Oakwood School officially opens extended performing arts facility
The newly extended space, which is also available for local community events, was designed by Chichester’s JBA Architects, and built by the school’s on-site maintenance team over the past year.
5th March 2020 — Chichester Festival Executive Director, Kathy Bourne, cut the ribbon on Valentine’s Day to officially open Oakwood School’s newly extended and refurbished performing arts facility, Lyne Hall.
The newly extended space, which is also available for local community events, was designed by Chichester’s JBA Architects, and built by the school’s on-site maintenance team over the past year. As well as providing a greatly increased space and stage, professional lighting and acoustic systems have been installed. Folding doors allow for a separate studio to be created if the entire space is not needed, while upstairs there are now music, and speech and drama teaching rooms.
“We are delighted that the school and the wider community will be able to enjoy this wonderful state-of-the-art resource,” Clare Bradbury, Headteacher, said at the opening event attended by parents and children. “We believe strongly that the performing arts encourage creativity, the confidence to try new things and allows children to develop all-round skill sets that stand them in good stead for the future. The subject can often be squeezed out of the modern curriculum yet the benefits to pupils are huge.”
“We are also keen to support any charities, local schools and community groups who would like to hold events here. Lavant Church have already hosted a fundraising concert, a Primary Schools Singing Day was held recently, and a local jazz group involving one of our music teachers is using the space for evening rehearsals. We are also looking forward to welcoming guests from local care homes who join us for performances by pupils throughout the year.”
A number of Oakwood drama students have gone on to enjoy successful acting careers. Most recently, 17-year-old alumni Finn Elliot can be seen playing the role of the young Prince Philip in Netflix TV series, The Crown. His mother, Mini Elliot, is Head of Speech & Drama at the school and also sits on the Chichester Festival Committee.
Charities, schools and community groups who would like further information about holding events at Lyne Hall can contact the Oakwood School office on 01243 575209.
Romance is in the air as Chichester’s Oakwood School launches new wedding venue
Oakwood School’s beautiful Regency mansion in Chichester, West Sussex, has been launched as an exclusive licensed venue for wedding ceremonies and receptions. It will be available during selected weekends and school holidays throughout the year.
12th February 2020 — Oakwood School’s beautiful Regency mansion in Chichester, West Sussex, has been launched as an exclusive licensed venue for wedding ceremonies and receptions. It will be available during selected weekends and school holidays throughout the year.
This gracious building sits within tranquil grounds. Its expansive fields and woodlands provide couples with a fairytale backdrop to their special day, and total privacy and seclusion.
Oakwood’s elegant Heritage Room is licensed for Civil Ceremonies and would also suit small receptions. Couples can also choose to use the extensive grounds either with their own marquee or, in July, Oakwood’s marquee. This can seat up to 200 people, offering options that reflect the bride and groom’s individual style and personality and can be partitioned to provide a more intimate atmosphere if required.
Easily accessible from the centre of Chichester, Oakwood can cater for marquee, tipi and corporate events throughout the year, with the grounds forming the perfect setting.
To find out more or to arrange a visit, please contact Catherine Hutchin via the School Office on 01243 575209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oakwood School hosts Christmas Day for those who would otherwise have been alone
Local businesses and residents help Chichester’s Oakwood School make Christmas Day special for those who would otherwise have been alone
10th January 2020 — Many of the South’s businesses joined the local community in helping Oakwood School’s Funtington Community Christmas very special for anyone, young and old, who would have otherwise been alone on Christmas Day.
The school’s event proved hugely popular with the whole community when it was held for the first time last year.
Oakwood’s Headteacher, Clare Bradbury said, “Our staff, pupils, their families and friends, as well as a host of local residents and businesses were keen to be involved again in making Christmas Day a time of togetherness and joy for people who might otherwise have been alone.”
Guests were welcomed with canapés and festive drinks from 10.30am followed by a traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and an afternoon of festive fun, carol singing, music, presents and conversation with new friends. Transport was also provided for any guests who required lifts.
Clare added, “We have built strong and lasting relationships with the local community, including charities and local care homes, which our children often visit, and whose residents are invited to join us throughout the year at events such as Harvest Festival and a summer tea party, so it was lovely to welcome many of them and others to spend Christmas Day with us.”
Families, local residents and businesses generously donated both to the Justgiving page and towards the costs for the day. East Wittering’s Munneries supplied all the vegetables, butchers M J Penfold in Chichester donated the all-important turkey as well as pigs-in-blankets, Adsdean Farm Shop donated the delicious gammon, Wellies Tea Rooms donated fresh fruit, dates and mince pies, Chichester College gave the equally important homemade Christmas pudding and mince pies, while Chichester’s ‘Blue Fig’ catering company cooked the dinner to perfection and Butlins donated Christmas crackers and selection boxes.
Oakwood families also donated wrapped gifts and drinks, while pupils made Christmas cards and sang festive music on the day.
Hair-raising fun kicks off this year’s charity fundraising at Oakwood School
Children at Chichester’s Oakwood School have come up with a fun way to start raising money and awareness for their two nominated charities this year. They are learning to braid hair thanks to local salon, KC Hair Boutique, at a cost of £5 each, with all proceeds going towards The OHMI Trust, which pioneers the development and adaptation of musical instruments for people who are physically disabled, and Sage House – Dementia Support, based in Tangmere.
25th September 2019 — Children at Chichester’s Oakwood School have come up with a fun way to start raising money and awareness for their two nominated charities this year. They are learning to braid hair thanks to local salon, KC Hair Boutique, at a cost of £5 each, with all proceeds going towards The OHMI Trust, which pioneers the development and adaptation of musical instruments for people who are physically disabled, and Sage House – Dementia Support, based in Tangmere.
Each year, the pupils and their families vote for national and local charities to receive support from the school, with children thinking of creative ways to raise funds. Special events planned for this year include Design-a-Bug House, cake bake sale and photography competition.
The children have presented cheques to representatives (pictured) from last year’s three adopted nominated charities. Sussex Wildlife Trust and Brentwood Bird and Wildlife Trust each received £2,236.71 and Hampshire’s Elizabeth House, the UK’s largest provider of education services for deaf children, received £2,888.96 from proceeds of the Friends of Oakwood Ball.
“Our links with the local community and charities are very close to our everyone’s hearts here at Oakwood,” Headteacher Clare Bradbury, said. “We welcome visits from the charities for children to find out more about their work and are pleased to have built strong and lasting relationships with the community. This includes our friends at a number of local care homes who the children often visit, and whose residents are invited to join us each year for events such as our Summer Tea Party, Harvest Festival and Community Christmas.
“We are so proud of our pupils for leading our fundraising and for nominating more wonderful charities for the school to support this year. Everyone is very glad to encourage their fundraising efforts – and of course the cake bake sale is always a real treat!”
Invitation to Tea Party at Oakwood School for Chichester’s elderly community
Chichester’s elderly community are warmly invited to attend a summer tea party in the beautiful surroundings of Oakwood School on Monday 8 July.
14th June 2019 — Chichester’s elderly community are warmly invited to attend a summer tea party in the beautiful surroundings of Oakwood School on Monday 8 July.
From 2-4.30pm, guests will enjoy a delicious afternoon tea in the school’s grand marquee and be entertained by a performance from Pre-Prep pupils.
Last year’s summer tea party proved to be hugely popular with nearly 100 local elderly people attending, including guests from Sussex Grange care home and Wellington Grange. This year guests will also include some of those who came for the Funtington Community Christmas event at the school, when it opened its doors on Christmas Day to anyone who would otherwise have been alone on the day.
These events build on relationships developed over the year with Oakwood’s Nursery, Kindergarten and Reception classes visiting local care homes. In turn, the school has welcomed the local community to enjoy a number of events at the school, including the Spring concert.
If you would like to attend the summer tea party at Oakwood School, please contact the school office on 01243 575209.
Glowing review for Chichester’s Oakwood School from UK’s number one Guide
Chichester’s Oakwood School has received a glowing review from The Good Schools Guide, after being included for the first time in the UK’s number one trusted guide to state, independent and special schools.
14th May 2019 — Inclusion in the Guide is valued by schools as its reviews are conducted independently. Schools are not allowed to apply to be included, nor can they pay to be added or contribute any content if they are selected for review.
Writers take the views of as many pupils and parents as possible and their unbiased and candid reviews include every aspect from academic achievements to enrichment, extra-curricular activities and general atmosphere.
Oakwood’s reviewer observed lessons, reporting that they ‘saw lively, engaging teachers’ with children who ‘were happy and busy learning’. They also stated that the school is ‘aware of the need to get good results and be strong academically” and “is vigilant at picking up on special needs’. Alongside this, the number of clubs and activities, from Lego or cooking, to sports or simply enjoying the school’s beautiful environment, were commended.
Attention in the Guide was drawn to Oakwood’s culture of ‘kindness and support’, stating that, ‘Parents bubble over with enthusiasm for Oakwood, and the strong community here appears to embrace everyone, from parents, children and staff, to the in-house builders, caterers and cleaners.’
The events of last Christmas were also highlighted, when Headteacher, Clare Bradbury, opened up the school for Christmas Day lunch and festivities to anyone in the Chichester area, young or old, who would otherwise be alone on the day.
‘Energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated, this head is passionate about primary education, and invests in both children and teachers,’ the review said, quoting a child who described her as ‘mak[ing] the school the best it can be so everyone is happy inside it’.
Clare Bradbury said, “We are delighted to receive such a wonderful independent written review. This prestigious guide to helping parents choose the right school for their children is valued for its independence and we are very proud to be recognised for the key strengths which make Oakwood unique.”
To read the full report, please visit www.oakwoodschool.co.uk and click on The Good Schools Guide logo.