OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 68 - 29th April 2016

Issue 68 - 29th April 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Welcome to OBA’s week of Dance shows! Make sure you get your tickets for one this week’s three shows – you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday’s show features our Dynamix Dance School, while Wednesday and Thursday are the full Academy shows.

Year 11 have their first big exam of the season, English, next Tuesday afternoon, straight after the May Day Bank Holiday on Monday.  There is a hugely important examination preparation session on Saturday and all Year 11 students are requested to attend.  Prom invitations will be being sent out in the next couple of weeks and we will announce further winners of prom tickets.

Next week also sees Year 9 students undertaking their mock examinations.  These will get them used to preparations and processes for their final GCSE exams in Year 11.  Please do support them with their revision and ensure that they eat and drink healthily, as well as get enough sleep.

Please be reminded that as the weather starts to get warmer, students still need to wear blazers to, from and around the Academy but they may not want to wear jumpers or cardigans.

Mr. M Wyss- Academy Principal

I believe I can fly!

Many congratulations to Miss Farrelly who braved the skies recently and took part in a skydive to raise money for charity.

Having had the skydive postponed on a couple of occasions due to bad weather, our brave, bold, Beauty Therapy teacher eventually got to take part in the tandem skydive in Whitchurch on 16th April, raising almost £300 to support OBA’s trip to Kenya later this year. 

When asked if she would ever take part in a skydive again, Miss Farrelly said:

”Most definitely!  It was a really amazing experience that I will never forget.  It was quite frustrating having it postponed at first, but you have to realise that they only do that for your own safety.  It was a real challenge taking the plunge to jump out of the plane but the thrill once I’d done it was beyond words.  I felt a massive sense of achievement and am delighted that I was able to raise so much money for Kenya.  Thank you to everyone who sponsored me.  I can’t wait until I can do it again as I’ve got my wings now!”

Here we go, here we go, here we go…

 ... to Carlisle United

Twenty-five Year 11s were lucky enough in the Easter Holidays to attend a Carlisle United match at their home ground, Brunton Park.  The trip was organised by avid Carlisle United supporter and Assistant Head of Year 11, Mr Milne. 

Once they had arrived at the club, the students and staff were lucky enough to meet one of the team’s players, midfielder Mark Ellis, who took time out to speak with the students and staff. They were all offered a huge discount on Carlisle United shirts and scarves which they bought to wear during the match to show their support.

Students then got the opportunity to look around the ground and the changing rooms used by the Everton players in their recent game against Carlisle. After a walk around the whole pitch and sitting in the home team’s dug out, Mr Milne was proud to point out his seat in the stands which he claimed to be one of the best in the ground. 

The group then went to see a statue of a player named Hughie McIlmoyle who played for Carlisle United over forty years ago when the club was at its peak.  They were lucky enough to meet Hughie in person, now aged 77, who shared some of his experiences from those halcyon days. Phil King, one of the club’s Directors who is aged only 28 years of age, also met up with the students and spoke passionately about how he got to where he is today.

The match day programme included a welcome to the students, Mr Milne, Mr Ingram and Miss Goodwin who were all delighted to also receive a warm welcome over the club’s tannoy. Before the kick-off, a local reporter interviewed some of OBA’s visitors and took a photo to feature alongside an article in the local newspaper the following week.  A further celebrity, the club’s mascot, Olga the Fox, even popped by to say hello as well! 

When the teams came out, the students cheered and hurled balloons up in the air to welcome the players on to the pitch. As the match progressed there were lot of ups and downs, but Carlisle United eventually lost 1-2 against Mansfield Town, so Mr Milne was not a happy Easter bunny!

Since the trip, OBA’s staff and students have received emails from the Carlisle United Fan Club as well as a message from Director, Phil King, praising the students for their exemplary behaviour and thanking them for their support. 

Phil said “It was great that so many showed an interest in the workings of our great club, particularly when they are in the middle of preparing for their exams. I would like to thank them for coming and wish them every success in their forthcoming GCSEs.”

Key Stage 3 Rugby Match Reports

Miss Belford and Mr Ingram

Key Stage 3 girls took part in a mini rugby tournament recently, playing three short games against Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College, Widnes. Since their last tournament, the girls have been working really hard in training to improve their game play and have been coached by players from Sale Sharks; as a result they won two of their three matches. All of the girls demonstrated how their confidence had grown as they tackled their opponents and drove themselves hard towards the line to score a try.

Standout performances of this tournament came from Charlotte Verry and Alisha Smith. Charlotte was a key attacker, scoring three tries in one game, whilst Alisha was always there for support and showed some nifty footwork to get around the opponents to score two tries herself.  Taylor Braithwaite also stood out in defence making some really key tackles to stop the other team scoring. 

All the players are now looking forward to our next tournament which will take place on 22nd June. 

If you wish to take part in Rugby Enrichment, join us every Thursday on the school field. 

Miss Belford

KS3 boys also went to Saints Peter and Paul for the rugby tournament which was led by coaches from Widnes Vikings.

Last term Widnes Vikings also coached our KS3 boys in PE lessons, teaching them some basic Rugby League skills.  OBA fielded one boys’ team and the players held their own against Saints Peter and Paul.  This was despite the fact that OBA’s boys have only been playing Rugby League for a short while in lessons and the opposing team had many students who play for local clubs, especially Widnes Vikings.

The Team:  David Pluger, Anton Roberts, Taylor Moffat, Scott Donohue, Owen Philips, Ben Hesketh, Lewis King, Dec Wain, Ryan Pickering, Joe Gaffney, Brandon Lee Cole, Jacob Leybourne


Key players were:

  • Anton Roberts - Great tackler, not afraid to put a tackle in against their 'giant' forward. Made some last minute tackles to prevent a few tries.
  • Owen Philips - A Rugby Union player, but he communicated well with the rest of the team advising them on their attack and defence positions.
  • Ben Hesketh - Predominantly a footballer but his quick feet and pace caused havoc down the wing to gain ground for our team. Scored a try and was not afraid to put a few tackles in.
  • Lewis King - Strong and powerful; it took at least 4 defenders to get him down. Was not afraid to go head first into the opposition to gain ground for our team. Made some important tackles.
  • Dec Wain - In the thick of the action, he got an elbow to the teeth but got his determination to get the ball back meant that he kept on going. Some important tackles for the team - great team player!

Mr Ingram said:  

“I was hugely impressed with the effort and determination of all of the boys. Although they were the 'under-dogs' they fought for every ball and were not afraid to get their hands dirty. The majority of their training had been playing touch rugby within lessons, however they listened to the coaches and developed their skills for the full contact game. The boys also demonstrated great sportsmanship, teamwork and communication skills which enabled them to put in a great performance against a very strong and drilled opposing team. This was the first rugby tournament many of our students have played in but they have already shown an eagerness to train for the next one which will hopefully be hosted at OBA.

Mr Ingram

OBA staff teach Chinese to Palacefields Primary pupils

As part of OBA’s Primary Partnership Programme, OBA’s Chinese Teacher, Miss Zhao Siqin, has been working with Miss Ditchfield’s Year 3 class at Palacefields Primary School.

The pupils, who have been learning Chinese for the last six weeks, have shown great enthusiasm in lessons.   They have been learning key words and expressions in Chinese and they have also done a lot of research into Chinese culture, traditions and customs.

Miss Siqin said; “Over the last half term we have done lots of fun things which the pupils have really enjoyed. We have learnt Chinese songs and the pupils also now know numbers in Chinese.  They can also talk about their family members and describe animals. Since this year is the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese lunar calendar, we also made monkey masks and lanterns.  It has been a delight working with these children and they have picked up Chinese really well in a short amount of time.  It is not an easy language to learn so they should be very proud of themselves.”

Be Healthy 2016

Educating students about being healthy is a key priority at OBA and last half term the students took part in the ‘Be Healthy’ campaign with lots of enthusiasm.

We started the half term with a new ‘Healthy Eating Points’ system where students receive points for the food they choose to eat; the healthier the food the more points are awarded. Each half term the students that have chosen the healthiest options will be rewarded.

Meals rated by the kitchen staff as being healthier options that are served with vegetables or salad receive the most points, with 5 points being the maximum per meal. Extra points go to students who opt for having extra vegetables or salad on the side. Water is the drink with the highest amount of points.

Also last half term, to promote the ‘Be Healthy‘ campaign all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 participated in an Interhouse Rounders competition every morning, encouraging them all to value the importance of physical activity on their physical and mental health.

ECM Co-ordinator, Miss McAuliffe, also planned sessions on key issues which can affect your health which were delivered by Form Tutors. They covered topics such as the dangers of smoking, the risks related to E-Cigarettes, raising awareness of the dangers of legal highs and illegal drugs, dealing with everyday stress and making healthy choices when choosing drinks.

If you have any questions or ideas relating to the ‘Be Healthy’ campaign, please speak with Miss Mc Auliffe.

BEWARE of “ooVoo”

What is it?ooVoo is a high quality video chat application, like Facetime or Skype.  However, it allows people to connect with up to 12 friends at one time and video chat or have a voice call.  You can download it on an iPad, iTouch, iPhone, Android phone.   

What are the concerns for your child using ooVoo?  

As with all social media, the main concern is who can search for your child easily.  The easier it is to find the child, the faster a predator will find them, start talking to them and find a way to connect with them without the child realising what is happening.  

*** Recently there has been a rise in reports of young people being contacted on ooVoo where inappropriate content has been shared with them.  This is either people requesting images from young people or images being sent which are of a sexual nature.  There have also been incidents where group video chats have resulted in graphic sexual acts being shown to young people.***

How do you manage your child’s ooVoo account?

1. Always know your child’s password.  This will allow you to ensure that they are using ooVoo safely.

2. Make sure that the privacy settings are properly set up.  Without using the privacy settings, your child can be contacted by anyone at anytime and anyone can see the profile of your child.  

3. Review the history of your child’s account.  You will be able to see who they are chatting with and messaging.  Ensure that you know all of these people and are comfortable with them.  Note that your child can erase the history. 

4. If your child receives an unwanted friend request, ignore it AND block the person.

5. Remind your child to always log out when they are finished using ooVoo, especially if another person’s device is being used.

6. Learn how to use the product!  If your child knows that you are involved and understand the technology they are using, they will know that you can check up on them.

“ooVoo” is not necessarily bad and like most social media apps, there are some great uses for children.   However, the dangers come when children use them in an inappropriate way and when the privacy settings are not set tightly.  

To be absolutely sure, I would suggest that your child does NOT use the ooVoo app and uses the other video chat apps which have more safety facilities and are better regulated such as Skype or Facetime.  However, if they are to continue using it please make sure to use the above advice and privacy settings.  

Please visit the following websites which can provide vital up-to-date information for parents and carers relating to internet safety.

Youth Engagement Officer

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 an essential app for all sports fans called ‘LiveScore’.

LiveScore is credited as the leading app for real-time delivery of live sport data and is the world’s most popular app for football scores.

You can now enjoy the excitement of live scores on your smart phone or device in the same way that 50 million other live score users are enjoying this handy app.

Live Score will provide:
- Live football scores from leagues, cup competitions and championships worldwide
- Live tennis, basketball & hockey scores worldwide
- Live league tables for football, hockey and basketball with highlighted promotion/relegation phases
- Fixtures and results for individual leagues/tournaments
- The possibility to choose a default sport, which is shown when the app is started
- Push notifications
- Commentaries in football and tennis
- Injury time updates
- Line-ups, substitutions, match statistics

This is an essential app for all sports fans!

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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