OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 95 - 8th February 2017

Issue 95 - 8th February 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Last week saw over a hundred Year 5 primary pupils at OBA taking part in an exciting Enterprise Day. The boys and girls worked in teams to plan the launch of innovative products, design a promotional advert and deliver their pitch to a very large audience and a panel of eminent judges (Mr Reid and Mr Collinson).

Our joint OBA and OCA ski trip set out on Saturday to fly to The French Alps where they will stay in Les Menuires in the Trois Vallées. I have received a report from Mr Fenner to say that they have arrived safely and there has been a large fall of snow in the last few days.

On Wednesday, I shortlisted a strong field of teachers for interviews next week in English, Maths and Science. We will need some more teachers as we are growing in numbers again next year. I am delighted to say that we are over-subscribed with applications to Year 7 and we expect to accept 210 new students in September. 

Mr. J Rigby
Executive Principal

OBA presents: Romeo and Juliet

OBA’s talented drama students recently performed Shakespeare’s most romantic tale ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Floral Pavilion New Brighton.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays but to make things stand out in a different way, this year Mrs Foulder, Head of Drama and Director, decided that the play should have a modern feel to it.  So the cast developed a range of stylised movement that communicated different themes from the play; love, conflict and loss. OBA’s younger students, who had not previously performed in the Shakespeare Schools Festival, worked really hard with the older ‘Shakespeare experts’ to develop sequences of choreographed movement that Executive Principal, Mr Rigby, felt had become ‘our own unique style’ as an ensemble. 

Mrs Foulder said:

Rehearsals were tough, as they are every year, and some students attended rehearsals for our Christmas production at the same time as having a role in Romeo and Juliet. Year 11 students also went the extra mile as they attended subject enrichments until 4pm and then joined the remainder of the cast until 6pm. Despite the long rehearsals and challenges, the students were professional and a total pleasure to work with throughout the entire process. I was really proud of their performances and I would like to thank the students for their creativity and input, as well as their parents for their continued support.

OBA’s students wowed the audience, displaying the highest possible standard of Dramatic skills and they came away from the performance very proud of themselves after working so hard and performing so well. Mrs Foulder was also delighted that The Shakespeare Schools Festival commented the maturity and sophistication of the students’ work and their magnificent performance. 

Business and Enterprise Day

Year 5 pupils from some of Runcorn’s primary schools attended OBA last week to take part in a Business and Enterprise Day, co-ordinated by Mrs Snagg.  Business Studies teachers Mrs Fitzgerald and Mr Fenner joined forces with The Technology Faculty to provide a stunning day of activities for the pupils which developed the skills of team work, independent thinking, financial awareness and communication skills.

The Year 5 pupils had great fun throughout the day and threw themselves whole-heartedly into the range of different fun activities on offer to them.  The teachers, Teaching Assistants and parents who accompanied them also thoroughly enjoyed the day and they particularly enjoyed the confidence that their pupils displayed when tackling each of the tasks.

Here are some of their comments:

Well planned and organised sessions with a range of skills used: DT, teamwork, communication, computing and understanding of business. Meaningful activities that the children really enjoyed.

(Mr Hilton, St Mary’s Primary School)

All of the children enjoyed the day and I feel they gained a lot from it – especially an appreciation of the importance of teamwork! The organisation of the day was faultless and the staff were very helpful throughout- making it an easy day for me! The children loved the lunch experience too.

(Ellie Day, St Mary’s Primary School)


I felt it was a well-organised day and the children were engaged throughout.  I have pinched a few ideas to use in class, so I too found it beneficial. It was a great day, both staff and children enjoyed it, thanks very much!

(Laura Dyer, Murdishaw West Community Primary School)


The day was very well-organised and structured appropriately. Children enjoyed all of the activities throughout the day and I thought they were well timed so they kept them engaged and on-task. The use of the iPad to make an advert for their product definitely broadened their understanding of how to use them to present their work. A fantastic day over all.

(Kathy Dennis, Murdishaw West Community Primary School)

Musical Messages

On Wednesday 1st February Year 7 and 8 students both observed and took part in an ECM related performance staged by graduates from the famous BRIT School of Performing Arts. 

Stephan Benson and Jeffrey Okyere make up the dynamic and explosive UK Pop/R&B duo ‘Misunderstood’ and, since appearing on the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ semi-finals in the dance group ‘Myztikal’, the boys have supported MOBO Award Winner ‘Chipmunk’ and the legendary Grammy winners ‘Boyz II Men’ on tour. 

The duo delivered an outstanding performance whilst sharing stories and delivering important advice and guidance on the issues of E Safety, Diversity, Prejudice and British Values. 

Mrs Noon, Assistant ECM coordinator, said:

It was fantastic to see the students getting involved so enthusiastically in the Q&A sections. The Year 7s were most certainly the most excitable and proved themselves to be a fantastic crowd. I particularly enjoyed the ‘Dance off’ section where our students really showed the group what they were made of! A fantastic morning with a very important message; ‘Stay safe, be kind, show respect and be accepting of the differences of others.

Drama Delight

On Thursday 2nd February, seventy students from Years 8, 9, 10 and the Sixth Form accompanied by Miss McKevitt, Mrs Foulder, Mrs Noon and Mrs Musgrave had the pleasure of watching the Tony and Oliver award winning play, ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’.

The play, based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon, was staged at The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays and was thoroughly enjoyed by all of OBA’s students and staff.  The students have been studying this play as a unit of work in both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 and, following the production, they are now working on a live theatre written review, which some can use as part of their GSCE exam.

Miss McKevitt, who organised the trip said:

Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at the Lowry and we were all mesmerised by the colourful and multipurpose set, as well as the amazing use of physical theatre inspired by the great Frantic Assembly!

Helping the Homeless Cope with the Winter

Miss Styles, English teacher, has been very active lately collecting unwanted items of warm clothing, toiletries and provisions for the homeless in Liverpool.

Last Friday she joined the homeless charity ‘Be Inspired’ to hand out the numerous donations made by OBA’s staff to the homeless in Liverpool. She spent three hours talking to a large number of people in need of housing and support and provided them with gloves, hats, scarves, coats, sleeping bags, toiletry kits, hot and cold food, as well as warming cups of tea.

Miss Styles said:

The people we spoke to were very appreciative of our help and thanked everyone for caring. We are now doing another collection for the homeless which we will hand out in the last weekend of February. Any donations for staff, parents or carers would be really appreciated. 

If there is anything that you would contribute, please contact Miss Styles at:

Year 9 Merseyside Schools’ Netball Tournament

Following a successful season, the Year 9 Netball team were invited to participate in the Liverpool Schools’ Netball Tournament which took place recently at Formby High School. 

The students played in four very close games against some strong opposition and really held their own. Although we did not win enough games to progress to the next round,it was a really positive day and all the students enjoyed participating at such a high level.  Bethany McTegart and Taylor Briathwaite played brilliantly, really demonstrating how much they are developing as part of the Merseyside Netball Academy set up. However, the players of the day were Jessica Keggin and Lauren O’Neill for consistent interceptions in defence. 

Overall, the girls did themselves and OBA proud and are now looking forward to the Halton Schools’ Tournament. 

Puzzle Challenge

Last week we gave you a puzzle to solve. Did you crack it? Check your answer below:

Now have a go at this week’s Maths Puzzle Challenge.  

You will find the answer in the next issue of OBA’s newsletter. 
Good luck from Miss Arends and the Maths Faculty.

Tech Talk

Welcome to Tech Talk @ OBA, the part of the weekly newsletter where we share useful apps, websites and devices. 

This week we would like to share with you all an educational app that helps bring Virtual Reality (VR) to life. 

Google Expeditions is a virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world – get up close with historical landmarks, dive underwater with sharks and even visit outer space!

Built for the classroom and small group use, Google Expeditions allows a teacher acting as a ‘guide’ to lead classroom-sized groups of ‘explorers’ through collections of 360° and 3D images, while pointing out interesting sights along the way. Imagine exploring coral reefs or the surface of Mars in an afternoon. With Expeditions, teachers can take students on immersive, virtual journeys. Expeditions, such as the new Natural History exhibit that brings you face-to-face with dinosaurs. Another expedition allows you to explore the human heart, lungs and blood vessels to watch oxygen-rich blood being distributed throughout the body.

OBA has a set of 15 Virtual Reality kits which staff can book for their lessons and Miss Goodwin, who has recently been using the school’s VR kit with her Year 8 class, said:

 It is a fantastic teaching tool that engaged the children from the start, keeping their attention. I was then able to tell them extra information as we explored together.

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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