Monthly Archives

June 2015

Day 1 of Year 9’s French Trip

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On our first day in Paris we started the day with a visit to the Pompidou Centre. We then walked to Notre Dame Cathedral.

After walking around the Cathedral we travelled to the Arc de Triomphe and walked along the Champs-Elysées.

Finally we walked to the Musée du Louvre and admired the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and many more pieces of artwork. After we sat and enjoyed the sunshine by the glass pyramid.




Spanish Tapas in Reception

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In their lesson today, Reception tried all sorts of Spanish food – la tortilla, el jamón, el guacamole, las patatas fritas, las naranjas, el pan and el chorizo.

‘¡Me gusta la tortilla!’ said Lottie. Harry replied, ‘Me gustan las naranjas!’

Year 8 Fieldwork

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Year 8 were undertaking some fieldwork now that the weather has brightened up. We try to make the most of our wonderful surroundings at Oakhill and the group had already performed random quadrat measurements to determine the distribution of plants in various locations.

The particular piece of work they then undertook was more in line with the current GCSE where they placed a transect line and measured the distribution along the transect at set intervals.

This allowed them to assess the effects of environmental conditions such as light, soil and moisture.

They all achieved excellent results and benefited from the fresh air and our on the doorstep facilities

Spelling Bee

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Once again, the Student Council organised the much anticipated Spelling Bee Competition. The line up this time comprised of Daniel Riding, Imogen Cambell, Finbar Morgan and James Sutterby for Scholars and Jacob Woods, Alfie Marriott, Maisie Holme and Isobelle Pugh for Martyrs.

There was a welcome development with the new ‘University Challenge’ format with the teams on panels instead of speaking into the microphone. The Council also adapted the show’s question format of a buzzer round followed by three questions for the first team to buzz and correctly spell the word. Additionally, this year definitive categories of words were used, for example those of Greek origin or dinosaur names.

The scene was tense as our competitors carefully spelt words such as guacamole and haemorrhage. Martyrs won convincingly with 140 points to Scholars’ 80 and we all look forward to next year’s competition. Thank you also to our three judges, Mrs Hennighan, Mrs Everitt and Mr Kelly.


Nursery Firefighters

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Nursery children enjoyed playing firefighters, they used spray bottles filled with water to put the fire out!!

Thankfully the flames were only shaving foam coloured orange.

Great fun was had by all.




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Forty four Oakhill pupils from Years 4 to 8 took part in the National mini-tri festival at Accrington Academy.

The pupils were the first team to open the event. It began with a 70m swim, followed by a 600m run then a 1km bike ride ending in a sprint to the finish line.

All pupils enjoyed the event and raced with drive and determination, everybody had a smile for the camera as they crossed the finish line and collected their medal and an ice cold drink.

Well done all tri-athletes, keep up the hard work as we are looking to do more triathlons in the future.

Anybody who would be interested in joining a junior triathlon club please see Mrs Smith.



World of Wheels – a great success!

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On Father’s Day – Sunday 21st June – Oakhill staged the World of Wheels family motor event. A spectacle of tractors, vintage, classic and modern cars, lambretta’s, Mountain Rescue – you name it! The PTA were out in full force helping to marshall, serve coffee and cake, sweeties, and fabulous hot roast rolls and chips! Kathryn and John Rawlinson supervised the Build an Egg Racer stand, which the kids loved. Thank you to Justin Birchall who provided an off road Land Rover display on our specially created track and Louise and Tommy for arranging everything. The pictures really tell the full story, here goes…



Spanish Tapas

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Years One and Two were treated to an extra special lunch this week – Spanish tapas style!  The excited children had already prepared the menus in Spanish for their trip to El Tapeo in Clitheroe and were very keen to try out some authentic food.  They were not to be disappointed.

They were met with an extremely warm welcome from the hosts Marcos and Lidia who helped to transport them for a few hours to Spain.

For many, this was their very first taste of tapas but they were overwhelmingly impressed by the tastes of tortilla, patatas bravas, pollo al ajillo to mention just a few of the marvellous dishes they sampled.

The children were then able to ask Marcos and Lidia lots of questions to learn a little about the Spanish culture.  Many questions were football-related as we would expect from our Year 2 boys but others were about their taste in music – and even their age!

The children impressed Marcos and Lidia with their accent and command of the Spanish language and even stood up to the tests of a few Spanish tongue twisters from Marcos!

He and his wife were truly amazed by the class rendition of their favourite song – Papá Dedo! Both hosts were incredibly impressed by the enthusiasm and manners of the group – they truly were a credit to themselves and Oakhill. ¡Fantástico!



Rainbow Fizz

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Year 9 have been performing neutralisation reactions and investigating the properties of acids and alkalis.

Alfie did exceptionally careful work to obtain this fabulous rainbow effect which demonstrated the change in pH throughout the liquids. Well done Year 9 there were some fantastic rainbow fizzes in the classroom from this colourful bunch.



Lands End to John O’ Groats – Support tractor revealed!

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The World of Wheels event this Sunday saw the first outing for the Lands End to John O’Groats support vehicle – a fine looking Leyland tractor kindly supplied by Gerard Singleton, complete with shiny cattle trailer proudly sporting the challenge banners!

The tractor will stay close behind the cycling group for two weeks, no doubt followed by miles of traffic, throughout the length of Great Britain.  The trailer will carry all the camping equipment, luggage, food, bike spares and other essentials.  Our three pupil cyclists Jacob McHugh, Daniel Riding and William Singleton have also claimed the upper level of the trailer as sleeping accommodation!

Our unique challenge of the ‘end to end’ LE JOG’ route is 951 miles long and will be completed over two weeks of continuous pedalling in August!  Daily journeys ranging between 60 and 90 miles will be taken on by the team of 6.

As well as the cycling challenge we have also set ourselves the goal of fundraising £3000 for our three school charities, CAFOD, Macmillan and Rainbows.  These charities were chosen this year by our own Senior School pupils and together they serve a huge range of worthwhile causes, from cancer and bereavement support in our own and other local communities, to international aid for those in need elsewhere.

If you would like to support these worthy causes, and would also like to provide inspiration to our cycling team, then please visit our fundraising page using the link below.


All donations are gratefully received and please feel free to share the page to others.  We would also welcome sponsorship from businesses, and can offer some banner space on our support trailer!  Volunteer drivers are still also required, along with anyone who may be able to help promote our challenge.  Please email peel.d@oakhillcollege.co.uk for further information if you think you can help.

Class Mass

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Reception, year 1 and year 4 celebrated their class mass on 16th June. The mass was based around giving a helping hand to those who need it most. Reception and Year 1 read bidding prayers they had written themselves, while Year 4 acted out a very amusing rendition of The Good Samaritan. It was a lovely service that was enjoyed by both children and parents. A big thank you to Father Clarke who lead our celebrations.




‘World of Wheels’ Father’s Day Family Motor Show

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There’s a treat in store for all the family this Father’s Day on Sunday 21st June in the form of ‘World of Wheels.’ Oakhill Association, is holding a spectacular event that showcases the great and the good of wheels.Fire engines, Rally cars, Harley Davidsons, mini’s, Classic cars, Lambrettas, Supercars, Tractors and much more. Come and spend time in the beautiful wooded grounds of Oakhill and enjoy refreshments, exhibits, inflatable fun, stalls and demonstrations throughout the afternoon.

World of Wheels is on from 10am till 3pm and tickets are available from the school on 01254 823546, adults £2.50, KIDS GO FREE


Salters Day of Chemistry

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There was “Trouble at the Salt Mine” last Friday at Manchester University as teams of four Year 8 pupils battled to solve the forensic investigation to find out “whodunit?”

Our pupils did an excellent job to identify that Charlie Rocks was the criminal by undertaking test tube experiments and chromatography tests on different inks. They were then racing against the clock to do a precipitation reaction which they were to try to complete in exactly 1 minute. Unfortunately our girls were just too speedy with times below 1 minute and got pipped to the post.

The day was rounded off with a demonstration of chemical reactions that make bright colours, lots of fire and loud bangs. It was a very enjoyable and educational day for all the pupils involved and as always the girls represented Oakhill perfectly with their excellent behaviour and team spirit. Well done girls.

Goodbye Tadpoles

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The children in Pre school have been watching their tadpoles grow over the past couple of months.

The Pre school children have made them big and strong by feeding them on dandelion stems and fish food!

Miss Bowden released them into the stream as they were getting too big for their tank! Hopefully there will be some frogs down by the stream very soon!



Week of Sporting Events

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The week commencing Monday 1st June was an unbelievably busy sporting week even by Oakhill’s standards! Preparations in Prep were being made in lessons and lunchtime clubs for sports day along with seniors preparing for their hotly anticipated house rounders and cricket events. During this week we managed to fit in not one but 7 fixtures! Incorporating 3 rounders matches, 1 cross country event, a whole day girls cricket tournament and 2 orienteering competitions!

The weather at the beginning of the week was more like February than June! Due to this unfortunately the cross country fields were water logged so the event was postponed but we returned this week and achieved some amazing individual results and a fantastic team result (please see separate story).

The weather was equally shocking on Tuesday, however we were determined to play on so invited St. Augustine’s to play rounders in our sports hall, this was a new experience for both teams including differentiated rules due to the confined space. This was a very closely contested game and the scores were equal at 3 all after the first innings. After a much needed half time pep talk our under14 team went into the second innings with increased confidence and began to apply all of the tactics they have refined in lessons. The hard work paid off and we won, the final result being 6-5.5 rounders. The girls kept their cool in a very close match and deserved the win.

Wednesday saw a dramatic improvement in weather and we finally got out onto the field. We welcomed two Stonyhurst college teams. Our under 13 and under 14 mixed teams were excited to be playing their first matches of the season. Adding the boys to the teams has dramatically improved their play, the girls have grown in confidence and have learned the importance of fielding deeper due to their great batting ability. This came into play against the excellent batting skills of the Stonyhurst pupils. The teams worked as a unit and utilised great communication when fielding, they also started to place the ball into gaps in the field which was excellent to see in action after so many batting drills in lessons! The final results were close but Oakhill were victorious in both games, a fantastic achievement to all those involved.

u14 Oakhill 13 – Stonyhurst 12.5

U13 Oakhill 10 – Stonyhurst 9.5

Thursday was a glorious day and our Year 5 & 6 girls attended the Ribble Valley and Hyndburn cricket tournament. This was a new event for us but after some excellent last minute coaching from Mr.Edgar we attended determined to give it our best shot! During the group stages we won 2 of our 3 games, the girls worked excellently and after beating Salesbury the hotly placed favourites our confidence increased we went on to achieve victory against Whalley only losing by a small margin to a well rehearsed Baxenden team.

We drew Benjamin Hargreaves in the quarter finals winners of the group stage, this was a very experienced team who performed better than us on the day and went on to win the whole event. We came out 4th just missing out on the bronze medals out of 8 teams. A great experience and achievement by all considering it was our first cricket event! We are determined to spend more time on cricket next summer and come back to compete and bring home a medal!

Finally Friday, was the day we attended the Ribble Valley and Hyndburn orienteering championships. Our year 6 teams attended and were 2 of 37 teams in total that competed in the event, over two hundred children took part! This was a very close and hotly contended event.

One of our teams worked fantastically together and came home with the silver medals, this team consisted of Alicia Birchall, Alex Lutwyche, Ava Whowell, Sam Chatburn, Joshua WIlkinson and Charlotte Bank.  Our second team missed out on the bronze medal by only one time penalty and this was gutting for all. But a fantastic achievement to take two teams and be placed Second and Fourth out of 37 entries!

Earlier in the day we took our senior team made up of the following pairs Louie Coupe & Harriet Ashworth, Tom Temperley & Maeve Peters, Ellis Lund & Chloe Gardiner and finally Jack & Abi Clemson. Being the champions from the previous year meant that the pressure was on to return home with the winning trophy!  After a few practice map reading and orientation drills the team were set free on the course. All pairs worked excellently together navigating the map and encouraging one another when either was tired from the long runs between each check point. All teams timed the event well and returned within the 20 minute time limit. Tensions were high as we waited for the results. After what seemed like forever it was announced that as reigning champions we got to keep the title as we had won again. This is an excellent achievement as it is a qualifying event for the national level 3 games competition when we will attend in Blackpool to represent our area! Well done to everyone involved.

Phew, that really was an unbelievably busy but exceptionally enjoyable and rewarding week in the life of PE and games at Oakhill. Here’s to many more weeks like that in the future. Thank you to all of the pupils for your hard work and commitment, you make it all worth it!

Tapas Restaurant

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Years one and two are getting very excited for their trip to a Tapas restaurant on Friday. They have produced their own menus in Spanish and prepared phrases to order their own food and drink in the language.

Prep Sports Day

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Due to unusually seasonal weather our annual sports day was held on the top sports field. Year 7 helped to set up the event and loved testing the track with all the equipment for our fun races, the risk assessment was enjoyed by all!

All pupils in Prep participated and competed in four races. Two fun races including the quoit balance, egg and spoon, sack, hoop shimmy, dribbling, javelin, 3 legged and the infamous chicken run to mention a few.

The second round was the serious one, the much anticipated sprint! All pupils gave 100% and many of the races were photo finishes.

Finally the classes worked in teams for the relay events. After much practice during the previous weeks, the teams knew exactly how to get the best result in the pirate treasure hunt, obstacle course, under and over hurdles and the all important exiting Year 6 fancy dress race! The teams worked together, encouraged each other and had fantastically slick change overs.

All pupils showed a great sporting ethic applying 100% effort in each and every event. Sporting etiquette was exemplary with pupils cheering on and encouraging one another at all times. It was an event to be proud of. Special mentions must go to the following pupils who not only worked hard but were placed in every event that they did! Harry White, Evie Shuttleworth, Jessica Stewart, Lilly-Ella Smith, Noah Howson, Finlay Garstang, Joseph Bank, Oliver White, Oliver Wilkinson, Olivia Bentley and Grace Garstang.

The final race held was the parents race, this year was a popular event with 21 competitors. After lots of laughs at the children’s technique during the chicken run it was time for the parents to step up to the plate!

A super fast start from Louise Birchall, with fantastic technique, whilst the rest were watching her pull away, resulted in her being miles ahead at the half way turning point and she seemed to gain even more speed. After a great celebration over the finish line we realised that she had lost her egg as it was recovered from the track by one of our eagle eyed pupils – unfortunately this resulted in disqualification!

Therefore it was a head to head with our previous 2 years egg and spoon champions- Andrew Lewis managed to pip James Howson at the post to take the victory! Both dads are already in training for next year’s event whilst Mrs Smith is back to the drawing board looking to invent another ‘egg’ related event for the parents to compete in!

The MARSBalloon STEM project

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The MARSBalloon STEM project provides first hand experience of designing experiments to go into space and consider a career in the UK Space Industry. Oakhill were allocated 2 positions on the launch pad to be filled with 2 capsules containing items for testing.

Our first capsule contained a steel washer, a rubber tap washer and an elastic band to determine what effect space temperature and pressure conditions would have on these items. The second capsule contained a Haribo fried egg! Well who could survive in space if we were to have to live without them?

Two identical capsules were prepared as controls which are being kept at ambient temperature in the laboratory. The capsules have been sent to Thales Alenia Space UK who have pioneered this project. They are secured in a large rack which holds approximately 100 capsules and when the conditions are perfect the balloon is released into space. The high altitude balloon will travel 30km up into the Earth’s atmosphere, a place where conditions of air pressure, temperature and radiation are very similar to the surface of Mars.

The UK needs 20,000 more scientists and engineers by 2030 so let’s hope this project inspires some of our children to follow this career path. Follow the launch live on twitter @marsballoon.

Inter-School Cross Country

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Ten pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 travelled to St. Michael & St. John’s Primary School in Clitheroe on Wednesday 10th June, to take part in an inter-school cross country event.  The event took place in glorious sunshine after being rained off the previous week.  Many local schools from Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley took part making for a very busy and exciting event.

Our girls were first to the start line, taking on over 60 other runners on the three lap course.  They all made a determined effort throughout the race, keeping a steady pace and steadily overtaking the competition.  The star of the show was Grace Garstang from Year 6 who quickly made it to 4th position, then 3rd, widening the gap to a sprint finish before finishing amazingly in 2nd place.  Well done Grace – you were brilliant!  Felicity Griffiths also shined in the final lap overtaking one after another to finish in 13th place.

The boys were next up with a quick start off the line.  Our boys were equally determined, holding their own against some tough competition and the effort they put in was excellent.  Jake Chippendale held 3rd position for most of the race, but was pipped in the final sprint finishing a brilliant 4th.  Bradley Barnes was not far behind making up 6th position in the final 100m.  Well done boys!

Well done to all competitors, Felicity Griffiths, Ben Thompson, Betsy Marriott, Olivia Bentley, Max Lewis, Grace Garstang, Alicia Birchall, Jake Chippendale, William Barrass and Bradley Barnes.  You all made a great effort and did Oakhill proud!

French Boules

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One of the many things the three French students taught the pupils at Oakhill was how to play boules.

Noémie, Clémence and Tom explained the rules to Year 5, who quickly got the hang of the game.



French Exchange

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We are Noémie, Clémence and Tom, the French students, we all attend Institution Jean Paul II in Rouen.

We spent a week at Oakhill college. Mrs Crook and Mrs Everitt looked after us all the week. We stayed with our host students : Georgina Holroyd, Jacob Lutwyche and Adam Ali. We really enjoyed our stay because both the staff and the pupils were very welcoming and attentive!

During the week students had the opportunity to improve their French and hopefully it has been useful.

We attended some lessons with our years as well, such as Maths, Physics, Business Studies, English…it was truly interesting and even if the methods were quite different from French ones, we understood everything and we made a link between the French lessons and the English lessons.

We also spent some time with children ! We helped nursery classes with Spanish (counting  and learning colours in a fun way!).

We did a presentation to speak about France and show pupils some pictures of our country.

On Thursday we went to a primary school in Oswaldtwistle with Mrs Crook for some French lessons.

We also discovered the area of Clitheroe, Whalley, Manchester, Blackburn, Blackpool, Liverpool with the families.

We had a fantastic time in England. It was brilliant fun! We want to thank Mrs Crook, Mrs Everitt, the whole school, Georgina, Jacob, Adam, their families and Mrs Roman.

Runner Beans – The Sequel!

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As part of their science topic on plants Year three recently grew and planted out some runner bean seeds. Alas we think the cold nights got to them and they did not grow. So here are their runner beans take-two!

Hopefully the cold nights are past and these will grow well. Year three have also planted four different varieties of radishes and they have now put them out to get used  to the warm early summer sun that is on it’s way – we hope and pray!


Romeo and Juliet

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Just before the half-term break, Year 9 and 10 enjoyed watching a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster.

The production was full of energy and very visual; we particularly enjoyed the gory deaths.

The Dukes is a very small theatre and it was fantastic for students to feel so involved and see the actor’s expressions ‘up close’.

The modern staging was coupled with the Elizabethan script and led to plenty of animated discussion about the play on the way home.

Year 4 Enjoy a Monstrous French Lesson

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Year 4 have been learning the parts of the body and colours in French.

As well as learning how to recite Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in French,

they have been listening to descriptions of monsters and drawing what they have heard.


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Cycling challenges are now an annual tradition at Oakhill, with many Oakhill pupils, staff and parents completing 5 Coast to Coast routes in the past 5 years.  This August a group of pupils and staff will be undertaking the ultimate British cycling challenge of the ‘end to end’ route from Lands End to John O’ Groats.

The ‘LE JOG’ route we will be following is 951 miles long and will be completed over two weeks of continuous pedaling!  Our daily journeys will range between 60 and 90 miles.

Pupils Jacob McHugh, Daniel Riding and William Singleton will be leading the way, joined by Mr. Peel, Mr. Jepson and Mr. Kirkham, making a very diverse team aged between 14 and 68!  We will be supported throughout our journey by Mr. Singleton’s best tractor and trailer, making for a very unique challenge!

As well as the cycling challenge we have also set ourselves the goal of fundraising £3000 for our three school charities, CAFOD, Macmillan and Rainbows.  These charities were chosen this year by our own Senior School pupils and together they serve a huge range of worthwhile causes, from cancer and bereavement support in our own and other local communities, to international aid for those in need elsewhere.

If you would like to support these worthy causes, and would also like to provide inspiration to our cycling team, then please visit our fundraising page using the link below.


All donations are gratefully received and please feel free to share the page to others.  We would also welcome sponsorship from businesses, and can offer some banner space on our support trailer!  Volunteer drivers are still also required, along with anyone who may be able to help promote our challenge.  Please email peel.d@oakhillcollege.co.uk for further information if you think you can help.

Best of luck to all the team who are now busy training whenever they can!