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Letter from the head


Dear Parents and Carers,

As I look back on this year I take a huge amount of pride in what we’ve achieved. At the start of the year we came together as a school community and won £25,000 through the OneFamily Community grants to install an outside gym on the Valley Campus. This was completed in December and is now used by students at break, lunchtime and during their PE lessons.

The range of opportunities and experiences the students have been able to get involved in and do has been significant. In the last term alone we had 160 student take part in the Valley 5K, over 100 students on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, 120 students went to watch England women play cricket against South Africa, 60 students went on a sea swimming course, 55 students went on the Rockley water sports trip to France and 41 students took on the Valley Challenge. Hove Park students are currently in China and Kenya and our first Big Camp involved all students in Year 7 getting involved in Forest School activities, including shelter building and making camp fires. You can view our Big Camp film here. All of this in addition to all the traditional extra-curricular activities that we run throughout the year. This is only achieved through the dedication and commitment of staff.

I would also like to thank colleagues that are leaving us for their support and commitment. We have a number of new staff joining us, and I am pleased to say we are fully staffed for September.

We’ve made good progress as a school this year and laid the foundations for some exciting partnerships and developments in the new year. Thank you for your continued support. I wish you all a happy and restful break.



2018 Prom


The 2018 Prom was a glorious event held at the stunning location of Pangdean Barn. The sun was beaming down throughout the evening and created a beautiful backdrop for all of the dressed up boys and girls in attendance. Prom always marks the culmination of the Year 11 students’ time at Hove Park; an amazing event put together to celebrate their time with us and all of their achievements.

The boys outdid their teaching counterparts with how smartly they were dressed, the girls all looked incredibly glamorous in their flowing dresses and we even had an Argus photographer there to capture the moment. Photos were taken of the extravagant arrivals of all of the students, ranging from Lamborghinis to motorbikes to a retro vintage bus. Each student made their own unique entrance and enjoyed their final time together as Hove Park students.

As always, this was an event full of mixed emotions. Sadness over saying goodbye (most of these relationships have lasted 5 years), yet joy of recognising the milestone they have achieved and what challenges and adventures lay ahead. What did stand out was the amount of students who were actively thanking members of staff for the help they have given the students over the years - a really beautiful way to end an amazing journey for these students.


Big Camp


After months of meetings and planning, the Big Camp was finally upon us and, on a bright sunny July day, Year 7 descended on the Nevill Campus to experience a range of activities and camp overnight.

Throughout the day students had the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities, including; festival flag making, team building, shelter building, fire skills and ‘Stomp’ style percussion workshops.

The students excelled and enjoyed all the activities. The day whizzed by and we were all grateful for the pasta supper cooked by our parent volunteers. There was little time for rest though as the evening activities got underway. A great obstacle course, Capture the Flag and football, all accompanied by our own Hove Park music festival, with over three hours of music provided by our student bands from across all year groups. It was an exhausting but enjoyable day and evening… where did the girls get the energy to still be chatting in their tents at 2:30am?!

The first morning voices were heard at around 4am, so with less than a couple of hours rest and with bleary eyes we enjoyed the sunrise on another fine July day. The morning was a chilled out time as students emerged from their tents – some having spent their first night under canvas and some their first night away from home and family.

It was an amazing experience for all involved. Thank you to all the staff who helped on the day to make it so successful, the parents who gave up their time to feed us all, the students who embraced the opportunity and engaged in the day and those that spent many an hour planning and organising the event to make it the success it was, and a legacy that the students will always remember.


Big Camp film


The film from our Big Camp has just been released and can be viewed here. If you like it please share it!



Of the event our Head Teacher, Jim Roberts, said:

"Student outcomes will always remain a key priority at Hove Park because exam results so often dictate future pathways and opportunities for young people.

However, my vision for our school also relates very much to the school experience each and every student will have.

It is about identifying the skills, values and attributes that we believe students should develop during their time with us and the things they will see, hear, try and explore at KS3, KS4 and KS5.

I have always been very clear that I want to ensure we provide experiences that all students can access and be part of and, over time, this would develop into an entitlement that all students could expect in coming to Hove Park.

At the beginning of the autumn term we came together as a community and won the OneFamily community grant of £25,000 for our Valley Campus outdoor gym. ‘The Big Camp’ is another opportunity for us to come together as a community to support all students in Year 7 to have the opportunity to spend the night under canvas and take part in a range of Forest School-type activities".



Hove MP Peter Kyle attended the event and said:

"Hove Park School has just finished its amazing 'Big Camp'! Year 7 students spent the whole day doing projects, exercises and challenges, mostly outside.

By the time I popped along yesterday evening there had been obstacle courses, musical performances, and fire building to cook marshmallows over. A 'wide game' was just getting underway as I left, which filled me with nostalgia for my days as a Scout when I was growing up.

Many of the students I spoke to hadn't been camping before, let alone cooked over an open fire. This kind of thing is a brilliant thing for young people to do and I'm so pleased that the teachers, staff, volunteer parents, and the police cadets all put so much effort into making it happen. I'm sure it wasn't easy for them but, from what I saw, every student was very, very grateful that you did".




Nice Words From Parents, Carers and Students

"I hope you have a relaxing weekend planned after Big Camp - thank you so much! Milo looked as though he was really enjoying himself and was cementing new friendships - he has definitely settled in now and enjoys school. It was also great for me to meet other parents whilst helping".

Year 7 Parent

"I just wanted to drop you both a note to say thank you.

Xavier had an absolutely wonderful time and it was clear there was so much thought, time and effort put into the event".

Year 7 Parent

"I think that the big camp was really fun. To start off with I did the shelter building which was so much fun, I really enjoyed it. It was a challenge that we completed in a short amount of time which I think was a good thing. It was nice to see how it would be like for people who had to survive in the wild. All of the materials that we had were handy to have and there was not anything that our group didn’t use. So overall I think that the shelter building was a big success!

After I did that I did the team building. I loved this activity, it was definitely up there with the best. One of the reasons why I loved it was that I didn’t know many of the people in my group before this activity so it was really nice to get to know everyone a bit better. It was also fun because all the activities in the team building were challenging to do, which made it even more exciting to do. It also helps to build your trust with others because your partner had to guide you through a big spider's web and get you to the other side.

The next thing I did was making the nature flags which wasn’t quite what I thought it would be because it didn’t take very long to do, and then when we had finished we still had half an hour where all we did was sit under a tree and talked to our friends. So overall maybe they could of thought of another activity after we had finished them, so we would have more to do in this amount of time.

After that we had a go at the ‘rubbish’ music which was really funny. It was something so different to all the other activities and it was cool how there is so much more than you think that can make music. All of the ‘instruments’ were fun to play. They all made a very cool song when we put all the sounds together.

So overall I think the Big Camp was amazing, all of the activities were great, the food was yummy, the activity leaders were nice and it was a BIG success. Even better than I thought it would be".

By Avy and Lula, Year 7 students

The first activity my group went to was called natural flags. It wasn’t what I thought it would be but was enjoyable. We printed a flag each. Then we had free time because the activity went quite quickly.

We then had the activity called Rubbish Music, everyone learnt how to play the different musical instruments. We also played a sink, which was really fun.

Next was fire building. We first learnt how to light a fire, then they gave us a challenge to keep the fire alight for five minutes. Our group also got to roast a marshmallow over the main fire.

We next did shelter building, this was my favourite activity because I really enjoyed the creativity of trying to make a shelter against each other. We went into different groups and my group made one the fastest.

Lastly we did team building, this was really fun because I didn’t know everyone in my group so I got to get to know everyone. The most difficult activity was going blindfolded in a spider's web because we had to trust our partners to lead us through it safely. Overall, I really enjoyed the Big Camp because it gets you out of your comfort zone and challenges you. I also learnt new skills and really enjoyed the day. It was really fun getting to have a different day to normal. I didn’t stay overnight but it seemed fun.

Lula Year 7 student



Sea Swimming


On Thursday 28th June and Friday 29th June, Hove Park School took sixty Year 7 students to Brighton beach. Both days were gloriously sunny and perfect for some lifesaving.

They were all taught vital lifesaving skills and first aid techniques by Brighton’s famous lifeguards.

Hove Park students were put through their paces, trying out the latest beach rescue techniques. They also learnt how to use the lifeguards' rescue boards, saving casualties from the water. The experience taught the students how to save lives in and out of the water, and what dangers to look for whilst keeping themselves safe.

Mr Lowrie, who co-ordinated the trip, said ‘All the students had a fantastic experience learning some vital lifesaving skills. We are already looking to book in again next year. The course is run and delivered in a fantastic way. We would again like to thank Surf Life Saving for putting on another exceptional experience for our students. We very much look forward to working with them again next year."

He went on to say how impressed he was with the lifeguards' professionalism and care that was given to Hove Park's students. Their attention to the safety of our students was nothing short of superb. It was also brilliant fun.

"Well done to all involved." - Mr Lowrie


Year 7s at Sussex University Chinese Department!


Year 7 members of the MEP classes travelled to the University of Sussex this month to meet the lecturers and students of University level Chinese. They had a wonderful morning and were shown around the campus, as well as being treated to a number of cultural and linguistic tasks involving the Chinese university students. Hove Park School and the University of Sussex hope to work increasingly closely developing our links with not only languages but a host of other subjects. We thank the Chinese Department at the University very much for their kindness and engagement in this work.


Young Interpreters


The next Generation of Young Interpreters contributing to our diverse school. Here are the Year 7 Young Interpreters just having completed their training recently. Years 8’s completed theirs earlier this term. 


Duke of Edinburgh Award: Student Success on Bronze Expedition


40 Year 10 students defied the odds and successfully completed their two day, one night assessed bronze expedition in the scorching Sussex sun this month. Temperatures soared into the high twenties and made walking in the heat extremely difficult but with sun cream, hats and plenty of water at the ready, the teams were ready to take on the challenge.

The teams set off from the start point at Butts Brow on the edge of the South Downs, taking different routes that crossed open grassland, rolling hills and through wooded areas that gave them a variety of navigational challenges to overcome. The teams, who had worked hard on their map skills since the practice expedition, applied their knowledge wonderfully and were able to follow the routes they had created with relative ease. The sun was a constant challenge however and additional water stations were added to assist the teams, and clear instructions were given to ensure they added more recovery stops anytime they came across shade on their routes.

Despite the sun beginning to make its journey to the horizon, temperatures remained high well into the evening. All teams successfully completed their day one route cards and set about putting up their tents and getting their dinner on at the wonderful campsite in Alfriston. Students feasted on a variety of high energy meals, including pasta, rice and couscous dishes before looking at their day two routes and enjoying some well-earned rest time.

As the sun rose, the birds chirped and some of the students and staff snored, teams awoke to swiftly make breakfast and take down their tents. The forecast was predicting even higher temperatures so the teams were keen to get as much travelling done before the temperature spiked later in the day. Conditions were incredibly difficult, but yet again the determination, perseverance and positive attitudes spurred the teams on. They were superb and all were able to complete their expeditions in extremely challenging conditions. All of us would like to say a huge well done on this achievement; the expeditions are challenging at the best of times so to complete it in such high temperatures is truly commendable.

We must also say a huge thank you to all of the members of staff who gave their time to come and support the expedition; it wouldn’t of happened without you so thank you and well done!

Mr Bartlett and Mr Hunting


Duke of Edinburgh Year 9


46 Year 9 students braved the heat on the South Downs on the weekend 7/8th July to complete their Assessed Expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. They used the skills they had learned in training and on the practice expedition, which had already tested their resilience due to the very wet weather, in even more difficult conditions. This time it was the temperature and heat of the sun which was to challenge them, as they set off in teams of five, six and seven on different routes from Stanmer Park and Patcham Recreation Ground to a shared camp on Plumpton Racecourse, the other side of the South Downs. Their routes took them through open downland, up and down different ‘bostals’ (paths up the steep side of the Downs) through various valleys and along footpaths through farms and villages. The heat was intense, but all the teams managed to successfully navigate their planned routes and rectify any mistakes made on the way. They carried full rucksacks and had to refill at water stops on the way on many occasions.

After arriving, they cooked a full evening meal. The standard of camp craft had improved a lot to reach a high standard since the practice expedition. The sun rose early on the second day, so an early start was made by many groups which involved climbing up to the South Downs Ridge and then making their way through the undulating landscape and various valleys (known as ‘bottoms’) in the intense heat to reach their end destination.

All of us would like to say a huge well done on this achievement in the intense heat. What they managed to do is highly commendable. A big thank you to the members of staff who gave their time to come and support the expedition and the DoE South East under Jo Ireland, who helped organise and supervise the event.

Mr Bartlett & Mr Hunting


Head Students


Year 10 had 9 students apply to be Head Boy/Head Girl going into Year 11 from September. The application process included presenting to Year 9 students in assembly and also attending a formal interview. All students presented themselves very well and had some fantastic ideas, making the selection process extremely difficult. All applicants had lunch with Mr Roberts and once again spoke to him about some of their ideas. All 9 students will be given a leadership role within school and will deputise for the Head Boy & Head Girl when required. We are now very pleased to announce the successful applicants for 2018/2019: Head Boy is Alfie Jukes and Head Girl is Mia Hollis.


China Trip 2018 - Day 1 & Day 2



After an exhausting 33-hour journey, consisting of 3 flights, some impressively gigantic airports, various airport security teams who were extremely good at their jobs and ‘baggage claim football’, we finally arrived to our hotel in Xi’an. Tired but happy we settled in for the night, everyone of us grateful for the air conditioning in our rooms, because as soon as we landed in Beijing the first thing we all noticed was the heat – it is stifling. Waking up this morning after a well-earned sleep, we were treated to a delicious vegetarian breakfast of eggs, noodles and steamed dumplings. The hotel’s location gave us a taste of what this bustling, historic city is like, as the street outside the front entrance was lined with small market stalls and locals busily trading and socialising, while the skyline is filled with towering residential and office blocks. It’s a fascinating contrast and one the students are happy to experience. Having finished our breakfasts we made our way to the ancient site of the Terracotta Warriors. Located just outside Xi’an and at the foothills of the stunning Qin Mountain range (the unofficial line that the separates the North and the South of China) the Unesco heritage sight is truly spectacular: Enormous in size, the site covers an area of 38 miles and contains an estimated 3,000, individually crafted, life-size clay sculptures of the Terracotta Army. Built to protect the first Emperor Qin, who was the leader of the first dynasty in Xi’an (the first of twelve dynasties in the city), in the afterlife. It’s a breathtaking sight to see. We marvelled at the sheer level of detail and intricacy in each sculpture and how they have been skilfully preserved (and mostly kept secret) for over 2,000 years! At dinner we ate a traditional Chinese meal at a restaurant a short walk from the hotel. The food is unbelievable and there’s so much of it! I’m in heaven here. After dinner we took a town bus with our tour guide, Shang, into central Xi’an to experience what the city is like at night and visit the street markets and food stalls. Central Xi’an is beautiful, surrounded by a giant wall (which we will cycle round tomorrow) and a river. Its centrepiece is a massive antiquated bell tower built during Qin Dynasty. It was great to experience the city at night as it was heaving with people and alive with activity. Furthermore, it was a chance for the students to test their haggling skills and they did not disappoint! I was mightily impressed with the ease at which they confidently interacted with the locals and they are clearly naturals when it comes to getting a bargain! It was a lovely evening and great way to end our first full day here. Earlier at the meal, we were joined by the Chancellor of the International School of the University Xi’an. She referred to our tip to see the Terracotta Warriors and said in a speech before dinner that China as a whole is like that ancient site – the deeper you dig the more you discover. I think it has perfectly set the tone for the rest of the trip.

By Mr Rafferty



China Trip 2018 - Day 3



As we awoke from a rather relaxing sleep, we made our way to the restaurant were we proceeded to devour some boiled eggs, noodles and delicious watermelon. When we had finished our amazing meal, we hopped on the coach and set off for the city wall in the centre of Xi'an. The best part of walking along the wall was the astounding level of detail on each lamp post, watchtower and even the convenience store was decorated (not to mention the breeze which was much appreciated by most).

After walking a rather long way along the wall, which was not much compared to the vastness of the wall that we hadn't covered, we got back on the coach (after taking some pictures in front of the trip banner) and headed off to the Xi'an Bo'ai School where there were incredible speeches and performances (ours being the best of course). It was an amazing experience performing in front so many people who were excited and happy to welcome us to their school.

Once the assembly had finished we made our way to the classrooms, with undoubtedly smaller chairs and desks than we were used to. Once we had settled in the classroom we met our Chinese buddy that would help us navigate our way through the unarguably large and rather confusing school, also to make us feel more welcome and accustomed to true life in Xi'an.

Then we went back to the hotel and got to sleep at a record breaking speed. We are all extremely excited for what tomorrow holds in store for us, with so many things yet to do.

By Louis Dobell



China Trip 2018 - Day 4


We woke up early in the morning, ready for a big game ahead of us. Today was the day we were set to play the Xi-Bo international school's first eleven in a football match. As we have done each morning, before we headed out for the day we again made the short walk to the charming, local restaurant to eat our breakfast.

At first we went to a fantastic park with the finest architecture in the land. It was 40+ degrees in the park which had minimal shade, meaning walking became an endurance test. However the grounds of the park and the river that ran through it made it a memorable experience. Next, we arrived at the school and thankfully they had some English food (chicken nuggets & chips), which after many meals of exotic and unfamiliar foods was a welcome sight. Afterwards we had a Chinese lesson with one of the teachers from the school - which was great - then we warmed up for the big game...

It was a 7-a-side 80 minute football match with Mr Rafferty (aka Gareth Southgate) as our manager. Since there were about 14 youngsters who wanted to play from the three combined English schools, we had rolling subs which meant we didn't play well as a team in the first half (especially as a lot of us had never played together before) and against opponents who were physically fit, well organised and knew the environment. We were 2-0 down at half time.

Regrouping at the break, we discussed weaknesses in their team for which to exploit...mainly that there was no offside being enforced! Gradually as the game wore on we became more confident as a team and were quicker and played passing football. We also realised that we needed to match them physically as they were on average much taller than our team.

Finally we got the breakthrough...a free kick was hammered in by one of the students from St George's School (from Harpenden) and moments later the same student emphatically levelled the match to make it 2-2! Our side were now in full flow and minutes from time we scored the winner from one of the students from Seven King's School (from East London). The match ended 2-3. It was an epic comeback!

After the match we had our pictures taken with the Chinese team. They were incredibly friendly and sporting, offering us water and speaking to us about football in general. It was great to play football and meet other students, not just from England who are on the trip with us but the students from China too.

By Calum Salmons and Danny Cairns


First time champions, Turing, triumph!


Hove Park School’s Turing House students ran, hopped, skipped and jumped their way to top spot in a closely fought competition at the school’s annual Sports Day at Withdean Stadium. During the event packed day many of the school’s records were broken and countless new personal bests achieved.

Mr Roberts, Headteacher, said: “We've had another fantastic sports day. All the athletes and supporters have been amazing. In a year of record temperatures, many sporting records have also been broken and the day has been filled with incredible achievements and successes. I'm so proud of them all."

In an outstanding display of athleticism, Robert Almy (Year 9), participated in the 100, 200, 400 metres, javelin and relay, smashing the 200 metre record in the process. Ella Matthews (Year 9) also produced an unbelievable performance, breaking two records in the 200 and 400 metres with an incredible time of 1 minute and 4 seconds for 400 metres, slicing 9 seconds off the old record set way back in 1991. George Cooper (Year 10) nudged passed the previous 100m record set in 2015 by setting a new record of 11.46 seconds. Despite the sweltering conditions Will Matthews (Year 8) still managed to excel by cutting a second off of the 800m record, bringing it down to 2 minutes 25 seconds.

Records were also broken in field events: Emily Francis (Year 8) produced a personal best and equalled the current high jump record of 1.30 metres. Robyn Apps (Year 9) skipped over the previous triple jump record with a jump of 8.78 metres. Bertie Brooking (Year 9) leapt her way into the high jump record books with an amazing 1.30 metre jump.

The students, who were taking part in an already positive sporting atmosphere, were helped further by hundreds of enthusiastic spectators. The teams taking part were: Hawking, Mandela, Roddick, Turing and Yousafzai. Hove Park School teams are named after inspirational people from all walks of life: Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, Anita Roddick, Alan Turing and Malala Yousafzai.

During the event £405 was raised for Marlets Hospice with the help of a team of students who sold snacks and drinks to the spectators and athletes.

The annual event was held at Withdean Sports Complex and temperatures reached a sweltering 26 degrees in the stadium making conditions challenging for competitors and supporters alike.

After today's successes and outstanding performances, Hove Park students look forward to relaxing and resting during the summer break.

By Reporters:

Maisie, Marni & Circe


Wanna be journalists cut their teeth on School’s Sports Day


Aspiring journalists Maisie, Marni and Circe, from Hove Park School, who are thinking of careers in journalism in the future, got a good insight into the workings of the job by covering the school’s sports day at Withdean Stadium.

The girls learnt the need to be well organised, have good background research, work at speed to meet deadlines and most of all have a good nose for a story.

On the day, the girls recorded many interviews with winning athletes and put together a written report of the day for the school website.

Miss Ashdown, Joint Head of PE said: “As soon as the first gun was fired at the start of the day the girls were off. They worked with enthusiasm and showed great talent for the job, interviewing their fellow students with confidence. Thanks to the girls, we have a great record of the day’s events and some fantastic interviews with many of our outstanding athletes.”

Circe, Marni & Maisie

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What's On 

Aug 16th - A-level results day, 9am-1pm

Aug 23rd - GCSE results day, 9am-2pm

Sept 5th - Year 7 start school - 8.30am

Sept 5th - Year 8,9,10 & 11 start school - 10.40am

Sept 5th - 6th - Sixth Form interviews

Sept 7th - Sixth Form inductions / enrolment 







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