Alex Watts shines in ‘Pretty Woman’

Alex Watts shines in ‘Pretty Woman’

Former student Alex Watts has taken his latest step to stardom with a key role in the new musical production of ‘Pretty Woman‘ in the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End.

Alex left Sackville after year 11 in 2013 to study theatre and performance at Central Sussex College. 

One to watch for the future!

Thanks to the Evening Standard for the image. Alex is the bellboy on the left.

Matt makes the England U18 reserve squad

Matt makes the England U18 reserve squad

Congratulations to Matt Tomkinson in year 13, who has been selected for the England U18 reserve squad. This small group of young men support the National England Counties U18 main 23 player squad, for which Matt narrowly failed to be selected. 

Matt has played a season for the Sussex County under 18 team, and his impressive performances with them led to selection for the England Rugby – London & South West Divisional team, and finally to the selection weekend for the national side.

As he prepares for his A levels in the early summer Matt will remain on standby for a call up to the forthcoming matches against Ireland in April.

History comes alive in Berlin

History comes alive in Berlin

The year 10 history visit to Berlin can be a pivotal moment in the GCSE course, as students see first-hand the historical places which play such a large part in the Germany component of the course. Sights visited include the Bundestag, the Holocaust Memorial, the Story of Berlin Museum, the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Checkpoint Charlie and the Topography of Terror.

It’s a packed, informative and very moving itinerary, but one which makes the subject come alive.

Thank-you to Ms Vance, Ms Garrison, Ms McLeod, Ms Odell and Mr Feist for organising the visit and accompanying the students.

A busy day for year 8s

A busy day for year 8s

Wednesday 26th February was a busy day for our year 8 students. Their annual winter interform sporting competition took place on one of the colder days of the winter, so it was lucky that 8SBP had organised a sweet sale to give them much-needed energy halfway through the day.

The students were very enthusiastic in their participation. Thank-you to the PE staff for organising, and to 8SBP for their fundraising efforts in aid of St Barnabas Hospice.

Joseph

An amazing Joseph … 

Each year I say it can’t get any better – but then it does‘! These were the words of one audience member after the premiere of this year’s school show, ‘Joseph’. We couldn’t agree more. The first night’s performance was as amazing as the technicolour coat itself. For the finale, the cast of nearly 100 were packed onto the extended stage, and as they performed a reprise of some of the show’s big numbers it was obvious what a success the night had been.

So much work goes into each of these performances and they really are an embodiment of ‘Together We Achieve’. Building upon polished work by the Sackville band, the audience was soon whooping and clapping performance after superb performance. Charlotte Nield is a peerless Joseph, and departing audience members were purring with appreciation at her interpretation of the role.

Hers was one of many amazing voices to be heard. The narrators Maud KendrickPeggy Wheeler, Nicole Noakes, Chloe Harman, Abi Hewitt and Lucy Barber kept the storyline moving. There were very strong male lead performances from Olly Howland as Potiphar, Jack Charlton-Nevitt as the Pharoah-as-Elvis and Eric Parker and Tom Duncan as two of the brothers. Seren Foulds also stood out as another brother, breaking to the news to her father (the excellent James Payne) that Joseph had perished.

There are so many people to thank for a performance like this. An enormous number of staff have given up many hours to make it happen. Special thanks to Ms Warran and Mr Heatley. See this show!

8LST Valentine’s Day

Sackville shows its love for Valentine’s Day

Well done to 8LST who delivered 100 anonymous Valentine’s gifts to staff and students all over Sackville on Valentine’s Day, covering the school with love, happiness and friendship.

Along the way they raised over £175 for our Year 8 charity Friends of Lindi.  Thanks to all who supported us by buying a gift for your loved ones!

Joseph – review by Geraldine Durrant

Joseph Review from the Theatre South-East website

Review of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Sackville School 12 – 14 February by Geraldine Durrant

“JOSEPH” has always been a particular favourite of mine, since the days when my children played it on endless repeats on long car journeys.

We wore out tapes, had the song book and once turned up a week early at The Hawth in our eagerness to see the show performed live.

So I looked forward with keen anticipation to Sackville’s production this week – and it did not disappoint.

There can be few more feel-good shows than this musical comedy with its catchy songs, clever pastiches and witty lyrics.

And while Rice and Lloyd-Webber may have gone on to more “serious” work,  they will always be remembered most fondly for their first professional collaboration written originally as a choral piece for Cholet school, and since extended into a much-expanded and much-loved family show.

And Sackville’s production was terrific, fizzing with an infectious enthusiasm which delighted its audience.

Charlotte Nield gave a simply dazzling performance as the eponymous hero.

Her bright personality shone through as she soared effortlessly above the ensemble choir, flawlessly hitting all the high notes.

Her crisp diction ensured none of the lyrics were lost and her nuanced acting moved easily between Joseph’s strutting youth, resplendent in his multi-coloured coat, to real poignancy in her solo Close Every DooTo Me when imprisoned and abandoned in Egypt.

Olly Howland, as Potiphar, also gave a lovely performance with some deft comic touches as the rich-but-unhappy husband whose wife – played with seductive charm by Eve Lewis – makes her move on the unwilling Joseph.

And Jack Charlton Nevitt made a marvellous Pharaoh. 

With a physique born to wear Elvis’s flared jump suits, Jack’s strutting arrogance and terrific vocals were among the many highlights of the show.

Ollie Hodge and Rachel Davies turned in solid performances in their roles as the Butler and Baker, while Maud Kendrick, Peggy Wheeler, Nicole Noakes, Chloe Harman, Abi Hewitt  and Lucy Barber all brought some lovely voices to their shared role as The Narrator. 

There was sterling work too from Joseph’s band of bad brothers, with James, Batters, Eric Parker, Alex Flude, Jacob Knock, Tom Duncan, Seren Foulds, Rebekah Tyler, Keira Ellis, Katelyn Page, Freya Eastcott and Natalie Rathbone all turning in lively performances on their road from revenge to redemption.

But it is the entire ensemble which makes Joseph such a perfect production for schools and while the soloists certainly deserved praise, they were supported by an enthusiastic cast and dancers – and the school’s talented in-house orchestra of staff, pupils and parents under the musical direction of Tom Heatley.

All-in-all a marvellous evening which reflected enormous credit on Sackville’s staff and pupils, and which sent its audience out into the night humming the tunes…

Annie Dilek

Annie Dilek – ‘the bravest young woman in the world’

It is with profound sadness that we share the news that former student Annie Dilek passed away on Monday January 27th.

It is an understatement to say that she was an inspiration to all those around her. Better to use the words of one comment on her Facebook page: this was the bravest young woman in the world

For over a year Annie had been increasingly unwell, but not once did she complain, and never did she put herself before others. Annie was still socialising and joking as recently as last weekend, and her wide circle of friends were with her right to the very end.

Our thoughts are especially with her mother and father, and her brothers Rodi and Shane. For her very many friends the world this morning is a darker place. She has left a space that can never be filled.

What remains are some wonderful memories. Annie’s sunny disposition never left her, and the love which the whole Sackville community held for her was obvious every time she visited the school. One enduring memory will certainly be the trip to Ashdown House Hotel with her closest friends and the sixth form staff, where she enjoyed a high-tea full of laughter and fun, most of which originated from Annie herself.

For those of us who knew her, each will have many special recollections. Rest in peace, Annie.

Remembering Dot Barden

Remembering Dot Barden

Our fantastic former teacher Dot Barden was given a fitting send-off by the Sackville community on Thursday 6th February. To describe her is a ‘former teacher’ does not begin to do justice to her part in the lives of so many students, colleagues and friends, so many of whom were present to celebrate her extraordinary life.

Many were seeing each other for the first time in years, and the old school canteen was once again alive with their memories of their time at Sackville and just what Dot had meant to them.

Dot’s son Calvin read a moving Eulogy. This was followed by an appreciation of her grandmother by Letty, Dot’s eldest grandchild. In both of these speeches the energy and subversive humour of Dot came to fore, making it all the more clear how important she was to everyone who knew her, and just how much she will be missed.

A highlight of the evening was the reading of one of Dot’s own poems by another grand-daughter, Cerys, who is in year 8 at Sackville.

All-in-all a fitting tribute to one who will never be forgotten.

Sackville works with Cambridge University

Sackville works with Cambridge University

Students in year 10 got a taste of life at Cambridge University after hearing a talk from Dr Matt Bullimore on Tuesday 4th February. Dr Bullimore is a regular visitor to Sackville and talked of the need to try to get the best GCSE grades possible, and that with these behind you anyone is in a position to apply for a place at Cambridge or another of our prestigious universities.

On Thursday 6th, a minivan full of year 12 students visited Chuchill College to get a taste of life in the university, talk to existing students and staff, and to be given further advice on how to secure a place in one of our most competitive institutions. These students will commence their applications later this year. 

2020 has seen Sackville get four offers at Oxford and Cambridge, and we hope to be able to continue this success rate in coming years.

Of course this can only happen with strong academic progress and good teaching. We are pleased that the publication this week of the official school performance tables showed both are in place at Sackville, with our GCSE students once again significantly above average.