Dear families and friends of OBA,
Welcome back to our latest weekly bulletin. Last week saw us honouring our pupil pledge in earnest! This newsletter details several cultural, spiritual and sporting events that all support our goal to provide 15 key experiences to each student in the school. For a reminder on our student pledge, please visit www.ormistonbolingbrokeacademy.co.uk/11-16-years/our-pledge
Personally, I spent a lot of last week getting to know more of our community partners. I enjoyed visits to local schools and spending time with our OAT family at the OAT Northern Principals’ meeting. Back at school, it was a busy but productive week for the OBA Family. We had a whole staff meeting where we spent more time considering our aims and vision for our students before we discussed and agreed ‘what makes an OBA lesson’. On Friday afternoon, I had a special visit from the Chair of SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education). Mr Smalley has vast experience in schools and he commented during his walk around on how productive, calm and hard working the school was. I was very proud to hear that from someone with such experience; proud of our staff and students who were all working so hard, right to the last home bell of the week.
Our ongoing feature to support our school community with matters relating to e-safety can also be found below. At OBA we place great importance on e-safety education and we have updated our website www.ormistonbolingbrokeacademy.co.uk/parents/e-safety-for-parents
in this regard. Anyone in the school community can report matters, positive or an area for improvement, to us via a new feature in this part of the website.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Have a lovely week,
Mr. E Wright
Places of Worship - Preparing for life in Modern Britain
Thirty-eight students from Years 8, 9 and 10 recently took part in a two day trip to Liverpool, co-ordinated by Mrs Noon, to develop their understanding of other religions and cultures.
Accompanied by Mrs Noon, Mr McGlory and Mr A Bird, the students were fortunate to have a very varied experience as they visited Princes Road Synagogue, The Anglican Cathedral and the Al Rhama Mosque, concluding the trip with a visit to the World Museum.
The eager and interested students were treated to guided tours at each place of worship; they compared and discussed the differences and similarities in the architecture, religious artefacts, the different customs and beliefs and their approaches to worship. The trip was a real eye opener and the students felt that they had a new found respect for other religions and cultures as a result.
Mrs Noon said:
The favourite place the students visited was the Mosque and they commented on how inspired they felt after meeting Abu Usamah, the Imam at the Mosque. At OBA we feel it is important to understand the local and wider community and be accepting of all faiths, beliefs and religions within our community. Our students were a credit to the school and each place commented on how well behaved they were.
Rebeca Crowe from Year 10 added:
I enjoyed the trip as it was very interesting to learn about different beliefs.
Whilst Katie Oaks, also a Year 10 student, said:
I enjoyed visiting the mosque. I liked the Imam and he was very friendly and welcoming. He taught us not to judge every Muslim based on what we see or hear in the media.
Students who had taken part in the ‘Places of Worship Trip’ then assisted Mrs Noon in leading assemblies across the school about ‘Preparing for life in Modern Britain’.
The assemblies featured pictures from the Princes Road Synagogue, The Anglican Cathedral and the Al Rahma Mosque and the students shared their findings, comparing the different places of worship. They highlighted their particular enjoyment at visiting the Mosque and they talked about extremism and the role that the Media can often play in stereotyping certain religious groups, as a result. The students finished by reading out this poem:
I Am Diversity, Please Include Me
I‘m present in every place you go
Depending on your lens I’m friend or foe
I’m a force to be reckoned with
Like the winds of change I move. I’m swift.
I’m present when two or more are together
If embraced I can make the good even better.
I’m not limited to age, gender, or race.
I’m invisible at times and yet all over the place.
Don’t exclude me due to a lack of knowledge
Welcome me like the recruit fresh out of college.
Let me take my seat at the table
Even though I may be differently able
My experience, my passion the authentic me
Can help add value for your company.
Learn about me; improve my underrepresentation
And I can provide a competitive edge to your entire nation.
I exclude no one I am strengthened by all
My name is Diversity and yes I stand tall.
Mrs Noon shared her very emotional experience of being present at the Ariana Grande Concert in the Manchester Arena on the 22nd May, the night of the Manchester bombing.
I felt it was important to share my experience with students, as I know this event not only affected myself and some of our students who were there that night, but it also deeply affected the wider community and the nation. I wanted to communicate that it was a horrific act of terror from one person with extremist views and extremist behaviour. However, despite the fact that this act was harrowing and deeply saddening for the families involved, it also brought the nation together and reminded us of how love overrules hate.
Thinking about that night does make me sad, but it certainly doesn’t make me feel hatred towards certain groups of people, or people with religious beliefs different to my own. It also does not give me the right to be racist towards others. Thinking of those people who rallied round in the aftermath of the event makes me feel proud to be British.
Mrs Noon finished by saying:
In OBA we ensure our students recognise and adhere to British Values; this enables them to become responsible citizens who leave OBA and make a positive contribution to society. I am very proud of how our students demonstrate these values in lessons, around the Academy, in enrichment sessions and when representing the school in other events.
Year 10s Visit Lancaster University
Science teacher, Miss McMullen, and parent volunteer, Mr Cullen, took ten keen scientists from Year 10 to Lancaster University last week to attend the launch of the ‘Brilliant Club Scholars’ Programme’.
The Scholars’ Programme employs doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, on a part-time basis, to deliver programmes of academic enrichment to small groups of students. Through a combination of university trips, in-school tutorials and online resources, they support students to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition needed to progress to highly-selective universities, such as Lancaster.
OBA’s students will be taking part in this programme over several months and it will allow them to have a general insight into university life, as well as develop their scientific knowledge at a higher level. They will attend tutorials with a Post Doctorate Researcher, who is a specialist in the field of Nuclear Power, with the ultimate goal of submitting a university assignment.
Miss McMullen said:
During the trip today our students had a general introduction to the programme and a campus tour which allowed them to see the student accommodation, lecture theatres and the university ‘village’. They experienced many aspects of university life and it was also good for them to be there during Freshers’ Week, as they saw the excitement and eager anticipation of the new undergraduates. They are all now really looking forward to getting involved with the experts at Lancaster and developing their scientific knowledge and skills.
The students that attended were:
Jess Keggin, Mya Gates, Tamin Buyuktepe, Ellie Rae, Beth McTeggatt, Mackenzie Smith, Jess Hardy, Chloe Gleave, Chloe Pye and Jorja Tipton.
Students Enjoy First Theatre Visit of the Year
On Thursday 5th October, Miss McKevitt and Mrs Noon accompanied thirty students from Years 9-13 to The Lowry Theatre, in Salford Quays, to see the critically acclaimed production “Things I know to be True” by Frantic Assembly.
As part of their GCSE/A-Level courses the students are expected to write a live theatre review based on a performance they have recently seen. The production focused on many sensitive and serious issues including; gender identity and family issues and showcased an effective collaboration of physical theatre, ensemble work and emotional monologues from the actors.
Miss McKevitt said:
There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience, due to the topics covered and the superb acting skills. On the journey home the students had an in-depth conversation regarding the key themes, the set, lighting, performance skills and much more. If you get a chance to see it, definitely take the opportunity - you won’t regret it!
Going the Extra Mile!
Maths teacher, Mr. Gillard, continued his good running form last week when he finished in the top twenty in the Ceiriog Fell Race, near Llangollen in Wales.
In the picture below, we can see him perform a decisive overtake about a mile away from the finish line of the seven mile race. Well done, Mr Gillard, your resilience and determination are admirable and an example to us all!
Students Receive Full Amount from Dragons’ Den Pitch
Last week, three of OBA’s young entrepreneurs Jacob Roulston, Jess Tunstall and Abbie Furnival set off to a Dragons’ Den event to pitch for £100 to kick start the marketing and production of their Christmas gift baubles.
The Dragons’ Den event is held annually at Manchester Airport and many schools from across the North West pitch for an amount of money to support them in the sales of their home-made products. OBA’s students gave a confident and well-delivered presentation and, as a result, they received the full amount of £100 from the dragons.
They will be returning to Manchester Airport at the end of November for a craft sales day and then, after much hard work to sell as many of their products as possible, they will return again in December to give back the £100 and present their final sales figures. They will then find out which school has raised the most money for their chosen charity.
The Christmas gift baubles will be available to buy in school very soon. They will cost £2.50, or £3 for personalised ones, and are bound to be very popular. So, get your orders in now via any of the students involved or by contacting Mrs Moneypenny at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Read more about their preparation for the event and their pitch here.
Our enrichment programme has been updated and is available from the school website at www.ormistonbolingbrokeacademy.co.uk/11-16-years/enrichment or by clicking the link below.
Trampoline Star, Scarlett, Bounces to Success
Many congratulations to Scarlett Fletcher in Year 7 who is part of Great Britain’s Double Mini Trampoline Squad and represents GB at the 2017 Loulé Cup this month.
Scarlett also recently made the Great Britain Squad for the World Championships after a brilliant performance in a recent competition held at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
Mrs Hasty, Head of Year 7, said:
We are extremely proud of Scarlett's achievements and wish her the best of luck in her up and coming competitions.
KS4 Badminton Tournament
OBA recently hosted a Key Stage 4 Badminton Tournament which saw teams from St Chad’s, Wade Deacon and Sandymoor all competing for their chance to represent Halton in Merseyside’s Badminton Tournament.
OBA’s girls came second overall and, although they did not qualify, they played really well and gave it their all. Congratulations go to Jess Keggin, Taylor Braithwaite, Beth McTeggart, Milly Ward and Anna Ng.
The Year 9 Boys’ Football Team played against St Peter and Paul last week in the league and the team put in an excellent performance, which saw them achieve a 5-4 victory.
PE teacher, Mr King, said:
OBA was up against it early as St Peter and Paul took the lead in the tenth minute. However, this didn’t faze the Year 9 team and they replied within the next five minutes with Rhys Ferguson calmly slotting the ball past St Peter and Paul’s goalkeeper. This was soon followed by a Luis Ormson goal which put OBA into the lead, but then St Peter and Paul’s squad replied to make it 2-2 at half time.
Mr King continued his match report saying:
“The second half produced some wonder goals, with Dan Shelly and Rhys Ferguson both scoring to make it 4-2 to OBA. However, St Peter and Paul were not prepared to give up and replied with two goals to make it 4-4. With five minutes left of the game, Dan Shelly found himself in the box, and with the keeper off his line, he managed to chip it over him for OBA to secure the 3 points.”
Congratulations to all members of the team and well done to Brandon Lee Barton who was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ title for his sterling performance in defence.
Running to Success
Mr A Bird, accompanied by Mrs Musgrave and Mrs Crane, took eight excited OBA students to Warrington last weekend to take part in their first 5k park run of the new academic year. They were given a very warm welcome when they were introduced to the other three hundred runners at the event by the Race Director and they couldn’t wait to get to the start line.
Unfortunately, it was a drizzly day, but this did not dampen the spirits of the students who wore their OBA PE kits with great pride, as they safely negotiated the course.
Mr Bird said:
I was really impressed with every student because they all managed to find a sprint finish to cross the line. The finishing times ranged from a fantastic 32 minutes 20 seconds from Alice Wilcott, to 56 minutes 05 seconds.
He also added:
One of the marshals, who is a teacher at a local school, commented on how impressed he was with OBA’s students and the impeccable behaviour they displayed. The students are now looking forward to the next park run which will be the 200th event at Warrington. I am hoping for a lot of personal best runs by our students and wish them well.
Using Snapchat Safely
BT have collated some useful information for parents around the use of Snapchat by children and how best to protect them.
You can find the article here.
Welcome to Tech Talk @ OBA, the part of the weekly newsletter where we share useful apps, websites and devices.
This week we are sharing a language learning app that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet free of charge. Duolingo allows you to learn many modern languages including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, Turkish and English. It is totally fun and it’s free!
Duolingo will take you from being a total novice and will allow you to practise your speaking, reading, listening and writing skills whilst you are playing a game! You'll improve your vocabulary and grammar skills by answering questions and completing lessons. You will start with basic verbs, phrases, and sentences, and learn new words daily.
Duolingo was named Google Play's Editor's Choice and "Best of the Best" of 2013 and 2014 and comes highly recommended by many reputable sources:
- "Far and away the best language-learning app." —The Wall Street Journal
- "Duolingo may hold the secret to the future of education." —TIME Magazine
- "Among apps for learning a language, you can't beat Duolingo." —PC Magazine.
- "The most productive means of procrastination ever discovered. The short lesson blocks are painless and peppy, and reaching the next level (and then the level after that) becomes addictive." —Slate
Duolingo is changing the way people learn languages.
- It's free.
- It's fun. Advance by completing bite-sized lessons, and track your progress.
- It's effective – spending thirty-four hours on Duolingo is deemed to be equivalent to a semester of university-level education.
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