Mia and Beth are cooking up something …

Mia and Beth are cooking up something …

Congratulations to Beth Currie and Mia Carew from year 9 who are the Sussex winners of the national Create and Cook Competition.

Their mouth-watering dish was chosen because of the use of local ingredients.

Illustrated here you can see Tablehurst Farm lamb kofka with tzatziki dressing, Greek salad with High Weald Feta cheese & homemade flatbreads, Sussex berry pavlova with Sussex cream and raspberry coulis. It’s made me hungry just writing this down!

The girls worked really hard getting everything done as closure and lockdown loomed. Well done to both – there are at least two households who will be eating well at this time!

VE Day

VE celebrations in East Grinstead

No-one envisaged it would be like this when Prime Minister Theresa May announced that May Day Bank Holiday 2020 would switch to Friday May 8th, to allow a proper celebration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day

Nevertheless, people managed to pay their respects as best they could. As you can see from the video clip, at 10.59 am Wilfie Fenn-Wood in year 7 joined virtually with his scout and guide band to play the ‘Last Post’ as the country prepared to observe a two-minute silence (see video). Johannes Kool of Imberhorne School, son of our Senior Science Technician, is also pictured here playing the cornet as 11.00 am approached. Johannes was one of six cornet players in Crawley Down who managed to play simultaneously in different parts of the village.

Later to honour the work done during the war at the QVH under the guidance of Sir Archibald McIndoe a lone Spitfire overflew the town and dipped its wings in salute. Our own Miss Offler captured this stunning photo of the Spitfire.

Thank-you too to Mrs Farrant and Mrs Furniss for sharing video footage of the flypast.


Mrs Fleming’s quiz raises over £500

Mrs Fleming’s quiz raises over £500

What can you do on a Friday evening these days, now that it is the same as any other day? Well on the 24th April, staff, governors and sixth formers settled down to Mrs Fleming’s photo quiz

Could you have identified the film, the island, the dish, the landmark and the famous sportsman? Participants also had to solve riddles and emoji clues – what country is that?

There were 100 questions, and the standard of entries was impressively high.

Congratulations to the winner, our governor Alison Brown (perhaps revenge for the Children in Need Quiz last autumn?) with a weighty 96.5 correct answers. She was closely followed by Alice Knox and Anna Keen

This excellent evening’s activity raised over £500 for the East Grinstead Foodbank and NHS Charities Together. Thank you to all the participants, and especially to Mrs Fleming for her excellent organisation.

Sackville making PPE for the QVH

Sackville making PPE for the QVH

Thanks to Mrs Pope, her son Joss, Mr Martin and Mr Treen for coming in on the day our plastic order arrived in order to make face visors for the Queen Victoria Hospital in town. Together we achieve on the grandest scale.

This was featured on BBC Radio Sussex on Sunday 19th April – listen to Mr Treen’s interview below.

James McMillan

James McMillan

It is with the deepest sorrow that we share the news that James McMillan passed away late on Monday April 6th

James joined Sackville as a teacher of computer science in September 2013. His calm unflappable presence and his subject knowledge were key to his many students achieving success. James always made himself available outside lessons, and most evenings there were students in his room improving their skills in one of the several programming languages in which he was fluent.

James also got involved in the extra-curricular life of the school, most memorably on World Challenge trips. This picture, from 2017, shows James on the right during the trip to China, Vietnam and Laos.

James was planning the 2018 trip to Malawi when he was diagnosed with a very rare form cancer. Though he was not able to return to work, many of his colleagues continued to visit him on a regular basis, and were always struck by his concern for their welfare before his own. He truly cared about the life of the Sackville community, and asked regularly about how his classes were progressing. 

Throughout his illness, James displayed remarkable dignity and bravery, and even at the very end was able to share jokes with his visitors.

James will be missed by us all, and our thoughts are with his partner and family at this time.

A brave new world of remote learning

A brave new world of remote learning

Well done to all of our students who have made a strong start on our school closure ‘remote learning’ programme.

Work is being set for years 7-10 and year 12 to make sure they stay up to speed with their courses even though they are not at school.

We are busy surveying parents to see how this provision is working as we make the transition to fully home-based learning. Students are working very hard overall, but maybe the real heroes here are the parents and carers – keeping secondary school students interested is always a challenge!

Students, teachers and parents have all become very familiar with ‘Show my Homework’ and all of the other technologies that are signposted off it. It’s good to see pictures of students at work coming in. The whole Day family is at work in one of these photos (and only one is a Sackville student at present!). Adam in year 10 has a good workstation rigged up and is storming through the work set. Ciaran in year 9 has been cunningly set some food work by mum which has resulted in a splendid meal. Mia, also in year 9 has been busy honing her food and hospitality skills making Easter brownies. Food is a big theme in fact, with Wilfie, also in year 7, hard at work in the kitchen. Oh, and there is one of Mr Heatley doing a ‘heavy rock’ workout on the beach!

There’s loads going on and the only thing we can be sure of is that we are all learning together as we go now!

Farewell, but not goodbye, to year 11

Farewell, but not goodbye, to year 11

It wasn’t the way it was meant to be of course, but Friday March 20th was the last day of school for our year 11s – and indeed everyone else.

After two days to come to terms with the understandable decision to cancel GCSE exams in 2020, students were invited in for an impromptu ‘leavers’ lunch’, put together by our fantastic support staff, led by the amazing Jayne Palmer, our canteen manager, without whose drive and passion this could not have happened.

A highlight was the speech from the stage by year 11 student Thomas Lyons, in which he praised this fine group of young people. This was preceded by the reading of messages from Mr Millican, Head of Year, and Mr Jones, Pastoral Support Assistant, reproduced below.

It wasn’t quite a prom – when we come out the other side of all of this, organising one will be a priority task. Nonetheless, it was a fitting way to mark the end of GCSE year for these young people who have won so many admirers as the strange week unfolded. A group of people who, however disappointed they may be, know that in the end their sacrifices this summer will have saved lives.

So now stay safe, and heed the advice of all of those working in the NHS: keep your social distance and help slow the spread of the virus.

Mr Millican’s message

Apologies for not being there today, I am self-isolating but please spare a thought for my poor wife and child who are currently quarantined with me.

I feel sincerely sorry for you all at this unprecedented time, who on earth would ever have predicted that this would happen? You have worked so hard to put yourself in an excellent position for the summer and should feel proud of your hard work and dedication. 

I echo Mr de Souza’s comments from our last assembly – “you are our priority and we will do everything we possibly can to support you”. With this in mind I am currently working on re-arranging the prom.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you this year. You are an outstanding year group; full of fun, energy and a willingness to support each other unconditionally. I have no doubt you will take this current situation in your stride and come out stronger on the other side.

Look after yourselves and your families, keep in contact and I look forward to seeing you in school as soon as this situation rectifies itself and certainly in the Sixth Form.

Mr Jones had this to say

I am so upset that I cannot be there this morning to say farewell to my wonderful cohort.

I cannot believe where those five years have gone. Those annoying Year 7s have grown into fine young adults. I have a huge amount of pride in this group. They feel like they are all my children and I am distraught that this terrible disease has stopped their chance of showing the world how incredible they are.

This will not stop them though. They have been brilliantly educated at Sackville. They are determined and they will go on to make a huge impact in their own and other people’s lives.

Would you please, please pass on the message from me that they have been amazing during these five years? They have brought me an enormous amount of pride and I know they will achieve great things. I will see some of them again, I know, but please tell them to keep safe, keep studying and try not annoy your parents.

Thank you from a very emotional year assistant to my amazing cohort.

Birnam Wood has come to … Sackville!

Birnam Wood has come to … Sackville!

Shakespeare came alive on Wednesday March 11th as a The Sky Blue Theatre Company brought the Scottish Play to vivid life with a comical yet educational re-enactment invloving the students.

Using the costumes and the prompts provided by the company, students were able to see how the entire narrative develops.

After this, students were invited to direct key scenes of the play to show how Shakespeare’s real meanings could be delivered in subtly different ways.

After a gruelling two weeks of mocks, it was a refreshing way to approach the study of English literature.

True Adventure 2020 training weekend

Year 10 get ready for Indonesia 2020

Intrepid year 10 adventurers braved a cool and damp training day in Cocking with True Adventure in advance of their summer trip to Indonesia. The teams had to plan menus, cook meals and plan and execute a walk on the South Downs.

All of this is great preparation for the summer trip to Indonesia, though the weather there should be warmer (even if at times even wetter!)

Thanks to Mr Johnson and Ms Jeffcoat for accompanying the team.

World Book Day 2020

World Book Day 2020

How many characters from literature can you recognise here? In fact, how many of our English teachers can you recognise?

World Book Day was celebrated in style down in D block as it is every year.

Thank-you to our fantastic English teachers for doing that bit extra yet again, and as they scale the mountain of year 11 mock marking too.