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Day One Dover to Durness

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It was an early start to Dover and after a big send off from parents and Mr Baron, we set out on our 800 mile cycling adventure.

Most students had a sleep and (not so unfortunately) missed the adults singing the White Cliffs of Dover as we approached the South Coast.

After a couple of motorway stops we arrived in glorious sunshine, took our bikes of the trailer and headed to the beach to dip our back tyres in the English Channel before heading out on our journey from the south easterly tip of Dover to the far north westerly tip of Scotland.

It was a tough start from the coast up the cliffs but once we had reached the summit, it was a nice flat ride to the campsite. So far it has been nice weather and we hope it stays that way.

Once we got to the campsite, we set up our tents and unpacked for the first night.

You can still donate and leave a message of support for the team using the link below:


By Alex Lutwyche and James Sutterby

Year 6 Leavers Assembly

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On the last Thursday before we finished for the Summer term, we wished our Year 6 pupils good luck as they prepared to leave the Prep school and begin another journey in the Seniors. The children recounted their memories of their time in school so far and led prayers in a special leavers’ assembly held in their honour.

Some special awards were also given out during the assembly.  Matthew was this year’s winner of The Principal’s Cup. Thomas was presented with the Music and Drama Award for his singing and acting talents. Christopher and James were awarded the General Progress Award and Felicity received the Sport’s Award. The Service to the School Award went to Ruby and Abigail was given the Outstanding Achievement Award. Head Girl, Sorcha was awarded for her Consistent Effort.

Merit awards were also given to Isabelle from Year 2, Rocco from Year 4 and Maisey from Year 5 for earning lots of merits throughout the year.

Well done everybody and good luck Year 6! We will miss you all but make sure you you come back and visit to tell us how you’re getting on.

Year 10 Visit Hardwick Hall

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The delightful Year 10 historians travelled to the Elizabethan period on a recent visit to Hardwick Hall. Bess of Hardwick was the second richest woman in England, having risen from lowly Gentry status through 4 marriages. By all accounts she was likeable and witty and had considerable business acumen. This enabled her to build the hall in her 60s and furnish it to a luxurious and extravagant standard.

In fact, Hardwick Hall is the ultimate in status symbols with all the modern features of the period: glass windows, fireplaces, stone staircases, tall ceilings and a long gallery to rival the best. Bess hoped her granddaughter would become Queen and built her home for royalty but no royal ever visited there. However, Bess was the matriarch of the Cavendish family who became the Dukes of Devonshire, housed at Chatsworth.

Year 10 were super on the trip and enjoyed seeing all aspects of their classroom learning come to life. They now need to pull all their research together in a summer project. Well done, Year 10 and I look forward to seeing the results.

Rubbish Orchestra

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The Year 4 ‘Rubbish Orchestra’ turned out to be anything but rubbish! The boys and girls used their knowledge of how sounds are made and how to change the pitch and volume of a note, to design their own instruments.

They then up-cycled items of household rubbish, giving them new life  as fantastic guitars, drum kits and flutes! Two super-groups were formed: ‘The Rice Girls’ and ‘Boyz Band’. The groups performed their own compositions, to great critical acclaim!

Year Five Assembly

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Bravo et encore!  Those were the cheers after the Year Five assembly last week.  The class wowed their audience with a fantastic rendition of the Gingerbread Man, acted solely in French!  The children showed off the amazing progress they have made with the French language this year.  They began with an energetic version of the French alphabet sung with brilliant gusto.

They then showed how fluent they have become with classroom instructions, demonstrating their confidence with everything from saying they have finished their work to asking to go to the toilet in French!  The main act was a brilliant performance of the classic children’s tale.

Every single child should be rightly proud of their authentic accents and acting skills, bringing the story to life in a fun way.  The assembly was completed with prayers in French, something which forms part of their daily classroom routine.  Parents and fellow pupils alike were amazed at their French skills and the children were delighted to finish the day with a chocolate gingerbread man cake to celebrate.  Félicitations!

Gymnastics competition

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Five gymnasts from Upper Prep Felicity, Pippa, Finn, Mairead and Lilly-Ella entered both the floor and vault sections of the competition.

Felicity and Finn were our advanced gymnasts competing against 24 others and Pippa, Mairead and Lilly-Ella were our intermediates competing against 33 others.

Our gymnasts performed excellently, after only a short period of choreography and rehearsal. Our hard work paid off and we came home with the following medals.

Finn – gold in advanced floor and silver in vault

Lilly-Ella – silver in intermediate floor

Felicity – won the advanced artistry award for the beautiful and fluent execution of her routine.

Well done to all of our gymnasts and thank you to Zoli & Yvette Lang at Flipside fitness and Toni Connolly at Ribble Valley Acrobatics Academy for the time and tuition they put into their gymnasts. 

Maths Whizz

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Maisey  in Year Five is a Maths whizz!  Along with other children in Prep, the class recently entered an online Maths competition.  Pupils were pitted against a host of other children from schools, both primary and secondary, across Lancashire.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in the Mental Arithmetic challenge.  As a class, Year 5 came in fifth position out of all the schools.  However, even better news came for star pupil, Maisey Dillon.  She finished in an extremely impressive 3rd place overall!  Well done, Maisey.  We are very proud of you!

St Joseph’s Penny

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In thanks for their efforts to raise almost £500 over Easter, the Prep School Student Council recently attended a special service at St Alban’s RC Church, Blackburn organised by the St Joseph’s Penny charity. The thanksgiving mass was led by the Reverend Canon Jude Harrison. The picture shows the council being thanked by Mark Wiggins, CEO of the St Joseph’s Penny Charity.

Year 9 Activity Week – Day 4

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On the final day we got up, got dressed, got packed and said goodbye to the Youth Hostel we had been staying at. For the morning activity went to Tree Top Trek near Windermere.

We had to harness up and then we had to walk up a wooden tower.

It was very windy. It felt like I was going to fall off.

The instructors attached us to a wire and the we had to walk across a bridge. There was no turning back!

I felt terrified all the way through my legs were shaking. But I really enjoyed it and I did it all. Even the higher course. At the end we got to zip wire 150m down into a field.

I’m glad I’m still alive!

By Ellis Lund Year 9

Year 8 Activity Week – Day 4 and 5

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Year 8 left school on Thursday morning for a long walk to Downham, skirting the base of Pendle Hill. Despite the damp weather students were in fine form and kept very positive with each other and on the walk.

We arrived at Downham in time for some natural art making and an ice cream from the lovely Michelle at Downham Ice Cream shop. We then headed to the barn to make our camp: building tents, creating fire and eating a BBQ followed by toasted marshmallows.

The day ended with fun team games expertly led by Miss Cunningham. Mr Chatburn was superb as chief wood chopper and BBQ extraordinaire and Year 8 were absolutely fantastic.

They made us all proud as they treated each other with respect and kindness and kept happy despite the rain. Well done, Year 8!

Year 3 Assembly

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Last Friday it was the turn of Year Three to put on their class assembly. Their chosen theme was Victorian Times, as they have been studying this period of history in lessons. A Doctor Who inspired time machine took everyone back to the year 1870- to life in the cotton mills, down the coal mines and inside a strict Victorian classroom. The boys from Reception class helped out by dressing as chimney sweeps, complete with dirty faces. It was a time to remember but not one to repeat today.

Reception Smell The Flowers

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Reception recently enjoyed a visit to Stonehill Nurseries and Garden Centre in Blackburn, where they learnt about the plants and flowers. They enjoyed smelling the petunias, geraniums and fuchsias.

The children were kindly allowed to choose 4 plants which they were then shown how to plant into a pot and were able to take home.

The children had a wonderful time and would like to say a huge thank you to Jayne and her colleagues at Stonehill for making them so welcome and for their kindness and help.

Year 9 Activity Week – Day 3

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This morning we were looking forward to walking up Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.

Going up was very tiring and rocky. The highlight of the tough climb was Lucy pulling Mr Peel into the stream.

At the top it was cold and misty, but we were relived as we were half way through.

After a quick lunch be began to stumble down. It was very steep. Harry summited twice as he left his bag at the top!

As we got closer to the bottom all our toes started to hurt. When we saw the bus we felt happy and accomplished. We were rewarded with an ice cream.

By Arthur and Niall Year 9

Year 8 Activity Week – Day 3

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Year 8 have continued to enjoy a week of fun activities. Today involved a STEM project designing armour for an egg which was to be dropped from a great height.

All came up with some clever designs and two eggs managed to survive the fall from the school balcony.

Despite the rain all students braved a magnificent game of Capture the Flag and sports team games.

They even squeezed in a round of a selfie scavenger hunt- one of the challenges was to be all caught in midair.

An eggcellent day, Year 8 and well done.

Schools Duathlon

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Four of our athletes from Years 9 and 10 had the opportunity to compete in a local schools duathlon on Thursday 22nd June.  The duathlon is a variation of the triathlon where swimming is replaced by an additional run.  The event took place at the Stephen Burke Hub in Barrowford – a dedicated cycling track built in honour of the local cycling Olympian, and involved secondary schools from Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

The event proved a tough challenge with pupils beginning with a 1200m run, followed by a 3km cycle on the track, finishing with another 400m run.  Isabelle from Year 9 was first to take on the challenge, putting in a brave and determined performance in the individual event.  Tyler from Year 10 also took part in the individual event and gave it his all in the face of tough competition.

James and Ellis from Year 9 took part in the team relay event with Ellis completing the runs and James the cycling.

The boys worked well together and we were delighted to see Ellis cross the finish line in 3rd place, following a flat out cycle sprint from James.

Running and cycling are popular activities at Oakhill and it was great to see the developing skills of pupils put to test at this great event.  Well done to all who took part – we were very proud of your efforts!

Year 8 Activity Week – Day 2

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On Tuesday morning Year 8 went to Gawthorpe Hall in Burnley to enjoy the orienteering courses there. In teams of 2 students ran the courses against the clock. Fortunately the weather stayed dry and all completed the activity. In first place was Ava and Alexander, second went to Bridget and Louis and third place to Alicia and Luke.

In the afternoon we went to the sports hall to teach Year 8 how to put up tents; they did very well with the activity.

And lastly we went outside to teach Year 8 how to set up a fire.

By Wesley Mitchell from Year 10

Year 9 Activity Week – Day 2

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Today we travelled to Water Park at Coniston to participate in two activities; orienteering and kayaking. For orienteering we tried to complete two maps. Most of us were successful but some others did get lost!

We all really enjoyed the kayaking as we learnt to paddle, steer and capsize safely.

Also we jumped off the jetty and everyone was soaked afterwards but everyone had great fun.  We are now looking forward to quiz night this evening.

By Phoebe Richardson

Year 9

Holy Trinity

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Key Stage 2 children tackled the challenging subject of the Holy Trinity in their assembly this week.  The Holy Trinity represents the three persons of God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This can be a difficult concept for children to understand and so an assembly was devoted to explaining its meaning.  The children started by looking at examples of words which include the word ‘tri’ – and were very inventive with their suggestions!  Their teachers were particularly impressed with the amount of mathematical vocabulary they could recall.

William was a fantastic volunteer, showing the children that, although he can be ‘William the schoolboy’ whilst dressed in his uniform, when he put a different hat on he could become ‘William the firefighter, the police officer or the builder’.  Even though he might change his hat, he is still the same person underneath.

They then considered the change of state of water as a liquid, gas and solid.  The solid ice reminded them that God can be experienced as our maker: the solid foundation of our lives.  The liquid water reminds us of how we can experience God through His Son Jesus Christ, whose death on the cross washes us clean of all the wrong things we do.  The steam, which is a gas, explained how we can experience God through His Holy Spirit: we cannot see Him but we can see how He changes the people who let Him into their lives.

Finally, Nellie, Charlie and Ruairi were the lucky ones chosen to play with a fidget spinner in school – purely to illustrate a point, of course!  Although each fidget spinner has three separate sides, when spun, the three merge into one.

Hopefully, the children know understand the Holy Trinity a little better and will find it easier to remember that although there may be the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, they are all still the same one God.

Year 8 Activity Week – Day 1

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For the first day of Activity Week, Year 8 went to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.

We enjoyed the two lessons in the gallery and learned a lot about the forced migration of enslaved Africans.

We had a ‘hands-on’ session where we each looked at artefacts from the 18th century and presented our findings to the rest of the class.

We also had a walk round the docks at lunchtime.

Report by Holly and Jessie

Year 9 Activity Week – Day 1

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Year Nine left school excited about their week ahead in the Lake District.  Our first destination was to the Honister Slate Mine to take on the Via Ferrata.

Italian for ‘way of iron’ this involves climbing and traversing along a cliff edge whilst secured to a thick metal cable.  This proved to be terrifying and exciting in equal measures as we all dangled above the valley below.

The climb went up and up through mines and more cliffs and everyone was very pleased to reach the summit.

We then travelled to Grasmere to settle into our Youth Hostel and a well earned meal.  This evening we have enjoyed a treasure hunt around the village.

Everyone is having a great time.

Year Nine and the staff

Spooky Goings On In Year 6

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Year 6 have been finding out about the history of our local area and have found some spooky goings on not far from here! The Pendle Witches are well-known around these parts and we have been learning why.

The village of Newchurch contains the graves of some supposed relatives of the ‘witches’ as well as the infamous ‘eye’ to protect local people.

The children’s own spooky legends are well worth reading.

Prep Sports Day

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We were blessed with perfect conditions for the Prep sports day on Tuesday.

Sunshine and a gentle breeze welcomed parents, grandparents and friends as they settled in for an exciting afternoon of athletics.

Reception started the races, quoits balanced carefully on their heads (at the start anyway) they were cheered on by the rest of the school as they charged along the course.

Bean bag balancing, sack race, javelin throwing and an incredible ‘chicken run’ followed for the older classes.

Determination was written across the faces of each child as they lined up to battle out the sprint races; arms and legs pumped as children flew across the grass, skidding round the turning point and charging for the finish.

The parents were almost as competitive in their race, but the spectacle of Year 6 dressing up relay will surely live on in memories for some time to come.

A happy afternoon was concluded with the sound of medals clinking around necks, followed by tea and scones.






A Super Successful Week Of Summer Sports!

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Our week of successes started on Tuesday when 2 teams of golfers from Year 3 and 4 travelled to Great Harwood golf club to compete in the tri golf tournament. There were 6 stations in the tri golf circuit that they all competed in.

These were based on putting, chipping and driving skills. Challenges included the grand national, finders keepers, dominoes, zone ball and bulls eye. Years 3 and 4 competed against one another throughout and a good sporting rivalry was evident. Final scores were Year 4 scored  227 points and Year 3 scored  207 points, giving us a total of  434 points, which made us winners of the event! Well done boys!

Tuesday evening our Under 14 boys cricket team travelled to Baxenden cricket club to play against Hollins. Our team were nervous as it was their first game as a new amalgamated team. The boys batted first and got off to shaky start. We recovered quickly with some big hitting from Jack, Arthur and Niall. We finished on 198. The Hollins opening batsmen played very well putting their team in a strong position. Oakhill took 4 quick wickets and fielded superbly and in the end won the game by 22 runs. Well done boys!

Wednesday a selected team of our Year 4, 5 and 6 girls entered the borough Year 6 girls cricket tournament. For many of the girls it was their first time ever on a cricket field. In every game the girls all bowled at least one over and batted in a pair for 2 overs. We qualified in our group and ended up coming 3rd in the tournament. The girls really did the school proud.

Wednesday afternoon our Under 13 rounders team travelled to Saint Marys Hall for a fixture. The girls began batting scoring highly in the first innings. After a half time talk the girls were encouraged to play defensively to keep down the oppositions score. The tactic worked and the girls all excelled themselves playing their best game ever. We came away well deserved winners with the final score being 15-9. Due to an early finish the girls relaxed in the sunshine with an ice cream reward!

Thursday our top six boys and girls cross country runners from Year 5 and 6 went to compete in the St Michael and St Johns annual cross country event. The course was long and loopy consisting of three laps. The girls ran first, and everyone performed to the best of their ability all pupils finished in the top 12 which was an amazing achievement.

With Felicity hot on the heels of the leader throughout the race finishing second. Next up were the boys who ran fantastically well and very tactically with five of our six runners working together to set the pace. Ben was out in front running at an exceptional pace which he maintained throughout finishing 3rd. Oliver produced an amazing 100m sprint finish to come in 6th place. Once again all finished in the top 11 a staggering achievement. We knew we had done well and waited anxiously for the results which was well worth the wait:
1st team in the girls race

1st team in the boys race

1st overall winners

The team were amazing and came home with a fully compliment of trophies and medals! Well done team

Friday it was our Year 6 boys cricket team’s turn to represent. After being drawn in a difficult group the pressure was on early coming up against Whalley and Edisford School. The boys came out on top and qualified for the quarter finals. After a nail biting finish we won the game by 3 runs with some fantastic bowling from James and Christopher. In the semi final the boys played magnificently and won the game convincingly. The pressure was on and a few boys were extremely nervous for the final against St Michael and St Johns. We batted first and got a modest total of 236 due to a good recovery by the final two batsmen Olly   and Arran   so we had to bowl really well. The boys fielded unbelievably well and we managed to win the final by 17 runs. Oakhill are the Ribble Valley champions.  A great achievement boys!

Peru Mission

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We are delighted that Year 10  pupils, Giles, Chloe and Phoebe were successful in their applications for a Bursary from the Catenian Association for their trip to Peru next summer.  In total there will be a group of 12 from Oakhill going to work on a project in Iquitos, Peru with the Peru Mission that the school is sponsoring.

The group will stay at the St James Society Headquarters in Miraflores, Lima before setting off to Iquitos, where they will be accompanied by the Honorary British Consul for their stay and work in Iquitos – the largest land locked city in the world.  Whilst in Iquitos the group will be completing a project the school is undertaking which will provide classrooms/chapel during the morning and in the afternoons the group will be teaching in a Girls Orphange.  There will also be an opportunity for the group to stay overnight in the Amazon jungle.

Oakhill are currently fundraising for the project and a group of staff and students are doing a sponsored bike ride the length of Britain during the summer holidays –

We were pleased to welcome Mr Chris Daly, the local President of the Catenian Association, together with Mr Charles Murphy and Mr Mike Finley, to an assembly on Friday 16 June to talk to Seniors about the Catenian Association and hand over cheques to the students.  The local Catenian Association meet at Mytton Fold.


European Nuclear Young Generation Forum

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The Year Nine future GCSE Triple Science group enjoyed an intensive day at the European Nuclear Young Generation Forum in Manchester on Wednesday 14th June. Their imaginations and design skills were pushed to the limits competing in workshop activities during the sessions.

First they had to design a machine that would remove nuclear waste from water. They could not touch the waste with their hands or remove any water. It was a race against the other teams to collect as much as possible.

The second workshop our pupils had to create a flask that would safely protect an egg which was dropped onto a hard surface, a spike, and submerged into water for 10 seconds. The egg stayed dry and unbroken.

After lunch the pupils saw a Remote Operated Vehicle in action. These machines go into areas unsuitable for human access due to high radioactive activity.

The third workshop was the Earthquake Simulator. The pupils had to design and build a building which would withstand seismic events. Their design was tested on a shaker table. The materials given to use were three marshmallows, 10 pieces of spaghetti and a plastic cup. It was a hard challenge but they managed to create a structure that stood up to the shaking.

The final workshop was to construct a glovebox. These are devices used in the Nuclear Industry to handle radioactive material. This was very hands on and the pupils worked well as a team overcoming the obstacles presented to them.

The day was a great success. Isabelle, Lucy and James did extremely well.

Challenging Time For Year Three

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Year Three have been taking part in a maths challenge for the last week alongside nineteen other classes across schools in Lancashire. Overall Year Three came second. Out of the 363 students who entered James and William both came in the top ten and Zak had a score of 93%. Well done to everyone in the class for a fantastic achievement.

Salt Of The Earth

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Our three super scientists, Alex, Alexander and Bobby, headed to The University of Manchester on Monday to take part in the Salter’s Festival of Chemistry. These festivals run every year where schools compete against each other to test their practical and analytical chemistry skills. There were fifteen schools from the North West this year so the challenge was tough.

The first task was to find out “Who was the Prime Suspect?”. The trio had to undertake tube tests and run chromatography samples as well as decipher codes to decide who they suspected committed the crime. The afternoon task involved flame testing and density determination to produce the best rainbow possible. After all their hard work they got treated to the University Flash Bang Show which demonstrates the beauty of Chemistry with lots of spectacular reactions.

It was an excellent day and the icing was definitely put on the cake as our lads won First Place in the University Challenge providing the school with a full set of Molymod molecular modelling kit.

Well done boys you represented Oakhill exceptionally well and we are very proud of this great achievement.


Happy Fathers Day

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Year 1 have had fun making their Father’s Day cards this week.

They have learnt about a slider mechanism in Design Technology and used their knowledge to make a rocket go to the moon, with the caption “I love you to the moon and back!” We are sure dads will love them. Happy Fathers Day!

Association Golf Day 2017

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The Oakhill 22nd Association Golf Day took place last Friday, 9th June at Clitheroe Golf Club. The event was tremendously well supported by 26 teams, totalling 104 players, who mostly played in the sunshine and stillness of a wonderful Friday afternoon. The teams were not only parents but suppliers, associates and friends of the School and Nursery. The day comprised bacon rolls and coffee on arrival followed by a relaxed AmAm Stableford competition over 18 holes with two scores to count until the 18th when all scores counted, and finally a superb 3-course meal and Prize Presentation.

The Mortimers team won with 91 points and received trophies and vouchers of £100 each and the honour of their names being added on the magnificent Harry Stephenson Memorial Trophy. The winning prize was awarded by Julie Stephenson in memory of her late husband, as longtime supporters of Oakhill.

The event is key in the fundraising calendar of the Oakhill Association which raises funds for extraordinary items within the school such as the ipad roll-out, play and sports equipment and so forth. We are delighted to announce £3,500 was made on the day. Oakhill School and Nursery would like to thank the most generous supporters of the event and look forward to an equally successful event in 2018.

Apple Slinkies

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There is an added excitement to prep school morning playtimes this half term. Apple slinkies are proving very popular among the pupils. The idea behind them came from Maisie (Year Five pupil and student council member) who has an ingenious machine that turns an ordinary apple into an apple slinkie.

The pupils get a healthy snack, an edible toy to chew on and they’re raising funds for new playground equipment. A winner all round!