Dear families and friends of OBA,
I hope everyone is enjoying half term! The Academy was very busy in the last week of term, with plenty of activities to enrich the curriculum taking place.
A group of students enjoyed a successful Geography fieldtrip to Iceland, with Business and ICT students applying their learning in London.
We had a fantastic turn out for our Year 7 Welcome Evening, and all Year 7 parents should by now have received the results of the survey conducted on the night, in a letter from me. Please do contact your child’s Form Tutor if you have not had this letter.
Our Careers Programme continued with a visit from local firm Isover Saint Gobain who led on our project day and our ECM day saw students engaging well on topics relating to Diversity and Equality. Equality is something that is very close to the heart of the school; one of our core values being tolerance. Everyone is welcome at the Academy, and we accept and understand difference, treating everyone equally in our day to day work.
There are sporting articles to enjoy (well done to the Year 9 boys who were victorious over our local friendly rivals, OCA!) and I am also really pleased with our students’ progress with the Young Shakespeare Project and their developing performance of King Lear.
Can I also draw everyone’s attention to the information about e-safety in this week’s bulletin. An essential aspect of our work, we were really pleased to welcome representatives from O2 to our Year 7 Welcome Evening who were here to advise pupils and parents on matters relating to staying safe online. We also have a lot of new information on our website – details below
Finally, a big well done to Year 7 student, Jamie Gillespie, who ran the Scouse 5k to raise money for Alder Hey Hospital’s Children’s Kidney Research Fund. Like so many of our students, Jamie is a great role model and an inspiration to everyone in the OBA Family.
Mr. E Wright
Amazing Adventures in Iceland
OBA’s students have been waiting with eager anticipation over the last year for their adventure to Iceland, the first trip of its kind to be organised by the Geography Department.
After a comfortable flight to Iceland, the excited students and staff stopped off at the North American and Eurasian plate to take in a view of geological grandeur. They stood in Thingvellir, a sweeping valley surrounded by majestic cliffs; the valley is one tiny portion of a long seam between tectonic plates that runs the length of the Atlantic Ocean where steam rises from volcanically heated waters.
The students learnt that in Iceland, this seam, called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, makes a brief appearance over land before disappearing again beneath the sea. They discovered that the ridge is essentially a volcanic seam, many thousands of miles long, where magma is seen from deep inside the Earth, creating new crust and pushing tectonic plates apart. At Thingvellir, they could put one foot on the North American plate and one foot on the Eurasian plate, which moves at a rate of about 2.5cm per year.
The next day, everyone headed off to walk behind a waterfall where they got soaked by the spray. They followed this with a walk along a glacier wearing crampons and carrying ice axes with them. Everyone then went off to see one of Iceland’s many famous black beaches with its caves, arches, stacks, stumps and powerful sneaker waves, where they even saw a seal hunting.
The accommodation on the trip was on a farm so, after dinner, they sat in a field in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights which, unfortunately, didn't happen that night - but instead they did experience a 3.6 magnitude earthquake!
After another early rise on Saturday, everyone set off to the Secret Lagoon, a pool heated naturally by magma. The Secret Lagoon’s natural hot springs are located in a small village called Fludir and are in the Golden Circle area. The pool’s natural surroundings and steam rising into the air gave the place a magical feeling and the students found out that the warm water stays at 38-40 Celsius all year. In the whole area, there are several geothermal spots and a little geyser which erupts every 5 minutes, which could be seen by those relaxing in the hot spring.
The next part of the adventure was a trip to Gulfoss waterfall, one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland followed by a memorable visit to one of Iceland’s three National Parks.
To end this breath-taking trip, a visit to Reykjavik was the next thing on the agenda and, just when everyone thought things couldn’t get any better, they all witnessed the magnificence of the Northern Lights dancing across the night sky - a spectacle they would never forget!
Mr Chiles, Head of Geography said:
This was a truly unbelievable trip that our students will never forget. They had saved hard to be able to go to Iceland and every one of them was amazed by what they saw. We now look forward to discussing their experiences with the rest of our students in Geography lessons and in assemblies.
Business and ICT Adventures in London
Thirty-four students from Years 9 and 10 set off to London last week on a really exciting ICT and Business adventure. Accompanied by Mr Milne, Mr Hussey, Miss Moneypenny and Miss McEvoy the students were keen to learn about different aspects of London that they had never experienced before.
Once they had arrived in the city, the students’ first trip was to see some former mills, in the Lee Valley Park area, that have now been renovated for modern day business purposes. They learnt about the original work at the mills and the business generated there in the past compared to the present-day, thriving businesses that now exist in the converted mills.
After a walk along the canal, the students arrived at London’s 2012 Olympic Stadium, which is now West Ham United’s football ground and also the London Aquatics Centre. They were able to explore how massive ventures, like The Olympic Stadium can be developed into other business opportunities, at the same time as continuing to celebrate the historical importance of London hosting The 2012 Olympics.
After a quick shopping spree at the Westfield Shopping Centre, a very high-profile centre of retail business in London, the students and staff took a cable car ride across the Thames, allowing them to get a bird’s eye view of the capital, or at least as much of a view as the cloudy weather would allow!
They then travelled over to the other side of the river to visit the O2 Arena on the Greenwich Peninsula in south east London which, like The Olympic Stadium, has also undergone a massive change over the years with regard to business ventures. The O2 Arena was built under the former Millennium Dome which was built to house an exhibition celebrating the turn of the millennium in the year 2000 - this is now a massive business hub as it houses a multi-purpose indoor arena. When artists perform there, it is known to be the world’s busiest music arena and it also has a bowling alley, clubs, a cinema, exhibition spaces, bars, restaurants and much more. Whilst OBA’s students were at the O2 Arena, they looked at some of the technology in place in the famous Sky Studios; they took part in interactive games, saw what a real-life television studio looks like and learnt something about how this massive entertainment business operates.
The next day was filled with more excitement when everyone travelled across London to the Museum of London Docklands on The Isle of Dogs in East London. Here the students learnt about the history of the River Thames, the growth of the Docklands and they discovered how the economy of London has developed over the years; they were fascinated to find out how big and important Canary Wharf is to the UK’s finance industry.
After lunch alongside one of the docks, the final stop of the day was The Crystal Museum, a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens. The Crystal is home to the world's largest exhibition on the future of cities, as well as being one of the world's most sustainable buildings and events venues, and the students again discovered more about how technology could shape our cities in the future.
All in all, it was a jam-packed couple of days and, although exhausted, the Year 9 and 10 students had an amazingly informative adventure. They interacted with enthusiasm and interest and thoroughly enjoyed the trip because it boosted their understanding of just some of the developments in ICT and business in London.
Year 7 Welcome Evening
OBA’s ‘Year 7 Welcome Evening’ took place last week and it was a real success. We welcomed students and their parents back into school at the end of their very first half term at OBA and were delighted that one hundred and fifty-three families were able to join us on the night!
Parental communication is a key priority and this event gives us the opportunity to touch base with parents early on in the academic year to ensure that they know about how their child is settling into life at OBA. It is an opportunity to feedback on lots of the positive things that have happened during this first term, as well as address any issues raised by parents/carers that staff may need to be aware of.
All Year 7 form tutors were available on the night, as well as the teachers of both Maths and English.
After a warm welcome from Mr Wright and Mrs Snagg, parents heard from Mrs Richardson (Coordinator of KS3 English) and Mr Coring (Coordinator of KS3 Maths) who spoke about the schemes of work their sons and daughters have been working on so far in these two key subjects.
Internet Safety is always high on everyone’s agenda and we were lucky enough, on the night, to also hear from Joe and Richie, from the NSPCC team at O2, who shared some top tips with parents about how to keep their children safe online. The most poignant messages were about parents needing to be involved in their child’s online activities – you should know what they are interested in online and check what they are accessing.
Joe and Richie then manned a stand at the event where parents could access more detailed information and also have a hands-on demonstration regarding setting privacy controls on their devices.
We now look forward to seeing all of these parents/carers again at Year 7 Parents’ Evening in May!
However, in the meantime, should parents have any queries about any aspect of the care, support and guidance offered to their child, then please do not hesitate to contact your child’s form tutor or another member of the Year 7 Team:
Mrs Snagg – Director of Transition (Senior Link for Year 7)
Mrs Hasty (Head of Year 7) or
Mrs Fisher (Assistant Head of Year 7)
‘Making a Positive Contribution’
19th October ECM Day
British Values Link: Responsibility
Last week, students from Years 7 and 9 were involved in an ECM breakdown day where they explored topics relating to ‘Making a Positive Contribution.’
Year 7 students worked with the Technology and English Faculties to create some very touching ‘butterfly poems’. They also created Halloween bunting and designed Halloween ‘sweet gloves’ for Halton Haven.
In addition, they baked cakes and brownies and sold them at a cake sale at the end of the day, raising a total of £88 for the Hardship Hampers project.
Mrs Noon, who co-ordinated the event, said:
Well done to all the students for their fantastic efforts! Thank you also to the staff who worked so hard to prepare for the day- the outcome was brilliant!
Meanwhile, Year 9 students were involved in a one hour workshop where they worked with the Multi Award winning company ‘Diversity Role Models.’
‘Diversity Role Models’ is a charity working to eliminate homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools across the UK. It was launched by the then Rt Hon. Teresa May in the House of Commons in November 2011 and it provides high-quality, interactive workshops that involve role models and activities that allow children to explore their views in a safe and respectful environment. The purpose of the workshops was to dispel negative attitudes and stereotypes, with the aim of fostering acceptance and respect for diversity.
This workshop followed on from a scheme of work Year 9 students had been following in ECM time this half term on ‘Diversity Role Models.’
The workshop featured positive LGBT and straight role models who spoke directly to our students about their experiences. Through hearing these stories first hand and asking questions, the students were given a greater understanding of the impact of homophobia and the positive contribution that they can make. The aim of the workshops was to empower young people to bring about change themselves and make homophobic and gender-based bullying a thing of the past.
Mrs Noon added:
The workshop leaders commented on how well-behaved and respectful the Year 9 groups were- Well done Year 9 for your excellent contributions to this day.
Diversity and Equality
Year 7 and 8 students have all been busy designing their own OBA Diversity and Equality badges this half term in ECM time each morning.
Students have been discussing what the terms Diversity and Equality mean to society as a whole, and also to OBA’s community
Below are some pictures of the fantastic examples produced by Miss McAuliffe’s and Mr Chiles’ Year 8 tutor group. Well done to them all for their amazing efforts.
Isover Saint Gobain works with Year 10s
The whole of Year 10 took part in a Project Day last week with local business Isover Saint Gobain.
Over the last twelve months, OBA has established excellent links with ISG and this thriving business is always willing to conduct workshops with our students to develop their understanding of business in our community, as well as their financial awareness and entrepreneurial skills.
Mrs Jarvis, who co-ordinated the workshops would like to thank all of ISG’s staff who gave their time so willingly and, yet again, did some sterling work with our students.
King Lear Preparations
OBA’s Drama students have finished creating their abstract version of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, King Lear, in partnership with Shakespeare School Festival.
The students recently attended a cast workshop with expert Shakespearian directors who gave them lots of tips and tricks for devising their performance.
Teacher of Drama, Miss Edwards, said:
The cast did an amazing job on the day and I was so impressed and proud of how well they contributed to each of the activities. All of the students have shown fantastic dedication; they attended rehearsals three nights a week and volunteered to rehearse on the first Saturday of half term. We are all now excited about their performance on 31st October at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton. We hope to see many of our school community attending the performance to support them and I wish them every success – I am sure they will do very well.
Outstanding Fundraising for Alder Hey by Year 7 Student
Many congratulations to Year 7 student, Jamie Gillespie from Miss Edwards’ tutor group, who recently ran 5k to raise money for Alder Hey Hospital’s Children’s Kidney Research Fund.
Jamie has raised £305 to date and his family, Miss Edwards and all of his friends are very proud of his achievement for such a good cause.
Jamie exceeded his target of £250, however, if anyone else would like to make a contribution, no matter how small for this excellent cause, then Jamie would be very grateful.
Jamie’s fundraising page can be found by clicking on the following link: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gill-gillespie1
Canoeing and Kayaking Programme was a huge success!
Last week on Wednesday 18th October, the final group of students from Years 8 and 9 took part in a kayaking and canoeing programme, as part of their outdoor education training.
Mr King, who has co-ordinated the six week programme, said:
The students loved today’s session and, when it had finished, several of them asked the staff at Liverpool Watersports Centre if they could attend lessons in their own time at the weekend.
Students kayaked and canoed into the Albert Dock area of Liverpool and were lucky enough to see some of the attractions up close such as the Tate museum, the Liver Building and many of the restaurants and bars in the Albert Dock.
Up next on the outdoor education schedule, over next half-term, is Rock Climbing for Years 7 & 8, so there will be lots of action going on for you to read about!
Artists of The Week
Many congratulations go this week to three Year 10 GCSE Fine Art students, Grace Burns, Jessica McCaffrey & Chloe Graham.
These three students have been selected because My Smyth and Miss Cleverly have been highly impressed by the extremely high quality of their drawings and their commitment to excellence so far this term.
Mr Smyth said:
In particular, we have been thrilled with the work that they have completed in their Histology Art booklets, in preparation for developing their ideas onto a large canvas. Histology is the study of the microscopic structure of tissues, so the cross-curricular element to their amazing pieces of art makes the project all the more exciting. Well done to them all.
Year 9 girls played their first football match in the Cheshire Cup against Ellesmere Port Catholic High School last week but, sadly, they lost the game.
The girls had a little shock in the first half as the forceful EPCH School scored five goals against them in fairly rapid succession. However, after a motivational half-time talk, the team pulled themselves together and played fantastic football in the second half, only letting one goal past them and missing a few chances themselves.
The team is now looking forward to their next game and they are all determined to make it a win, so watch this space!
Year 9 Boys
The Year 9 Boys Football Team played last week in a league game against OCA; a game that could be considered to be a bit of an Ormiston Derby!
The game started off with both teams setting up with five players across the midfield, but it wasn't long before OBA started to get the better of OCA, with chances falling to several players. However, the OCA goal keeper was having the match of his life. With chances begging for OBA, the half time score was 0-0.
In the second half, more of the same was to come with OBA missing chances from yards out from the goal. Sixty minutes in, saw a change from the bench and OBA take a one goal lead with Cam Schofield calmly putting the ball into an open net.
OCA who were hardly playing in OBA’s half, seemed to muster up a chance from nowhere and their centre forward levelled things up making it 1-1. With fifteen minutes to go, Reece Dyson who had been causing OCA’s defence all kind of problems, produced a lovely strike to make it a wonderful 2-1 victory for OBA.
All in all, it was a truly great performance from the lads and patience was the key to unlocking a very compact OCA defence. With three wins now from three matches, OBA sits proudly at the top of the league. Well done boys keep it up!
Year 11 Boys
The Year 11 Football Team played Helsby High School away in the League on Tuesday 17th October. The boys got off to a good start; a well-organised performance meant the game was tight and thirty minutes in the score was still 0-0.
Two quick goals for Helsby meant that the halftime score was 2-0 to the home team, although this seemed like an unfair scoreline for the boys, as they had been working so hard.
However, the team came out in the second half all guns blazing and quickly replied to make it 2-1 with a goal from Luis Morton who found himself in the box unmarked. The Year 11 team was straight back into the game but, unfortunately, Helsby managed to get a hold of the game again and luckily found themselves 3-1 up. With a man of the match performance, Tom Hopwood was unfortunate to concede three goals. Nathan McGinn had other ideas, however, and found himself in some space on the half way line so, he decided to take on several of the opposition and hit a cracker into the Helsby goal to make it 3-2.
Nathan McGinn, said:
I found the ball at my feet in the middle of the park and took on four or five players and I smashed it as I saw the keeper off his line in the corner of my eye.
Although the boys put all their effort in to get an equaliser, they just couldn’t manage to level the score.
A great performance from the Year 11s who deserved to take at least a point from the game, but that was not meant to be on this occasion!
Welcome to Tech Talk @ OBA, the part of the weekly newsletter where we share useful apps, websites and devices.
E-safety is a high priority at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy and we have recently updated some e-safety advice for parents on our website. We feel that it is important for parents to understand more about today’s most important e-safety issues, and the new web pages will provide you with practical steps that you can take to keep your children safe online and offer ideas for starting discussions with your children about the responsible use of social media.
This can be found by visiting our school website: www.ormistonbolingbrokeacademy.co.uk then clicking ‘Parents’ and selecting ‘E-safety for Parents’ from the drop-down menu.
The newly updated web pages will provide parents with advice with regard to some key challenges when operating online, such as cyberbullying, sexting, digital footprints, relationships and grooming.
Remember that if you are concerned about something you have seen online you should report it to any member of OBA staff or PC Williams. Local police can be contacted on 101, if necessary
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: L.Hussey@ob-ac.co.uk