OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 88 - 8th December 2016

Issue 88 - 8th December 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

We are fast approaching the festive season and the amazing opportunities on offer for OBA’s students continue.

In this week’s newsletter, amongst other things, you will read about some of our students’ achievements in Geography, Music, PE and Drama, which highlight how hard students and staff continue to work, both inside and outside of school.

This week, we are delighted to be presenting ‘A Christmas Carol’ as our annual Drama production, and it is no surprise that it has been a ‘ticket sell out’ for each performance over the three nights.  You will be able to read more about the success of this in next week’s newsletter and how this is a real community event, involving the talents of local primary schools, as well as those of our own dedicated Drama students and staff.

As the end of term approaches, I would like to thank you for ensuring that your child continues to achieve an excellent record of attendance to the very last day of term and for supporting us in maintaining the highest standards of uniform on a daily basis.  On Friday 16th December, the last day of term, OBA will be supporting the Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day and students and staff will therefore be allowed to wear sensible, casual clothing and their favourite festive jumper, in return for a donation to this very deserving charity.  Form Tutors and Heads of Year will be providing more details about this over the coming days.

I hope you are managing to enjoy some of the festivities, as well catch up on all that Christmas shopping, at this busy but very special time of year.

Mr. M Wyss
Academy Principal

The Clothes Show Wowzer!

A group of students from Years 9 to 12, accompanied by Textiles teacher, Mrs Fisher, headed to The NEC in Birmingham last Friday to attend The Clothes Show, 2016.  

The sparkling event, which showcases all things fashion and beauty, had a line-up of brands, boutiques, fashion experts, catwalks and live performances which appealed to all tastes and ages.

In all there were over 350 pop-up fashion and beauty stands, designers were present in abundance and a host of celebrities were out and about to meet the excited members of the public.  Alex Mytton and Binky Felstead from ‘Made in Chelsea’, Miss Great Britain Ursula Carlton, and The only way is Essex’ star, Joey Essex were amongst those that the students had the opportunity to meet.

In addition, students were able to browse around the vast range of fashion and make-up stands and where they could purchase discounted make up from stands such as Barry M, Models Own, W7, The Kardashians and Helen E Cosmetics.  They also visited the many fashion stalls, such as: In The Style, Paul’s Boutique, and other very popular brands.

They then watched the catwalk which previewed the hottest new trends of professional designers, as well as those of current fashion students.  ‘The 80s’ and the ‘Gothic Adventure’ were some of the catwalk themes that were enjoyed and, at one stage, the audience had fun taking part in the ‘Mannequin Challenge’.

Mrs Fisher said:

The whole experience was amazing.  They learnt so much about the fashion and beauty industries and had great fun also.  Meeting some of the celebrities was simply the icing on the cake for our students and they haven’t stopped talking about what a great day they had, for so many reasons.

Year 10 Geography Fieldwork - Chester

Last week, OBA’s Geography Department took seventy students to Chester to conduct the human element of their fieldwork investigation.

The students descended upon a cold and frosty Chester and were tasked with gathering information from around the city regarding shop use, the environmental quality and the number of pedestrians the city sees on a daily basis. The students enjoyed interviewing local residents, as well as visitors to the city, as they researched their reasons for being present in Chester that day.

On the first day of fieldwork investigations, the city was on ‘lockdown’ with hundreds of police and security officers roaming the streets, thanks to the presence of Prince Charles and Camilla, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, who were there to commemorate the passing of the Duke of Westminster. This meant that students had the opportunity to speak to a number of visitors from around the country and world including London, Germany, China and the USA.

Following the completion of their data collection, the students were then able to indulge themselves in the Christmas spirit, by looking around Chester’s very festive and atmospheric Christmas market. A very productive and fun day was had by all!

Worldwise Quiz

On the 30th November, six students from Years 8 and 9 represented OBA, for the first time, at the ‘Worldwise Quiz’, a Geography event where around ten schools from the North West of England, and one school from Bangor in Wales, competed for the prestigious title. 

The students answered questions both as a team and individually on a number of topics including fieldwork skills, landmarks and the Rio Olympics, with points collated and an overall champion crowned. Both teams finished in the top half of the competition and the students did extremely well, beating schools that have regularly attended this event in previous years

Geography students are already hard at work preparing for next year’s event, so if you think that you have what it takes to help OBA to achieve even greater success, speak to Mr Chiles, Mr Butcher or Miss Connelly and start brushing up on your geographical knowledge!

Drama Techies

A report by Head of Drama, Mrs Foulder

This year we are working with a number of students in Key Stage 4 who are studying Drama qualifications that focus specifically on exploring the processes behind the world of technical theatre. 

So a group of students from Years 8, 9 and 11 were very lucky recently to work with professional lighting and sound technician, Paul Heath, from HSL Entertainment. The students worked with state of the art lighting and sound equipment whilst learning the basics about what it is like to work in this very important industry. 

They will now be working as our very own ‘OBA Lighting and Sound Techy Crew’ during the week of the School production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and will be working alongside professionals to operate the lighting and sound equipment for the show. This is a very exciting time for our young ‘techies’ as they will  have access to the amazing, and most up to date facilities in our two fantastic theatre spaces. 

More Musical Success!

The Music Department would like to congratulate Beth Lewis (Year 9, flute) and Demi Regan (Year 8, voice) who were selected to represent OBA in the local heats of the prestigious Runcorn Rotary Club Young Musician competition last week at The Grangeway Youth Centre.Both girls had to play or sing two pieces of music in contrasting styles and there was stiff competition from senior students from other Runcorn schools.

Beth, who played the flute in the instrumental category, stunned the assembled judges with her performance of a Mozart Variation and an arrangement of the jazz standard ‘Autumn Leaves’. As a result, she won the 'instrumental' category and will now go on to represent Runcorn in the Cheshire District Finals early in the New Year.

Demi performed her brilliant rendition of Ella Henderson’s song ‘Yours’ and then Amy Winehouse’s  ‘Valerie’ and came third in the vocal category, which was a huge achievement.

Miss Cathcart said:

I would like to praise both girls for their impressive musicality, especially at this early stage in their musical lives. They each represented the school brilliantly and the Music Department is very proud of both of them.

Girls’ Football Update

The Girls’ Years 7 and 8 Indoor Football Team played Sandymoor last week at home. The match was well fought and ended in a 6-6 result. 

There were some amazing skills displayed by OBA’s team and special congratulations go to Charlotte McLinden who scored four of the goals and Lauren Chesworth who scored the other two.  Well done to these two fantastic goal scorers and also the rest of the team that helped to set the goals up and make the match as exciting as it was. 

Bump Up Your ICT Grades!

Many Year 11 students have been asking ICT staff if there is a good, reasonably priced, revision book available for the GCSE ICT exam that students will be sitting in Summer 2017. This exam will form 40% of students’ final grade for GCSE ICT.

The ‘Revise Edexcel GCSE ICT’ revision workbook and revision guide’ go together to deliver hassle-free exam preparation, covering one topic per page and they highlight common pitfalls and misconceptions in exam questions. These resources can be used in class as well as at home to revise from and in the past have proved very effective and have improved students’ confidence and performance in the exam. 

These publications would cost over £12 if bought independently, however thanks to bulk purchasing, these will cost just £5 for OBA students. We now have a supply of books in school which can be purchased from Mr Hussey in F022. 

Students will be sitting mock exams in January 2017 and we highly recommend the books as a useful and valuable Christmas present. 

Puzzle Time

Last week we gave you a puzzle to solve. Did you crack it? Check your answer below:

Now have a go at this week’s Maths Puzzle Challenge.  

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 share an app that aims to help make revising more interactive, the aptly named ‘Revision App’ which is free for Android and iOS users. 

Perhaps the most appropriately named revision app out there is, indeed, the Revision App. It sports over a million revision notes, flashcards and quizzes covering a wide variety of subjects from the GCSE and AS/A-level syllabuses.

What’s great about the app is the fact that you can tailor it to your needs and study level. For example, you’re able to choose the subjects you’re studying and create individual revision cards with video, text or audio. These can then be saved for future revision sessions and sent to friends for group studies.

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:

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