Monthly Archives

October 2015

Senior School Walk

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Pupils and staff from the Senior School enjoyed spending the afternoon together at the end of half term as they ventured out of the classroom to enjoy a walk together.  The walk is now an annual tradition and is a great opportunity for pupils of all ages to share an adventure together.

Heading out from school we conquered our local summit of Wiswell Moor to earn a picnic lunch and some amazing views of the Ribble Valley.  We also held the annual interhouse conker competition.  After the competition the 80 strong party then headed towards the Nick of Pendle before heading back to school.  The weather was very kind, and an excellent time was had by all.

Junk Modelling In School Plus

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Last week School plus had lots of fun junk modelling.

The children used boxes, glitter, coloured sand and ‘lots’ of glue to make their creations.

Joshua and Gabriel made a rocket launcher called, ‘The Raptor’.

Everyone had lots of fun and Joshua and Gabriel even enjoyed cleaning up afterwards!


Prep School Council

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The first ever preparatory school council met for their very first meeting on Friday. There was lots to discuss and the councillors had some very interesting and thoughtful ideas to share.




‘El día de los muertos’

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Reception class have been celebrating ‘El día de los muertos’ by making masks. This is a Mexican festival which focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honouring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds and the favourite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

Careers In Medicine

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On Tuesday of our careers week, Graham Riding, Vascular Consultant at Preston Royal Hospital, came in to give a talk for the Student Council’s Careers Week. He led us through the process he had to undertake to get to his position, outlined what he expected from a junior doctor and told us how the NHS depends on communication and effective teamwork. Lastly, he showed a few slides of a recent surgery he performed in the last few weeks one which he had never done before – highlighting how he still needs to develop after ten years of being a consultant.



Oakhill Association

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Thank you to all parents and pupils who attended our informal meeting to introduce our new Oakhill Association Committee. Lots of lovely homemade cakes were served along with tea and coffee with sweets and juice for the pupils.

The purpose of the meeting was to encourage parents to volunteer to help at events; this may be manning stalls or just helping by baking cakes or making donations.

Our next event is a stall at Oakhill’s Bonfire and Fireworks night on Friday 6th November serving hot drinks, cakes, sweets and glow sticks. If you can offer any help please email Mrs Rawlinson rawlinson.k@oakhillschool.co.uk with your contact details.


Oakhill Has Two Of The Best Biology Brains in Britain!

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Last term the year 10’s who chose Triple Science as one of their options, took part in the Biology Challenge run annually by the Royal Society of Biology. The Challenge is an online event to find the best Biology Brains in Britain.

Two papers are sat under controlled conditions and after a very long wait we found out that Jacob Woods and Daniel Riding both achieved Gold Awards which are awarded to the top 5% of the entries. This is no easy achievement as it is a national competition. This is the first time we have entered the Challenge so an exceptionally credible result has again been obtained by Oakhill. Well done boys on your outstanding achievement!

Senior Cross Country

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Following in the footsteps of our Prep school runners last week, 10 pupils from the Senior school headed to Accrington Academy on Monday to take part in the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Secondary Schools Tournament. The event was attended by hundreds of pupils from all Secondary schools in the area, with some large schools entering teams of 48! The competition was therefore very tough and each race featured around 80 to 100 runners.

First up for Oakhill was Isabelle Pugh representing Year 8/9 girls, bravely going it alone against a huge crowd of competitors. She made a strong start and maintained an excellent pace throughout the race. Following after were four of our Year 8/9 boys Freddie Corless, Arthur Shaw, Louis Coupe and James Sutterby. Amazingly Freddie (who was shaking off a cold) bounded off the start line in first place, and maintained his lead for half a lap. He stayed up at the front throughout the race finishing in an excellent 19th place. The other boys also pushed themselves throughout and should be proud of their efforts.

Finally it was the turn of the Year 10/11 pupils. Lucy Fielden also made a solo effort in the girls race, starting very confidently and pushing herself and others at the head of the race. In her final lap she picked off competitors one by one, finishing in an amazing 6th place. This was a great achievement against a huge field of competitors, and as such she has earned herself a place in the town team. The boys went last and Daniel Riding, Jacob Woods, Alfie Marriott and Jacob Lutwyche took on the longest race of the day. They worked hard to the last minute, all gaining places in the crucial final lap. Another star of the day was Daniel Riding who finished in full sprint gaining places in the last seconds, finishing fantastically in 9th place. This was another proud achievement and Daniel also gained a place in the town team as first reserve.

We are very proud of all our runners and it was great to see the results of weekly training at running club. Well done everyone.



Barclays Technology Centre

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Our Year 10 GCSE Computing group were invited to take a tour of Barclay’s Technology Centre in Knutsford. We were given a tour by ex-Oakhill pupil Donna Lawrenson who has been at Barclay’s since she left school. Our first port of call was to see the ATM’s being tested with new software to detect and withdraw forged bank notes. We were surprised at how big the ATM was and it was interesting to see behind the scenes where all the notes are stored.

Next we were shown Barclay’s Command Centre. This is a room especially dedicated to resolve high priority problems. On the day of our visit it was coloured green. When there is an emergency the room is coloured red as all the members of the team meet and trouble shoot the software or hardware problem until it is resolved. We could also see how Barclays monitor all computing systems and applications and how they are colour coded: green – working well, amber – being resolved and red – problem needs resolving.

It is also important for Barclay’s to be aware of world events as they happen. They do this through watching the news which has dedicated television screens. This has been in place since 9/11. They also monitor Facebook and Twitter as Barclay’s customers often complain here first that a cash machine is not working!

We really liked the ‘break out areas’ where staff can take some down time when they are working on stressful problems or on a break. They are designed like lounges at home with settees and you can even play on Xbox games.

Our day ended with a talk on careers at Barclay’s and the different types of skills and qualities Barclay’s look for in their apprentices and graduates – apparently if you like organising events or trips for your friends you would make a good project manager!

Careers Week

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It’s Careers’ Week in Senior School where Student Council have worked with staff to plan a week to raise the profile of careers and get all pupils thinking about their futures. Today we had a very interesting talk from Pat Jones about a career in the Army.

He enlightened students on the variety of careers available and explained to them the best way of preparing for a career in the Army, including College courses and what to expect if they applied to join the Army. Mr Jones also talked about his experience in the Army to give the pupils an idea of everyday life in the forces, as well as on the front line.

Mr Jones told us about the many career paths you can choose when joining the Army, such as a musician, a dog handler, an officer and many more. All the pupils were very interested in hearing all about the Army and are looking forward to hearing more presentations throughout the week.

Prep X Country

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Last week our top 6 boys and girls chosen from last years cross country event represented Oakhill at the Ribble Valley and Hyndburn cross country championships. The girls team was made up of Olivia Bentley, Felicity Griffith, Abigail Lofthouse, Sorcha Purves, Maeve Bentley and Olivia Ashby. Our boys team was Max Lewis, Ben Thompson, Oliver White, Ben Coupe and Oliver Wilkinson.

On arrival we realised that this was a huge event with over 420 pupils taking part and the course looked very challenging. It began with an uphill scramble to the first corner which led onto a lap of Wilson’s playing fields before entering the woods in which the pupils described there being a mud mountain! All of our runners were confident and looking forward to the challenge!

Our girls ran first and had a fantastic start with Felicity Griffiths shooting off like a rocket after the starting pistol and tracking the leader in second place for the first half of the race. Maeve Bentley deserves a special mention as she ran a fantastic race, she was calm controlled and maintained a steady pace throughout the race, following all of the coaching she had been given. All of our girls showed grit and determination, they stayed strong throughout the race and should be really proud of themselves. All of our girls finished strongly with a smile on their faces and even had the energy to chase and cheer on the boys in their event.

The boys had a very difficult challenge as the course had become exceptionally muddy and boggy after the previous races. The boys got a good position on the start line which helped them to get away quickly and get ahead of the crowd. Ben Thompson flew around the course in 3rd position and it looked easy, I think the wind was pushing him along. He was in 3rd position chasing two Year 6 boys who were more than double his size. The boys all worked well on the increasingly difficult track and Max, Ben Coupe and Oliver unfortunately became victims to the mud mountain! Although they declared sliding down the mud mountain was ‘great fun!’ Oliver had to spend a little time digging in the mud to recover his trainer! All of our boys completed the course in great times and we must have been close and only just missed out in the team medals!

A fantastic effort from the whole team, Mrs Smith along with all of Oakhill are proud of what you achieved in such a tough event! Well done!

Girls came 7th overall
13th Felicity Griffith
35th Maeve Bentley
63rd Sorcha Purves
64th Abigail Lofthouse
68th Olivia Ashby
70th Olivia Bentley

Boys came 11th overall
6th Ben Thompson
29th Oliver Wilkinson
32nd Max Lewis
68th Ben Coupe
69th Oliver White

There were some professional photographs taken if you would like to have a look at http://www.kipax.com/gallery/index.php?album=SCHOOLS_H%2F3879




Year 7’s Adventures In Castleton – Day 2

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The sun greeted us on the second day and all had slept well. We headed out into Castleton village to conduct a Field Study, interviewing visitors and counting traffic.

We then walked up to Peak Cavern to see the largest show cave entrance in Britain. Our guide, Irene took us on an informative tour and showed us how rope was made from the 16th Century.

We then finisned off with a quick quiz around the Visitors’ Centre and a packed lunch. Year 7 have been outstanding and really looked after each other. Well done, Year 7!



Year 7’s Adventure In Castleton – Day 1

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Year 7 have found their spirit of adventure when travelling to Castleton in the Peak District and investigating the local area. The day started at 9am and we drove to Peveril Castle to see the Norman Keep and vantage point across the Hope Valley

Mr Peel joined us for a trek up Mam Tor. The view from the summit was magnificent and all of Year 7 did brilliantly to keep up their spirits and make it to the top.

We then descended via the old road which had subsided due to the shale, stopping for ice creams on the way.

We enjoyed an evening of fun and games followed by hot chocolate. More fun tomorrow!




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This  lunchtime saw coach Zoli introduce FreeG (freestyle gymnastics similar to parkour) to our Year 5 and 6 boys. The lesson took place in the dance studio and the boys learnt how to jump high into the air using the power in their legs and their upper body strength.

They then had to make their way through a course that challenged them to jump over, around and in-between boxes. Finally the boys practised their balancing skills travelling across a cylindrical mat that rolled as they moved.

Great fun had by all, all of the boys thrived on the new challenge and requested more of this innovative style of gymnastics.


Year Ten – D Of E Adventures Begin

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On Saturday our Year Ten pupils undertaking their Bronze D of E Award began their adventures as they headed off to climb Pendle Hill from Downham. This was the start of their navigation training, and after a classroom session last Thursday they were keen to put new skills into practice.

Splitting into three groups, pupils set off with staff on three different routes to the summit of Pendle, where they enjoyed lunch and some spectacular views. Map reading skills such as grid references, map features and bearings were practised as pupils began preparation for their expedition adventures.

All pupils performed well and showed a confident understanding of how to read the map and navigate successfully. They can now look forward to venturing out independently next term when their training begins again before their final expeditions in the summer. Well done everyone.




Year 7 Historians

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Year 7 have been working hard on their introduction to Senior School History. They have looked at invasions of the UK, both attempted and successful, and built an overview of British History. They have written their first History essay and all worked very hard. Here they are displaying their washing line timeline. Well done, Year 7.

Wardrobe of Dialects

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Mrs Everett and Daniel Riding recently attended a lecture given by Professor of Linguistics, David Crystal from the University of Bangor, Wales. In his speech, Professor Crystal was exploring the history of the English language and how it has changed due to Germanic, French, Latin, Greek and other languages’ influences. He also spoke about the number of different words the average person knows (30,000-70,000) and how slang has always been ‘your gang’s’ language. Lastly he mentioned what he regarded as a vital skill; to use an appropriate English word from your ‘wardrobe of dialects’ to successfully communicate in different situations to different people.


French And Spanish Lessons For Staff

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Oakhill’s Language department has been successful in securing a grant from the European Community Erasmus+ scheme to fund language training for 14 members of staff. In the course of this academic year, we will be travelling to Rouen in France and Santander in Spain for a week’s intensive course in French and Spanish.

As part of the visit, we will also have the opportunity to visit French and Spanish schools and to establish links upon which we can build in the future. Our Erasmus+ project is to raise the profile of language learning throughout the school and to encourage all staff to be involved in the pupils’ learning.

Year 4’s Human Digestive System Experiment

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The boys and girls in Year 4 have conducted their very own digestive system experiment to find out about the human digestive system.

They started by breaking up a cracker as teeth would do and then added water which was the saliva in the mouth.

A small amount of orange juice was them added to replicate the stomach acids. It was all looking rather mushy by this stage.

Next the children put their mushed up crackers in a pair of tights (the intestines) and left them overnight to see what would happen.

As expected the water was absorbed by the paper towels and the mush had dried up as is what happens in the large intestine.

Great fun was had by all.

Trim Trail Challenge

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Always looking for new ideas for sport Mrs Smith decided last week to engage Years 7, 8 and 9 in a fitness challenge on the trim trail.

Typically the weather turned drastically autumnal over night!

Undeterred, the group worked in pairs, whilst one was working on an exercise on the trim trail the other had to run a width of the school field.

Great fun was had on Monday morning in the wind and rain and not one pupil complained about being cold!

Every pair worked hard and really pushed themselves. Mrs Smith was really pleased with everybody and it proved to be a great start for the week!

Once the trim trail challenge was complete the children tackled a pairs tyre challenge where they had to coordinate to lift, flip and turn tyres in a race and then build the highest structure they could to score points.


Cafod Visit

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Last week we were delighted to welcome Ann Wilson from the Cafod Salford Regional Office. She led assemblies for Prep and Seniors during the morning – thanking staff and students for all their fundraising efforts (recently the 10K run and Le Jog) and explaining how we were helping people in their everyday lives to survive in the developing world. She was an inspirational figure and got the students actively involved in the assemblies.

Ann also led two workshops for Years 5, 6 and 7 looking at the plight of refugees and helping students to reflect on what it feels like to be a refugee and what Cafod is doing to help with refugees. This had added meaning given the on going refugee crisis but also in inspiring students to want to help those who are in need as a result of fleeing war torn areas.

She reflected on Cafod’s motto throughout the day of creating “One Just World” and that is what we try and do every day here at Oakhill.


Spanish Club

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Spanish club have been busy as always during their lunchtime activity club.

Zara and Imogen brought in their costumes as the group had been watching and discussing flamenco dancing.

The group then enjoyed a variety of crafts including producing loom bands in the colours of the Spanish flag and colouring Spanish flags.

Wasted Lives

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Five fire fighters came in to Oakhill on Wednesday afternoon to speak to Year 11 about Road Safety. They heightened everyone’s awareness of the perils that face motorists and pedestrians on the roads each day.

They presented a variety of short clips of different incidents that have happened on the road and gave their own personal accounts of some of the incidents they have attended.

It certainly made everyone think about wearing seatbelts not just in the backseat of cars but also on public transport and taxis. For these potential drivers it also made them aware of the dangers of texting, speeding or drinking whilst in charge of a vehicle.

Year 11 took an active part in discussions and listened attentively to what the firefighters had to say – no doubt they will be more vociferous passengers encouraging their drivers to be slower and safer upon our roads.