Monthly Archives

March 2016

Stations of the Cross Competition

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In the Autumn term Mr Kelly and Miss Pendlebury organised an art competition for students to design 14 Stations of the Cross for use in school during Lent and Holy Week 2016.

From the many high quality entries that came in from Prep and Seniors the following student’s work was chosen to be used.

The students range from reception to Year 9: Wesley Mitchell, Giles Bridge, Phoebe Hawks, Isabelle Pugh, Thomas Kelly, Juliet Griffiths, Ruby Kelly, Orlaith Purves, Alicia Birchall, Molly Smith, James Sutterby, Charlotte Bank, Holly Pilkington.

Special mention goes to Isabelle Pugh who had two different stations selected;

James Sutterby who designed his station out of lego and Orlaith Purves who is in reception and was one of the first to enter the completion.

The stations have been displayed in the Millennium Hall throughout Lent and Holy Week and the images have been used in a powerpoint version of the Stations of the Cross that can be used in the classroom.

As a little reward for their efforts each of the students will be rewarded with an Easter Egg before we finish for the Easter Holidays.

Mr Kelly and Miss Pendlebury would like to thank all the students who took part and for making our Holy Week commemorations more reflective.

Year 5 Clean Up!

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The weather could not have been better for Year 5’s trip to the Ribble Discovery Centre at Lytham on Wednesday. Our aim was to find out about coastal features and the impact man has had on our coastlines. Having met Claire, our workshop leader, the children set off for a walk around Fairhaven Lake identifying a number of features marked on their maps.

The children listened carefully, observed closely and answered questions thoughtfully. It was fascinating to learn that much of the beach on the estuary is actually man-made and furthermore that sand dunes were removed in order to allow Lord Clifton’s mother a better view of the sea! Hence the name of the bay – Granny Bay.

After lunch and an ice cream (no doubt the favourite part of the day!) the children set out across the mudflats armed with litter grabbers and bin bags. They had already identified the damage that litter does to the environment and wildlife but  now they had the chance to see for themselves the scale of the problem.

A wooden chair leg, a tennis ball, numerous plastic bags, lengths of rope and net were just some  of the items found. By far the most evident though was plastic in all shapes and sizes; apparently plastic makes up 70% of the rubbish in our seas, a figure that tallied with our findings.

Having taken a closer look at the rubbish we had found, the children then created sculptures of sea creatures using the contents of their bin bags. The winning sculpture? A cheeky little turtle with a green net shell and bottle-top eyes. Results announced, it was time to return to the bus and to head back home. An enjoyable and informative day out by the sea enjoyed by all – well done, Year  5, and thank you to Claire.

Stations Of The Cross

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Mrs Keane and Year 6 took advantage of the beautiful spring sunshine to walk down to Whalley to see for themselves the Stations of the Cross in the gardens of  English Martyrs Church. Taking time to stop at each Station and reflect upon the story of Jesus’ Journey  to the Cross, the children related the events before them to their own lives and to our world today. Combining traditional prayers with spontaneous reflections, the children made their way reverently and thoughtfully along the fourteen Stations. With the backdrop of the ruined Abbey behind us and the song of the birds ringing out from the rafters, it could not have been a more beautiful setting for this very special Lenten.

Year 5 Roving Reporters

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Year 5’s topic this term has been ‘Issues’ and what more pertinent an issue could there  have been than the recent floods in Whalley. Armed with clipboards (and willing parents to help), the children set off  to Whalley to find out for themselves about the impact of the terrible weather conditions on our local community.

Calling in at shops and businesses, the children were horrified to see just how much damage had been caused by the water. Sodden carpets, ruined fittings, silt-filled display cabinets – the children were shown so many examples of the destruction wrought by the December storms.

Seeing skips piled high with discarded furniture, front gardens filled with ruined household goods, houses emptied of furnishings and people, the children became all too aware of the human suffering that was being experienced by so many residents.

Equally evident, however, was the sheer determination, positivity and good will of those most badly affected. Wherever the young roving reporters went, the people they met willingly took time to talk to them.

Once the interviews had been conducted, it was time for a hot chocolate to warm us all up and then, back to school to start work on our newspaper reports.

All in all a very informative and thought- provoking morning. Read all about it in Year 5!


Year 5 Batik Designers

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There have been reports of worrying smells on the top corridor of Prep recently. Burnt toast…sweaty socks…smouldering electrics? None of these! The culprits: Year 5 and their wax pots!

As part of their work on Threats to the Oceans, Year 5 have been learning about the ancient Javanese technique of batik, creating some spectacular pictures of ocean creatures. First drawing  their outlines on paper, the children have then transferred these designs to fabric, using a xjanting  tool to pour the hot wax on the fabric.

Once the wax has dried the children have painted the fabric with dyes. The wax outline resists the dye resulting in a striking image. The really exciting part then comes when the fabric is ironed and the wax is melted away. The results have been quite beautiful and Year 5 are rightly proud of their art work. Why not come into class and have a look?


Record Breakers!

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On Sunday 20th March Mrs. Smith took 11 pupils including some of last years leavers, to take part in a world record attempt. The target was to take part in the largest exhibition game of rounders. This had been organised by the ‘get into ‘ initiative based in Burnley, of which Mrs. Smith is a member and plays weekly throughout the year playing both in the summer outdoor league and the winter indoor league. Oakhill pupils have really enjoyed the rounders and both boys and girls compete and have a great range of skills so this was an ideal opportunity to get involved. We were the only school group that took part.

The game was a 60 v 60 event ! So it was a tough task as this meant only 1 bat each and the field was full so there were no gaps in the field to strike into! Although a highly tense and competitive game there was lots of camaraderie between the red and white teams that had been split by alphabetical order.

The event was a success and all of our students helped to smash the world record, special mentions must go to Meghan Whitehead who fielded well in the deep field using her excellent throwing precision to throw the ball to second to get some 2 of the opposing team out, and finally James Sutterby who scored the equalising half rounder for the whites to finish the game 3 all!

The perfect end to the world record breaking match, we all celebrated with ice cream and are waiting eagerly for our certificates to arrive from Guinness and our golden limited edition rounders bat that has been awarded to all who participated!


St Joseph’s Penny

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Over the last half term children in Prep have been raising money for St Joseph’s Penny by selling links to make a paper chain. If you have been lucky enough to visit Prep you will have seen the paper chain snaking its way through the corridors getting longer and longer.

Today Mrs Crouch chose a winning link at random to win a special prize – a giant chocolate egg! The lucky winners were Noah and Isobella Howson (I hope they can share). The prizes didn’t stop there though. The children were also split into four different colours and had to competitively sell there coloured links, with the winning team also winning a prize – a yummy creme egg each!

After selling a very impressive amount of links the Red Team came out on top. This year is extra special as we have exceeded amounts raised in previous years for St Joseph’s Penny with a whopping £478! Well done and thank you to all those who participated.

Science Week

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Year 7 have been enjoying British Science Week by taking part in the National Science Poster Competition and visiting Manchester University for special Science Week activities.

While they were there they toured round the Science fair where PhD students showed them their cutting edge research. The girls were particularly interested in the chocolate stand which demonstrated the energy available in different chocolate bars and the boys were drawn towards the robots and all the new communication technology.

They then took part in a workshop on sound which was very noisy and helped our pupils to think about how sound travels and changes depending on the medium it travels through.

They did hands on activities and presented their findings. The day was finished off with a lecture from Professor Danielle George on Radio Engineering which was very interesting and really gave our pupils a taste of what University life is all about. A very informative and interesting day.

Jungle Book Final Night Brings The House Down

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Unbelievably each night The Jungle Book has got better and better with the final night bringing the house down with an amazing performance by all cast members.

In her thank yous, Mrs Crouch commented on how proud she was of every single person who had taken part in the show, something I think everybody who saw the show would agree with this.

It seemed as though the audience were never going to stop clapping and cheering.

A fitting end to three nights of hard work by the cast – but great enjoyment for the audience.

Oakhill Association Company Golf Day – book your team now!

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Come and Join us for the OAKHILL ASSOCIATION COMPANY GOLF DAY on Friday 3rd June. Open to all and now in it’s 21st year, we promise a great day of golf and corporate hospitality at Clitheroe Golf Club. See below for the full details.

We are pleased to invite you, your friends, guests and business associates to enter what promises to be another successful event, now in its 21st year and attracting on average 28 teams. The competition will be played under the popular format of an Am-Am four man team event at a cost of only £295 per team. A handicap allowance of ¾ of a maximum of 24 stokes makes it a relaxing competition in which every team member is able to contribute irrespective of their ability, ladies also get one courtesy shots to a maximum handicap of 36. Tee times can be reserved from 10.40 am to 3.30 pm with 10 minute intervals between teams to help avoid slow play.

The day will briefly comprise of the following: Registration on arrival followed by coffee and bacon rolls.

From 10.40am teams tee off from the 1st tee.

Teams will compete for 4 main prizes total prize table £1,000.

There will be 7 individual prizes for accuracy and distance 2’s Competition.

Free refreshments at the Halfway House 17th Tee, small wager required – chance to win a prize if you hit the green.

An excellent 3 course Carvery meal will be provided on completion of the round. Extra meals for non-playing guests may be purchased.

A formal Prize Presentation will take place at 7.45 pm (Smart Casual please) Tee sponsorship is available at £50 per sign and raffle prize donations would be gratefully received.

Please e mail golfday@oakhillschool.co.uk to book your team.

Jungle Book – What An Amazing Opening Night

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On Tuesday night nearly 200 parents, grand parents, friends and past pupils of Oakhill enjoyed the opening night of our bi-annual production, which this year was The Jungle Book. What can I say other than wow!

The evening began with a concert of musical performances by Senior School pupils which were all outstanding. These ranged from the violin to the saxophone, harp and piano.

The second half of the evening was The Jungle Book production which was amazing!

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.

Daniel Riding as Shere Khan is brilliant – although slightly scary at times! Phoebe Richardson is outstanding as Ka the snake.

A special mention must go to Oscar Knight for his very energetic monkey dancing and the vultures whose comic timing is perfect.

I could not forget to mention, Imogen Allison who, at times steals the show, but every single cast member entertained and delighted.

There are a few tickets left for the final performance tonight and I would urge every parent and friend not to miss the chance of this fabulous evening and to support the cast of The Jungle Book. Well done Mr Flannagan, Mr Lowry and the entire crew list – a triumph!

Lancashire Life feature successful Oakhill alumni – James Rawlinson

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Lancashire Life magazine are featuring Oakhill alumni, James Rawlinson, in their “Bright Young Things’ lead feature in their April addition. Across four pages, with stunning photography, we find out how Oakhill was instrumental to James’ success as a test driver for Jaguar Land Rover.

“I think I have possibly one of the best jobs in the world,” James Rawlinson comments. At the young age of 24 years James works for Jaguar Land Rover as a development engineer – test driving cars all over the world. James held the position of Head Boy at Oakhill in 2007 and attributes his early career success to the time spent at Oakhill.

James is one of a handful of test drivers, working on all products and all surfaces. His work regularly takes him to the famous Nürburgring where the cars reach incredible speeds beyond 180mph. James relocated to Warwick, which is 7 miles away from the Jaguar Land Rover chassis Headquarters at Gaydon and his role is officially titled ‘Stability Attribute Engineer’, working in attribute target definition for all Jaguar projects.

Between December and March each year he tests at Arjeplog in North Sweden in Arctic Circle conditions. An interesting situation of working two weeks on, one week off, testing and developing cars on a frozen lake for snow and ice calibration, traction control and ABS systems. James comments, “My colleague and I assess how the car should feel, aligning the performance and character of the car – ensuring it delivers on safety and its dynamic ability. We work for between 6 and 10 hours a day inside the cars and the team don’t stop until they are perfect.”

In March he relocates to the South of France at Ladoux to test at the Michelin facility and develop other areas of vehicle performance. Additionally, they use the Porsche facility at Nardo, Southern Italy and Nurburgring, Germany in the Summer. In Nardo high speed track dynamic work is tackled, this is made possible due to the famous 12 mile banked bowl and high speed handling track.

James joined Oakhill aged 10 in Year 6 and he attributes his attitude and skills to those formative years. “At Oakhill I gained more than academic success, it gave me self-belief and confidence. It’s quite unique in its support of you as an individual. I enjoyed every minute and haven’t forgotten any of it and I am still in touch with friends and teachers. When I come back, for instance doing the annual ski trip, it feels like home.” James went onto do A Levels at Clitheroe Grammar in Maths, Physics, DT and Art before completing a BSc (Hons) in Motorsport Technology at Staffordshire University, where he gained First Class Honours. He was offered a number of positions in the industry but 3 years ago it was Jaguar Land Rover that won the day.

Currently James is working on future Jaguar model year products. We wish him all the very best for the future.


St Patrick’s Day

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Year 1 and 2s Assembly told the story of St Patrick. The children had made an amazing video about St Patrick that entertained everybody and told us all about him. They also recited a poem about a little boy who got pinched because he was not wearing green.

The Assembly was certainly one of the best the children have made and was thoroughly enjoyed by all the parents and grandparents who came to watch. Well done boys and girls.

To view the video click here 

Tag Rugby

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Year 5 and 6 competed in the Ribble Valley Schools tag rugby competition at Clitheroe Rugby Club. This was a huge event with 20 teams entered from across the borough. Eleven pupils including 4 girls made up our squad.

Rugby is a new venture for Oakhill and has been introduced by Ms Rollason, a former player herself. The team were excited and looking forward to their first competitive match. Our squad was excellently warmed up and drilled by Jacob McHugh who was their manager for the day.

Jack Hodder, Tyler Phillips and Giles Bridge took on the roles of referees for the day. All four pupils made a great impression on the local schools and were highly commended for their performances.

The squad played 4 matches across the afternoon and improved their passing and tactics within each match. It wasn’t our day and unfortunately we didn’t make it through to the semi finals, but with continued effort and practice we look forward to returning to the tournament next year.

Healthy Eating In Reception

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Reception have been learning all about their bodies this half term. They have learnt about the different food groups and sorted out the food in the ‘Healthy Cafe’.

They also had a food investigation and tasted lots of different types of fruit.

Melon was the most popular but there were some funny faces when we all tasted the lemons and limes.


Easter Egg Bingo

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An EGG-cellent time was enjoyed last Friday night as pupils, parents, relatives and friends of the school gathered for the almost annual Easter Egg Bingo night. With four furious games played, spot prizes and a raffle there was not an egg left at the end of the evening.

Lots of eggs went home but some didn’t make it…as they were eaten before the night was over!!! Many thanks to the Oakhill Association for organising such a successful and enjoyable event.

Bronze D of E Adventures

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Following in the footsteps of the Year 11 Silver group at the weekend, our explorers from Year 10 headed out on Thursday to begin their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition adventures.

Pupils have undergone over 12 hours of training since September focusing on teamwork, map skills, navigation techniques and dealing with emergencies.  All three teams were ready and excited for their first independent challenge in the great outdoors as they were dropped off in Airton, near Malham, and given their instructions.  They were given detailed route cards which outlined their challenge, which they used along with maps to navigate their way around a 13km circular route.

Their challenge involved navigating their way out of the village through a maze of fields and out into the wild terrain of the Yorkshire Dales.  A long climb up onto Weets Hill above Malham gave some excellent views before a tricky descent, testing their map reading skills, back down to Kirkby Malham and eventually returning to Airton.

All three teams performed very well, navigating successfully and arriving at all checkpoints ahead of time.  Some were even able to enjoy a drink at the café at the end.  Pupils can now look forward to their next training activity which will focus on camping and cooking skills, preparing them for their two day practice and final expeditions next term.  Well done everyone!


Legal Eagles In Court Drama

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On Monday the house teams from Martyrs and Scholars competed in their mock trial competition. Students had spent the last 8 weeks understanding the legal process and preparing the cases for the Prosecution (Scholars) and the Defence (Martyrs).

It was tense in the Court room as the Usher, Alicia, called for all to rise as District Judge (retired) Peter Ward entered. Legal Adviser, Jack, then charged the defendant, Isabelle, with dangerous driving to which she pleaded “Not Guilty” and the trial was ready to begin.

Bridget began the case for the Prosecution making an excellent opening speech. Alexander and Charlotte then led the examination of their witnesses and presented a strong case for conviction. The witnesses, Ava and Juliet, knew their accounts and answered all questions under cross-examination by Jacob and Sam, the lawyers for the Defence.

It was then their turn to state the case in defence. Both Sam and Jack sought to create reasonable doubt to the charge and Isabelle and Amy both responded to the questioning well. Daniel led the cross-examination for the Prosecution and grilled both girls but they managed to hold their story.

Jack, then summed up the law and the Judge considered the case. He found the case proven as he felt this was a case of dangerous driving. Isabelle would have been sentenced to a medium term community service and disqualified from driving.

Both teams excelled themselves as they rose to the challenge and functioned in the court exceptionally well. They had never done anything like this before and all tried their very best and should be very proud of their achievements.

We are very grateful to barrister, James Hawks, who helped to prepare the students and Judge Peter Ward for his time. Thank you.

Mothers Day Cards

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Over the last few weeks the boys and girls in Year 1 and 2 have been doing lots of sewing for their Mothers Day cards.

It has been a time of ups and downs with some children finding it quite simple whilst others quite challenging. There were lots of “Oops I’ve lost my string again!” and “I think I’ve done it wrong again!” but they got there in the end even if they made Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Livesey a little more grey!!

Sadly the weather prevented them being finished in time for the big day but Monday saw a hive of activity to get them finished and the effort was certainly worth it.

I’m sure their mummies will treasure the memento for years to come.

LAMDA Success

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Lottie Ashby and Harry White of Year 1 took their first examination with The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art this term. They both had to learn and recite a poem and then have a discussion with an examiner about their favourite toy. I’m sure many adults would find learning and reciting a poem a daunting task let alone have an in-depth discussion about one of their interests with someone they’ve never met before but of course these two talented students rose to the challenge! Not only did they rise to the challenge but they also both gained a distinction, which is the highest grade achievable! Lottie and Harry, along with all other LAMDA students here at Oakhill, are now learning new poems in preparation for the next examinations in June.



The Diary Of A Wombat

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Over the last few weeks the children have been working on the story “The Diary of a Wombat” and enjoyed the style of the story.

This motivated them to write their own stories based on the diary of either a rabbit, squirrel or hedgehog. They came up with some great escapades and could be heard giggling away to themselves as they wrote their stories, sharing their ideas and making each day more elaborate.

They designed their own front covers and illustrations throughout which got more and more adventurous as they went on.

They were very excited to be able to go and read their books to Mrs. Crouch who loved them so much that they all got a chocolate treat, which didn’t last very long!

Well done Year 2, budding authors in the making.



World Book Day

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As part of World Book Day today, Year 6 chose a book that is special to them to bring in and share with the class: there were books from early childhood days with fond memories attached; information books about favourite hobbies; comic-style books and a variety of novels from serious historical fiction to ones by classic authors.

The class enjoyed listening to each other explain why their book was special to them.

Each child has decorated some bunting to hang over the reading area that depicts their special book.

Don’t forget to take your World Book Day tokens to a bookshop and exchange it for a special book!



Mrs Crouch’s Assembly

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In Seniors, Tuesday is assembly day and Mrs Crouch always talks to the whole school about something which makes us think. This week it was about how our bodies affect our minds.

The way we walk, stand and sit affects our confidence and approach to life. She put different students in different positions and talked to us about the power stance and how we can be more confident in facing difficult situations.

There was much enjoyment as staff and students tried experimenting with a “victory pose” or “relaxed pose”, even allowing Jack to put his feet on the desk.

For the rest of the day, everyone was thinking again about how they were holding themselves and all have been given the challenge to practise for a week. See what a difference it makes!

Bishop Arnold Visits Oakhill

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On Tuesday 23rd February, Bishop John Arnold, the Bishop of Salford visited Oakhill. Bishop Arnold toured the school and met with the children, teachers and governors.

Bishop Arnold even took part in Year 5’s maths class and was one of the closest in guessing the size of the angle!

After putting the Bishop to work he met with the Sacramental group who are taking their First Holy Communion later this month.

During lunch Bishop Arnold was joined by Governor’s, pupils, teachers and priests.

Afterwards, Bishop Arnold said Mass to the whole school and many of our parents.

Several of our children played instruments, sang and offered the prayers during Mass.

Our children were exemplary and the Bishop remarked on their confidence, their ability to communicate and their manners.


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Stem club braved the cold weather this week to begin work on clearing the vegetable beds in preparation for planting out later in the spring.

Next week’s job is to plant some vegetable seeds in trays indoors.