Year 10s may have escaped the British weather, but though there is no snow in Berlin it is 12 degrees below freezing.
This has not dampened students’ interest in this fascinating city. They have visited the Brandenburg Gate, a key crossing between the east and west of the city during the cold war, as well as the 1936 Olympic Stadium. Both of these are pictured here.
The visit also takes in other iconic Berlin landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie and the Bundestag. Students will also visit the Holocaust Memorial and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial.
All in all this is a trip that brings history vividly to life and the students will return with fresh perspectives on the story of the twentieth century.
We would like to welcome to our community all of those students who have been offered a place at Sackville for September 2018. We are greatly looking forward to working with you and your families over the next seven years. We are heavily oversubscribed this year which is a marvellous vote of confidence in the school. Of course alongside this we are aware that there may be some disappointed families, but there is often some movement between now and September.
Don’t forget if you want to keep abreast of what is going on at the school you can find our regular newsletters here.
You might have thought that we were suffering from an excess of challenge in snowy conditions. But spare a thought for year 12 student Ollie Roberts, who you may remember was aiming to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust by trekking to Everest Base Camp. We are delighted to announce that Ollie has arrived; he is second from left at the front in this picture. Just looking at how everyone is dressed makes you feel cold.
The biggest obstacle however has been the lack of oxygen as the party have climbed above 5000 metres. At such heights there is less than half the oxygen than at sea level, and together with the strenuous demands of ascending to such altitudes this makes a gruelling expedition.
Ollie has completed the trek to commemorate former student Matt Rieley. It is indeed the kind of thing Matt himself would have loved to do; a fantastic way for one remarkable young man to pay his respects to another.
Well done Ollie. It’s not too late to donate to the appeal – please click here. He’s a few pounds shy of £2000 – it would be lovely to get to that target!
Girls raise over £100 for Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School in Horsham
Well done to Beth, Emily and Annie for raising over £100 for the Pine class at the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School in Horsham, where Beth’s brother is a student.
The girls worked tirelessly over the last weekend of half-term to ensure they had enough rocky road, flapjack and Easter nests for the appetites of the returning students. Students (and staff) bought the cakes at break and lunch.
The girls will also have been able to tick off one of the challenges on their PiXL Edge apprenticeprogramme. This scheme encourages all of our students to develop and show skills of leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication, which are so in demand when young people enter the world of work. The school can look forward to a few more bake sales!
Sackville students see the worst and the best of humanity on tour of Krakow
Our year 10 students spent the first days of half term in southern Poland visiting sights that show the best and worst of humanity.
Nothing can adequately prepare the visitor for the concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz. Our youngsters were shocked by the nature of the exhibits and the true awfulness of the final solution. The memorial is a fitting commemoration of the vile depths humankind can reach.
Students also visited the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine, an enormous underground complex where once Jews were coralled to work in an subterranean armaments factory.
The mine is internationally famous for what has become known as the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland, built by the miners in medieval times as a place to worship before going about their dangerous work. The cathedral is carved out of the salt, and everything within it is made from the mined material. Even the chandeliers are made of specially treated salt.
The cathedral is a place of awe-inspiring wonder. Like all visitors, our students were moved to silence as they lifted their eyes to take in the full wonder of the St Kinga’s Chapel, marvelling at what beauty can be created by members of the same species responsible for the atrocities of the holocaust.
Other highlights included a tour of the old town, the Jewish quarter and the ghetto and Schindler’s factory museum. Throughout our students were a real credit to the school.
All agreed it was a trip every student should take, and our year 10s came back with new perspectives on the human condition. We would like to thank Mr Morris, Ms Vance and Mrs Edwards for accompanying the trip, and Ella Douch for the haunting photo of the entrance to Auschwitz, and the picture of the salt chandelier.
Year 12 geographers study regeneration in the East End
Our year 12 geographers are braving the chill winter winds looking at economic and social change in London’s East End. Students are looking at the impact of the 2012 Olympics on the area around Stratford, as well as the changes in the Docklands area over the last half century.
The day finishes with a curry in Brick Lane, now a hub of the London Bangladeshi community and long a place of arrival for new Britons.
Amongst all the change this area has seen the one constant is that ‘geography is everywhere’!
Our sixth form were in turn educated and entertained by Mid-Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames on a visit to the school on Friday February 2nd.
Sir Nicholas began by giving tips on public speaking and debating, before opening up the floor to questions. These ranged from our unwritten constitution to commons debates about cloudy apple juice, and covered Donald Trump, the Irish border and defence expenditure in between.
At the end Sir Nicholas was thanked with a very warm round of applause. At the start our local MP had declared himself not to be a good public speaker. However, no-one after an hour in his presence would agree.
We would like to thank Sir Nicholas for giving up his time, and our debating team of John Hollins, Melissa Turner (who jointly compered the afternoon), Lucy Phipps, Aminah Rahman, Lily Kendrick, Isabelle Goddard and Imogen Gaines.
Alzheimer’s UK visit our health and social care students
Year 12/13 Health and Social groups hosted the Alzheimer’s Society on February 1st. The organisers (Tim Wilkins and Sarah Edgar) came to the lesson, accompanied by three Alzheimer’s sufferers (Dave, Alan and Brenda). The students learnt about the care and support there is in the community and how easy it is to access, as well as about the work of Alzheimer’s UK. Dave, Alan and Brenda spoke candidly and openly about their condition, its effects and their day-to-day lives, whilst Tim and Sarah spoke to our students about their work and its importance.
Our students led a lively question and answer session after the presentation. We are very grateful to Alzheimer’s UK for giving us their time and expertise and letting us have this privileged insight. We would like to pass on our thanks as well to the students who asked the questions and to Dave, Alan and Brenda who were courageous enough to face a group of teenagers and explain so candidly about their condition. The visit has helped our students not only expand their knowledge also complete an all-important, module of their course.
Official performance tables confirm 2017 was a vintage A level year for Sackville
The release of validated government data confirm that our year 13 class of 2017 was our most successful ever. Progress in the sixth form was once again significantly above the national average for the fifth year running and this year was fourth in the county. The positive progress made in the sixth form follows this year group’s spectacular results at KS4, where they achieved a progress 8 score of 0.41. What this means is that our students would have achieved two whole grades higher in their A levels than students from similar starting points in an average school.
So a student at a normal school who would have gone on to get grades CCC at A level would have got grades BBC at Sackville; a significant difference which gives a lot more choice at university or apprenticeship level.
At GCSE this year our overall performance was in the top 40% of schools, and particularly pleasing was the progress of the students classified by the government as ‘disadvantaged’. At Sackville the performance of these students was in the top 25% nationally, and was the fifth best in the county.
Overall these figures are testament to the hard work of students, parents and teachers, who together have made 2017 another memorable year for the school.