Respect Aspire Achieve Enjoy

It has been an extremely full and busy year at Oathall and, as we reach the end of the summer term, the time seems to have flown by. 

We started the year with the opening of our splendid new maths and science block and we concluded just yesterday with our excellent annual Games Day. In between, there has been an extraordinary array of activities and opportunities to which the students have shown their usual exemplary commitment.

The posts that follow give an indication of the breadth of activities undertaken over recent months at the college. I am so grateful to all staff involved in securing the very best of experiences for our students throughout the year. 

We now approach the end of term and the entire school community is looking forward to a well-deserved break. Thank you for your continued support. 

On behalf of the governors and staff of the college, I wish you and your families a wonderful summer. 

Mr E Rodriguez

Designing for the Future

Race to the line is a fun nationwide indeed international scheme where Year 7 students design a rocket-powered car and race against other schools. All year 7 students were involved racing their rocket cars across the tennis courts.

The winning group of Philip Williamson, Demi Boswell, Tobias Hockaday and Lucy Reeves were invited to design and race their cars against other local schools. 

Mr D Anderson

Junior Maths Challenge Success 2019

Pupils at Oathall achieved 6 gold, 20 silver and 17 bronze certificates in this year’s UKMT Junior Maths Challenge  improving our results from last year. Over 260,000 pupils from across the UK sat the Junior Maths Challenge with roughly the top 6% receiving a gold certificate, the next 13% silver and the next 21% bronze.

Students with the highest results are invited to sit a follow-on competition: up to 1200 top JMC scorers are invited to take the Junior Mathematical Olympiad and the next approximately 7000 take the Junior Kangaroo. Daniel Reed (8VMT), Oliver Faulkner and Niamh Chapman qualified to the next rounds where Daniel and Oliver achieved a merit from the Junior Maths Kangaroo. Congratulations to all three students!

Further information about the Trust and its activities is available at

“The Maths Challenges provide material to provoke student’s mathematical thinking and test their problem-solving skills in an accessible and yet challenging way. Many congratulations to Oathall Community College on their success in the Junior Maths Challenge; it is great to see achievement in mathematics recognised.”

Rachel Greenhalgh, UKMT Executive Director

Sample question from this year’s Junior Maths Challenge (answer on UKMT’s website)

Gill scored a goal halfway through the second quarter of a ‘teachers versus pupils’ netball match. At that point, what fraction of the whole match remained to be played?

A  ¼ B ⅜ C ½ D ⅝ E ¾

If you could work out the answer to this problem and you will be a year 7 or 8 student next year, then you may have the desired skills to succeed in this competition. Oathall’s maths faculty also runs the Intermediate and Senior Maths Challenges for years 9, 10 and 11 with similar success.  Letters will be sent home soon with more details about these competitions. For more information, you can ask your teacher or speak to Mr Leonard. 

Miss M Calleja

Physics outreach at the University of Sussex

In June, twelve Year 10 triple science students attended a schools lab at Sussex University.  This really is like a personalised open day – they carried out experiments beyond the scope of the equipment at Oathall, visited a research lab and had a talk from a PhD scientist, took part in a careers’ challenge and had time to explore the university campus.  It really was a fun and inspiring day. 12 more students will make the trip in July.


Mr D Anderson

Crawley Taster Day 2019

21 year 10 students recently attended an excellent Taster Day at Crawley College and all found the day very useful and informative.  They enjoyed trying two different subjects in one day as well as having a tour around the college.  

The taster sessions chosen were:- Plumbing, Early Years & Childcare, IT, Health & Social Care, Creative Media, Beauty, Art & Design, Engineering, Electrical Installation, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Business & Engineering.

Our students particularly enjoyed getting involved in the practical activities, so much so they would have liked the sessions to have been longer!

Mrs K Ferros

Considering our Environment

Year 10 Geography students recently travelled to Brighton to investigate how the quality of life and environment varies between two areas. Students tested environmental issues such as air and noise pollution, litter, traffic and overcrowding as well as looking at the quality of housing and availability of green spaces.    The work carried out on this field trip will be crucial for completing paper 3 in the GCSE exams next year.

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Mrs K Garrick

Amazing Book Awards

The Sussex Coast Amazing Book Awards, or ABA for short, is the fastest growing Young Adult book award in the UK. It is completely led by Student Voice: only students chose which five books make up the shortlist and only students vote for the winners. This is the third year that Oathall has been part of this truly amazing book award and we can definitely say it won’t be the last. 

We had a record number of 25 students attending the monthly after-school book-club meetings where we discussed the books. Some questions we pondered were

  • What do we think of capital punishment after having read Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
  • How is Maslow’s pyramid of need relevant to the heroine in The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
  • Does humanity have the right to cause the extinction of another species to secure its own survival as described in The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson
  • Does the goal justify the means – a question posed in Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Despite the heavy sounding subject matter, we had an absolutely brilliant time at the book club meetings and were very excited to send off our votes: will they correspond to those of the 50 other participating schools?! We were all very much looking forward to attending the ABA Presentation Evening where most of the authors would be present and the Bronze, Silver and Gold winners would be revealed. 

The presentation evening was held at Worthing High School and we were very proud of our students’ beautiful behaviour on the train journey there and back. Thank you to Mr Mills and Mrs Sullivan for coming with us and a special shout-out to Mr Mills, who read all five shortlisted books! We were very pleased to find that the Gold Award Winner was S.T.A.G.S., who was our runaway favourite too! After the presentation, we had a chance to meet and greet the authors and get our books signed (every participant in the book club was gifted one of the shortlisted books by Oathall library). 

At our very last meeting, the students were asked to fill out a feedback form: all said that they would want to ‘do’ the ABA again and they all gave it a 4 or 5 out of a possible five. The next ABA book club will start in early 2020 and all year 9s will be invited – make sure you don’t miss out!

Ms K Fogarasi

Map Making with an eye on History

In Humanities, students were invited to enter a Historical Map Competition.  They were challenged to produce a map of a historical journey such as those undertaken by Shackleton, Lindbergh, Cook and Scott.

Our impressive winner, who received a prize, house points and a certificate, was Jacob Grey in year 8.  Worthy runners up, who also received house points and certificates, were Emma Stephenson, Emma Smith, Arianne Stevens, Emily Jones, Peter Silk and Alex Main – all in year 7.

They are pictured with Mr Moore, Head of Humanities who awarded the prizes.  Congratulations to them all! 

Budding cartographers









Mr D Moore

Modern Foreign Languages

Students have had a very busy term in languages. We have been looking closely at different ways to practise and learn vocabulary and has certainly proved to be popular with lots of students.  If you are looking for some language practice in the holidays, we would definitely recommend vocab retrieval tasks (via quizlet). Perhaps you could watch a film or a programme in French, German or Spanish (Netflix is great for this) or try a language learning app such as memrise or duolingo.

Students in Year 7 and 8 have had lots of speaking and translation practice also this term. Here are some Year 8 students playing Snakes and Ladders with a focus on developing students’ ability to both recognise and be able to actively produce the future tense.

Year 9 and 10 students are really looking forward to their school trip to Spain and our exchange to Traunstein in Germany. We’ll have much more to report about these visits in the Autumn. We wish all of our Year 11 students good luck with their results and we’re very excited to see that some of our students are continuing to study languages at A-Level!

Mrs L Sandford

Public Speaking

The English Faculty celebrated the end of term with their annual year 7 & 8 public speaking competitions. The year 8s spoke on “Let Me Persuade You” and year 7s spoke on “Let Me Tell You About”. The students spoke confidently and knowledgeably on their chosen subjects and we were grateful for the Haywards Heath Rotary Club providing us with a guest judge on both occasions.

Year 8 winners were as follows:

1st place Mollie MacConnell: Fairtrade is not fair.

2nd place Niamh Chapman: The dark side to social media

3rd place Jacob Grey: Stop climate change

Other finalists were: Anna Beddingham, Tom Underhill, Rebecca Wallbank, Victoria Schou, Tom Grey, Matty Mackay and Beth Cromie

Year 7 winners were:

1st place Eirlys Jones: Transgender

2nd place Georgia Bartlett: Gender Pay Gap

3rd place Vincent Mitchell: Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who

Other finalists were: Josie Cox, Jana Hall, Violet Hawkey, Jess Tingley, Taylor Tomlin, Ava Burnage, Mia Osbourne and Jess Thomas

Well done to all the students who took part in lessons and in the final. They did themselves and their teachers proud.

Ms P Sullivan

Creativity through Photography

GCSE Art & Photography Exhibition 2019

Earlier this term we celebrated the achievements of our Year 11 Art and Photography students by creating an exhibition of their exam projects and final pieces. The work showed off a breadth of study in terms of starting points, ideas and use of media. We continue to have exceptional talent at Oathall and it was lovely to have the private view attended by so many visitors. Many thanks to all of our exhibitors, hospitality and catering students for making canapes and to everyone who attended.

Mrs M Toal

Creativity through Enterprise

Virgin’s Make £5 Grow

Our Year 7 students are currently taking part in this exciting opportunity which helps them to build their enterprise, mathematics, team building and financial skills.

Students have recently been planning their products/services and pitching to staff. Teams that are selected will be given £5 per student and begin to market and sell their product or service.

Students will be selling to the whole student body during the penultimate week of term. We are excited to see their businesses grow!

Mrs L Griffiths

Creativity through Food

Oathall Bake-Off

Each year, the Rotary Club sponsors the Oathall Bake-Off competition. This year’s competition theme was the Rugby World Cup – Japan 2019.

17 students entered by baking a cake at home and sending in a picture for consideration. These entries were then judged on creativity and skills with 8 being selected to enter the final competition.

The competition took place on Tuesday 4 June with competitors being given 4 hours to bake & decorate their cake from scratch. The cake ingredients were provided by the Rotary Club & the decorations were provided by the students.

Students that made the final: 

Poppy Southerton, Lola Armstrong, Nicole Crockford, Esme Brigden, Jessica Tingley, Abigail Kirbell and Freya Josephs. 

At the end of the competition the cakes were judged by a panel made up from WI members, Kate Kent and Julia Vokes, Mike Hoare and Nigel Vokes from the Rotary Club, Emily Hughes and Emma Brown from Oathall’s catering team, as well as Emily Brock, three times previous Oathall Bake-Off winner.

Cakes were judged on appearance, skill level, taste & texture as well as on creativity and originality. The winning cake came top in all of the criteria. The judges were particularly impressed by the original use of Yuzu a Japanese flavouring in the filling as well as the creativity and professional finish.

Winner, Georgina Hull











Every person who entered received a whisk and wooden spoon with the final entrants receiving an apron and recipe book. The top three entries also received gift vouchers as their prize. 

A display and information about the event will also go up in the WI tent at the South of England Show. For more photographs, see the front page of the school’s website.

Mrs V Slater

Creativity through the Written Word

What the Dickens?

Year 7 began their new Dickens unit in a way that would make the infamous author proud: with creativity. Each group had a choice to show off their knowledge of Mr Dickens: design a T-shirt for Dickens fans, create a colourful and informative poster, write a dramatic scene, or create an information sheet about Dickens. As always, the students tackled the task with innovation and enthusiasm. Their work explored Mr Dickens’ infamous works as well as his remarkable life and showed insight into this seminal period in history.

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Ms L Fisher

Creativity through Music

This has been a busy term for the Music Department as our GCSE students prepared for their final performance exams, made finishing touches to their compositions and prepared for their listening exam. We will miss their musical presence in the music department and at our performances, and in the words of ABBA Thank you for the music!





As part of the “Tenner Challenge” Molly Hord, very ably supported by friends and parents organised a “Classics and Cake” afternoon concert in April. This featured AMAZING performances by students and was followed by a simply scrumptious afternoon tea. Thanks to Molly’s leadership and the support of all who played, baked, served, transported instruments in and out of the hall, organised the sound, compered the event, and arranged for charity money-doubling. We raised close to £1000 of the £5000 needed towards the purchase of a new baby grand piano for the hall.

Next up for our Oathall Musicians was the Power of Music Festival which took place on Saturday 22nd June at the Orchards in Haywards Heath. Our Choir, Bands and Orchestra joined forces with a number of local Primary schools to form a mass choir, accompanied by in house arrangements by Mrs Mac Taggart and Mr van Galen of Proud by Heather Small, A Million Dreams by Pasek and Paul and Secret Garden’s You Raise Me Up. It was a truly joyful experience to be a part of a performance by over a hundred young musicians ranging in age from 7 to 15. The Oathall ensembles presented a number of independent performances which were very much enjoyed by the audience, we are very proud of the students’ musical approach and by their support of each other on stage and behind the scenes – true Oathall spirit in action!

We were also thrilled to see Oathall students playing in the amazing Hangleton Brass Band performance and with the superb Ensemble Reza Orchestra performance which followed our gig.

We are now very busy preparing for the Summer Concert, following a record 38 auditions of numbers for the performance which will be held on the 10th July at 7pm and look forward to seeing many of you there.

Mrs C MacTaggart

Creativity through Art

GCSE Art club

This has continued to be well attended by our ambitious Year 10 students this half term to support them in developing their ideas and final pieces for their coursework project ‘Animals and People’. They have been inspired by seeing a variety of excellent final pieces produced by year 11 students for their final exam. 

Year 9 Art club

Congratulations to Milena and Amber who started up a Year 9 Art club in May which they run on Tuesdays after school.

Lino Printing Club

Year 7 and 8 students are working on a reduction method lino cut and print. This involves breaking an image down into component parts and cutting away the lino and printing colours at each stage to build up a whole image. This is a challenging and complex process and the students involved have shown great enthusiasm and achieved fantastic results.

Mrs J Smith-Hashim

Aiming High

Shadowing the Carnegie Awards

The Carnegie Award is given to the best novel written in English published the previous year. At Oathall, we want our students to know they are capable of reading at the highest level and reading the best books out there. We want our students to read books that challenge them, that excites them and that enriches them which is why we decided to start a new book group

Mrs D Perrin

Oathall started a new tradition alongside the established CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards: A group of Year 10 students were selected to create our first Shadowing Group. Once the shortlist was announced, the group worked their way through the novels and met regularly to discuss them. The students grappled with the themes explored in the books, the relevancy of the topics, and the ultimate question: Which book deserved to win? During the last meeting, it was a toss-up between Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X and Sophie Anderson’s The House with Chicken Legs. Both books were examples of the group’s most important criteria: stunning writing. The award could only go to one book, unfortunately, and the group enjoyed watching Elizabeth Acevedo’s acceptance speech celebrating the first win by a writer of colour.
For more information about the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards and to view the shortlist, please go to

Some of the Carnegie Shadowing group with Ms Fisher









Ms L Fisher

Accelerated Reader

Well done to the top readers of year eight who have scooped the Word Millionaire certificates in their end of year assembly. It good to see that students are more accustomed to reading in their spare time and on the whole always have a book to hand throughout the school day.

Year 8 Accelerated Reader awards


Similar congratulations to the top readers of year seven who have scooped theor Word Millionaire certificates, presented after the yer seven Public Speaking competition.

Year 7 Word Millionaires

Combined, both years groups have read 194,117,372 words in 3,817 books. These figures are tracked when students successfully pass an Accelerated Reader quiz. Well done to them all.

Not sure what to read over the Summer? Why not take part in the Oathall Reading Challenge which started on 24th June and runs through the summer un Friday 27th September. Click here for the sheet.

Ms A Chinn

Gifted & Talented Art Masterclass

Year 7 and 8 students were invited to attend a gifted and talented Art Masterclass recently. Forty students came along so the room was buzzing! In just over an hour students created A3 colourful studies of animals, focusing on mark-making and layering effects through printing. Well done to everyone who attended.

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Advance Maths Support Programme Competitions

In July, Oathall will welcome representatives from the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme that came to run the Summer Snacks Maths Competition. The exciting team competition will run for 16 teams of four Year 9 students and will be used to select the team of students that will enter the Regional Maths Feast competition next year. The Year 10 Maths Feast is an enjoyable and challenging team competition testing mathematical, team-working and communication skills. The format of the competition changes slightly so that the rounds remain interesting and exciting.  Every year, Oathall enters one or two teams to the Year 10 Maths Feast Competition with great success.

The competition usually follows the form of a banquet with at least four different rounds or courses, including an amuse bouche, entree, main and dessert rounds. Each round was different with activities that challenged our Year 9s’ maths comprehension and problem-solving skills, together with more practical rounds where they had to build shapes and interpret diagrams. 

The Advanced Mathematics Support Programme will also run the Dragon Quiz problem-solving competition for our Year 8s. This team competition follows the form of a relay where students in year 8 attempt to solve 20 problems. Students will take a card at a time with a problem on one side and a part of a dragon body on the back. If they get their question right they can take their card to form a dragon. The longest dragon wins!

Good luck to all students entering this competition!

Mrs L Griffiths

Building Skills through Physical Activity


Congratulations to the Under 13 Girls Cricket team who played in the Sussex Chance to Shine tournament yesterday at Poynings. I am delighted to say that they beat Ratton, Chichester free school, Patcham, Millais, Sackville and Downlands on their way to being crowned champions.

Under 13 Girls Cricket team


Under 13 Sussex Stoolball Tournament

27 students from Year 7 & 8 competed in the Sussex Schools Stoolball Tournament at Plumpton Green. We had a fantastic day with all of the girls making their own contributions either batting, bowling or fielding. We played teams from Ringmer, Downlands, Uckfield, Beacon, St Pauls, and Sackville.

A special mention must go to the Year 7 team who made it through to the semi-finals narrowly being beaten by Downlands. Well done to Charlotte White and Amber French for fulfilling their roles as captains excellently. 


Congratulations to the U12 Rounders Team who have started the season off on a high! They beat St Pauls 22 rounders to 31/2 and 111/2 to 6. Well done everyone! 

Year 9 & 10 Trip to The Festival of Sport

Over 50 prospective or current GCSE PE students attended a trip to Chichester University to take part in the Festival of Sport. The day gave students the opportunity to try over 40 different activities including wheelchair basketball, golf, trampolining and blind football. They also had the opportunity to attend seminars on sports science and sports psychology. 

BTEC Dance workshop

The Year 10 BTEC Dance students continue to work extremely hard being put through their paces by an external Dance specialist to learn the set work for one of their modules. They have had an incredibly positive start to their course and we look forward to seeing them perform at the Oathall Performance Festival in July. 






GCSE PE Athletics Assessment

The Year 10 GCSE group visited K2 to take part in their GCSE Athletics Practical exam in June. There were some outstanding performances from all students across all track events.

Special mention to Josh Ballinger who performed outstandingly in the 3000m and Lewis Monks who looked incredibly powerful over 200m. Well done to all of you who attended. 

Take your marks…!







Ms Z Froud

First Aid

Year 10 child development group completed their first aid course recently and did really well. It was a 2-hour session over two lessons. They thoroughly enjoyed it and fully participated in all the practical elements. They covered burns, breaks, bandaging, choking, asthma, CPR and mouth to mouth plus using the defibrillator machine.

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Mrs S Kirkpatrick


Primary School Leadership

Primary School Leadership









Ms Z Froud

Primary links- Art RSPB Project. 

One of the ways we can ensure students are ready for learning at Oathall is by having strong links with local primary schools and to share how learning differs once they reach key stage three. Here’s how Ms Sweeting, one of our Art & Design teachers brought art into one such local school.
On Friday 14th June. I spent the afternoon at Lindfield Primary Academy with a group of 25 Year 2-5 pupils. They were a mix of eco-warriors and other pupils working on a project to do with birds and their conservation.
Mrs Smith, Lindfield’s Deputy Head, played RSPB bird songs as I introduced the pupils to making birds from colourful paper strips. They folded, rolled, twisted, wrapped and made tears to the paper. They then worked in pairs to create woollen wrapped 3D birds with pipe cleaners, googly eyes and feathers.
We all had great fun and the pupils rose to the challenge with great enthusiasm and success.
Mrs C Sweeting