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Options Group-Hobbies-Astronomy

Continuing our work on hobbies, this week, the year 10 options group focussed on Astronomy as a hobby. We were lucky enough to have Sara Courtley join us, who takes part in star gazing and astronomical society activities. Sara did a very informative presentation which portrayed the vast size of the universe.

We then looked more closely at the stars and Sara showed us varying constellation patterns and how they got their names.

We explored the surface of the planets and the moon and investigated how craters were made with a practical task.

We were lucky enough to handle a part of a meteorite.

and we explored what life was like up in the international space station…

We finished our session with a fun game of ‘guess which one is the frying pan and not a planet’. Can you work out which one it is?

We would like to thank Sara for sharing her passion and giving us her time. We think you may have inspired some budding astronomers!

10s Science- Analysing fingerprints

Today in Science 10s carried out some scientific enquiry work focussed around fingerprints. We first looked at what finger prints are and why we have them. We looked at the history of how fingerprints were used for identification purposes. We then investigated our own fingerprints by making prints of each fingertip using ink pads.

We used magnifying glasses to explore the prints in more detail and tried to identify the patterns we could see. We highlighted that our finger tips can have differing patterns but the patterns we each had were entirely unique to us!

We looked at how this fact can help the police when trying to identify people and inspired some of us to go away and find out more are this role in the police force further.

Do you receive emails/texts from school?

From September, The Oaks is going as paperless as we possibly can! If you do not already receive emails/text messages from school please could you email us at e7033.admin@durhamlearning.net  so we can add you to the system? Please also see the school website and Facebook for information as these are regularly updated!





7T Creative Studies

Our topic, Junk Monsters, is based around recycling. This week all students in 7T created their own elephant from recycled milk cartons. They look great and everyone is very proud of their elephant models!

10s sounds and vibrations

Continuing our unit on scientific enquiry, this week we focussed our attention on the topic of sound. We explored how sounds are made through vibrations and how they travel so we can hear them. We then created some paper cup and string telephone to test this out. We looked at how altering materials used, affected the sounds and whether this could travel around corners. We were all able to make excellent predictions and justify our choices using correct terminology and scientific explanations. Great work by all!

7T The Normans

This term, in History, we are learning about The Normans.

We all learnt that the Battle of Hastings began at 9am on the 14th of October 1066. We all had turns drawing 9am on a clock, finding 14 on a number line and identifying the month of October on a calendar.

After the short video, all students were able to recall important facts about the event. Identifying Normandy and England on maps and identifying that William the Conqueror won the battle.

We then watched a short video showing us the History around the Battle of Hastings.



Pupils from 11D had an incredible time at their prom last night. There was eating, singing, dancing and some awards.

You all looked stunning, and we are so proud of the amazing young adults you have become during your time at The Oaks!



Pupils in 11D have been studying the topic of Time in maths lessons recently. We have worked on understanding and using language associated with time, before sequencing the days of the week and the months of the year. Today we began looking at clocks. We were all very confident at reading and showing “o’ clock”, so tomorrow we are going to progress to “half past”.


Year 10 Options Group- Gardening for Pleasure

Continuing our accreditation work on the importance of hobbies, the year 10 Independent Living group took part in a ‘ gardening for pleasure’ session. John Courtley joined us and showed us how to clear and weed areas, plant smaller plants in our raised planters and large shrubs along the boarders of our sensory garden. The pupils all got well involved and learnt how to distinguish between weeds and flowers. Thanks go to John and Sara Courtley for providing the new plants and giving up their own time to support us with this. Our pupils had a great time whilst learning some new skill sets.

Duke of Edinburghs Award students receive Social Value Certificate for their Volunteering

We are delighted to share the Social Value Certificate that our Y10, Y11 and 6th form Duke of Edinburghs Award students have received in recognition of the hours they put in during their volunteering section of their awards.

The hours put in are then equated to a financial value that would have been earned if the work undertaken was paid. You can see this year we have put in another fantastic effort!

The students worked very hard over the winter months undertaking beach cleans along the Durham coast and various environmental tasks with a project called Earthworks such as tree planting, river fly studies, land surveys, plug planting, visitor research, maintenance of historical gardens, leaky dam building and litter picking!

We are very proud of all the students efforts. Well done all!

North of England - The Oaks Secondary School -Social Value Cert 2023








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