OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 96 - 23rd February 2017

Issue 96 - 23rd February 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

The OBA/OCA joint ski trip returned from Les Menuires in the French Alps and the students enjoyed fresh snow for the first part of the week with clear, blue skies and sunshine for the last few days. Mr Fenner and Mr Hatton commented on the excellent behaviour of the students, as well as their strong progress on the slopes.  Jack Shields Roberts took part in the ski trip for a record eighth time, and is, not surprisingly, an expert skier. Our group stayed in the hotel where he carried out his work experience last year.

You will read in this newsletter about the many exciting activities from our last week of half term which included the Big Quiz, the Year 7 trip to the University of Liverpool, the Year 8 Impact Day and our careers events for Years 10 and 11.

Mr. J Rigby
Executive Principal

Sister Schools Celebrate Successful Skiing Skills

In the week before half-term, thirty-five students took to the slopes in a joint ski trip organised by staff from both OBA and our sister Academy, OCA in Widnes.

The trip to the ski resort of Les Menuires in Les Trois Vallées region of the French Alps was a tremendous success and catered for all types of skiers, from the beginner to the most advanced.

The flight from Manchester to Geneva was the first part of the adventure but the excited students couldn’t wait to get to their resort and get hit the pistes.  The delights of the slopes in Les Menuires and Meribel were experienced by all and some of the more advanced skiers managed to access the slopes in Val Thorens.  

The evenings were packed with a range of fun activities which included bum-boarding, ‘Speed Mountain’ competitions, late night shopping, a games night, snowball fights, a disco and much more.

Party Leader, Mr Fenner, said:

It hadn’t snowed for some time before we arrived but it didn’t stop snowing for our first four days there.  This was then followed by perfect skiing conditions, with bright, blue, cloudless, skies for the final two days of the trip. This year’s Beginners’ Groups picked up the technique really quickly and progressed from the nursery slopes to the green pistes in a record amount of time.  This was another extremely successful, and injury-free ski trip. Every day the students amazed their teachers, as well as their ski instructors, with their efforts and good-humoured determination to achieve their absolute best. Everyone is now looking forward to taking part yet again in this annual event.

‘Big Quiz’ Event

Organised by the Geography Department in the week before half-term, OBA’s ‘Big Quiz’ was a huge success. 

With ten teams from Years 7 to 11 taking part, and each one having a ‘Teacher Leader’, everyone took part in the challenging, but fun, event with great gusto and enthusiasm. Their knowledge and memory recall were both really put to the test and things got pretty competitive!

Congratulations go to Mr Mercer and his Year 7 team, 'The Quizzy Rascals' who took first place.

They were closely followed by Mr McGlory and 'his team 'The Quizzards'. Mr Milne did an amazing job as quizmaster and he entertained the gathered audience like a true professional.

It was a great event and two lovely Year 7s, Caitlin McKenna and Layla Carson, baked geography themed cupcakes and cookies for the event to raise even more money to go towards OBA’s first Geography trip to Iceland.

Careers Insight

Year 10 and 11 students took part in a Careers Insight morning recently where twenty-four employers visited OBA to meet with students and discuss their possible career options.

The range of careers advice on offer was amazing and there were representatives from the RAF, the Army, Solicitors, Clinical Psychologists, Counsellors, Teachers, Anti-Social Behaviour Officers, Customer Advisors, Royal Navy Marines, Veterinary Nurses, Health Care Nurses and many more. The Careers Fair was organised by Mrs Noon, Mrs Jarvis and Miss McAuliffe.

Mrs Noon said:

The event was a huge success. There was a lovely atmosphere and students got a lot out of meeting people working from the areas of employment that they are interested in. I am pleased to see so many of our students aiming high, taking ownership of and looking positively towards their future careers.

Some of the students said:

I enjoyed visiting the different stations and finding out what universities I can go to.

I have enjoyed learning about the different types of careers that are out there.

I have enjoyed learning about the Merchant Navy and the opportunities that you can have in this career.

I learnt about the income I could have if I pursue a career as a vet!

I loved learning about the different jobs and pathways.

Year 7s Aim Higher

The whole of Year 7 went to the University of Liverpool as part of an ‘Aim Higher’ experience, which is something that is usually reserved for KS4 and 5 students.

The event involved a tour of the university, a lecture and a question and answer session with students from the university about their experiences and the reality of student life. 

Mr Reid who planned the event said:

The response has been fantastic, with all staff and students loving the adventure. We now hope to continue this link right through to Year 11 and beyond, with students considering university as a potential destination after their studies in the Sixth Form.

ECM Update

Last half term in ECM sessions students in Year 7 and 8 spent time focusing on the topic of 'Achieving Economic Wellbeing'. They considered the cost of a weekly shop and planned their own meals, working with a budget of just £5.They also looked at the costs associated with studying at university. 

Each tutor group then took part in an Enterprise competition where they set up their own business and had to create a unique product using the following household items; a skipping rope, a cereal box and a jumper!  Students were spilt into 4 teams; Product design, Finance, Marketing and Pitch Teams and, after some great team work, each form presented their product in assembly to judges Mrs Noon, Miss McAuliffe and Mrs Snagg. 

Mrs Noon, ECM Co-ordinator, said:

I was so impressed with the standard of the products, as well as the students’ pitches and presentations. The students had spent a lot of time researching and creating really unique products such as personalised cushions using recycled jumpers, a dog’s bed, a speaker, personalised cup warmers and much more. Well done to Years 7 and 8 for raising the standard once again.

Chinese New Year Assembly

Year 8 students Jemma Thain, Lily Webster, Libby Fell and Eleanor Kirwan did a performance in assembly to celebrate Chinese New Year. The girls worked in enrichment to create a Drama piece which provided information on how animals formed part of the Chinese Zodiac, how the Chinese New Year originated and New Year’s traditions such as family meals, the giving of red envelopes and the lantern festival.

Mrs Noon, who organised the assembly then delivered a presentation on how New Year is celebrated across the world in different countries and cultures. 

It was a really enlightening experience!

Mind Yourself!

Year 9 students took part in a 'Mindful Me' Day recently where the Mindful Me Foundation came in to deliver a two hour workshop to each form group. The students took part in exercises that helped them focus their mind through breathing exercises and meditation. Students were given some strategies to teach them how to cope with stress and how to turn a negative mindset into a positive outlook.  They were also reminded of the importance of random acts of kindness and the power of laughter to improve their outlook.

Mrs Noon said:

In a world where we face many different challenges and stresses both personal and work/school related, it is important to look after ourselves and be reminded that our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

Year 10 students will take part in the same workshop after half term and both year groups will then have a follow-up session called ‘The Happiness Project' which will be done in ECM time.

Puzzle Challenge

In the last newsletter 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 a well known app called ‘TED’ that allows you to listen to talks by inspiring people, from the comfort of your sofa or on the go using any smart device. ‘TED’ has an average rating in App Store: 4.5 out of 5 stars and comes with excellent reviews. This app covers a variety of topics including business, science, technology, education and music; it is a library of over 1,000 videos of the world’s most influential speakers. You can watch them even when offline – so, there’s no need to ever go to a conference again!

With the handy features that are part of TED you can:

  • Download talks to watch later, without using your mobile data.
  • Send the talks to your home entertainment system to watch them on the big screen; for example send the clip from your phone to your TV
  • Share your favourite and most inspiring talks with your friends.

Many famous names from many walks of life have created a ‘TED Talk’ to share their experiences and/or expertise. Now you can enjoy them all within a few taps on your smartphone!

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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