Monthly Archives

March 2018

Road Safety

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During their recent PSHE lessons, Year 6 have been learning about the importance of keeping themselves safe on the roads. A special visit from the Lancashire Fire Service provides them with lots to think about and highlighted some of the potential dangers to be aware of. They were told about the importance of using a seatbelt, even for short journeys and about using booster seats until the correct height of 135cm.

They also learnt that it is just as important to be a responsible passenger in a car and not do anything which may distract the driver.  Looking for a safe place to cross and not wearing a hoodie which may restrict peripheral vision were all part of the good advice they received.

They have all made a personal pledge to follow the safety rules carefully.


A Different Perspective

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‘Get writing and use your imagination and creativity!’  That was the message from Clitheroe Rotary club and Year 5 pupils jumped at the chance!  They have each penned a story or poem entitled ‘A Different Perspective’.  The variety of entries reflects their individual personalities and each has proved to be very impressive.  We wish them every success in this Young Writer 2017-18 competition and look forward to hearing how they get on.

Year 7 Castles

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Year 7 have been busy designing and building their own castles as part of their learning in History.

They have been studying the change in castles during the medieval period and thinking about defensive features and the evolution in design to the impenetrable concentric layout.

Students delivered excellent presentations on their designs and there was fierce competition between the groups.

The groups were marked on how well they worked together, the finished castle, their presentation skills and their understanding of the historical context.

It was very close between Theo and Georgia and Olly and Sorcha with the latter two just edging it to first place.

Well done to all historians for a fantastic effort.

It’s A Wrap

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Over 3 nights pupils from Year 1 to Year 11 entertained nearly 500 parents, grand parents, friends and past pupils of Oakhill who enjoyed our bi-annual production, which this year was The King and I, and what an amazing three nights it was!

Head Boy, Giles Bridge as The King is brilliant and Year 9 pupil Holly is outstanding in the role of Miss Anna, what an amazing singing voice!

From the moment Anna”whistled a happy tune” the audience was enthralled.

The costumes all sewn by our amazing team of seamstresses, ranging from staff, parents and grandparents would not have looked out of place in the West End!

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.

Well done Mrs Crouch, Mr Lowry and the entire crew list – a triumph!

Senior Swimming Gala

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Last Wednesday was our highly competitive senior school swimming gala, where pupils from Years 7 to 11 competed. There were some fantastic performances from all involved.  We had a vast array of abilities and all contributed giving 100% effort and commitment to their races. Each and every competitor should be very proud of themselves as we as staff are. Seven school records were beaten this year with Maisie taking 4 and Louie taking three. The school records from Years 7-11 are now all held by three individuals, Louie, Maisie and our current Head Boy, Giles. However, with these all being out going Year 11s, it is game on and all to play for next year for our Year 7 to 10s Special mentions must go to Year 9 pupil Josh for his gutsy and gallant performance against Louie ‘The King of Butterfly’ and Year 9 Juliet who swam two lengths in each of our relays! Also our new pupils Brodie in Year 7 and Charlotte in Year 8 who were not fazed by the occasion in their first week at school and both put in sterling performances.

Martyrs and Scholars chanted eagerly for their swimmers throughout the heats and finals. The excitement reached its peak during the medley and squadron relays with Martyrs winning 6 of the 8 races. Our girls also outperformed the boys beating them by 16 and 24 seconds respectively. Once all of the results were calculated the final result was a convincing 80 point lead by Martyrs House scoring 327 points AND Scholar House finishing on 247, an excellent result considering they also had fewer swimmers.

Year 7 Science Trip

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Year 7 enjoyed a day of learning about physics, chemistry, engineering and biology.

The day started with a fair where we could walk to any stall and do the activities that were available from diabetes to DNA. We learnt a lot from the stalls and the students who told us the facts that they knew. The fair gave us an insight to what university is like and the subjects that are available; I didn’t know that there were so many different parts to one subject!

The day then proceeded to solving what elements were based on a spectrum. That consisted of figuring codes that were made of different elements and made up a solution. The person who solved the most questions got 2 ginger biscuits as a prize! The student told us about the PHDs that they were doing and the jobs they had to do for that particular course. We then adjourned for a lecture about graphene and its uses and what its future was. It was interesting to hear the predictions of its uses. The lecturer also told us of the vacations that were provided to places such as Madrid that were used for studying.

The day ended too soon. I was sad to leave as it was so full of enjoyable activities that I hadn’t got to do. The day had many qualities from looking at the feel of universities to learning STEM. Year 7 had a brilliant experience.

Report by Thomas Year 7

Sacrament Of Reconciliation

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Six of our Prep pupils have recently taken a very important step on the next stage of their journey in their Catholic faith.  They, and their parents, have spent the last few weeks preparing for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Father Kelly assisted at the service, which took place at the Roman Catholic Church of English Martyrs in Whalley.  We are very proud of the dedication and commitment that the children have demonstrated.  Our prayers and very best wishes are with them as they now begin their preparation for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.


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12 senior students participated in an exciting Velodrome session at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Monday. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience at the beginning as the sides were so steep.

After not a lot of time, however, many of the students were whizzing round, high up on the steep sides and great time was had by all. It’s such an exciting place to be in and one of our coaches was the multi Olympic medal winning Craig MacLean. This was certainly a successful trip and one which we’ll do again.

Year 5 Debate

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In their geography lessons, Year 5 pupils have been learning about the benefits and disadvantages of buying food either from the UK alone or from abroad as well.  They have considered the production of CO2 when food is grown in greenhouses in this country, as well as the effect on the environment of transporting goods from abroad.

The culmination this week was a debate which demonstrated the strong views the children have on this topic.  Two groups worked together to produce marketing materials to support their campaign and then put forward their cases to the class teacher.  She was extremely impressed with the quality of the resources they had produced, as well as with the arguments put forward by the children.  Both groups worked extremely hard and combined their efforts well to produce a coherent and impressive argument.  Well done, Year 5!

Ribble Valley Swimming Gala

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Oakhill took a team of Year 5s to compete in the Ribble Valley swimming gala on Monday. This gala had 9 schools competing and was for Year 5 & 6. The event started with the individual medley which consisted of 25m backstroke, 25m breast stroke and 25m front crawl. There were two heats in each race, Nellie and Rocco both swam fantastic races and were each placed second in their heats. Nellie was later awarded the bronze medal across the two heats. In the backstroke events Edward and Lilly-Ella both came second in their heats with Lilly-Ella finally being awarded the bronze medal in the awards ceremony.  Our free style swimmers were Taylor who was second and Nellie who came first over both heats and was awarded the gold medal. Our breast stroke swimmers were Lilly-Ella Smith and Noah both of whom finished their heats in first position. Lilly-Ella came away with the silver medal and Noah the bronze.

Our girls medley team was Imogen, Lilly-Ella and Zara the girls put in a fantastic performance winning their heat by more than half a length! Overall they won the silver medal. Our boys team made up of Noah, Taylor and Charlie won their heat finishing a whole length ahead of the other teams and came out with the bronze medal across the two heats. Both of our freestyle relay teams came in first in their heats and were awarded bronze medals overall. 

Once all of the scores were totalled the final positions were given. Oakhill came out second overall! A fantastic achievement for all involved and we are very proud of you all! Special mentions must go to Nellie and Lilly-Ella, who each gained a podium position in every race they entered. Well done swimmers!

The Final Of The BP STEM Ultimate Challenge

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It was an early start when we headed down to London for the final of the BP STEM Ultimate Challenge. Arriving at the Science Museum in London at 9:30am the boys were tasked with setting up their Science Fair stand and familiarising themselves with the presentation equipment. Matthew, James and Christopher displayed their prototypes, investigation results and evaluations and added a little challenge themselves for the judges to answer the six star questions to earn the coveted Pringle prizes. Once set up it was presentation time. All twelve teams that reached the final had 3 minutes to explain the work they had been undertaking over the three month challenge period to persuade the judges why theirs should win the BP STEM Ultimate Challenge 2018. It was a very difficult decision to make but there were two winners overall.

One trophy was for the Best Science Fair Stand and one for The Challenge winner. The judges were from high profile STEM careers including Head of BP Overseas Projects, CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Science Museum Project Director and Director of STEM Learning. Based on their well presented board, clear information, varied prototypes and interactive learning the judges voted our Oakhill Brilliant Biogas Boys this year’s Stand Winners. The Challenge was won by Walton Priory Middle School who battled against adverse weather conditions to test their water wheel in-situ which reflected real life issues encountered by engineers and swung the judges in their favour for the final result.

It was a truly excellent day. So good to see all the projects that had been undertaken around the country and to hear about how they overcame difficulties along the way but worked to find solutions.

After a tour of the Wonderlab we headed back, happily clutching our new trophy to add to the collection.


Years 4 And 5 Fly To The Line

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Years 4 and 5 are building gliders for the Fly to the Line inter-school Challenge. The glider that travels the furthest between the two groups will go through to the regional final later in the year.

They have to build the glider with the same materials and with a maximum wing span. Pupils must ensure that the gliders are correctly balanced so that they fly in a straight line and travel as far as possible.

Let the battle commence.

Tudor Houses

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Year 2 have been studying the Great Fire of London in history and finding out about the characteristics of Tudor Houses including a jetty, that they’re made of wood, why the windows are different sizes and that they are covered in a mixture that uses horse poo!

The boys and girls set about designing and making their own Tudor house using various boxes including many that Mrs. Sutterby had been saving for us.

Over a few weeks their hard work and patience paid off and they ended up turning a plain box into a whole street of houses.

It was fun re enacting the events of the fire and listening to all that they had learned. Well done Year 2!

Read For Good

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In December, pupils in Years 5 to 9 read to raise an impressive £291 for ‘Read for Good’.  Most of the money raised went to the charity, which provides visiting storytellers and books for children in hospital, but there was also money to spend on exciting new books for the school library.  As the pupil who brought in the most sponsorship money, Year 7 pupil, Theo won a £10 book token for himself.  Well done to all pupils who took part.

La Tour Eiffel

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Year 5 pupils have demonstrated outstanding team working skills as they have worked together to build two models of the Eiffel Tower.  The class is full of enthusiastic and budding Francophones and they leapt at the opportunity to be able to create a replica of this iconic monument.  Their determination was tested to the limit as things didn’t always go to plan with the build but, through fantastic support for each other and good use of critical thinking skills, they produced these impressive models.  I’m sure you will agree that they should be very proud of themselves!

BP Ultimate STEM Challenge 2018 Finalists

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Year 7 pupils Christopher, James and Matthew have been announced as one of twelve finalist teams for the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge, with the final set to be held at the Science Museum in London on Monday 12th March.

The national competition, launched in partnership with STEM Learning in June 2017, challenges UK students aged 11-14 to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills to the test by tackling real-world energy problems.

This year’s competition theme – My Sustainable Future – challenged young people to develop solutions to one of three real-world challenges: Handy Hydro, Parched Plants or Brilliant Biogas. All the challenges were designed to encourage students to think about how they could help to reduce natural resource use or bring down greenhouse gas emissions.

Schools from around the country took part in the competition for a chance to win an Ultimate STEM experience and £500 for their school.

Christopher, James and Matthew developed their best ideas for the Brilliant Biogas challenge, where they had to build a system that generates biomethane from food waste.

The twelve finalist teams will present their work to an expert judging panel at the Science Museum. Following their presentations, all finalists will have the chance to participate in a day of fun science activities. We wish the boys good luck in the final.

Year 7 Race For The Line

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Over the last week Year 7 shaped and designed their cars in preparation for the Race for the Line event on Wednesday. The snow had arrived and we were all worried that the battle would not commence but luckily the Army appeared to save the day and cleared sufficient track for the Race to go ahead.

It was freezing cold but pupils from reception to Year 8 counted down and cheered on the rocket cars.

It was a close call but in the end it was Miss Ice Cream made by Nicole that won the fastest car of the morning. Well done to all year 7 for their excellent effort in designing and building their cars.

Year 10 Cultural Trip To Berlin

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We met in a snowy Whalley at 4am and travelled to Manchester Airport for our early flight and, despite the weather, took off with only a 30 minute delay.

Berlin was cold and sunny on our arrival and and we transferred to the hotel to drop our bags. We then ventured out visiting the interesting Hamburger Bahnhof with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol exhibits. We then walked to the Berlin Wall memorial and met our excellent guide, Lisa.

She told us how the division and suspicion of the Cold War was embodied in the building of this wall on August 13th 1961 and how families and communities became separated. Many people risked and lost their lives to cross this border and we heard their stories, tragic and moving.

We ended our day in a local restaurant.

More adventures to come!

Another beautiful morning met us in Berlin. A sumptuous breakfast set us up for the day and we toured the history of the city. First we went to Museum Island where Berlin started and saw St Hedwig’s Cathedral and the Berliner Dom. We had a fantastic view of the city from the top of the Dom gallery.

Outside St. Hedwig’s is Bebelplatz where in 1933 the Nazi SA burnt books from the university library. After a leisurely lunch we travelled to the East Side gallery and saw the fantastic art on the remaining Berlin Wall.

We then enjoyed a brilliant visit to the Computer Museum going retro and playing computer games from the 1960s to the present day.

Even the staff had a go with Mr Peel convincingly beating Mrs Pugh at Street Fighter.

Finally we visited the largest department store in East Germany for a little shopping. Schnitzel for tea tonight.

The Year 10 students have been absolutely brilliant today.

They have fully engaged with the political history of Berlin visiting the Bundestag and looking at some of the darkest aspects of the city under war, communist rule and the Third Reich. A very thought provoking day but one which reflects a capital which seeks to never forget the past and yet achieve a future of democracy with the hope of a better Germany and Europe for all.

Well done, Year 10.