Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy
The opening few weeks of the Autumn term have once again been very busy with students enthusiastically engaging with their learning and all that is on offer to them here at Oathall. The concluding week to the half-term saw students, in all years and across all subject areas, actively involved in House challenges. The final, whole-school assembly provided a fitting occasion to celebrate all that had been achieved as well as support the healthy competition developing between the houses.
Much work had taken place on the site during the summer break to ensure that we were ready to start the academic year, following the closure of the Science and Maths block at the end of July. The mathematics faculty moved into 8 fully refurbished classrooms in the main school block and practical science activities have been accommodated via the commissioning of a number of dedicated areas in the school. Both areas have been supported with the installation of the latest interactive technologies. I am very pleased to see how both faculty staff and students alike have responded following these changes.
A redesigned and newly equipped ICT classroom in the Art & Design Technology faculty has been completed to support, amongst other things, our new Engineering GCSE course. This has been joined by another new ICT suite built next to our Learning Resource Centre.
Work to the main Science and Maths block continues apace. Shrouded in scaffolding and safety netting, the replacement roof is almost complete and internal walls are now beginning to be constructed. The exterior will be transformed over the coming weeks as the thermally efficient windows get fitted. We are very excited to see the progress, over the coming weeks and months, of what will be excellent facilities for our students and staff.
No doubt, the bulletin that follows will give a flavour of the many exciting things happening at Oathall at the moment.
Exciting launch of “Oathall 8” and our “4 Pillars of Learning”
Staff used the two INSET days at the start of September to great effect when they were invited to think carefully about what constitutes an outstanding lesson. We also collaborated to consider what classroom routines we expect at Oathall from our students.
From this work, we are pleased to announce the “Oathall 8” which details student responsibilities as outlined below. All students have been introduced to these important elements and they are displayed and referred to regularly in lessons.
In addition, we have teacher responsibilities to ensure we give your children the best possible learning experiences
By Mrs Hatchard
Pillars of Learning
To ensure we deliver engaging lessons with positive outcomes we are focusing our staff training this year around 4 important areas. We are calling these our “Pillars of Learning” as they form the foundation of what is happening in your child’s day.
By Mrs Hatchard
In September, Oathall celebrated Poetry Week in what was our first cross-curricular day of this academic year. Staff and students embraced the opportunity to read and write poetry and take part in a host of poetry-related activities: an Open Mic Session in the LRC, chants in PE lessons, turning mathematical formulae into poems, to name a few. The English faculty held its annual poetry competition for years 7-9 as part of National Poetry Day; winners will be announced after half term.
By Ms Sullivan
It’s been a busy start to the school year in the library. We celebrated Roald Dahl Day, using his books and life as the basis for a treasure hunt in the shelves to help our new Year 7 students find their way around the library. Lunchtimes have been a hive of activity, we’ve had a poetry slam, with students and staff reading their favourite poems; students finding places to read, playing games such as chess, doing homework or revision and this month has seen students planning for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award expedition. We are grateful to have prefects in the library who take on Student Librarian duties, and this month they have been especially helpful in preparing our books for the Accelerated Reader scheme which will start after half-term; more news in the next bulletin.
By Mrs Perrin
Year 10 Geography students recently spent a day studying coastal erosion and coastal management on the Seaford and Newhaven coast. Students were very busy measuring the beaches and the pebbles to find out how coastal management has influenced the natural processes of the coast.
Year 9 Geography students recently spent a day in the honeypot village of Alfriston investigating the issue of tourism. Students conducted many tests looking at air pollution, traffic and footpath erosion. Visitors and business owners were also interviewed by our students to find out why it is so popular with visitors.
Modern Foreign Languages Faculty
This year we marked 40 successful years of the German exchange with our partner school in Traunstein. Accompanied by Miss Stockley, Mr Moore and Mrs Newnham, 17 enthusiastic linguists from Years 9 and 10 headed to Traunstein for a week filled with German culture, sightseeing and language learning.
Students had been getting to know their partners since January which meant that meeting them for the first time on our arrival in Traunstein could be made just a little less daunting!
During our stay, there were sightseeing visits to Munich, Salzburg and Berchtesgaden National Park, including the salt mine, and boat trip and swim in the Königssee. The students then spent the weekend with their host families where they were able to enjoy a wide range of activities such as hiking in the mountains, visiting King Ludwig’s Chiemsee castle and socialising in a typical German environment.
Lots of the students commented on how much they felt their German language skills had improved during the trip and how much they enjoyed their time with their German families. It certainly wasn’t just the teachers who were not ready to come home at the end of the week.
It wasn’t long before the exchange partners were back here in Haywards Heath. Whilst here, our German guests visited London, Brighton and Eastbourne. They were also hosted by the mayor, town councillors and members of the twinning association at a very informative session at the Town Hall.
We are in the process of recruiting for 2018 so please come and see me (Miss Stockley) if you are interested.
There was plenty of activity in the Performance Faculty and in this bulletin, we would like to focus on our successful Under 16 Girls cricket team, whose victory 79 Runs to 44 against Millais School was resounding, well done girls!
By Miss Froud
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Last weekend, six teams of Year 11 students set off on their final Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition. After a soggy start, the weather cleared and all the teams enjoyed their walks across either the Ashdown Forest or South Downs.
We are incredibly proud of the students for their teamwork and perseverance and are pleased to announce that all students successfully completed their expedition.
Oathall Student Voice
The Student Council has launched the ‘MakeYour Mark Campaign’ which involved discussing 10 key issues with their respective tutees. Each member of the tutor group then voted on the issue they felt most passionate about with the collated results added to a National Database.
The top 3 issues our students voted for were:
Mental Health – Services should be improved with young people’s help
Transport – make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all
Work Experience Hub for 11-18-year-olds – knowing where to find work experience can be challenging. The Government should reverse the proposed cuts to schools so that each young person has an equal chance to succeed.
The issue that receives the most votes is then debated by the UK Youth Parliament at the House of Commons.
Thank you to the Student Council Members for their hard work in collating these results.
By Miss Gyngell
I am pleased to announce this year’s ‘Cross-Curricular Weeks’ are:
|Art and Design Technology||Influential designers of the 20th century||29 January||7-9|
|Science||British Science Week||12 March||7-11|
|MFL||European Week of languages||26 March||7-11|
Throughout the year each faculty has selected a theme and students experience lessons with a link to the chosen theme.
Thank-you to the enrichment team for their hard work in pulling this together, the staff for planning exciting lessons and indeed the students for ‘buying into’ the idea with such enthusiasm.
By Miss Gyngell
House Competition News
Congratulations to Discovery who emerged victorious as House Champions last year, with Voyager taking the Credit Cup and Endeavour the Attendance Cup.
We are hoping for another year of closely fought competition and this week 16-20 October) will be our first ever ‘House Challenge Week’ where our students will compete in various challenges within lessons in order to gain points for their House. These challenges will range from team quizzes to solo assessments and can be mental, physical or creative tasks.
Good luck to all the Houses!
Extra Curricular Clubs
We have a vast array of clubs at Oathall for students in all years.
Please click on this link to see what is available.
By Miss Gyngell