World Book Day 2020

To celebrate this year’s World Book Day and highlight the importance of reading Oriel High School in Maidenbower, put on a fantastic dressing up experience with a competition. 60 staff members dressed as book characters and the students had to find and identify the staff and the character. Prizes were awarded to the winners. There was a huge buzz around the school and it was a day of colour and laughter with lots of lovely conversations around books as students asked about various costumes. 

Headteacher Philip Stack said “It was a fantastic event and a real celebration of books and the joy of reading and clearly captured the interest of our students. It is important to note that it was also a true celebration of the teamwork and camaraderie that is such a strong feature of the school”.

Year 10 Parents’ Information Evening – Thursday 23rd January

Oriel High School hosted this event to provide some support and guidance to parents of Year 10 students.

Aspects covered included:

  • Curriculum requirements of the GCSE courses and Technical Awards
  • Effective learning strategies
  • Organisation and well-being
  • Stress management
  • Resilience

It was a well-attended event and the presentation slides can be found here:

Crawley Arts Council Award

Massive congratulations to Year 13 A Level Photography student, Rosie who was awarded with the Crawley Arts Council and Oriel High School Art Exhibition Chairman’s choice trophy for her stunning photography just before Christmas.

Grease 2019

Oriel staff and students provided another school production spectacular in December 2019.  Showcasing the collective talents of students across all year groups again.  Cast and crew formed a strong bond in the lead up to the live performances, with many making new friendships whilst working hard.  Megan Browne who played the part of ‘Miss Lynch’ said “All the cast are so kind and hardworking. I really enjoyed being Miss Lynch and working with Sadie in rehearsals”.  Whilst being part of a huge stage family was a benefit for all the show also allowed students to step forward into the world of drama where they had not been before. Amelia Finch who played ‘Sandy Dumbrowski’ was playing a role in a school show for the first time. Amelia reflected “I haven’t acted/performed in several years and its been great to have the opportunity to do something I love for a final time before I leave Oriel after Sixth Form”.

With over 80 people involved in putting on such a fabulous production it was a big job for Drama teachers Mr Thurley and Miss Phillips. However both teachers were quick to point out that they could not do it without the support of parents/carers either. Miss Phillips stated “we would like to thank all the parents/carers of our students for their support. Thank you they could attend rehearsals, thank you for helping them, put together their costumes and thank you for helping them learn their lines and lyrics”.

The benefits of enabling staff and students to work together to put on such a production may not always seem obvious by Mr Thurley made it clear what benefits they see firsthand. “School is more than just about good exam results. It is about how experiences such as this which teach our students how to succeed beyond the classroom, push them out of their comfort zones and opens their eyes to their bright futures”. 

The show also raised £340 from refreshment donations which will be split between local charities Crawley Open House and St Catherine’s Hospice.


In October Ofsted visited our school and concluded that Oriel was a very good school, with many excellent areas of work.  The lead inspector noted that leaders were reflective and have worked hard on curriculum plans and that they are reviewed well.  The curriculum offer is well considered and it is broad for as long as possible.  The school offers a 3-year Key stage 3 and this is very good; inspectors felt it was particularly impressive for students to study 2 languages throughout year 7,8 and 9..  Overall our curriculum model is very good.

Ofsted were impressed with the school’s emphasis on using research, with leaders weaving them well into their plans. With regard to our staff they told us that they feel valued and looked after.  The lead inspector also said It is a testament to the school that it values and invests in new teacher training.  Staffing is stable in these difficult recruitment times.  The school has a good philosophy in this area.

Sixth Form students are well supported  and Ofsted saw clear evidence of this.  It was remarked by one of the inspectors that a lot is expected of them and they rise to the challenge.  It was seen that sixth form students are making progress.  With regard to behaviour in the school it was highlighted that students are polite and proud of their school and learning well; attitudes are positive, students are respectful and there are high levels of engagement.  There are good relationships between students and staff and students enjoy their learning. The school building is well cared for. Students show respect for their environment.

In terms of enrichment and extra-curricular activities high quality provision is offered at Oriel, from clubs, trips, sports, the arts, school productions, activities week. There is a great offer and students want to be involved in it.  Students love their learning communities and love the competition.  When discussing our school with our students Ofsted asked them (students) if they could sum up Oriel!  “OHS is warming. It makes me feel warm and safe, makes me feel at home”; “challenging but feel at home”; also “calm, amazing, very safe, encouraging, everyone knows everyone else”.  It was clear that students get on well together and are proud of their school.

Top Award for Careers Education

On the evening of 7th November 2019 the Careers and Enterprise company together with Coast to Capital hosted an awards evening to recognise all the individuals across the region that work so tirelessly for the provision of careers education in schools and colleges.

There are 88 schools and colleges signed up to the network in this region and Oriel High School was delighted that teacher Owen Svoboda picked up the award for Outstanding Careers Leader. This is in recognition of his drive and tenacity to have careers education resourced well and represented at its rightful place in the senior leadership team and the board of governors planning. His knowledge and passion for all things related to excellent initial advice and guidance has meant he’s researched, contacted and built a network of employers and providers to help the school. Most of all his integrity for doing what is right by the students and not simply ticking the Gatsby benchmarks wish list sets him apart.

Deputy Headteacher, Helen Everitt said “We are very proud of Owen and our careers education programme. Oriel leads the way regionally in this important area of work and the benefits to students are tangible”

Students’ Art @ The Hawth

The Oriel High School Art Exhibition is on at the Hawth Theatre in Crawley, this week until the 31st October. Please pop by to look at our students amazing work. There is a mixture of Key Stage 3, GCSE and A-Level work from all Art disciplines we offer – Fine Art, Textiles Art, 3D Art and Photography. If you pop by please don’t forget to write a comment in the guest book.

World Mental Health Day

Thursday 10th October was World Mental Health Day. Thousands of schools, offices, companies and community groups raise vital funds for YoungMinds. Oriel High School is one of those schools supporting children and young people’s mental health on World Mental Health Day.

YoungMinds are involved in projects ranging from preventing mental illness from developing to improving early intervention and care for those living with a mental health problem.

At Oriel we held a cake sale for YoungMinds #HelloYellow campaign, supporting young people’s mental health. With every cake sold students were given a book mark showing supportive messages and top tips for good mental health.

We were also running a series of assemblies for students during the week looking at the issue of Mental Health.

Youth Wing Makeover

Tesco community grants fund thousands of local projects right across the UK.  Projects that bring benefit to their community will get the green light – these range from improving community buildings and outdoor spaces to buying new equipment, training coaches or volunteers and hosting community events.  Last summer our Youth Wing was fortunate enough to gain huge community support for our ambitions to renovate a space that was starting to show it’s age.  We were granted £4000 and have used the funds to make the Youth Wing and brighter and more inviting space for our students. 

The Youth Wing is such an important part of our school and is truly valued by our staff and students.   Many former Oriel students have gained valuable experience from volunteering in our Youth Wing and helping children who are in effect following in their footsteps.  Cooking club, peer mentoring, Duke of Edinburgh award, gardening club, forest schools, eco club, Sussex CCC street cricket, Crawley Town girls football, lunchtime club, anti-bullying ambassadors scheme all are examples of activities offered for our students.  We also continue to offer Tuesday night youth club where more activities for our students and young people who do not attend Oriel are offered.  For more details about the Youth Wing contact Katie Jordan via the school.

GCSE Results August 2019

Oriel High School is celebrating the GCSE and BTEC achievements of its’ Year 11 students. Headteacher, Philip Stack, stated: ‘We are delighted to see the hard work and commitment of our students, their families, and the staff reflected in these superb results. These results reflect the sense of team work between the students and staff and also the support of our families for which I am very grateful; it has always been my view that it is through the strong partnership between staff, students and their families that we are able to achieve such success. I am very proud of our students and our staff and I am so pleased to see that their hard work has been rewarded with such great results for our students.’

Notable student performances include:

Matthew Agius                                  2 x Grade 8, 2 x Grade 7, 4 x Grade 6, 1 x Grade 5, 1B

William Aldridge                               1 x Grade 8, 4 x Grade 7, 3 x Grade 6, 1 x Grade 5, 1B

Aaminah Azoor                                 2 x Grade 9, 2 x Grade 8, 3 x Grade 7, 2 x Grade 6

Joss Baskar                                      2 x Grade 9, 2 x Grade 8, 2 x Grade 7, 2 x Grade 6, 1 x Grade 5

Adam Boxall                                     1 x Grade 9, 4 x Grade 7, 5 x Grade 6, 1 A

Amber Brown                                    3 x Grade 9, 4 x Grade 8, 2 x Grade 7, 1 C

Daniel Clark                                      5 x Grade 9, 1 x Grade 8, 2 x Grade 7, 2 x Grade 6, 1 A*

Matthew Davies                                 2 x Grade 9, 4 x Grade 7, 3 x Grade 6

Jodie Davis                                       1 x Grade 8, 5 x Grade 7, 4 x Grade 6, 1 B

Lottie Edwards                                  1 x Grade 8, 5 x Grade 7, 3 x Grade 6, 1 x Grade 5

Scott Hislop                                      5 x Grade 9, 1 x Grade 8, 2 x Grade 7, 1 x Grade 6, 1A*

Amna Khan                                       4 x Grade 8, 3 x Grade 7, 2 x Grade 6

William Lingard                                 3 x Grade 9, 5 x Grade 8, 1 x Grade 7, 1 x Grade 6, 1 x D2

Jessica Lister                                    3 x Grade 8, 4 x Grade 7, 1 x Grade 6, 1 x Grade 5

James Meekin                                   2 x Grade 9, 1 x Grade 8, 4 x Grade 7, 2 x Grade 6, 1 A

Zelie Motte                                        2 x Grade 9, 4 x Grade 8, 2 x Grade 7, 1 x Grade 6, 1 A

Daniel Phillips                                  2 x Grade 8, 1 x Grade 7, 4 x Grade 6, 2 x Grade 5, 1 A

Zarah Shamim                                  3 x Grade 8, 3 x Grade 7, 3 x Grade 6

Emma Simmons                               3 x Grade 9, 6 x Grade 8, 1 x Grade 7, 1 A

Jack Smith                                        1 x Grade 8, 3 x Grade 7, 3 x Grade 6, 2 x Grade 5, 1 B

Jake Smith                                        1 x Grade 9, 3 x Grade 8, 4 x Grade 7, 1 x Grade 6,

Katie Sutton                                      1 x Grade 8, 3 x Grade 7, 5 x Grade 6, 1 x Grade 5

Jasmine Vohra                                  4 x Grade 8, 3 x Grade 7, 3 x Grade 6

Holly Warnes                                     5 x Grade 8, 3 x Grade 7, 2 x Grade 6

Tyler Whiteoak-Dooley                      1 x Grade 9, 5 x Grade 8, 1x Grade 6, 1 x Grade 5, 1 x Grade 4, 1A