OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 64 - 17th March 2016

Issue 64 - 17th March 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Welcome to this week’s newsletter which, as always, features some great successes and stories from OBA. Most notable this week, we are celebrating our victory at the local Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition. Our team of youngsters was led and coached by Ms Jarvis, Mr Hussey and Mr Bird.  Having impressed the judges with their oracy and persuasion skills, they are now looking forward to the regional heats. We are of course extremely proud of them and wish them all the best for this next stage!

Upcoming events in our calendar include next Monday evening’s ‘Prepare like an examination champion’ workshop for Year 11 students and parents. The session will run from 6.30 to 8.30pm.  On Wednesday 23rd March we have the Year 10 Parents’ Evening, meaning that the Academy will close for students at 2.30pm.  Also please be reminded that Year 8 Options choices need to be returned by the Wednesday of this week.

Best wishes and thank you for your support.
Mr. M Wyss- Academy Principal

Mock Trial Competition Success

A team of Year 8 and Year 9 students, who have recently been working very hard to prepare for The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition, hit the spotlight on Saturday 12th March when they went to The Law Courts in Mold to take part in the Local Heats of this prestigious competition.

Accompanied by Mr Hussey, Mrs Jarvis and Mr Bird, they met at OBA bright and early before setting off for Mold.  It was soon time to get down to business and straightaway OBA students went head to head against The Alun School in Courtroom One. After a short break for refreshments, the team headed to Courtroom Two where they were up against St Mary’s Catholic High School. In both sessions the students played real court room roles and were judged on their presentation skills, the quality of their questioning and probing, as well as their answers and their knowledge of the law.

The OBA team was comprised of Jorja Tipton, Mia Abbott and Ewan Jago as Magistrates, Tom Hopwood as the victim of the crime and Ethan Fryer-Durcan as the defendant. The prosecution team consisted of Amber McLoughlin and Jess Hardy and the defence team included Toni Burns and Ella Main. Elliott Newton and Dominique Costello played the parts of witnesses to the crime, with Nicola Falconer playing two roles as the Legal Advisor and Court Usher.

After the court hearings were over, the students enjoyed a tour of the historic building which housed cells beneath the court, and some of the more brave young people sampled being locked away in a cell and handcuffed by the guards!

Following a hearty lunch, nerves started to kick in when all the four schools represented were asked to make their way to Court Room One for the announcement of the winners. The cheers rang out when the OBA Team was invited up to receive the commemorative shield, a certificate and a £50 gift voucher for winning the Local Heats.

Having won the local heat, the OBA Team will now go through to the regional finals that will be held in Crewe in May – watch this space for more information!

Mr Hussey said: “The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition has been running annually in the UK since 1994, introducing the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way. We are thrilled to see our students take part and develop their knowledge and understanding of the legal system. Their self-confidence has grown immensely too, as has their team-work skills, public speaking delivery and their analytical talents, all of which they worked on in the weekly enrichment sessions and on Saturdays.”  

You can track the team’s progress and see more photos from the day by following us on Twitter- @OBAmocktrial

A Weekend of Netball

On Friday 4th March, three of OBA’s netball squads, accompanied by Miss Porschke, Miss Belford and Miss Ingram, travelled to Boreatton Park Activity Centre in the heart of the Shropshire countryside, to take part in the ‘PGL Netball Weekend’.

The students from Year 7-10 competed in a netball tournament and also participated in a range of other adventurous activities which included having a go on a zip wire, a giant swing and a trapeze as well as rock-climbing, abseiling, quad biking and archery. During the evenings students also took part in team challenges, as well as displaying their dance moves at the Saturday Evening Disco.

Looking very smart in their new OBA netball kit, students represented the academy to an extremely high standard. Competing against school teams from across the country, all students displayed excellent teamwork and high levels of skill as they progressed through the tournament.  OBA performed amazingly throughout the tournament, with Year 7 finishing as bronze medallists and Year 8 claiming silver.

The netball presentation was attended by England and Loughborough Lightening player, Ama Agbeze. Ama started the presentation giving all of the students an inspirational talk about her career and the obstacles she has faced, encouraging them to never give up in the pursuit of their dreams.

Miss Porschke said: “It was great when Ama had a private chat with our students before one of their semi-final matches as it really motivated them.  They also enjoyed it when Ama presented them with their medals as they saw her as a real role-model for the sport. Every one of the students was a credit to OBA, and staff and students from 2 other schools commented on how polite and friendly our students were. All of the girls commented on how much they enjoyed the whole weekend and said they couldn’t wait to go again next year.”

Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Witches Workshop

On Thursday 10th March forty-five students from Year 7 and 8 took part in an exciting theatre workshop led by top theatre practitioner and director, Lucy Fiori, from the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.

OBA has an on-going partnership with The Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and the amazing workshop was based on the upcoming theatre trip they will be attending on Thursday 17th March to see the well-known, and much-loved, musical adaption of Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”.  Lucy Fiori took the students on a journey of ‘everything witchy’, looking at the more traditional hunched back, black cat, and wart-on-the-nose kind of witch to the ones that are excellently disguised as ordinary humans in Dahl’s children’s novel.

Miss McKevitt, Drama teacher, who co-ordinated the workshop said:

”All those involved thoroughly enjoyed the event and they are now eagerly awaiting the performance on the 17th March. Many thanks to Lucy Fiori for this magical workshop which really helped to develop the students’ understanding of the book.  They had great fun.”

Perfecting the Arts at Colomendy

Selected Dance and Drama students from Years 10, 11 and 12 participated in an intensive residential in Colomendy recently to prepare them for their fast-approaching practical exams.

Students worked hard with Miss Roper and Miss Carden to improve their performance skills and to further develop their confidence and technical ability in their final assessments.

Miss Roper said: “The students were a credit to the school and showed great determination to succeed. We wish them the best of luck in their upcoming Dance and Drama exams and eagerly await their results this summer, where we are sure they will ’Dare to Shine'." 

Evening of Community Dance at LJMU

OBA's Dance department recently welcomed two second year undergraduate students from Liverpool John Moores University on teaching placements. As part of their placement, LJMU students Rebecca Orme (a former OBA Sixth Form student) and Hayley Browne ran their own Thursday enrichment group for a series of 6 weeks. As part of the enrichment club, students from Years 7-10 have learnt a dynamic commercial piece to a remix of songs which included the dancers own creative choreography.

Upon completion of the piece, dancers then visited IM Marsh Campus in Aigburth, Liverpool to perform in the 'Evening of Community Dance' show on 9th March. OBA performed alongside other dance groups including: Notre Dame, Kirkby All Saints, GODs (Growing Old Disgracefully) Dance Group, St Julies Catholic High School, St Wilfrid's High School and LJMU's own dance company 'JMUp In(tegrated)' - a group of able and disabled dancers.

OBA students displayed a professional, high energy performance - this piece can be seen along with many others at this year's annual 'OBA Dance Show' on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th April at 7pm. Tickets are £2 and go on sale shortly.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital Midwife

Visits Sixth Form Health and Care Students

On Tuesday 8th March, students studying Health and Social care at OBA had a visit from Mrs Colwell, a midwife at Liverpool Women’s hospital.

This provided an excellent opportunity for the students who are interested in a career in midwifery to find out more information about what the role entails and the rewards you can gain from a career as a qualified, practising midwife.

The girls got to see the process of childbirth from a professional viewpoint and the importance of the midwife's role during care in labour, before and after a baby is born. The practical part of the session was particularly enjoyable, with some of the girls attempting to deliver the model baby and cut the umbilical cord.

What the students said: 

“Today I have learnt a lot about the role of a midwife. I would now like to expand my knowledge further, as it has encouraged me to pursue a career as a midwife. I am really pleased I got to speak to the midwife today.” (Lilley)

“This session has made me realise how serious and responsible the role of being a midwife is. However, it’s also such a heart-warming and rewarding job, I am now determined to work hard to allow myself the opportunity to follow this career path.” (Hannah)

“I have now made my final decision about going to university to study to be a midwife. Mrs Colwell provided a lot of detail about what the job involves and this made me realise that it is the career that I want.” (Brogan)

“I have learnt more about a career as a midwife and I am now considering choosing this route in the future.” (Lauren)

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 a new app called Khan Academy. This free app is a brilliant learning tool that hosts over 4,000 educational videos. All school subjects are featured in the app including geography, biology, chemistry, physics, maths, business, history, languages and more. People from all walks of life including teachers, students and industry experts have all recommended Khan Academy and described its materials as being immensely valuable and engaging. You can take individual videos, or entire topics offline to watch when you don't have an internet connection. Follow along, skip ahead, or go back by navigating subtitles, and connect with your Khan Academy user account to track your work and earn achievements.

If you'd like to learn more about Khan Academy, please visit

Term and Holiday Dates 2016-2017

Term dates for the 2016-2017 academic year have been made available. You can always find these dates from our school website.
Term Opens for Students Closes for Students
Autumn 2016

Tuesday 6 September
for Years 7 and 12

Wednesday 7 September
all Year Groups

Thursday 20 October

Half Term: 24 – 28 October 2016
Monday 31 October Friday 16 December
Christmas Holiday 19 December - 2 January 2016
Spring 2017 Tuesday 3 January Friday 10 February
Half Term 13 - 17 February 2016
Monday 20 February Friday 31 March
Easter Holiday 3 - 17 April 2016
Summer 2017 Tuesday 18 April Friday 28 April
Bank Holiday - 1 May 2016
Tuesday 2 May Friday 26 May
Half Term 29 May - 2 June 2016
Monday 5 June Friday 21 July

INSET Days (staff training days, students not in school):-

  • Monday 05 September 2016
  • Friday 21 October 2016
  • Monday 24, Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26 July 2017

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Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy
Barnfield Avenue
Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 6EP
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