OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 125 - 10th April 2018

Issue 125 - 10th April 2018
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Our Around the World Saturday Academy group recently visited Stockley Farm. We are very proud of the school’s position in the heart of its community and our Around the World transition programme allows us to take that role to another level, supporting students who are making the move to OBA for a whole year before they make their move to secondary school. Talking of moves to secondary school, we are once more oversubscribed for September’s year 7. We are already planning for the arrival of our new students, and are very excited to meet everyone who secured a place at OBA for September. Letters detailing transition arrangements will be posted immediately after the Easter Holidays.
This edition shows how we nurture talent at the Academy. I believe that school is about finding something for everyone to be good at and to be successful in. You will see articles here about three such things; Debate Mate and our Boys' Athletics Team both taking part in competition, and our regular feature of Artist of the Week.
Excellence in our curriculum is the third theme of this week’s newsletter. You will read about a number of trips, visits and workshops all designed to enhance our students’ experience of the curriculum, bringing excellence to their studies. Once more, I am grateful to all staff who have led trips in recent weeks. We should never forget the amount of extra work and effort that goes into making these experiences happen for our students.
By the time you read this it will be the Easter Holidays so can I wish you and your family a very relaxing break. We will be back at school on Monday 16th April at the normal time. There are many Year 11 Easter School activities on over the next two weeks as year 11 reach the final preparations for their summer exams which start four weeks after we return from Easter. Year 11 parents will have now received their child’s examination timetable (a copy went in the post and a copy has been given to your child) - you can see what is going on in the Academy to support year 11 preparation on a special page on our website
Don’t forget you can also follow the school on twitter and instagram (both @obacademy) where you will find a number of departments and staff with professional accounts, all aimed at improving communication from the Academy to our community. Please do give us a follow.

Mr. E Wright

Big Bang Fair

What an amazing day! From cuddling cockroaches, tumbling about in tornadoes, nail-biting knee surgery and super sweet smell making, our Year 7s loved The Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC.

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK. The fair, held each year at the NEC in Birmingham is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, hands-on workshops and careers information from STEM specialists.  The show brings classroom learning to life.  It aims to demonstrate to young people what exciting and rewarding opportunities are out there if they have the right experience and qualifications. 

28 of our Year 7 students took part in the trip as a reward for their hard work, effort and progress in Science this year. Paige and Faye enjoyed meeting Bumblebee, Jack cleverly created his own code for a car and all the boys were amazed in the super dome, whizzing around space in a simulation of Tim Peak's spacecraft.

Science teacher, Miss Smith who led the trip last Friday said:

A huge thank you goes to all the Year 7s who joined me on the trip, you were a credit to the school and I hope the incredible stuff you have learnt inspires you to be scientists of the future!


My favourite thing about today was experimenting with gas and carbon dioxide. It was so fun because we got to play with bubbles!Chantelle O’Neil Kelley, Year 7

What a great day! I cannot wait to go back next year!

Owen Jones, Year 7

Drama Workshop at Liverpool Hope University

On Thursday 15th March Year 10 Drama students visited Liverpool Hope University’s creative campus to take part in a practical drama workshop and experience what life is like as a university drama student. The workshop was delivered by the university’s Graduate Theatre group and focused on commedia dell'arte and the use of masks as well as stock characters.

The students as always were extremely enthusiastic and took part in all activities strengthening and developing their current knowledge on this particular style of theatre. 

To finish a morning of practical activities the students received a talk from the Head of School, Professor Simon Piasecki, who gave them food for thought regarding their future and university life. He said:

If you don’t know what to do, what path or career to choose, go to uni and you will figure it out as it’s not just the next step academically after college but it’s a life experience that shouldn’t be missed.

To end a fun-filled day the students were given a tour of the creative campus, looking around both the cornerstone and capstone areas as well as viewing the student accommodation available.

Drama Teacher Miss McKevitt who organised the trip said:

Overall this trip was a great experience for the students. It widened their horizons and ensured they all know that university is available for everyone.

ATW visit Stockley Farm Park

The rainy weather was unable to dampen the spirits of our Around the World children last weekend when they visited Stockley Farm Park in Arley, Cheshire.  The 50 Year 6 students and several of their parents enjoyed a wet Saturday morning meeting some of the animals that live on the 750-acre farm, including cows, pigs, ponies, goats, ducks, hens, rabbits and Harriet the hedgehog.

The morning started with a fun and bumpy tractor ride for everyone around the farm. This was followed by a private bottle feeding session with the baby goats, a hands-on workshop with the coconut shell tortoises, an introduction to the Birds of Prey and a meet and greet with Gloria the ginormous pig! 

Mrs Snagg, who organised the trip said:

The morning was packed with interesting information and Year 6 were able to get up close and personal with almost all of the animals living on the farm!

Students were able to let off some steam on the fantastic play area and enjoyed a jump around on the bouncy castle in the indoor play area before devouring picnic lunches and heading back to school.

What a great morning!

London Dance Trip

Mrs Barker, along with Miss McEvoy, took four 6th form dance students and two Year 9 GCSE dance students to London on Friday 16th March for a dance-filled weekend! The trip began with staff and students travelling by train to London where they journeyed across the city via the tube to get to the Excel Exhibition Centre to attend their first day at 'Move It'. 

'Move It' is the UK’s largest dance event in which dancers from all over the country attend to take part in various dance classes and workshops from famous choreographers and experts within the industry. The event hosts masses of stalls from the top industry experts in dancewear alongside representatives from various colleges and universities which students can explore. 

Students had the thrilling opportunity to watch live performances on the main stage and freestyle stage where they saw famous dancers perform. They enjoyed pieces from artists such as Ashton Merrygold (from JLS), Flawless (From Britains Got Talent), Kelani Hillker (from Dance Moms USA), Eleiyah Navis (from Dance Moms UK) and many more from some of the top dance colleges in London. 

Our students participated in two dance classes. The first was 'commercial jazz, with Sway dance' and the second 'commercial street with READ College'. 

Head of Dance, Mrs Barker, who organised the trip commented: 

All students gained so much from the advanced classes and did themselves proud.

The afternoon involved a quick turnaround in the hotel before staff led students to Leicester Square for an evening meal at 'T.G.I. Fridays'. This was then followed by a trip to Shaftesbury Theatre to watch the brilliant West end show 'Motown the Musical'. 

Miss McEvoy said: 

We all had a great time singing and dancing along to the classics!  After a busy day, we returned to the hotel ready for another day at Move It.

On Day 2, students had the chance to explore the 'Move It' stalls and watch a number of inspirational live performances. They also had the amazing opportunity to participate in another dance class, this time with famous girl dance crew 'Boadicea' who have performed alongside the renowned dance crew 'Diversity'.

Mrs Barker concluded:

The trip was a great success and students were a credit to OBA.

Boreatton Park

On 18th – 20th March 2018, three of our netball teams visited Boreatton Park to take part in the PGL annual Netball tournament. Students competed against teams from around the country playing netball to an exceptionally high level and displaying admirable teamwork skills. Our girls achieved some fantastic results beating schools with amazing final scores such as 13-1 and 13-0!

Unfortunately, the netball tournament had to be abandoned on Saturday afternoon as a result of the harsh weather conditions and heavy snow so students were unable to complete their matches, but this was not before they had given it their all in the sub-zero temperatures!

Outside of their netball games, students had the opportunity to participate in a range of exciting outdoor activities such as zip wire, a giant swing and a trapeze as well as rock-climbing, abseiling, quad biking and archery.

13 Sixth Form Sport students also attended the trip and took part in a weekend of activities such as raft building, high ropes, aeroball and tunnelling. The older students enjoyed the opportunity to try new and different activities whilst developing their teamwork skills.

Miss Porschke, PE teacher who led the trip said:

Despite the freezing cold weather all students enjoyed the trip and displayed outstanding effort. They are looking forward to returning in the near future.

Year 13 Market Research Trip

On Wednesday 7th March OBA Year 13 Business Studies students visited Liverpool One shopping centre to gather market research as part of their coursework. Students have been working hard on a unit of work designed to develop their skills and knowledge within this area. 

Mr Hussey’s class have been developing a market research package for Costco. Costco stores are only open to members and their guests and membership is restricted to certain group’s only - qualified professionals, such as accountants, architects, dentists, doctors, engineer’s opticians, pharmacists, surveyors, magistrates and solicitors, as well as employees in certain specific sectors such as airlines, banking, the civil service, education, local government and medical services. To become an individual member it costs £33.60 per year. The whole purpose of the market research activity was for students to investigate whether people think it is fair that you should have to be a member to shop at Costco. The students created a survey online and then asked members of the public to complete surveys as they were browsing around Liverpool One. 

Mr Hussey said:

Students have developed some very high-level skills in this project and have successfully designed their own surveys and dealt with members of the public to get surveys completed. Students conducted themselves like business professionals and in a very mature manner when they were stopping people to ask them to complete surveys. These skills will be very beneficial and transferable to the workplace and/or university studies. In total over 250 people stopped to complete surveys and the results have been very interesting!


Lauren Briscoe, Year 13 Business Student:

This trip has helped me to develop the skills needed to gather market research. I have also developed my communication skills as I had to stop and speak to people in the street. I can now use these skills in the future if I needed to gather any market research which could be for a new job or even opening a business. I really enjoyed being able to go out of school and communicate with other people to get the results of my survey. I also enjoyed finding out what people really think about Costco membership and how the opinions of members and non-members weren’t actually divided which I expected them to be.

Debate Mate

Mr Bird and Mr Hussey took 24 KS3 students to the second round of Debate Mate on Monday last week. Our students faced the tough challenge of debating whether “This house regrets the demise of the High Street” and “This house believes that the board of limited companies should include a quota of women and ethnic minority staff”.

OBA students competed exceptionally well, particularly given the fact they were drawn against much older Year 10 students from other schools!

The pupils involved thoroughly enjoyed the visit and took on-board individual feedback from the judges.

They are now looking forward to competing in the Debate mate cup competition at Manchester University on March 26th. We wish them luck!

Boys Athletics

The Year 8 Boys Indoor Athletics Team qualified for the Merseyside school games after excelling in the Halton Borough tournament. The team competed against 16 other school teams from the Merseyside area in events including speed bounce, shot putt, long jump, triple jump, sprinting and long distance running. 

Mr King, PE teacher who coaches the squad said:

The team shone in the field events but on this occasion, the track events let the side down in the overall ranking. Team OBA was delighted to finish 11th out of 16 which was a very good position given the stiff competition posed by some of the renowned sports colleges in attendance.

A special mention goes to Jimmy O’Rourke from year 7 who stepped up to compete against boys from the year above and put in a very good display on the day. Well done Jimmy!

Artists of the Week

This week the whole class of 7O/Ar2 have been nominated! Year 7 are currently developing a collaborative large-scale cross-curricular music based artwork based on the work of artist ‘Kandinsky’ who interpreted musical sounds into shapes, pattern and colour. 

Art Teacher, Mr Smyth said:

7O/Ar2 have impressed me with their excellent teamwork and I have been amazed by the support they have given each other. The project aims to develop a student’s social communication skills that are linked to employability skills as well as an opportunity to learn from one another.

Well done 70/AR2, we look forward to seeing how these great ideas develop over the next few weeks!

Tech Talk

Welcome to this week’s instalment of Tech Talk, the latest addition to OBA’s newsletter where we share useful apps, websites and devices with you all. 

This week’s focus is going to be an e-safety website run by the Government called 

Technology is now part of our everyday lives and the internet has changed the way we live. However, we all need to be careful when using the internet and ThinkUKnow is the place to go to find out how to use the internet and technology safely. When you visit ThinkUKnow you can find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about the internet via the range of written information, videos and interactive games. also has sections of its website dedicated to parents/carers and teachers. is a great place to go if you want to find out how to have fun, how to stay in control and how to report a problem when using the internet. Remember that if you are concerned about something you have seen online you should report it to your parents/carers, any member of OBA staff or PC Williams. 

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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