Monthly Archives

February 2020

Sunshine Smiles In Sauze D’Oulx

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It was an early start for our skiers as we left very early on a wet and windy Sunday. What a contrast in Milan! The sun was shining as we made our way to Sauze D’Oulx, stopping for lunch on the way at a pizzeria…the holiday had begun. On arrival at Hotel Des Amis pupils had their ski fit, unpacked and an early night. It was needed!


We met our ski instructors on day one followed by a lesson and our first experience of skiing in Sauze D’Oulx. We met for lunch at Hotel Triplex, at the centre of the pistes, then explored some of the ski slopes for the rest of the day. Our evenings entertainment was provided by Mrs Smith. Teams of pupils competed against each other, guessing objects from descriptions, balloon popping, ‘TikToking’ and Floss Pong – an hilarious evening.


The lessons and exploring continued. Sauze D’Oulx is on the Italian side of the Milky Way ski area, offering 400 km of piste. The intermediate and advance skiers spent afternoons exploring the vast region and dropping into neighbouring resorts of Sestriere and Sansicario, accompanied by stunning views and sunshine. The beginners practised their skiing technique and built their confidence on blue slopes, tackling more difficult red runs towards the end of the week. A highlight of everyday was visiting mountainside cafes for crepes and hot chocolate – a well deserved treat after a full days skiing.


Our evenings were spent both in the hotel and in the town of Sauze, which was quite a hike, another leg burning challenge! Rewards included a visit to a local arcade to play pool, table tennis and table football. Pupils won various prizes including Edward’s much loved inflatable shoes which accompanied him for the rest of the week. Aspiring vocalists entertained us at the karaoke bar and we dined in a local pizzeria. Our ski trip wouldn’t be complete without a quiz night. Oakhill Ski Team each host a round of questions for teams of pupils exercising our brains, giving our legs a rest!


Visit To The Post Office

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Pre School and Pre Prep learnt all about the post office last week during the holidays,

they went down to Whalley on a walk to visit the post office and post their own letters. The children are now enjoying playing with the post office role play in Pre School.

Annual Gymnastics Competition

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Children from year 3 and 4 represented Oakhill in the annual gymnastics competition . They had to learn a floor routine and perform the vault. Every member of the team performed superbly well and performed with a smile on their face. Team Green came 6th out of 28 and Team Orange came 12th out of 28. All the children should be very proud of their performance. Well done!

Mr Men and Little Miss Books

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Year 5 pupils have been inspired to produce their very own Mr Men and Little Miss books in French. They studied some of the French versions of these famous characters and were surprised to learn of differences in translations for some of the well-known names.  They then invented their own Monsieur or Madame.  They ranged from Little Miss Sparkle to Mr Gamer, each having their own unique style.  This was a great opportunity for the children to practise their written French and they successfully described the characters, including lots of information about them. Well done, Year 5.  It was fantastic to see your effort and commitment with this task – as well as the genuine enjoyment that you derived from it.

Language Enrichment Event

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Year 8 pupils recently spent a day at Manchester Metropolitan University participating in a Language Enrichment Event.  They learnt about how languages can open up a wide range of opportunities in the world of work.  Current language students at the university explained how over 80% of the world’s population does not speak English, and how the need for better communication with other countries is more relevant than ever.  They discussed the wide range of careers that are open to linguists and how the demand from employers for a foreign language is increasing.

The morning was spent learning about Slovak languages and the pupils were surprised to learn that there are 400 million Slovak people worldwide.  They practised writing their name in Slovak and learnt about both similarities and differences between the Slovak languages.

The Italian taster session allowed the pupils to see how their current knowledge of French and Spanish grammar could be easily transferred to a new language, enabling them to realise the truth behind the theory that, once you have learnt a language, it is easier to learn another.  It was certainly a timely session for those who are flying off on the Oakhill ski trip to Italy on Sunday.

After lunch, the children took part in a Mandarin taster workshop.  This covered a wide range of areas, from the Chinese zodiac animals to how to speak a few words of Mandarin Chinese – the most spoken language in the world.

The final session of the day was great fun and saw the children turning their hand to Chinese paper folding.  They were very proud of the panda bookmarks they successfully produced.

The day was a fantastic opportunity to give the children a glimpse of a university, as well as reminding them of the importance of studying foreign languages.

Year 6 Design Technology

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Following this term’s topic of China, Year 6 have been busy researching and making paper. They made their paper pulp and spread it on deckle frames made from old art canvas frames. The results were excellent and they wrote their name in Chinese on their paper.

Each pupil then tackled some origami and made lovely kusudama flowers and they are now working on their dragon puppets. It is definitely developing their fine motor skills with the intricate folding and cutting and we have been impressed with their patience and perseverance which has achieved wonderful results.

Year One And Two Dancers

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Year one and two have worked on a dance module this half term, taking inspiration from Mr Men and Little Miss characters.

Our pupils had to design 4 beat motifs to perform using a variety of dance moves. They then had to perform them as their favoured character.

The class had to guess who they were depicting.

In the following lessons the pupils had to perform the same motif of two contrasting characters which enabled them to understand the dance dynamics choreographers use. Our pupils also celebrated Chinese New Year one week and danced as the animals the years represent.

Along with making up their own Little. Miss and Mr.Men characters. In the final week we had group performances. Each group performed to their peers who had to give feedback on their performance.

Take a look at our pictures and see if you can spot our Mr.Topsy Turveys, Little Miss. Fabulous, Mr. Strong and Mr.Mischief!

French Poets

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Year 4 pupils have thoroughly enjoyed putting together colour poems in their French lessons this term.  They have used their dictionary skills to search for new words to describe a whole range of things.  Some pupils had their pets as inspiration whilst others chose to write about animals in general, the Bible or the wonderful colours in a garden. Their choice of vocabulary has been truly impressive and we have displayed their work in the senior school so that everyone can share in enjoying their talents.  Well done, Year 4.

Prep Student Council Cake Sale

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This half term the Prep Student Council have been very busy putting everyone’s new year diets on hold, by having cake sales on some Friday afternoons.

Lots of yummy cakes were brought in by all Prep children and the money raised is going towards extending our eco friendly outdoor classroom.

We raised a whopping £200! Thank you so much for all the donations and we hope to have pictures of our new eco-brick classroom very soon.

La Chandeleur

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Year 6 pupils have learnt all about the tradition of La Chandeleur in today’s French lesson.  Celebrated on 2nd February, they discovered that this was originally a pagan festival. While some say La Chandeleur celebrates the return of sunny days (crêpes symbolise the sun), others say that making crêpes using flour left over from the harvest ensures prosperity in the coming year.  However, in the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I decided that it should commemorate the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.  Nowadays, the French continue to enjoy the opportunity to feast on crêpes and Year 6 were keen to try out this tradition first hand.  They thoroughly enjoyed this treat.  Bon appetit!


La Saint-Valentin

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Year 3 and 4 pupils have been working hard in their French lessons, preparing very special cards for Valentine’s Day.  They have each chosen who to prepare their card for – some electing to design one for mummy and daddy and others for a special friend.  In order to ensure each card was completed personalised, they learnt how to use a bi-lingual English/French dictionary, ensuring they could select appropriate adjectives to describe their loved one.  They impressed their teacher with their new-found skills and with their commitment to producing a fantastic piece of work.  Well done, Year 3 and 4.  We hope your cards are a big hit on Valentine’s Day.

Debating Team

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Last Tuesday Year 11 travelled to Bolton School Girls’ Division to compete in a debate following the format of the English Speaking Union MACE competition. Pupils prepared for the debate in form time and after school, and worked hard to develop their arguments and gather evidence to discuss the motion, “This House believes tourism is beneficial to the environment.” Sam, Alicia and Josh spoke for the proposition and put forward excellent arguments supported by Alex and Robert John.

The team from Bolton presented their case well and the debate was close. It was great to see all students’ confidence grow throughout the discussion and how they gained momentum in dealing with the other team’s points. Year 9 debaters watched in preparation for their own debate later this term. A close competition which Bolton School won overall but Oakhill were commended for the quality of their reasoning and argument. Our thanks to Miss Talbot for her help in organising the meet and to Sarah Walker from Bolton who chaired the debate.

Helping Others

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After the experience of going into town last week and giving out packed lunches to those in need Rose in Year 2 decided that she’d like to do it again. Along with her sister Leonie and mum and dad they made up some packed lunches, with items bought from their own money, and went into Manchester City centre to give them out. They very kindly even remembered to take some dog biscuits too for those people with dogs. We are all very proud of both girls who have shown great kindness and compassion for those less fortunate than themselves and once again shown what a difference love can make.

Year 1 Visit The British Commercial Vehicle Museum

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Year 1 had a fantastic time at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland last week.

Where they got up close and hands on experience with a lot of the vehicles that they have been learning about in their topic “Transport Through Time.”

Some of the highlights of the day were ringing the bell on a Merryweather fire engine, driving a lorry in a simulator, waving at fans from the Popemobile and climbing on board a bus that once belonged to King George V!

A big thanks to all at the museum for making us feel very welcome and special.

Ribble Valley Netball

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This term Freya Dean from Ribble Valley Netball club has joined Oakhill on Friday lunchtimes to coach both our under 11 and under 9 netball squads.

Freya comes with a wealth of coaching and playing experience.

She has worked the girls in both fitness and skill based activities.

She is a highly enthusiastic coach with new an innovative ideas and the girls are loving their weekly training sessions with her.

Oakhill Boys Champions In Local Climbing Competition!

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A team of 6 boys from Years 7 and 8 took part in the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley boys climbing competition at Roefield last Friday.  They arrived to face a variety of challenges on the indoor climbing wall which would test their skills and nerve, accumulating points for skill and agility.  The first challenge was to traverse the bouldering wall, moving sideways along selected bonus handholds and hanging on to defy gravity!  This proved the most difficult with the challenge of the overhang forcing the boys to carry their whole weight in their feet and fingertips.  There was then a full vertical climb to the top of the wall which all boys completed successfully.  The final challenge was a speed climb, which involved moving over an overhang as quickly as possible to reach a target high up on the wall.  Again, all completed this with some very impressive speedy moves and agility.  Finn Connolly set an unbeatable target, finishing in under 20 seconds.  Oakhill came away with the highest score of the day, topping the leaderboard of local schools with a clear lead of 10 points, and a total of 104.  The team have now qualified for the Lancashire competition in June.  Well done to all the team who represented Oakhill proudly and took part with great enthusiasm, supporting each other throughout.

Silver Duke of Edinburgh

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Our Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group, made up of 7 pupils from Year 11, are now underway with the Expedition section of their Award.  Last weekend they ventured out in our local area revisiting navigation skills and learning new techniques around Wiswell Moor and Sabden.  This Sunday they put their skills into action as they took on a practice day walk in the Yorkshire Dales, navigating independently over the limestone terrain from Horton in Ribblesdale to Stainforth, which they completed confidently.  The pupils achieved their Bronze Awards last year and are now enjoying taking on the tougher challenge of the Silver level, which involves completing an expedition in more remote terrain, and over three days rather than two.  Over Easter they will head to the Northern Dales for their full practice expedition and are all looking forward to their adventure.  They are proving to be an excellent and skilful team, and we wish them the best of luck in their challenges ahead.

Writing Success!

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Last term, pupils in Years 7 and 9 entered a poetry writing competition.  They were invited to write poems inspired by winter, with the prize being their publication in an anthology entitled ‘Let It Snow’.  Many of our pupils have been selected for publication, based on the imagination, creativity and use of language in their entries.   This is a great achievement that they should be very proud of.   A copy of the anthology will be in our school library very soon!

80 Years Young!

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Today is a very special day at Oakhill, our Chair of Governors, and Mr Baron is 80 years young! This morning he was surprised with a Birthday celebration which involved Nursery, School and Leisure.

The morning began with our Head Boy, Sam reminding Mr Baron what happened the year he was born, World War II continued, the Thames froze for the first time since 1888 and food rationing was introduced. Pre Prep and Pre School began the singing with a beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday and then presented Mr Baron with a beautiful card and present. Next, it was the turn of Prep to present their card.

The seniors tribute was in two parts, firstly a poem by Year 9 pupil Matthew who ended by telling Mr Baron if he was 80 in dog years – he wouldn’t be here! He then asked not to be expelled…fingers crossed Matthew. Then the Year 11 music GCSE group performed Be Still, one of Mr Baron’s favourite hymns. Principal, Mrs Buttery spoke about Oakhill being Mr Baron’s mission and reminded of the words from a prayer by Saint John Henry Newman.

Next, was a video montage of good wishes from all the staff interspersed by some recent and not so recent photos. The celebration ended with an amazing cake made by Mrs Hennighan which we all enjoyed. Pupils were also treated to a crème egg from Mr Baron. Happy Birthday Mr B and we hope you have a lovely day.

Querido Zoo

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Children in our pre-school and pre-prep classes are thoroughly enjoying their Spanish lessons.  Each week, they are visited by a specialist language teacher from the main school and learn through songs and games.  They are already confident in many areas such as numbers and colours.  This week saw the use of a much-loved story to help them learn the names for animals in Spanish – Dear Zoo or Querido Zoo as it is known in Spanish.  Their enthusiasm is second to none and the excitement on their faces as they practise their new skills is fantastic to see.  We are looking forward to seeing their continued progress.

Holocaust memorial event

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This month year 9 visited Whalley library and took part in an event to commemorate 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

The art and history event involved students listening to an extract of a moving story about a family in Auschwitz.

They then used old books to collage silhouettes of people. Each collage produced represented 1 million people killed in Auschwitz.

The work will be displayed in Whalley library and is a joint effort from the local schools surrounding Whalley.

Students were respectful and thoughtful about what they learned on that day and they were a credit to Oakhill.