OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 71 - 18th May 2016

Issue 71 - 18th May 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Last week we welcomed Dr Jason Howard, our Ormiston Regional Director and current serving HMI inspector, to the Academy to conduct a full audit and review of safeguarding at the Academy.  I am delighted that he judged safeguarding to be very strong at OBA and he was particularly keen to praise the fact that effective safeguarding is clearly at the heart of our culture.  Keeping our students safe is without doubt the most important role of any adult working at OBA and I am pleased that we have had external validation of our strength in this area.

On Sunday, a group of around thirty students set off for a watersports trip to the Costa Brava in Spain.  I look forward to Miss McAuliffe’s tweeted updates on our Twitter page and you will read a report on the trip in a forthcoming newsletter.

This week sees the examination season begin in earnest for our Year 11, 12 and 13 students.  From now until the end of June, there are exams scheduled nearly every day. We continue to wish them all the very best of luck.

I have written to all our incoming Year 6 students, congratulating them on finishing their SATs and reminding them of how much they have to look forward to over their final term at primary school, over the summer holidays and here at OBA.

We all greatly value our teamwork with you at this incredibly busy, but exciting, time of year at the Academy. 

Best wishes
Mr. M Wyss- Academy Principal

Sky Sports Living for Sport Day

Sixty lucky sports students had a spectacular day last week when Rachel Brown-Finnis, former England goalkeeper, who also played for Liverpool Ladies and Everton Ladies for many years, came to OBA to mentor them and develop their football talents.

Rachel who has more than eighty caps to her name and played in the London 2012 Olympics claims: “I got involved with Sky Sports Living for Sport because I want to use my experiences to help young people to develop their skills. Sport is something that everyone can learn from and I am excited to show young people how sport can change their lives and improve their outlook, as it has done for me.”   


So, after delivering an inspirational speech about her career and the challenges she had to face throughout it, Rachel summarised Sky Sports’ ‘Six Keys for Success’ which have been developed in partnership with the British Athletes Commission.
The six keys to success are:

  1. Mental toughness
  2. Hunger to achieve
  3. People skills
  4. Sports and life knowledge
  5. Breaking barriers
  6. Planning for success

These six keys to success are designed to help young people develop valuable life skills that will help them in and outside of school now and into the future, so all the students, both boys and girls, were totally engrossed in her presentation.

Rachel then went on to do a practical goalkeeping session with the students who practised their skills both indoors and outdoors despite the torrential rain!  At the end of the day, the students were thrilled that Rachel signed t-shirts and planners and they were queuing up to have their photo taken with her.

Miss Belford, who managed to secure Rachel’s visit to OBA said:
“It was very inspiring to meet Rachel and practise alongside her as she is such a great role-model.  She has demonstrated so many times over the years how having great determination, working very hard and staying totally focused can bring great rewards. She was really impressed with the efforts of our students and we are now looking forward to having her back for our Sports Day presentations in July.”

Rachel Brown Finnis Visits OBA
Watch the Video

Footloose and Fancy Food

On Thursday 12th May, some Year 12 dance students visited the Liverpool Empire Theatre to see 'Footloose' with Miss Roper and Miss Marshall.
The evening started with a spicy meal in Nando’s and then the students made their way to The Empire to enjoy the famous musical which was jam-packed with acting, singing, dancing and musical delights.

The evening ended with the entire audience on their feet, singing and dancing along with the finale! A great evening was had by all and the students also gathered lots of ideas to help them improve their dance skills and choreographing techniques.

Year 10 Go for Silver

Congratulations go to twenty-five Year 10 students who completed their Silver Duke of Edinburgh practice assessment last weekend. 

They headed to Waddow Hall Guide Camp in Clitheroe straight after school on the Friday for the two night expedition. Fortunately the weather was on their side, so after setting up camp, cooking their evening meals and planning their routes and check points with staff, they played team games to wind down before lights out at 10.30pm.

The next morning, tents were down, back packs were on and everyone was on their way by 9am.  Following various different routes along the River Ribble on both the Saturday and the Sunday was an arduous but pleasant challenge for them all.  Spirits were high amongst the students due to the beautiful sunshine throughout the weekend. Staff worked hard as they went from one checkpoint to the next, ensuring all was going to plan.  The weather was so pleasant that Mr Fenner and Mr Mercer even decided to set themselves their own challenge and cycled between the checkpoints.

Although they all arrived back at OBA shattered and even slightly sun-kissed, they had a huge sense of achievement and were filled with confidence to face their final expedition very soon.

More Fundraising for Kenya

Students and staff from both OBA and OCA who are going to Kenya in July did a sponsored walk last week to raise more money for their trip of a lifetime.

The students climbed, and in some cases ran, up Moel Famau in North Wales with boundless enthusiasm, keen to make the most of the expedition.  They were all totally focussed on the challenge ahead and used it as good training and preparation for their climb up Mt. Koh, which they will do whilst they are away in Kenya.

Miss Hanson, who will be accompanying the trip this year, said:

The students have been training hard and keeping a log of how many hours of keep fit and exercise they complete each week.  We want to make sure that they can prove they are fit and healthy enough to do the climb in a totally different climate to the one they are used to in the UK.  Congratulations to all who managed to raise funds for the trip.  Personally, I am very excited about the adventure ahead and I know the students are too.”

If anyone would like donate money to this worthy cause, then please contact Miss Hanson via OBA’s main reception.

Pied Piper Success

Well done to Year 7 student, Katie Yeoman-Hughes, who was successful in her recent audition at the Brindley to be a dancer in the musical ‘The Pied Piper’.  This show which will run from Thursday 28th July until Sunday 31st July, will be performed twice daily at 1.30pm and 7pm, so go along and support Katie, if you get the chance.

Keep it going Year 11!

Congratulations to all the Year 11s who are currently revising really hard for their examinations. They are taking part in the many enrichments on offer in all subject areas, after school and at weekends.

Last week, Year 11s stayed behind to do an intensive session with the PE staff from 4-7pm and they had a pizza treat during the break to spur them along. This week will see the MFL Department doing an extended after school Spanish session from 3-6pm, in preparation for the listening and reading papers the following morning…and yes, pizza and other delights will be on offer to keep the students going!
Mr Milne, Assistant Head of Year 11 said:
“The number of students turning up to the after school sessions has been extremely pleasing and the revision programs from all subjects have been very comprehensive.  Keep up the good work, Year 11!”

Meanwhile, Bobby Muscart has been taking his GCSE Spanish revision really seriously.  When Liverpool FC had their fantastic 3-0 win against Spanish team Villarreal recently, staunch supporter Bobby decided to take advantage of his trip to Anfield and made some Spanish friends.  He was determined not to waste an opportunity to practise his Spanish and he put it to the test, conversing with as many Villarreal fans as possible!  Well done, Bobby and keep this brilliant attitude up!

Don’t Forget Your Hoodies!Year 11 are reminded that 2016 Leavers hoodies can be ordered from Miss Porschke or Mr Milne, at a cost of £25. If you have requested one, please ensure that you have handed in your payment by Friday 20th May, at the latest.

Presenting our Proud Poets

Ten of our wonderful Year 7 and 10 students have recently achieved great success as their poems have been selected for publication in The Merseyside and Cheshire Young Writer’s Poetry Book.

In addition to the time they spent in lessons, the students also spent a lot of their personal time, writing and perfecting their poems before they were sent off to the judges. The poetic talent shown by every one of them has been really impressive and it is wonderful for them to now be able to refer to themselves as published poets.

Well done to:
Year 7s:     Reece Dyson, Matty Salmon, Thomas Gannon
Year 10s:   Tamika Hunt, Sky Jones, Ellie-Mae Allan, Jake Clive, Thomas Miller, Owen Greene, Joe Tilley

Sugar, Sugar Everywhere

Are you aware of how much hidden sugar is in the drinks that so many young people consume each day?

Miss McAuliffe was so astounded when she read the article in the link below that she thought it was crucial to alert all our students and their parents to the amount of damage that could be being caused to their health without really being fully aware of it.

No doubt you will find the results of recent research astonishing and quite scary. These results are summarised below, but follow the link at the bottom of this article for the full story.

How much sugar do children’s favourite drinks contain?

Sugar lumps per product (one lump = 4g of sugar)

  • Lucozade (500ml) 15.5
  • Coca-Cola (500ml) 13.5
  • Frijj chocolate milkshake (471ml) 12.7
  • Capri-Sun (330ml) 8.25
  • Tropicana orange juice (300ml) 7.5
  • Ribena (288ml) 7.25
  • Volvic flavoured water (500ml) 5.75
Source: Liverpool City Council

Lunchtime Sing Along

Members of OBA’s Friday School Choir were in fine voice last Thursday when they set up in the canteen to entertain students and staff with their ‘Sing!’ performances during their lunch breaks.

Accompanied by a band of Year 12 musicians (Arron Flynn, Shaun Jackson and Tom Booth), eighteen students from Years 7 to 13 took part singing popular music such as ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, ‘At Last I See the Light’ from Disney's Tangled and recent hit ‘I Can't Feel My Face’.  The ‘Sing!’ performance will also be featured during assemblies next week.

New members are always welcome to join either of OBA’s choirs; rehearsals for the ‘Friday Choir’ take place in G025 from 3-4pm each Friday and ‘Morning Choir’ which is run by one of our vocal instructors, takes place every Thursday morning before school.  Anyone interested in joining either of the choirs should contact Mrs Cathcart in the Music Department.

Students involved in ‘Sing!’ were:

Chelsea Scoullar, Brian Graham, Daisy-Marie Murphy, Nikita McGrath, Tom Booth, Shaun Jackson, Amy Rotherham, Cara Davies, Arron Flynn, Tia Pinnington, Chloe Gleaves, Amber McLoughlin, Lucy-Mae Bateman, Engy Hamido-Desouki, Emily Price, Abby Hilton, Abby Cheers and Bethany Snape.

Nikita McGrath in Year 12 said:
"We were a bit nervous about singing in front of everyone but, when we started, we could see that lots of them were enjoying it and singing along!"

Guitarist, Tom Booth, also in Year 12 added:
"I enjoyed myself 100%! I loved playing with the band and the choir.  It was something different for everyone and they all seemed to enjoy it."

Welcome Aboard

Miss Christine Heffernan, parent of Jacob Roulston (7KAS/MMM) and Mr Philip Healey, parent of Jacob Coole-Healey (12RSK) have recently been appointed as Parent Governors.

Executive Principal, Mr Rigby, Principal, Mr Wyss and all of the governors are delighted to welcome both of them onto OBA’s Board of Governors and very much look forward to working with them during their time in office.

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 well-established but very useful website that students can access free of charge for revision purposes. BBC Bitesize can be found by going to and it is also available to download as an app. Bitesize provides study support for learners from primary school age right up to A Level. A wide range of study support materials such as videos, fact files, activities, interactive games and tests are available for you to use 24/7!

The Key Stage 3 section contains 33 subjects. The GCSE section of the website contains 37 subjects such as Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, English, French, Geography, German, History, Mandarin, Maths, Music, Physical Education, PSHE and Citizenship, Religious Education, Science, and Spanish.

We would urge all of our Year 10 and 11 students to use sites like Bitesize in the run up to their exams; they are a tremendous source of support and have helped so many students to get better results than they ever thought possible.

Good luck to you all!

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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