Carol Service 2017

Carol service brings the whole community together

Sackville’s 2017 carol service was not just a chance to celebrate Christmas, but an opportunity too to bring seasonal cheer to the whole community. And it was an opportunity that the students present welcomed with alacrity.

This may have been the largest service for a number of years, and it was certainly the happiest. Our choir, more populous than for a long time, performed some wonderful arrangements of popular songs, matched by Amy Collins’ rendition of ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’. The readers were pitch-perfect and the community choir added professional polish to the proceedings.

We were very happy to welcome some very important guests including the Mayor, Mrs Mockford, Mrs Joslin, whose husband was head of Sackville in the ’80s, and a number of members of the Keenor family (who generously provide us with Christmas trees every year). The icing on the Christmas cake is that we raised over £300 for Teenage Cancer Trust.

After the service many of those present were able to share a glass of wine and a mince pie with the school governors.

We are extremely thankful to The Revd Andrew Hawken and his team at St Swithun’s, and to his fantastic organist Mr Goss.

Year 10 Winter Wonderland

A rewarding time for our year 10s

Looks like our hardworking year 10s enjoyed their after school end of term reward trip to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. This trip was for our students with the most reward points and the best attendance.

It just remains to find out which teachers fell over whilst skating!

Performing Arts Showcase

Now that was a showcase!

Congratulations to our year 12 and 13 performing arts students for their showcase spectacular on Monday 18th December. How they have managed to keep their energy levels so high this late in the term is a mystery perhaps only Mrs Newman can answer. 

Year 12s kicked off with extracts from Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical Company which deals with the trials of Bobby, a popular 35-year-old struggling to commit to a relationship, let alone marriage. His espoused friends don’t seem to make it easier for him to commit to matrimony, and despite a number of girlfriends he ends the play a single man. Great performances from the whole cast (Melissa Turner, Nuha Diaz, Eliza Roser, Juno Phitidis, Jordyn Hyre, Ethan Chapman and Thomas Whitwick) meant the first half of the evening rushed past.

This was followed by the final-year students performing selected numbers from two Bob Fosse directed shows, Chicago and Sweet Charity. Again, the energy and enthusiasm of the performers was infectious, and numbers like Cell Block Tango and Reach for the Gun would have graced any stage. Thank you to (pictured) Megan Parsons, Isobel Booker, Sophia Ody, Tia Bartlett, Amy Collins, Imogen Fraser, Catherine Belcher and Alex Walsh.

It makes us anticipate all the more eagerly the next performances these students put on. Apologies to the year 12 cast for the lack of a photo!


Christmas at Sackville

Christmas celebrations at Sackville

One of the highlights of this time of year is the sheer number of events which take place to celebrate both Christmas, and the achievement of our amazing students.

A Sackville tradition is the celebration assemblies which run in the last week of term. These started on Monday with year 9, and included certificates for effort and achievement as well as entertainment from the students. In the slideshow you can see Amber Titchener, now a school favourite, performing one of her songs. In masks are Ella Devine and Molly Putner, who reprised their routine from the Gym and Dance display earlier this term, this time dressed as elves.

Wednesday saw the turn of year 10, who were invited into the hall for breakfast, and were confronted with a rolling presentation with quotes from all the staff about the brilliant things they have done this year. The only thing better than a complimentary sausage roll is a sausage roll and a compliment.

Thursday and Friday see the inaugural year 7 celebration assemblies to which parents are also invited. Again there is a mixture of performance and the marking of the efforts made by students in their first term at secondary school. The slideshow shows Bella Ellis and Sarah Cotterell singing beautifully, perfectly accompanied by Grace Kolter on the piano.

In lessons, it’s the time of some seasonal themed learning. Year 12 biologists have been studying the structure of DNA and, in order to appreciate its three-dimensional elegance, have made an origami model of the molecule.

Friday also saw the school Christmas lunch which was well up to its usual standard, and enjoyed by many students and staff.

Students get to enjoy many different activities in the final few days of term; in one picture here you can see geography teacher Mr Gerretsen dressed in a Nigerian Agbada from his days working in the country. This is not just because we are teaching the geography of Nigeria to our year 9s, but also because Mr Gerretsen is giving his classes a Christmas quiz on development.

HSC Age UK Lunch

Hospitality and Health and social care students volunteer at Age UK Christmas lunch

It’s not just school students who enjoy a Christmas lunch. We were delighted this year to accept the invitation from Age UK to help out at their annual extravaganza at Chequer Mead.

Our year 12 students arrived early to help set up the main cafe area and make it as seasonal as possible. They then assisted in serving food and drink to the guests. We are biased of course but we think our students were tremendous, making sure they talked to all of those invited as well as serviing food.

It all goes to prove how we are part of one large community. Well done to Rebecca Philp, Bethany Rowlinson, Hayley Barber, Max Heath, Casey Nicholls, Olivia Burton and Hollie Barden for being such wonderful ambassadors.

TT Y7 Disco

It’s all go at the year 7 disco!

Another sign of the approach of Christmas at Sackville is the end of term year 7 disco, organised by the year 13 travel students.

This is always an occasion packed with fun, and this year is no different with many students in Christmas-themed dress.

Organised as part of their ‘Event Management’ unit, the students this year have been led by Declan Lindsay, who has been busy arranging staff to cover the event, filling in risk assessments, selling tickets, buying crisps and coke, cooking pizzas, and finding a playlist which satisfies both Mr Johnson’s desire for wall-to-wall eighties, and the students’ wish for something from a more recent century.

Some tired faces in year 7 classes in the morning no doubt!

JGT Bourg de Peage

Headteacher Julian Grant represents East Grinstead schools in twin town

Mr Grant has spent three days in Bourg-de-Peage as a guest of College de l’Europe in the town. This is a return visit after we hosted the College staff earlier in the year. More in Sackville News next week!

In the picture you can see Mr Grant with the Principal, Vice Principal and English teachers at College de l’Europe.

Economics trip

Soft or hard Brexit? More or less austerity?

Difficult questions, but ones which our year 12 economists are better prepared to answer after a visit to a conference in London on Monday December 12th.

Speakers included John Redwood, Vince Cable, economist Jonathan Portes and Tim Harford. Perfect preparation for a political discussion this Christmas!

Pictured here are Mutsa Dhliwayo and Chris Oglethorpe with Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Minster of Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010-2015.

Drama students are outstanding

Another amazing performance from our drama students

Our A2 drama students scripted pieces were performed in front of a live audience on Friday 8 December. The standards are so high each year that we have come to expect perfection – and that is what we got!

First up was an intense and immersive duologue from Tony Kushner’s ‘Angels in America‘, a play written and set in the USA at the start of AIDS hysteria in the 1980s. Alex Mustard and Imogen Fraser had the audience captive within seconds of the start of their compelling performance. The raw emotion portrayed by these young actors was extraordinary. We would have happily watched the entire eight hours of this play with performances such as these.

This was followed by a hilarious interpretation of part of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘, which went way beyond the humour already written into Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece. Nathan Callis, Elise Flude, Tom Axtell, Rhys Harmour, Daniel Wheate and Kimi Brockley-Hatch gave high-octane performances in the style of the Knee-High Theatre Company, showing the hilarious consequences of getting a love charm wrong.

We are looking forward to the devised pieces these groups produce next summer. Well done and thanks for an evening of fantastic entertainment!

A special thanks too to Mrs Carrick, Mrs Newman, Mrs Warran and Mr Taylor for getting the students so well-prepared. Mrs Beasley would have been very proud this evening.


Christmas Trees are up!

The Christmas season begins at Sackville

As the long autumn term draws to its end, signs of Christmas are beginning to appear at Sackville. Many are looking forward to the school Christmas lunch on Friday 15th, and the Carol Service at St Swithun’s at 6.30pm on Tuesday 19th. And year 11s are of course anticipating their mock results ceremony on the same day.

Christmas trees have been up since the start of December. Each year Graham Keenor generously gives a number of trees for the school. One is up in Reception, one in the canteen and one in front of the school. The trees help us remember Graham’s late son Paul who tragically died in a road accident in 2015.

The tree in Reception in the photo was surrounded with gifts from the school for the East Grinstead Food Bank this Christmas, which have been donated by students.

On Friday 8th these gifts were taken to the East Grinstead Foodbank by Mr Elsdon with students Aaron Hodson and Reuben Reynolds.