Dan Keen works on Gary Barlow’s latest album

Take That! Dan Keen helps relight Gary’s fire

It’s been a good month for ex-Sackville music students. After hearing about Ethan Stahl earlier in November, news comes that Dan Keen (class of 2013/2015) has been instrumental in the creation of Gary Barlow’s latest album. Many will remember Dan as a truly outstanding all round musician and a very special pianist.

Dan has been working with Gary Barlow for some time now, with his biggest contribution being assisting with the orchestration of the backing music for the new album ‘Music Played By Humans‘, released in late November.

This is an amazing achievement for Dan, still only 23, and we look forward to hearing a lot more about him in the coming years.

Our bet is that for his next album, Gary is going to want Dan back for good.

Lunch with Judge Venn

Lunch with Judge Venn

On Thursday November 26th, our Y12 and Y13 Law students shared a virtual lunch with Her Honour Judge Venn. They got the chance to interview the local Circuit Judge about her job and career.

Judge Venn, who has visited Sackville before to talk to students about the judiciary, candidly explained the difficulty that Covid had caused the legal system and how they had adapted carrying out virtual trials.

The students really appreciated the Judge taking the time to show them her courtroom and her advice for those considering careers in law. They really appreciated her showing her judge wardrobe and describing the ceremonial outfits she sometimes has to wear.

Wednesday concert and bunsen licence

Sackville brings cheer to the dark 2020 autumn

Whilst our year 11s are coming to the end of their mock exams – and how hard they have worked – our science labs have been empty to allow our year 7s their first visit. Careful cleaning of the rooms before and after means we can get our year 7s to complete their Bunsen licence (and have a bit of scientific fun besides). These students have had ten weeks learning science, and indeed all of their subjects, in business, music and drama rooms, so the sight of a gas tap is excitement enough, let alone lighting a Bunsen and seeing Mr Langford’s pyrotechnics. Well done to all of our year 7s and thanks to our science staff.

In the meantime, in an attempt to bring some cheer to the end of 2020, our musicians have instigated the Sackville Wednesday Concert, every Wednesday lunchtime in a different part of the school. We were entertained by some fantastic year 12 musicians this week and we look forward to the spectacular talent coming next.

Remembering Andrew Smith

Remembering Andrew Smith

Mr Street writes on November 17th:-

I was really touched today when unexpectedly I received an email from Andrew’s mum Sophie with these two pictures attached.

Sophie reminded me that it was two years ago today that the then Year 8 (current Year 10) of which Andrew was a member, arranged a charitable basketball game to raise money for the cancer ward that was treating Andrew. I will never forget the roar from Andrew’s peers as he wheeled himself into the sports hall; it was both emotional and deafening and clearly showed the love we had for Andrew and the support he was going to receive from the Sackville community through the challenging times ahead.

This then got me thinking about the current challenges we face as a community in dealing with a global pandemic and contemplating what Andrew would have done. I am in no doubt that he would have tackled the challenges head on, remained positive and tried to live as normal a life as possible whilst at the same time thinking of and supporting others.

So, as we move into winter, remember we are all part of a respectful, supportive community and like we did for Andrew two years ago, let’s pull together, be kind and support one another.

Chubby and the Gang – Ethan Stahl

Former student Ethan Stahl features in The Guardian with new band

Former student Ethan Stahl (class of 2015) featured in The Guardian on Saturday 14th as the bassist in up-and-coming neopunk band Chubby and the Gang.

Ethan is the one with the leather jacket (second right) … and the wicked sideburns.


Sackville honours Remembrance Day

Nothing in 2020 is normal, but some traditions have to be kept. Each year our senior students accompany Mr Grant to lay a wreath at the war memorial in town. 

With the normal parade not taking place this year, instead a wreath was presented to the Town Council at East Court. Wreaths presented to them will be placed at the memorial in a COVID secure way.

Thank you to Head Boy Harvey Snashfold and Head Girl Katie Cooper for organising and delivering the wreath.

The whole school will observed two minutes silence on November 11th. This year the commemoration was accompanied by an impeccable rendition of the the Last Post by Wilfie Fenn-Wood in year 8. You can see a low-res video of this below.

Elton likes Amber!

Elton likes Amber!

We have just heard that Elton John is playing year 12 student Amber Titchener‘s ‘No Company’ single over the weekend of November 7/8 on his Rocket Hour show on Apple Music, which goes out both in the UK, Los Angeles and New York City!

Bear in mind he picks the songs he himself likes, and it speaks once more of what a great future Amber has ahead of her!

And it gets even better – Elton compared Amber to Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks! High praise indeed. Have a listen to what the great man says.

Virtual trips continue in A level law

Virtual trips continue in law and business

The latest virtual visit for our year 12 law students was to The UK Supreme Court. This visit allowed them to find out more about the role of this relatively new court in the UK structure. The UK Supreme Court has existed for a mere 11 years and the students were keen to find out about who worked there and the types of cases they deal with. They were surprised to discover that Supreme Court justices are not currently particularly representative of the population in terms of age, gender and ethnicity. They also were informed about difficult decisions the court needs to make to protect the rights of its citizens including a case to do with discrimination of a disabled person by a bus company.

Year 10 business students meanwhile have been finding out more about the role of the UK Parliament and how they can have a say. Students have had a class assembly and carried out activities to increase their knowledge of Parliament and how their views can be represented, alongside creating question and answer models to share their knowledge.

Sixth Form Open Evening

Thank you to all of our visitors who joined our virtual open evening on Thursday November 5th.

Full information about courses can be found in our online prospectus. A recording of the presentations from Thursday can also be found on each subject page. A video by our sixth form staff and student leaders is also available.

Please get in touch if there are any questions that remain unanswered! We look forward to receiving your applications!

SSAT national awards for Sackville

SSAT national awards for Sackville

Sackville has been awarded by the national Schools, Students and Teachers (SSAT) network in two vital areas of school development.

The school has been recognised as being ‘transforming’ in our work on professional learning (staff training) and in having principled curriculum design. ’Transforming’ is the highest category the SSAT can award and it therefore recognises that our practice is amongst the most exceptional nationally.

We went through a rigorous process involving another school peer reviewing our work and the SSAT reviewing our practices through the submission of evidence and staff interviews. 

We are delighted that the hard work of staff here has been recognised in this way. The developments in these areas, led by deputy heads Paul Street and Neil Feist with senior leaders Steve Bush and Dennis Hayden have ensured that we continue to review and improve our practice so that we provide all of our students with the best education possible.

Congratulations to everyone involved!