OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 111 - 17th October 2017

Issue 111 - 17th October 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

I am pleased to be able to send you the latest weekly update which features lots of detail of the school’s enrichment programme. A particular focus this week is on the Primary School Enrichment Programme we offer – all children in our feeder primary schools are more than welcome to attend. There is more detail in the newsletter. If you have questions, please contact Mrs Snagg at the Academy for more details. 
I enjoyed spending time getting to know the student parliament for 2017-18 last week! We see this group as the key voice for students in the school, and they spent time working with me on the school vision, mission and values and they have met this week to give us their first thoughts on areas of the school where we can improve student experience. I look forward to working with them further and getting the whole student body’s views from them.  The newsletter also introduces our Head Boy and Girl, and their Deputies who lead the Student Parliament.
As we move towards half term, can I thank all of our staff for their hard work over the last seven weeks, and parents for their support since we returned in September. I am very much looking forward to the next half term and wish all staff, students and their families, a safe and happy half term break.

Mr. E Wright

Meet OBA’s Student Parliament

The voice of the student body!

The purpose of our Student Parliament is for students to have a say in the matters that affect them most.  Being a member of OBA’s Student Parliament also gives students the opportunity to develop leadership skills by planning and carrying out events that contribute to school spirit and community welfare.

During fortnightly meetings, students are consulted about upcoming events, they give their opinion on new school initiatives and are invited to share their ideas, interests, and concerns. Students then have the responsibility of feeding this back to their peers!

The team consists of two elected representatives from each tutor group and this year we have sixty-six members of the Student Parliament!  The students were able to stand for election after being approved by form tutors on the basis of good ‘Attitude to Learning’ scores, outstanding effort and an excellent record of attendance and punctuality.

The first task for the newly-elected members took place last week and involved an important consultation meeting with the Principal, Mr Wright.  The students looked at the Academy’s three-year strategy map and shared their views on what they felt needed to be included or amended. Mr Wright has now made several key changes to the document, as a result of this input, including the wording of OBA’s vision and purpose and the detail of each of the values listed.

The Student Parliament will be meeting next week to discuss this year’s community projects and we are excited to hear what they come up with! 

Meet OBA’s Senior Members of the Student Parliament

Playing a major role in the success of OBA’s Student Parliament are our Head Boy, Head Girl and Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl.

As well as contributing to the general Student Parliament meetings, these Year 11 students represent the student body at lots of different events and they also welcome and entertain many of the important visitors that are shown around the school.

George Iddon

Head Boy

Jodie Collins

Head Girl

Elias Gumbs

Deputy Head Boy

Charlotte Allen

Deputy Head Girl

Many congratulations to all four students on having been selected to represent OBA at such a prestigious level - we wish you every success in all that you do.

Blood Brothers

On Wednesday 11th October, seventy-one students from Year 11 and Year 10 ventured to Chester to watch a performance of Blood Brothers in the new Storyhouse Theatre which opened earlier this year.

The students were in for a real treat as they had front row seats, so they got to see all the actors close up in what is always a very emotional production, for so many reasons.  The performance was of an exceptionally high quality and lots of the students said it was the best show they had ever seen.

Miss Styles, English Teacher, who organised the theatre trip said:

All the students, and the staff for that matter, were humming the tunes on the way out of the theatre because they had enjoyed it so much. I am incredibly proud of our students as I received many compliments on their excellent behaviour from other theatre goers who were present. As GCSE revision goes, it was, by far, the most exciting way to revise to date! The students learnt a lot from it and it has encouraged many of them to go to the theatre again in their own time, which is great.

Saturday Academy – ‘Around the World’

OBA launched its fabulous ‘Saturday Academy Programme’ this term with a fantastic seventy-two Year 6 pupils from eighteen different primary schools in attendance!

The main aim of the ‘Around the World’ project is for children to try something new and also have lots of fun!  So far the pupils have undertaken a ‘flag and food quest’ with their parents and havehad a taste of Italy with a cooking class and a Venetian masks art workshop.

Each week a different activity is on offer for the children to try and the programme includes dance, music, science, textiles, art, sports and languages activities - and lots of trips out too!

‘Around the World’ is on every term-time Saturday. It is exclusively for children in Year 6 and provides a great way for them to get to know the school and make new friends before they start as a student in Year 7. 

If you know someone who you think would like to take part, please ask them to contact Mrs Snagg at or Miss Campbell at at OBA to book a place!

OBA provides Enrichment for Local Primary Schools

Please see below the programme of Enrichment opportunities that is available across a range of subjects for our local primary schools.  These sessions are always very well attended, and enjoyed by both the primary pupils and their staff alike.

[Download full-size image]

For further information on any of the wonderful opportunities on offer, please contact Miss Mc Kevitt at or Miss Arends at and they will be more than happy to help you.

Young Artists’ Success

Six Year 12 Art students, Bethany Snape, Laura Carney, Zoe Gibson, Brian Graham, Shona McNamara and Jade Cairney Pape have all made an excellent start to their A Level studies.

The quality of their work is superb and they have shown their dedication through attending enrichments, helping at open evenings and completing extra pieces of work in their own time.

Art Teacher, Miss Cleverly, commented:

The department struggled to choose between the students this week and it is for this reason that they have awarded the ‘Artist of the Week’ title to the class as a whole. We have extremely high hopes for the group if they continue to work with such enthusiasm and commitment throughout the remainder of their course. Well done Yr12s!

Sixth Form Update

Sixth Form Open EveningThe Open Evening for prospective Sixth Formers who wish to secure a place at OBA in September 2018 took place last Thursday evening.
The evening was a real success and saw a record number of external candidates in attendance.

If any further information is required, you weren’t able to attend, or if you would like a prospectus or a short chat about what OBA can offer you in the Sixth Form, then please get in touch with Mr Finnigan at or Mr Fenner at and they will call you as soon as possible. 

UCAS ApplicationsSixth formers and Staff have been working hard on UCAS applications and personal statements in recent weeks to secure places at universities up and down the country and pursue their dreams.

Matthew Kyprian, who has always dreamt of becoming a doctor, is applying for Medicine at:

    •    Hull York Medical School
    •    University of Liverpool
    •    University of St Andrews
    •    St George’s University, London

Emma Bygrave has applied for Oxford to read History and has already received an offer from the University of York, within a day of sending off her application.  Emma’s five choices on her UCAS application are:
    •    University of Bristol
    •    Lancaster University 
    •    University of Oxford
    •    University of Warwick
    •    University of York 

We wish Matthew, Emma and all of our Sixth formers every success with their applications and will keep you updated as the offers come in.

Meet the Drama Team 

Our Drama staff are always busy working with students beyond the classroom, providing them with a vast variety of drama and theatrical opportunities that broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations.  You read about many of these experiences on a regular basis in this weekly newsletter, but what do our Drama staff themselves get up to in their spare time, beyond their interests in Drama itself?

Mrs Foulder

Mrs Foulder will be able to give us more details in the future on her interests outside of school, but at the moment she is on maternity and is busy looking after her baby son, George William Foulder, who was born a couple of weeks ago.  A devoted mummy, Mrs Foulder is learning all about the pleasures and challenges of parenthood and we wish her, her husband and baby George lots of fun and happy times together- and many congratulations, of course!


Miss McKevitt says:

In my spare time I love to go for long walks in the many beautiful parks that Liverpool has to offer.  I especially like Sefton Park and also enjoy hiring a bike and cycling along Otterspool Promenade or through Delamere Forest in Cheshire.  This is normally done with, or followed by, a coffee as I am a massive coffee fan. I also love attending the theatre and try to see as much as I can on stage, but I also try to visit the cinema at least twice a month to see my favourite genre of film…Horror!

I am also an adventurous eater and love trying new and interesting dishes, whether that’s in my own kitchen at home or eating out with friends or family. I also make sure that my half term breaks are always filled with visiting another part of the world or jetting back home to the green grass of Ireland to see my family, as I love to spend quality time with them.

Mrs Noon says: 

In my spare time I love to travel. I am absolutely obsessed with travelling! I taught for three years then I took a year out to travel when I was twenty-three. This was such a brilliant experience that I would recommend that everyone does it, if they have the opportunity. I visited Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, New Zealand and Australia. It was hard saving before I went, as I had to sacrifice nights out and holidays with my friends, but it was totally worth it when I was there. I got to experience different cultures, beliefs and religions first hand and visited the most beautiful of destinations. I also spent some time volunteering in schools in Vietnam and Cambodia which was an amazing experience. I visited South Africa and worked with the charity Starfish to build an orphanage for children of Aids victims when I was in university, which finalised my decision to become a teacher.

I feel it’s important to travel and experience as much as you can when you can- it opens your eyes to things you never imagined you would see and prompts you to challenge yourself and live outside of your comfort zone.

I have a two year old daughter now, so she keeps me very busy, I love taking her on days out and trying new fun things. She already shares my love of adventure and travelling even at her age! I am a firm believer in ‘love the life you live and live the life you love’- you only live once after all!

Miss Edwards says:

In my spare time, I love exploring new things! I recently visited one of the most beautiful places the UK has to offer, in my opinion – Ingleton Falls. It is a place near Yorkshire that has the most amazing waterfalls. It is quite a long walk but there are some beautiful views along the way. Like Mrs Noon, I also love travelling. My most recent destinations have been, Australia, Thailand, Cyprus, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Iceland. I love exploring new places and learning about different cultures and beliefs. 

Whilst visiting my brother in Australia, I visited the Outback. It’s very deserted and you don’t see much for many miles of travelling but there are some amazing things along the way. I met aboriginals who still live out there in the wilderness, this made me appreciate the things I have at home and the family I have around me. I am from a very close family and I love spending time with them.  We have some great times when we have family gatherings and special celebrations.

Going the Extra Mile

Park Run Update

Last week’s Park Run again saw students having to set off in damp and drizzly conditions, which were not ideal.  However, with just short of five hundred competitors starting the 200th Warrington Park Run, our students took everything in their stride and gave it their all, achieving some fantastic finishing times.

Once again, Alice Willcott was the first OBA runner home in a time of 30 minutes and 46 seconds, which was almost two minutes quicker than the time she ran in the previous week.

Second home in a time of 33 minutes and 29 seconds was Tyler Priestley, whilst Calum Carmon & Jamie Bloxam ran the fastest 5K of their lives, both securing personal best times for the event.

OBA’s Park Runners will now return to Phoenix Park over the next few weeks, with an ‘on the road trip’ to Delamere planned for November.

The event could not take place without staff giving up a Saturday morning and co-ordinator, Mr A Bird, would like to thank Mrs Musgrave and trainee teacher, Megan Sutch for all their support with these running events.  He is also immensely proud of all the students who always amaze him with their resilience and superb efforts.  Many congratulations to them all!

Football News

Unfortunately, Mr Barrett, Team Manager of the Year 8 Boys’ Football Team, has to announce that his team’s amazing, unbeaten run this year in The English Schools’ Cup has now come to an end.

Last week the boys lost 8-0 when they were beaten by Alsop High School. After creating many of the better chances in the first half, the vital first goal went to Alsop and the boys just weren’t able to claw it back, despite their very best efforts.

Owen Cushion, the captain for the game, and also The Man of The Match, said: 

Sadly, the team just weren’t able to pull it together off the ball to stop the Alsop strikers. We have had a good run so far but will now put all our efforts into our other games and competitions.  Well done to all the lads for coming this far!

Getting More Sleep

E-Safety Advice

For this week’s e-safety advice we turn our attention to social media and the impact this can have on sleep patterns and wellbeing.
A recent study finds one in five secondary pupils checks social media in the middle of the night.
One in five secondary pupils regularly wakes up in the night to check social media, meaning that they are constantly tired at school, new research shows.

More than 900 pupils between the ages of 12 and 15 answered questions about how often they woke up at night to use social media, as part of a study conducted by Welsh academics. They were also asked what time they went to bed and woke up in the morning.

The pupils rated how happy they were with various aspects of their life, including school, friendships and their appearance.

One in five said that they almost always wake up in the night to log on. Girls were much more likely than boys to access their social media accounts in the night.

'It's all right to switch off'

Those teenagers who checked social media in the night were three times more likely than their peers with regular sleep habits to be constantly tired at school. And those pupils who were always tired at school were significantly less happy than their peers.

Tech Talk

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

This week Mr Collinson would like to make you all aware of a new and improved Maths learning website called MathsWatch. 

There are several reasons the MathsWatch resource works as the best Maths revision aid on the internet today:

  • It revises every single topic just like a teacher would, at the board
  • The three producers of the disc are all highly experienced practising teachers
  • Every clip has real exam questions for students to do - because we all know that to be good at Maths, a student has to do it, not just watch it

MathsWatch covers a range of levels and provides a short clip that goes through each concept in a similar manner to that done in school, as well as having a worksheet to download that can be used to rehearse the skill. This should prove valuable for any student who may have missed a lesson or who is revising and comes across a topic that they have forgotten. 

To make use of this website simply go to 

Your username is surname@ormbol – for example hughes@ormbol

Your password is your date of birth in the DD/MM/YYYY format – for example  01/05/2001

Should you have any difficulties using MathsWatch please see your Maths teacher or Head of Maths, Mr Collinson.

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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