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Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge – Megafinal

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A brilliant day was had by Harrison, Arran, Matthew, Joe, Isaac, Roman and Zak in Fleetwood at the Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside regional Megafinal of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge on Saturday 29 April.  The children did brilliantly and represented Oakhill so well.  We left Oakhill at 8.30 am and got back at 6 pm.

All the students received a certificate to say they are in the top 20% of chess players in schools across the U.K. by reaching the Megafinal.  They got to the Megafinal by playing 6 games at Oakhill and having the best results in their year groups.

They all played 6 matches at the Megafinal and all our players won at least 2 games against students from other schools.

Zac finished 3rd in the U8s for the whole of Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside. He won a medal and missed out on being in the North of England final by half a point.

Harrison – our Oakhill Chess Champion – also finished joint 3rd in the U11’s but managed to defeat 4 of his 6 opponents and as a result has got through to the North of England Chess GigaFinal in July.  His age group was highly competitive.  He is now rated as being in the top 2% of chess players in schools (prep and seniors) in the UK. There is a North and South final and then a UK final.

Arran and Isaac also came within a point of being in the North of England final.

The students loved the day and I am sure we will have a bigger contingent next year for the May 4 2018 Megafinal.

A lot of the competition today played in U.K. National Chess Competitions so our students did brilliantly as this was their first ever competition.


Year One Go Exploring

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Year 1 enjoyed a walk into Whalley last Wednesday as part of their study of the local area.

They had to follow a map

look at the names of roads

and discover the location of various amenities in Whalley.

This all proved to be thirsty work so they finished their search with a juice and a cake at Breda Murphy’s.

A big thank you to Breda for welcoming us to the new restaurant.

Scientists Of The Future

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Keen Scientists from Years 8 to 11 were inspired by a talk from Mr Ross Strang who works in the Global Discovery Chemistry section at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research based in Basel. He explained how long it takes for a drug to come to market and the many processes involved. For every 10000 researched new compounds only one will receive regulatory authority approval and make it to market at a cost of at least one billion pounds.

Mr Strang emphasised how fortunate he has been to be involved in such a discovery and the need for resilience and attention to detail to survive in such a field. It is exciting times for Scientists and with new technology and advancement in challenging fields such as cancer research and autoimmune diseases it is all looking positive for careers for our Scientists of the future. Many thanks to Mr Strang for sharing his knowledge and experiences with us he was an inspiration to us all.


Max Is Manchester City Mascot

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On Sunday 2nd April Year 7 pupil, Max  was the Manchester City Mascot when Manchester City played against Arsenal.

Max got to meet the players and managers from both teams. He was presented with his own kit and then he received another one which had been signed by the team.

Max was interviewed before the match and Manchester City made sure he was on the match day programme too.

Unfortunately Max injured himself before the game however he was seen by the Manchester City physio and Doctors so he was well looked after and they made him pain free and heavily strapped up so as to walk out on the pitch.

To see Max in action click on the video below

Race For The Line

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The junior and senior STEM groups headed to Preston with great anticipation and excitement to race their rocket cars that they have been building over the last few weeks. The Race for the Line competition is organised by the Bloodhound team whose car is designed to attempt to break the land speed record. It was incredible how fast these cars sped along the ground, one (we won’t mention whose!) was so fast it wiped out the timing gates!

We raced ten cars in total and all managed to remain intact with all their wheels attached, which is credit to the teams for their excellent engineering skills. At present Gabriel is top of the leader board which will mean, if he remains in poll position, he is through to the regional final which will be held in Manchester over the next few weeks.

This is the first time we have participated in this competition and we will be definitely entering again next year. An excellent day with super results. Watch the video to see Gabriel’s car speeding through the gates.

Year 10 Entrepreneurs

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Researching suitable locations for a new gym, estate agents, take away or sports shop, was the objective of the Year 10 Business Studies trip into Clitheroe.

The group looked at Clitheroe Market, Castle Street and surrounding areas to ascertain the proximity of competitors, business opportunities and potential customers to help make a decision as to which will be the most suitable location for their chosen business.

The pupils will now have to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each location to decide which provides the best features for their start up business.

Year 1 Get Published!

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Year 1 entered a poetry writing competition with Young Writers. They had to write a Safari poem about an animal of their choice using similes and put this into an acrostic poem… A big task for 5 and 6 year olds!

But their hard work has paid off as ALL of their poems have been selected to be published in to a poetry book. Year 1 are all very proud of their achievement and cannot wait to read each other’s poems when the book is published. Well done!

Student Chaplains

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Well done to this year’s Student Chaplains who have recently received their Chaplain’s certificates from Salford Diocese.  The Chaplain’s help with the spiritual life of the school and take it in turns to run the Fairtrade Shop at Friday afternoon break.

This year’s Chaplains have been very enthusiastic and have come up with some great ideas for Chaplaincy to pursue.  Thanks to their hard work and endeavour several charities have benefitted from their support.


Visit To Rouen

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During the Easter holidays Madame Crook and Madame Everitt enjoyed  a very successful trip to Rouen. They spent the second of their two afternoons in our link school, the Institution Jean Paul 2. After spending time in the primary school, Madame Roman had organised a ‘goûter’ for us with the pupils who have visited Oakhill in the last two years and those who will be coming in June.

Madame Crook and Madame Everitt also met Monsieur Eude, the Head, as well as Monsieur Avril, the director of sixth form, who gave them lots of information on the history and ethos of the school. Both teachers took part in a Year 11 English class discussing Manchester and its heritage and were very impressed to hear the pupils using simile and metaphor in the style of Charles Dickens. We are looking forward to welcoming our French visitors to Oakhill later next term.

Dover To Durness

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Our Oakhill team are cycling 800 miles from Dover to Durness this August. 6 pupils and 4 adults (aged 13 to 71) will undertake this epic journey from the bottom to the top of Britain on a 2 week adventure.

We are raising funds to support the Peru Mission in Iquitos which Oakhill will visit in 2018 to undertake our own project. The Mission seeks to benefit the lives of those living in poverty through Christian acts of faith with projects to improve living conditions, health, education and social welfare.

Our target is £5000 and all donations will directly benefit the Oakhill project to be undertaken in 2018.
Please visit www.justgiving.com/OakhillThePeruMission to support our cause

Oakhill Receives Highest Fairtrade Award

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Oakhill was awarded the highest Fairtrade award on 11 April 2017 – the FairAchiever School status – which runs until 11 April 2020.

To gain this award Oakhill has had to adopt a fairtrade policy, create an action plan and show that fairtrade is embedded into our learning at school.  We had to show to an inspector how we use fairtrade products within the school.  We also had to complete two challenges and a teacher and learner audit.

The inspector required to see lesson plans, lesson resources, examples of student’s work and photographic evidence before the status was awarded.

The Kitchen uses fairtrade products and our Student Chaplain’s run a Fairtrade Shop every Friday in Prep and Seniors.  As well as raising awareness of fairtrade around the school, the Chaplain’s also raise funds for charity.

Well done to all concerned.

Year 8 Curators

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Year 8 completed their work on the Industrial Revolution by imagining they were curators of a gallery and their brief was to design an interesting exhibition on this tumultuous period of history. They could take any interpretation on the period and, in preparation, considered views by contemporaries such as Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria as well as more modern views of Margaret Thatcher and the Olympic Games opening ceremony in 2012.

As such a capable class, they relished the challenge and came up with brilliant interactive exhibitions. In pairs, they worked to select exhibits and thought carefully about how they would be displayed. Some groups focused on the negative impact with items on the Opium Wars, slavery and child labour whilst others considered the positive changes to farming, transport and sport. They could present their findings in any format with many choosing Keynote presentations on their iPads and others working on models. Their final Presentations were enjoyable and informative – excellent work, Year 8!

St Joseph’s Penny

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Over the last three weeks the prep school pupils have been raising money for the St Joseph’s charity by filling boxes with pennies and bringing them into school.

As an incentive they have been covering a template of an Easter egg in their classrooms and earning free time to use on the last day of the term.

The Prep School Student Council decided the activities that were available. The pupils earned one hour of free time and thoroughly enjoyed making their choices.

The final penny count was an AMAZING £512!!! Well done indeed to everyone who collected- pupils, parents, relatives and friends of Oakhill. You have done a great thing for those in need.


Easter Egg Bingo

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The annual end of term Easter Egg Bingo was an egg-cellent success with over one hundred people attending.

Every ounce of chocolate, along with a raffle and spot prizes disappeared, with games creating much tension and egg-citement!

The event raised over £400 for the Oakhill Association. This money will go directly to benefitting the pupils. A big thanks to all those who donated eggs, sweets, drinks and the very popular popcorn!

The Stations of the Cross

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As part of their RE studies Year Three have been researching The Stations of the Cross. Last week they visited English Martyrs Catholic Church in Whalley to look at the fourteen stations in the church grounds. They were joined by the parish priest, Father Price.

He led the children around each station and encouraged the pupils to think about how Mary and Jesus were thinking and feeling disputing this time of ultimate suffering.

Father Price was very impressed with the knowledge that the pupils had about the stations and invited them to return in the summer term for a look inside the church and a picnic lunch!

Film Night

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Student Council organised a film evening for Seniors last Friday. Students stayed after school and enjoyed a movie with their friends on the big projectors in two classrooms.

They were served hot dogs, cans of pop and fresh popcorn and enjoyed relaxing together. They were all enthralled by the adventures of Swallows and Amazons and by the peculiar goings on in Miss Peregrine’s home.

Entry to the films was free but the food included a donation to charity. A good start to the weekend!


Year 7 Gymnastics

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Year 7 have spent this half term working on sports acro in gymnastics. They began working together in pairs performing counter balance and counter tension actions. The groups then grew larger and the pupils worked in trios, quartets and quintets.

Year 7 learned about the importance of body tension and control and what can happen if there is a weakness in the structure.

The scheme of work was finished off with the pupils linking their balances with travelling actions and choreographing a routine. The groups performed well in front of their peers and all offered constructive feedback on how to improve and develop the routines.

Advantage Reception

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This half term our Reception class have embarked upon a block of lunch time tennis coaching sessions

These classes are coached by Mark Schofield who is excellently supported by Mrs Pugh.

Over the last two weeks the pupils have had great fun learning how to control the ball and have developed their forehand shots.

Human skittles is one of their favourite games. Next week they are starting to use their backhand.

Watch this space, who knows Oakhill may have a budding Andy Murray or Serena Williams!

Bake Off

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What an exciting day we had when we baked bread in Year 2.

We have been learning all about The Great Fire of London and how the fire started in the baker’s shop on Pudding Lane.

Great fun was had kneading the dough and the classroom was a fog of flour!

The final results though were delicious and we all enjoyed buttering our plaited loaves

and smearing them with jam before devouring them.

Let’s hope we enjoy writing up the instructions as much!


Pet Competition

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Student Council in Seniors held a competition for students who love their pets. Students could enter a short video or picture of their pet for judging by the Council. Winners were awarded by Deputy Head Boy, Jacob, and Deputy Head Girl, Taylor, in assembly. There were special prizes for Mrs Turner and Charlotte. Ellie won third place with her working cocker spaniel; Juliet  came second with her hamster and in first place was Alfie with his climbing chameleon.

Well done to all entrants and winners.


Spring Has Sprung In Nursery

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Nursery have dodged the rain this week and have been on a spring walk to see the donkeys.

They have also been talking about Spring flowers and have painted some beautiful daffodil pictures!

It’s Carnival Time In Prep’s Spanish Club

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This week, Prep’s Spanish club children have been mixing art and culture with their love for the Spanish language.  They have absolutely loved learning about the Carnival celebrations which take place, just before Lent, in Spanish towns and cities.  They were particularly inspired by the masks which Spanish people often wear to their street celebrations and were very keen to create their own.  Take a look at some of their unique designs.  We are very impressed with their creations!


Walk All Over Cancer

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Sadly, Mrs Wilson’s mum passed away in December after a short battle with lung cancer. She was remarkably brave and benefitted from treatment that can only be achieved through research which costs lots of money. Mrs Wilson has signed up to the ‘Walk All Over Cancer’ challenge in her memory which involves walking 10,000 steps each day during the month of March, which equates to about 5.5 miles per day. If you would like to sponsor her there is a form on Year 2s classroom door or alternatively you can use the link below and donate online.


Any donations would be very much appreciated.


Girls Football

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On Tuesday 14th March, the senior girls football team went to Accrington Academy to take part in the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley football tournament.

The girls were up against tough opposition in the group. They drew the first game against St Christophers, won against Accrington Academy but sadly got beaten in their final two games against Ribblesdale and Mount Carmel who went on to qualify for the final. The Oakhill girls performed extremely well in their first outing as a team and were unfortunate not to qualify.

St Patrick’s Day

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Year 1 had a merry old time on the 17th March for St Patrick’s Day. We learnt all about the story of St Patrick and how he used the shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We listened to Irish music and had a little jig then we finished it all off by decorating leprechaun masks to dress up in.

Year 7 Invade Lancaster Castle

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Despite the usual Lancastrian rain, Year 7 bravely raised their standard and took the school bus to Lancaster Castle last Friday. On arrival they were met by the knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide, Graham, who seemed to know every nook and cranny, from the original Norman keep (one of only 5 from the early Norman period in England) to the date of the last public execution.

He kept Year 7 on their toes, testing their knowledge and locking them up in the original dungeon to see if they could withstand the pitch black conditions. In one of the court rooms, he led them through a trial, where Emilie-Anne was the defendant and faced a jury of 5 in front of Judge Sophia. He also told them the sad tale of the most famous case at Lancaster, the trial of the Pendle “witches”.

After enjoying Graham’s company, the Cafe staff generously let us eat lunch in the Cafe, before we headed off to St. Peter’s Cathedral, where Mr Kelly gave Year 7 a tour of all they had been learning about in class.

We then returned to school for a quiz on the day and the scores were high. Well done, Year 7 on a fantastic trip.

Year 10 Share Their Knowledge

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The Year 10s, who have recently visited Heysham Power Station, delivered a presentation about their trip to Year 5.  Year 5 are learning about sources of energy in their Geography lessons and were fascinated to hear first hand what it was actually like inside a nuclear power station.

The Year 10 pupils gave a great insight with up-to-date information and even entertained the children with a clip from The Simpsons showing what could go wrong if staff in the power station were not fully trained. Thank you Year 10 for a very interesting and informative presentation.




Paris Saint Germain

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Yesterday, Years 3 to 6 had a coaching session with Jamie from Paris Saint Germain. The lesson started with laps around the football field.

Coach Jamie explained about teamwork and then a speed, agility and quickness test proceeded. This involved jumping, throwing and catching and sprinting, in this task there had to be a lot of vision, timing and communication.

Next, a game which involved control, motion and vision, and pivoting to protect the ball from the defenders. Improving skills were exhibited. Finally, a passing and turning drill.

Good, fantastic and sporty were the words which were mostly used to describe the afternoon. They found that focus and control was the ticket to the match. It was an enjoyable afternoon. Thank you Jamie.

Report by Thomas and photos by Eve and Jessica