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Letter from the head


Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you all found time to rest and relax over the Easter break. The summer term has finally arrived, hopefully we will see some good weather soon. We have a busy term ahead starting with internal Key Stage 3 exams on the Valley campus. These are important in helping the students get used to the more formal context and prepare them for this type of assessment in the future. Although some GCSE exams have started in areas including Art and Languages, most of them start in a couple of week’s time. It is really important that students continue to take full advantage of all the different learning opportunities left including normal timetabled lessons in addition to the extra support provided. I would like to acknowledge and thank the staff who deliver our after school revision programme and that came in over the holidays to provide additional support sessions for students preparing for external exams. I’d also like to wish the students the very best of luck and look forward to celebrating their results at the end of August.

Academic structure of the school

I have highlighted in a previous Parklife the changes to the academic structure of the school and our move to 6 faculties each led by an assistant head teacher. As part of the previous 3 editions of ParkLife Heads of Faculty have been asked to share their vision and plans. This month is the turn of our Sport, Creative and Performing Arts faculty led by Emma Vermeer and Rebecca Ashdown.

The Big Camp – Friday 6th July 2018

I wrote to all parents and carers at the beginning of the year with further information about ‘The Big Camp.’ Anyone wishing to support this event can either donate on our Just Caring page or e-mail Jenna Eastlake ( to be part of the parent/carer contact list that we have started.


News from the Sport and Creative Arts faculty


Our vision statement

The Sport and Creative Arts Faculty comprises of PE, Art, Drama, Music and Health and Social Care. As a group of subjects, our aim is to ignite a love of learning and provide a holistic education for all our students.

Our vision is to create an exciting curriculum, that includes cross curricular projects and a fully inclusive programme of enriching activities and extra-curricular clubs. Our subjects focus on teaching our students about collaboration, creativity and self-expression; encouraging a culture for learning that celebrates success and commitment in Sport and the Creative Arts.

Emma Vermeer & Becs Ashdown – Head of Sport & Creative Arts faculty


Spotlight on Sport


Great news for Hove Park table tennis with a £10,000 award for funding from Sport England this week to improve the facilities and standard of table tennis within the school. The project will be run in conjunction with coaches from Brighton Table Tennis club and promises first class facilities and coaching for the next year for all students. Hove Park was also recently featured in the UN Refugee Agency's documentary 'bringing hope to the table' about two refugees and table tennis coaching at our Valley campus (see article further on).

The outdoor gym at the Valley campus goes from strength to strength with more and more students using it in the spring sunshine. Proludic, who installed the equipment, will be incentivising its use this term, so please look out for their fitness app to monitor usage which will be sent to all students iPads at KS3. Prizes to be won for the most frequent users so get stepping, cycling and lifting to be in with a chance of free sports equipment, clothing and some great top prizes for the overall top users at the end of term.


Year 7 boys football team

The year 7 boys have had a fantastic first season at Hove Park, they won the Brighton District 5 aside championships, then went on and represented Brighton District at the regional finals in London. The team also reached the last 16 of the National Elite Cup, made it to the last 64 of the National Cup, made the Semi- finals of the County Cup and have made the final of the Brighton Town Cup against Dorothy Stringer! They received sponsorship in January and have had a new home and away kit to wear. The team have played 18 games this season. A hugely impressive season.

U14 girls football team

The U14 girls football team are in top position in Brighton and Hove league with 3 games still to play.

Year 8 boys football

The Year 8 football team made improvements this year and qualified for the final stages of the Brighton & Town Champions Cup after finishing second in their group. The team showed excellent unity over the course of the season which included some very good wins against local teams.




Year 7 Netball

On the last Tuesday before Easter, the Year 7 Netball A team attended the area tournament at Cardinal Newman. There were many teams for them to play, including some from outside the area like Steyning and Downlands. The girls acquitted themselves really well, with a mixture of results but all very tight score lines. The whole team were enthusiastic, energetic and demonstrated fair play and great sportsmanship. Hove Park placed fifth overall in the tournament out of ten teams but they were third placed in the Brighton, Hove And Portslade area and drew their game with the winning team. They should be congratulated on the dedication throughout the season as they have been a fantastic asset to Netball club training sessions and games.


Year 9 Netball 

On the last Monday of Easter term, the Year 9 Netball A team headed over to Dorothy Stringer where they played the Semi-Finals of the Area Knockout Cup against Blatchington Mill School. Despite missing a few of the regular team, the girls played with determination and skill and beat the Blatch team 9-5, putting them through to the Final against Cardinal Newman.

Due to having to play the semi-final on the same afternoon, our team was at a bit of a disadvantage. Initially, they lost a lot of ground but rallied well in the second half to to keep them from scoring many but Cardinal Newman were very strong and took the win at 21-9. Massive credit to the girls who have played a lot of fixtures this season and are still in the running to be league champions.




The year 9 Brighton Schools Town final was a fantastic event this year. Due to the strength off the Cardinal Newman side, who won the county cup we decided to field a barbarians side against them in the final event of the year 9 rugby calendar. The best students from Patcham, Dorothy Stringer, Blatchington Mill and Hove Park attended a selection event and 9 hove Park players made the final team.

The barbarians super team played superbly in the final, but did not manage to beat a truly awesome Cardinal Newman side despite the combined strength of the four Schools. Well done to everyone who all played the final in the true spirit of the game.

The year 7 girls rugby team played in the Brighton and Hove Festival this term which was their first competitive rugby experience.

Twins Jade and Jasmine Otene- Henworth were selected to join the Harlequins and England rugby training academies. Their club side also made it to the National Cup final which was played on Sunday 29th April.


Year 7 Basketball


The year 7 basketball team showed their potential winning every match at the Brighton under 12 tournament. They were absolutely superb and won all their games by a six point margin or more! Congratulations to the boys who were rewarded with a pizza lunch with the headteacher.


Swimming Gala

In the school swimming gala, we had lots of first place swims and just one point separated the two teams for the boys overall competition. A superb effort from Alice in year 8 who swam up in the U18 age group to support the senior team and did superbly. Also a special mention to Louis, Mary and Sienna who swam in this event for their 5th year in a row!



Sports Leaders

Sports leaders have supported lessons at Aldringron school this term as well as various events across the country such as the Sussex Schools cross country championships at waterhall and Showcase Girls Football Event at Oathall Community College.



Let’s Dance at the Dome


On Wednesday 21st March, Hove Park students were one of many local schools to perform in the week long dance festival, Let's Dance at the Dome. The KS3 students had been working hard throughout the Spring term during dance club to help choreograph the dance piece and rehearse their performance. Hove Park were the closing act following local schools PACA and Blatchington Mill, so the pressure was on. The students surpassed themselves with a stunning performance that closed the show with a bang! They were incredible and had an amazing time. They are looking forward to potentially performing the piece again at the Awards Evening, so watch this space!


Spotlight on Music


Sounds from the City took place last month celebrating musical talent from around Brighton and Hove. Students from Hove Park took part in both evenings, showcasing their own original music and covers in a professional live environment, this year it took place at One Church Brighton. Students from Years 10 and 11 took part, including singer Billy Carr and singer-songwriter George Shelley. Performers also included past students now attending local colleges and it was excellent to see them performing to such a high standard.

As part of the Music Btec, Sixth Form student Bryn Davison independently taught a complete guitar lesson to 10 valley guitar players. He taught the students heavy metal style techniques and they performed what they had learnt at the end of the workshop. It showed an incredible amount of maturity, independence and planning. Bryn had an excellent teaching style and this was a great example of how Sixth Form students and younger children can learn from each other.


Spotlight on Drama


This year's school production Hairspray, was a record breaking success, with six hundred and eighty people in total coming to watch! The show included over fifty students from Year Seven to Eleven, and was an absolute pleasure to watch, with some incredible singing and inspirational acting. Nobody left without a huge smile on their face and their spirits lifted! A huge congratulations to all the students, who demonstrated the commitment to produce such a wonderful production, to Miss Holt for her hard work and dedication in directing the play and to Mr Hunting, Mr Riley and the Art department for their support backstage.

Key Stage Four students have also been involved in a hugely successful performance. They performed at the Chichester Festival Theatre, as part of Connections, with the theatre director commenting that they had been "the best cast all week." We are now waiting to see if they have won and will have the amazing opportunity to perform at the National Theatre!


Spotlight on Art

Katherine Griffin, who is an art teacher at Hove Park school was selected as one of only 3 artists to paint a sculpture for the new city wide art trail in Brighton and Hove. Following the success of the Snow Dogs by the sea, Wild In ART and the Martlets are launching a new project for 2018. Hove park are involved in this project and every student at the valley campus is in the process of preparing design work to enter the competition. Winners of the Hove Park competition will be involved in painting two mini snails which will feature on the art trail at the valley campus and raise money for the Martlets.


Art trips


The art team organised a trip with Year 10 to the Tate Modern in London to enhance learning experiences and inspire student’s personal responses towards a portraits project.

The art team organised a trip with Year 11 to the V&A in London to enhance learning experiences and inspire student’s personal responses towards their exam.

A collaborative trip was organised for year 9, 10 and 11 to go to Amsterdam and experience the culture and to see the city from the famous canals before visiting the Van Gogh museum, the Kroller Muller, the Rjiks museum and the Anne Frank House.

Brighton University printmaking

 Brighton University printmaking students came into school to run a day workshop. Our students have been invited to use specialist printmaking equipment and create work to build on their A-level portfolios and also see the degree show.


Digital Genius Art Challenge


Selected year 8 art students have had the opportunity to be entered for a Digital Genius Art Challenge. They have been assigned to a project involving the creation of digital art using various drawing aps on the ipads. The final outcomes will be some animated figures drawing of athletes. Artwork will be completed by the Summer (2018) for entrance into the Digital Genius Artist of the year exhibition at Sussex University and Apple’s European Headquarters in London.


UN Refugee Agency features Hove Park


The UN Refugee Agency, a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, recently featured Hove Park school in their film 'bringing hope to the table'.

The film documents Farhad and Amine, two asylum-seekers from Afghanistan
and Sudan, who, through the UN Refugee Agency and the Brighton Table Tennis Club, have been coaching our students some enviable table tennis skills. Through out the sessions it has become apparent that Farhad and Amine’s bilingual skills have proved very useful. In one instance, Farhad was able to speak Pashtu with a boy, also from Afghanistan.

“What really makes the sessions is having Farhad and Amine as positive role models for the children,” said Tim Holtam, co-founder of Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC).


Wellbeing Market Place


We had a fantastic evening at the Wellbeing Market Place. We were joined by some fantastic services who gave up their evening to come and chat to parents about Wellbeing. Some of the services that came were the school nurse, Allsorts (LBGT+ support), Amaze (support of disabilities), Young Carers, WISE (What is Sexual Exploitation), SafetyNet, Hove Park Mental Health Champions, Sussex Police and many more.

During the evening we had talks on the topics of Understanding Mental Health, Stress and Anxiety with Mindfulness Techniques and Online Safety. We had great feedback from Parents saying “Good to come along, great practical advice”, “Thank you for putting this event on”, “Great event”, “Meeting and chatting with Amaze, Young Carers etc”, “Mental Health talk was incredibly reassuring”.

Thank you to all those who came!


Bringing back former students as positive role models


Hove Park School was recently featured in the Brighton and Hove Independent for our Alumni programme run by the national charity Future First.

The full article can be viewed here.


Hove Park radio stars


Little Green Pigs, a local creative writing charity, visited the Valley Campus on Wednesday 28th March to lead a writing for radio workshop. A group of 26 year 7 and year 8 pupils were selected by the English department to take part in the workshop.

Pupils shared their experiences of listening to the radio and their favourite stations, most pupils enjoyed listening to music stations at home and in the car. In small groups pupils then discussed ideas and topics that they would like to listen to on the radio. There was a lot of lively discussion and debate on topics from football to gun control, feminism to If I was Prime Minister for the day and Is graffiti art?. Pupils then voted on their favourite topics and pooled their ideas.

Pupils worked in small teams to write a script and agreed the running order, ensuring that everyone had something to say. Groups rehearsed before recording their finished articles. The final edit will be aired in a few weeks on Radio Reverb.

Pupils views on the workshop.

“I was really nervous about speaking but it was really fun!”

“It was exciting being able to write about things that were important to me.”

“I enjoyed working with different pupils.”

“I can’t wait to hear what I sound like on the radio!”


Year 9 DoE training


Before the Easter holidays our Year 9 candidates for Duke of Edinburgh's Award had a super expedition training day at PACA with candidates from the neighbouring school learning about navigation, map reading, packing a rucksack and choosing kit, cooking, tents, first aid and emergency procedures! They learned in groups of 15 on a carousel basis. They are now well on their way to being prepared for the practice expedition in May and their assessed one following in July.

Mr Hunting


Duke of Edinburgh Award: Silver Success in the Ashdown Forest


Fifteen Year 11 Hove Park students embarked on their assessed silver expedition in the Ashdown Forest this week. The three teams of five once again had to put their navigation, mapping, tent pitching and cooking skills to the test, ensuring that they were self-sufficient and unaided for the three day, two-night expedition. The teams would be assessed upon their adherence to the 20 conditions outlined by the awards scheme.

The teams had carefully plotted and written down their routes in the weeks before heading to Forest Row (starting point for day 1); each team had chosen different routes to make it to the campsite to the north of Crowborough at the end of day one. The mist had rolled in making navigation over the varying terrain and landscapes difficult and challenging. The students however made light work of their routes, and were able to follow their plans with relative ease. As day one drew to a close, the teams made camp and set about cooking a variety of noodles and pasta based dishes before reviewing their route cards for day two.

After a damp, fiercely cold night, the teams set about consuming a nutritious breakfast, taking down their tents and packing up their equipment before setting off on their day two routes. The teams demonstrated superb navigation and mapping skills through the forest and over the heathland. It was clear to see that the teams were competent and confident with their ability to follow a pre-planned route using landmarks and natural features to guide them along the way. Each of the three teams continued to show a recognisable improvement in the accuracy and constancy of their map reading and navigational skills to those demonstrated at bronze level. It was brilliant to see the teams enjoying their expeditions and seeing a plethora of wildlife including birds, lambs and deer. The teams had once again made good time and reached Broadstone Warren well before dark; this enabled them to erect their tents and once again cook themselves a hot, nutritious meal.

Another brutally cold night gave way to a glorious morning on the Saturday. Teams arose to the sound of woodpeckers, birds chirping and the sun piecing through the tall, still trees in the campsite. This paved the way for a swift exit out of the campsite on to their routes for day three. As the sun beamed down, the teams once again made light work of their pre-planned routes. The deep forest landscape gave way to the open rolling hills leading down to Ardingly Reservoir with fields of lambs and various streams to cross. The teams were also fortunate enough to cross the Bluebell Railway too with steam trains rumbling past!

Each of the teams arrived at Ardingly Reservoir within an hour of one another. They had completed their routes and had managed to stick to their timings impeccably. After a debrief with the assessors who were monitoring their progress throughout the expedition, the teams were delighted to learn that they had all passed the silver expedition with flying colours. Yet again, the fifteen Year 11s had done themselves and Hove Park School proud; it was a pleasure to witness the teams demonstrate the skills and qualities they’ve developed since signing up for the award at the beginning of Year 10. We wish them every success in their quests for the gold award should they wish to in the future.

Mr Bartlett and Mr Hunting.


Catalunya buddies


Visiting students from Catalunya, Spain buddied up with HP students last week at both Valley and Nevill. The Spanish students took part in lessons and participated with great eagerness. The students of Spanish at Hove Park enjoyed the chance to speak and learn about the area of Spain the students came from and many were quick to praise the opportunity to make their studies real and to have the chance to speak to people of their own age from a very different part of Europe. School would like to pass on a very big thank you to the Spanish leaders for this group for their engagement in the whole process. There were many promises of keeping the contact going. Spanish at Hove Park is celebrating its first fully paid for sponsored trip for 5 students to Granada in May this year with a further 10 students to be fully sponsored to spend time in Barcelona in October.

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What's On 

Thurs 3rd May - Awards Evening

Fri 4rd May - Inset day school closed

Mon 7th May - Bank holiday school closed

Tues 8th May - Year 11 Exam Stress Workshop

Thurs 17th May - Y8 Parent/Carer Subject Teacher Consultation Evening

Mon 28th May - Fri 1st June - Summer half term holiday



Exam stress workshop

Hove Park School is offering an exam stress workshop to Year 11 students and parents on Tuesday 8th May, 3.45pm. The workshop is an opportunity to find out more about how to support young people during the exam season, as well as tips for stress-free studying and techniques to keep calm and focused in exams and when studying.

If you need further information about this please email the school office on

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