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The Fifteenth National Students’ Art Exhibition‎ 2017

Congratulations‎ to our Year 11 artists Holly Jones, Naomi Johnson, Jessica Laimons and photographer Katie Hastings whose work was selected to be exhibited in the NSAE held at the prestigious Mall Galleries under the patronage of The Royal Society of British Artists. We are delighted that eight pieces of work were exhibited by our students demonstrating the exceptional talent and commitment to excellence at Oathall. Art pieces submitted by Tristan Redgrove and Millie Brown were also highly commended.
Chris Russell, CEO, “It is encouraging to find that in times of serious funding problems, schools still want to celebrate their art at national level. Anyone seeing the impact of selection on the artists, teachers and parents will be uplifted, as they will by the enormous effort and commitment that goes into such an exhibition.”

Faculty News

Art and Design and Technology Faculty

GCSE Exhibition 2017

Congratulations to our Year 11 Art, Photography and Design Technology students who exhibited their GCSE exam work in our annual exhibition. The standard was very high quality this year and we are very proud of our students’ achievements. Thank you to students, parents and friends who attended the private view to celebrate.

Haywards Heath Horticultural Society Annual Summer Show 

The Oathall Photography Exhibition and our entries for “The Pot Competition” (open to all local schools) at the Haywards Heath Horticultural Society Annual Summer Show were both very successful.

The Mayor of Haywards Heath, James Knight, opened the exhibition and congratulated our students on their creativity and their high-quality work. He was particularly impressed by two of our students whose photographs he purchased for himself.

1st prize for the Best Pot – Ashton Baker
1st prize for Photography – Vicky Payne
2nd prize for Photography – Emily Brock
3rd prize for Photography – Molly Lowe
4th prize for Photography – Harry Emms

Year 7 and 8 Art Masterclass

Well done to our Gifted and Talented art students in Years 7 and 8 who were invited to attend a Master Class after school recently. Students created large scale ink and bleach observation studies in just over an hour. The ambitious pieces look fantastic.

Primary School Art Masterclass

Years 4 and 5 Primary students were selected from our feeder schools to attend an Art Gifted and Talented Master Class at Oathall. The focus was on printing, and students created a series of prints working from feathers. Students are invited to attend master classes in Art, Science and DT which we run every half term throughout the academic year.

Art and Design and Technology Cross-Curricular Week

Last week was the Art and Design and Technology Cross-Curricular week. The theme was ‘Designers and Inventors’. Every faculty took part, and activities took place mostly but not exclusively during lesson time. At Tutor Time, the students did a quiz, placing different inventions in their date order, which they enjoyed. Here are some photos from the English faculty where the students were reading a book set in Victorian times and involved the invention of the sewage system. They focused on Joseph Bazalgette, London’s first Chief Engineer. They also looked at other Victorian inventors over the two weeks.

English Faculty

Amazing Book Awards in the Library

This year, for the first time ever, Oathall participated in the Amazing Book Awards (ABA), which is a book award that was established by Sussex school librarians in 2011. Students from over 30 schools in Sussex are able to suggest books to go on the long list and then vote for their favourite five to go onto the short list. Then all participating students read all five shortlisted books and award them points according to their preference. All points are then added up, counted and the winner and runners-up are announced at a grand ceremony in June.

Fifteen of our Year 8 and 9 students signed up to be part of the after-school ABA read-and-rate book club held in the library and run by one of our librarians, Ms Fogarasi. Students considered issues prompted by the novels, such as ‘what would you do if you know you couldn’t die’ or ‘how might the layout of a book add to our reading experience’; we also looked at a range of themes from feminism, friendships, and relationships to mental health. The students remarked that this was their favourite part of the ABA experience.

The students met one of the shortlisted authors, CJ Daugherty, when she visited Oathall. The final part of the process was a trip to the actual Awards Night held at Shoreham Academy, where they could meet the authors. 

Ms Fogorasi said, “As a librarian, it gave me enormous pleasure to see these lovely youngsters come together after school, discuss the books and get excited about reading. We will definitely be running the club again next year – the ABA is already taking suggestions for the long list.”

You can read more about the ABAs at the following website:

English Speaking Competition

Congratulations to all the Year 7 and 8 students who were finalists in our annual Public Speaking Competition. Their speeches, in front of their entire year group, were based on the topic “Let me persuade you about…”. We had all manner of topics, such as: Playing the Guitar, Mantis Shrimps, Autism, and Never Giving Up.

The staff and judges were very impressed with the quality of all the speeches and the students’ thorough preparation and confident delivery.

The results are as follows:

Year 7

1st place:  Dominika Knotkova-Hanley, 2nd place: Zoe Downey, Joint 3rd place: Isla Mustin and Billy Reid

Congratulations to the other finalists: Milena Karwat, Bethany Thomas, Abel Thomas, James Upchurch, Lola Jones, Lily Ramsbottom, Joe Friere-Luaces and Holly Hughes.

Year 8

1st place:  Abigail Cooper, 2nd place: Felix Carte, 3rd place: Georgia White

Congratulations to the other finalists: Ben Rickman, Henry Forresr, George Stubbs, Ed Newey, Nathan Ozkan, Ewan Kemsley, Patrick Stedman, Josh Povey, Sam Brading, Isabelle Hateley, Lily Franklin

Harry Potter in the Library 

The Library has had a Harry Potter makeover to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publishing, on Monday 26 June, of the very first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Lindfield Life Book Reviews

In January we were offered the opportunity to submit book reviews by students to the monthly Lindfield Life publication. Our librarians approached keen students, and they rose to the occasion to be featured in four editions of the magazine.

Thanks to Kate Garwood, Umarah Ahmed, Nate Parker and Dominika Knotkova-Hanley for their excellent reviews which you can read here. We look forward to continuing this partnership during the next academic year.

Summer Reading Suggestions 

The Times Educational Supplement has created a list of books they think students should have read before leaving secondary school. They have suggested 100 titles, many of which we have in our school library. We would like to encourage you to share this with your children and see how many they can tick off. Don’t forget: a lot of these books will be available at both Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill public libraries. You don’t need to buy the books to enjoy reading them.

Humanities Faculty

History FacultyTrip to Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace provided Year 8 pupils with many tangible examples of how the pursuit of power drove the Tudor dynasty forward. It combined the glamorous side of court life, such as the Grand Hall and Henry VIII’s apartments, with the functional mechanics behind the scenes that make such splendour possible, such as the Fish Court and the kitchens. They saw evidence of the conflict between Church and Crown: the Palace itself is very much a symbol of the Reformation. By incorporating William III’s apartments into the visit, students were able to experience the grandeur and expression of power from another dynasty, the Stuart / Williamite dynasty, as found in Year 8 studies of  “The English Civil War, the Restoration and Glorious Revolution”. They could see how things changed socially and culturally as well as in terms of religion, power and expressions of wealth between 1515 and the early 1700’s.

Modern Foreign Languages Faculty

Language Mentor Scheme

In October, a carefully selected group of Year 8 students met for the first time with their Year 11 language mentors. The Year 8 students had been identified by their language teachers as being keen and able linguists. Year 11 students were looking forward to developing their language skills in a fun and supportive environment. Every Friday, our language mentors would meet in the LRC to speak, write, listen and read in French, German and Spanish. The atmosphere was always purposeful, yet relaxed and enjoyable. Six months later, Year 11 students said goodbye to their Year 8 partners in advance of their GCSE exams. Year 8 students have taken their GCSE language options, and many of those involved in the Language mentor scheme have been chosen to continue with two languages. Well done everyone!

La Rochelle Trip 2017

Ooo la la! This year’s trip to La Rochelle has been a ‘tour de force’. From the very start, students have been immersed amongst French history and culture from the visit to the medieval city of Poitiers to the spectacular show at Puy-du-Fou.The influence of the Romans, the Vikings, Jeanne d’Arc and Napoleon are now recognised by students as historically significant of French culture. However, it is not just French history that has engaged our students but also the future.

Our visit to the Futuroscope brought us back to the 21st century with science in all cross-curricular links and the unique experience of advanced 4D technology. Not only did the students marvel at this inspirational environment, but their French language skills also made great leaps.

Each day, regardless of each place of interest, students had to listen carefully to narrative instructions in French as well as speaking. They had to ask questions requesting either ‘une glace’ or even ‘une gaufre au chocolat’ and asking more complex questions such as getting directions to various places.

Finally, to round off a trip of immeasurable value, we joined the National celebrations of Bastille Day with a grand finale in the form of a magnificent fireworks display.

Valencia Trip 2017

In the first week of July, the Modern Foreign Languages faculty took a group of Year 9 and Year 10 students to the vibrant Spanish city of Valencia in Spain. The students were able to practise their language skills with an immersive cultural experience.

On the first day, the students got to see a small piece of Africa in the heart of Valencia. At Bioparc they got to walk with the lemurs and learn about conservation of the planet.  After this, they got to explore the medieval old town taking in the architecture at La Plaza de La Virgen. They then got to dine on traditional tapas in a stone vaulted restaurant at the heart of the old town. After lunch, they were able to investigate the culinary delights found in the Mercado Central and practise their language skills in a real life situation.

On the second day, the group were able to relax at the water park Aquapolis in Cullera just south of Valencia. This was a chance to also be adventurous after such a busy first day.


The group spent the final day at the City of Arts and Science. The highlights of this packed day were a 3D-film at “el Hemisfèric”, an IMAX cinema; the amazing sights in the interactive displays of the Science Museum; and then a visit to Europe’s largest aquarium L’Oceanogràfic where students could contemplate so many amazing wonders of the oceans from  ‘las Medusas’ to ‘las Belugas’.


Performance Faculty

U15 stoolball champions

Following a local qualifying tournament, our stoolball team progressed to the Sussex School Games Finals at K2 in Crawley to represent Mid Sussex by beating Downlands, Sackville and St Paul’s.

The finals involved eight teams all representing a different region of Sussex. The Oathall team was determined to win and played with maturity and focus to see off the competition one by one, not losing a single match. Not only does this group possess a lot of physical skill, but they are also quick thinking and have a strong sense of teamwork, which is a perfect yet deadly combination!


Region School Result
Brighton & Hove Dorothy Stringer 44-5 runs
Hastings & Rother Claverham 70-30 runs
Central Sussex Millais 61-31 runs
South Downs Ringmer 65-37 runs

The competition began in 2012, and Oathall has qualified every year and even more impressively, has received the G medal every year, barring one.

Congratulations to the following students for an emphatic win:

Kia Layne, Millie Herbert, Holly Herbert, Thalia Barnaby, Sophie Mitchell, Eliza Humphreys, Megan Sims, Issy Peacock and Imy Wilkins

Leading the Way in P.E.

Throughout the year, all of our Year 10 students have been training hard in P.E. lessons to develop their sports leadership skills. During summer term our students have visited our local primary schools to plan, organise and lead P.E. sessions to children in year 1-6.

Yet again our Year 10 students have done a superb job, and the children that have taken part in the sessions have been inspired by their energy, enthusiasm and empathy. Thank you, Year 10. We are so very proud of you.

Cross-Curricular Weeks

This year the Enrichment Team has been working hard to drive forward a new addition to our school calendar; ‘Cross-Curricular Weeks’. Throughout the year, each faculty has selected a theme, and students have experienced lessons with a link to chosen theme. 

Faculty Theme
Performance Teamwork
Maths & Science British Science Week
MFL European  languages
Art and Design Technology Designers and inventors
English Harry Potter
Humanities Maps

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.

Work-Related Opportunities at Oathall

Engineering Day

Six Year 8 students recently attended an ‘Introduction to Engineering Day’ run by Rockwell Collins UK Ltd in Burgess Hill who manufactures aircraft training simulators. The students learnt about the various engineering job roles within the company and participated in practical activities including building a small projector, 3D modelling using Photoshop and making a large mirror using the same material crisp packets are made from. They also got to fly and land a plane!

Matthew Brennan, Esme Brigden, Zoe Nelson, James Polhill, Jessica Ruddock & Patrick Stedman

Enterprising Students at Oathall

Twenty-five students from Years 7 to 9 enthusiastically participated in the very first Oathall Enterprise Day in June. The event was organised by Madeline Mills from Young Enterprise and supported by four local business volunteers (air traffic controller, recruitment, IT manager, and a financial consultant).

The students created their own company name and logo and then had to address the following activities:

  1. An Innovation Challenge  – developing a marketing plan.
  2. Managing Credit and Debt – an introduction to the concepts of credit, debt and interest.
  3. The Trading Game – this activity developed their employability skills of teamwork, problem-solving, communication, negotiation and taking risks.

The students were full of innovative ideas from creating prototype headsets, which would talk to passing drones, to a fantasy unicorn experience!

Each team further developed many of the skills that they had acquired during Tenner Challenge. They impressed the business volunteers with their excellent communication skills as they negotiated better prices, politely coped with a range of unexpected events and challenged any incorrect change given to them!

The volunteers were so inspired by our students that they have all signed up to support other work-related activities in the school. A successful day was had by all.

Year 10 Work-Related Learning Week

Oathall’s Year 10 students have just enjoyed a week of work-related learning experiences. The week is designed to broaden their experience and understanding of the world of work and to support them as they consider their future career pathways.  

The students were immersed in a wide range of work-related learning activities:

Monday – The students chose to visit either Crawley College, the University of Sussex, or Plumpton College. The students toured the campuses, learned about what life would be like as a student and participated in subject taster sessions.   

Tuesday – We were very pleased to welcome back some former Oathall students: Sarah Caddy (Post-doctoral Research Fellow @ Cambridge University), Sarah Fairbairn (training to become a criminal barrister), Jo Taylor (Head of Production at Label1 Television Ltd.), Trevor Butler (journalist), James Wilson (Director of a national charity), and David Amor (computer games designer). They came to talk to students about their career paths and experiences of the world of work. They are all members of the Oathall Alumni Association, which allows us to keep in touch with our former students.

Wednesday – The year group visited the Big Bang Fair, an event that focussed on career opportunities linked to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Thursday – The students spent this half term preparing for mock interviews. We had many business volunteers who acted as interviewers for our Year 10 students. The mock interviews helped to prepare our students for their college interviews. The business volunteers were very impressed by our students, stating that they were mature, polite and came very well prepared. In the afternoon, the students all attended an apprenticeship assembly. This gave them an opportunity to understand how the National Apprenticeship programme works.

Friday: Work Observation Day – The students were able to observe a parent, friend or relation at work. The students had to complete a world of work survey whilst on their placement too. We always ask the students to evaluate the week. Here are some of the comments made:

  • “ Every aspect of the week was fun and educational.”
  •  “I really enjoyed my visit to Sussex University because it helped me decide what I want to do when I am older.”

Year 8 Students Lead the way in YoYo Project with Lloyds Bank

Thirteen Year 8 students are involved in Project YoYo (You Own Your Opportunities) throughout June and July. This is led and organised by Joe Turpin Antonio from Lloyds Bank in Haywards Heath.

In the first week, the students focused on team-working, first impressions and the qualities of an effective team. The students completed a colour questionnaire which helped to identify their default behaviour/character style. The Lloyds Bank team explained that they sometimes use this questionnaire when they create teams for specific projects.

During the second week, Oathall students went to visit the Lloyds Bank offices in Perrymount Road. The students thoroughly enjoyed the range of activities which helped them to develop their self-confidence. They all participated in a range of activities including a “Dragons Den” activity. Furthermore, the students were able to appreciate an office environment from undergoing the security checks to benefitting from the wonderful air conditioning as it was a very, very hot day!

Week three saw the students focus on “What makes you unique?” The students worked in groups on their unique selling points and how they could present this to employers.

Students involved:

Harvey Alcock, Ellie Easley, Henry Forrest, Sam Grant, Kirsten Jones, Charlie Lewis, Alex Martin, Ben Merryweather, Abbi Neale, Louie Toleman, Kitty Underhill, Amy Vaughan, Georgia White

Oathall’s Tenner Challenge – Ten Pounds, Four Weeks, One Goal!

Oathall students have participated for the first time in the Young Enterprise national “Tenner Challenge”. The Tenner Challenge has provided an opportunity for students to set up a business for one month. Over 40 Year 7 through 9 students participated selling a wide range of goods (see below). Each company was pledged £10 that enabled them to set up their business. They had four weeks to make as much profit as they could. Their products were showcased at lunchtimes in our school sports hall and at the Orchards shopping centre in Haywards Heath.

At the end of the four weeks, the companies returned their initial £10 and paid £1 as a legacy donation to Young Enterprise to support next year’s event. We are pleased to report that every company made a profit. The participants are free to keep any hard earned profits but special mention should go to Modern Upcycles who have donated their profits of over £500 to Chestnut Tree House, Professional Handmade Cards who have donated £156.50 to Cancer Research, Colour Collison who have donated £100 to Woodlands Meed School and Kawaii who have donated £25 to Macmillan Cancer Research. Well done to all involved.

And finally…

House Championship Competition Heats Up, Heading to the Grand Final!

The Oathall House Championship Points Table shows how close the race to be Top House has been! Check the school website on the last day of term for the final results. Whatever the outcome, be assured that we are proud of efforts each and every one of our students has put in for their House.
We wish you and your families a full and enjoyable summer and look forward to welcoming your children back in September for another jam-packed year of teaching and learning.