Dear families and friends of OBA,
This week’s newsletter has a major focus on the pastoral work of the school, featuring the Academy’s student voice and our anti-bullying ethos. Students led assemblies last week focussed on anti-bullying both face to face and online. Issues of this nature are rare in the Academy, however I repeat here what I have said in every talk to parents and students; bullying is not acceptable in any form and is not tolerated in the Academy. Any parent or student with a concern of this nature should contact their relevant Head of Year so that we can deal with them efficiently.
The newsletter also features the achievements of some of the fantastically talented students we have here at OBA.
I would also draw everyone’s attendance to our focus on standards in pupil books and how work is presented. We would be grateful if parents and carers can support this drive by looking at their children’s books and talking to them about how they are presenting their work, completing homework and looking after their exercise books.
As our minds turn to Christmas, we are also focusing on maximising attendance in the 4 weeks left of term and would remind parents that 100 percent attendance is required right up to the Christmas break.
With all best wishes for another great week,
Mr. E Wright
Sixth Form Road Safety Event
On Friday 10th November Richard Macmillan and his crew from Runcorn Fire Station attended OBA to deliver a Road Safety Session to Year 13, ahead of this year’s national road safety week.
Following a road safety presentation by the Red Watch team, students were given the opportunity to test their response times on the Fire Brigades reaction machine. Volunteers had to hit the brakes when a red light was shown and then repeat the exercise whilst sending a text to demonstrate how reactions to hazards are hindered by texting whilst driving.
Mrs Ryan, Sixth Form Pastoral Manager said:
Year 13 students were picked for the session as they are, or are likely to be in the near future, young drivers and learner drivers. In addition, they are most likely to be a passenger in a young driver’s car.
The reaction-times activity was really powerful as the students could relate the threat to something they all do every day-texting. It really made them think. Mr Fenner and Mrs Charnley from the 6th Form team both took up the challenge and were shocked by the results.
Students also watched a sobering practical demonstration by the Fire Brigade. Will Vichos, Callum Ellis and Robbie Thomas volunteered to be “passengers” in a car that needed to be cut open whilst Dylan Proctor volunteered to be the “driver”. All four students stayed in the car whilst Red Watch cut off its roof and smashed through its windows. Once the passengers were rescued from the car Dylan was removed on a spinal board with the assistance of the Fire Brigade and Robbie.
Robbie Thomas, Year 13 student said:
The whole experience was really good as it gave us all a much better view of the bigger picture in terms of safety on the roads. I was one of the people in the car while the Red Watch crew replicated a rescue. It was quite scary being in the car while they smashed in the windows and it made me think that if this had been a real-life situation then we wouldn’t have been able to get out of that car easily and we would have most probably been seriously injured. The day overall has had an impact on me as it has made me think twice when I am in a car – I will definitely now be checking that the driver is being sensible and sticking to the speed limits.
Be Nicer, Be Kinder
Student Parliament Speak Out
Student voice has been loud and clear in the Academy this week as Student Parliament (SP) representatives led assemblies to all 5 years groups.
Drawing on the key themes of UK Parliament week and Anti-Bullying week, student representatives educated their peers on the importance of democracy. They spoke passionately about the importance of the ballot slip and advised that although students in Years 7-11 may be too young to vote in a general election, there are still lots of ways for them to get involved in democracy activities now. Jack Highton, Year 7 SP Rep said:
Put ideas forward through your student parliament reps, go to the debating and leadership enrichments after school or speak to Ewan Jago in Year 10, he is our UK Youth Parliament Representative for Halton.
SP representatives then went on to highlight the importance of Anti-bullying week as a stark reminder that there is no place for bullies at our Academy. A video clip was played highlighting how often people witness bullying-type behaviour but don’t intervene. This was followed by a message from Lauren Fisher, SP rep in Year 10 who said:
In school, there are lots of people to talk to if you have a problem or if you think someone is being bullied. Your Form Tutors, your Head of Year and Assistant Head of Year, the safeguarding team or any other member of staff in school.
The representatives communicated age-appropriate messages to the different year groups but enforced the following message to ALL students, ‘Just remember that you don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Be Nicer, Be Kinder – it really will make a difference’.
SP representatives issued ballot papers to every student in all assemblies across the week and asked them to vote for the anti-bullying strategy they would most like to see re-launched or initiated across the Academy. The ballots are now in and the results will be announced to all students later in the week.
Well done to all the Student Parliament representatives involved, for tackling two very important subjects.
Any ideas or issues/concerns can be put through to Student Parliament via form group representatives. Alternatively, please see Mrs Snagg (Director of Transition and Community Development) for more information.
Staying Safe Online - Cyberbullying
Stop, Speak, Support - Cyberbullying Prevention Campaign Launched this Week
On Thursday 16th November 2017, The Duke of Cambridge HRH Prince William unveiled an Action Plan created by The Royal Foundation's Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, and launched an online code of conduct called 'Stop, Speak, Support'.
His Royal Highness brought together some of the world's most recognisable names in media and technology, as well as children's charities and parents, to work alongside a panel of young people to find ways to tackle cyberbullying. Together they set themselves the task of creating a safer and more supportive life online.
The internet has opened our world to exciting opportunities, giving young people a view of the world their parents could only dream of. But with it has come a new twist to bullying that can follow a child wherever they go. Cyberbullying is a serious threat to happy, healthy childhoods and in the most serious cases can ruin lives.
The Duke of Cambridge, just like us at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, believes that all young people should feel able to look out for their friends, to stop the bullies, to speak out and to get support. The young people on the Taskforce said they had rules and guides for every part of their life – but not online. This is the 'green cross code' for the web.
The Stop, Speak Support code includes:
- Action 1: Take time out before getting involved, and don’t share or like negative comments.
- Action 2: Try and get an overview of what’s really going on.
- Action 3: Check the community guidelines for the site you’re on.
- Action 1: Ask an adult or friend that you can trust for advice. This includes any member of staff at OBA.
- Action 2: Use the report button for the social media it’s happening on.
- Action 3: Speak to one of the charities set up to help with situations like this, such as Childline.
- Action 1: Give the person being bullied a supportive message to let them know they’re not alone.
- Action 2: Encourage the person being bullied to talk to someone they can trust. This includes any member of staff at OBA.
- Action 3: Give the person being bullied a positive distraction from the situation.
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 local police can be contacted on 101 if necessary.
Inter Faith Week with MWCP
Last week, OBA’s History and RE department took part in Inter Faith Week in style! The whole week is dedicated to learning about other cultures and beliefs that the students would not know or recognise in a bid to strengthen good inter-faith relations.
The team led a number of brilliantly engaging lessons with the EYFS, year 1, year 4 and year 5 classes from Murdishaw West Community Primary School, who loved the lessons that were provided! From planting their own seeds and creating their own Hindu gods, to teaching each other the 10 Sikh Gurus and acting out the Jewish Heroic figures, the lessons celebrated the incredible diversity and richness of faith communities both in Britain and around the world.
Mr McGlory, Head of History and RE said:
The students were up for any challenge and whole-heartedly got involved. When I watched the year 4 class from MWCP act out the different heroic stories from the Torah, I was amazed at how good the class was!
Thank you to all the students and staff at MWCP who got involved. It was an amazingly successful week of learning about other faiths, and one that will hopefully get bigger and more involved next year.
Sport’s Got Talent
Sport Awards 2017
We are delighted to report that our very own Scarlett Fletcher, Year 7, has been awarded the accolade for Halton Young Sportsperson of the Year! The prestigious ‘Sports Got Talent’ Sport Awards took place on Friday 10th November and along with her parents, OBA staff and students are brimming with pride!
Mrs Fletcher (Scarlett’s mum) said:
As always we are so proud of her achievements this year, 2 international golds in double mini trampoline for Great Britain, British Champion and she is heading off on Monday again to represent Great Britain in the World!
Mrs Hasty, PE teacher and Head of Year 7 at OBA said:
We are extremely proud of the high level Scarlett has achieved within her sport and wish her every success in her up and coming competitions.
Good luck Scarlett!
OBA Excel at Athletics Competition
On Friday, dedicated sports students in Year 7 and 8 took part in the challenging Sports Hall Athletics Competition at Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes.
The competition, renowned for its ‘electric atmosphere’ really put students to the test as they competed against pupils from other schools in the borough at events such as standing long jump, standing triple jump, shot put, 4 X 2 relay and 4 X 4 relay.
Mr King, teacher of PE at OBA said:
Overall there were some excellent performances, especially the year 8 boys who finished second and only 2 points behind first place! This was a great achievement as they had several Year 7 students in their team. I would like to give a special mention to Jimmy O’Rourke, Year 7, who was part of this team and earned the squad crucial points with a brilliant performance on the day in a variety of different events!
A massive "well done" to all students who attended. Mr King reported that the attitude and behaviour of the sports representatives was impeccable throughout the day and all were a credit to the school.
Artists of the Week
Yr 9 Art students Molly McMaster and Katie Morgan have made a fabulous start to their GCSE course. They have both already shown their dedication to the subject through attending enrichments and completing extra homework in their own time.
Miss Cleverley, Art teacher at OBA said:
We are extremely impressed with the quality of the artwork the girls are producing at this early stage of the course and look forward to seeing how they progress over the next two and a half years- watch this space!
The Taj Mahal - Katie Morgan
St Paul’s Cathedral - Molly McMaster
Katie Morgan and Molly McMaster
Photographer of the Week
This striking work was created by Year 13 Photography student, Rachel Airey.
Mr Smyth, Art and Photography teacher at OBA said:
As a department, we were impressed with Rachel’s creative portrayal of an iconic Liverpool building. We thought the use of historical images of the construction of the building layered within the photograph was innovative which made the image even more engaging.
Well done Rachel, we can’t wait to see more fantastic work from you in the near future!
OBA has launched the DUMTUM initiative this week in a concerted effort to prompt all students to take extra pride in their work. The easy-to-remember acronym reminds students on a daily basis that our high standards start with the basics - Date, Underline, Miss a line, Title, Underline, Miss a line.
We would like to ask parents to take a look at your child’s exercise books and encourage your son/daughter to take care in the presentation of their work. We expect students to attend school each day ready to learn and believe this positive attitude is reflected in both their personal and academic presentation. In addition to impeccable uniform, our new ‘Fab Five’ drive reminds all students that they are required to come to school each day with a bag, planner, pen, pencil and ruler.
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 free and easy to use website that has been created to help people of all ages learn how to code programs. Technology has rethought nearly everything - commerce, social networking, healthcare, and more. Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Behind most technologies out there coding is what powers them. Your internet browser, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and websites – they’re all made with code.
Speak to your ICT teacher if you have any queries about using Code Academy.
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