Our debaters rise to a considerable challenge

Our debaters rise to a considerable challenge

The last week in January was a big one for our school debaters. This crack team of public speakers has been honed to perfection by Mrs Stuart in after school sessions.

On Wednesday January 29th three of our year 13 debaters went to Sevenoaks School to take part in the English Speaking Union Debating Competition. In their debate they had to oppose the motion that This house regrets the commercialisation of Pride. All three spoke eloquently and effectively and were able to rebut the points made by their opponents from Caterham School. These were all things that the adjudicator commended. We are delighted to say that Imogen Gaines, Ellie Smith and Aminah Rahman will as a result go through to the next round.

The girls had had time to prepare their speeches in advance, a luxury they did not have on Saturday February 1st when they were accompanied by four of our most persuasive year 10s at the South East Regional Heat of the Cambridge Schools’ Debating Competition. In this competition the students pair up and debate alongside two students from another school who they have never met. Opposing them are a further four students from different schools again. The students have only 15 minutes to prepare their responses to such motions as This house would ban extremist political parties, or This house would not prosecute crimes committed out of economic necessity. Our students did extremely well, as one of only two comprehensive schools in the heat, coming first in several of their group debates. In the end this was not enough to go through to the next round, with all four places taken by public schools with long-established debating traditions. A special well-done nonetheless to Aminah, Ellie and Imogen, and our amazing year 10s Lao Lufu, Suzie McMillan, Sam Baker and Michael Panayiotou.

Your Life You Choose

‘Your Life You Choose’

Year 8s enjoyed a detimetabled day in the last week of January as we welcomed a range of important visitors inlcuding magistrates, JPs and police officers, led by Frankie Sulke, CBE. The day, called Your Life You Choose included a courtroom simulation, a conversation with serving police officers, a workshop on sentencing, and an hour with a former prisoner.

The students and their tutors were enormously positive about the day, with the corridors ablaze with conversation as the students went from session to session.

Five one-hour sessions demanded and exemplary attitude from our students and we are delighted that this was recognised by our visitors. We were told 

Your pupils were an absolute credit to you all.  They engaged actively, were curious, interested and interesting.  They were respectful of each other as well as of us and it was such a pleasure to spend time with them.

We would like to thank the team of visitors who made this possible, and Ms Vance for her essential in-school organising work.

Dot Barden

Dot Barden

We are sorry to have to share the news that Dot Barden, one of Sackville’s true characters, has passed away. 

For generations of Sackville students Dot was Sackville; it is difficult to imagine our community without her vibrant contributions. She was still teaching – Latin – right up to 2014, making the subject come alive with her lurid tales of Roman excess, and by arriving to lessons in a toga. To the many she taught English such exploits are vivid memories. One of her former students has written on Facebook The best teacher I ever had. I loved English because of Mrs Barden

No-one would disagree with this. At Sackville too we would say she was the best teacher we ever had.

Farewell Dot – we are diminished with your passing. But your legacy in generations of Sussex students and staff will never fade.

Introducing ELSA

Introducing ELSA

No – Mrs Knock has not changed her name … but at Sackville we now have our own ‘ELSA’. Here’s what she has to say about this role.

An ELSA is an Emotional Literacy Support Advisor who has been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to students who are experiencing temporary or longer term emotional needs. The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis. I will work out of The DEN (Develop Encourage Nurture) which provides a calm safe space for the student to feel supported and nurtured.  Students are referred to ELSA by the Year Team.
As an ELSA I aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs such as building resilience and self-esteem, managing and expressing emotions, positive affirmations, support through loss and bereavement, building positive attachments, social skills and to help avoid negative images or thoughts of self. In a nutsehell, an ELSA listens, supports, advises and empowers.
ELSAs are not there to fix students’ problems but to provide emotional support to help them to understand and cope with feelings about themselves and others. The aim is to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a student and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings built on a relationship of trust. Studies have shown that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met.
Mrs Knock works three days as an ELSA, and two days as the year assistant for year 8. The other three days are covered by Mrs Farrant.

Year 10 celebration breakfast

Well done to these fantastic year 10s … 

Our year 10 students who are progressing most strongly against their minimum expected grades were treated to a celebration breakfast by Mrs Sands and Mr Grant on Monday 27th January.

A great deal of hard work is needed to be scoring more than half a grade above expectation in every subject, which is the minimum each of these students is achieving. Many are more than a grade above.

Well done to all of them – a perfect springboard for that second Religious Studies mock exam after half-term.

Sixth form success

2020 opens with stunning sixth form success

2020 has opened with some wonderful news of sixth form successes! Firstly, congratulations to Grace de Souza who has achieved a confirmed place at Oxford University (Worcester College) to read geography. Grace was our head girl and completed her studies last year. Amongst much else, she performed major roles in our school shows. We are all delighted for her.

Alongside Grace, we have three students in year 13 who have secured conditional places at Oxford and Cambridge. We are confident they will get the grades they need to secure these offers.

A further 35 students have received at least one offer from a Russell Group university which is fantastic! The universities include Durham, Imperial, LSE, UCL, King’s, Warwick, Edinburgh, York, Exeter, Leeds and Nottingham. Other students have got offers to fulfil lifetimes’ ambitions to pursue careers such as nursing, events management, criminology, paramedicine and counselling. We would like to wish all the sixth form students every success in their journeys as they complete their mock examinations and begin to prepare for the summer.

As many parents will know, we introduced our students to the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) last year, which is a good enhancement to A level studies and well received by universities. Our first set of results has been extremely encouraging.  The nine students who entered achieved 3 A* grades, 1 A grade, 3 B grades and 2 C grades. Many congratulations to them! Pictured here (from left) are Aminah Rahman, Julia Nield, Danica Douglas, Georgia Wilkinson, Catilin Black, Lucy Phipps, Lily Kendrick, Will Booker and Isabelle Goddard.

Year 10 drama students show great promise

Year 10 drama students show great promise

On the evening of Wednesday January 22nd, we were treated to the first performance of the year from our year 10 drama students, who produced deeply thought-out responses to the Columbine massacres and the unfortunate fate of Breck Bednar. These are serious issues and the students approached them with a maturity which impressed our new drama leader Mrs Hodgkiss.

Well done to our year 10s for their fantastic performances – we look forward to seeing more as you progress through your GCSE.

Emma and Bea represent East Grinstead in national final

Emma and Bea represent East Grinstead in national final

Congratulations to Bea Chappell and Emma Smyth who represented East Grinstead in the U16 National Indoor Girls’ Hockey Final on Sunday 19th January.

Unfortunately East Grinstead did not win, but the experience was one the girls will not forget easily nonetheless.

Bea and Emma are left and second from left on the back row of this photo.

The team are sponsored by On Your Bike and STX Field Hockey.

Chef Tilly through to the next round

Chef Tilly through to the next round

Congratulations to Tilly Vickery in year 10, who has beaten very stiff competition to reach the next round of the Rotary Young Chef Competition at Merton College on Saturday 29th February.

Tilly worked calmly and effectively throughout, producing some very exciting dishes including caramelised onion and goats cheese tart, stuffed chicken, fondant potatoes and roasted tomatoes, and creme brûlée with redcurrants. Feeling hungry yet?!

Well done Tilly – good luck in the next round. Thank-you to Mrs Smeaton for giving up Saturday to accompany Tilly.

Hamburg 2020

Sixth form international work experience students get a taste of Germany

Eleven of our year 12 and 13 students emabrked upon a week of work experience on Monday January 13th in the fascinating German city of Hamburg. Placements range from businesses to kindergartens and hospitals.

On the Sunday before the work began, the students took the train to Berlin to enjoy a day’s sightseeing. Hightlights included climbing to the top of the Siegessaule (Victory Column – 285 steps), the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag

This is always a fascinating trip for the students, and often helps shape university choices.