Leavers Meal 2018

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This year’s Leavers Meal was held at The Fence Gate in their private room. Pupils arrived by various modes of transport ranging from a Rolls Royce,

two red Ferraris and

an original 1966 MG B Roadster.

After enjoying a beautiful meal Head Girl and Boy and Deputy Head Girl and Boy, Phoebe, Giles, Molly and Tyler thanked the staff and even told an amusing tale about one or two!

To end the evening Mrs Crouch compared all the pupils to flowers and of course showed the obligatory baby photos of each of them which had been kindly and eagerly handed in by parents!

We are all incredibly proud of our pupils and it really was an evening to remember. All the staff at Oakhill wish them the very best in their upcoming GCSE’s.

Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge 2018

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Harrison and Matthew in Year 7 and Zakary in Year 4 took their chess interest and skills, initially sparked by the Oakhill lunchtime Chess Club, to the next level last week!  All three were successful at the recent internal school competition and won places at the regional finals of the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge 2018.

A full day of chess awaited the three ‘megafinalists’, each keen to test their proficiency against other youngsters.  Over 40,000 pupils took part in this year’s chess challenge and only the top 20% reached the Megafinal so we are immensely proud of their achievement.  The Megafinal tournament comprised six matches, each against different opponents.  All three boys played very well and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Harrison and Zakary scored a family double, as they came third and second in their respective age categories.  This achievement means that they are considered to be amongst the very best in the region as they are in the top 2% who have now qualified for the Gigafinal.  We wish them every success with the North of England final in July!

Salters Festival of Chemistry

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Our Oakhill team of Year 8 chemists headed up to Lancaster University for this year’s Salters Festival of Chemistry Competition. In the morning, Isabella, Betsy, Leigha and Scarlett had to work out which suspect “Stole the Cup” in the CSI style investigation.

They used paper chromatography and ion testing techniques as well as code breaking to decide what criminal the evidence pointed to. The afternoon session was the University Challenge where the girls had to try to produce the perfect spectrum by chemical methods.

It was a challenging day which stretches the most able of chemists and our girls did exceptionally well, being complimented on their practical skills and determination to achieve the right outcome.

PE In Reception

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Reception have made the most of the glorious weather in their PE lesson this week. They first had a treasure hunt around the school grounds.

The second half of the lesson was spent on the trim trail, they played fun games and their favourite part was timing each other and trying to beat their own times. They had great fun, let’s hope the weather continues!

Quarry Bank Mill

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Last Friday Year Three travelled back in time and spent the day as Victorians. They travelled to Quarry Bank Mill in Manchester-a restored Victorian mill. Everyone dressed as either posh or poor Victorians.

Everyone had a go at cotton spinning and weaving using techniques and tools from Victorian times.

In pairs they weaved a piece of cloth using a variety of materials. They discovered that lessons in Victorian times were very different from today. No whiteboards or Smiggle accessories. Instead just a slate board and a piece of chalk. Girls and boys sat separately. There was no talking and no eye contact with the teacher.

We all learnt many new things about life in Victorian times. Life working in a Victorian factory was hard, dangerous and exhausting. Everyone appreciated how the lives of children have changed for the better since those days. Many thanks to the staff at Quarry Bank Mill for an excellent experience.

Prep School Cake Sale

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The latest prep school cake sale raised £80. This will be split equally between The Downs Syndrome Society and The Deaf Society. The Prep Student Council very much wanted to support two charities that help two pupils within the school.

Many thanks to the children downstairs who provided the cakes and to everyone in prep who supported the event. The cakes that were left over and still in date will be donated to The THOMAS Group in Blackburn. The next donation to the group needs to be in by Tuesday 22nd May please. Donations of coffee, biscuits, cakes, stewing steak, mince and chicken can be left inside the entrance to the prep building or given to Mr Lowry.

Year 5 Flag Competition

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Year 5 pupils are always ready for a challenge and this time they are putting their art skills to the test by entering a Lancashire School Games Cultural Competition.  They have designed and created a piece of artwork, in the form of a flag.  Inspired by sport, in particular the Olympic and School games, and their values, they have worked in pairs or individually to produce their own unique design.  They have considered the values of respect, determination, passion, honesty, teamwork and self belief, and drawn upon their own experiences of school sport at Oakhill.  The winning entry will be selected based not only on the skill and technique demonstrated by the children, but also the inherent meaning and inspiration of their final design.  Well done, Year 5!  We wish you every success.

Year 1 And 2 Assembly

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Year 1 and 2 celebrated St George’s Day with an assembly all about the special Saint. They re-enacted the story of St George, recited the poem Jerusalem by William Blake and talked about how we can ask God for strength to overcome our fears.

Prep School Cake Sale

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The latest Prep School cake sale was a great success. £84 was raised which the Student Council has decided will go to The THOMAS Group in Blackburn. A big thank you to everyone who contributed cakes.

Students Raise Funds For Locals Woodland

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Senior Student Council have raised funds to buy a new picnic bench for Spring Wood, near Whalley. The woodland is popular with local people and Oakhill use the Wood for fieldwork, the school walk and running club.

They bought the bench in time for the spring when all the bluebells appear and 4 members of Council went up to help Paul Shoreman, who co-ordinates the woodland for the County Council, fix the bench in place.

Students had to be quite handy using the tools but were pleased to see the finished bench in situ to be enjoyed by visitors in the future.

Well done Student Council and thanks to Paul for his help.

Normandy Board

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Inspired by their teacher’s recent Erasmus-funded trip to Rouen, Year 5 pupils have relished the opportunity to take over one of the noticeboards in their classroom.  They have decided that, each half term, they will focus on one area in France.  As Oakhill is looking forward to hosting pupils from our partner school, Institution Jean-Paul II in Rouen, they have chosen Normandy as their first region.  They have invested their own time in researching key areas of interest and summarised these on the board.  They have enjoyed learning about the popular regional food dishes, looking at artwork by local artists such as Claude Monet, and studying the history of religion and the story of Joan of Arc.  Well done, Year 5, you have certainly captured our interest and we look forward to seeing which region you choose next.

Year 5 Assembly

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It certainly was a class assembly with a difference!  Not only did Year 5 pupils put a twist when re-telling the traditional tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, they even performed the whole assembly in French!  The dwarfs were transformed into sporty characters and entertained their audience with their comical lines and fantastic acting  Snow White herself became a golf champion but true love still prevailed when the prince rode in on his horse and met his princess.  The performance from every member of the class was absolutely outstanding and their routine use of the French language in the classroom was very evident in their authentic and confident pronunciation.  We are very proud of you all. Please click on the video below to watch Year 5s amazing assembly. Well done!

Year 8 Visit Marvellous Malham

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Last Thursday Year 8 went on a Geography field expedition to Malhamdale to look at the limestone features and to climb the infamous Gordale Scar!

Despite the wind and rain, spirits were high and the pupils emerged onto the vast emptiness of the tops surrounding Malham Tarn.

A challenging two mile trek followed and we were rewarded with magnificent views towards Pendle Hill as we stood on the top of Malham Cove.

After a quick descent down the 398 steps back into the dale we briefly saw the nesting place of the Peregrine Falcons before heading back to Oakhill.

Delicious New Appointment!

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Oakhill School has risen to culinary heights with the appointment of a Chef to cater for pupils and staff alike. Mark Wilkinson, who joined Oakhill after Easter and has a prestigious résume´ having worked in Michelin starred and famous restaurants throughout the country. Mark is passionate about nutritionally balanced meals and encouraging young people to try new flavours and a very special recipe is causing quite a stir!

His career path is impressive and started at the Sharrow Bay Hotel in Ullswater where he worked for two years post graduating and brings with him the famous ‘Sticky Toffee Pudding’ recipe. His next posting was with John Burton Race at then 2 Michelin star ‘L’Otrolan’ near Reading. Mark rose from Commis Chef to Chef de Partie in this time. Paul Heathcote and ‘The Longridge Restaurant’ followed and this is where he feels he really honed his skills working with butchery, fish preparation, desserts, sauces and the appreciation of the provenance of local foods.

Meeting his wife Catherine at the Bailey Arms in Hurst Green and starting a family brought about new adventures. Whilst working with his wife in a Blackburn Care Home, Mark was awarded ‘National Chef of the Year in the Care Sector’ in 2007. The arrival of their second child bought another change, this time gaining a Teaching qualification at Harrogate College and ultimately being the teacher there for Level 1, 2 and 3 Professional Cookery. This year their third child was born in January and Mark really wanted to be near home, enter Oakhill and the opportunity to make a difference without working evenings, weekends or away.

At school all the dishes are freshly prepared and some of the favourites appear to be the fresh Fishcakes, the poached Salmon with Dill, Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna and fresh fruit tartlets. Furthermore, Mark has specialist skills in Patisserie and Chocolate work which will come to the fore in September when Oakhill celebrates it’s 40th Anniversary with a Ball catered by Mark and the team.

Everyone is enjoying the benefits of delicious, nutritious food in their school day.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue

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Year 4 pupils are taking writing poetry to a whole new level by producing their very own poems in French!  Oakhill is taking part in the national Laureate Education Project, Mother Tongue Other Tongue.  This competition is officially endorsed by Malala Yousafzai, youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and education activist.
The pupils have taken their inspiration from their own personal passions and so submitted poems on a variety of topics, ranging from sport to animals to food.  The entries included Haiku poems, acrostic and rhyming poems and we have been very impressed with the standard achieved.
All entries were judged by MFL staff and four have been chosen to go forward to the North West finals.  We wish a very excited Jamimah, James, Olivia and Ella the very best of luck and can’t wait to hear how they progress.

Lilly-Ella Makes The British Championships

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Year 5 pupil Lilly-Ella has had some fantastic news. After only taking up rhythmic gymnastics at Ribble Valley Acrobatics Academy coached by our Prep Head Boys Mum, Toni Connolly, two and a half years ago she has achieved her dream. Lilly-Ella has competed in the National Espoir competitions with her quartet of girls over the last two years.

The girls have had an amazing experience travelling up and down the country, where they have learned lots both on and off the carpet. Last weekend Lilly-Ella and her newly formed team went down to Stoke to take part in the National seeding’s competition, this year it was massive with 38 teams entered! The girls performed exceptionally well and achieved 6th place out of the 38 teams, meaning that they not only qualified for the National Espoir league but also they would be competing in the British Championships! This is the highlight of the clubs career and a dream come true for Lilly-Ella.

Lilly-Ella has also won a sporting excellence grant from Ribble Valley county council to contribute towards her training for the coming year. Please read the speech she wrote below, which she will read out at the presentation evening to the local counsellors about her love and experiences of gymnastics since she began in September 2015. We wish Lilly-Ella and her team lots of luck in their British Championship competition! Congratulations!

‘I started rhythmic gymnastics 2 and half years ago, after changing my mind about artistic gymnastics and finding the dismounts too scary when I was only 7 years old. I really wanted to take up lyrical dance but this was only done down south so rhythmic gymnastics was the local option.

After a few weeks I found I really struggled as I didn’t really know anyone at the club and didn’t feel involved so I begged my Mummy to let me leave. After discussion with the head coach who stated they had seen potential in me, I was asked to try for the elite squad and trial for a team. This was scary as many of the other girls had been training since they were 3 years old! But I took the chance and this is when my life changed. I went from training for 3 hours each week to anything between 12 and 20 hours! And I loved it. I made new friends who are more like family. Gymnastics is tough and tiring so we all have to support each other through the difficult times when all we want to do is cry and melt down!

In my first year I achieved a place in the National Espoir hoop team and I felt so proud to represent Ribble Valley after being at the club for less than 6 months, we qualified at nationals and learned so much that year. I was the youngest in the team at only 8 years old with my team mates being 12! This only made me want to work harder and get better. We travelled as a group with our parents to many locations and it was a special time. Learning just as much in the hotel and backstage about a sporting life and team work as we did stepping out onto the carpet in front of 24 judges! Throughout my first year I also entered various individual competitions both with the hoop and free routines.

Our coach hosted trials for my second year and our club entered two teams into Nationals this year. I was really pleased that our quartet all won a place and remained the same, to build on the skills, performance and team work we had already achieved. We entered 3 teams into the seeding’s competition and the Ribble Valley Raindrops as we are now known were the only ones to qualify. This added extra pressure as we felt we had to do it not only for ourselves but also for the other girls at the gym. We had another great year, but it ended sadly as our two eldest gymnasts had reached 13 years old so we knew they would have to move up to junior level.

This year we trialled for a 3rd time both myself and my best friend Olivia made our team with two new girls joining us. We are now known as the ‘sassy’ group because people say that we really turn it on when we walk onto the carpet to perform. Our aim was to make nationals for the 3rd year running but with the new apparatus of a ball and two newcomers who had not competed at national level we had to work hard, focus, remain positive. This Sunday we attended the National seeding’s, not only did we make Nationals but we qualified in 6th place out of 38 teams from around the British Isles including Gibraltar! Meaning that we have achieved a place in the British championships! This is a dream come true for our club and the highlight of my experiences so far. This year I cannot wait to travel further afield to represent the Ribble Valley and I look forward to every bit of hard work to make our team the best that we can be! It will be tough, tiring and I am sure there will be tantrums but I know that every bit of hard work will pay off and be worth it.’


Double Dillon Delight!

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All of our Key Stage 2 children were lucky to have the presence of the sun on the morning of the annual Prep Cross Country Inter House race. It was last Thursday on the hottest day of the year so far. The race took place in the morning so the weather conditions were perfect!

Our Year 3 to 6 girls ran first, the girls set off at great pace with many of our Year 5s leading the group. Once they got into the long straight of our top field they all began to bed in and put the race plans they had done in lessons into action.

Next up was the down hill bmx track the most technical part of the course where the brave stride out and take over on the specific bends. By this point Maisey was striding ahead and there was a battle going on between 4 other girls for the silver and bronze medals. Jamimah in Year 4 appeared from nowhere and took everyone by surprise, she employed an excellent race plan and executed it perfectly. Saving just enough to complete the race quicker than those she had tracked throughout the run. The final results were:




Next up were our boys and as boys do every year they set off like a bullet out of a gun! Sprinting to get into pole position and be the first to make it to the first corner. Rauri pulled away leaving the majority of Year 5 boys battling it out in a bunch behind him. Taylor and Isaac battled through the course each swapping positions almost every 5 metres! Again it came down to tactics on the bike track and who had left enough to power out of the bonfire site! All of our contending boys gave it their all and the final positions finished:




Each year it is noticeable that our runners are getting stronger and the hard work that they put in in lessons is paying off. Every single pupil completed the course giving 100% effort and every bit of energy they had. I am really proud that they all finished with beaming smiles on their faces and were proud of their own achievements. Those who did not achieve medals or certificates are just as worthy as those who did as the main focus is self development and all achieved their target of improving upon their time or position from the previous year! Well done everyone, keep up the hard work!

Year 9 Ecology

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Year 9 undertook fieldwork at Spring Wood on Tuesday. In class, they are looking at the temperate deciduous woodland ecosystem and during their visit they collected data on plant types, numbers and evaluated the quality of the woodland. Paul Shoreman who manages Spring Wood, was there to share his extensive knowledge of the area and of plants and animals.

Even though it rained throughout the visit and they and their data collection sheets got very wet, Year 9 managed to complete all tasks. Back to the classroom to analyse those results! Thanks to Paul for his time and guidance round the Wood.

Student Council’s Sport And Tea

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Senior Student Council organised a super Sport and Tea social event for after school on Monday.

Students could choose between three options: going for a run, football on the new 3G pitch or a Pilates class in the dance studio.

All options were popular and students enjoyed a good hour of exercise before joining another group of students who had cooked the tea.

One group made dessert, a delicious banoffee pie, whilst the others prepared a BBQ.

Despite the rain, staff and students enjoyed themselves and kept smiling.

It was a lovely afternoon and opportunity to mix with other year groups.

Well done to Student Council for organising and thanks to staff who helped to lead the activities.

Commonwealth Athlete

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Paige in Year 6 and Elysia in Year 1’s grandad, Tony Gornall took part in the 1974 Commonwealth Games, in the road race. His team mate, Phil Griffiths received a silver medal. Grandad was captain of the English cycling team. He also rode in the world championships in Montreal and the Berlin, Warsaw, Prague Peace Race which included one week in Czechoslovakia, one in Poland and one in East Germany. Plus the Tour of Britain. He also won the Manchester track league in 1970.

The girls brought his jacket and programme in to show their classmates.

Paige and Elysia

Fantastic Beasts In Year 6

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A new version of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ book from the Harry Potter series has appeared in Year 6. This version, written by the children themselves, contains new and previously undiscovered creatures! Which one can breathe ice to make its nest? Which creature’s wool is used to make Hogwart’s uniform? Which leaves a trail of magic dust? And which one has venom so powerful that wizards use it in deadly potions?

Read the book to find out these answers and discover more about the curious beasts on display. Oh…and look out for our super sentences containing parenthesis and relative clauses too!

St Joseph’s Penny

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Before Easter the Prep Student Council were eagerly raising money for St Joseph’s Penny. Each class was given an Easter egg box to fill with pennies, each filled box earned the pupils 5 minutes of free time, where they could choose from a variety of exciting activities. It was harder than we thought to fill a whole Easter egg box, but the pupils in Prep managed to fill 8 Easter egg boxes! This earned them 40 minutes of free time and they managed to raise a total of £229.61 for St Joseph’s Penny.

Archdeacon Michael Reaches New Heights

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Oakhill’s support for its Charity, the Peru Mission, took Mrs Everitt’s husband to new heights. Archdeacon Michael jumped from 15 000 feet to freefall and parachute down to North Lancashire.

It was an exhilarating experience, although not one he hopes to repeat when he flies out with Oakhill to the mission in Iquitos this August. There is still time to sponsor Michael via his just giving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-everitt1. Well done Archdeacon!

Poppy Heads To Royal Ballet Summer School

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Congratulations to Poppy in Year 6 who has been offered a place at Royal Ballet Summer School. This is a unique opportunity for Poppy who will attend a residential course at White Lodge in Richmond Park. Over 2500 boys and girls apply to attend this prestigious vocational training course where the pupils are trained by Royal Ballet staff and renowned international teachers. 

Well done, Poppy.

Photography Competition

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Senior School Student Council held another photography competition and this time the theme was “Being You at Oakhill”. There were lots of fantastic entries at a very high standard and judging was difficult for our panel. Jack Monk won first prize for a characterful photo of his two sheep; Isabelle Pugh came second with her photo of Blackburn Cathedral where she sings in the choir and Georgia Lee came third with her atmospheric lakeside photo. There were also fantastic entries from Prep too with first place going to Rocco, second place to Jack and third place to Hannah. Thank you to all entrants and well done. The Competition entry fee has also raised funds for Will’s Wishes, a local cancer charity

Chess Champions

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This final round of the Annual Oakhill Chess Tournament took place recently Players met their final opponent of the competition and battled it out for a place in the regional mega final to be held in May. Overall winner, Harrison from Year 8, scored a maximum 21 points having won each of his seven matches. All of the participants showed true dedication and commitment each week as they faced different players of a similar ability. Even the youngest players who were from Year 3 and have just started on their chess playing, made huge improvements to their game over the term. There were badges, mascots and chess books to win as the points mounted up.

The players scoring enough points to qualify for the mega final are Harrison and Matthew from Year 8, Isaac, Roman, Taylor and Charlie from Year 5 and Joshua, Max and Zak from Year 4. We hope as many of these children as possible can make it to this next event.

Well done everyone for playing so well and completing the tournament.

Chocolate Frogs

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Q: If it takes 150g of chocolate to make 4 chocolate frogs, how much chocolate is needed to make 14 frogs?

A: Ask Year 6!

Frogs were the topic for this week as Year 6 continued their Harry Potter themed English lessons. Having written their own ‘collectible’ frog cards featuring characters from the books and using different sentence types, they completed the unit by making chocolate frogs and 3D boxes to go with them. Lots of ratio problem solving included!

Archdeacon Michael’s Leap of Faith

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This summer Mrs Everitt’s husband, Michael is going out to Peru with Mrs Everitt and some of her colleagues and pupils from Oakhill School.

To raise money for The Peru Mission, Mr Everitt, is doing a tandem jump. Watch the clip below from That’s Lancashire tv were Mr Everitt talks about his upcoming adventure!

They are going to take part in The Peru Mission with Joe Plumb. Details of the charity can be found on its website.


Whilst they are out there, they will help with the mission in its work with the poor and disadvantaged, teach and build a classroom, whilst sharing their faith in Jesus Christ.

As Chair of the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education and Cidari Blackburn Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust and Archdeacon of Lancaster, being part of this mission combines Mr Everitt’s faith and  interests. Taking a leap of faith by doing a parachute jump shows his commitment to it all. (And many clergy, parishes and schools have said they would like to see him jump from a plane!)

To sponsor Mr Everitt please go to his giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-everitt1

Silver D of E Practice Expedition

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On Easter Sunday our Silver D of E group ventured to the North Yorkshire Dales for their first full 3 day expedition, taking on the challenges of the lingering winter weather.  Their route began in Kirkby Stephen on day one, where the group climbed to the summit of Nine Standards Rigg, briefly taking in the views and the impressive monoliths which give the peak its name. They then descended into Ravenseat and on to the picturesque village of Keld for their first overnight camp.

Our explorers had a cosy night under canvas with extra blankets and sleeping bags, waking up to a very snowy Swaledale and a challenging day ahead.  The staff generously provided the group with a bonus bacon butty, and after a good breakfast the group braved the elements with a route change avoiding the high peaks descending instead into the valley towards Muker.  They then stayed low following the river Swale and battling the wind and snow through Gunnerside to the second camp at Scabba Wath.  We opted for the bunk barn at the campsite as an alternative to pitching tents in the snow.  Everyone enjoyed the chance to warm up, dry off, and spend the night in a proper bed!

Day three brought milder conditions but the new challenge of mist and low visibility.  The group climbed out of Swaledale on to the moors above Wensleydale.  Navigation was tough but the group worked together well, using good techniques to find their way onto the mining tracks above Wensleydale which would take them to their finishing point at Castle Bolton.  The group were very happy to see the castle appear in the mist and even happier to see the minibus ready to take them home!

These were certainly testing conditions, and all our adventurers took on the challenge with confidence, walking nearly 50km in total, carrying all food and equipment weighing around 15kg.  Well done to all for a great achievement.  The Silver group can now look forward to their final assessed expedition in July, which will take place in the Lake District and hopefully in sunshine!

Road Safety

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During their recent PSHE lessons, Year 6 have been learning about the importance of keeping themselves safe on the roads. A special visit from the Lancashire Fire Service provides them with lots to think about and highlighted some of the potential dangers to be aware of. They were told about the importance of using a seatbelt, even for short journeys and about using booster seats until the correct height of 135cm.

They also learnt that it is just as important to be a responsible passenger in a car and not do anything which may distract the driver.  Looking for a safe place to cross and not wearing a hoodie which may restrict peripheral vision were all part of the good advice they received.

They have all made a personal pledge to follow the safety rules carefully.


A Different Perspective

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‘Get writing and use your imagination and creativity!’  That was the message from Clitheroe Rotary club and Year 5 pupils jumped at the chance!  They have each penned a story or poem entitled ‘A Different Perspective’.  The variety of entries reflects their individual personalities and each has proved to be very impressive.  We wish them every success in this Young Writer 2017-18 competition and look forward to hearing how they get on.

Year 7 Castles

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Year 7 have been busy designing and building their own castles as part of their learning in History.

They have been studying the change in castles during the medieval period and thinking about defensive features and the evolution in design to the impenetrable concentric layout.

Students delivered excellent presentations on their designs and there was fierce competition between the groups.

The groups were marked on how well they worked together, the finished castle, their presentation skills and their understanding of the historical context.

It was very close between Theo and Georgia and Olly and Sorcha with the latter two just edging it to first place.

Well done to all historians for a fantastic effort.

It’s A Wrap

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Over 3 nights pupils from Year 1 to Year 11 entertained nearly 500 parents, grand parents, friends and past pupils of Oakhill who enjoyed our bi-annual production, which this year was The King and I, and what an amazing three nights it was!

Head Boy, Giles Bridge as The King is brilliant and Year 9 pupil Holly is outstanding in the role of Miss Anna, what an amazing singing voice!

From the moment Anna”whistled a happy tune” the audience was enthralled.

The costumes all sewn by our amazing team of seamstresses, ranging from staff, parents and grandparents would not have looked out of place in the West End!

The confidence and talent of the cast was evident throughout – the singing, acting, music, dancers, costumes, set and of course behind the scenes production, could not be faulted.

Well done Mrs Crouch, Mr Lowry and the entire crew list – a triumph!

Senior Swimming Gala

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Last Wednesday was our highly competitive senior school swimming gala, where pupils from Years 7 to 11 competed. There were some fantastic performances from all involved.  We had a vast array of abilities and all contributed giving 100% effort and commitment to their races. Each and every competitor should be very proud of themselves as we as staff are. Seven school records were beaten this year with Maisie taking 4 and Louie taking three. The school records from Years 7-11 are now all held by three individuals, Louie, Maisie and our current Head Boy, Giles. However, with these all being out going Year 11s, it is game on and all to play for next year for our Year 7 to 10s Special mentions must go to Year 9 pupil Josh for his gutsy and gallant performance against Louie ‘The King of Butterfly’ and Year 9 Juliet who swam two lengths in each of our relays! Also our new pupils Brodie in Year 7 and Charlotte in Year 8 who were not fazed by the occasion in their first week at school and both put in sterling performances.

Martyrs and Scholars chanted eagerly for their swimmers throughout the heats and finals. The excitement reached its peak during the medley and squadron relays with Martyrs winning 6 of the 8 races. Our girls also outperformed the boys beating them by 16 and 24 seconds respectively. Once all of the results were calculated the final result was a convincing 80 point lead by Martyrs House scoring 327 points AND Scholar House finishing on 247, an excellent result considering they also had fewer swimmers.

Year 7 Science Trip

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Year 7 enjoyed a day of learning about physics, chemistry, engineering and biology.

The day started with a fair where we could walk to any stall and do the activities that were available from diabetes to DNA. We learnt a lot from the stalls and the students who told us the facts that they knew. The fair gave us an insight to what university is like and the subjects that are available; I didn’t know that there were so many different parts to one subject!

The day then proceeded to solving what elements were based on a spectrum. That consisted of figuring codes that were made of different elements and made up a solution. The person who solved the most questions got 2 ginger biscuits as a prize! The student told us about the PHDs that they were doing and the jobs they had to do for that particular course. We then adjourned for a lecture about graphene and its uses and what its future was. It was interesting to hear the predictions of its uses. The lecturer also told us of the vacations that were provided to places such as Madrid that were used for studying.

The day ended too soon. I was sad to leave as it was so full of enjoyable activities that I hadn’t got to do. The day had many qualities from looking at the feel of universities to learning STEM. Year 7 had a brilliant experience.

Report by Thomas Year 7

Sacrament Of Reconciliation

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Six of our Prep pupils have recently taken a very important step on the next stage of their journey in their Catholic faith.  They, and their parents, have spent the last few weeks preparing for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Father Kelly assisted at the service, which took place at the Roman Catholic Church of English Martyrs in Whalley.  We are very proud of the dedication and commitment that the children have demonstrated.  Our prayers and very best wishes are with them as they now begin their preparation for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.


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12 senior students participated in an exciting Velodrome session at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Monday. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience at the beginning as the sides were so steep.

After not a lot of time, however, many of the students were whizzing round, high up on the steep sides and great time was had by all. It’s such an exciting place to be in and one of our coaches was the multi Olympic medal winning Craig MacLean. This was certainly a successful trip and one which we’ll do again.

Year 5 Debate

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In their geography lessons, Year 5 pupils have been learning about the benefits and disadvantages of buying food either from the UK alone or from abroad as well.  They have considered the production of CO2 when food is grown in greenhouses in this country, as well as the effect on the environment of transporting goods from abroad.

The culmination this week was a debate which demonstrated the strong views the children have on this topic.  Two groups worked together to produce marketing materials to support their campaign and then put forward their cases to the class teacher.  She was extremely impressed with the quality of the resources they had produced, as well as with the arguments put forward by the children.  Both groups worked extremely hard and combined their efforts well to produce a coherent and impressive argument.  Well done, Year 5!

Ribble Valley Swimming Gala

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Oakhill took a team of Year 5s to compete in the Ribble Valley swimming gala on Monday. This gala had 9 schools competing and was for Year 5 & 6. The event started with the individual medley which consisted of 25m backstroke, 25m breast stroke and 25m front crawl. There were two heats in each race, Nellie and Rocco both swam fantastic races and were each placed second in their heats. Nellie was later awarded the bronze medal across the two heats. In the backstroke events Edward and Lilly-Ella both came second in their heats with Lilly-Ella finally being awarded the bronze medal in the awards ceremony.  Our free style swimmers were Taylor who was second and Nellie who came first over both heats and was awarded the gold medal. Our breast stroke swimmers were Lilly-Ella Smith and Noah both of whom finished their heats in first position. Lilly-Ella came away with the silver medal and Noah the bronze.

Our girls medley team was Imogen, Lilly-Ella and Zara the girls put in a fantastic performance winning their heat by more than half a length! Overall they won the silver medal. Our boys team made up of Noah, Taylor and Charlie won their heat finishing a whole length ahead of the other teams and came out with the bronze medal across the two heats. Both of our freestyle relay teams came in first in their heats and were awarded bronze medals overall. 

Once all of the scores were totalled the final positions were given. Oakhill came out second overall! A fantastic achievement for all involved and we are very proud of you all! Special mentions must go to Nellie and Lilly-Ella, who each gained a podium position in every race they entered. Well done swimmers!

The Final Of The BP STEM Ultimate Challenge

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It was an early start when we headed down to London for the final of the BP STEM Ultimate Challenge. Arriving at the Science Museum in London at 9:30am the boys were tasked with setting up their Science Fair stand and familiarising themselves with the presentation equipment. Matthew, James and Christopher displayed their prototypes, investigation results and evaluations and added a little challenge themselves for the judges to answer the six star questions to earn the coveted Pringle prizes. Once set up it was presentation time. All twelve teams that reached the final had 3 minutes to explain the work they had been undertaking over the three month challenge period to persuade the judges why theirs should win the BP STEM Ultimate Challenge 2018. It was a very difficult decision to make but there were two winners overall.

One trophy was for the Best Science Fair Stand and one for The Challenge winner. The judges were from high profile STEM careers including Head of BP Overseas Projects, CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Science Museum Project Director and Director of STEM Learning. Based on their well presented board, clear information, varied prototypes and interactive learning the judges voted our Oakhill Brilliant Biogas Boys this year’s Stand Winners. The Challenge was won by Walton Priory Middle School who battled against adverse weather conditions to test their water wheel in-situ which reflected real life issues encountered by engineers and swung the judges in their favour for the final result.

It was a truly excellent day. So good to see all the projects that had been undertaken around the country and to hear about how they overcame difficulties along the way but worked to find solutions.

After a tour of the Wonderlab we headed back, happily clutching our new trophy to add to the collection.


Years 4 And 5 Fly To The Line

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Years 4 and 5 are building gliders for the Fly to the Line inter-school Challenge. The glider that travels the furthest between the two groups will go through to the regional final later in the year.

They have to build the glider with the same materials and with a maximum wing span. Pupils must ensure that the gliders are correctly balanced so that they fly in a straight line and travel as far as possible.

Let the battle commence.

Tudor Houses

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Year 2 have been studying the Great Fire of London in history and finding out about the characteristics of Tudor Houses including a jetty, that they’re made of wood, why the windows are different sizes and that they are covered in a mixture that uses horse poo!

The boys and girls set about designing and making their own Tudor house using various boxes including many that Mrs. Sutterby had been saving for us.

Over a few weeks their hard work and patience paid off and they ended up turning a plain box into a whole street of houses.

It was fun re enacting the events of the fire and listening to all that they had learned. Well done Year 2!

Read For Good

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In December, pupils in Years 5 to 9 read to raise an impressive £291 for ‘Read for Good’.  Most of the money raised went to the charity, which provides visiting storytellers and books for children in hospital, but there was also money to spend on exciting new books for the school library.  As the pupil who brought in the most sponsorship money, Year 7 pupil, Theo won a £10 book token for himself.  Well done to all pupils who took part.

La Tour Eiffel

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Year 5 pupils have demonstrated outstanding team working skills as they have worked together to build two models of the Eiffel Tower.  The class is full of enthusiastic and budding Francophones and they leapt at the opportunity to be able to create a replica of this iconic monument.  Their determination was tested to the limit as things didn’t always go to plan with the build but, through fantastic support for each other and good use of critical thinking skills, they produced these impressive models.  I’m sure you will agree that they should be very proud of themselves!

BP Ultimate STEM Challenge 2018 Finalists

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Year 7 pupils Christopher, James and Matthew have been announced as one of twelve finalist teams for the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge, with the final set to be held at the Science Museum in London on Monday 12th March.

The national competition, launched in partnership with STEM Learning in June 2017, challenges UK students aged 11-14 to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills to the test by tackling real-world energy problems.

This year’s competition theme – My Sustainable Future – challenged young people to develop solutions to one of three real-world challenges: Handy Hydro, Parched Plants or Brilliant Biogas. All the challenges were designed to encourage students to think about how they could help to reduce natural resource use or bring down greenhouse gas emissions.

Schools from around the country took part in the competition for a chance to win an Ultimate STEM experience and £500 for their school.

Christopher, James and Matthew developed their best ideas for the Brilliant Biogas challenge, where they had to build a system that generates biomethane from food waste.

The twelve finalist teams will present their work to an expert judging panel at the Science Museum. Following their presentations, all finalists will have the chance to participate in a day of fun science activities. We wish the boys good luck in the final.

Year 7 Race For The Line

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Over the last week Year 7 shaped and designed their cars in preparation for the Race for the Line event on Wednesday. The snow had arrived and we were all worried that the battle would not commence but luckily the Army appeared to save the day and cleared sufficient track for the Race to go ahead.

It was freezing cold but pupils from reception to Year 8 counted down and cheered on the rocket cars.

It was a close call but in the end it was Miss Ice Cream made by Nicole that won the fastest car of the morning. Well done to all year 7 for their excellent effort in designing and building their cars.

Year 10 Cultural Trip To Berlin

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We met in a snowy Whalley at 4am and travelled to Manchester Airport for our early flight and, despite the weather, took off with only a 30 minute delay.

Berlin was cold and sunny on our arrival and and we transferred to the hotel to drop our bags. We then ventured out visiting the interesting Hamburger Bahnhof with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol exhibits. We then walked to the Berlin Wall memorial and met our excellent guide, Lisa.

She told us how the division and suspicion of the Cold War was embodied in the building of this wall on August 13th 1961 and how families and communities became separated. Many people risked and lost their lives to cross this border and we heard their stories, tragic and moving.

We ended our day in a local restaurant.

More adventures to come!

Another beautiful morning met us in Berlin. A sumptuous breakfast set us up for the day and we toured the history of the city. First we went to Museum Island where Berlin started and saw St Hedwig’s Cathedral and the Berliner Dom. We had a fantastic view of the city from the top of the Dom gallery.

Outside St. Hedwig’s is Bebelplatz where in 1933 the Nazi SA burnt books from the university library. After a leisurely lunch we travelled to the East Side gallery and saw the fantastic art on the remaining Berlin Wall.

We then enjoyed a brilliant visit to the Computer Museum going retro and playing computer games from the 1960s to the present day.

Even the staff had a go with Mr Peel convincingly beating Mrs Pugh at Street Fighter.

Finally we visited the largest department store in East Germany for a little shopping. Schnitzel for tea tonight.

The Year 10 students have been absolutely brilliant today.

They have fully engaged with the political history of Berlin visiting the Bundestag and looking at some of the darkest aspects of the city under war, communist rule and the Third Reich. A very thought provoking day but one which reflects a capital which seeks to never forget the past and yet achieve a future of democracy with the hope of a better Germany and Europe for all.

Well done, Year 10.


Watch out Paul Hollywood!

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The children in Year 2 had a fun day before half term baking bread. They enjoyed weighing out all the ingredients and mixing them together before the energetic bit – kneading the dough.

They all agreed it was quite difficult and not as easy as Paul Hollywood made it look but they persevered and even managed to plait their dough making their rolls look very professional.

After a couple of hours proving and baking it was time to tuck in and enjoy eating them. With an array of spreads including everybody’s favourite, Nutella, the whole class agreed that the effort of the day was worth it!

Year Three Budding Poets

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Year Three paid a visit to Mrs Crouch just before the half term holiday to share with her some poems that they had written, with a lighted candle as their inspiration.

Mrs Crouch was herself inspired by all their poems and thanked them for all their hard work, creativity and imagination.

Oakhill Chess Tournament

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Our 2018 Chess Tournament is well under way with 20 players, from Years 3 to 8 competing for the trophy and a chance to enter the regional Megafinal.   Skill, patience and a lot of tactics are being deployed each week as they battle it out against their opponents. Many players have already earned their chess competitors badge. Round 4 will be played this week with a chance to win one of the coveted mascots as the tension mounts. Who will become the overall Oakhill Chess Champions?

Senior Cross Country

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Before half term we had the annual senior school inter house cross country race. The event consists of a boys race, girls race and an elite race for those pupils who excel in cross country or really want to challenge themselves. The event ran very smoothly with some amazing achievements and times being recorded. There was a fantastic positive attitude for the event and every single person in the senior school completed the task and finished with a smile on their face. Our elite runners set off first pushing themselves to complete two and a half laps of the course. Five boys and one girl completed the course. Year 11 pupil Louis won the boys competition and Year 11 Chloe won the girls elite race – knocking 40 seconds off the school record that has stood for 5 years!

Tom led the boys race with ease completing his final interhouse cross country race in Year 11. Year 9 pupil Alex came in second and Giles, our head boy finished third. Year 10 girl, Lucy paced her self excellently well throughout the course leading the girls race with a well calculated race plan, coming in second was Year 10 pupil Isabelle and Year 9 pupil Ellie third.

Special mention must go to the whole of Year 11 who took part in their final race with great attitude and application, leading with great example to the younger years.

Madesimo 2018

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We arrived excitedly into the resort on Friday evening during a welcoming snow shower, ate our first bowl of pasta and prepared ski kits for day one on the slopes. A trying first day as ski routines were established, nursery slopes mastered and energy levels shattered. Revived by pasta, our traditional first evening’s entertainment, Mrs Smith’s Games Night explored the pupils creativity.

Day two, temperatures rose to -4 degrees and the sun shone as ski skills were enhanced, confidence levels rose and smiles sparkled. The day rounded off with sledging, hot chocolate and a warming bowl of pasta! What tomorrow will bring who knows but pasta and more smiles are definitely on the menu!


Day three and four saw temperatures plummet as we skied in temperatures of -16 degrees in the mornings, needless to say it was tough. However the wind dropped in the afternoons. The beginners had gained in confidence and were skiing on blue slopes high in the mountains over Motta, where the statue of the Virgin Mary is situated. Après-ski activities included a quiz night an a post dinner walk into Madesimo for Crêpes to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.


Day five and skiing conditions improved. The advanced and intermediate groups went to the highest part of the resort to ski two beautiful red runs with views over to Switzerland. In the evening we swopped our ski boots for dancing shoes – disco time.


Our final day was snowy and the slopes were covered in fresh powder. Our last ski lesson finished with a presentation from the ski instructors at Larichi – everyone’s favourite destination for a wood fired pizza. Each of the pupils received a gift of a ski buff and we celebrated our achievements with a hot chocolate. Pizza night in a local restaurant with more dancing, was the perfect end to Oakhill’s ski trip in Madesimo 2018.

Prep Swimming Gala

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On Thursday 8th February, a team of Year 4s to 6 travelled to compete in our second competitive swimming gala. We competed against three other school teams from Giggleswick and Westville house. Our swimmers put in an excellent performance both in their individual events and team relays. Many of our under 10s swam up a year group taking on under 11s from the other schools and committing to two lengths rather than one. They should be really proud of themselves. After a many closely fought races the results were in. Oakhill were proudly placed second overall out of the four teams, this was a fantastic achievement as the other schools both have private pools where they train weekly. Well done Swim team, our next event is against the local Ribble Valley school, where we are looking forward to another excellent result!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

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Year 1 celebrated Chinese New Year in style with a trip to Yu and You!

The children (and teachers) enjoyed the entertainment and had the opportunity to taste a variety of Chinese food.

A big thank you to Mr and Mrs Yu for inviting us along for the celebrations and providing the fantastic feast and party bags. Happy New Year!

A Pound A Puppet

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A normal Thursday morning in the Prep school…not last week.

Pupils all mixed up in different classes with different teachers for an activity called ‘A Pound a Puppet’.

The Prep Student Council came up with a fund raising idea whereby all the children brought in a sock and some decorating materials and spent a lesson being imaginative and creative and at the same time raising money for Cancer Research and new playground equipment.

As you can see from the photos everyone had a great time!

Sock Puppets

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Year 4, along with the rest of the prep school, had an amazing start to their morning as they worked with children from other classes to make their very own sock puppet. It was a great chance to work alongside different children in other prep classes as well as raising money for both the school and Cancer Research.

Thomas Group

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Before Christmas the Prep Student Council raised £77 at the Oakhill Christmas Market. They decided to donate the money raised to the local charity THOMAS in Blackburn, who provide meals and support for the homeless. On Wednesday the children had the opportunity to deliver the bags of food to THOMAS that included chickens, coffee, cakes and juice. A big thank you to Mrs Rishton for buying the food and coming along with us.

Year 10 Geographers

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Year 10 Geographers have been studying glaciation in Britain. They have looked at the processes of erosion, transportation and deposition and in this picture below you can see them modelling erosion features found in the British landscape. Students enjoyed getting out the play dough and discovering their inner pre-school selves as they formed corries, pyramidal peaks and glacial troughs.  In the background you can see their map of Britain with their CSI evidence of glaciation throughout Britain. The next stop is to go and investigate for ourselves with a visit to the Lake District. Watch this space!


Prep School Student Council Cake Sale

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Year Three and Four Prep School Student Council members organised a very successful cake sale last Friday. They raised £93. Half of this money has been spent on new storage containers for prep playground equipment and the other half will be donated to Cancer Research.

Well done everyone in the prep school for supporting this event.


Oakhill v SMH Swimming Gala

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On Thursday we travelled to SMH to compete in our first head to head swimming gala against SMH. We had a bus of nervous but excited pupils not knowing what to expect. After the warm up the nerves settled a little and we were ready for the races. A range of pupils from years 5-7 competed. All taking part in two or more races and the relays. All of our swimmers put in a sterling performance and we had many 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. It was a fantastic event and we learned lots about the formation of the team. We look forward to returning for another event in the near future. Well done to all involved, you did Oakhill proud.

Year 10 Historians Visit To London

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Despite the cold and rain, Year 10 were bright and cheerful on Saturday morning as we travelled to Preston station and then onto London Euston for a day of History. Having navigated the Underground,  they delved straight into the Elizabethan period and took on the mighty Globe, a reconstruction of the Lord Chamberlain’s company theatre, run by Burbage and, of course, a certain W. Shakespeare. Tim gave a fascinating talk on the construction and goings-on in at the Theatre which was seen as most ungodly by the Puritans across the river who ran London city.

After a well deserved lunch, our attention then turned to the 19th Century and a visit to the oldest Operating Theatre in Europe at the old site of St. Thomas  Hospital. Students were “entertained” by a talk on bladder stone removal which was achieved in 45 seconds, if you were lucky, and then an amputation which ideally would be performed in 2-3 minutes, all without modern day anaesthetics and antiseptics. A surgeon’s skill lay in speed and not necessarily in precision!

Students then returned to the 16th Century to see the reconstruction of Drake’s Golden Hinde. They even then managed to squeeze in a quick look at the Tate Modern, conveniently located on the South Bank.

Our arrival at Euston was greeted by train cancellations and with the help of Virgin staff we rerouted our return journey, arriving back in Skipton 2 minutes later than scheduled. Clearly, our dabbling in historical drama, speed of operating and undertaking unknown journeys paid off!

Well done to Year 10 Historians who were fantastic throughout our travels and to Mrs Hipwell for joining us on our day out in London.

Senior Girls Cricket Team

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The senior girls cricket team played in the indoor girls cricket competition on Wednesday. The girls were placed in a difficult group with St Augustine’s, Ribblesdale and Clitheroe Grammar. In the first fixture, the girls won in fantastic fashion against St Augustine’s with Year 9 pupil, Jessie starring, she scored 20 runs before having to retire. The next fixture we came up against was a strong Clitheroe Grammar team, our girls batted first and scored 42 runs in 8 overs, a very respectable score. It came down to the last over and we just missed out on victory with two bowls to spare. In our final game we still had a chance of winning the tournament, we had to beat Ribblesdale, who were yet to lose. We again won the toss and batted first, we had a slow start but some positive batting between Year 8 pupil Isabella and Year 9 pupil Ellie managed to get Oakhill to a competitive score of 32. The game went down to the wire, but sadly we missed out on victory despite our best efforts. Well played girls, we came joint second against strong opposition.

Year 1 Explorers

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Year 1 became explorers this week as their classroom was transformed in to a bear’s cave. They stepped over huge stalagmites, looked up at the pointy stalactites, braved a steep ledge and walked under ice cold waterfalls. The children all came up with some imaginative descriptions and adjectives to use in their story writing. Luckily they all made it out safely and did not wake the big brown bear!




Life Is Sweet For Year 11

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Year 11 have been studying the structure of DNA and looking at how the order of bases determines which amino acid is produced. Based on the fact that DNA has a phosphate/sugar backbone we thought it would make sense to model the structures from sweets and assign each base a different Jelly Bean!  They then practised base pairing where A only pairs with T and C with G. A good learning exercise.


Year 5 & 6 Sportshall Athletics

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Oakhill hosted the Year 5 and 6 sports hall athletics last week. We entered a team of five girls and six boys into the competition.

Our Year 9 class organised the event in the role of sports leaders, they had to time, measure and officiate the various athletic events.

Fantastic effort and performances were put in by all of our athletes showing a great competitive streak, determination and sportsmanship. Our girls won every race in their heat but so too did our competitors St Leonards.

Our boys team won 3 of their 5 races and were placed second in the other two. Therefore the competition went down to the field events. All of our team put in sterling performances and should be proud of themselves. The school games organiser commented on the high calibre of the athletes competing in the event.

It was nail biting in the medal ceremony, Oakhill came away with the silver medals for the overall competition and were very proud of their performance.

Well done everyone, you did us proud!


Leyland Truck Trail STEM Morning

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Year 6 and 7 took part in a Leyland Truck Trail STEM morning organised through STEMFirst. They were lucky enough to also have two STEM ambassadors from 3M in Clitheroe to share their experience and skills.

The pupils were put into small groups to undertake short challenges set by different local companies to tackle science, technology, engineering and maths problems. The teams were judged not only on who reached the correct answers in the time allocated but on key skills necessary in the workplace such as communication, teamwork and problem solving.

There was some impressive collaboration between the year groups as they came up with a company name and logo and competed for points. Overall winners were the ‘Luxurious Trucks’ team whose critical thinking skills earned them the top score. A successful morning was had by all pupils who have all learned a bit more about the importance of STEM skills and working as a team.

We Did It!

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Oakhill are excited to announce that ‘we did it!’ After all of the borough results were collated it has been confirmed that we are the highest scoring small school in the National Sports Hall Athletics Competition! Therefore we have been invited to Blackpool on 7th March to compete with other schools who came out the top of the borough in the Lancashire finals!
Training begins next week, Come on Oakhill, we can do it!

Year 11 Represent Oakhill In The Borough Gala

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Year 11 pupils, Maisie, Louis and Giles represented Oakhill in the inaugural under 16 swimming gala for the Ribble Valley & Hyndburn borough. All swam very well achieving good times and being placed within their races. Maisie was also assessed for her GCSE practical and was given full marks for the swimming component due to her aesthetically pleasing and fantastically efficient swimming technique. Teachers from other schools commented she was ‘off the scale’

Well done to all three of you, you did Oakhill proud.

Prep School Cake Sale

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The Prep School Council are holding a cake sale every other week this half term as a replacement for Tuck on a Friday. Last week it was the turn of the Prep School Council members from Year Five and Six to run the sale.

Many thanks to all those who contributed cakes and to those who came along to support the event. £96 was raised, which will be split between Cancer Research and new playground equipment for the Prep children to enjoy.

My Sustainable Future

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The 3 STEM groups entered the BP Ultimate Challenge this year to investigate solutions for global problems under the theme of “My Sustainable Future”. The topics this year were Parched Plants, Brilliant Biogas and Handy Hydro all investigating how we can preserve our resources for the generations to come. The teams tackled each of the three topics undertaking research over a period of six weeks to develop their ideas, produce results and prepare a presentation of their work. We were very impressed with their perseverance and determination to produce meaningful results for current environmental issues. Well done boys you really proved you were up for a challenge!


Swimming Gala

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Last Monday Robyn, Scarlett, Felicity, Sorcha, James, Matthew, Harrison and Christopher competed in a swimming gala at Accrington Academy. We had very tough opponents but we did very well for the standard of the competition. Scarlett did excellent and decided to brave the butterfly race and came 5th! Every one else also did well with their strokes. Well done Oakhill!

Report by Swimming Captain Sorcha Year 7

London Academy Of Music And Dramatic Art Success

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Recently three students have taken their London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) exams. Senior student Emilie-Anne from Year 8 has been taking lessons and exams for a few years now and achieved a merit in her Grade 2 Verse and Prose exam, this was the first time she had to learn and recite a piece of prose for an examination so she has done so well. For Thomas in Year 7 and Lucia from Year 1 it was their first LAMDA exam and both did extremely well achieving distinctions in their respective Grade 1 Verse and Prose exam and Introductory Stage One exam. Lucia did extremely well as she achieved the highest examination mark on the day with 93!

LAMDA lessons continue to grow stronger here at Oakhill, they are a great extra curricular lesson for our pupils as they help with reading and literacy skills, confidence, communication skills, diction and of course performance skills. The examinations with LAMDA also enable our students to gain extra UCAS points if they wish to attend University in the future.

Emilie-Anne, Thomas and Lucia will be taking another LAMDA exam at the end of June along with the rest of our 49 LAMDA pupils. We look forward to seeing how well everyone will do in June too!

Oakhill v Highfield Priory Football Match

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Oakhill Oranges – Rocco captain, written by Isaac.

In the first half there was good interceptions by Zak, Noah and Rocco we had two chances and Will scored a goal to make it 1-0 at half time. In the second half for the first five minutes there were no chances until Will got the ball, skilled 2 defenders, shot and the keeper saved it, the keeper booted the ball out and Rocco got the ball and the referee gave a drop ball Rocco won it. It went to Will and he was off down the right line Rocco was on the left, Will crossed it and Rocco was in the box and put it in the back of the net. The final score was two nil to us. Good job Oakhill. Player of the match was Will who was relentless in midfield and supplied many goal opportunities.

Well done teams, great sportsmanship and enthusiasm shown throughout the afternoon.


Oakhill v Highfield Priory Football Match

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Oakhill Greens 

Isaac captain, report written by Rocco.

The score was 5-0 to Oakhill we had some good crossings from Roman, good tackles from everyone and good passes from everyone in the first half. Issac and Taylor scored goals and in the second half Roman scored two goals and Taylor scored one goal. Great team work and motivation was seen throughout the game. Player of the match went to Kyle who covered a great distance in the midfield position and never shied away from a tackle. 

Top Of The Bench Success

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Saturday was a fresh January morning and four of our finest pupils climbed on the bus to head off to Lancaster University for the Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench Competition. Six teams from Lancashire were pitting their wits against each other for one of the places in the final, to be held this year in Loughborough. The team of four had to contain two year 9 pupils, one year 10 and one year 11. So Alex, Alexander, Lucy and Giles donned their lab coats and safety goggles and braved the elements!

First up was the practical challenge with group being split in two. The year 9’s undertook. a task involving chromatography, fingerprint and ions analysis and the year 10 and 11 used titration, colourimety and chromatography to work out who had drugged the teacher! The afternoon session was a written test with each pupil set an age specific paper. The day ended with the custard mini rocket challenge.

The team had to prepare a mini rocket to launch and after a first practise launch the successful teams were up again each other to see whose rocket went the furthest. Oakhill’s Rupert Rocket shot past the others to claim first place and were told that Rupert could have been up there with the rocketeering record holder if he hadn’t clipped the roof! In the end Lancaster Grammar School were the Top of the Bench winners in a very close competition. Well done to our fantastic team who really showed they could blast past the others!

Watch the winning rocket launch below (only in a Chemistry competition will you find pipettes fillers used as distance markers!)




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Before Christmas the children in Year 2 learned about Posada which is an old Mexican tradition

where young people dressed as Mary and Joseph and travelled from house to house asking for a room for the night.

They would tell people all about the imminent arrival of Jesus

and on Christmas Eve they would visit the local church to re-enact the nativity and place figures of Mary and Joseph in the crib.


The modern day Posada uses nativity figures of Mary and Joseph allowing each ‘host’ the opportunity to create their own celebration in their homes or community.

This year the boys and girls had the opportunity to be the ‘host’ each night during Advent.

They all enjoyed taking Mary and Joseph home and choosing whether to sing songs,

light a candle,

say a few prayers or talk about the meaning of Christmas.

East Lancs Hospice 10k

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On Sunday Year Eleven pupils Chloe and Tyler took on the East Lancs Hospice 10k in Great Harwood.  They were among the youngest taking part in a race of over 500 participants, and were joined by Miss Cunningham, Mr. Peel and Miss Cunningham’s dad Eddie.

Conditions were dry but bitterly cold on the busy course.  The route took the runners out towards Rishton with a variety of muddy trails mixed with some steep climbs, returning alongside the canal.

Both our star runners performed brilliantly, and finished the course in under an hour; Chloe in 58 minutes and Tyler in under 54 minutes.  Well done too to Miss Cunningham who finished in 56 minutes, Mr. Peel in 43 and Eddie in 58.

Both Chloe and Tyler have been regular attendees at weekly running club throughout their time at Oakhill and we are very impressed with how they have progressed – in leaps and bounds!  Well done.

Arbre des Vœux

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Years 4 and 5 have been welcoming in the new year in a traditional French way.

They have made their very own Arbre des Vœux.

Each child has thought about what they would like to achieve this year and made their very own New Year’s resolution and displayed it on their wishing tree.

We look forward to seeing their hopes and wishes come true.

Prep Celebrate Epiphany

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In language classes on Monday, pupils celebrated Epiphany.

In French lessons, they tried une Galette des Rois.

The youngest person in the room followed the tradition of sitting under a table and calling out the names of the people in the room to decide on the order the pieces of cake were to be distributed.

One lucky person found the charm in their piece. Luckily it was an edible icing elephant, because someone ate it in one of the groups!

In Spanish, pupils tried un Roscón de Reyes after decorating it with jellied sweets to represent the jewels in the Kings’ crown.

Marbulous DT

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Problem solving, critical thinking and team work were the main ingredients in DT lessons for Year 6 last term as they designed their own marble runs using only card and paper.

There was some impressive collaboration between the team members as they worked to find ways of making their structures robust whilst learning about the limitations of different materials.

Each team came up with a unique finished design ….and each one worked in a different way.

A huge thank you to Year 4 who listened to each team’s pitch about their finished design and the challenges they faced in the process.

Great work and some budding designers in the making!

Are Year 1 Sweet Or Sour?

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Year 1 have had lots of fun and interesting experiences learning all about their bodies and senses. They have learnt about some new parts of their bodies and have explored their five senses by going on a sound walk, using their hands to feel objects, as well as smelling and tasting some interesting things that they either loved or hated!

The Brains Of Year 10

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Year 10 Separate Science Group modelled a brain from salt dough and identified the main parts of the brain and their function. This is one of the new areas covered by the updated syllabus which introduces pupils to the complexity of the brain and the difficulties in understanding and treating brain disorders.

The Great British Bake Off

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The Great British Bake Off returned to The Year Three classroom this week as they had a go at making a traditional Christmas fruit cake and then decorated it with marzipan, icing and all kinds of sweet treats.

Mrs Mitchell (mother of Saul) weaved her culinary magic not once but twice to help create a festive feast for the pupils.

Many thanks Mrs Mitchell for your skill, expertise and endless patience. Tuck in Year Three!

Year Three Crack The Code

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As part of their history topic on The Romans Year Three puzzled over Roman numerals.

The box of lollipops that sits in the stock cupboard for most of the year unused came in very handy and helped the pupils understand how the numbers came about.

They used the Roman system of numbering to crack some secret codes.

Smashing Pumpkins

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There’s nothing better than starting Christmas with a bang! Finishing off the topic on atomic structure, Year 9 were investigating the reactivity of elements and we thought it would be good to end the year explosively.

We added calcium carbide to water to make acetylene, an explosive gas, and lit it to pop the face out of the pumpkin.


Year 10s Steps To A Successful PE Revision Session

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Year 10 PE students requested a festive theory Lesson in their final lesson of the year. So Mrs Smith created a new game called steps to success. Each pupil had a coloured path to follow that they got to progress along each time they correctly answered a question based on the syllabus they have been studying.

Every time they reached the end of the path they got to collect a treat from the box. Questions covered anatomy and physiology of the body, the energy systems and the components of blood. To make it festive each pupil was given adorned with a piece of headwear. Some were more appreciated than others! If the pupil wanted to answer a question they have to sound their musical instrument.

The second round was a modified version of twister where the pupils had to place the muscles or bones they had learned on the games board. This round increased their knowledge of movement types including abduction, addiction, flex ion, extension and rotation! We finished off with a game of anatomy musical bumps which tested the classes knowledge of anatomy along with their reaction times!

This picture depicts CRANIUM – YELLOW! As you can see from the photos lots of fun was had by all and a pleasing level of knowledge was exhibited hence their stacks of individual treats at the end of the lesson.

Prep School Christmas Competition

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The Prep School Christmas competition this year was Christmas Glasses, with the money raised going to new playground equipment.

Many pupils entered and the variety of glasses was amazing.

Mr McGuinness and Miss Stagg had a very tough job trying to pick a top three but after much deliberation they finally got there.

The top three were… 1st Jemima , 2nd Stanley and 3rd Maisie.

Thank you to everyone who entered and a Merry Christmas to you all.

Christmas Dodgeball Event

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Due to the fields being out of action because of the frost and snow this has had a knock on effect on our extra curricular timetable. We decided to host a lunch time dodgeball tournament for all sessions.

This was welcomed by the majority of the school who either took part or worked as umpire or photographer. The ages were split into upper and lower school. Along with those who wanted to play hard ball competitively and those who wanted to play for fun.

Five games were played and great sporting etiquette was seen throughout the session. A great fun activity that we may add to the extra curricular time table for the next term. Well done to all involved!

Year 2 Make The Transfer List

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Year 2 have been writing poems citing all their good and bad points. They make for very interesting reading! So they’ve put themselves on the transfer list. If anyone is interested in putting in an offer Mrs Wilson is keeping an open mind!

I’m A Kelly Get Me Out Of Here

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On Tuesday Oakhill said goodbye to Mr & Mrs Kelly as they depart on their next adventure to Australia. Mr Kelly has been Oakhill’s RE teacher for the past 3 and a half years and Mrs Kelly has enthused and encouraged many of Oakhill’s pupils to play an instrument.

The Kelly’s were treated to an ‘I’m A Celebrity’ style assembly where everybody was welcomed by Mr Lacy playing his digeridoo.

Hosted by Head Boy Giles and Head Girl Phoebe, The Kelly’s first bush tucker trial was, for Mr Kelly, meal worms which Mr Kelly ‘seemed’ to enjoy, poor Mrs Kelly’s trial was puffed rice – full of sugar and colourings, much worse than Mr Kelly’s meal worms!

The Kelly’s second trial involved crickets and jelly beans – well done again to Mr and Mrs Kelly for completing the task, although Mr Kelly did find the crickets a little bit crunchy!

Finally, the toughest trial of all for Mrs Kelly – a glass of Australian wine and for Mr Kelly, a plague of locusts for Mr Kelly

Four Year 9 boys spoke about their favourite memory of Mr Kelly, which involved his football skills.

Mrs Crouch spoke of life being an adventure and we all wish The Kelly’s all the very best in their new life in Queensland.

L. S. Lowry

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Over the last term Year 2 have been looking at the work of L.S. Lowry.

Using just the primary colours as well as black and white they firstly recreated a seascape picture. They also looked at perspective and how to draw objects showing them near and far.

The boys and girls enjoyed copying his work ‘Matchstick Men’ and the results were amazing. Some budding artists in Year 2.

“St Bernard’s Goes To The Dogz!” 

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Chris Martin – playwright and author came to Oakhill on Friday 8 December to host an English workshop for Years 5-8.

Five students from Years 7 to 8 rehearsed and performed a mystery play – “St Bernard’s goes to the Dogz!”

It was as though the characters had been written for them – their performances were brilliant.  Mr Martin said that of all the schools he had been to, our talented students were the best he had worked with.

Well done to the students who gave Years 5 to 8 a thoroughly enjoyable performance and thanks to Chris Martin for coming to visit us.


Premier League Poetry

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Year Five have been busy writing poems for the Premier League Primary Stars KS2 Poetry Competition.  Each poem was based on the theme of Resilience but, nonetheless, the pupils produced work in a range of styles, reflecting inspiring messages to fellow pupils of how important it is to keep striving for success and to try again, even when things are difficult.  Their entries included acrostic, shape and sound poems

The poems have now been sent to the Premier League to be judged by Frank Lampard, Yannick Bolasie and Lauren Child (the 10th children’s laureate), amongst others.  The children are very excited to hear if any of their poems will be a winning entry.  However, this week, they received some fantastic news, as the class was chosen to receive a set of poetry books, as a reward for being one of the first classes in the country to enter the competition.  As you can see from the photo, they couldn’t wait to start reading these!

Prep Student Council

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For the Christmas Fair this year the Prep School Student Council decided to have three different stalls going on at the same time…decorating Christmas biscuits, making Christmas lanterns and selling biscuits/cakes. The Prep school pupils didn’t disappoint and donated biscuits by the tin full.

On the day itself members of the council took turns to run the stalls and they raised £77. In the new year the council will meet to decide what food they will buy with the money and then deliver the food to the THOMAS Group in Blackburn, who care for and support homeless people. Many thanks to everyone who contributed.

The Prep School Student Council wish everyone a very happy CHRISTmas and a peaceful new year.

Hyndburn And Ribble Valley Badminton Tournament

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This week, Sam, RJ, Alex and Louis competed in the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley badminton tournament. Oakhill were selected in the one of toughest groups in the tournament. In Oakhill’s first game we won 4-1 against Hyndburn with all the boys playing very well. In our second game it was very tough and we narrowly lost to Ribblesdale, 3-2.

In our final game of the group we needed a win to go through to the knockout stages. Convincingly we won 5-0 with a great display from all the boys.

In the quarterfinals we were drawn against Bowland. We played extremely well showing great tactical plays throughout the game. Unfortunately we were again narrowly beaten in a closely fought game losing only 3-2. We ended up in the top 5 out of 16 schools. Well done to Sam, RJ, Alex and Louis.

Young Artists

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Pre Prep have been discovering the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy. They have explored natural materials in their play, painted with mud and went down to the woods to make their own environmental art.

Year 5 & 6 Basketball

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Last week Oakhill hosted the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley School Partnership basketball tournament. Due to the rise in popularity of Basketball in Prep with our coach Steven Gayle we were the only school to enter 3 teams. Our teams were of a mixed ability and all were in with a good chance of success. The games were fast paced and furious, our players were exhausted but continued to put up a good competition. Oakhill Greens, made up of Year 5 pupils Taylor, Lilly-Ella, Josh, Charlie and Mairead won 5 out of 8 matches but needed a little more height on their team to ensure success!

Oakhill Yellows Nellie, Imogen, Edward, Roman and Gabrielle won 3 of their games. This was down to the super shooting of Edward who was the team’s star player!

Our Reds had a fantastic tournament winning 7 of their games. This team moved the ball fantastically through the court with short and sharp passing. They also had Pips height to their advantage, who rarely missed a shot and at times was substituted to even out the play. One game ended 42-0! Lydia was their star player, she was fast paced, assertive and dominant on court. Congratulations to Oakhill reds Rocco, Isaac, Pip, Joseph, Zara and Lydia on your win and well done to all involved.