Last week, I was blown away at the annual Ormiston Academy Trust conference so I wanted to use this message as a way of updating you on the academy transfer which is progressing very well. From a student and parent perspective, you should see little or no obvious signs of change. However, the work that is going on in the background will help to cement the school’s position at the heart of a thriving network of academies, providing access to an extensive range of services and advice. We have already been working closely with the Trust and, in recent times, this has resulted in OBA already falling into line with OAT policies. Underpinning all this work is the commitment to the OAT values and to “achieving more together”. The conference was inspirational in the way that OAT students not only hosted all the sessions, but they also provided the wonderful entertainment and showcased some great social action projects too!
Following on from the “high” of the conference, coming back to the day job can often be difficult and this week has certainly posed a number of challenges. However, despite all the chronic staff and student absence, we have a team of staff who never cease to amaze me with their commitment to OBA and our students. These are frequently the peak weeks for illness but what we are experiencing is quite extreme. Like many schools in the area and further afield, we have been hit badly by a succession of bugs and this has required us to bring in a number of supply teachers. Wherever possible, we aim to provide a subject specialist but the reality is that, in some circumstances, this cannot be guaranteed. Some staff are regularly taking additional classes and a lot of work has been going on to try and resolve the situation as quickly as possible but I know that, as supportive parents, there are some things that are beyond our control.
On a positive note, I wanted to pay compliment to all our staff who regularly take students out for trips and activities that enhance learning and progress. Whether it be a study visit to the USA, Geography fieldwork in Chester or taking the Year 10 boys to the next round of the ESFA County Cup, just three examples to illustrate the range of activities going on, I know how much they are valued by parents as well as the students. Having worked in many schools, I have to say that this is most definitely not the “norm”. Long may it continue!
Thank you for your continued support,
Mr. Tony Rawdin
History WOW Day
On Saturday 16th November the History department held its first WOW day where primary students had the chance to learn about some of the ancient world’s greatest designs.
Pupils in years 4,5 and 6 came together to look at Roman and Greek aqueducts, Egyptian sarcophagi and Roman legionnaire shields. For each activity, the students held challenges where they had to recreate each design, either in teams or as an individual, with some really amazing designs and objects being made!
Head of History, Mr McGlory, said:
Some of the aqueducts worked amazingly and did not lose a single drop of water being poured down them - even though they were made from newspaper!
Roman shields were made incredibly well by the students and withstood a ping pong ball assault from Mr McGlory and Mr Crawley to show how effective the Roman shield was.
Some of the greatest designs came from the sarcophagi whereby the students made their own tombs look incredibly realistic.
The WOW day ended with a challenge, in pairs, of who could make the best mummy out of them or their teammate.
Mr McGlory commented:
The whole morning was fun-filled and all the students were incredible throughout the session and many cannot wait for the next OBA WOW day!
Educate Awards 2019
On Friday 15th November Miss Hanson, Miss McMullan and Mr Cleator represented the academy at the prestigious Educate Awards 2019.
The team from the academy’s Science department were excited to join professionals from across the North West to recognise the work of schools and colleges which are delivering outstanding education and helping students achieve their full potential.
Since launching in Liverpool in 2012, the awards have grown rapidly now recognising schools and colleges right across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
In total there are 21 award categories, from Teacher of the Year, Career Aspiration, School Support Star of the Year and Outstanding Commitment to Sport (www.educateawards.co.uk).
The OBA family were excited to be nominated for a ‘Communication’ award and despite coming runner up were thrilled to have been shortlisted for an area of our work which we are continually working hard to develop and improve.
This year’s nomination recognises the brilliant work going on in the Science department which is engaging students in lessons and homework through interaction via social media channels such as Instagram.
Hot Chocolate Friday
Congratulations to this week’s KS3 top achievers who enjoyed their hot chocolate reward with Mr Easton!
A-Level Live, Whitworth Hall, Manchester
Sixth form students recently attended ‘A-Level Chemistry Live’ at Manchester University. The event consisted of lectures from five different leading chemists in their relevant fields along with two examiner sessions which offered some great practical tips for their upcoming exams. Lectures varied from an exciting journey through the world of nanoscience, a deeper look into the laws of thermodynamics, an interesting take on the ‘dirty secrets of chemistry’ in which the misuse of chemicals as nerve agents was shared to discussing whether water is in fact ‘weird’. Students found these lectures interesting but more importantly it allowed them to witness the numerous options available to them if they choose to embark on a career in Chemistry.
Miss Clarke, Science teacher who led the trip, said:
Students came away with a booklet summarising the lectures and containing practise exam questions and tips with advice of mistakes to be avoided. The day was thoroughly enjoyed and a taster of education after sixth form.
Biology A-level students are due to attend the event for their specialism later this month.
OBA in London
OBA students joined a record crowd of 77,000 at Wembley stadium to watch the England Ladies team play the number 2 team in the world, Germany. Our students endured an arduous trip to Wembley in which the two minibuses were held up on two occasions by a vehicle fire and a road traffic accident. The driving conditions in heavy and persistent rain were perilous. Our students arrived a little before half time to witness a familiar story of an England v Germany match turning on a penalty. The Lionesses fell behind to an early goal but failed to take advantage of a penalty before losing to a late goal. After the match, our students visited the iconic Wembley way, before having a photograph under the statue of the England World cup hero Bobby Moore. Our students were outstanding despite a long journey!
Mr Bird said:
Our students had an exciting day, visiting the National Stadium and being a part of a record crowd watching a keenly competitive football match. They enjoyed learning about the history of our National stadium where many worldwide events have taken place over the years.
National Anti-Bullying week took place during 11th-15th November 2019 with the theme focusing on the strapline ‘Change Starts with Us’. During the school week, all students took part in form time activities which looked at the way we speak to each other.
Miss Roberts, Anti-Bullying Coordinator at OBA, said:
We promoted the power of words and how important it is to be respectful to each other. Students looked at the effects of bullying on each other’s mental health. During assemblies, all year groups were asked to think about how we can continue to be ‘Team OBA’ and create a positive environment in our school.
As a follow on from this, some of our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors this week met with Sarah Tilling from Cheshire Police to discuss how they can provide more support for anyone who is a victim of bullying.
Essentially, the big message the academy wants to spread is that change starts with Team OBA and we all have the responsibility to ‘See it- Say it- Stop it!’.
School of Rock
Tickets for our highly anticipated Christmas Production of School of Rock are now on sale!
Please use this link to buy your tickets - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/school-of-rock-the-musical-tickets-81990827773
Our E-Safety coordinator Mr Hussey has just spent two days in Belgium as the only UK teacher at a large worldwide conference on E-Safety. He is now very much looking forward to implementing his findings at school!