Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

Our latest bulletin, as always, provides an insight into the breadth of experience and opportunity made available to Oathall students. Their continued commitment to all that is on offer never fails to impress.

The practical examinations in Photography and Art signal the start of the formal GCSE season. Students often tell me how their 10 hour examinations seem to ‘fly by’ as they get so completely absorbed in their work. As always, I have been so impressed by the quality of the pieces they produce. It was a real joy to see work on display in the college hall in an exhibition enjoyed by students, parents and carers, and the wider Oathall community. The art and photography was exhibited together with samples of work from Design Technology and the contribution from our Food & Hospitality students made this a real faculty event.

If you have passed through the college reception recently, you would have seen the display of Oathall’s winning submission in the recent Mid-Sussex STEM challenge. I am very proud to say that Oathall students were awarded both first and second place in this inaugural event against very stiff competition from local schools. My congratulations to all those involved in this project.

Whilst working under somewhat challenging circumstances this year, the science department has certainly not shied away from giving students a practical experience in their learning; the ‘Race for the Line’ challenge being a case in point. However, it is fair to say that they, along with their mathematics colleagues, are very much looking forward to moving into their new accommodation. I am delighted to confirm that the constructors are still reporting that all is proceeding to schedule and anticipate a completion date in early July.

I am so grateful for the work being undertaken through our parents’ association to raise additional funds to provide exceptional resources to enhance the teaching and learning in this new block. I am struck by the generosity of so many people whose contributions will have a profound impact on the experiences of Oathall students. Further details of the crowdfunding website can be found here.

Mr E. Rodriguez


GCSE Art, Photography and DT Faculty Exhibition 2018

Well done to our talented Art, Photography and Product Design Year 11 students who recently exhibited their exam work in the main hall. Students’ work was celebrated with a private viewing, well attended by students, their families and their friends. Year 10 GCSE Food and Hospitality students made canapes for the event which were delicious!
Thank you to all who attended and supported the event.

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Visit by Dr Who Author Daniel Blythe

By Ms Fogarasi

We were very excited to host Daniel Blythe at Oathall on the 24th April. Daniel has written over 20 books for adults and young adults, both fiction and non-fiction, Dr Who books and books for reluctant readers.

In the morning assembly, he told Year 7 students how he grew up in a small town and used to go ghost-hunting with his friends. He told them how he used to sit on his swing and make up stories and then he showed us his very first attempt at writing which was a cartoon strip about  a character called Techno Mouse. Oathall students were fascinated by his stories, short videos and pictures of him growing up. At the end they had a lot of questions to ask about his influences and advice for budding writers. Students also had a chance to ask him further questions at the book signing.

Later in the day some Year 8 and 9 students had the opportunity to take part in an ‘Outrageous Openings’  writing workshop led by Daniel. Together they discussed what to include in the opening of a book or essay and how to structure and develop their ideas. Students wrote their own opening paragraphs inspired by their choice of fascinating pictures provided by the author. Daniel gave ideas and advice and some students were even brave enough to read their openings out loud. Other students, who had already made a start on writing projects, had the opportunity of running their creations past Daniel and receive his advice.

Both students and staff had a brilliantly inspiring day with Daniel Blythe; we learnt about the writing process, where ideas come from and staff were treated to a little trip down memory lane. Students are encouraged to pop into the library to borrow any of our Daniel Blythe books: we have all his young adult and reluctant reader novels and, of course, his latest Dr Who adventure. We’re already planning our next author visit, which we’re super excited about, so watch this space!

Food, Glorious Food…

By Mr Parry
Year 8 has been conducting an in-depth study of fast food companies as part of their work on healthy eating during PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, Education) classes. In delivering presentations to their classmates, they have been considering whether fast food companies or their customers are responsible for health issues caused by eating that type of food.
The speeches have been of an extremely high standard demonstrating strong research skills, teamwork, analytical thinking and confidence building. Some students even brought in samples of fast food and home cooked food to demonstrate the lack of decomposition in fast food after 3 weeks. An imaginative, if a bit stomach-turning, idea!


By Mrs Slater

If you were at the recent Art/Design Technology exhibition and enjoyed the canapes, you might be interested to know they were made by our Year 10 Food Technology students.

Creativity in the English Faculty

Adventures into the mystery of Harris Burdick.

By Mrs Evans

Creativity has been bursting across the English Faculty as students across Years 8 and 9 have been exploring the ‘Mystery of Harris Burdick’. Harris Burdick walked into a children’s book publishers and said “I have an idea for a book. I have drawn some pictures for it. What do you think?” The publisher was very interested. The pictures were amazing! Harris Burdick said “I will come back tomorrow with the words.”  He never returned…

Students were then challenged to create a piece of creative work based on the pictures. It could be a story, a cartoon/storyboard, a news report, a script for a play, another picture to add to the collection or an interview with the mysterious Harris Burdick. Students worked individually or in teams and set about creating a range of interesting and exciting projects. Ms Fisher and I were then treated to sensational performances alongside a gallery of superb images and stories. Books became killers, pictures came alive and wizards roamed the classroom.

As always, the students of Oathall rose to the creative and imaginative project with glee. If you want to find out more and read more examples of work around this mystery, I recommend this weblink…if you dare…

Celebrating Excellent Homework

By Mollie Macconnell, Year 7

“For our Geography homework, we were asked to complete tasks from a grid to earn stars. Our aim was to earn at least 15 stars. The tasks covered topics ranging from Fairtrade, Kenyan tribes, Silhouette Art and Book Reviews through to Tourist Guides. I learned many interesting facts about the Maasai Tribe; which foods in the supermarket are Fairtrade and how this impacts Kenyans working on the farm; how lots of children in Africa still do not get a good education as well as what traditional Kenyan homes really look like. This homework was great because it gave me an insight into other countries cultures and how different they are from the UK.  I also enjoyed how we could choose the tasks that interested us, which for me was all of them, and we could present them in written form as well as more exciting ways such as designing posters, models and artwork. I was thrilled to be able to share and discuss homework with Mr Rodriguez”.

Explaining to Mr Rodriguez

Skills Recognition and Reward

By Mrs Holmes
Dan Rouse received this honour recently.  Mrs Holmes awards this honour to one Year 10 history student each fortnight.  The winning student has a purple velvet cushion to sit on and a robe and crown to wear.  It is awarded for effort, attitude and contributions to the lesson.

Historian of the Month Dan Rouse, wearing his robes.


By Mr Van Galen
The Tech Team say farewell to Thornley Thomas-Atkin who is moving on to 6th form. He has been a team member for nearly five years.

Back row: Thornley Thomas-Atkin (Year 11) David Wheatley (Y9) Joshua Bullimore (Y9) Front row: Monty Goodyer-Deen (Y8) Okan Erdem (Y9) Jamie Padgham (Y8)











The team prides itself on providing professional technical sound and lighting support for the end of term assemblies, special Oathall guests, poetry readings, productions, concerts, dance productions (Rock challenge) and any other sound and lighting needs. The team learns and becomes proficient in sound mixing, light programming, proper microphone placement, professional standards for equipment care and setup, health and safety awareness as well as an understanding of the arts that they are supporting. They pride themselves on their work ethic which is needed in order to do the job correctly. Alumni of the S&L (sound & light) team have been hired and are currently working for professional sound and light companies demonstrating that the skills and positive professional approach that is nurtured at Oathall are welcomed by our community.

Competing In The Community

By Mr Robinson

In March, six teams from Oathall, Warden Park Academy and St Paul’s Catholic College took part in the final stage of the Mid Sussex STEM challenge. Both Oathall teams got through to the final stages where they had to present their business plan for their electric bikes to a panel of judges in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ scenario. Both teams presented well, answering some really tough questions from the panel which included local MP Sir Nicholas Soames.

At the end of the presentations the Oathall team, ‘The Cycling Five’ were victorious with the ‘Hairy Cyclists’ our other team, taking second place.

The students were presented with a shield by Sir Nicholas Soames at Mid Sussex District Council offices on Friday 23 March.

Sir Nicholas said: “I was thrilled to present the Mid Sussex STEM Challenge Award to Cycling5 from Oathall Community College in Haywards Heath, whose other brilliant team, the Hairy Cyclists, were runners-up. It was a remarkable display of skill and business acumen in the design of an electric bike.”


‘Race for the Line’ Regional Final

By Ms Costelloe

In May four industrious Year 7 students (along with Mrs Isley) attended the ‘Race for the Line’ Regional final at Brambletye School. Violet Smith, Abigail Hartfield, Oliver Faulkner and Ed Rosling competed with 23 other schools from East and West Sussex and Kent.

Cars were engineered from blocks of polymer foam and wheels and axles added. Our team name, ‘Oathall Fire 2,’ was emblazoned across the car along with the obligatory ‘go-faster’ flames.

After the cars were made they went through a rigorous quality assurance process and we passed with flying colours!

The cars were raced with rocket motors and our car reached an astonishing 32.657 mph, coming fourth overall.

We had a fabulous day and met lots of other students from other schools. The event was organised by Dendrite, a STEM organisation running projects with schools all over the UK.

Well done to Violet, Abigail, Oliver and Ed (Team Oathall Fire 2) for a very successful result.


Well done to all the students who entered the Rotary Club Annual Photography Competition this year. We selected six students to be entered into the district stage of the competition.
We are delighted that Esme Brigden achieved 3rd place in the district intermediate competition, a fantastic achievement. Here are her photos.
Congratulations also go to these talented photographers:
Key Stage 3 Oathall Winners
3rd – Tamia Morton -Yr 7
2nd – Olivia Fisher Yr8
1st – Esme Brigden Yr9
Key Stage 4 Oathall Winners
3rd Matilda Pardoe – Yr10
2nd Holly Taylor – Yr10
1st Lukas Blackman – Yr10
The judges were very impressed with the quality of our students photography and the clever interpretation of the theme ‘A Different Perspective’.


Our Under 13 Cricket team are celebrating after beating Sackville recently in the Sussex Under 13 Cricket league. The score was Oathall 93 and Sackville 70. A great all-around team performance but a special mention to Emily Stockwell and Molly Hepburn who made their Oathall cricket debuts.

Connecting With Other Schools

All Year 10 students have been visiting local Primary schools developing and mastering their leadership skills which they have been working on since September. Sessions have involved multi-skills, striking and fielding and athletics. The leaders have been excellent role models and ambassadors for Oathall and the young people they have been working with have enjoyed their sessions greatly.

 A huge thank you to the Primary schools for giving Oathall this opportunity, the Oathall PE department for their hard work and of course our fantastic leaders from Year 10.

Broadening Our Horizons

By Mrs Sandford and Mr Henri

At the beginning of this term, Oathall celebrated the European Week of Languages in a variety of ways.

Year 7 students took part in Oathall’s very own Eurovision song contest. Each class learnt a song in either French, German or Spanish. Rehearsals took place and students diligently learnt their lines and their dances. We then recorded each song and all students voted for their favourite tune. Voting was a very tense affair, however, Mr Henri’s class,  7ab/Fr2 group won the competition with their song ‘Magie dans l’air’. Féliciatations!

During the week, Year 8  students were invited to play detective, taking part in a ‘hello’ competition. Students had to identify a member of staff who could say hello in any of the languages on their card. Best detective prize went to Amy Pinchard, who won the competition.

Other groups completed a quiz about Europe, designed by the Learning Resource Centre (Library) team.

Finally, everyone had the opportunity to sample some different dishes, thanks to our wonderful canteen staff who laid on à Spanish themed menu.  Students and staff enjoyed the famous ‘paella’ rice-dish and churros for dessert.

Information about trips

We are looking forward to our upcoming languages trips to France and Germany.

Dates for your diary: La Rochelle students and their parents are invited for an information evening on Tuesday 12 June at 6.30 pm.

Looking ahead to July 2019, Y9 and Y10 GCSE Spanish students will be enjoying a one-week Spanish residential, which will include visiting the magnificent cities of Barcelona and Girona. The trip will combine both cultural and water-sports activities as well as  Spanish language sessions.