OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 72 - 25th May 2016

Issue 72 - 25th May 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Welcome to this week’s newsletter of all things happening here at the Academy.  You will read about the visit Mr Rigby and Miss Porschke made to Buckingham Palace to celebrate another year of fantastic participation by OBA in the superb Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.  This sees large numbers of our students embarking on outdoor, residential trips that develop their social, personal, communication and survival skills!  I also have to thank Mr Fenner, Mr Hussey, Mr Mercer, Miss Belford, Miss McKevitt and Miss Rugen who also give up their personal time to run these trips for the programme.

We have once again enjoyed success with our mock trial group who represent OBA so articulately and confidently at these challenging competitions. 

Year 6 students are also getting excited about coming to us in September.  They have received an OBA goody bag from Mrs Jarvis on her visits to the primaries and are still enjoying the ‘Around the World’ activity sessions on a Saturday morning here at the Academy.  They also have their transition days to look forward to in July

There is a final Year 11 revision programme taking place over the Whit holiday which you will also find in this newsletter.

Enjoy your Whit holiday and thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Mr. M Wyss
Academy Principal

Gold and Diamond Celebrations for OBA at Buckingham Palace

The golden sun shone brightly for a golden celebration last week when students and staff from Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy attended the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace.  But the event was an even bigger affair than it normally is as everyone there was also taking part in the scheme’s 60th diamond anniversary celebrations.

The award, which started in 1956, was originally introduced to bridge the gap between boys leaving school and entering National Service, and it has since grown into the world’s leading youth achievement award.  The beautiful gardens at Buckingham Palace were filled with around sixty celebrities, many of whom had taken part themselves in the Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards.

In addition to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Countess of Wessex, there were dozens of celebrities present came from a variety of backgrounds. Celebrities included actress Anna Friel, singer Ronan Keating, TV presenter Phillip Schofield, impressionist Jon Culshaw, former England rugby player Ben Cohen, the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter films (Oliver and Fred Phelps) and many more well-known faces. Another very special guest who was present to join in the festivities was Tony Mullins, 76, from Birmingham, who was one of 49 boys to receive a Gold Award in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace in 1958.

Executive Principal, John Rigby, and one of OBA’s two Duke of Edinburgh Managers, Zaina Porschke, were thrilled to attend this very prestigious event.  Enjoying a refreshing glass of homemade lemonade whilst listening to the bands playing, they were able to admire the vast array of beautiful flowers and trees in the royal gardens before the presentation started.  

Guest speaker, Soprano singer Natalie Coyle, who is known for singing the national anthem at many rugby games and at Wembley, opened the ceremony. Each Gold Award achiever was presented with their certificate and had their photograph taken with Natalie. Then OBA staff were proud to receive their celebration plaque from Natalie before she delivered an inspirational speech about how The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme had helped her to overcome her battle with dyslexia and achieve her goal to become a professional singer.

Miss Porschke who was delighted to attend this high-profile event said:

To be invited to Buckingham Palace and be in the presence of members of The Royal Family was a real honour.  It was such a special occasion and it is hard to believe that this amazing scheme has been in place, offering so much for so many, for sixty years.  I am very proud of all OBA’s students that have completed their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.  It really does help to build character, self-confidence and raise the aspirations of young people.

National Theatre Connections 
The Lowry - ‘Blackout’ Performance

Last year OBA students were delighted with the news that they had been given the opportunity to perform as part of the National Theatre Connections 500 and that they would be performing at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.  They were even more excited at the thought that they could be asked to take our performance to the National Theatre stage in London.
Last October, Head of Drama, Miss Carden, was very lucky to receive training at the National Theatre where she explored a range of directing techniques and participated in movement and voice workshops at Laban Dance School.  The training culminated in Miss Carden meeting Davey Anderson, the author of the hard-hitting play Blackout; the play OBA’S students would be performing.


Blackout tells the story of a young boy, James, who has flashbacks over his life as he wakes up and finds himself in a prison cell. We see him grow from a boy into a man facing many obstacles along the way. James’ world is turned upside down by the death of his Granddad and we see him having an identity crisis as he flits in life from one extreme to another. Davey Anderson felt that he had could relate to the young man he met as he interviewed him for his play; he discusses in a workshop that he too could have ended up on the wrong side of the law growing up in Glasgow.

The adrenaline fuelled play made our cast gasp and wince at times as they read it for the first time, but they soon realised why Davey Anderson had written such a gritty play. They worked tirelessly in after school revision sessions, at weekends and late into the evening to perfect the play and to ensure that it was true to its word.
The cast had the opportunity to work with Phil Sheppard, an associate teacher at RADA, a famous theatre school in London.  Phil visited OBA, watched the performance and provided some very useful feedback before OBA’s students transferred the performance to the Lowry.


For thirty minutes OBA’s cast performed the physically demanding piece, showing the world through James’ eyes and how people judged him. The cast created a thought-provoking and emotional piece of stunning physical theatre that captured the best and worst moments of this young man’s life, as he remembers the journey that led him to waking up in a prison cell. They used lifts, tableaux, mime, slow motion and many other techniques, to bring the play to life. The small cast of nine had to work ten times as hard to create the energy and emotion of the play.
Phil Sheppard, from RADA, could not praise our students enough and he commented on the detail the students had put into their performance and how they had worked so hard on stage for the entire piece.


The cast is as follows:
Connor Ogden, Eyen9 Savage, Ellie Mogg, Emily Willcott, Connor Murphy, Thomas Collins, Liberty Boult, Jessica Fulton and Milly Ward, 
Miss Carden Head of Drama, said:
I could not be more proud of these students and what they have achieved. Their commitment and dedication to rehearsing this play is what made it such a huge success and they will never forget the experience of performing in the Lowry. I am so lucky to have been able to work with such talented and enthusiastic young people and I am excited for our next project already.  The details of a final performance of Blackout which will be staged later this term will soon be available, so watch this space!

Year 6 Excitement is Building

Transition arrangements are now well in place with Year 6 primary pupils who will be joining OBA this September 2016.

Mrs Snagg and Mrs Jarvis have been visiting excited Year 6 children to give out their welcome packs and to tell them more about the wide range of wonderful opportunities on offer to them in OBA.  Many pupils already attend weekly enrichment activities and Saturday Academy at OBA and there will be lots more fun and educational activities for them to attend over the summer.

Race for Life Success

Congratulations to Science teacher, Mrs Smith, who ran the Delamere Forest 10K Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK on Sunday 15th May. 

On a perfect day for the race, with the sun shining and the breeze blowing, there was a real buzz in the air, particularly as everyone was being spurred on by raising money for such a good cause.

Mrs Smith said proudly:

The route itself was a lot hillier than I had expected, and I don’t do hills!  However, I was encouraged along by all the other participants and race marshals.  I was delighted that I managed to run the full 10k and I was joined by my little girl for the last half mile who crossed the finish line with me.  It was a very proud moment for me and I’m pleased to have raised £170 for Cancer Research UK.

Mock Trial Challenge

Last week OBA took part in the regional heats of the Magistrates’ Mock Trial Competition in Crewe Magistrates Court. We competed against six other schools in this round and whilst we were not lucky enough to proceed to the finals, our team performed exceptionally well and every member left holding their head high, proud of how far they had gone in the competition.

The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition is a national schools’ competition which introduces the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way and it has been running annually in the UK since 1994. Led by Mrs Jarvis and Mr Hussey and ably supported by Mr Bird, the competition has helped students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the legal system, build self-confidence, team work, public speaking and analytical skills. 

First of all, OBA’s defence team went head to head with Litherland High School’s prosecution team in court room 1; tensions were high but OBA remained confident in their approach and delivered a fantastic performance.  After a short break for refreshments, OBA’s prosecution team headed to court room 2, where they were up against Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School’s defence team. In both sessions the students took on the roles of legal professionals and were judged on their presentation skills and ability to prosecute and defend a specifically written criminal case.

OBA’s team was comprised of Jorja Tipton, Mia Abbott and Ewan Jago as Magistrates and Dominque Costello was the victim of the crime with Ethan Fryer-Durcan as the defendant. The prosecution Lawyers were played by Tom Hopwood and Nicola Falconer and the defence Lawyers were Toni Burns and Elliot Newton. Amber McLoughlin and Abigail Cheers played the parts of witnesses to the crime, Ella Main took on the role of the legal adviser and Bethany Lewis was the courtroom usher. Jessica Hardy was the teams reserve and did well to support all of the other students in their roles throughout the competition.

Six schools competed on the day and the stakes were high!  Although we were not fortunate enough to win this round of the competition, the team performed brilliantly and they all thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the experience! 


Deeside Karting

14 students from Years 11 and 12 took to the Deeside track recently, all very keen and ready to show off their driving skills. There were some great debut drives (Sam & Tom), however one driver set the standard with a blistering pace.

Chloe Holt left the boys speechless as she lapped the circuit in an incredible 31.249 seconds to finish the day on top and go home with the honours of being the fastest student or member of staff in OBA.

Community News from PC Williams

‘Cheshire Police Alert’ is the community messaging system brought to you by Cheshire Constabulary, servicing the whole of Cheshire.

By registering with ‘Cheshire Police Alert’ on the link below, you will be able to receive news and information about local crime and crime prevention advice as an e-mail, text message or voice message. Once you have verified your account by responding to the verification e-mail, you have instant access to the Cheshire Police Alert website.

Registering with this site is completely free, and not only allows you to receive messages about your local area, but also allows you to give information to your local policing teams to help them better police your neighbourhood.  All of this is done through Cheshire Constabulary’s secure servers.


For further information, please visit the ‘Cheshire Police Alert’ website.

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 Maths specific website called OnMaths ( comes highly recommended by the Maths department for all students who are putting in the hours revising for their GCSE maths exam. provides a wide range of very useful resources including; predicted papers for the upcoming Maths exams, topic busters to help you revise specific topics and demon questions to practise the hardest GCSE questions. is a free to use website, all that students have to do is sign up for a free account to save all your progress, discuss the questions in the forum and identify the topics you need to focus on in order to improve your grade.

We would urge all of our year 11 students to be using sites like in the run up to their GCSE Maths exams. The non-calculator paper will be sat on Thursday 26th May 2016 and the calculator paper will take place on Thursday 9th June 2016. As well as using, staff will be running enrichment after school, on Saturdays and also in May half term to help boost your grades! Speak to your Maths teacher or Mr Collinson for more details. Good luck everyone!

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:

Exam Revision Schedule

For Year 11 Pupils

There is another busy schedule planned to help Year 11 pupils achieve and shine. If you are a parent of a Year 11 pupils, please check the timetable below to ensure that you are aware when they should be attending. 

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