Teaching & Learning bulletin – Back to School 2019

Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

We approach the end of a very busy and long first half of the autumn term.  The bulletin that follows highlights just how varied the programme of learning has been and once again, just how involved the Oathall students are to all that is on offer to them.  Our new ‘Super Curriculum’ is challenging our students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and it has been such a pleasure for me to have so many examples of outstanding work shown to me and to be able to recognise so many students for their efforts. 

We, of course, welcomed a new year group to the Oathall community as the term started in September and it has been a delight for us all to see how quickly they have settled into the school; it is right that this particular bulletin has a particular focus on them also. 

I wish everyone a restful half-term break 

E Rodriguez 

Headteacher 

Rugby World Cup Maths

The Maths faculty has been celebrating the Rugby World Cup in recent weeks. Students have been taking part in lessons that link Maths to the great game of rugby. 

We have learnt about how we collect data and then how we can represent that data in many different ways. KS 4 students have been able to link this work to cumulative frequency diagrams and Trigonometry. Students have really enjoyed linking Maths to this real-life environment.

Mrs L Griffiths

Oathall Reading Challenge

Students of all year groups were invited to take part in the Oathall Reading Challenge in July in an effort to get some competition going between our bookworms. The challenge involved reading 20 books in 20 categories between June and September. The 14 students below managed to complete this mammoth task and have been awarded book vouchers to spend at the Scholastic Book Fair happening 18-21st November.

Emma Hord, Niamh Chapman, Poppy Southerton, Tasha Lawrence, Isla Mustin, Jemima Brigden, Mia Wendt, Molly Hord, Esme Brigden, Ebba Wilson, Isobel Dupee, Sarah Bewick, Anna Bedingham, Bea Carter.

Ms A Chinn

Poetry Open Mic

On 4th October students and staff celebrated National Poetry Day in the style we are accustomed to: with one of our termly Open Mic Sessions.

We had almost 50 students from across the year groups take part. Some read a poem that they had written themselves and others that have been published. There was a fantastic array of poets and excellent readings, with a couple of brave souls reciting their chosen poem from memory and one being read in Spanish. Sadly we had more students than we had time to hear, so some read their poems in class instead. We made sure they still gained their house points and credits!

Well done to everyone who took part and thank-you to Jason and Josh for setting up the sound system for us.

Ms P Sullivan

Focus on Year 7s

Year 7 Club Fair

Students in years 8-11 organised and led our annual Club Fair for year 7 students in order to promote the vast array of extra-curricular clubs we have on offer at Oathall, from Warhammer to Robotics. Consequently, we have more students in year 7 attending clubs and taking advantage of the opportunities available to them.

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Thank you to the students that led stalls on the day, you did a fantastic job!
Ms L. Gyngell

Year 7 Drama at Oathall 

Year 7 students have been working on creating characters for the circus and developing performance skills such as mime, use of facial expressions and body language. Working in groups they’ve explored how slapstick comedy can be linked into a mimed circus performance and developed their characters to show the emotions they could be feeling in different situations. Students have created some wonderful freeze-frames showing different emotions and their assessment pieces are taking shape nicely!

Year 7 Book Club

The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (the Lollies) celebrates the best and funniest children’s books in the UK and Ireland, voted for by children. The Awards have been running since 2016 and this is Oathall’s second year participating. Students had the opportunity to sign up at the Year 7 Club Fair (which was run by our Year 9/10 student librarians). The twelve students are reading the four short-listed titles and then discussing them before voting for our favourite title: the UK winner will be announced in January 2020.

Mrs D Perrin

Year 7s ‘Get into Music’ Assembly

Music assembly

Our term got off to a great start with teachers from West Sussex Music and Love Music Schools, along with two of our senior students Joe and Matthew, coming in to perform to our year 7 classes in the Get Into Music Assemblies. Students had the opportunity to meet the teachers and hear them sing and play their instruments with many Year 7s opting to begin learning an instrument. 

Year 7 Science

Science club is now running for Year 7 in a Week A lunchtime and they are ably assisted by our Science prefects. So far the year 7s have enjoyed making slime, designing their own sparklers and lighting methane bubbles in their hands (should not be tried at home!). 

Next term we will also be launching a Year 7 and 8 Homework Club on Tuesday lunchtimes where students can come and ask our older students for some help if they are stuck or need a hand with a piece of work. GCSE Clinics continue to be available after school for our GCSE students. Please don’t forget the revision guide order deadline is the 9th November.

Library Skills

Year 7s have been finding their way around the library by means of a Scavenger Hunt. Based on what they’d learned in their library induction lessons, students had to find the answers to a series of questions by walking through and around every corner of the library. Questions ranged from “Is the Book Returns Box blue – Yes or No?” to “how are the books in the Fiction section organised”. Only by going to every part of the library were they able to complete their task. Each class did really well and should now be confident about what we have in the library and how to find what they need.

Mrs D Perrin

Inspirational Geography homework

The geography team has seen some fantastic homework produced this half term.  

In Year 8, making a volcano model is one of the most popular tasks and the variety of models produced is a testament to the creativity of the young learners at Oathall. 

Isobel Dupée explains, My mum and I worked for ages, doing the paper mache, painting and glossing it and lastly finding the perfect formula for the bicarbonate of soda recipe.

I completed a lot of research to help me label my model fully, my knowledge of the key terms for this topic has improved no end. “

In Year 9, students have been learning about Tourism and how it can provide jobs and improve the wealth of an area. However, when large numbers of visitors go to one place this can have both positive and negative impacts on the area. Students were asked to design their own tourist destinations in any medium they wish, some choose cake! 

Tourism island

Mrs F. Hatchard

Science news

Students have made a great start to the school year and we have been impressed to see them engaging enthusiastically in their learning in Science.

House Challenge week will see our Key Stage 3 students taking part in an NHS national competition to raise awareness of the range of careers open to people. We are looking forward to seeing and submitting their entries!

Mrs Pringle is planning a full year of enrichment opportunities for our students and we look forward to keeping you posted over the coming months of what we are up to.

Mrs J Pringle

Learning from the Professionals

Students had a great day out at the fabulous performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto at Glyndebourne. We had lunch in the beautiful gardens before the performance and met up with Eric Gautron, Technical Director and one of our Oathall parents! Another family connection with the cast was noted and students were also lucky to meet Madeleine Shaw who played Madalena after the performance! Madeleine was able to advise our young singers on breath control so Mrs Mac Taggart is looking forward to hearing this in action at the Big Sing before the end of half-term.

Mrs C Mac Taggart

Macbeth trip

On the 16th October, a group of year 10 and 11 students went to see a performance of Macbeth at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The production starred John Simm as Macbeth and Dervla Kirwan as Lady Macbeth.

They were lucky enough to attend a workshop before the performance where they got to meet the actresses who played the three witches. They spoke to the students about what it’s like to perform in a play and how they felt about the witches. They invited students to come up onto the glass stage and to perform a ‘Whoosh’ where they re-enacted parts of the plot.
The performance itself was incredibly atmospheric and everyone was transfixed, not just with the action on stage, but also with the set design and lighting which made the audience really feel that they were in a medieval Scottish castle.
The English faculty encourages as many students as possible to watch the plays that they study as it’s a useful way to revise and to see the plot unfold in the way that the playwrights wanted. Parents may be interested to know that the Globe Theatre is showing Macbeth in February in case anyone wants to add this to a family trip to London.

Ms A Chinn

Focus on Animals

Oathall Farm Animal Care

Students from the new Year 10 animal Care group have been working offsite with sheep.

Spring may be a distant memory but our farm pigs are welcoming new piglets this autumn, We have Roberta, a Saddleback sow who has had her first litter and she is proving an excellent calm mum, ideal for a school farm. Hannah Chatfield, a year 10 farm Team Leader has been getting to know the new saddleback piglets.

Sports Ambassador trip to Blacklands Farm

On Wednesday 9th October Mid Sussex Active organised a trip to Blacklands farm for all the sports leaders that have been selected to be Sports Ambassadors from Warden Park, Sackville, Imberhorn, The Burgess Hill Academy, Oathall, St Paul’s and Downlands. They were chosen to be a sports Ambassador as they have shown excellent leadership qualities through the last year and excellent role models.

At Blacklands farm, the pupils had the opportunity to take part in a variety of team building activities such as climbing, problem-solving, archery and abseiling. The pupils had a fantastic day and have learnt a variety of skills that they will now use to help deliver festivals for the rest of the academic year.

Textile Club ‘Endangered’ competition entries

The competition is run by the David Shepherd Wild Life Foundations. It’s open to anyone under the age of 16. To enter you have to create an exciting mini-exhibition/display made from anything, but recycled materials if possible. It should reflect the theme ‘endangered’. Students in the textile club are working in 2 groups; the younger students are making an underwater scene and the older ones are making a jungle scene. We will then join the two to make one big piece.

Mrs V Slater

Focus on Mentoring

Visit to Blackthorns Primary

Our Year 11 German linguists did us proud last Thursday at Blackthorns Primary School in Lindfield.

It was the first time that any of them were on the other side of the classroom being the teacher rather than the pupil.  They approached it with enthusiasm, maturity and warmth that inspired all the children to actively participate in the lessons that they had prepared. These included how to introduce yourself and sing Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes or “Kopf Schulter Knie und Fuß”.

But their skills didn’t stop there as not only were they able to teach German but also act as ambassadors of Oathall.  They confidently fielded questions about life here and I dare say that we will be seeing many of them in the years to come!

Language Mentors

Our Language Mentor scheme is up and running again this term. Our wonderful year 11 linguists work once a week during tutor time with our talented Year 8 language students. The aim is to develop Year 8 students’ confidence and mastery of the language whilst also developing Year 11 student’s leadership skills. Our Year 11s plan and organise activities which complement the teaching and learning in the classroom

Mrs L Sandford

Focus on the Outdoors

Mud Run

Last week a group of year 7-9 pupils went to Bedes Secondary school to take part in a mud run.  There were lots of obstacles on the way round that were really hard work and tested our stamina! We had loads of fun and especially enjoyed the slip and slide.  

Please congratulate the Under 12 girls football team who played their first home fixture of the season recently and beat Oriel High School 7-4.

Player of the match voted for by the opposition was Ella Crudington who scored 4 goals!

Next game, St Pauls!

Under 12 Football team

I had the pleasure of taking the Under 13 girls football team to an indoor Futsal tournament recently. There were 10 schools competing in total and I am delighted to say that we made the semi-finals. The semi-final was a tense affair with us holding Millais to a 0-0 draw before finally being beaten in a nail-biting penalty shoot out!

Under 13 girls football team

Please congratulate the Under 14 girls football team on a fantastic 3-2 win at Sackville yesterday. Despite being behind twice and playing in torrential rain the girls showed grit and determination to pull it back.
Player of the match voted for by the team was Yasmin Williams.
Mrs Z Froud
Our boys Under 14s rugby team recently attended a Rugby Day at Hurstpierpoint College improving their skills and teamwork.

Boys Under 14s rugby team

Our boys Under 15s rugby team recently had a great win in the District Cup!

boys Under 15 rugby team

Focus on Clubs

Photography Club begins

Year 9 Photography Club started this week (16/10/19). Students took photoshoots and experimented with photoshop techniques responding to the themes ‘Levitation’, ‘Cloning’ and ‘Framing’. Many had not used DSLRs or Photoshop before but were able to produce some fantastic results. 

Music Clubs and Performances

Oathall musicians have been having fun and developing their skills in the lunchtime and after school clubs as can be seen in the photos. We have been rehearsing for a number of performances, the first of which will be our Big Sing event where our choir, bands and orchestra will be performing with 5 local primary schools under the direction of Welsh tenor and director of Coro Nuovo, Andrew Rees, who will be leading the event with Mrs Mac Taggart and Mr Van Galen. 

Pianoman Scholarship Masterclass

We would like to congratulate pianists, Ben, Isla, Min and Agalia for their brilliant performances in the Pianoman Scholarship master class. The class was led by concert pianist Richard Meyrick who was able to offer valuable insight into the approaches to performance and improving technique for the young musicians. We are looking forward to hearing much more from them in the concerts over the coming months.

Summer reflections

Our Year 9 and 10 students had a great opportunity to visit Spain last summer and experience the language and culture in the Catalan seaside-resort of Callela.

After getting off the coach in the rain, we all quickly settled in rooms and we were welcomed by our PGL leaders who briefed us about all water-sport activities.

Our excursions included a visit to the magnificent city of Barcelona.

Our first stop was the world heritage site, Park Güell, a public park composed of gardens and architectonic elements. The park was designed by Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect, whose style was inspired by organic shapes and analysis of geometry.

Then we made our way to Las Ramblas, a renowned pedestrian street. Kiosks selling flowers, newspapers and souvenirs lined the street, along with performers, and pavement cafes.

Finally, all students had an opportunity to go shopping and had to use their best orienteering skills to get to la Sagrada Família, the infamous and still incomplete church designed by Antoni Gaudí.

All students also enjoyed a very relaxing day at the Waterworld theme-park where they experienced the most thrilling rides! We then headed for the picturesque town of Tossa de Mar where we all bought our souvenirs and gifts for families and friends.

We are very proud of our students who really tried hard to speak Spanish throughout the trip, to try the local food and enjoy the cultural sites.

‘Our hotel boasted a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet accompanied with a range of traditional Spanish foods, such as croquettes, Spanish omelette and paella.  The Spanish lessons we had while on the trip were very engaging, such as matching the description to the teacher and trying our best to translate reggaeton song lyrics to English. These language skills we learnt were put to good use when we went shopping for souvenirs for our families (and when buying all the ice cream!). Between the visit to the picturesque seaside town of Tossa de Mar and the beautiful excursion to Barcelona, we all had a fantastic time.’ David Wheatley 11VCDS

M F Henri