Monthly Archives

October 2018

Spanish Trip To Santander

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On day one, we went to the local market where pupils competed to find the name of an item in Spanish for each letter of the alphabet. They were also challenged to buy the most interesting item they could find for just one euro. This resulted in an array of unusual items including a pig’s trotter and a complete sheep’s head. Pupils could not believe that the Spanish use these in their cooking!

In the afternoon we visited the beautiful, medieval village, Santillana del Mar and pupils were very appreciative of the detailed architecture and quaint buildings. Here we went for a traditional Spanish meal, including paella, squid, stews and egg flan.

Pupils practised their Spanish by completing interviews of tourists, finding out where they were from and what they were visiting. Pupils found this fairly challenging but fun.

On day two, we spent the morning at a school, Colegio Atalaya. It is a school of similar size to ours and very friendly. Pupils spent the morning playing board games with the Spanish pupils and going to a variety of lessons. They were fairly tired after having to concentrate so much to understand everything, but they really appreciated the experience, not to mention making Spanish friends. We are planning further projects with the school to keep the communication going between the pupils.

After relaxing on the beach for a short while, pupils then completed a quiz in Spanish around the Royal park, el Parque de la Magdalena, before going to a restaurant for our evening meal.

On the final day, we went to the maritime museum where we were given a guided talk in Spanish. Pupils learnt about whales and other local sea life and visited the aquarium which had sharks and stingrays. Pupils then completed a town trail in Spanish and completed further interviews in Spanish but this time, they interviewed local people about what they like and dislike about their town.

It was a fantastic trip and the pupils really put their all into practising their Spanish. We were really proud of them all.

Day Three Careers Week

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Laura Williams from North West Dance Solutions joined us to tell students about all the options in dance careers. She told us how she originally started as a ballerina but later on changed to modern dance. Laura also shared her extensive experience in dancing and her passion for the variety and creativity in dance. Many students enjoy dancing as a hobby so they were interested in where they could go next. She showed us a video of all the work she has done with her business. Thanks to Laura who took the time to join us and share her story.

Alexander Year 10

Mrs Hunt came in on Wednesday the 17th to talk about her job as an accountant. Mrs Hunt has had various jobs such as in a chocolate factory, a hotel and various other places. She told how she started off her job and the GCSE and A-levels she took which gave us what to think about if we want to become an accountant. Also talked about how events in her lifechanged such as children and how she moved around during her life for different jobs. She said, ‘you’ve got to like numbers and said it’s a good job as the pay is decent and your job is up to you to get it done but says that she enjoys working in a small business as there is no fixed deadline for work.

Thomas Year 8

Day Two Careers Week

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On the 16th of October Sarah Clemson came for Careers week to talk about marketing and her business Latitude. She talked about what she does and how she improves a business. She also talked about how she got into graphic design and how she’s built two businesses from scratch. Thank you for a great talk.

Maisey Year 7

Also, on Tuesday the 16th of October, Caroline Walker from ‘Johnson and Johnson’ came into school to do a talk on her job. She is a bio engineer and looks at body parts for operations. These could be for knee, hip, finger and many other operations. Her career at first was a babysitter, but she was always interested in the human body. She worked her way up the ranks after she studied at Edinburgh University. Caroline went on to be a nurse for a while and then became a bio engineer with Johnson and Johnson later. She works at the front of the company, taking orders and sending them to the manufacturers and then to the testing team. Caroline did a great talk on her job as it gave us the values of it: money and extra time.I think this is a great job to consider if you are interested in the human body or chemistry/engineering. Thank you Caroline.

Thomas Year 8

Young Ambassadors

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Our two prep sports captains Isaac and Lilly-Ella attended the boroughs young ambassadors training course at Accrington Academy. The course began with some highly competitive rock, paper & scissors team building challenges.

Next they were inspired by a motivational talk from World Champion In-line skater Jenna Downing. She spoke of the trials and tribulations it took to get from the council estate she was brought up on with only the support of her mother, to break into the male orientated world of extreme inline skating. She became a professional skater at only 12 years old! She explained the importance of working hard at school at the same time as travelling the world to compete. Jenna also spoke about the devastating effect MS had on her career and when she experienced periods of numbness and loss of balance. She kept on going and working towards her dream of becoming a world champion, she was determined never to let her illness limit her. Sport has taught Jenna that anything is possible and that everyone should dream big, work hard and stay focused. Which she encouraged our young ambassadors to take back to school and motivate their peers. Jenna is the only female skater to have her own brand of inline skates that are sold across the world. She decided to give something back and donates all proceeds to breast cancer care.

Lil & Isaac had to engage in a discussion as to who their role models were and understand the qualities these role models possess. In order to become role models to their peers in school.

Our young ambassadors have been given a few challenges to complete, to increase participation in sport, by setting up a new sports club, to promote sport through the student council and be the voice of the pupils in PE and to make our school a healthier school, by encouraging participation and healthy eating. They have asked to lead a KS1 club in the spring term to start off with and Mrs Smith has challenged them to bring a new activity to our extra curricular programme!

Baby Massage

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Last week we ran our very first baby massage session. Megan works in the baby room and is a qualified Yoga Instructor experienced in Thai massage and baby massage. Megan guided staff through the techniques of soothing the babies with therapeutic stroking of the body.

The babies thoroughly enjoyed bonding with us through the experience of massage.

What a zen room we had this autumnal morning! We are already looking forward to next week’s session.


Careers’ Week

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Careers’ Week began with a fantastic talk by Rachael Walker, professional mountain biker working for Hope Technology. Rachael talked of her career path where she worked as a lawyer in London. However, she took some time off after a big case and then ended up working for Hope through her love of the outdoors and mountain biking. She has competed across the world and recently took part in a 10 day ride in the Himalayas. She was inspirational in her advice where she told students to follow what you enjoy and love and then see where that path takes you. Thanks, Rachael for sharing your passion and talking so openly about your career experiences.

Inter Schools Cross Country

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Six boys took part in the inter-schools cross-country running competition at the Wilson’s playing fields.

Despite the pre-race nerves and a tough course, the boys did us proud and it was great to see such determination in all of their faces, right through to the finish line.

James gave it all knowing that, as a Year 11, this would be his last inter school cross country.

A special mention goes to Robert-John who battled amongst the first few throughout the race, finishing third which he should be very proud of, as we are. Hopefully we’ll see more running from RJ, especially as he has been invited to race in the regional championships next March. Well done to you all!

Ready Steady Cook!

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Continental Cookery club sometimes feels like Ready Steady Cook! This week we looked at pasta and made our own pasta dough. We talked about working the gluten through good kneading. Students then had a go at rolling the pasta through the pasta machine. Thanks to Breda Murphy we had two doughs we had made earlier (Blue Peter style). Students then took their dough and pasta home. All in 20 minutes. Great work our young chefs!


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Year 2 have been learning about hedgehogs and Ivy was so inspired she went home and  painted a lovely watercolour of a hedgehog with her grandma. We are all very impressed with her talent. Well done Ivy!



French Exchange

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The French exchange programme is very educational as well as fun, you’ll never get an experience like this one so you shouldn’t pass up on the opportunity. It can be intimidating at first, listening to everyone around you talking in a foreign language and only understanding small snippets of the conversation. But nearing to the end of the week, it gets easier to follow the conversation and your French will have improved. When on the French exchange trip, you learn to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

Throughout my time in France with my exchange partner, Emma, I mostly relied on google translate before I would say anything, because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. However, the students at Jean-Paul II were really understanding and kind, plus when I made a mistake it can just be something for us to laugh about, because their English isn’t perfect either. In fact, during English lessons, which were my favourite, it was entertaining to hear them talk in English which was probably the same for them when I spoke French. In English lessons, I liked to help out, because it’s easy to get the English tenses mixed up and pronounce words differently and it was the only lesson I could completely understand.

Coming from a small school, I felt quite intimidated by the size of the school (Jean-Paul II has roughly 3,000 students and 200 teachers), but all the students I met were helpful, funny and genuinely nice. Students who knew English tried to make me feel slightly at home, and those who didn’t made an effort. Pretty soon I realised that I didn’t have to worry so much because none of the people I met made me feel like I was being judged. The Jean-Paul II Institute of learning was very centred on the educational part, thus not providing lessons like art or music, instead providing Philosophy lessons. And the days are quite long compared to Oakhill’s school hours; lessons at Jean-Paul II begin at 9am on Monday and 8am Tuesday to Friday as opposed to Oakhill’s hours which start at 9am each day. However at Jean-Paul II they have longer holidays than at Oakhill.

A thing I shouldn’t be proud of is that I learned was how to use google translate properly, but I did learn some more French and now I feel more comfortable talking in French, I think.

Aerynne Year 10

Yorkshire Young Writers Festival

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Several Oakhill pupils were excited to be part of a literature event at Broughton Hall last weekend.  Eliza Rose, Year 7, and Rocco, Year 6, were presented with a book in which their winning stories in the Yorkshire Young Writers Festival have been published.

Along with a number of other pupils, they were fortunate enough to see a range of authors who have truly inspired them.

Nellie has recently been enjoying a selection of books by Robin Stevens and so was delighted to meet her favourite author.

William, Harrison and Zakary are all football fanatics and so were thrilled to meet Tom Palmer who talked about how, as a child, he was a reluctant reader.  He told them that this changed when his mother introduced him to books about his passion – football. He explained where he now gets his inspiration from and the boys even left with a preview copy of the first three chapters of his brand new book.  What’s more, they were also lucky enough to take part in Tom’s very own penalty shootout – with William achieving the runner up position!

Saul loved the Scarecrow Trail at the Festival and enjoyed the presentation by Will Mabbitt.

John Charles was enthralled to listen to the rap poet, Christopher Donavan

The weekend was a fantastic experience for the children and we are now looking forward to seeing them put their new skills to good use as they write their own stories coming in school.


Prep Prefects

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Year 6 are proudly wearing their prefect badges after receiving them from Mrs Crouch in assembly last week.

In addition, Noah and Roman were made Head Boys and Mairead and Nellie, Head Girls. Sports Captains this year are Lilly-Ella and Isaac. Martyrs’ house will be captained by Imogen and Taylor and Scholars by Zara and Josh.

Well done to you all – we know you will rise to the challenge this year!

Go Frankie!

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Year 2 pupil Frankie has been scouted by Manchester United to train for their academy. Frankie was spotted when playing for his local team Longridge Football Club. Frankie is a dynamic and energetic player who exhibits excellent potential. He also excels in tennis and gymnastics but is never happier than when he has a ball at his feet. Well done Frankie from all at Oakhill, we look forward to following your career over the next few years.

Aerial Yoga

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Zoli at Flipside has given our pupils another new experience over the last few sessions. Year 5 & 6 pupils have been introduced to aerial yoga using the elevated silks which dangle from the gyms ceiling!

Our boys and girls worked on enhancing their flexibility attempting and perfecting moves such as upside down star and the bat.

These moves all work on core stability and will improve the pupils core strength and body control, which will contribute to all of the sports and physical activities that they take part in.

Thank you to Coach Zoli for introducing a new component to our broad and varied PE curriculum.

Year Two RE

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In RE Year Two have been looking at the story of Abraham and Sarah from the bible. With the help of some imaginative costumes they retold the story of God’s promise to bless Abraham and Sarah with a family.


Forest School

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Through the participation in Forest School activities the Pre-School children have been enjoying the beautiful surroundings of our Nursery.

They created a leaf storm and leaf animals,

built houses out of sticks for insects

and talked about what they could feel, hear, smell and see.

Inspiring Author Visit

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Damian Harvey delighted our Key Stage 2 children last week with a visit which gave them an insight into the life of an author.  His entertaining style was truly an inspiration, as he explained in an animated style how his books are put together – from conception through to publishing.  The children were surprised to hear how much time can pass between the two events. 

His tale of spotting a man with a long beard leading to an entertaining poem about a teacher with spaghetti in his beard, had the whole room in fits of laughter.  Damian shared details of the first book he bought, why he writes, where he writes, his favourite authors and even gave a sneak preview of his newest book, Snail’s Legs.  

Damian was keen to hear the endless questions from the children and answered each one with a cheerful honesty whilst also showing a keen interest of his own in getting to know the boys and girls.  He captivated the attention of everyone as he read extracts of his books and poems.  The children particularly enjoyed being the sound effects as Damian read a rap poem.

Thank you to Damian for a fantastic morning.  The children are now looking forward to putting some of his hints and tips into practice.

Continental Cooking Club

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This week at Continental Cooking Club, we looked at Cheese. We learned how to taste cheese, not just looking at flavour but texture and aftertaste. We learned how Cheese is made and then tried out four cheeses from Europe including a Goat Gouda, a Harrogate Blue, a Manchego and, of course, a French Brie. Students were all willing testers and chose their favourites. Next week pasta!

Rugby Festival

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On the 26th September, a selection of pupils from Years 3 and 4 took part in a rugby festival at Giggleswick school. For the first part of the afternoon, the boys took part in some passing games and getting used to tagging one another.

We then moved on to playing tag rugby games against Giggleswick and Moorlands Leeds.

The boys competed and improved throughout. Unfortunately, we lost to a strong Moorlands Leeds side but managed a hard fought draw with Giggleswick.

We concluded events by a traditional players tea of sausage and chips! Well done to all the boys who took part.

Netball Success

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A fantastic start to the netball season for our under 11s team

Yesterday our U11 netball team travelled to Stonyhurst to play in their opening season invitational netball tournament. This was the first outing for our newly formulated squad so we travelled with the intention of giving our best and learning from the experience.

During our first match it became clear that we were good competitors for all of the other teams in the tournament. We showed fantastic movement on court both on and off the ball. As the games progressed we improved our movement around the circle edge with Nellie finding her new position as GS. Once warmed up she was on fire netting most shots on the first attempt! Mairead was relentless as ever mid-court, finding space and supplying many balls to the shooters. Gee was solid in defence pouncing on any stray ball. We had a fantastic afternoon winning 5 out of our 6 games! Only being beaten by Wilmslow Girls A team in our final game, this was not down to a lack of skill but a lack of height! And complete exertion! The girls had given their all in the previous 5 wins so had little to give and couldn’t get the ball over the top!

Mrs Smith was fantastically proud of the squad and their achievements on the day! A special mention must go to Lilly-Ella who was voted player of the match in each and every game by the opposition for her fantastically dynamic interceptions and relentless attitude. Now the girls are all fired up and looking forward to a productive and successful season!

The results we achieved were:
Oakhill v St. Mary’s Hall A – WON 3-2
Oakhill v St. Mary’s Hall B – WON 7-0
Oakhill v Highfield Priory A – WON 3-2
Oakhill v Highfield Priory B -WON 6-0
Oakhill v Wilmslow Girls A – LOST 4-1
Oakhill v Wilmslow Girls B -WON 4-2