Oakwood Park BBC School Report 2017
On the 16th March 2017 OPGS has taken part in BBC School Report. Students will be writing and filming reports on matters and achievements ranging from in school, local and national topics.
A Maidstone Monopoly
KM reporters heard that Tonbridge is getting its own version
of Monopoly. Once they heard this they all got together and decided to make a
Maidstone version. They have decided on everything including Community Chest
and Chance. All the board spaces are:
Stations-£300- Maidstone East, Maidstone West, Maidstone
Barracks, Mote Park Miniature Railway.
Green-£170- Fremlin Walk, Invicta Park Barracks, the Crown
Orange-£120- Magistrates’ Court, Maidstone Hospital, Jubilee
Light Blue-£100- Gabriel’s Hill, Week Street, and Earl
Brown-£80- Brenchley Gardens, Gyratory System.
Utilities-£150- Maidstone Tip, Burial Ground Lane, Tovil,
Allington Recycling Plant.
Yellow-£150- The Mall, Maidstone Museum, Mote Park.
Pink-£110- Town Hall, Maidstone Link, Chequers Bus Station.
The Jail- HMP Maidstone
Red-£130- Lockmeadow, the KM Office, the Gallagher Stadium.
Dark Blue-£200- Archbishop’s Palace, County Hall.
They have revealed one of each of the cards and they are-
Chance is ‘You have got stuck in traffic on Hermitage Lane. Miss a go’.
The Community Chest is- ‘you’ve been stuck in traffic
inhaling fumes on the gyratory system. Advance on to Maidstone Hospital. If you
pass go, collect £200.’
Three of the figures have been released and they are- the
top of a building, a plane and the third is a horse. They will tell us the rest
Peru Expedition 2017
In July 2017, 29 lucky students will be taken on an incredible expedition to Peru to visit orphans and vulnerable children for two weeks. All of these Oakwood Park Grammar School students have each donated £2500 to go round and meet these children. The trip will be run by a charity called Vine Trust. Vine Trust’s expeditions will offer amazing learning opportunities such as being challenged about the ways they see the world.
These students will discover what life is really like for unfortunate people living in poverty and how they can make a difference to the lives of poor children and communities. They will be able to enjoy Machu Picchu as well as helping families in need. As well as that, the students will represent OPGS by becoming ambassadors for the poor and inspiring others that we should help anyone because nobody should have to live in a harsh environment.
Euro 2017 England Women’s Team
England’s women’s team are looking for a Euro 2017 win as
they play against Scotland in Utrecht on 19 July 2017. Mark Sampson has told
England’s “Lionesses” that they have a great chance of winning against Europe’s
England will face France, the U.S and Germany this week in
the She Believes Cup. They will also play against Italy and Austria in two
friendlies in April. Samson says that England’s team will “accept nothing less
than 3 wins and a trophy”. In the 2015 World Cup, the Lionesses finished third
and were ranked 5th best in the world by FIFA.
England will face France on the 1st of March in
Philadelphia. They are also aiming for a U.S trophy at the invitational
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has hinted that England
international Daniel Sturridge’s future may be in doubt at the club. The Reds
no. 9 is not a regular starter and his future could be at another club after
his manager said this: “We all play for our future, myself included” said the
Reds boss after their humiliating 3-1 loss to Craig Shakespeare and his
Leicester team. Liverpool have no shortage of attacking players, with the likes
of Brazilian trio Roberto Firmino and Phillipe Coutinho with the main man Sadio
Mane. The German manager also stated that he is open to sell German centre
midfielder Emre Can and Spanish full back Alberto Moreno.
Recently, a select group of OPGS Sixth Form Students who
have at least 5A*/A grades at GCSE participated in an Engineering Workshop. Two
engineers from Queen’s College in Cambridge came into the school and hosted a
workshop about clocks. Dr Andrew Gee and his PHD assistant Rostas taught the
students about how clocks work.
Clocks used to work using a swinging pendulum and most still
use this technique today. They also learnt about The Balance Wheel, a clock
that uses waves to tell time. Most wristwatches use this method to tell the
time. Sir Robert McAlpine also came in to offer tips in project management and
even offered work experience to some students.
Friend’s House Media Magazine Conference
On Thursday 26th January as part of the Media
Studies course at Oakwood, students were given the opportunity to attend the
Media Magazine Student Conference at Friend’s House in London.
The conference programme included sessions to expand
horizons, think creatively and make critical connections about media products
in relation to industry, context and audience appeal. The conference is aimed
to inspire, entertain and inform students to give them a boost in media studies.
Students had presentations from Rosie Ball representing
Chucklefish Games who spoke on games development, Leon Mann, the sports
journalist, documentarist and presenter for BBC and ITV who led the most
interesting talks of the day on sports programming and diversity and also a
Young Filmmaker’s panel in which students discussed their own projects,
film-making at different university courses and internships with world-renowned
corporations like the BBC.
In conclusion, students on the media studies course at
Oakwood had a fantastic day which helped improve their skills in working
Fuel Services Crackdown
People around Kent have been warned that there is no fuel at
many services. Drivers were warned that there was no fuel at the clockwise M25
services at Clacket Lane and the M20 junction 11 services at Folkestone.
There was no confirmed issue for the shortage of fuel but
when approached, a spokesman for Shell said” it's just a stock
outage which will be rectified as soon as possible.”
Highways England has confirmed that just after 12:30 fuel
was restored to both stations. BP has been approached for a comment.
Are Stranded Whales Trying To Escape Human Racket?
Whales ending up stranded could be caused partly by the marine animals exhausting themselves trying to escape human noise, scientists believe.
A study discovered that startled beaked whales attempting to swim away from low frequency sonar boosts their energy consumption by over 30%. Alongside this, research suggests that cetaceans such as dolphins and whales, who must surface to breathe, balance their energy demands against a limited supply of oxygen. In some cases, whales, which flee from human noise, may run out of steam and ended up washed up on the coastline.
Dr Terrie Williams, from the University of California at Santa Cruz, stated that the study showed a big difference in energy use of whales swimming normally and escaping danger. She added: "In view of the number of cetacean mass strandings across the globe and the increase in human presence in the ocean, such data are critical."
The research involved measuring the oxygen consumption of six bottlenose dolphins and the rate at which they beat their fins. Another part of the study analysed recordings of a Cuvier's beaked whale reacting to 20 minutes of loud sonar. Based on the whale's fin beat pattern, the scientists calculated that the animal's energy consumption rose by 30.5%. Even after the noise stopped, the whale displayed energetic fin beats for almost two hours.
The findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Federer powers into the quarters and Djokovic out
Roger Federer powered past Rafael
Nadal in their Round of 16 match at the Indian Wells Masters in California. He
crushed him 6-2, 6-3 to follow up his win against him in the Australian Open
final in January. It is his 13th win out of 36 total meetings, and
his 3rd successive win against the Spaniard. He won in just over an
hour and he will face the Australian Nick Kyrgios in the quarters. Kyrgios
himself beat Djokovic 6-4, 7-6 to go through. Djokovic was helpless against
Kyrgios’ serve so Kyrgios comfortably won to secure his place in the quarters.
The Federer vs Kyrgios sure will be a cracker.
Gold from the Iron Age…?
Detectorists have landed a great find. Amateur detectorists Mark Hambleton and Joe Kania have found gold believed to be 2,500 years old in a Stanford field. They managed to unearth four torcs, three necklaces, and a bracelet. Mark and Joe have stated that they were shocked to discover gold that is from the Iron Age. The bracelet contains art from early Celtic people. British Museum expert Julia Farley has described this discovery as having "international importance". It is hoped that these discoveries will be displayed at Birmingham and inspire young archaeologists and detectorists.
Gallagher Music Festival
Gallagher Stadium is where a large amount of football
matches have taken place. However, on Saturday 15th April, a special
event will be taking place: a music festival. It is for all ages and it is to raise
money for the homeless in our community.
The event will start with an intense 11 versus 11 football
match between the local police and firefighters. The charity that the festival
is supporting is MADM: Making a Difference in Maidstone. In this exciting
occasion, there will be a fashion show, dance acts and even live music.
“Everyone deserves the right to a roof over their heads.” is
what the founder Amanda Sidwell said. This fun meetup is a great way to help
the less fortunate in your community.
Heart disease can be very dangerous but can be even more
serious if it is not treated or rare. A young 20 year old man died of a rare
case of heart disease. Sadly, he died but this young man’s family held a
fundraiser in his name (Daniel Dunmill) for British Heart Foundation to make
sure people like Daniel do not die at such a young age.
Daniel passed away exactly a week before his 21st
birthday last June. The former amazing OPGS student was described by his
friends as a “happy-go-lucky guy with a smile always on his face.”
It was said by his
aunt that he spent his life helping people. There were no symptoms or warnings
of heart disease for Daniel just one day he collapsed and died.
Holocaust Memorial Assembly
Holocaust Memorial Day was on Friday 27th January
and students were given an assembly in commemoration of the tragedy. The memorial asks audiences to contemplate
what happens after genocide and this year’s theme is, “How does life go on?” To
remember the 6 million Jews who were killed, the school hall was filled with
many fairy lights, each representing 1000 Jews who were persecuted by the
Author and survivor of the tragedy Elie Wiesel has said,”
For the survivor death is not the problem. Death was an everyday occurrence. We
learned to live with death. The problem is to adjust to life, to living. You
must teach us about living.” It was a heartfelt assembly and it is important to
not to forget the devastating impact it had on people’s lives.
How did the Octopus get its Tentacles?
Have you ever wondered, ‘How did the octopus get its
tentacles?’ An evolutionary war, which took place more than 100 million years
ago, created the different species of octopus and squid, according to
Researchers at Bristol University found this question a
mystery, until they found out that octopus and squid could have evolved to have
such bizarre body parts, such as their tentacles and the ability to spray ink.
The University believe these changes happened during the Mesozoic Marine
Revolution, where waters’ inhabitants adapted to changing conditions.
The lead researcher, Al Tanner, said: ‘On this land was the
time of the dinosaurs, but beneath, the seas were changing rapidly. Fish, squid
and their predators were locked in evolutionary ‘arms-races’.’
That was the past, what will be the next evolutionary
transformation in nature?
Maidstone Youth Player Signed by Eagles
Under 16 Maidstone midfielder Bivesh Gurung has agreed a scholarship
with South London club, Crystal Palace. He had been to trials 5 months
previously and had been scouted by Palace. Gurung joined Maidstone 18 months
ago and will join the Eagles in July.
He has thanked the staff and players at Maidstone for
helping him reach professional football and we wish him well at his new club.
Man Has Car Seized After Using His Mobile At The Wheel
A man aged 30 driving a black ford focus was stopped when
spotted using his mobile phone whilst driving at traffic lights in Maison Dieu
Road, Dover. Subsequent checks showed he had no license or insurance.
Press officer Steve Knight said “He was reported for summons
for license and insurance offenses, and also had his vehicle seized”. Kent
police RPU then tweeted out this morning ‘Dover- driver stopped for using his
mobile phone, subsequent checks show licence and insurance offences. Vehicle
Furthermore officers then later dealt with a foreign lorry
driver who was on his mobile phone at the wheel. Kent Police RPU again tweeted
out ‘Dover - foreign lorry driver dealt with for using his mobile phone whilst
Stronger punishments have now been put in place with a £200
fine and six points of their license instead of three.
Drama Workshop for 'An Inspector Calls'
Years 10 and 11 will have the opportunity to participate in an exciting drama workshop based on the play An Inspector Calls.
The workshop allows the students involved to become enthused by the text. The students will be able to explore all the themes of responsibility, time, attitudes of a generation and social hierarchy. As well as this, the students will look at how (through the narrative) Priestley stages an argument between socialism and capitalism.
Stage-ed references various versions of the play and talk about how and why they have been staged or televised. They pay attention to Stephen Daldry's National Theatre production, which is believed to be closest to the original.
Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to zoom in on specific scenes. After the full length of the session, they should be able to talk confidently about the character's attitude towards responsibility.
Overall, the Year 10s and 11s should really enjoy the workshop, which will help them with their GCSEs as well as in later life.
Barcelona’s shocking comeback
March Barcelona pulled back a 4-0 defeat to PSG in the first leg to win 6-5 on
aggregate. Barcelona started the game with a bang with Suarez scoring in the 3rd
minute and later scored with an own goal from kurzawa in the 40th minute.
Messi’s goal shortly followed after the half time break scoring in the 50th
minute. Just as Barcelona were coming close to equalling the 4-0 thrashing of
the first leg Edison Cavani struck leaving Barcelona hearts shattered.
to goo Neymar showed his brilliance scoring 2 goals in a matter of minutes (88,
being 5-5 at this point and PSG going through on away goals .there was cross
coming in everybody in the crowds heart stopped as serge Roberto reached his
leg and scored the 6th winning goal. This was a historical moment
for all who witnessed it. There scenes of extreme delight from players like
Messi and Neymar.
City in shock
after Monaco head to the Quarter Finals
Last night Monaco and Manchester City fought for a place in
the Quarter Final of the Champions League. The thrilling match ended 3-1 to
Monaco meaning that there was an aggregate of 6-6. In the first half, Monaco
were 2-0 up in the first half and it didn’t look good for Manchester City. If
City could have scored 3 goals in the second half, then they would have gone
through to the next round.
In the first leg, Monaco had conceded 5 goals and would have
had to turn it around in the second leg, they certainly did that. Manchester
City just couldn’t get back into the game. Monaco performed really well with
explosive speed and energy causing City to struggle with all the pressure they
were having to deal with.
Mum Spends Two Hours on Her Baby’s Hair
On this Morning, A mother was shown spending two and a half
hours on her baby’s hair. Aired on March 1st, Kayleigh Marsh showed
viewers on her routine for her baby, Amelia’s hair. The audience became
divided, some were furious and others supported this routine. Kayleigh Marsh
said that she was born with naturally long hair and it must be kept maintained.
Kayleigh Marsh puts baby oil in Amelia’s hair and then
brushes it and blow dries it. Viewers instantly started tweeting on what they
thought of the mother. They commented on Amelia’s long hair and some said how
Amelia shouldn’t have to go through it. Holly and Phil commented on how it
looks like she is enjoying herself during the routine on air. Kayleigh does not
reveal where she is located in England or where she is from. She has been doing
a routine since Amelia was very young.
New Driving While Texting Fine In Place
From now on, drivers caught texting while driving from the 1st
of March onwards will be fined a massive £200. Texting drivers can also get six
points on their license if they are found committing the crime. New drivers
caught texting while driving within 2 years of passing their driving test will
have their license removed from them.
This rule has been put in to stop people texting and calling
while driving to make an attempt to have safer roads. If drivers ignore this
law twice, they could end up with a £1,000 fine. 1,700 people who were
surveyed, 14% of them admitted to taking photos and videos while driving. In
2014, 492 accidents took place due to this problems.
New Secondary School
Plans for a new secondary school to be opened in 2016 were
unveiled at a public meeting. This school will cater to one thousand and
two-hundred students’ education needs. The school opening was pushed back to
September 2018 because an application is yet to be sent to Maidstone Borough
Council. The school will be opened and ran by VIAT, a service that run Valley
Park and Invicta Grammar School as well as some primary schools too.
The school is planned to be built near Vinters Park, along
with a new road. The education will be free. Some parents however have concerns
on the impact on the road’s congestion and residential streets being overrun.
Resolutions for these concerns are currently being planned.
Winston Churchill Public Speaking Competition
After last year’s success in the Winston Churchill Public
Speaking Competition, a new OPGS team is preparing for another title. To
develop their skills by learning from some great speakers, students from year
10 and year 12 attended a workshop organised by the National Trust.
Consequently, the students will work on their own speeches
so they are ready for auditions in school. Four lucky students will be selected
to experience a day of activities at Charwell in March. They will be coached by
professional speakers so they are prepared for the June competition. During the
preparation, there will be a trip to the Churchill archives in Cambridge to
gather research for their speeches which could win them the title.
Unbeatable Douvan – Loses!
There was a big upset yesterday
at the Cheltenham Festival as Douvan (the outstanding French horse with an
unbeaten record) lost to Special Tiara in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Despite coming seventh, it was his first ever loss in his professional career.
However, his trainer (Willie Mullins) and jockey (Ruby Walsh) haven’t won a
race at the festival yet. This is surprising as Mullins usually is the most
dominant trainer at the festival. This is giving trainers like Nicky Henderson
and Gordon Elliot to shine. What is even more shocking is the fact he was 2/9
favourite! Special Tiara -the winner- was 11/1 but has won Festival races in
the past and was second favourite.
However, this isn’t the only
shock horror that has happened in this year’s Festival. On Tuesday, 25/1 Labaik
beat top favourite Melon in the Supreme Novices’, and 16/1 Tiger Roll won the
National Hunt Chase. On Wednesday, 16/1 Supasundae won the Coral Cup, Cause Of
Causes beat Cantlow to win the Glenfarclas, and 33/1 Flying Tiger beat hot
favourite Divin Bere to win the Fred Winter as well as the Douvan occurrence.
Oakwood trains for rugby derby
OPGS and MGS are training for the big derby match that will
be held this Friday at Aylesford rugby club. These two sides are extremely
competitive and it is sure to be a fierce game. All members of these two clubs
will playing in the game and the two clubs thought they would use the occasion
to raise money for the British Heart Foundation by charging one pound to see
Last year MGS won the game 29-14 and Oakwood hope they will
be able to turn that result around.
Mount Etna Erupts
On 28th February 2017, Europe’s most active and
largest volcano, known as Mount Etna, erupted. Nobody was harmed and it was not
dangerous at all. Many people visited the sight and captured the stunning event
in photos and videos. Mount Etna put on a spectacular show for everyone who
witnessed this amazing spectacle.
Mount Etna is located in Eastern Sicily, Italy. Although ash
clouds were created by the eruption, no airports were temporarily closed and no
flights were delayed. The last time Mount Etna had a major eruption was 25
years ago in 1992.
The eruption consisted of many shades of orange, yellow and
red to make an aesthetically pleasing display for those who were lucky enough
to see it.
Leeds castle’s new ring bearer
Leeds Castle is mostly known for its large maze and amazing
scenery, but the weddings they hold there are more of an unknown thing. Leeds
Castle is also well known for its falconry, so their latest idea is to combine
falconry and weddings. They have done this by making a Chaco Owl called Louis
the ring bearer for weddings. This specialist ring delivery service is only
available at one of Leeds Castle’s 6 venues, the Maiden’s Tower Private Walled
The plan that Leeds Castle have formed is that the owl
(Louis) will fly down the aisle and land on the groom’s outstretched hand. The
hand that the groom will be using for the owl to land on will be covered in a
regal white glove to still make him presentable for the wedding. Leeds Castle
are calling this new method of proposing and getting married “Flying the Knot.”
Leicester Manager Search
Leicester have had talks with a few other possible managers
such as Roy Hodgson and Guus Hiddink but for the moment Shakespeare has taken
the lead at Leicester.
This new change is happening after Claudio Raneiri was
sacked just 18 months after winning the title against 500/1 odds. During
Leicester’s title defence, their form went from bad to worse with their once
amazing record trashed.
With not long left in the season, will Leicester and their
new manager save the club from relegation or will they crumble under the
They have relieved themselves due to a 3-1 victory over
Liverpool and have got rid of some of the pressure to find a suitable manager.
Oakwood Denied Successive Triumphs
The Oakwood under 17’s football team just barely missed out
on back-to-back Kent cup triumphs for the first time, losing to Erith 2-1. Our
team fought hard during the game with strikes from 20 yards to level with Erith
and an early hit at the cross bar but at the last 20 minutes Erith got the
breakaway and scored to keep the game at 2-1.
Despite a disappointing loss, Oakwood manager, Mr Devenald
said “I am proud of the entire squad. To reach two Kent Cup finals in two years
is an incredible achievement and these boys have played a massive part in the
school’s most successful season ever.”
“A lot of the boys who played today have also the 2nd
XI Kent League and, with the under-16 side winning the Kent Cup two weeks ago,
the future feels bright here at Oakwood”.
On the final day of their season, it was all or nothing for
Oakwood’s 2nd x1; they had to win by 4 goals to become the
champions. The match was against a resilient Tonbridge team that was determined
to ruin their plans.
The match began in OPGS’s favour with two early goals, but
the next two goals were more elusive, like trying to find a needle in a
haystack. However, Oakwood finally got a third goal, and the fourth was a goal
worthy of winning any competition. A thunderbolt from Callum finished the
Tonbridge side off. That sat Oakwood on their way to winning the league.
Oakwood's Fantastic Festival
On Tuesday 24th January, Oakwood Park travelled to Woodville Theatre in Gravesend to attend Shakespeare school's annual festival where they performed an amazing re-enactment of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The work up to the performance was intense, rigorous and was also extended due to the original date, of November 18th, being postponed thanks to a gas leak.
Three students, Joe, Tobin and Ben, were responsible for lighting and sound and were the only student technicians out of the other 3 schools which added immense pressure to their role.
For an Oakwood student, Jake, who played Puck, it was "I'll apply to your eye gentle lover remedy" which was his favourite line because it helped to sum up the key themes of mischief in the woods. However, for Joey, who held the role of Demetrius it was "I charge thee hence, do not haunt me this" at the point of the story where Helena follows him like a dog through the woodland.
Oakwood have just recently begun to teach Year 7 the story of A Midsummers Night's Dream which would hopefully influence them to perform like our present years 8 to 11.
The Amex stadium was rocked when a top of the table clash
took place in Brighton, as the Seagulls took on Newcastle with an opportunity
to got 4 points clear in the Championship. At first, it looked as if they were
going to do so, as loanee from Bournemouth Glenn Murray netted from 12 yards.
However the Magpies managed an amazing comeback, with Mohammed Diame and Ayoze
Perez scoring in the last 10 minutes to send the Toon to the top of the table.
We now have a two horse race at the title with Newcastle 1 point ahead. Rafa
Benitez’s men, however, need to keep this run up as they have a harder run-in
with 3rd placed Huddersfield, 5th placed Reading and 7th
placed Fulham who will be eager for a playoff spot.
Elsewhere, Maidstone United pulled off a shock 2-0 win away
at 2nd place Dagenham + Redbridge as the Stones are finally putting
some wins together.
OPGS win 2-1 in the U16 Kent Cup
Oakwood Park Grammar School’s
outstanding Under-16 squad won the Kent Cup 2-1 against Bexleyheath Academy.
The match, which took place at Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium, kicked off
at 8pm. Bexleyheath started off strong, scoring a goal early on to show their
want for the trophy. But Oakwood wouldn’t let them off that easy. George scored
a goal late in the first half to equalise it for Oakwood. At the beginning of
the second half, it was clear that Oakwood had started to show their true
colours. They were dominating the game. Oscar scored a free kick from the edge
of the box to give Oakwood the lead. Despite no more goals, Oakwood hit the
post and the crossbar before full time. When the referee blew the final
whistle, Oakwood Park Grammar School were crowned champions of the Under-16
Kent Cup. They had defeated their Dartford foes and claimed the trophy with
On the 15th of December, 15 students from Oakwood
Park went to Canterbury University for a STEM workshop (Science, Technology,
Engineering and Maths,) where they took part in incredible and exciting
One of the activities was ‘Drastic Plastic,’ where they
sorted the plastics into their recycling numbers - quite difficult when some of
them didn’t have a number on them!
Another activity was origami, which had step-by-step
instructions to create a model that could connect together to make a large
model called a ‘firebomb.’ They went there to look at possible careers in
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths; it was an exceptionally fun day.
Amount of litter on Arctic Ocean floor rises twentyfold in a decade
Sadly the beautiful landscape of the Arctic Ocean is getting
destroyed by litter. Plastic bags, shards of glass, and fishing nets are the
main suspects but there is hundreds of other things ruining it. All of this
litter has been found at the bottom of the ocean. Animals and wildlife are
dying by getting trapped in it and not being able to grow near it. Scientists
have no clue how it is all sinking because normally it would float near the
surface. Their research found this out due to a series of cameras hovering 1.5
metres above sea level. Their findings included 7,058 pictures over the last 10
years but still can’t find where it is all coming from. A lot of the litter is
thought to come from Europe and the UK because all of the rubbish in the Gulf
Stream gets carried through.
The amount of litter they have found is nearly the same
amount found on the coast of Portugal which has a much bigger population and
hotter climates to attract more tourists. Many people are worried that the
ocean is becoming a dump to put your litter without any punishment. That is not
the case. Now anyone found committing this crime will face a fine depending how
much they litter.
Now one in three turtles have ingested plastic and more than
90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomach. If this carries on lots of the
wildlife will die and no more will dare approach it.
Oakwood's Super Performance
Shakespeare's School's Festival happens annually. It is an exciting event in which students from across England come together to celebrate Shakespeare and his interesting theatre productions, by putting on some of his most renowned plays.
This year, on 24th January 2017, Oakwood Park students, from years 8-11, absolutely blew the crowd away with their stunning A Midsummer Night's Dream performance at the Woodville Theatre, after the shock cancelling of their performance on 18th November 2016. Three other schools performed that evening with their excellent performances of Twelve Night, Julius Ceaser, and The Taming of the Shrew. This was an exciting and educational event and, as Year 7 has just started Shakespeare education in their drama lessons, it gives them actors and shows to look up to for inspiration and support.
In Kent and Medway, the number of people who are registered
unemployed are growing at their fastest rate since January last year. This is
because seasonal work came to an end and there are not enough jobs for
everyone. Every district in Kent, including Medway, has an increase in the
number of people who are claiming benefits whilst they look for a job.
Between the age of 25 and 49, a lot more men are unemployed
then women; in reality this means 6,095 men are unemployed every day. However,
the biggest increase of unemployed people in Kent were between the ages of 16
to 24 with a dramatic increase with a rise from 180 people to 4,270 people.
According to the Office of National Statistics, it has risen
from 680 people to 19,130 in February. In Maidstone it has increased by 65 to
810 to 1,285. However, the most increased amount of unemployment comes from
Medway with a rise of 115 to 3,445 people.
Kelly Holmes gets Lifetime award
Kelly Holmes who was born in Hilden borough has won in the
800m and the 1500m while also donating lots of money to charity to help people
with disabilities. When she retired in 2005 she set up a trust called the Kelly
Holmes trust. Kelly Holmes has helped 300,000 young people and is one of the
most iconic sport stars to ever live and should be widely appreciated for what
she had done.
Leicester City Complete the Shock of a Lifetime
On Tuesday 14th March, Leicester City FC
completed an incredible feat in the Champions League against Sevilla, despite
being the underdogs in the contest. The Premier League champions won 3-2 on
‘The Foxes’ needed a 2-0 win to send them through to the
quarter final of the competition, after losing 2-1 in Spain last month. The
goals were scored by Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton, however all this incredible
triumph was overshadowed by Leicester superstar Jamie Vardy’s behaviour towards
Sevilla’s Samir Nasri.
Vardy insulted and provoked Nasri with an impression of an
electrocuted man; making him purposefully clash with him and being sent off 20
minutes before the end of the match.
Despite all of this, Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel
kept his cool, saving a penalty from Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi just minutes
after the incident involving Nasri and Vardy.
The underdogs could face European giants Barcelona, Bayern
Munich, Juventus or even the holders of the cup Real Madrid.by Ben
Design and Technology students visit the new Design Museum
The other day, Year 10 students studying Design and
Technology visited the Design Museum in Kensington High Street to discover
unique creations made in the past century. The Design Museum displays every day
products from the first typewriter to the latest iPad. The exhibition included
an enormous 3D Printer which must have been about 50 times the size of the one
in the workshop students are used to.
They were invited to take part in practical workshops where
they observed a range of different smart and modern materials and how they’re
used in design and the manufacturing of products. To help with their
coursework, students also took part in a practical workshop where they had to
modify existing lights into children’s mood lights using only basic equipment:
cards, straws and coloured film. They then went on to a new exhibition called
‘Designer Maker, User’ where you could see almost 1,000 items of the twentieth
century and twenty-first century, which covered engineering, the digital world
Oscars’ Backstage Blaming
Early morning on Monday 27th February was the
hosting of the yearly Oscars. Despite it being a night (in America) of success
and fame, many tears were shed due to the wrong winner of the best picture
award being announced by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.
Although the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences has
apologised to the casts and crews of La La Land (wrong winner) and Moonlight
(real winner), there has been much speculation of a distraction backstage due
to a deleted tweet by Brian Cullinan being released to the public by the Wall
Street Journal showing an image of Best Actress Emma Stone with a caption of
“Best Actress Emma Stone! #PWC”.
The company announced that they “failed the academy” and
that also Beatty had made Dunaway read out the winner as he thought it was the
wrong one. Though the question that Cullinan had been distracted is still
unanswered, many are still perplexed at how you could hand out the wrong
envelope instead of the actual Oscar.
Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) is traditionally known as the
day before lent. Lent is a period of 40 days that lasts up until Jesus’ return
from the dead on Good Friday. It is a time when Christians fast or give up a
certain item of food e.g. chocolate. This year lent is taking place from the 1st
of March to the 13th of April. On Pancake Day there are lots of
traditions, the main one is to make pancakes to get rid of the main
ingredients: egg, flour, salt and milk. Another more obscure tradition on
Pancake Day is to confess and repent on your sins of the past year. You are
meant to confess your sins on the ringing of the ‘pancake bell’. This tradition
came about during the Anglo-Saxon times.
Pancake Day also brings about new meanings to words with the
ingredients to pancakes having their own significance:
Flour= the Staff of Life
The significances of the ingredients within pancakes are
relative to that time of year (spring)
Safari Zoo Animals Have Had a Large Increase in Deaths
Inspectors have called for a prosecution as almost
five-hundred animals located in a safari zoo have died within four years. The
owner of South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria has been forced to face prosecution
after four-hundred and eighty-six animals have died due to emaciation, which is
being unusually thin or weak or they have died due to Hypothermia between
December 2013 and September 2016.
One case, an African Spurred Tortoise named Goliath died
from electrocution from the electric fence bordering his enclosure. In another
story, a decomposing body of a squirrel monkey was uncovered behind a radiator.
The death rate at South Lakes Safari Zoo is 12% a year. The company has been
under fire massively in the past 7 years and have been fined £92,500 in other
After a disappointing start to the season something has
clicked within Maidstone, and now they are on fire. On the 18th of
February the Stones were at home to Chester United. Chester had made the 260
mile trip on the day of the match which is different from their usual routine
of travelling down the day before. This meant that Chester were already at a
Despite Chester’s long trip Maidstone were unfazed with
Lokko, Sam-Yorke and Pigott scoring within the first 13 minutes. Chester were
on a losing streak prior to this game with them losing their previous 3 games.
However Chester’s team looked capable to beat anyone in the Vanarama National
League. Just before half time it looked as if Chester’s losing streak was going
to continue with Lokko scoring his second of the game putting Maidstone 4-0 up
at half time. Straight after half time, Chester started showing signs of life,
with them putting away a penalty in the 52nd minute. Chester kept
gaining more possession as the second half went on with Hughes adding to
Alabi’s goal. Even though Chester were threatening, the match ended as 4-2 to
Maidstone. After this match Maidstone were 21st in the league with
33 points in 33 games.
Harry Potter Day
On the 2nd of February 2017, a Harry Potter
themed day was held at venues all over the country and across the world. OPGS
held their own quiz in each form and a library event.
They handed out event kits across the country and many events
took place. Some of the most famous actors from the hit film series got
involved, including Harry Potter himself: Daniel Radcliffe.
The event kits that were given out had an array of brilliant
activities, including characters such as Severus Snape and Minera McGonagall.
These events were enthralling, to say the least, for Harry Potter fans, with
some saying it was the best night of the year.
Chrissy Teigen Falls Asleep At the Oscars
Chrissy Teigen was caught sleeping during Casey Affleck’s
acceptance speech for Best Actor at the Oscars. She was resting her head on her
husband John Legend’s shoulder, when her eyes began to close. Some thought
Chrissy Teigen was faking being asleep to have a laugh, as she is known for her
sense of humour, however others argued it was real.
During the Oscars, Brandon Wall tweeted:
“Look at Chrissy Teigen back there pretending to sleep
through Casey Affleck’s acceptance speech.”
Another twitter user wrote:
“I think my favourite part of the Oscars was when Chrissy
Teigen was sleeping on John. She is my spirit animal.”
Chrissy Teigen also revealed she had a nightmare just hours
before the night of the Oscars, burning her leg before preparing for the Red
City Lack Leadership?
An amazing Monaco side managed to overturn a 5-3 first leg
loss with a 3-1 win over the Citizens a 6-6 aggregate draw mean that The Red
And Whites go through to the last 8 because of the away goal system.
It all started in the 8th minute of the match
when Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring at the Stade Louis II. Then, in the 29th
minute, Tavares Fabinho also scored to make the aggregate score 5-5. At this
point, Monaco would have won on away goals. But, it just had to have more drama.
So, pacey winger Leroy Sane was in the right place at the right time to sweep
home after Raheem Sterling’s drive was saved. So Manchester City were 13
minutes from the last 8 and also would have been joining the Premier League
Champions, Leicester after they pulled off a comeback against Spanish team
Sevilla. But, full back Tiemoue Bakayoko headed home from a set-piece due to
City’s poor marking.
The result leaves Leicester as the only English team left in
the Champions League with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Monaco, Bayern München,
Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and last year’s runners-up Atletico Madrid.
Banned Motorists Ignore the Law
Last year, the number of banned drivers who continued to
drive increased dramatically. In 2010, it was reported only three banned
motorists continued to drive in Kent, but 2016 saw the number rise to
two-hundred - more than 2010, 2011 and 2012 combined.
The consequence of driving while on ban is six points on
your license for four years after being caught.
Chief Inspector Tony Dwyer explained:
“I think the rise is down to more informal policing and we
are a lot better engaged with the public now, so people can speak to us easily,
whether it’s by phone, social media or visiting Police Stations. The police are
currently working on a solution to this problem.”
This situation is currently being looked into by the police.
Police and Crime Commissioner Visit
On Tuesday 10th January, Matthew Scott, Kent’s
Police and Crime Commissioner, visited OPGS’ sixth form students to talk about
his role as a Commissioner and his plans to change Kent’s policing policy. He
came to inform about the general issues we are facing today.
Students had the opportunity to talk with Mr Scott about his
opinions on Kent’s policing policies and his election, before he read a speech and
answered questions asked by students. Scott’s new policy involved tax increase
to pay for the improvement of public security and more officers to help that.
Although he is usually against tax rise, he believes the increase will be from
£152-£157, to help society today.
He also spoke about the need to address mental health and
how the police, and himself, can aid people suffering from those particular
issues. He also explained his election in May 2016, and how it is a new role in
the government, which was established 2012.
Finally, he told students about volunteering opportunities
in the Police Force, and that there are many ways to help Kent today.
Middlesbrough have confirmed they have sacked their manager Aitor
Karanka, after three and a half years in charge of the club. Boro’s recent form
hasn’t been the most convincing, so the club thought a change was necessary.
The club have gone ten Premier League games without a win and
currently stay in the relegation zone, three points away from safety. Their
last victory was on the 17th December 2016 and it was a 3-0 win
against Swansea City. They are the league’s lowest scorers with a small total
of 19 goals, and were also recently knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester
The reaction of Karanka was that of a calm one towards
Middlesbrough’s decision and said: ‘This
club will always hold a special place for me. I'd like to thank Middlesbrough
for a wonderful opportunity and the players, staff and all the people at the
club who I have worked with’.
Boro’s assistant coach will take over the Premier League side until
further notice from the club.
The Brit Awards 2017
Presented by Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis, the Brit Awards
2017 was filmed on live TV at the O2 Arena. There were many brilliant
performances including Ed Sheeran, Robbie Williams and Coldplay. There were
also special tributes to celebrate the lives of legends David Bowie and George
There were many incredible awards given out to well-known
groups and solo singers such as: Rag’N’Bone Man, The 1975, Emeli Sandé, Drake
and Adele. These were just a few of the winners. During the programme, everyone was starting to
get really excited for the new single ‘Something Just like This’ performed by
Coldplay and Robbie Williams (known as ‘the King of the Brits’ after winning
‘the Brits Icon’ award) was going to sing a couple of his classics.
Romeo and Juliet Performance
Oakwood Park Grammar School students in year 10 and 11 were all very lucky when on Monday 13th March Box-Clever Theatre came to their school. Box-Clever Theatre is a performing arts company that re-interpreted Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare in a modern twist. This was very useful for the Year 10s and 11s as the theatre company used the quotes needed for the GCSE literature.
The performance was amazing and much more than just a play. Afterwards, the actors did an interactive session where some of the students got to act out their own scene, similar to Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet told the students their favourite quotes and then the students performed them. Romeo's quote was, "If I profane with my unworthiest hand, this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this." Juliet's was "Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this."
It was fun and humorous as the students chose Source bar, a nightclub in Maidstone for the lovers to meet. The theatre company were great, exciting and bubbly people and their performance was definitely gripping. They also gave useful advice for learning quotes and they helped the students understand the play.
Leicester’s Party Continues!
On Tuesday 14th March, interim manager of
Leicester Craig Shakespeare guided his team to the quarter-finals of the
Champions League; they beat Sevilla in the last 16. This was one of the main
chapters in Leicester’s remarkable story.
Leicester’s recent form has become increasingly better as of
when title-winning, miracle-maker manager, Claudio Ranieri, was replaced by
covering Coach Shakespeare. Their form started with a surprise victory over
Liverpool, where the score stood as 3-1 when the final whistle blew. Then
another 3-1 win over Hull City gave them the belief they needed in the
In the first leg of the tie, before their fantastic form, the
Foxes looked in trouble as they conceded two goals in Spain but pulled one away
goal back to give them hope in the second leg.
The second leg was a far more interesting match. A 27th
minute scramble of a goal from the Leicester skipper, Wes Morgan, put Leicester
in a great position in order to carry on into the quarter-final. Marc
Albrighton fired a second for Leicester seconds after Sevilla star Sergio
Escudero smashed the crossbar. Tension levels raised and frustration increased
for the Sevilla players, and to secure the victory for Leicester, Jamie Vardy
was bought down by the yellow-carded Samir Nasri, and was then shown a second
booking and was sent off.
The final whistle blew and the Leicester fans roared with
excitement and the supporters really boosted the players by making and
incredible atmosphere inside the King Power Stadium!
Take a book on a blind date
‘Take a book on a blind date’ was introduced to the boys of
Oakwood Park Grammar School on the 14th of February 2017 to
introduce new: amazing, sad and funny stories. It is called ‘blind date'
because the books are wrapped in paper and they have a few clues on the front
like you can tell a bit about a date by what they look like.
One of the books says
“If you’ve ever sat in school bored out of your head dreaming about floating in
a pool at your mansion, surrounded by sexy people then this is the book you’ve
been waiting for.” This book is Rock War by Robert Muchamore.
The new pound coin
Businesses and councils are facing huge bills due to the
fact that the new £1 coin comes into circulation this month.
The 12 sided coin, resembling the old threepenny bit and
incorporating emblems from the four home nations, will be introduced on March
28th , which is just 6 months after the new £5 note was released. It
is being introduced by the government to thwart the activities of sophisticated
counterfeiters who have cost the UK economy an estimated £45 million in previous
years. The coin was designed by 15 year old David Pearce, a pupil at Queen
Mary’s Grammar School.
Toyota to invest
£240 million into UK plant at Burnaston
is to invest £240m in upgrading its UK factory that makes the Auris and Avensis
models. The Japanese carmaker's investment in the Burnaston plant near Derby will allow
production of vehicles using its new global manufacturing system. The factory
employs about 2,500 people, while another 590 work at Toyota's engine plant at
Deeside, North Wales.
Burnaston made about 180,000 vehicles last year,
most of which are exported to Europe and other markets. Johan van Zyl, chief
executive of Toyota Motor Europe, said the investment showed that the company
was doing all it could to make Burnaston more competitive. However, he warned
that, "Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and
Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future
In January, Toyota announced it was planning to
spend $10bn (£8.2bn) in the US over the next five years. The firm lost its crown as the world's biggest carmaker
to Volkswagen last year. Last month, Toyota said it expected to report net profits of
1.7 trillion yen ($15.1bn; £12.1bn) for the 2016-17 financial year. However,
that was lower than the 2.1 trillion yen profit it recorded a year earlier.
Dan Abnett, the British comic book writer, may live easy in
Maidstone, but when he heads further afield, he is frequently spotted by comic
enthusiasts as he has such a famous name. He and his partner Nik refer to being
spotted as “Dan Abnetted.”
Recently Dan was spotted at a comic store in Glastonbury,
which led to an insane flurry of hands wanting autographs and a minor shockwave
rushing through the town. However, at Demoncon in Maidstone, he is more than
happy to be “Abnetted”. Dan said that “It is small enough you have time to talk
to everybody, you can answer their questions and get their feedback. I love to
get feedback. They’ll also tell you if they didn’t like something which is
really useful. It is as exciting for us to see them and hear what everyone has
been up to. People who are into comics are fascinating people because they do
On Sunday 26th February, the convention at the
Royal Star Arcade, involving crazy costumes and fantasy characters, took place,
and as Dan said “The best thing about it is when you find people who weren’t
expecting to go to a comic convention, but then saw all the characters dress up
outside and just wander in."
Oakwood Park Music Concert
Tonight, on the 16th March 2017, all music clubs
part of Oakwood Park Grammar School will be assembling for a concert, that will
be shown to parents and teachers associated with the school. Planned and run by
Dr. Watson, the concert will be in the theme of “celebrities who died during
the year of 2016”. There are 5 music clubs: Ukulele Club, Choir, Recorder Club,
Acorn Band and Oakwood Band.
The performance includes a range of songs, from classical to
modern pop. They will recite songs by George Michael, Viola Beach, The Eagles,
Prince, Arthur Freed, Leonard Cohen and much more. The evening has been well
prepared for and everyone hopes it will be a great success. The clubs hope to
keep up the standard since the last performance of Monty Python songs.
Readathon in OPGS
In order to raise money, during the last 2 weeks, everyone
at OPGS was reading to meet targets for our chosen charities. Students chose
these targets themselves and the better they do, the more money they would
We had many opportunities to achieve our targets in form
times and English lessons. Also, numerous fun activities took place to
celebrate literature, such as a book title word search, re-designing a book
cover and even rewriting a story from the view of a villain. To celebrate world
book day, on the 2nd of March we had a day to dress up as our
favourite book characters, or alternatively we could have come in our own
clothes, which was also to raise money for our charities, Mind and Mencap.
Man to travel into space once again. “Fly me to the moon…
OK” said tech millionaire Elon Musk. The exciting news comes just over a week
after Space X’s first test launch.
Space X will fly two people around the moon in 2018,
something not attempted since the Apollo missions. Millionaire Elon Musk
announced the news a week after launching their first rocket.
Space X is currently on course to launch the pair of
astronauts to the International Space Station. If all goes to plan, it could
happen close to the 50th anniversary of the first manned Apollo
mission. The unnamed passengers would take a loop around the moon, skimming the
lunar landing. It became the first private company to launch a spacecraft into
orbit and return it to Earth in 2010. The California based company’s ultimate
goal is to be the first private company to land humans on the moon.
Pocahontas statue relisted in 400th death anniversary
In Gravesend, a life-sized statue
of Pocahontas has been relisted due to it being the 400th
anniversary of her death. This bronze memorial stands outside St George’s
Church, close to where her remains are believed to be buried. This is because,
in the 1800s, St George’s Church burned down causing her remains to become
ashes. Today, the town prepares a memorial for her death with a church service.
It was first listed in 1975, and the list entry has been updated to include a
full history of her life and works. This statue is a copy of the one in
Jamestown, VA as that is where the colonists are believed to have settled. It
will be Grade II listed today.
Vardy – a cheater?
In Tuesday’s Leicester City vs
Sevilla Champions League match, Samir Nasri got sent off after butting heads
with Jamie Vardy. This meant Sevilla were a man down, with 20 minutes left. They
were also trailing 2-0 so they needed a goal to draw. Nasri accused Vardy of
cheating because he thought Vardy’s response to the incident caused the referee
to take action. He also said that if Vardy was a foreign player, the English
press would say he is a cheater. Vardy obviously denied this. Nasri also
recalled how Vardy pushed him then headbutted him. Whatever happened, it will
not come to light any time soon.
Wales Struggle in 6 Nations
Wales are usually
quite successful in the 6 Nations but after Defeat to England, things haven’t
got any better for the Welsh with a 29-13 loss to Scotland.
In the 51st minute Dan Biggar kicked the ball
into the corner, when Leigh Halfpenny could have kicked through the posts to
draw the game at 16-16. Halfpenny has been criticised for not taking the kick
but is still Wales’ best kick taker with 88% kicking accuracy and 594 points
However it gets even worse for the Welsh because if their
dire form continues they will struggle to get in a good group for the Rugby
World Cup in 2019.
Winston Churchill public speaking competition
This is a speaking competition based on Winston Churchill,
one of Britain’s greatest Prime Ministers. It is designed to help school
children with their speaking skills. For Oakwood’s team of year 10’s and 12’s,
the National Trust provided a workshop to help improve our teams speaking and
debating skills in time for the competitions. After the workshop, Ms Hern
judged the auditions held in the hall. Out of the auditions 4 students will be
selected to go to Chartwell for a day of coaching by some professional speech
writers. All of these workshops and auditions are in preparation for the main
debating competition in June. Before the big competition, students are going to
go to the Churchill Archives in Cambridge to collect research and tips for
their final debate.
Oakwood’s team are already in good stead for the big
competition in June because we have already won the East Kent Debating Matters
qualifying rounds last October. The next round of the competition is the South
East event in March. If we manage to win that round we will gain a place at the
National Finals, being held in London.
On March 8th, 450 OPGS students volunteered to
help their communities. Pupils had a choice of different ways to help out. Last
year, the most common volunteering option was the Big Litter Pick organised by
the Maidstone Council Bin It company. Surely it will be a success this year as
However, students could also make their own arrangements,
such as going back to their primary schools, like I did. Many of the
arrangements were outside, like the Communigrow in East-Malling research
centre, student’s sowed seeds, planting and cleaning plant pots around Ditton.
Doing the volunteering is useful for students because it
shows that not everything has to have a reward, and just helping people and
knowing you have done your part is a reward on its own.