OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 104 - 23rd May 2017

Issue 104 - 23rd May 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

This week’s Newsletter is a good example of the great range of opportunities that are on offer at OBA for students from all Key Stages.

I am very proud of all the Enrichment sessions that my staff run for students after school, at weekends and in the holidays to provide experiences that broaden horizons and raise aspirations for the young people in our community.

The exam season for our Year 11, 12 and 13 students is now under way and I wish them every success.  Thank you for all the support you are offering your child with their studies.  I am sure all their hard work will pay off, but if there is any last minute help required, please encourage your child to talk to their teachers or Head of Year.  Details of all external exams can be found on our website.

This Friday we are looking forward to welcoming John Bishop back to OBA, so look out for news about John’s visit in our Newsletter very soon. It is always a great pleasure to have him in working with our students and inspiring them.

Mr. J Rigby
Executive Principal

OBA Dance Show 2017

Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy’s annual Dance Show was, yet again, another spectacular affair and featured dancers across all year groups who showcased an amazing mixture of dance styles. The show, which ran over two consecutive nights, saw audience members from the first show buying tickets for the second performance, as they were so blown away by OBA's talent. 

The choreography skills that had been developed by Year 11 students in their GCSE course were evidenced in stunning performances from Georgia Lewis and Lauren Shannon who performed with Year 9 students Ellie Rae and Molly Roberts. The show also displayed the hard work and dedication of the members of the ‘Year 7, 8 & 9 Dance Club' who presented a street dance piece to 'Tricky',  whist the 'OBA Dance Company' performed brilliantly to 'Respect'. Equally the routines that Year 9 and Year 10 GCSE students had been working hard on during their lesson time stunned all those assembled.

The dance pieces represented many serious, and potentially life-changing, themes and narratives; bipolar disorder, the four elements, body conscious issues, anxiety, love, relationships and domestic violence. Each performance therefore delivered poignant messages to the audience, and everyone was touched by the emotion conveyed through the powerful medium of dance.

The excellent work of Sixth Form students in Years 12 and 13, featured throughout the show and this formed part of their BTEC Level 3 dance assessment. The Sixth Form Dancers displayed their expertise across a range of dance styles such as ballet, contemporary, commercial, jazz, and tap, all of which were executed to a very professional level.

The Year 13s performed an epic seven minute ‘mash up’ routine that featured choreography from each of the OBA Dance Shows that they had taken part in from Year 7 until now. They also performed alongside Head of Dance, Kirsty Barker, in two dance pieces.  This was quite a moving experience for both Mrs Barker and the Sixth Formers because Mrs Barker has taught them throughout their school career. The last piece to close the show called 'All I Ask', was an emotional dance which told the story of their dance journey at OBA together. There were lots of tears shed from friends and family in the audience, as it was the last dance show after seven years of performing for Leah Bentley, Ebony Gumbs and Isabelle Knisz. 

The Excellence Dance Shield was awarded to Leah Bentley for her outstanding contribution to dance this year. Leah has gone above and beyond for the Dance Department and not only performed in her Year 13 class pieces, but has also attended all of Year 12 dance classes so she could improve her dance technique and perform in their pieces as well - now that's commitment! 

Head of Dance, Kirsty Barker, said:

I would like to congratulate all the dancers that took part in this year’s show. It was another fabulous display of the talent we have at OBA and many members of the audience commented on the fact that it was the best performance yet!  I am very proud of every student that took part and wish the Year 13s the best of luck with their future plans.

Sturdier Stuff

Following on from a very successful Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition last year, forty determined students set out to prove they were made of even sturdier stuff when they attended their Silver Practice Expedition recently.

The students camped at Waddow Hall Girl Guiding site in Clitheroe and on their walks during the weekend they enjoyed exploring the Ribble Way. Waddow Hall is a 17th-century manor house overlooking the River Ribble and is set in 178 acres of enchanting Lancashire countryside, so the students were very fortunate to be able to camp in such a lovely setting. They especially enjoyed seeing the numerous lambs along the way, which helped to make the whole expedition more interesting. 

The evenings were spent huddled around a campfire, built by Mr Mercer; everyone felt quite relaxed and happily shattered as they took part in a singsong. 

Special mention to Dean Flood for his ingenious bin collection creation and to all the students who displayed excellent first aid skills when one group member had a fall.

Carlisle United v Newport County

Thirty-eight students, accompanied by avid fan, Mr Milne, recently took part in the now popular, annual trip to Carlisle United to see them play their last match of the season at Brunton Park against Newport County.

Mr Milne reported:

Everyone met up at 9am at OBA and we then loaded the bus up with food donated by staff and students for the Carlisle Food Bank. After the floods over two years ago, not everyone has been able to return to their home as so much damage was done; many people are therefore having to pay two mortgages, so the food bank is in much demand.

The journey up through the Lake District was informative as Mr Milne took to the microphone and gave a running commentary on the amazing geographical and historical features of this beautiful part of the country. Prior to the match the students deposited the food bank donations with some very grateful members of Carlisle United Supporters’ Club. They were then lucky enough to meet club legend, Hughie McIlmoyle, who played for Newcastle United when they were in League One in the 1974-1975 season.  This was followed by a chat with Norman Steele, one of the Directors of the Supporters’ Club and a fan of Carlisle United for over 60 years.

Arriving at the stadium at noon gave the group the opportunity to look round Brunton Park and to visit the club’s shop to buy some merchandise and, as was the case last year, our students were given discounts on the items they purchased. They were then able to meet many of the players as they prepared for their very busy Saturday afternoon; they signed the recently-purchased shirts and match day programmes and they also enjoyed the banter with student Jack Martin who tried to talk his way into the squad! 

Mr Milne added:

After we had received a tour of the stadium we were then shown to our seats. In a packed stand, our students were certainly the loudest! An excellent game was well fought out by both teams and I am delighted to say that Carlisle United were victorious, with a final score line of 2-1. The stewards and staff at Carlisle all commented on how well-mannered our students were and they really appreciated their kind donations for Carlisle’s Food Bank.

After a pitch parade at the end of the game by players and their families, it was time to leave for home and a well-earned rest for Mr Milne, whose nerves are always on edge when his beloved team is playing! 

Many thanks go to all staff, students and parents who supported the team, the trip and Carlisle’s Food Bank.

New Enrichment Timetables

Bringing History Alive

All Year 7 students at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy recently visited Norton Priory to complement what they have been studying in their History lessons on the topic of ‘Medieval Life’.

The students had the chance to look at the work of several osteoarchaeologists (these are people who are experts in the study of human and animal remains from archaeological sites) and they learned about the one hundred and thirty skeletons that have been found at Norton Priory over the years.

The visit to Norton Priory really made the curriculum ‘come to life’ and the students were given the task of estimating the age of skeletons from their dental records; they were fascinated to discover how much can be learnt about Medieval life from skeletons.

They were all excited to be able to explore the new museum at Norton Priory and were given a range of questions that they had to find the answers to by exploring the museum’s exhibitions. This was followed by a tour of the remains of the Monastery and several brave students were even given the opportunity to lie down in the eight hundred year old stone coffins!

Mr Murphy, History Teacher, who organised the trip said:

Susan Brownrigg who led the sessions congratulated the students on their interest, behaviour and manners and said that they were a real credit to the school and that there were several budding archaeologists at OBA.

Mr Murphy is now looking to explore further links with Norton Priory and is hoping to take students to Halton Castle in the near future to explore local history in even more detail. 

Maths Lockdown

Miss Arends recently took eight Year 11 students on a Maths Enrichment reward trip to ‘Lockdown Escape Exit Rooms’ in Warrington.

The students were split into two groups and were then given a series of challenges which involved them attempting to solve the puzzles in different rooms; this would enable them to crack the code and break free. The students really enjoyed the day as it allowed them to use problem solving skills and teamwork to complete the task in hand. 

 Miss Arends said:

The students had great fun and used their Mathematical skills at the same time - they can’t wait to go back again.  The company that runs this couldn’t do enough to help us and ensure that the students had the best time possible.  I would definitely recommend this to other students and will take some students there again as it really developed their confidence, as well as their teamwork and communication skills.

Beyond The Baseline

Eighteen Year 7s and 8s have had the wonderful opportunity of working on an exciting tennis initiative called ‘Beyond the Baseline’. 

The students were lucky enough to receive three training sessions from former professional tennis player, Youth Sports Trust ambassador and current coach, Yasmin Clarke. Within these sessions they were taught a variety of different drills and they also looked at some of the core values in sport such as respect and teamwork, communication and leadership skills.

The final session saw the Year 7s and 8s leading a tennis session to thirty Year 5 pupils from Gorsewood Primary School, Runcorn. 

As a result of these sessions, OBA’s PE staff have now started a ‘Tennis Enrichment Club’ which is held on Thursdays and is very well attended. Eight lucky students who continue to show the greatest commitment and dedication to the tennis training will be selected to visit Wimbledon this year to watch the quarter finals.  What an ACE experience that will be!

PE Kit Update

From Miss McAuliffe and the PE Department

Girls can now buy sports leggings for use in PE lessons and enrichments in the uniform shop, giving them a choice of wearing leggings, shorts or tracksuit bottoms. 

However, please note that these are the only leggings that can be worn in PE and no alternative type of leggings will be acceptable.  If girls attempt to wear any other type of leggings this will be recorded as not having the correct PE kit and an appropriate sanction will follow.

Science at The University of Chester

Science Technician Ms McLean, along with Mr D Bird, recently took seven Sixth Form students to Thornton Science Park, at The University of Chester, to complete three important assignments as part of their BTEC Applied Science Course.

The students started the day with a very warm welcome from Ian and Phil who led the day’s activities. They outlined their respective careers as Analytical Chemists, and their roles within the university.  Once they had collected their lab coats and safety glasses, the students were taken to visit the Analytical Centre (TACT) to see some of the high-tech equipment on offer at The University of Chester, equipment that would be used in their assignments. They were given detailed, comparison information about the benefits of both liquid and gas mass spectrometers and told exactly what these machines were used for.

Phil and Ian then took the Sixth Formers on a short tour of the campus and pointed out buildings of special interest such as Building 50 Aero Engine Research Laboratory, which is now a listed building.

After a quick lunch in the campus refectory, the students were able to set to work in the state-of-the-art laboratories which were equipped with industry-standard instrumentation.  The students completed one of the required tasks, Practical Chemical Analysis, to determine the concentration of an unknown copper sulphate solution. Under the excellent guidance of Phil and Ian, the students quickly became confident using the equipment and produced excellent results.

Ms McLean said:

The students remained focused throughout the sessions and were a real credit to the academy.  They grew in confidence throughout the day excelled in their learning.  I would like to say a big thank you to Phil, Ian and The University of Chester for offering our students this wonderful opportunity.

Tech Talk

Welcome to Tech Talk @ OBA, the part of the weekly newsletter where we share useful apps, websites and devices. 

This week’s Tech Talk is going to focus on a free and easy-to-use website that has been created to help people of all ages learn how to code programs. Technology has rethought nearly everything - commerce, social networking, healthcare, and more. Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Behind most technologies out there coding is what powers them. Your internet browser, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and websites – they’re all made with code.

Code Academy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 10 different programming languages including Python, Java, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, and SQL. Tutorials start from teaching you the very basics of programming and becomes more advanced. The skills you can gain from Code Academy can be used for designing games, websites, apps or even controlling robots.  Code Academy’s site has had over 24 million users who have completed over 100 million exercises since it began in 2011. Code Academy has also recently launched a smartphone app called "Hour of Code". The app focuses on the basics of programming, including the same content from the website and can be downloaded to your mobile phone for free by visiting your app service. 

Speak to your ICT teacher if you have any queries about using Code Academy.

Do you have a piece of technology that you would like to share or that you may have heard of and would like to see explained in Tech Talk? If so, contact Mr Hussey via email:

You are receiving this email as a subscriber to Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy's newsletter. If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please click unsubscribe below.
Our mailing address is:
Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy
Barnfield Avenue
Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 6EP
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp