Monthly Archives

April 2016

Summer Sports – In Winter Weather!

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Since returning to school at Easter all of our pupils have thrown themselves into the summer activities on offer in both curriculum time and at extra curricular clubs. We are pleased to have Mr Edgar back who has just played cricket in Australia throughout our winter and their summer season.

Mr Edgar has brought a wealth of experience with him and all pupils throughout the full age range have been coached in cricket from reception improving their bat and ball skills to our seniors fine tuning their striking and fielding sessions using the sport shall nets.

Prep children in years 3 to 6 have taken the opportunity to improve their tennis skills and have signed up for specialist tennis coaching from Mark Schofield from Ribble Valley Tennis centre. We are entering the year 3 and 4 mini tennis red tournament for the first year so watch this space!

Mrs Pugh and Mrs Stagg have set up a lunchtime competitive tennis ladder for all seniors to take part in on a Tuesday and competition is high between those who attend.

Rounders has been as popular as ever with Mrs Smith with up to and over 30 pupils at practices. The teams are becoming very tactical and competing at a good level. This week we hosted St Augustines and our year 7 team won their inaugural fixture so well done girls! Our year 10 team only lost by 1 rounder but finished with three players down so that was a shame. However, the season looks promising with all teams entered into the area tournaments and also the year 7s and 10s being entered into the leagues.

Unfortunately the weather hasn’t caught up yet and realised that we are actually into the summer term so we do require some sunshine and warm weather! Due to us experiencing snow, hail, sleet and rain all in one afternoon! We have not yet embarked upon athletics as our fields are still drying out and we want to resist injury by avoiding athletics in icy conditions. We do have athletics events set up for all pupils throughout prep and seniors from the animal Olympics in lower Prep to quad kids in upper prep and finally the area athletics competition in seniors. So summer is a busy term for us in PE so please keep your fingers crossed for the sun to find us sometime soon!

Keep an eye on the website for fixtures, events and results!


Year 10 Budding Entrepreneurs

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Budding entrepreneurs from Year 10 Business Studies explored the market and streets of Clitheroe to look for potential locations for their new business ideas. Clitheroe has many features that make it an ideal place for a new business; a bustling market and tourist attractions ensure regular footfall through the town.

A warming debrief meeting took place in Costa where the pupils discussed locations that would be suitable for their chosen business.





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Everyone speaks English! The British don’t need to learn other languages.  Myth or fact?  After a recent visit to UCFB (University of Football Business), Year 8 Oakhill pupils can certainly tell you how little truth there is in this statement. The lucky pupils recently spent a full day learning just how important modern foreign languages are to your success in a wide range of careers.

Staff from UCFB presented a great deal of information about why speaking a foreign language can really make a difference to career options and success.

Former professional footballer, Clarke Carlisle, also treated the children to a personal story of how the ability to speak French was a determining factor in his career.

Overseas students from the university joined the Oakhill pupils and gave them some fantastic advice about continuing with the study of a foreign language and discussed some of the amazing benefits – both professional and personal.

In addition, the pupils were treated to a tour of the Burnley FC football ground, which they found to be very enlightening.

In the afternoon, pupils were able to professionally present to the group the information, which they had gleaned from the day’s sessions.

The pupils showed tremendous enthusiasm and interest throughout the day and two of them, Ruby Rigg and Amy Mitchell, were even awarded a special prize of match day tickets for the final match of the season, due to their outstanding effort.

We would like to thank all staff and students at UCFB and BFC for making the day not only truly enjoyable but also extremely worthwhile.

Space Seed Update

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Our seeds have germinated nicely over the weekend. Markedly the blue set seems to be growing more slowly than the red with one set of red starting to germinate slightly ahead of the rest. The seeds are being carefully watered and turned 180^ regularly before our next time point at day 10 when we will count the total number of seeds germinated. We are also on the lookout for the first pair of true leaves signifying that the seedling is more established. Exciting times!

Woodland Walk

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Nursery have been on a beautiful Spring walk in the grounds of Oakhill, exploring in the crunching leaves, finding new flowers and skimming pebbles in the stream.

They were very careful when they were crossing the bridge in case there was a Troll living underneath, like in the Three Billy Goats Gruff book!

Rocket Science

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The STEM club today planted the eagerly-awaited rocket seeds which have spent three months on the international space station under the care of Tim Peake.

Along with the ‘space rocket’, they planted some ordinary ‘earth rocket’ and the group will be recording measurements along with many other UK schools to find out the effects of lack of gravity on the seeds.

Eventually it is hoped that astronauts will be able to grow food in space so Oakhill pupils are doing their bit to help.

The STEM group should be able to send off our results by the end of May.

Many Hands Make Light Work

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After suffering a wet winter, our Nursery outdoor play areas were looking a little worse for wear – at least until Tuesday evening.

This week we received a delivery of several tons of new woodchip and were then faced with the mammoth task of moving it to give the play areas a new lease of life

Enter our Oakhill army!  Always happy to help, our Senior School pupils willingly volunteered their time after school to get the job done.

Mrs Chatburn and Mr Peel stepped in to oversee operations, and were assisted by their team of Year 11 pupils, Jessica, Jacob M, Jacob W, Jack H, Daniel and Liam, and Sam from Year 7.

The mighty force made light work of the task, clearing the old wet and mouldy stuff and replacing it with brand new woodchip.

Within a couple of hours two new play areas were complete, and ready for the Nursery children to enjoy.

The team enjoyed themselves in the process and were rightly proud of their efforts.

As you can see from the happy faces of our Nursery children they are very pleased with the results of our Senior pupils hard work.

A huge thank you to all who gave up their time, and well done for an excellent job.  The next challenge will be to help the Oakhill Association in revitalising the trim trail and willow dome.





Nursery Visit Shackletons Garden Centre

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This week Pre School have been talking about spring plants and flowers and enjoyed a visit to Shackletons Garden Centre in Chatburn.

They had a good look at all the colourful plants and flowers, they enjoyed an ice cream in the spring sunshine and had lots of fun on the climbing frame and slide.

What a lovely morning they had, thank you to Shackletons for making Pre School so welcome.


Afternoon Tea For Whalley Residents

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Last term the student council held an afternoon tea for the residents of Whalley who were affected by the recent flooding.

The afternoon was filled with tea and coffee, scones and lovely cakes, alongside quizzes put together by members of our student council.

Our guests were treated to excerpts from our most recent production, The Jungle Book and musical performances by pupils.

Everybody that helped out did a great job and all of the residents who were invited said they had had a lovely time and also loved their gift of a flower that they could take to home to plant in their gardens.



French Exchange

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During the Easter half term Adam and Jacob from Year 10 travelled by plane on their first unaccompanied journey to Rouen in Normandy. Jacob stayed with Clémence and Adam stayed with Tom who had visited England the previous year. They spent the first day with their host families. Jacob went to the beach and Adam went shopping in Rouen.

Throughout the week the boys went to school (Institution Jean Paul 2) at 8 or 9am. The school days are a lot longer than in England. There were about thirty people per class and the style of teaching was a lot different. Both boys felt like they did not have as much individual attention from the teachers, as at Oakhill but generally they were very friendly.

Jacob and Adam found the experience worthwhile and would highly recommend it to other year groups. The first French lesson the boys had back in England, Mrs Everitt commented that their French had improved massively.

In the last week of April Oakhill are looking forward to welcoming Léna, Maëlig and Sophie.



National Qualification For Rhythmic Gymnasts!

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Ribble valley rhythmic club gymnasts made their way to Fenton Manor before Easter to compete in the British Rhythmic gymnastics 2016 Open Apparatus and Group Seeding championships.

The elite gymnasts made up of an over 13 junior quintet, including year 8 pupil Phoebe Richardson and Espoir group 8-11 years quartet featuring year 3 pupil Lilly-Ella Smith. 

This was a first time at a national competition for the younger Espoir group and they really took it in their stride with a fantastic hoop quartet.

Both groups successfully qualified for the national groups finals which take place in June, November and December.

Head coach Toni Connolly is a very happy and proud coach. The pupils are making fantastic progress training 4 days per week and for up to 12 hours. It is a great achievement for all the girls who showed great courage, determination and skill performing outstandingly well in front of 24 judges! Good luck for the rest of the year girls. 

Mermaid Adventures

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You never know just what to expect when you step into Year 5’s classroom but today has to be a first……… a visit from a mermaid! There were excited whispers and exclamations on the top corridor as news got round that the Year 5 visitor had arrived.

Jane the mermaid, dressed in a stunning ocean-blue sequinned fish tail, had come to talk to Year 5 about her passion for the sea. Armed with her beach treasures ( jet, conchie shells, amber, oysters, mermaids’ purses to name but a few ) and bursting with stories to tell of diving with sharks, Jane kept the class entranced with her tales of the ocean.

Year 5 responded with their characteristic enthusiasm and were full of questions and tales of their own. Jane raised the issue of threats to the ocean and told the children of the work of the AWARE group. It was a magical afternoon in all senses of the word and one that Year 5 will always remember. Thank you, Jane.

Oakhill’s star cyclists take on a new challenge!

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If you happened to be around Oakhill one evening last term you might have witnessed something you definitely don’t see every day. Two of our LE JOG star cyclists, Daniel and Jacob, were being put through their paces with a more traditional way of pedalling around!

Mr. Jepson, former teacher and Oakhill cycling guru, brought along his vintage Penny Farthing to give the boys a training session on this lost, and perhaps more risky form of transport. True to form he delivered a quick and simple training session and set them off.

The boys successfully completed a couple of laps and Daniel even managed to stop and dismount unaided – not an easy feat. Due to a mechanical fault Mr. Peel was thankfully spared his turn.

As to why, you may have to wait a few weeks – watch this space!

Silver D of E Practice Expedition

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Our team of 7 adventurers from Year Eleven headed out into the Pennine wilderness on Monday 4th April for their first 3 day expedition as part of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The group all completed their Bronze Award last year, and have also undergone a further two days of training this year, so were keen and ready to take on their venture. The weather as always was a challenge, and the group quickly learnt that we hadn’t seen the back of Winter!

Day one however gave a great start for the climb up to the summit of Nine Standards Rigg from Kirkby Stephen.  Here they enjoyed views far and wide and paused to admire the Nine Standards – a collection of monoliths built to mark the peak and withstand the constant wind.  They then descended to Ravenseat and on to Swaledale for the overnight camp in Keld.

After an early rise on day two the group make good progress climbing onto the moors above Gunnerside, navigating the old lead mines and maze of moorland tracks.  They descended into the sunbathed beauty of Swaledale for their second camp down in the valley.

Surviving the overnight winds the group then rose early again for their final challenge.  This involved an ascent up steep moorland paths crossing from Swaledale into Wensleydale. Here the weather was the main challenge, ranging from glorious sunshine to random blizzards!  Bolton Castle was the finish point and proved to be a welcome sight at the end of a long journey.

The group should be proud of their efforts, maintaining a positive and determined attitude throughout and taking on all challenges without complaint.  They walked nearly 50km carrying all their equipment – around 15kg each. They have learnt a lot from their experience and can now look forward to their final assessed expedition in July. This will be in the Lake District in much better weather. We hope. Well done Jess, Lucy, Daniel, Jack, Jacob M, Jacob W and Liam.

Ruby is a Musical Maestro

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Ruby Kelly in Year 5 has recently passed her Grade 3 ABRSM Piano exam.  Ruby is the youngest person to achieve this grade in Clitheroe and is now looking forward to doing her Recorder and Trombone exams. Good luck Ruby and well done!


Sock Monkeys

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Friday afternoon in Prep is Sock Monkey time and over the past six weeks children from Years 5 and 6 along with Mrs Crouch and Mrs Turner have been busy sewing and stuffing socks to eventually turn them into Sock Monkeys. We look forward to seeing the finished results.


Senior Swimming Gala 2016

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The Senior School made their annual trip to Daisyfield pool in Blackburn for their interhouse swimming gala. Our two houses, Martyrs and Scholars, went head to head in the spirit of friendly competition, with over 50 pupils taking part and earning points for their house.

At the end of the heats the competition was very close with 159 points to Scholars and 184 to Martyrs. The finals proved to be very exciting with some very close races, and the event finished with medley and squadron relays, and a Year 11 fun relay involving flippers, armbands and some serious endurance testing under water swimming!

Special mentions must go to Giles Bridge, Lucy Fielden and Maisie Holme for their beautiful, fluent and efficient swimming strokes. Jacob McHugh for his pure power and strength thrashing through the water, not to mention his flying free style start diving in lane two yet emerging from the water in lane four after cutting up two other swimmers! Amy Wellock and Jessica Chatburn for going above and beyond to feature in every heat of every stroke for the Martyrs senior girls team. And finally Jacob Woods and Jack Hodder for their amazing full length under water swim, with Jack Hodder pipping Daniel riding to the finish line due to him being unseen sneaking the full length underwater in the year 11 fun race.

The gap between the houses was widened in the last few relay races leading to a Martyrs victory. Well done to Martyrs and to all who took part in a very exciting event.