OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 152 - 20th February 2020

Issue 152 - 20th February 2020
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Our latest newsletter reflects yet another incredibly busy week at OBA with so many staff "going the extra mile" for our students whether it be running sports teams, organising events or, in the case of the Y11 PGL Revision trip, taking dozens of teenagers away for the weekend! There are so many additional opportunities for students at OBA and the majority who throw themselves into all these activities are the ones who are thriving the most.

After the half term break, our Y11 students will be sitting their latest set of Pre-Public Exams, and we are encouraging all parents to support us by setting and sticking to an agreed revision timetable at home. Also, if you have a son like mine who did a good impression of working whilst managing to play games, please consider the benefits of locking away that games console until after the exams!

This newsletter starts with a reference to the academy's ongoing commitment to improving attendance. We are quite rightly rewarding those students who attend regularly but the greatest reward of all comes in the form of success and it is an indisputable fact that those who do have excellent attendance are much more likely to achieve more highly in GCSEs and A Levels. 

Finally, it was wonderful to have such a positive turn-out for Y8 parents' evening last week and it was great to chat to so many parents whose sons/daughters are continuing to make good progress. As a year group, they possess so much potential and by working in partnership between school and home, we aim to fulfil that potential as much as possible.

Mr. Tony Rawdin
Interim Principal

Attendance Focus Week: Attend Today Achieve Tomorrow

The Academy has been encouraging all students to achieve 100% attendance this week by rewarding students who attend school on time each day. Form tutors have each been given 5 attendance spot prizes to give out to random members of their group who attend on time as well as those who have shown significant improvement and effort in raising their attendance. The lucky students have received a free treat from the canteen (for example a slush or cake) at either break or lunchtime.

OAT - Make Yourself Heard Competition

Last month, OBA took part in the Ormiston Academy Trust ‘Make yourself heard’ competition. Our students embraced the UK-wide challenge with 22 of our young people providing such a high standard that we ended up with joint winners in both KS3 and KS4!

Winners: Chloe, Year 7, Nancy, Year 8 and Alice and Emily in Year 10.

Nancy (KS3) and Emily (KS4) went on to compete at Ormiston Horizon Academy in Stoke, against schools from as far away as Grimsby!

Both girls made excellent speeches with Emily speaking about Emily Davison in a speech packed with forensic detail. Nancy stunned the judges by announcing she was doing a speech about Emily (Davison) before raising many issues about Women’s position in society in the 21st century illustrating differences in pay and opportunities. Nancy was praised for her humour whilst dealing with a serious subject. 

Mr Bird, Teacher at OBA said:

Both girls were a credit to the English Department and spent much of their own time preparing with the help of Miss Howard and Miss Rayner. It made me proud to have organised the competition and observe the positive futures for the girls and the school, given such outstanding communication skills.


Back by popular demand! On Saturday 8th February, 24 Year 4 and 5 pupils from the local area took part in another Hair and Beauty WOW day at OBA.  Children had the chance to spend time in both of the academy’s hair and beauty spaces learning the art of mini manicures and blow-drying techniques

Hair and Beauty teachers, Miss Finnigan and Miss Farrelly both commented on what a great morning they had with the younger pupils.

Miss Farrelly said:

All the learners were actively engaged in the session and developed some great practical skills whilst working on each other or doll heads. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the workshop and are looking forward to seeing what we will be offering next!

Watch this space!

Hot Chocolate Friday

Congratulations to everyone who attended the final Hot Chocolate Friday of this half term! 

It is great to see some new faces attending again this week alongside some students who have been recognised for their brilliant scores for the 4th and 5th times! 

We hope everyone enjoyed their well deserved treat.

Halton Netball Tournament

Year 7 teams ‘OBA Diamonds’ and ‘OBA Stars’ took part in the Halton Netball Tournament at OBA on Tuesday 11th February.

OBA PE staff commented on the excellent shooting from Hallie D and Layla W. Lily J and Claudia L both also had a special mention for putting in sterling performances throughout the games.

OBA Stars just missed out on 3rd place in a final match decider. 

OBA Diamonds finished in 2nd position and have now progressed onto the School Games Finals for Year 7 Netball in March.

Mrs Hasty, PE teacher and team coach said:

The girls have shown huge dedication and commitment to Netball this year and this has shown with them performing so well in the tournament. Everyone put in 100%. We are looking forward to the next challenge at the School Games Finals. Myself and Miss Porschke are extremely proud of the Year 7 teams.


Year 11 Revision Residential

As storm Ciara began to make herself known, 29 intrepid students and four staff made their way to PGL Boreatton Park for a weekend of English, Maths, resilience and team building. Leaving straight from OBA on Friday afternoon, the group headed to Shropshire. 

On Friday evening, students were given time to move into their accommodation after meeting with the PGL guide ‘Skip’ who gave everyone a quick tour of the main site before dinner. After food, revision began in earnest with the first English task. This was a highly competitive task involving the creative production of English literature quotes in a variety of styles. 

Mrs Styles, Head of English said: 

We had the joy of seeing our students bring Blood Brothers, A Christmas Carol and The Merchant of Venice to life with our photo challenge. The teams were amazing and between they recalled over one hundred quotes!

This was followed by a ‘capture’ activity in the dark and then suitably exhausted, students retired to their rooms for the night.

Saturday dawned with the knowledge that the day would involve designing, building and sailing rafts! Mrs Thornton, Head of Maths said, “Students were both excited and appalled given the freezing wind. However, the weather gods were on our side and we enjoyed a rare, dry and sunny day.  All 3 teams successfully set sail, two teams completing every step of every challenge. Resilience, tick!”

On Saturday afternoon both the English and Maths teams were running sessions. In Maths the students were having a go at another past paper, challenging themselves to answer every question, concentrating on completing every step of the first ten questions without dropping marks. Each week students are trying to get three more marks than last time. This was the target again.

Saturday evening saw the students completing a Maths ‘pub’ style quiz, in the rain, whilst eating birthday cake, sat at the campfire. The major challenge here was for teams to work together to pool their Maths knowledge. The promise of a fast-food reward again saw the competitive nature of our students emerge. Teamwork Tick!

Sunday morning dawned with serious rain. In discussion with PGL, the timetable was adjusted to get all students on the ‘giant swing’ task together. This was another challenging activity, requiring teams to help one another to achieve. This was then followed by another Maths and English task, in Maths students were completing a relay race, focussing on questions which appear on both the foundation and higher tier papers. 

Mrs Thornton added:

We further narrowed these questions down to the topics we had already identified as areas for improvement for our students.

After an early, delicious lunch, we loaded the coach, avoiding fallen trees and over-flowing rivers we headed home, tired, but happy! 

Revision Week at OBA

Staff and students have worked hard this week to prepare for the Pre-Public Examinations taking place after the half-term break. 

In class, teachers have been showing students the best methods of revision which will support them at home. 

Mrs Fitzgerald, Assistant Principal for Progress said:

Early revision is key to success for the Summer exams. Little and often is the best way forward.

The PPE’s are extremely important so that staff and students can identify their areas of strength and topics they need to secure. By having these in place school can target intervention where needed and students have a focus for their revision.

All Year 11 students have been given a ‘How to Revise for GCSE’ guide that parents can also use to help their child focus their revision. It also gives tips on wellbeing in the lead up to what can be a very stressful time.

A number of sessions ran over the course of half-term beneficial to all Year 11 students.

Click to open full-size image

Esafety Update

Navigating technology can be tricky, that’s why Google has created Google Family Link, a new app designed to help parents set guidelines for children. 

Family Link connects your Android or iPhone to your kid’s Android phone or tablet, to help parents set and tailor certain digital ground rules that work for their family, such as:

  • Manage the apps their child can use
  • Approve or block the apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store
  • Keep an eye on screen time
  • See how much time their child spends on their favourite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device
  • Set device bedtime
  • See their child’s location
  • Remotely lock their child’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.

To use Family Link, a child would need a device that runs at least Android Nougat (7.0) or iPhone iOS 9. Then, a parent downloads Family Link onto their own device and creates a Google Account for their child through the Family Link app.

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Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy
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