Sackville breaks GCSE record for second year running

We are delighted to share the fantastic results achieved by our year 11s this summer. Our headline measure using the government’s new indicator is 0.54, where the expectation is 0. Though a small number, this would put us in the top 10% of schools in terms of the progress made by the students.

Three quarters of all results were at the higher grades of C or more, well above the national average. In both maths and English, more than 75% of students gained a C which far outstrips national figures.

There are so many strong achievements to note and we would like to give particular mention to two groups of students: those who attained the very highest grades and those who achieved the strongest progress, both of which are equally impressive. Well done to Rosy Napper (11A*, 2A), Oliver Blackman (6A*, 4A), Christopher Stuart (5A*, 5A), Alistair Smith (4A*, 8A), Andrew Huggett (4A*, 6A) and Erin Dearlove (3A*, 7A); also to Christopher Oglethorpe, Danny Vater, Ciaran O’Callaghan, Cameron Toogood, Isobel Booker and Adam Kelly who achieved the very highest progress.

Headteacher Julian Grant commented: “I have massive respect and admiration for the students in this year group who worked so hard and were supported so well by their parents: congratulations everyone! Together with the input of the dedicated and skilled staff here, they have achieved an outstanding set of results. It is the best progress we have ever achieved and another exceptional year for Sackville”.

It’s official – our sixth form is excellent!

Sackville students are celebrating a brilliant set of A level results this year which marks the eighth consecutive year of progress being significantly above national expectations. Furthermore, alongside the 100% pass rate, 80% of all grades were at the higher tier of A*-C. Significantly, 24 students achieved an A* or A in maths alone!

We have just received two sets of value-added analysis which both judge us in a very positive light. The national ALPS database has awarded our A level performance the grade of ‘excellent‘ this year.

Particular congratulations go to Matt Bidgway, Kirsty Legg, Alba Halliday and Noriyuki Ishii who each achieved two A*s and one A grade. Seven other students achieved three A grades or better. There are very many others worthy of praise for their excellent progress, and almost all students secured a place at their first choice of university.

Headteacher Julian Grant commented: “I am so pleased for the students and their parents in achieving a really excellent set of results, especially with such a high proportion of grades at the top end. Congratulations to them all! We have a fine sixth form and I am delighted for the staff who gave such skilful, dedicated support throughout. It is clearly another great year.”

Lifelong memories from India – World Challenge 2016

This could make you jealous: our year 12s had an incredible time in India. An action-packed itinerary included a six day trek in the Western Ghat hills in Kerala, followed by some well-deserved R and R on a houseboat. Then they went to a primary school in Haripad, to teach lessons and also to decorate the new dining room. There are almost too many highlights to list, but one would have to be the opening ceremony for the new canteen hosted by the school to thank the students for all their hard work. All those involved came back with a store of life-memories.

There was even time for a surprise visit from Mr Rahim, who even acted as an interpreter for a TV interview when he was there.

Maisie wins the Matt Rieley Memorial Award

Congratulations to Maisie Gadd, winner of the inaugural Matt Rieley Memorial Award.

The award is given to a student who lived the values that Matt himself embodied: contribution, commitment and courage. Maisie has shown all of these throughout her time at Sackville, in her classwork, her extra-curricular activities, her assistance at many school events, her work as a buddy and particularly in her time as a sports leader.

Matt’s parents were introduced by Mr Street at the final assembly of the year and presented Maisie with the award, a beautiful trophy she gets to keep for a year.

Congratulations to Maisie, and what a lovely way to remember Matt.

Curriculum Enhancement Week at Sackville

The last full week of term is our ‘activities week’ (or as we call it ‘Curriculum Enhancement Week’). There is almost too much to write about in a short web-post! Activities this week range from visits to Blackland Farm, Ardingly Reservoir and Team Dynamics in Frant, sports days, a health day for year 8, a fair trade day for year 7, a diversity day for year 9, a futures day for year 10, and engineering days for years 7 to 9. Meanwhile year 12s are on work experience (see below).

Sixth Form Work Experience

We are proud to launch Sixth Form Work Experience Week. Mrs Valentine and Mr Whitehead enjoyed visiting the placements on the first day of this important week, interviewing employers and students. Highlights included eight students at Chailey Heritage School; Harry Homes at The Bluebell Railway; watching Amelia McGelligot at MediVet in Forest Row getting outstanding hands on experience of handling pets in the vetinary surgery; Hannah Carney and KatelynSleet at A and E engineering; and Rob Ure, Joe Tanswell and Jack Spacey at The Kings Centre and Toby Hill at Energie all working the gym.

We would like to extend our thanks to employers and parents for helping us place these students. A further report will follow in the next edition of Sackville News.

Remembering two of our most impressive students

The weekend of July 9/10 saw the Sackville community remembering two of its finest students.

A number of staff and friends, led by the irrepressible Mr Maywood, went to eastern France to cycle up two of the largest mountains in Alsace. Money was raised for two charities in honour of former students Matt Cox and Matt Rieley. Matt Rieley was helped enormously as he battled with cancer by CLIC Sargent, and you can see the team wearing charity T shirts in the picture.

For Matt Cox, money is being raised to build a pavillion at Edenbridge Cricket Club, where he spent so many happy hours destroying the visiting bowling attacks. 

The club hosted a cricket match and BBQ to support this fundraising effort on the Sunday, with a team of Sackville alumni playing the town club. Sackville’s team lost narrowly, though the result is not important! A full report will be in the next Sackville News.

You can donate to either charity by clicking the links here: CLIC Sargent, Edenbridge Pavillion.

Our humanities students are studying hard in the field!

On the last Thursday before Activities Week, our year 10 history students visited the fort at Newhaven. Though originally built to counter the Napoleonic threat, its role in the Second World War makes a visit fit very well with the GCSE history curriculum.

Meanwhile, the last weekend of the summer term sees our year 10 geographers decamping to Wales for their geography field trip. Students visited the waterfall at Ystradfellte on the way to their accommodation at Swansea University. Saturday saw the river study, where primary data was obtained to confirm or confound the Bradshaw Model. Needless to say, the weather made he job a challenge!

Sunday’s visit to Pwll Mawr (the Big Pit) is followed by the journey home.

No end of term let up for these hard-working young people!

The sun (finally) comes out for EGGSFEST!

EGGSFEST was possibly ‘bigger than Reading‘ this year, according to compere Matt Abel. Certainly the standard of music on display would have graced far larger venues. Musicians from all the local primary schools, some as young as year 3, entertained the crowd with songs such as ‘Heroes’ and ‘Sweet Child of Mine’.

All of this took place on a state of the art stage with a spectacular sound system, brought in specially for the occasion. Previous Head of Music Noah Nicholson was certainly impressed with how the festival was presented this year.

We would like to thank all the participating schools, our inspirational singing teacher Emily Barden, and the tireless coordinating work of Tom Heatley. 

It’s our favourite time of the year – the new year 6s are here!

Sackville welcomes students from 24 primary schools for their three day induction this week. Students will enjoy lessons in all of the main subjects, and importantly will become familiar with a school site which at the start is quite unfamiliar to them.

Mr Morris, their head of year, welcomed them with the modest ambition that they would be “the best year group ever in Sackville“. Stiff competition, but with the start they are making, who knows? Bookmark this page for a visit in August 2021!

We’d like to thank our dedicated team of year 10 buddies, who will be doing their very best to make the transition to secondary school an easy one for every year 6 pupil.

Sackville wins two awards from the School, Students and Teachers Network

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.


Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh: this time it’s for real

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.

No rain in Spain

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!

 Term dates 2016-17

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.


For any child protection and safeguarding enquiries contact Mr D Hayden. You can view the safeguarding policy here.


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