OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 91 - 13th January 2017

Issue 91 - 13th January 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Happy New Year. 

Mr Wyss is not in school this week,  for personal reasons, but we are expecting him back soon. In his absence, I am running OBA in my role as Executive Principal. 

On Thursday  we enjoyed our Sixth Form Awards evening which is one of my personal highlights of the year. Many of our 2016 alumni returned from University to receive awards as well as our current sixth form students. 

Levi Tafari was our guest speaker and performed three of his poems before presenting the awards and certificates. Matthew Oakes received the prestigious ‘Tony Lewis’ award for his achievements, determination and hard work.

Tony Lewis was the chair of Governors at OBA and the shield was presented by his widow Barbara.

Best wishes,

Mr. J Rigby
Executive Principal

Going for Gold at St James’ Palace

Eleven former students from Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, accompanied by their chosen guest, recently attended the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award ceremony in St James’ Palace where they proudly received their Gold certificates and badges.

OBA’s Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Mr Fenner, was invited to attend the event as a special regional guest and Head of Year, Miss Porschke, attended as a Marshall. This allowed both teachers who co-ordinate the DofE Award in OBA to share in the students’ success.

The group travelled together to London by train and had a couple of spare hours before the ceremony began to enjoy taking some photographs of London’s main sights and the spectacular grounds and gardens of St James’ Palace. 

The ceremony was hosted by Kevin Rogers Operations, Manager for DofE North. The special guest presenters were Paralympian Gold medal winners Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott who achieved their dream in the 2016 Rio Olympics and have both recently received MBE’s in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List. The highly prestigious event was also attended by His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

The ceremony started with an introduction and a congratulatory speech from Kevin Rogers to all of those who had achieved the Gold Award.  This was followed by a truly inspirational speech from Gold medal winners, Sophie and Helen, who shared their Paralympic journey with all those present. They were keen to impress upon the students present how important it is to keep persevering with your goals, even when faced with adversity and they encouraged them all to celebrate their tremendous achievements.

After a royal handshake, HRH, The Earl of Wessex spoke to both Miss Porschke and Mr Fenner regarding Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy’s DofE programme and how successful it was. HRH then proceeded to speak to the students regarding their DofE experience and the benefits they had drawn from it. He was particularly interested to hear some of the opportunities that OBA’s students had experienced and the challenges they had taken on along the way. Daniel Ayres shared the fact that he had completed his residential during the academy’s trip to Kenya.  Alice Graham talked about how she had worked with Camp Project Wales.  Holly Godden gave details of the different foreign languages she had learnt, whilst Johnny Shaw and Sam Kendrick entertained HRH by relating some of their best memories of their expedition on an Academy sailing trip. 

The special guest presenters, Sophie and Helen, presented the students with the Gold Award certificates and then all the awardees had the official group photograph taken before the ceremony was drawn to a close. 

Mr Fenner said:

On behalf of OBA, I would like to congratulate the Gold cohort which consisted of Daniel Ayres, Danielle Stoba, Sarah Penketh, Alice Graham, Johnny Shaw, Sam Kendrick, Zoe Thornhill, Joshua Hewitt, Holly Godden, Katie Filkins, Hayley Bray, Lewis Roberts and Jack Shields Roberts.  They were a truly dedicated and amazing bunch of young adults to work with.

Miss Porschke added:

They worked so hard to achieve their Gold Award and we are all extremely proud of them and everything they achieved along the way.  It was an amazing day and I am sure they will never forget it.  All of the students and their guests thoroughly enjoyed the day and felt very proud of their achievements.  Well done to each and every one of them!

Awards Evening

We were delighted to welcome students and former students into school recently to receive their GCSE and A Level certificates and Special Awards.

Students returned from university to receive the awards, which they had worked so hard for, from Mr Rigby and Guest Speaker, local poet Levi Tafari.  Levi is a regular, and extremely popular, guest at OBA and yet again he entertained the students and their families with an inspirational speech.


Mr Finnigan, Head of Sixth Form, said:
It was a delight to see all the students’ happy faces as they went up to receive their awards. Everyone was very proud of them.  Most of the former Year 11s are still with us in the Sixth Form so we still see them on a daily basis, but it was also great to see our former Year 13s return and update us on their first few months at university or in employment.  On behalf of all the staff at OBA, I would like to congratulate them and wish each one of them continued success in the future.

The O2 ICT Challenge

Eighteen Year 10 students from OBA recently visited O2 Operations at Preston Brook to participate in an ICT challenge. Students spend the afternoon on a workshop that combined business and enterprise with ICT.

The aim of the workshop was for the young people to be tasked with setting up a hotel; from buying the land to designing uniforms and everything in between, ending with designing a website for the hotel.

A group from O2’s ICT team took time out of their busy day to deliver the session and Donna Plumbley, Business Support Administrator at O2, was seriously impressed with the work that OBA’s students produced.

Donna said:

The ICT professionals had a brilliant day working with OBA’s students who demonstrated a fantastic range of ICT skills. We are all looking forward to doing many similar links with OBA in the future.

Teacher of ICT and Business Studies, Mr Hussey, who arranged the visit and ICT Teacher Miss Houghton, accompanied the group to Preston Brook.

Miss Houghton commented:

It was an excellent opportunity for students to see first-hand how important ICT is in the business world. It was great for students to see that the topics that they are studying, and the skills they are developing, in ICT and Business Studies play a crucial role in successful companies of all sizes. Thank you to O2 for this great opportunity.

After completing the workshop, four students were awarded £15 iTunes vouchers as prizes for their hard work. The afternoon also featured a tour around the building where students were able to see different teams working together, supporting the business as a whole. 

Raising Money for Kenya

Fundraising for the joint OBA/OCA trip to Kenya continues and a Charity Sports Tournament was organised recently by PE staff and the students going on this magnificent trip of a lifetime.

A football tournament on the AstroTurf featured a staff team, a Sixth Form team and a Year 11 team who all enjoyed the competition and battled it out.  Let’s just say they all won, rather than embarrass anyone too much! 

Netball in the Sports Hall featured staff, Sixth Form, Year 11 and Year 9 teams. The staff team battled hard against all three teams, with their best performance in the match against Year 11. Miss Hanson put in an excellent performance as Goal Attack to ensure the staff team scored lots of goals. Congratulations to the Year 9 team who showed great courage taking on older teams and played exceptionally well.  Everyone enjoyed the games and the friendly rivalry and they are already looking forward to a rematch in the not-too-distant future. The Sixth Form team were victorious in the end after their first come back appearance in over a year! 

Thanks to all staff and students who played or came to support. Overall £100 was raised towards the Kenya fund.

If anyone would like to make a donation to this very worthwhile trip, then please contact Mr Rigby. 

Meeting the Cast of ‘Blood Brothers’

Year 11s recently had the fantastic opportunity to work with a theatre company and some of the real cast members of the ever-popular musical play ‘Blood Brothers’. 

The highly experienced actors who have played the key characters of Mickey, Edward and Sammy helped the students’ understanding of the play ‘come alive’ as they acted out some of the most well-known and important scenes. Students then critically analysed the characters and themes; a crucial skill that is required in their English Literature GCSE exam.

Miss Boardman said:

This was such a useful opportunity for Year 11 to work with the actors who know the play so well. They were able to act out key scenes with these professional actors and also ask any questions which they may have had.  It was great to see the Year 11s so actively involved in the sessions and so deep in thought about how the plot, the themes and the characters reveal so much about the society in which we live.

OBA Chess Club

The OBA Chess Club has re-started and after school enrichment sessions are being held on Mondays and Tuesdays in the Library.

There are currently eight chess members but the club is looking to expand. The formal enrichments are used to help absolute beginners learn how to play chess and for matches.

A ‘Chess Ladder’ will record the progress of the students and they will compete against a fellow student who is close to them on the Chess League Table. Mr Bird, (Maths), who will run this enrichment will update the table and when a player who is higher up the Chess League Table suffers a loss to a player below them, they will switch places.

Later in the year, Mr Bird will be looking at a handicap cup competition, where the higher placed player will start without important chess pieces, to even up the competition.  So there will be lots of fun and games!  Come along and give it a go; no matter what your level, we can accommodate you.

Puzzle Challenge

Here's the first challenge of 2017. Can you solve it?

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 Map My Fitness, a free app which is used to keep track of exercises. With Map My Fitness you can plan, track, analyse and share your workouts. The feature that makes Map My Fitness superior to others on the market is the range of exercises and activities that can be logged. Map My Fitness allows you to log pretty much any training activity, including a run around the park, a martial arts class, a spin on the bike, gym workouts and dancing, to name but a few. 

Map My Fitness is available free of charge on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Mr A Bird, Maths Teacher, has this week launched a challenge amongst OBA staff to complete 1,500 minutes of exercise between 9th January 2017 and half term on Friday 31st March (Easter). 

To get involved staff need to download the MapMyFitness app on your smartphone and then:

  • Create you user name- add OBA after your surname to make it easier to track.
  • Add Mr Bird as a training partner
  • Mr Bird will then invite you to the OBA 1500 challenge.
  • Start exercising!! Remember 1500 minutes (25 hours) is your goal.
  • Spread the word and get others involved.

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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