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.