, Brahms and The Pink Panther theme. The cello and bassoon playing together is an unusual but very beautiful combination and Mrs Mac Taggart and the musicians will be trying this combination at school rehearsals to see if they can create the same beautiful timbres.

Eve Mustin who was one of the students who attended the concert said,

“I really enjoyed going to see Ensemble Reza’s concerts. The bassoon and cello complimented each other well and I recognised some of the pieces and composers. The musicians were amazing and very inspirational. Overall, it was a fantastic musical experience.”