Congratulations to our U12 athletics team – newly crowned Mid-Sussex athletics champions. The boys were third overall, and the girls won. This meant that combined scores put Sackville in first place ahead of all the other Mid Sussex schools. Well done! We now look forward to greater success over the coming years.
Oh … and once again the weather was awful. This seems to be becoming the theme of the summer of ’16.
All year 12 students are now back in school following their AS exams. Good AS results will of course offer our students a real head-start when applying for university.
Our biologists enjoyed a rare window of fine weather on June 24th to engage in field work on Ashdown Forest. using quadrats to look at species diversification.
Meanwhile, our year 11 students were back in school to undertake their A level maths induction day.
June 23rd was not only national decision day: in Sackville too students had the chance to vote in our own ‘mock referendum’.
Following discussions in tutor time, students voted on exactly the same question as that on official ballot papers.
‘Remain’ won with 58% of the vote, with the ‘Leave’ on 40% and 1% spoilt papers. These amusingly included votes for Donald Trump and for Plaid Cymru.
In the picture you can see year 10 students patiently waiting to cast their votes.
Sackville hosted the annual Area Sports Competition on Wednesday June 22nd. There were some fantastic performances from pupils as young as year 4. You can see the results for the small schools here, and the large schools here.
As we have previously shared, Sackville has two new awards from the School, Students and Teachers Network, the SSAT. The first is for being in the top 20% of schools for attainment at GCSE, and the second being for being in the top 20% of schools student progress at GCSE. In fact, we were in the top 12% of schools for student progress at GCSE. As a result of these awards, we have been invited by the SSAT to be a leading edge school.
Headteacher Julian Grant and Deputy Headteacher Neil Feist received the awards before half term from Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT.
It is very pleasing to have the hard work of our school community acknowledged by a body as well-respected as the SSAT. According to the Chief Inspector of Schools, able students are not being stretched in state schools. This is not the case in Sackville where our more able students on average were a whole grade higher in four subjects compared to the national average.
These awards come at the same time as analysis from Oxford Analytics which confirms our student progress at A level is once again significantly above the national average.
At last, our year 7s have got their hands on their BBC Microbits. Every twelve-year-old in the country has been given one of these amazing little devices, which combine LED outputs with button and sensor inputs to make a fully programmable piece of hardware.
Students have worked for some time on ‘virtual’ simulations of the microbits, and their enthusiasm for the real thing was palpable.
Head of Computing James Lea said “the students absolutely loved them – it’s definitely going to switch more young people on to coding”.
Coming hot on the heels of another report pointing up Britain’s digital skills shortage, that is probably a good thing!
Our year 9 GCSE geographers enjoyed a day’s fieldwork in east London on June 14th. Students were particularly interested in the way in which the city has been regenerated in the vicinity of the Olympic Park. They also visited the Docklands area, looking at an earlier phase of urban change.
All in all this is an excellent preparation for the students’ field trip to Wales in a year’s time, where physical and human geography will have equal emphasis.
Sackville students did exceptionally well at this year’s South of England Show. Toby Smith won the Young Craftsman of the Year Award and also came first in the Woodcraft category.
Dan Talbot was runner up in the Young Craftsman of the Year Award and first in the Metals category.
Jenny Norton was runner up in the Textiles category and Alex Rooke received a special award for her Textiles entry. In the pictures here, Jenny’s is the dark coloured dress and Alex’s is the tartan suit.
The work produced will of course go towards the students’ GCSEs and A levels, so we hope for some excellent grades on results days this summer.
Also pictured are the students with teachers Mr Treen and Mr D’Urban-Jackson.
Well done to all these students!
After a practice trip in the beautiful sunshine a few weeks back, the second weekend in June saw our year 10 students out on the real assessed expedition. No help with navigation and route planning this time; more a question of applying all of those skills learned over the practice walk and classroom sessions.
And the weather on Sunday was a good deal less kind too, with the students learning the joys of real camping – trying to make breakfast in the rain.
Spare a thought too for Mr Johnson: Thursday night saw him on the overnight bus trip back from Barcelona, Saturday under canvas with the students.
Year 8 Spanish students endured the long coach ride to Catalunya, but are now enjoying the perfect antidote to the poor British half-term weather in Barcelona. Don’t be fooled by the pictures; the students work hard on this trip. They will be writing up their visit to Camp Nou in Spanish later this week!
The wider Sackville community turned out in large numbers to bid farewell to Matt Rieley on June 2nd.
There was standing room only at Trinity Methodist Church as the congregation heard a series of speakers offer their impressions and memories of this remarkable young man. Matt’s father made it clear that the child was very much father to the man with his recollections of Matt’s earlier years. His first injury was sustained chasing an older girl up a slide! Mr Rieley also emphasised the way that Matt dealt with his long struggle against his illness, something that was echoed by all those who spoke.
A recurring theme in the speeches that followed was Matt’s larger than life character. Steve May-Miller talked about how Matt would ‘light up a room’ as he walked in. For Quentin Purdy, Matt’s defining quality was the ability to be everywhere at once, especially at the front of queues. Chris White talked of the enormous contribution Matt made to the scouting movement, and again how nothing stopped him in helping others to get a job done.
For school Headteacher Julian Grant, Matt, as both a student and colleague, was simply ‘Sackville’s finest’.
Matt, you will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Thank-you for enriching our lives.
So it’s farewell to year 13. What a great year group they have been for all the seven years they have spent at Sackville. Their final assembly, orchestrated by Mr Whitehead, brought plenty of laughs and the odd tear. Previous heads of year Mrs Turk and Mr Maywood were equally moved.
This lot broke the record for our best GCSE results (a record they may have only held for one year, but a record nonetheless). We expect them to match this success in the summer, and indeed are looking forward to tales of great success throughout the rest of their lives. Well done, good luck, and enjoy.
You can find our term dates for next academic year, 2016-7, here. Please note that next year the holiday dates for Sackville and other West Sussex schools are not always the same as those for Surrey, East Sussex and Kent.