OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 92 - 19th January 2017

Issue 92 - 19th January 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

The half-term continues to gather pace and this week has seen the Year 11s working hard on their GCSE Mock Exams. There are regular weekly Enrichments, both after school and on Saturdays, to offer extra support to the Year 11 students; please encourage your child to attend as many of these as possible so that they achieve their true potential in the summer.

You will see in this week’s Newsletter that Mr Easton and Miss Smith have been appointed to the position of Associate Vice Principal and congratulations go to them both on this promotion.  You will also be able to read a range of trips that have taken place to support various curriculum areas and I am delighted that two of our students are putting themselves forward to battle it out with other students across Halton to be a member of the Youth Parliament.  Good luck to them both.

On behalf of all of OBA’s Governors and staff, I would finally like to pass on many congratulations to Will Avon in Year 11 who has recently been signed up for a scholarship with Blackpool Football Club.  This is a fantastic achievement for Will, who is now balancing preparation for his GCSEs with the training sessions at Blackpool FC several times a week.  We are very proud of Will, as are his family and friends, and we wish him every success in the future with his footballing career.

Best wishes

Mr. J Rigby
Executive Principal

Football Success for Year 11 Student

Many congratulations go to William Avon in Year 11 who has recently signed up for a scholarship with Blackpool Football Club.  Will has been playing football for local teams since the age of six, although his parents can't remember a time that he wasn't kicking a ball!

Will started his football journey playing for a local team called Windmill Hill Dragons. This was a very successful team that won many trophies over the years, in both the Runcorn and Halewood football leagues. It soon became apparent that William had a natural talent for the game and he won many individual trophies such as the ‘Golden Boots Trophy’ for being top goal scorer.

Whilst playing for this local team, as well as his school team at Brookvale Primary School, Will was offered many more opportunities to develop his skills, as he attended trials and training sessions over the years at Everton FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City and Crewe.

Once he moved up into high school, Will was still playing local football but was also playing for OBA. In 2012 he was offered trials at Blackpool Football Club and after 6 weeks he was offered his first contract, so he signed up for this and he had to leave the local club he had been playing for.

Will trained hard, travelling to Blackpool three evenings per week and playing matches at the weekend. He listened and learnt, developing his skills and showing dedication and commitment to his chosen sport.

His dedication and enthusiasm soon paid off as he was offered further contracts with Blackpool FC. In 2015, at the Academy presentation awards, he won both the Managers’ Player of the Year Award and also the Players’ Player of the Year Award.

In 2016, he repeated this achievement winning both these awards again but going one better. He was also nominated for overall Academy Player of the Year.  Then, just before Christmas, Will was offered a two year scholarship with Blackpool FC which he has accepted. 

Will’s mum, Mrs McKune said:

From next season, he will train and play with the Youth Team in the centre back position. 

However, William is already playing some games for the U18s, which is a great achievement, and he has also had his name mentioned on the official Blackpool FC website last week, in the Youth Team report against Tranmere Rovers FC.  William is working extremely hard at the moment to fulfil his commitment to Blackpool FC as well as putting in all the extra hours needed to achieve his full potential in his GCSE exams at OBA.  When he leaves in June 2017, he will move to Blackpool to begin his scholarship. I am extremely proud of him and wish him every success in pursuing his dream of one day becoming a professional football player.

Flying to Success

Fifteen Year 9 students recently visited Manchester Airport to look at how a prominent organisation, which employs over 20,000 people and deals with over 20 million passengers each year, operates successfully on a daily basis.

The students enjoyed a guided tour around the airport and saw first-hand the work that goes on behind the scenes in security, baggage handling, the check-in process, reservations, air traffic control, passenger updates, and even car parking.

After the tour around the airport terminal, students were allowed to go air-side in order to hear a lecture on the past and future of the Manchester Airport Group, which took place in a decommissioned passenger plane. Students were then able to watch planes land and take off at the airport's viewing fields, including the A380 ‘Dreamliner’ super aircraft and, before departing, students were able to get close to a defunct Concorde plane.

Teacher of ICT and Business Studies, Mr Hussey, who arranged the visit said:

This was an excellent opportunity for OBA’s students to see first-hand how large businesses depend so much on ICT. It was great for them all to see that the topics they are studying, and the skills they are developing in ICT and Business Studies lessons, have a place in real life businesses. As always, our students were a credit to the academy; they showed a great deal of interest, asked many questions and displayed exemplary behaviour. Many thanks go to Miss Wells, Trainee Dance Teacher, for accompanying the students and myself on this trip. 

Mr Hussey also added:

The students returned from the visit with a more realistic and in-depth understanding of real life practices that can be linked to their studies.  A number of them also expressed an interest in careers in aviation and ICT, after the very enjoyable, educational and enlightening day. 

The Countdown

A group of Key Stage 4 students recently enjoyed a trip to Media City UK in Manchester to watch the filming of the popular Channel 4 programme, Countdown. 

Presenter Nick Hewer, his assistant Rachel Riley and Dictionary Corner’s Susie Dent filmed two episodes of the quiz show during the visit.  All the students were really excited to watch this happen and they tried to solve the many word and number puzzles along the way with the contestants. They also enjoyed some stories from Len Goodman from Strictly come Dancing during the show.

Miss Arends who organised this trip for the second time said:

This trip is always a great experience.  It is fun to see how the programme is made and it is always exciting to test yourself alongside the contestants.  I was also delighted when the studio staff commented on how brilliant our students were.  I hope to run this trip again later in the year so that other students can enjoy this experience too.

Saturday Academy launches New Drama Workshops

OBA is launching a new Drama Club as part of Saturday Academy.

Centre Stage Youth Company will take place for the first time this weekend on Saturday 21st January.  It will be delivered by Miss McKevitt and Miss Edwards and will give students the opportunity to work towards the prestigious LAMDA awards.

Every Saturday, in term time, there will be a class for primary students in Years 4 to 6 from 9.15am -11.00am. 

Following this, OBA’s students are being offered the 11.15am - 1.00pm slot to develop their drama talents.

So contact Miss McKevitt or Miss Edwards to book your place to come along to Saturday Academy’s Centre Stage Youth Company - it’s all about having fun, making new friends and learning new skills!

Mountain Biking

About fifty students from Year 9 have recently had the opportunity to go to Delamere Forest to participate in a mountain biking afternoon.

All of the students enjoyed a ninety minute trail challenge around the forest where they have had to go through some very dense patches of mud and got a quite wet cycling through the massive puddles. 

Miss Belford who accompanied the students said:

The paths are all off road and you need very good control to get through the forest and over all the obstacles. All of the students who took part really demonstrated fantastic motivation and determination as they battled over the bumpy terrain. Well done to all those students involved and thank you to TRACS UK in Delamere Forest for the great sessions.

Who will be Halton’s Member of UK’s Youth Parliament?

Ewan Jago (Year 10) and Layla Carson (Year 7), who are both members of OBA’s Student Parliament, have both put themselves forward to become Halton’s new member of the UK Youth Parliament and they attended an information/training day last Saturday at Grangeway Youth Centre.

On Saturday they looked at the role of a MYP (Member of Youth Parliament); what they might be expected to do, the MYP’s responsibilities for the year and how to best represent the views and ideas of others.  They spent some time with Halton’s current MYP, Tom Norris, learning about his year in office and the sort of things that he had been involved in.  They also heard from Matthew, secretary at Halton Youth Cabinet, who told them all about its structure and how it works with the UK Youth Parliament.  Finally, they took part in some workshops to start them thinking about their manifesto and campaigns for election.

Phil McClure from ‘Addaction’ who oversees the whole process said:

Both Layla and Ewan really impressed me at the information/training event and I think they will both make excellent candidates for this very important role. I now wish them both the best of luck as they put together their campaigns.

OBA students will be able to vote for their preferred candidate to go forward for this important position in March.

Congratulations to Mr Easton and Miss Smith

Many congratulations to Mr Steve Easton and Miss Jenny Smith who have just been promoted to the position of Associate Vice Principal in OBA.  

Both members of staff were recently interviewed by The Chair of Governors Mike Cunliffe, Executive Principal Mr Rigby and Ormiston Academies Trust’s Education Advisor and Inspector Jacqui Rothery who were all very impressed with both candidates.

Mr Easton and Miss Smith will deputise for Mr Rigby, if he is ever out of school.  We wish them both every success in their new roles and posts of extra responsibility.

Miss Smith

Having grown up in Runcorn, Jenny attended one of the local Runcorn Secondary schools. She has a passionate belief in the importance of education in creating life chances for young people. She has a heart for this community and this has developed through her career at the predecessor school and OBA. She achieved her degree through the University of Lancaster in Education and Literacy and achieved her teacher status through Liverpool Hope University in association with the GTP. At OBA she has been: Key Stage 3 Leader of English, Head of English and Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning. Jenny also contributes to the wider teaching profession through her association with Teaching Leaders and Philosophy for Children.

Mr Easton

Steve grew up in Norwich where he attended the local comprehensive school before moving on to the University of Leeds where he studied Geo-Physics. Following on from this he worked in the oil industry and as a researcher at The University of Liverpool before training to become a teacher. He has taught in four different schools in the north west and has career experiences that include: Head of Year, Head of Science and, most recently, Assistant Principal in OBA since 2010.

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. 

The app in the spotlight this week is Change4Life Sugar Smart which has been designed by Public Health England to help us consume less sugar. 

The Sugar Smart app allows you to see how much total sugar is in your everyday food and drink. The Change4Life Sugar Smart app is designed to show quickly and easily how much total sugar is in the things you’re buying, eating and drinking.  It helps you spot it more easily, so you can make healthier choices and cut your sugar intake. All you have to do is simply scan the barcode on any food or drink item to reveal its sugar content.

At this time of year many of us are trying to eat healthier. However, without us realising it, many of us are eating and drinking too much sugar:

  • Children aged 4-6 years shouldn’t have more than 19 grams of added sugar per day – that’s 5 cubes
  • Children aged 7-10 years shouldn’t have more than 24 grams of added sugar per day – that’s 6 cubes
  • From 11 years and up, we shouldn’t have more than 30 grams of added sugar per day – that’s 7 cubes

To put it in perspective, a can of cola has nine cubes of sugar, a chocolate bar contains six cubes of sugar and a small carton of juice has more than five cubes of sugar.

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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