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Oakley House News

Current news from this term is always displayed first. If you would like to read past news stories from the House, please click through the subsequent pages.

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8th December 2017

Last Updated: 08/12/2017 12:57:20

Dear Parents, Guardians and Girls

The usual procession in the dark up to breakfast at 7am was transformed this morning as the snow came down and thrilled us all! As I write this newsletter, I am aware that many of our local students in rural areas are staying away and others may be leaving early. I hope you all have safe travels over the weekend.

There is yet more sporting success to celebrate and our trophy cabinet is beginning to fill up nicely. Our senior swimmers came 3rd in the Senior House Swimming. Their participation was rewarded with pizzas and I was so pleased to see the House coming together for the competition that many try to avoid! Thank you, girls.

We came first in both the Junior House Badminton and Junior House table tennis competitions. Well done to all who took part and thank you for bringing home some silverware: Cherry Fung, Sanniva Chang, Jenna Wong, Aida Abd Rahim, Izzy Lloyd, Corey-Jo McGlynn, Sakeenah Muhammed and Dara Yaneva.

The Oakley Christmas tree is now decorated and ready for Secret Santa gifts to be delivered next week. Decorating the tree was a lovely way to spend a chilly lunchtime:

Many thanks to our Junior House debaters, Esme Elwell-Thomas and Rose Willetts who had to argue against contact sports in schools. Their Wendron Gordon opponents proved to be tenacious challengers but I was proud that our girls faced their competition with typical grace and quiet strength. Best of luck next time, girls.

Azucena brought more Mexican fun to the House last week when girls were invited to paint masks to mark the traditional Day Of The Dead. Artistic talents were on display:

Many of our students have also been involved in The Pierglass production in Cobham Theatre. If the opening night was anything to go by, the run will prove a great success. The amount of time, effort and energy that has gone into the endeavour is plain to see and I commend all of our Oakley girls who have been involved and yet still manage to keep up with their other School commitments. They will certainly deserve their rest over the holidays.

I will leave you with the view from my office earlier this morning – it would appear that our Deputy Head of House is most certainly in the festive mood!

Best wishes

27th November 2017

Last Updated: 27/11/2017 07:28:42

Dear Parents, Guardians and Girls

It is getting to that time of the year when I think that, even if I composed an update every day, I still wouldn’t be able to fit in all that Oakley House has shared and celebrated. Regular updates can be seen on our Twitter account @BromsOakley. Please do let me know if I have missed something that you would like to see, from both in or outside of School, but here goes with some recent highlights:

Many of our students have had an increasingly busy few weeks preparing for the School’s opening of Routh and Cobham. The performances involved students from across the School and, naturally, Oakley House was well-represented. I took this photograph of some bleary eyed faces the morning after the Gala night and the girls deserve to be very proud of their involvement that incorporated music and drama with some students featuring in a number of contributions. Outstanding in all respects.

A week ago we took 35 girls on an early Christmas shopping trip to Swindon Designer Outlet. Thank you to the Oakley PA for subsidising this fun day out.

Many thanks to Izzy Lloyd, Corey-Jo McGlynn, Dara Yaneva and Sakeenah Muhammed for representing Oakley in the recent table tennis competition:

I hope Oakley continue to shine this week with both the Senior House Swimming and Junior House Badminton events taking place. As always, I am very appreciative to the girls who volunteer to compete in these competitions and to the Monitors for their motivational support and encouragement.

And yet more netball success with the 1st netball team being crowned county champions. They will be representing Worcestershire in the West Midlands finals in January 2018. Good luck to Ellie Bennett and Ellie Preece:

Fencer Tatiana Morikova finished 8th when she won her elimination fight 15-14 at Billesley Tennis Centre for the ‘Cocks Moors Woods Epee Tournament’.

We are very lucky to welcome a new member of staff to the Oakley community. Miss Azucena Garcia Gutierrez is from Mexico and works in our Spanish department as an assistant. Last week she brought some Mexican fun and games to the House to celebrate International Day Of The Child and it was lovely to see her enjoying the atmosphere at our Christmas Party.

Mrs Pugh’s crochet club continues to go from strength to strength, attracting newcomers every week. We also like to note that students from other Houses visit Oakley during the lunch hour to share these activities with their friends from other parts of the School.

Friday night’s Oakley Christmas Party was a lovely relaxed evening and 106 girls joined together to have fun, dance and, of course, take an enormous amount of photographs! I will collate some of the best photos over the coming week to share with you. It was great to see so many smiling faces as students and staff partied at the end of an incredibly busy week. Special mention must go to Dr Rimmer’s silver dancing trousers.

I believe we are in for a cold spell this week. On Saturday morning the School Christmas tree arrived on Gordon Green and we will be decorating the Oakley tree this week. Frosty mornings certainly make for a beautiful start to the day:

Best wishes


15th November 2017

Last Updated: 17/11/2017 07:59:37

Dear Parents

On Sunday evening I took this photograph of our Memorial Chapel as the sun was setting. Earlier that day, the whole School attended services for Remembrance Day. For some of our Oakley students, this was their first experience of this important day of national commemoration; for others it is a traditional feature of November. For all, it was a moving and respectful occasion.

The inaugural Routh lunchtime concert took place last Wednesday. Well done to Emily Evans who conveyed true emotion in her WW2 inspired solo soprano piece. The Big Band entertained us with two rousing numbers at the end of the concert: well done to Anna Ranger and Elyzia Wong for their fantastic contributions.

On Saturday night our Sixth Form boarders attended a dining-in evening. The theme was America and a fun time was had by all:

Thank you to all of the students who helped their tutor groups assemble shoeboxes for a Christmas appeal. This year School was supporting shoeboxes for the elderly as well as for families. Our charities rep, Irene Lau, delivered the boxes with the help of 4th former Sophia Eaton:

And outside School, Meredith Atkinson (U4) has been volunteering for a shoebox appeal in her local community. T4U is an organisation emphasising that each box is an unconditional gift from one person to another; a positive sentiment in this sometimes distracting run up to Christmas. Well done, Meredith!

Congratulations to Amanda Wu, U6 Biology student, who achieved a Bronze certificate in a recent Intermediate Biology Olympiad.

Tatiana Morikova came 8th in the Cocks Moor Woods Epee Tournament.
And there has been success in netball for the School’s U14 and U16 teams. Congratulations to Brady McGlynn and Izzy Lloyd who won the County Championships on Saturday and are now through to the West Midlands Finals, as are Corey McGlynn, Hannah Pover and Catie Ranger for the U16s.

Finally, I had the privilege last night to attend Evensong at Worcester Cathedral where the chamber choir sang during the service. It was a short while of quiet reflection in a wonderful setting and I was so proud to see our Oakley girls there, representing the School: Madelaine Barber Fray, Lisa Bradburn, Emily Evans, Ellie Johnson, Christiana Lloyd, Holly Mason and Amy Nolan.

Best wishes


16th October 2017

Last Updated: 16/10/2017 08:49:49

Dear Parents, Guardians and Girls

This will be my penultimate newsletter of the half term and I am struggling to fit everything in! The usual end of term fatigue might be down the nightmare-inducing Halloween fun from last night. Ms Woolley and House staff transformed the Hospitality Suite into a spooktacular night of horrors. It was great to see so many day students stay for the fun and games:


This week began with Mr Vice’s and Dr Rimmer’s pumpkin carving class. You may have seen some of the images on our new Twitter feed, @BromsOakley:

The highlight of the week in House has been the House Song rehearsals. No matter what the outcome on Tuesday, I cannot fault the girls who have led the whole House with good humour and determination.


I cannot wait for the competition on Tuesday when we will see the culmination everyone’s hard work. For those parents new to the School, you may wish to click on this link to see our performance from last year when Oakley were runners-up:

Congratulations to Lydia Wright, Sophie Ward and Jess Ward for receiving their Silver Duke of Edinburgh award in Routh on Monday.

My thanks to the swimmers for Junior House Swimming last week:

Joelle, Dara, Rose, Meredith, Elyzia, Ekaterina, Mikayla, Sakeenah, Hermione, Dasha, Sophie, Ellie, Lauren, Freya, Simran and Melissa. There are some very talented swimmers in Oakley and it was a pleasure to cheer them on.

Congratulations and well done to Anna Martins, Mulan Yang and Emily Evans who performed in the newly refurbished Routh Hall for this week’s music concert. You can watch their superb performances here:

Finally, my highlight of the week overall was a trip I made with some students to visit a cemetery in France for the rededication of the grave of Leonard Cameron Kidd, VC. Kidd was a day student in Gordon House from 1905 to 1910. After School he became a pilot and was working in India when war broke out. He came back to join the RAF and won a Military Cross in 1916 for his brave actions. Two days later, 101 years ago on October 12th, Kidd and his co-pilot were shot down over the Somme. Their remains were only discovered two years ago and this ceremony laid their memories to rest in named graves for the first time. June Iec, Lower Sixth, was one of the students who represented the School at this unique and poignant event.

Best wishes

2nd October 2017

Last Updated: 02/10/2017 13:34:41

Dear Parents

The Autumn leaves are falling thick and fast around campus and should provide a lovely backdrop for tomorrow’s House photo.

House Song rehearsals are well under way. The Monitors are doing a fantastic job at encouraging everyone to take part. We are also getting good use out of the recently donated electric piano.

We enjoyed a relaxed and friendly Getting To Know You evening for the 6th form last week. A few challenges, some pizza and film helped to cement friendships and hopefully forge new ones:


Many girls have been involved with CCF camps and DofE expeditions over the past fortnight, braving the cold weather with strength and determination. I would like to congratulate Grace Morrin, Jaspreet Sandhu and June Iec who were celebrated for achieving their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award this week.

As you know, we also have many talented artists in Oakley. Ms Barton has been particularly impressed with the skills shown by the U4. Beautiful work, girls:


And before our Junior House Swimming takes place later this week, it is always great to celebrate sporting success. Once again, Abigail Saker is to be congratulated on her swimming success. Senior girls secured gold medals in both the medley and freestyle competitions.

And congratulations to Ellie Bennett, Ellie Preece and Corey-Jo McGlynn who won the Sheffield High School Performance Netball tournament over the weekend. An important charity event; our girls collected their medals in this morning’s Routh assembly.

Last week’s Harvest Service was an important date in the School calendar. My thanks to everyone who contributed to our fine offering from Oakley House.

Best wishes

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