Steve Latus

Steve Latus. 42 years. Legend

In 1979 Mrs Thatcher was elected prime-minister, the Clash were in the charts, and Steve Latus was appointed geography teacher at Sackville. 42 years later and we are wishing him a very well-deserved retirement. All of our staff joined Steve and his family for a celebratory BBQ, and Mr Grant shared the many highlights of his time at Sackville. These include 52 ski-trips, 38 geography field trips and nine victories in the Charlton Chase. But Steve has also taught over 30,000 lessons, and over 15,000 students, and was head of year for a quarter of a century.

Steve himself said none of this ever felt like work, and if he could he would go on forever. He finished his own memorable speech with a quote from Tennyson’s Ulysses

We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Steve signed off with his signature ‘Carpe Diem’. Happy retirement Steve – you have earned it. They say no-one is irreplaceable, but we are not so sure.

Farewell year 13

So farewell then year 13

An unorthodox end to an unorthodox two years, but we managed to say goodbye and good luck to our year 13 students with an afternoon tea served by the school leadership team. With the current rise in COVID rates we felt it was safer not to hold the usual sixth form prom, the second year we have had to cancel it. Instead, a good number of the year group enjoyed a very warm and luckily dry afternoon beneath the large Sackville Oak and reminisced about their time at Sackville, and their unique sixth form experience, with so much of it home learning.

This year group have been amazing at rising to the challenges presented by the COVID period and have worked so hard to secure good grades in the summer assessment series. Goodbye and good luck, class of 2021; we are going to miss you.

Special thanks to Mrs Barden and Mrs Smith, and the canteen team who went a long way beyond the call of duty to make this happen. We are extremely grateful also to Amber T for providing quality live entertainment, and to Lisa Hepburn and Balloon Boutique who stepped in at the last minute to provide a balloon arch.

Inaugural Michael Leppard History Prize is shared

Inaugural Michael Leppard History Prize is shared

2021 saw the first ever award of the Michael Leppard History Prize. The prize is in memory of former teacher Michael Leppard who passed away in 2019, and is sponsored by the East Grinstead Society of which Michael was a founder member. 

Entrants were asked to produce a short project on the history of the town, and this year the prize was shared by four year 7 and 8 students. Well done to Tomas Dewberry, Giselle Currie, Elsa Woodcock and Lilly Hill. Each student recieved a £25 voucher for WH Smith, presented by Mr James Baldwin, Chair of the East Grinstead Society.

Next year students will be able to work on an entry for the prize in our extra-curricular history club.

Sports days

Sports days return to Sackville

After an enforced fallow summer in 2020, it was great to see the return of sports days to Sackville (though sadly year 9’s was lost to the weather).

The cheering could be heard across the school when year 7 enjoyed their day of sport, especially from the winners 7JCK who beat two forms with PE teachers as tutors into second and third place.

Thank-you to the PE staff and all of our helpers who made the days run so smoothly and successfully.

A busy time in the sixth form

A busy time in the sixth form

We are fast approaching the end of term, but life for our senior students remains busy. Many of our year 11 students have been back in school attending taster sessions. The first picture shows one of our biology A level tasters. Meanwhile our year12 students, fresh out of their progression exams, focussed on their futures on Monday July 12, with individual appointments with their tutors, and input from outside advisors. A special thanks to Kate Averre for giving up a day of her time to talk to our Oxbridge cohort.

Also on Monday several of our students presented their EPQs (Extended Project Qualifications). These projects require a substantial amount of individual research and work, and are highly valued by universities. Well done to Ciara Humphrey, Sophie Taylor, Taylor Goodall, Ben Salter, Zara Keetley, Hannah Sisley, Holly Aston and Leo Gott whose EPQs ranged from the Bayeux Tapestry to artificial intelligence.

Live musical theatre returns!

Live musical theatre returns!

On Thursday July 8th we were treated to a fantastic performing arts showcase from our year 12 students. The group had chosen to perform extracts from the musical Everyone’s Talking About Jamie.

The performances were powerful and moving, and showed just how well this group of students has gelled over a year in which rehearsing together has not always been possible. Despite the students coming from different schools and year groups, it was teamwork that drove the students to such peaks, and their support for each other was notable.

Well done Nathan Jones, Olivia Ody, Amelia Fraser, Brandon Foley, Alice Martin, Ellie-Mae Taylor, and Nicole Noakes.

Year 11 into 12 briefing

Year 11 into 12 briefing

Please accept our apologies if you were unable to get into our virtual year 11 into 12 briefing on Wednesday July 7th. We had many more in the audience then we usually do for the equivalent in-person event, and Google Meet has a limit of 100.

Our team has called all of those who emailed in this morning. The presentation was recorded and be viewed here.

Amber T stars in ‘her’ magazine

Amber T stars in ‘her’ magazine

Year 12 student Amber Titchener’s fame continues to grow. We have already written about her becoming the youngest contracted ambassador to Yamaha Music. You can see more on their Instagram feed

Amber also features in the latest edition of her magazine, just out. This is a high-end publication and not on the newstands of West Sussex, but we reproduce one of the photos here courtesy of the magazine. There is a lovely extended interview with her that can only be seen in print unfortunately! In promoting this edition, the magazine states:

Following a carefully curated line of illustrious and exciting female artists from around the World, Kelela, Snoh Aalegra, Softest Hard, Alison Mosshart, Aimyon, Zsela, Billie Eilish, Celeste etc. comes AMBER T with a huge feature in the latest issue of the magazine. 

At just 17 years old, AMBER T is the youngest artist to be featured in this renowned and hugely respected publication and the release of the latest edition of the magazine in June,  precedes the release of AMBER’S next single and video release, the self-penned “GET ME” Produced by Michael Smith at RYP Recordings, the release also coincides with AMBER becoming an official YAMAHA MUSIC LONDON AMBASSADOR #YMLAbassador. This tie-up will see AMBER performing a headline show at the YAMAHA Europe head office in London’s West End and she will be heavily involved in a variety of events over the coming months.

Clive Brooks departs

Clive Brooks

It is with sadness that we share the news that former Headteacher Clive Brooks has passed away.

Mr Brooks was Headteacher of Sackville from 1983 to 1993, a period of great change in schools which saw the introduction of the National Curriculum and the new GCSE exam.

Mr Latus, our longstanding teacher of geography who worked under Mr Brooks, remembers him as an outstanding headteacher under whom the school thrived enormously. He had the Welsh gift of rhetoric and was widely respected by his staff and students.

The thoughts of Sackville are with his family. We hope we are honouring the legacy he left behind.

The Sculpture Day is here at last

The Sculpture Day is here at last

Y12 photography students were treated to a full day of sculptural activities this week, inspired by visiting artists Andy Webb and Dave Stephens. As he described the theme of conflict behind his work, Dave had the students both laughing and on the edge of tears. Students channelled these emotions into a series of built structures, taking their photographic work into 3D forms. The resulting pieces can now be seen in Reception.
This special event was sponsored by TASEG (The Art Society East Grinstead) and we thank them for enabling us to enrich the curriculum during such a challenging year.