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 Court.

Orange-£120- Magistrates’ Court, Maidstone Hospital, Jubilee Square.

Light Blue-£100- Gabriel’s Hill, Week Street, and Earl Street.

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 later.

by James

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.

by Albert

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 top teams.

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 tournament.

by Archie

​ ​

Settled Sturridge?

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.

by Tom

Engineering Workshop

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.

by Jack

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 towards GCSE’s.

by Oliver

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.

by Oliver


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.

by Freddie

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.

by Ben

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.

by Liam

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.

by Jonathan

Heart Disease

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.

by Josh

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 Nazis.

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.

by Saull

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 scientific research.

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?

by Tom

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.

by James

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 seized.’

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 driving. LN’.

Stronger punishments have now been put in place with a £200 fine and six points of their license instead of three.

by Oliver

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.

by Calum

Barcelona’s shocking comeback

 On 8th 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.

With minutes to goo Neymar showed his brilliance scoring 2 goals in a matter of minutes (88, 90+)

With it 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.

by Harry

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.

by Albert



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.

by Jack

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.

by James

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.

by Jack

​ ​

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.

by Albert

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.

by Ben

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 the game.

Last year MGS won the game 29-14 and Oakwood hope they will be able to turn that result around.

by Harry

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.

by Jack

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 Garden.

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.”

by Jared

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 pressure.

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.

by James

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”.

by Oliver

OPGS Football

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.

by James

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.

by Oliver

​ ​

Anxious Amex!

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.

by Tom

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 full force.

by Ben

Stem Workshop

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 activities.

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.

by Bailey

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.

by James

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.

by Jon

​ ​

Increased Unemployment

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.

by Bailey


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 aggregate.

‘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 and graphics.

by James

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.

by Oliver

Pancake Day

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:

Egg= Creation

Flour= the Staff of Life

Salt= Wholesomeness

Milk= Purity

The significances of the ingredients within pancakes are relative to that time of year (spring)

by Jared

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 breaches.

by Jack

Stones’ Euphoria

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 big disadvantage.

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.

by Jared

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.

by Harry

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 Carpet.

by Jack

​ ​

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.

by Tom

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.

by Jack

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.

by Tom

​ ​

Karanka Out!

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 City.

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.

 by Tom

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 Michael.

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.

by Albert

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.

by Ashwin

​ ​

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 Champions League.

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!

Unbelievable Jeff!

by Tom

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.   

by Josh

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.

by Saul

Toyota to invest £240 million into UK plant at Burnaston

Toyota 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 success."

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.

by Saul

Dan “Abnetted”

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 fascinating things.”

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."

by Oliver

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.

by Ashwin


​ ​

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 raise.

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.

by Tom

Space X

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.

by Calum

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.

by Ben

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.

by Ben

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 for Wales.

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.

by James

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.

by Jared

Volunteering Day

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 well.

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.

by James

​ ​

Drama/acting in OPGS

The year 9 drama class put on their best and latest pantomimes to try and achieve the Bronze Arts Award which shows that you have high quality acting. As well as this the year 11, GCSE and A level students get to help with the class rehearsal. One of these performances was rehearsed on the 16th of December for the last time before having to put on the play on the 17th and 18th of January 2017.

 Luke one of the mentors states that “I saw the highs and lows of the pantomime.” The first of the two pantomimes was Aladdin. Luke got to know the cast and said they were amazing actors. Each of the actors involved in the play were so committed to their roles that they went away and just kept looking over their lines. It was said that they “knocked the performance out of the park.”  

The second performance was just as good but there were a few more bumps in the road. Two of the actors Adam and Harvey (who played the step sisters in Cinderella) were overjoyed when getting into their rolls and costumes. We may see them in the West End soon.

by Josh

Emma Watson taking legal action over private photos stolen in 'hack'

Emma Watson, the actress, is taking legal action after private photographs of her were stolen in a suspected hacking attack.

The pictures of the Beauty and the Beast star show her trying on outfits during a fitting. But her spokesman, who could give no details on who stole the images, made it clear they did not show the actress nude - contrary to rumours circling online that she might have been the subject of a nude photo leak.

He said on Wednesday: "Photos from a clothes fitting Emma had with a stylist a couple of years ago have been stolen. Many users of Twitter and Reddit have said there are pictures of the actress on the "dark web" - an encrypted network that allows users to exchange often illegal information and services without identifying themselves. The alleged hack came to the attention of social media late on Tuesday night, with many tweeting that they had seen the pictures. Posters on a Reddit thread about the reported hack have claimed to have seen the pictures, as well as those of the actress Amanda Seyfried.

by Saull