UCTC Life 8th June 2018

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logo.jpg                    UCTC Life - 8th June 2018                                   


Uckfield College Comfortably Claim the Wealden Cup 2018

Our current year 13 students have much to celebrate even before taking their A level exams. Over the past twelve months our students have been competing against four other Wealden Sixth Form colleges in a series of sporting, academic and creative challenges in the inaugural year of the Wealden Cup.

Uckfield’s remarkable string of results started in June 2017 with the sporting events hosted at Hailsham Community College. Uckfield came a close second to Heathfield in the Netball and beat Beacon to win the seven-a-side Football competition, putting our College ahead in the overall Wealden Cup rankings. This was closely followed in July with the ‘University Challenge’ at Heathfield, where through “starters for ten” on current affairs, science, literature and classical music our team was pipped to the post in the last round by our hosts. Uckfield were now only one point ahead of Heathfield in the Wealden Cup.

After postponement due to the heavy snow, the last two events in the Wealden Cup were held on the same day at Uckfield. In the Bake-Off challenge the teams of four had 90 minutes to prepare and plate a restaurant quality main and dessert from fresh ingredients. The Uckfield team’s herb crusted lamb and chocolate fondant wowed the judges and earned them a clear first place. At the same time our debating team were making their points against Uplands and Hailsham on topics such as “the legality of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles” and “whether the USA can still be called a representative democracy” to win the debate competition outright.


Netball Team: Charlotte Sturt, Casey Coats, Georgie Andrews, Emily Jupp, Megan Edwards, Beth Rowland, Ruby Wyatt and Becky Delmon.

Football Team: Ben Smith, Dan Hewitt, Jack Monks, Stijn Brouwer, Joe Burton, Guy Bowley, and Ben Flower.

University Challenge Team: Ben Ricketts, Perry Petracopoulos, Megan Roser and Jacob Bartlett.

Bake Off Team: Rosie Dadswell, Ned Aldridge, Cerys Bradley and Alicia Shelford.

Debating Team: Sadie Dix, Harry Fishlock, Jacob Oyarzabal and Dan Manvell.



With three wins and two second places, the difference in the final scores across all five competitions says a lot about Uckfield College and its Sixth Formers. Uckfield finished with a total of 21 points in the Wealden Cup, with Heathfield second on 11 points and Hailsham on 10 points. Huge congratulations to the Uckfield teams for their emphatic and deserved win in the 2018 Wealden Cup!

Good luck to the current year 12 students who start the 2019 cup this month with their University Challenge and sporting events. We hope they have as much success as their predecessors.

Students ‘WoW’ the Crowd!

A DRAMATIC performance by three students to mark the centenary of voting rights for women ‘brought tears to the eyes’ of audience members at the Women of Wealden (WoW) Suffrage exhibition.

Year 10 pupils Eleanor Mumford, Marvella Horthy and Jasmine Bolton performed Evelyn Glover’s Miss Appleyard’s Awakening before a packed house at the Bridge Cottage Heritage Centre.

The girls had just four weeks to prepare for the performance but, sacrificing lunchtimes and time after school to rehearse, delivered an accomplished and often stirring performance by all accounts.

Written in the elaborate and - to our ears - complex language of the time, the 1911 play centres on the struggle between the suffrage and anti-suffrage movement, and on what it meant to be a woman in the Edwardian era.

And yet in spite of such weighty subject matter, and of the pressure of performing to a remarkably proximate audience under the glare of house lights, the girls - who volunteered for the project, and who gave up their Saturday night - seemed to take it all in their stride.

All agreed they were real ambassadors for the school, and in commemorating such an important milestone, ambassadors for women everywhere.


Congratulations to all our GCSE Art and Photography students for their fantastic exam work!  The work has been on show here at the College and we are pleased to share with you a gallery of images on this link:  http://www.uckfield.college/portfolioGCSEArtshow2018.  A small selection of the excellent work is below, but please follow the link above to see all the images.

Three pieces of excellent artwork produced by our artistic students (pictured below) were selected to be considered for the South of England Agricultural Society Schools Competition.  They are being displayed all weekend at the South of England Show in the educational hub. If you are visiting the show please pop in and see their fabulous work. The theme of the work is The Great British Countryside.

By Scarlett Bradbury, Year 8

By Mabel Kroger, Year 7

By Becky Waters, Year 7


We are delighted to have heard that Scarlet Bradbury was the overall winner for KS3 for her art entry.  Congratulations Scarlett!

Uckfield College Chess Club News

The club is still strong with 19 enthusiastic members and has been making good progress. To build up to the Sussex Megafinal of the UK Chess Challenge we have been spending time on a club Knockout competition where the focus has been on slow play, including learning about the recording of moves and for some of the students, this was their first ever attempt at doing so, but for those who have done it before the standards have improved.  At the last session of the term we started a club competition on lightning play which is a complete contrast and requires clear thinking at speed. This always proves how exciting chess can be, contrary to the perception of many and the balance of these two extremes has been found to be good cognitive preparation for exam time. Both of these competitions will continue to completion during the next term and identify club champions.

The aforementioned Megafinal is a main focus of the annual club coaching programme and the enthusiasm at our school was shown by nine of our 18 qualifiers attending the tournament at Downlands School on 12th May with nearly 400 children from across Sussex and a few beyond the county.  All gained valuable experience with Zoe Mileman, Bobbie Ridley, Benedict Weis and Joshua all doing well. It should not be forgotten that within that playing hall there were 10 England players and around 22 Sussex players, so lots of experience. Qualification for the Gigafinal, which is effectively a national semi-final for the South of England to be held at Twickenham at the end of June required the acquisition of 3.5 points, and Bobbie and Benedict sadly missed that mark by just half a point.  We are pleased to report that this score was achieved in the Under-13 Boys by both Oliver Christian and Dino Buckwell, and by Anna Sherriff in the Under-12 Girls, where she came third equal; in the same group Lydia Munn had an excellent result with 4.5/6, beating an England player along the way and Lydia became Supreme Champion! That standard was also achieved by Michael Stockham as Supreme Champion in the Under-18 Boys on 3.5/6 in his last appearance at a Megafinal. Having no less than five students qualify shows the talent at our school as well as the progress they have made!



This was evident again at the Sussex Under-14 Butler Cup Finals held at Windlesham House School, when our first team of Benedict Weis, Troy Southall, Lydia Munn and Bobbie Ridley were competing in the Plate Competition.  The team played against teams from Windlesham House, St Richard’s and Worthing High. Most of the teams taking part in the four tournaments were from private schools including Brighton College where they offer chess scholarships to England players!  Most of the other teams had players who regularly play in Sussex tournaments, and Benedict is the only one of our team to regularly attend those. We are delighted to inform you that our team won their matches 3-1, 4-0, 4-0 to win the trophy. All played exceptionally well; Bobbie was the only one to drop a point in the very first match after a slight mistake, but after that where some would have faltered he fought back even in that game, then played brilliant chess. Well done to all.  This victory puts the College at a ranking of fifth in the county from the 40+ schools taking part. The only way of improving is to keep going and build on the experience and if possible seek more experience in competitive play because in timed chess, experience plays a great difference.

We had a great team of nine players attending the last holiday Academy event and all did well, with Joshua Christian, Bobbie Ridley and Zoe Mileman scoring 3/6, Dino Buckwell 3.5/6, and Oliver Christian, Troy Southall and Oliver Burchett all scoring 4/6, with Troy and Joshua winning their year group medals and Oliver Christian winning the Easter egg challenge, plus Bobbie and Oliver Burchett achieving Special Award trophies for their performance on the day. Further to that Benedict Weis came third in the event as a whole with 4.5/6 and Michael Stockham second with 5/6. The team performance as a whole saw the College easily win the Top School trophy over the ten other schools represented. Practice is definitely key to improvement and the more who can join in with competitive chess the better. Michael, Benedict, Joshua and Oliver Christian all attend the Uckfield Junior club on a Friday evening at the Uckfield Youth Centre. Benedict has been attending Sussex tournaments, which is true too for Anna Sherriff throughout the last season and both of them have achieved prestigious loyalty medals for being at five or more Sussex tournaments, all part of the Grand Prix concept and taking place all around the County and we are pleased to report that Benedict came third in his age group over the whole season, which is some achievement!


Also last month the Uckfield College Under-14 chess team took part in the finals day for the Butler Cup - a Sussex wide school chess competition. It is with great joy that we ended up winning the 2nd tier of the Butler Cup (the Butler Shield), winning 11 of 12 games in the final. In the whole tournament the A team collected an incredible 30/36 points. Of the 6 points lost, 4 were against players who play for England. The chess on display was fantastic, particularly from Benedict Weis who was unbeaten throughout the tournament, and all players displayed real skill and mental strength throughout the games.  The students involved were: Benedict Weis (c), Troy Southall, Lydia Munn and Bobbie Ridley.

Butler Cup Winners

Many thanks to Max Stanford-Taylor for this report from the NASA Expedition RAFAC 2018 that he attended in April:

‘This expedition was one of a kind for the Air Cadet Organisation, without the RAF 100 being this year I doubt this camp would have happened at all. Afterall a camp like this had never been done before. NASA 2018 afforded cadets opportunities that no civilian group could be offered due to the worldwide reputation of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and also the military status of our corps.

After touching down in Houston and getting a good night's sleep the activities began. We had a wide variety of tasks to complete, including:

  • Staged rocket builds: A single or dual stage hobby rocket with parachute

  • Martian habitat designing: Design and prototyping of a practical habitat to sustain life on Mars

  • Thermal shield build: A shield to withstand the heat production of reentry

  • Cryogenic capsule build: A capsule that could withstand the freezing temperatures of the vacuum of space

  • Robotics: The construction of remote control robots that could navigate a simulated Martian habitat to collect rock samples

  • Buoyancy rover tasks: Using a simulated buoyancy rover to construct a cargo transport system to represent a rover to be used on a planet like Europa due to how much of the planet is covered in liquid.


The days at the space centre were nothing less than action-packed. Each day was a new adventure, more tests of both our knowledge and teamwork with each challenge requiring a different skill set. This meant that we were all constantly adapting and were almost always worn out by the end of the day. The staff at the centre were excellent too, helpful, friendly and knowledgeable  I think a lot of the skills both demonstrated and that we had to learn have been put into use in my day to day life and made a lot of tasks, that I would usually find difficult, a lot easier to do.

Our days and nights were filled with multitudes of different activities which meant our afternoons/evenings were packed with local attractions and culture. The food was also amazing, the menu anywhere we went was extensive and well selected. Not only that but it also tasted great. Another brilliant opportunity that we got was to see a game of baseball between The Houston Astros and The Texas Rangers, sadly the Astros lost but the game was exhilarating.

One of my highlights was meeting the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), our American counterparts. One definite thing that I think we all noticed was how much more money the US put into their military budget. This was evident because we could see all sorts of vehicles like M1117s and F15s throughout the camp at the CAP squadron. On arrival, we were greeted with some drill and a quick briefing. The brief gave us an insight into what role the CAP played in the scope of the USAF.

Then we moved on to a walk through with a search and rescue piece of equipment used to find emergency distress beacons. We used this equipment to find the general direction of the beacon and then we formed a line to start to search the area. This demonstrated a rather trivial difference between us and the CAP, we would call such a search a FOD Plod which amused them. Odd naming conventions aside, we found our casualty and demonstrated out first aid abilities. Soon we had a stretcher with one casualty and a fully formed quad with six bearing a stretcher whilst in the squad. As we approached the main building of the squadron, we put the stretcher down and let the ‘casualty’ out. A squad was re-assumed and we marched on to the best of our ability. Their drill sergeants were in awe. After our ‘entrance’ we split in half both the CAP and our group. A group from each was switched and he had the simple task of learning or teaching drill to the opposing group. I was in a group that was learning. It was surprisingly more difficult than most of us though after being so used to having to raise our knees and looks slightly up to adapt to the less movement-heavy drill. After our 15 minutes of training it was time to be assessed. Our group ended up on top. And to end a stellar night we had a quick final parade, with some promotions handed out, then it was time for some photos and socializing. If I was to be taken representative of the group in this regard I would have to say I had met some of the coolest people I had ever met. After this we all said goodbye and promised to keep in touch via social media. But a little surprise had been planned. We had been invited to come to ‘Whataburger’ for some traditional Texan food and meet with some of the CAP cadets to further chat and get to learn about this seemingly similar culture.

To conclude, this trip has possibly been the best week of my life and none of that would have been possible without chiefly Flt Lt Dave Hill & Flt Lt Gavin Salt and the rest of the staff team who helped and organised fundraising and then accompanied us. This trip took an immense amount of effort and many long hours which shows a huge commitment. Further, thanks must go the sponsors like the RAF Charitable Trust who made generous donations which without the trip couldn't have gone ahead at such a reasonable cost for us as cadets as individuals. I would also like to thank my Adjutant from 1414 squadron CI Sue Hobbs for putting me forward for this amazing opportunity.’

This was a fabulous opportunity and we are very proud of Max for being selected to join the expedition!  We hope to be able to share with you some photos soon.

Very well done to George Walmsley in 7N who completed the West Highland Way Walk with his Dad. This was a 96 mile walk from Glasgow to Fort William in Scotland over 6 days. In addition to this amazing accomplishment, George managed to raise £260 pounds for the League of Friends for Uckfield Hospital through sponsorship!  If you would like to read a little more information on the walk, please follow this link.


Huge congratulations to all the Year 9 boys who play for the U14 Uckfield Grasshoppers Rockets football team, as they recently collected their gold medals and league trophy for finishing top of the Mid Sussex Youth & Minor football league.

They played 14 league matches, winning 12, drawing 1 and losing 1, to finish 9 points clear at the top of the league.

The team will now be promoted to Division 2 when the season starts up again in September.

They are coached and managed by George Holmes and Jacob Wickens Dad's who said "Their commitment to the season has been phenomenal, they have been determined from day one and shown super teamwork to achieve the number one spot. Their success is well deserved."

The team consists of 16 UCTC students: Rory Barraclough, Toby Bodsworth, Mackenzie Edgar, Connor Filsell, Isaac Heater, George Holmes, Rupert Jones, Evan Lester, Thomas Magson, Arlo McWalter, Ben Michell, Zach Neale, Charlie Prod'Homme-Bennett, Finn Schlieder, Matthew Vane and Jacob Wickens.



As always we would love to hear from you if you have news of any achievements by our students in activities out of College.  Please email details to t.fletcher@uckfield.college.