OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 87 - 29th November 2016

Issue 87 - 29th November 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

We are rapidly approaching the festive season here at OBA and it is certainly one of my favourite times of the year. We will be raising money on the last day of term, the 16th of December, for Children in Need via the Christmas jumper initiative. You will be receiving more details of this via a letter you will receive shortly that outlines arrangements for the end of term.

In this newsletter you can read about some recent highlights, including our trip to the international rugby league match at Anfield, the Year 9 debating competition and the Winter Warmers initiative with our community engagement partners, O2.  Year 7 students also gained some fantastic historical insights into the Runcorn area when they interviewed a local historian.

Our Year 6 ‘Around the world’ transition programme is going from strength to strength, with the Saturday morning sessions attracting more than forty pupils every week.  Any prospective students for next September are welcome and what’s more, it only costs £1 per pupil, per session!

Parents and carers of Year 11 should be reminded that the full mock examination period takes place the week beginning 16th of January.  I know it may seem like a long way, but they would be best served by preparing early for these important assessments.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Mr. M Wyss
Academy Principal

Year 9 Interhouse Debating Competition

Nineteen Year 9 students participated in the first ever Interhouse debating competition on Friday 25th November. The students have been working hard in the last few weeks to research and write speeches on their allocated debating topics. The topics debated were:

  • Should the wages of sports stars should be capped?
  • Should athletes be allowed to take performing enhancement drugs?
  • Should driving with a mobile phone switched on be a criminal offence?
  • Parents should not be fined for taking children out of school for term time holidays. 
  • School uniform should be banned.

After spending an hour preparing their speeches, students spent the next hour debating topics in front of the three competition judges; Mr Wyss, Mrs Jarvis and Mr Bird. Students were awarded marks for their audibility, clarity, relevance, how well organized their arguments were, word choice and persuasiveness. The results of the competition were:

  • 5th place – Wilson House – 118 points
  • 4th place – Cottrell-Boyce House  - 126 points 
  • 3rd Place – Browne House – 128 points
  • 2nd place – Nickson house – 149 points
  • 1st place – Tafari House  – 166 points

Congratulations go to all students who really worked hard and presented with confidence, determination and interest.  However, a special mention must go to Milly Ward who stood out from the crowd; she was singled out to be the ‘Best Chair’ out of the five House teams. 

The debate, which was organised by Mr Hussey and Mrs Jarvis and supported by Mr A Bird was a huge success with the students. 

After the event Mr Hussey said:

It has been great to be part of the first ever debating competition at OBA. Students have worked so hard to research their topics and write some excellent speeches. They have developed a wide range of skills including confidence, public speaking and questioning. I’m sure many of these skills will be transferable to the workplace and in lessons. I would like to thank everybody who took part and committed themselves to the competition. Thanks to our Principal, Mr Wyss, for taking time out of his busy schedule to be a judge, and a huge thank you also to Mr Bird for his support throughout the event. I look forward to many more similar competitions at OBA, so if any students would like to participate in future events, please come and see me.

Mrs Jarvis said:

Many of the students that put themselves forward for the competition were not, at first, the most confident of speakers. They took themselves out of their comfort zones and worked hard each and every week to prepare and successfully deliver clear, confident and articulate speeches on the day.  All those who took part should be very proud of themselves for representing their respective Houses.


Buy Tickets Here
Via School Gateway

Year 7s Conduct Historical Research

Year 7 students recently welcomed local historian, Arthur Whimperley, into OBA and had the pleasure of interviewing him to develop further their historical knowledge.

Arthur, who is currently writing a book about the barons of Halton, is a very enthusiastic historian who has done an immense amount of research on this topic.  In their History lessons, the Year 7 students have been learning about Henry Bolingbroke, after whom Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy was named, and their research had left them wanting to know more.  So, Mrs Handley arranged for Arthur to come in to History lessons so that the students could present their questions to Arthur in person and note their findings, thereby deepening their understanding of Henry Bolingbroke’s life.

 Mrs Handley said:

Arthur was very impressed with the knowledge the Year 7s had already acquired and he commented on the high level of their questioning.  The students really did themselves proud.

Learning to Care for Others

As part of their courses, our Child Development and Health and Social Care students have to do work experience in their chosen subjects.  These placements give our students a fantastic insight into the real world and what working life is really like in jobs related to these two subjects.  They see children develop, improve their communication skills, learn to present themselves in a professional working environment and also have some well-deserved, practical time away from their assignments!

So far this year, Miss Farrelly and Mrs Smith have managed to place all the students in schools, nurseries, children’s centres and a care home.  Schools such as Gorsewood Primary have been very accommodating, taking four of our students on half day sessions.  Brookvale Primary are taking three and St Martin’s Primary and Bridgewater Primary Schools are each taking one student.  After a Careers Fair earlier this year, Mrs Smith has also built solid links with our local children’s centre which has taken on a student at their Windmill Hill Centre.  We also have been given the opportunity for a student to assist at Croftwood Care Home in Runcorn.

Mrs Gregg, Headteacher at Gorsewood Primary School recently said:

Lauren Skiffington has settled in very well and has made a good start. Her attendance and punctuality are excellent and she is always willing and very effective in terms of her relationships with the children. We could do with her in Gorsewood every day.

Mrs Smith, Head of Child Development, added:

After each session the students reflect on their practice in their personal, professional journal and the experiences that they have gained are used to help them complete their assignments with a greater focus and first-hand knowledge.  Students get a feel for what a career in that field would be like and if it’s something that they would like to study further at university.

Miss Farrelly has spent a lot of time establishing contacts in the local area and we now have a bank of schools in our data base that we can use for future years.  However, we are always looking for new contacts.  So, if you work in, or have links to, any nursery, school (for ages 0-8 years only), a care home, or even a medical practice of some kind, please get in touch with Mrs C Smith at or Miss J Farrelly on 

Around The World Update

Sixty Year 6 pupils from fourteen different primary schools have so far participated in OBA’s ‘Around The World’ programme on a Saturday morning.

So far they have tested their balance and agility with Chinese circus skills, used their creative skills when making brightly-coloured Brazilian Carnival headdresses and also put their kitchen skills into practice by cooking some truly tasty Indian cuisine.

 A particular highlight this term has been a trip to the Siam Teppan-Yaki restaurant in Chester, where forty-eight children and five parents enjoyed an afternoon watching the fantastic chefs preparing their lunch on the special Tappan grill right in front of them!

The children have already started to form friendships with other people in the group, they have met lots of teachers from OBA and they have also experienced lessons in different parts of the Academy, using OBA’s brilliant facilities and resources.

Next week they will be making some festive treats to share with their families at the Christmas Celebration and the final week of this term will involve a trip to the Liverpool Empire Theatre to watch the pantomime, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

It’s been a busy term for the Around The World group and there will be many more fantastic opportunities to come each Saturday morning in 2017!

If you want to find out more, please contact Mrs Snagg or Mrs Campbell

Four Nations Rugby

On Sunday 20th November, nineteen students set off in excited anticipation to watch the final of the prestigious Four Nations Rugby League Tournament between Australia and New Zealand at the newly refurbished Anfield stadium.

The students arrived in plenty of time to have their photograph taken beneath the ‘This is Anfield’ sign before joining over 40,000 spectators at the ground. The majority of the crowd were vocally supporting the Kiwi side, in the absence of the England team, who had narrowly missed out on a place in the final. 

The students enjoyed the magnificent sight of the New Zealand Players performing the Haka, a frightening war cry originally used by the Maori Warriors before a battle, which proclaims their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition. Unfortunately, it did not scare the mighty Australian team who raced into an unassailable 20-0 lead, with only a quarter of the match gone. The Kiwi team performed better in the second half and OBA’s students were soon on their feet celebrating when New Zealand crossed over the whitewash to score a spectacular try. 

The occasion also allowed Year 9 student, Taylor Braithwaite, the opportunity to take some great photographs of the action, thus enhancing her already excellent photography skills.

Mr A Bird, Maths teacher, who organised the trip, said:

The students had a fantastic day and were very appreciative of the members of staff who gave up their time on a cold Sunday afternoon to take them there. OBA’s Spanish Assistant, Irving Lienzo, who is enjoying a year’s secondment in OBA, also came along to experience the thrill of an international rugby match. This is something he would not get to see in his native Mexico, where rugby is rarely played.

Netball Update

Report by: Miss Porschke, Miss Fleetwood and Miss Belford

OBA played their first competitive netball matches of the year against Wade Deacon last week. A total of thirty-four girls travelled there to represent OBA and they did incredibly well.

Although both Year 7 teams lost the girls played fantastically, indicating they have huge potential and we are now excited to see how they will improve even more throughout the year. Particular congratulations go to Emily Moran and Wendy Kelly on excellent performances. 

The Year 8 team has experienced some player changes this year and Anya Finley played brilliantly in her first game with some important interceptions. Key performances from Libby Caddick and Holly Mogg helped to ensure the team played their best against a strong Wade Deacon team.

The Year 9s played amazingly to draw 9-9 with Wade Deacon. Jessica McCaffrey, Tiggy Moffatt and Jessica Currey all received their first caps and played with real vigour. Taylor Braithwaite played a great game in her first appearance back on court after a serious injury, working well with Patrice Akins to score some key goals. 

Well done to the following girls who were voted players of the match by Wade Deacon:
Year 7: Millie Bennett, Millie-Lou Smith
Year 8: Holly Mogg 
Year 9: Jessica McCaffrey (in her first ever game) 

Head Boy and Head Girl Report

In Year 11 many important events have taken place, both in and out of the academy. One of these events was Year 11 Parents’ Evening which provided both students and parents with detailed information on how the students are doing.
Another important evening for parents and students enabled them all to receive information on coursework deadlines, exam dates and revision techniques.

The students in Year 11 have shown great dedication to their education so far, by attending Enrichments in Sports and Business Studies, even until 7pm some evenings! There has also been a fantastic turnout for other Enrichment sessions after school, in the half-term and on Saturdays in a range of subjects including ICT, Spanish, English, Maths, Science and many more. 

Overall it has been a hectic few weeks, however, we are sure it will pay off next year when all the students turn up to results day and open that very important envelope! 

Connor Murphy (Head Boy)

Emily Willcott (Head Girl)

Music Congratulations

Mr Reid and the Music Department would like to congratulate Year 11 Music Prefects, Morgan Murray and Megan Parr, who recently took on the job of organising the appointment of the first KS3 Music Prefect from Year 8.  From designing the posters and questions to setting up the room for interview and actually conducting the interviews, they were determined that they would pick the best candidate for the job.
After tough competition, the position was awarded to Kayleigh Lowe in Year 8, with both Ben Kavanagh and Eleanor Kirwan being given trial Deputy roles.

Kayleigh who was super organised in her preparation for the interview, was enthusiastic, gave well thought out responses and showed a passion for wanting music to be in her life for a long time.
She was interested in the bigger picture and wanted music to be something for all students to enjoy. 
She attends lots of enrichments, has excelled in playing the guitar and wants to support other students to achieve success too. 

The two Deputies, Ben and Eleanor, whose scores were only a point or two away from Kayleigh were both very passionate and talked about how music affected their lives. 

Displaying Artistic Talents

OBA’s A Level Photography students recently entered the Castle Park Art Centre Open Art Competition, along with their teacher, Mr Smyth. This was a great opportunity for OBA students to show off their talents alongside those of their teacher. 

The students all felt very proud to have their work on public display and this event has encouraged them to enter more competitions in the future.  They were also inspired by a lot of the work they saw displayed by other students of Photography and came away keen to develop their photography skills even further.

Welcome to Gym Club

A new after school Enrichment started in PE earlier this term, and is now attended by a small group of extremely enthusiastic students who have the opportunity to develop beam, floor and vault routines, both individually and as a group.

The PE Department would, however, like to see even more enthusiastic students attend this very worthwhile Enrichment activity. So, no matter what gymnastic abilities you may, or may not already possess, you will be made very welcome.  Just come along and try your best and you never know what hidden talents you might discover, at the same time as having great fun!

For more details speak with your PE teacher or simply turn up each Wednesday at 3pm in the Gymnasium.

Thank You for Helping Others

From Mrs Noon and Miss Connolly

Mrs Noon says:

Miss Connolly and I would like to thank our Form, 7ANN/ACY, and say how proud we are that they managed to create a total of fourteen well-packed Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes which were delivered last week.

They also all pitched together to bring in the money in order to send each box with £2.50 each. This is a huge achievement seeing as there are only twenty-four students in the class and it is a testament to how kind and considerate the members of our Form are. They have had a fabulous start in OBA and we couldn’t be happier to be their Form Tutors. Keep up the good work!

Year 7 Christmas Enrichment

Miss Fisher has been running a Year 7 Christmas Enrichment each Thursday after school where the students have had great fun making Christmas cards. 

Winter Warmers

Mrs Snagg, Leader of Transition and Community Development, is co-ordinating a project working in partnership with o2 called ‘Winter Warmers’.  Once collated, the packs will then be delivered, in the last week of term, to elderly, local residents that have been nominated by our students. 

If you are able to contribute, in any way, to these packs, to bring a bit of warmth to an elderly person’s Christmas, then please contact Mrs Snagg at school.

Year 7 Photos  

A message from Mrs Bedford

Year 7 students recently had their official school photograph taken and parents will soon be receiving proofs of the photos and the cost of ordering different sizes. You will then be able to order photos which will make lovely Christmas presents for family and friends.

Each tutor group was also photographed with their Form Tutors; this photograph is always an interesting one to have to look back on in future years, as you recall what you and your friends looked like in your first year at a high school!

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.  

Tech Talk

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

In a recent edition of OBA’s Newsletter, Tech Talk shared with you an app called ‘Find My iPhone’ which, as the name suggests, can be used to find lost, stolen or misplaced Apple Devices. As promised, I would now like to give you details about a similar device which can be used by Android users. 

There are thousands of people who lose their mobile every day and few more thousands people whose mobiles get stolen. If you've lost a device, you can use ‘Android Device Manager’ to find its approximate location on a map and when it was last used. When Android Device Manager locates your device, that device will get a notification.

  • To access ‘Android Device Manager’ you need to firstly use your computer browser to log in to the Google account you have set up on your phone.
  • Now type the phrase ‘Find my phone’ into Google's search engine on your PC. In response, Google displays a map that attempts to zero in on the location of your device.

Before you can use ‘Android Device Manager’ to locate your phone, your device's location access needs to be turned on and you must be signed in to your Google Account. ‘Android Device Manager’ won't work for devices that are turned off or that don't have a mobile data or Wi-Fi connection.

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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