Teaching & Learning Bulletin: Spring 2019

Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

We are now approaching the end of the spring term at Oathall.  This, our latest Teaching & Learning bulletin again provides an insight into the breadth of activities and achievements over the past weeks.

It was a privilege, once again to see our very talented dancers perform at the annual Rock Challenge held at the Hawth Theatre in Crawley; a beautifully choreographed and executed piece.

Our public speaking teams have continued to make progress in the national Youth Speaks competition with both intermediate and senior teams performing brilliantly at the district finals.  I am delighted to see that the intermediate team will continue to the regional finals to be held in Marlow. Congratulations to all involved.

This spring term has been a particularly busy one: STEM students building a drone for the Mid-Sussex engineering challenge, the ski trip, author visits, maths challenges and competitions, the race-for-the-line challenge in Science week are notable.  We have seen sporting successes too winning the county indoor athletics as well as our U12 hockey team becoming winners at district level.

May I wish all the Oathall Community and enjoyable and restful Easter break.

E Rodriguez

Headteacher

Dedication recognised

Ms L. Gyngell

Congratulations to Charly Dickson and Amy Stowe who have received the Rotary Club Community Award for the fantastic work they have been doing to improve Mental Health at Oathall. The girls have worked tirelessly this year leading assemblies, creating posters for tutor rooms, liaising with local charities and organisations and supporting peers suffering from mental health issues.

 

Oathall and other schools

In Music

Mrs C Mactaggart

Twenty-seven members of the Oathall School Choir joined other singers from a range of primary, secondary and independent schools across the county at Chichester Cathedral for ‘Voices for Peace’ performance on Monday 18th March.
The event, a collaboration between Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex Music and the local schools gave students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the cathedral, alongside the beautiful voices of the Chichester Cathedral Choristers, singing a range of songs including ‘A Voice for Peace’ which was written by West Sussex Music Project Partner, Emily Barden specially for the event.
Mrs Mactaggart and Miss Ledwidge said how proud they were of the conduct of our students and particularly in the way that our musical leaders Carla Mukasa, Jennifer Wood, Molly Hord, Bea Carter, Dan Read and Oscar Tarbox led the vocal parts during Dona Nobis Pacem, supported by the rest of the choir. Short videos of some of the songs were uploaded to the Oathall Performance Twitter page.

In Maths

Mr J Leonard

Y10 Maths Feast Competition

Two teams of four Year 10 students took part in the Maths Feast Competition at Dorothy Stringer School on 5th March. They competed against 13 other teams from schools across the Sussex area. The students had to use their mathematical problem solving, logic and team working skills to try and solve a range of different questions across 4 rounds. All students competing performed excellently with one team winning one round and placing 3rd overall and the other team placing 7th.

Y8/9 UKMT Team Maths Challenge

One team comprised of two Year 8 students and two Year 9 students took part in the regional finals of the UKMT Team Maths Challenge which was held at Holy Trinity School on the 6th March. They competed against 21 other teams from across Sussex using their mathematical problem solving and team working abilities to answer a range of questions 4 rounds, including a relay race. The students had a fantastic day and placed 9th overall.

 

Image result for maths challenge

On Stage

Mrs C Avery

Rock Challenge 2019

On Monday 25th March, students from Oathall took part in the 2019 Rock Challenge Competition. Although we weren’t placed this year, the achievement from each and every student was outstanding. This was the culmination of 7 months hard work and dedication from the performers, stage crew and lighting team.

Our performance this year was titled ‘Black Swan’. This was a contemporary, street dance fusion piece that explored the physiological and psychological struggles of a mentally delicate dancer and her strive for perfection, only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity as she descends into madness from the pressure of perfection.

Our students all performed magnificently, every single one giving 100% effort.

With special thanks to Holly Hicks, Isabelle Hateley, Lilly Moffett and Kate Woodhams. Their hard work and commitment did not go unnoticed. Thank you also to all the staff who gave their help to the running of the event.

 

Although Oathall did not win, yet again we swept the board gaining awards in the following;

Award of Excellence in Lighting
Award of Excellence for Entertainment
Award of Excellence for Visual Enhancement
Award of Excellence for Stage Use
Award of Excellence for Costuming and Character
Award of Excellence for Soundtrack
Award of Excellence for Soundtrack

Behind the scenes at Rock Challenge

Mrs C Mactaggart

Milena Karwat designed and drew the beautiful ballerina, (Odette or Odile?) who appears to be dancing through a shattered mirror.

The Sound and Light Tech crew worked very hard with Mr Van Galen to design effective lighting and to build and strike the set on the night. We were very pleased to have been awarded a certificate of excellence recognising the behind-the-scenes team for visual enhancement, musical soundtrack, crew and lighting to compliment those won by the dancers.

On the Sports Field

Miss Z Froud

I had the absolute pleasure of taking the Year 7 Girls and Year 8 Boys Indoor Athletics teams to Tanbridge House School to represent Mid Sussex in the Sussex Schools Games Finals on the 25th February.
Each district of Sussex was represented by their respective area winners so the competition was very tough with the winners being declared the top indoor athletics team in the County.. Both teams represented both Oathall and Mid-Sussex impeccably and  I am delighted to say that the Year 8 Boys team won Gold and the Year 7 Girls team won Bronze.

Visitors to Oathall

Inspirational Speaker, Baz Grey, 

We were delighted to welcome Baz Grey, former British Royal Marines Commando into Oathall this term to share his inspirational story with our Year 11 students.
 
In his time as a Royal Marine, he fought in countries all over the world, clocking up 26 Years’ Service and reaching the illustrious rank of Regimental Sergeant Major.  Baz is an extreme cold and mountainous survival expert and has been responsible for training and teaching thousands of people in the harshest of conditions for nearly 20 years. Baz has climbed mountains on every continent.   
Baz shared his stories from two incredible missions;  Shackleton Epic expedition, where he was part of a team that recreated the 800 mile ocean crossing of Ernest Shackleton from Elephant Island to South Georgia and scaling the mountains to reach the safety of Stromness Harbour, in addition to ‘phase 1’ of ‘Challenge Antarctica’, where he skied, solo, unsupported and unassisted from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole, a journey which covered 715 miles in 39 days.
 
Oathall will certainly be watching closely as ‘phase 2’ unfolds in November, and wish him the very best with his mission to cross the entire Antarctic continent starting from the north side of Berkner Island on the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole and then continuing to the Ross Ice Shelf via the Shackleton Glacier and onto the edge of the ice. This will be done solo and without any support including the use of kites and resupply and covers 1600 miles over 90 days. 
Image result for Barry Grey explorer

Author, Jenny McLachlan

Mrs D Perrin
We were delighted to welcome author Jenny McLachlan to Oathall on Word Book Day, 7th March. She led three workshops with Year 7 classes aimed at hooking the reader where students use props that Jenny brought in to devise their own mystery story which hooks the reader from the start.
She also spoke to Year 7s and then Year 8s in the hall about herself and how she chose what to write about.
Jenny also found time to share her lunch with students from our Battle of the Books club (who have been reading one of Jenny’s books, Stargazing for beginners) plus our Creative Writing club members. She also signed copies of her books that students had purchased, writing a personal message to make their book really special.
Jenny’s passion and enthusiasm were contagious: two weeks after her visit, students and staff alike are still filled with energy about reading and creating stories.

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The Tenner Challenge

Mrs L Griffiths

A big thank you to those of you who came and supported our Tenner Challenge students at lunchtime recently. So many stalls sold out really quickly and have already got pre-orders in for the next sale.

 

 

British Science Week

Mrs J Pringle

This year Oathall celebrated British Science Week in style. The theme for the week was Journeys so we were able to include loads of cross-curricular aspects from Geography to English lessons.

Year 7 spent the week designing and making Rocket Cars as part of the Race for the Line venture. We were able to take part due to the kind sponsorship from the Civil Aviation Authority – International Group so a big thank you to them.

The students were asked to focus on making the cars as light and streamlined as possible as the winning entry will be invited to take part in a regional final. I know that Year 7 then enjoyed racing them across the playground. I am delighted to announce that Windston group from 7c2 designed and made the winning car.

In our classes we got into groups of four and we were given a foam block. With that foam block we had to create a car but the were certain areas that we couldn’t cut. We had to make sure the car was streamline so it wouldn’t drag. But if the car was too thin then it wasn’t allowed to race.

Over the course of a couple of days we cut down the foam blocks to the right shape we wanted. Once we had finished that, we were allowed to paint a design on them and put the wheels on.

On Tuesday 26th of March we raced our cars. Our cars were attached to a wire, which helped them to go straight. We then put a micro bit in. A micro bit counts how long it takes for the car to get to the other side in milliseconds. After that a rocket was put into the back of the car. The rocket was then lit which caused the car to race to the other side. Racing the cars was really fun and exciting, especially when the rocket went off. Thank you to Mr Streamer and Miss Pettingel for being our expert rocketeers.

Jessica Rimmer

As well as forming part of British Science Week this activity fitted in really well with the Forces unit that Year 7 has been studying this term.

Year 8 and 9 spent Science Week studying the journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton. They looked at how he made his way through the Antarctic and carried out experiments to find out ways to purify the water that they would have had access to ensure fresh drinking water for the team.

The students were also encouraged to enter the Key Stage 3 Science House competition – researching their science icon. The winners will be announced shortly after we have been able to read through the large number of entries.

Year 7 and 8 Crest Awards

Mrs J Pringle

This term a group of Key Stage 3 scientists have been studying for their Bronze Crest Awards. These are National Awards and involve choosing, planning and carrying out an investigation into an area of science that interests them.

The investigations have ranged from the ideal recipe for Bath Bombs to the ideal surface to show fingerprints to conditions needed for ultimate seed growth.

This club is open to any interested Year 7 or 8 students.

During the week a number of our Year 9 students were selected to take part in Biology Challenge. This is a national competition organised by the Royal Society of Biology testing students knowledge and understanding of biology in and beyond the curriculum.

I am delighted to announce that the following students were all in the top 5 scoring Oathall students.

  • Sarah Bewick
  • Ella Tingley
  • Bethany Thomas
  • Theo Billson
  • Michelle Lin.

We now have to wait until mid-April to find out if they have achieved National Bronze, Silver or Gold certificates.

Learning solidified using video and drama

Ms S Madeddu

Homework comes in all shapes and sizes and we are especially pleased when students think outside the box and create something special for their homework.

Enjoy Sue’s video guide to Barcelona.

Explore With Sue!

Ms Z Holmes

Students from 7B2 – Mrs Edwards’ and Mrs Holmes’ Year 7 History class – take part in a role play to learn about the importance of the murder of Thomas Becket. This is part of their studies on challenges to the power of the king in the Middle Ages. The students were very enthusiastic and this activity resulted in a deeper understanding of this significant event.