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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.

Prep School Student Council Cake Sale

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The first Prep School Student Council cake sale of 2020 was eagerly anticipated, with queues forming outside the Year One classroom before the event began.

The cakes were very kindly provided by Reception, Year One and Year Two pupils and parents. The money raised is going towards the Eco-Brick project that all the pupils are involved in.

A big thank you for all the cakes and donations.

Kung Hei Fat Choi

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To celebrate Chinese New Year the pupils from Year Three were invited to Yu Restaurant and Bar at Copster Green for the morning. Taz, the children’s entertainer kept everyone laughing and joking before a banquet of the most scrumptious Chinese food was thoroughly enjoyed. Each pupils then received a goodie box to take home with them. Jenny and Victor Yu were the perfect hosts and along with the staff who work at the restaurant worked so hard to provide a memorable morning. Their hospitality was first class and everyone left very happy… and very full!

Thank you so much to everyone at Yu and Happy Chinese New Year to one and all!

Le Navet Enorme

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There was much excitement in Year 4 this week as pupils acted out the famous story ‘The Enormous Turnip’ in French.  Each child chose to either act as a specific character or be a narrator. It was fantastic to see them joining in the key vocabulary after only one rehearsal. They are making super progress with their weekly French lessons and having lots of fun doing so.  Well done, Year 4.

Year 2 Helping Others

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It has been a busy week in Year 2 starting with a trip to Tesco on Monday to buy all that was needed for the pack lunches we made on Tuesday. Thanks to the very kind donations, we were also able to make up toiletry bags which were very well received.

On Wednesday we went to Blackburn town centre to distribute the bags to those in need and people were so grateful-they made such a difference to those less fortunate than ourselves. The children were, as always, a credit to themselves, school and their parents and it was a pleasure to witness their kindness in action.

Their thoughts and actions throughout the whole process is a message to us all “ showing love can make such a difference to someone” They have made Mrs. Wilson and the rest of the staff immensely proud. Watch out for our assembly on February 13th.

Handa’s Surprise

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Reception children have been learning the story of Handa’s Surprise in their Spanish lessons this week.

They have been studying the vocabulary for the various fruits that appear in the story, playing games to aid their learning.

They were able to confidently explain in Spanish which fruits they liked and which they didn’t like.  They were then very excited to try out the fruits themselves.  Well done, Reception!

Board Games Club

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A popular way for Prep to spend their Friday lunchtimes is attending our regular board games club.

It’s a great way to practise skills in cooperation and critical thinking as well as having fun  working together, taking turns , solving problems and explaining the rules to each other.

Resilience Day

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This term, all pupils from Year 5 to Year 11 took part in a resilience training day during which they learnt about ways in which they can help themselves to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing in the face of the many stresses they face in life.

The day was a lot of fun and the students have been overwhelmingly positive about what they have learnt, from the importance of quality sleep to an exercise designed to help them recognise and value their own strengths.

We hope the skills they have learned will help them in the future.

Chess Tournament

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Pupils from years 6 – 11 thoroughly enjoyed representing Oakhill this week at a Chess tournament, kindly hosted by St Augustine’s.

Our children have been working with Harrison and Matthew in Year 9 in a lunchtime practice club and were very much looking forward to trying out their skills against some new opponents.

They certainly rose to the challenge as they came out overall winners.

Considering the young age of many of our team, against Year 8 and Year 10 pupils, we are extremely proud of their achievements.  Well done and thank you to our hosts for a fantastic evening.

Top Of The Bench Competition

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Saturday was a dark and cool January morning and four of our finest pupils climbed on the bus to head off to Lancaster University for the Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench Competition. Not a run of the mill Saturday by any means and the closure of the M6 posed a logistical problem to us. Six teams from Lancashire were pitting their wits against each other for one of the places in the final, to be held this year in London.

Our team of four contained Harrison, Matthew, Olly and Sam, who donned their lab coats and safety goggles and braved the elements! First up was the practical challenge “Christmas…the Aftermath!” with the group being split in two. Harrison and Olly undertook a task to find out who Santa was involving chromatography, fingerprint and ions analysis and Matthew and Sam used titration and colourimety to work out which indigestion tablet was the best at combating the excesses of Christmas!

The afternoon session was a written test with each pupil set an age specific paper to challenge the most able to their limit. The day ended with the custard mini rocket challenge. The team had to prepare a mini rocket to launch and after a practise launch the teams were up against each other to see whose rocket went the furthest. Oakhill’s Super Rocket shot past the others to claim first place and the coveted title of Rocket Challenge Winners 2020. In the end Lancaster Girls Grammar School were the Top of the Bench winners in a very tough but close competition. Well done to our fantastic team who really showed they could blast past the others!

Watch the winning rocket launch here.

Murder At Oakhill!

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Year 8 were greeted with a crime scene on their return to English on Monday morning, finding crime scene tape on the door and the outline of a body on the floor.  They have been told that the victim in the literary murder case was Victor Frankenstein, a local scientist, who appears to have been poisoned.

Year 8 have now started to work as investigators and journalists to hopefully solve this fiendish crime.  They will be learning about different types of non-fiction writing this half-term as they step closer to the solution.

RSPB Bronze Wild Challenge

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Reception have worked hard over the last term and have achieved their Bronze Wild Challenge from the RSPB.

They had to complete six activities during their forest school sessions including building a hedgehog house, a minibeast hunt, weather survey and composting.

We are all excited to move onto our silver award next.

Year 2 Visit The Post Office

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Year 2 have been writing letters to their mums and dads to say thank you for all their efforts in making their Christmas a good one.

They learned how to use the franking machine with Mrs Sutterby

and then walked into Whalley to hand their letters in to the man in the Post Office as franked letters cannot be put in an ordinary postbox.

It was also a great opportunity to look at the surroundings and what some of the different signs and symbols mean along the way. It made us laugh when some thought the three fishes represented the restaurant not the rivers! They also recognised things from last year when they went out and about in Year 1.

We really enjoyed our walk and hope our mums and dads enjoyed reading our letters.

Christmas Tie Competition

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Nothing gets you more in the Christmas spirit than a good Christmas tie… well that’s according to our very own tie connoisseur, Mr Lowry!

This month the boys and girls in Prep have had the opportunity to enter our Annual Student Council Christmas Competition by designing their very own Christmas tie. It seems they have all been busy getting their creative ideas together by using sequins, glue, sewing needles and even quality street wrappers!

Mrs Buttery had a tough time judging the competition as the standard was excellent, but in the end she chose three winners for there originality, Oakhill spirit and simplicity. Here are the winners with their ties, in first place is Spencer (Year 1), second place Jenson (Year 6) and third place Penelope (Year 1).

The money raised will be donated to our on going Eco Brick Project and will buy more benches and tables for our outdoor classroom.

Year Three Conquer The Romans

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With the end of a long term just around the corner it was time for the Year Three teacher to take a well earned back seat and let the pupils do the teaching for once! And so a teacher’s Christmas wish came true. Each member of Year Three chose a topic area about the Romans to complete a term’s history study topic.

Presentations ranged from Roman clothing, entertainment and schooling to farming, soldiers and buildings. The pupils spoke clearly, confidently and with knowledge and enthusiasm. The teacher rated it as ‘Outstanding!’

Las Posadas

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Year 2 pupils had a lot of fun commemorating the ancient Mexican tradition of Las Posadas yesterday.  This event consists of a procession through the streets of cities and towns, with children dressed as Mary and Joseph.  As they knock on the doors of local residents, they ask the question ¿Hay posada?, remembering the time when Mary and Joseph were looking for shelter so that Mary could give birth to Jesus.

Year 2 enjoyed reenacting this by walking from classroom to classroom, visiting all Oakhill pupils, from pre-school and prep through to seniors, asking for room.  They confidently introduced themselves in Spanish before asking the special question.  Teachers and pupils alike joined in by delivering the news ‘No hay posada’, until the children finally found refuge back in their own classroom.

Well done, Year 2.  We are very proud of the way you helped us all remember the true meaning of Christmas and prepare us for this very special time.

Beauty And The Beast

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Mrs Raho and Mrs Mousley took Year 9 on a class trip to Burnley Youth Theatre to see their classmate, Brodie performing in Beauty and the Beast.

It was a fantastic performance and we were very proud of Brodie, who played the part of Monsieur Pomme very well. The Youth Theatre is a very modern and professional set-up and were were highly impressed with the whole experience. Well done Brodie!

Flash Bang!

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It was all flashes and bangs for Year 7 last Monday when they attended the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Flash Bang Show at Bolton School. As always it was a chemical spectacle with colour changes, bright lights, smoking cauldrons and increasingly loud bangs with lots of interesting chemistry facts surrounding each reaction.

It certainly scaled up the reactions that the Year 7’s have been conducting over the last few weeks and I hope that this will inspire our pupils to become the Scientists of the future.

Running Club Trip To Gisburn Forest

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The Senior School running club enjoyed a Christmas adventure as they headed to Gisburn Forest this Wednesday.  As a treat for their commitment and excellent progress made this term, pupils enjoyed a 5 mile trail run around the forest, finishing with lunch, cake and hot chocolate in the cafe.

The Santa hats gave us some extra insulation on a very cold day!  The club meets every Wednesday lunchtime and pupils are taken on a variety of routes around Whalley by Mrs Raho, Mrs Mousley and Mr Peel.  Our members have showed excellent commitment since September and have developed their stamina, fitness, and enjoyment of running, and we are very proud of them all.

Some have even taken on their first parkrun, and enjoyed the Blackpool illuminations on our annual ‘Run the Lights’ trip.  We always welcome new members who are free to run, walk and progress at their own pace.  We also have a beginners running club on a Thursday.  We look forward to seeing our runners develop further in 2020 and also to see some new faces!

Festive Biscuits

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Year 5 were shown how to decorate festive biscuits by Saul’s mum and it wasn’t as easy as she made it look!

Nevertheless, it was great fun and very soon the table was filled with melting snowmen and Christmas baubles, as well as lots of other individual creations.

A big thank you to Saul’s mum for giving her time and sharing her skills with us!

Reflecting Upon Reflection

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Year Three had a most illuminating and reflective science lesson this week.

They tested out a range of reflective materials to see which would be best to be used on the design for a new school bag, so that they can be seen in the darkness of wintertime.

Two materials came out tops in their research and these will now be used to help the children as they make their new school bag.

Prep Student Council

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The Prep School Student Council were kept busy on their stall at the recent Christmas Fair, selling good quality books and toys.

Well done Scarlett from reception class who won the Name The Teddy competition. In all £182 was raised, which will go towards recycled tables and benches for the playground which can be used as an outdoor classroom… when the weather improves! Many thanks to everyone who supported this stall.