OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 119 - 17th January 2018

Issue 119 - 17th January 2018
Dear families and friends of OBA,

A very warm welcome back to the new term and a Happy New Year to everyone.
This edition shares everything that is great about OBA – features on the quality of our Every Child Matters curriculum and enrichment programme lead the way. These areas were seen as real strengths of the Academy in our recent inspection, with Personal Development, Behaviour and Wellbeing rated as good overall. 
Students have settled back into the swing of the Academy really well since we returned at the start of January and I look forward to bringing you many more bumper editions of our weekly newsletter.
With best wishes

Mr. E Wright

Year 7 Safety Awareness Trip

On Thursday 14th December, a large group of year 7 students attended an ECM trip to Cheshire Fire Service Safety Centre. The recently opened centre is a stunning £4.5m indoor village, with four themed zones it provides a truly immersive learning environment, where people of all ages can develop the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe and well at home, on the road in and in our community. The building is shared with Lymm Fire Station, so visitors also get the chance to see firefighters in action, undertaking their specialist training.

Miss Edwards, who led the trip said:

Within the building, our students had the chance to tour a realistic 3 bedroomed house tasked with finding everyday hazards. One room within the house actually set on fire with the use of special effects and a steam system whilst another room was set up to show the consequences of a house fire. This room, in particular, was shocking for the students to see and everything in the room had been destroyed.

The students also got to visit a very realistic train station, courtroom, jail cell, building site, farm, Tesco store, canal, electrical power station and a road accident. At each station, they were given a scenario, hazards and ways to keep safe. 

Miss Edwards, commented:

Overall the trip was absolutely fantastic, so much knowledge was passed onto the students and I am positive they are already implementing new ways to keep safe in everyday life. I think every year group should have the opportunity to visit this brilliant resource.

Finlay Ayres – Year 7 JES:

We went into a big underground set but everything looked really real! I thought we would be doing worksheets about safety but instead everything was really interactive – we could dress up as firemen and act out different scenarios. 

There was a life-sized house and when we went into the bedroom we had to decide what was unsafe. There was then a second bedroom that was all burnt and it looked really realistic. I felt shocked when I saw it.

When in the bedroom set we were told that the laptop caused the fire as it had been left charging on the bed. It had overheated and started to spark which caused a fire and led to all of the damage in the room. I always put my laptop on the bed and didn’t realise it could be dangerous!

You don’t realise how unsafe you are being until you and look back on it. After going on this trip I will always check what I am doing and that everything is safe around me.

Archie Robertson – 7JES:

The real-life situations were brilliant. The set all looked so realistic and when I was in the prison cell and courtroom it made me feel like I never want to be in a real one! 

This trip has made me think to always stop, look and listen. Turn the power off, look for fire hazards and be safer all around. It was a really good trip.

OBA Winter Warmer Project

OBA students warmed the hearts of the local community this Christmas with their kind and thoughtful ‘winter warmer’ packs. Over the course of November and December Student Parliament representatives encouraged their peers to donate in a variety of food and drink options; tinned products, pasta and sauces, biscuits, chocolate treats and hot drink sachets.  The aim was to create hampers that would be delivered to elderly residents in the local area who may not receive many or any visitors over the festive period. 

Staff at O2 at Telefonica, Preston Brook felt inspired by this project last Christmas and for the second year running took the initiative to support our efforts.

On the last day of term, students in Year 7 and 8 set about organising the boxes of donated goods and along with the packs from O2 managed to create 20 wonderful hampers! 

The hampers were all finished off with a handwritten card for the recipient by a member of student parliament.

Mrs Snagg who leads on the work with Student Parliament said: 

The hampers looked brilliant when they were finished. The students involved took real pride in making the packs and a lot of thought went into what should go into each one as the children discussed what they felt the intended receiver may want/need.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this brilliant project!

The 20 hampers were collected on the last day of term by Halton’s Adult Social Care team and we recently received this message from Wendy Walmsley, Practice Manager.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff and pupils at OBA for the kind donations of the hampers before Christmas.  We distributed them around the borough to people who we have been working with and they were thoroughly delighted at the thought.

We support adults 18 upwards and the majority of the hampers went to Older People within the borough as we work generically.

Thanks again and we wish you all a happy & healthy 2018.

Wendy Walmsley, Practice Manager Adults, Initial Assessment Team

Year 7 Take on Moel Famau

This week 12 Year 7 students from Miss Bowles-Palmer’s form (7RPR) braved the elements to climb the highest hill in the Clwydian Range!

The trip is part of our exciting outdoor education programme and gave the students involved the chance to participate in an outdoor adventurous activity to develop their leadership and communication skills. 

PE teacher, Mr King said: 

We left school at 9 o’clock and the trip involved walking to the very top of the mountain and having lunch at the 1818 ft. summit. Pupils displayed fantastic resilience throughout the trip in relation to the challenging walk and by braving the freezing temperatures and several students even asked if they could come back for another trip!

The next form to attend the trip is 7PGD.

Sixth Form Students take on the Senior Maths Challenge

In early November, some of our incredible key stage 5 students sat the Senior Maths Challenge. 

This is no mean feat; it is a gruelling 90-minute question paper that tests problem-solving ability and is organised and run by UKMT (United Kingdom Mathematics Trust). 

Maths teacher, Miss Watkins, said:

This prestigious challenge attracts entries from over 1000 schools and 25,000 pupils. The top 40% of students nationally receive a gold, silver or bronze certificate in the ratio 1:2:3 and we were delighted to have two of our students, Niamh and Lucy receive an award.

Niamh Allanson with her silver certificate and Lucy Winstanley with her bronze certificate.

Both of these students plan to study Maths at University after their time at sixth form. Congratulations to all involved!

An example of one of the questions they had to answer:

LAMDA & Drama Enrichment is up and running for 2018!

Wednesday evening saw the return of Drama and LAMDA enrichment for all students. There was a fantastic turn out with 30 students attending from years 7-10 all eager to take part.

We also had a special performance from some of our Year 10 Drama students who performed their devised piece for an amazed audience. It is important that our students see as many performances in and outside of school. They were extremely impressed with the high quality of work the girls produced and said it was “thought-provoking, confident and very engaging”.

If anyone would like any more information on the Drama enrichments on offer or any other enrichments that will be running after school between 3-4pm please contact: Miss McKevitt - Drama Teacher & Enrichment Coordinator at

Artist of the Week

This piece demonstrates considerable skills in tonal painting to create atmospheric weather conditions and subtle changes in light. 

Mr Smyth, Art teacher said:

We were impressed with Laura’s interpretation of the Ogwen Valley landscape and in particular her use of layering of textures to recreate the rocks and barren landscape of the area.

 Keep up the great work Laura!


There are many different social networks online that often prove to be a useful and fun way of keeping in touch with friends and family. However there are some networks that are not suitable for young people, to support parents with keeping their children safe online, this week we have added a list of potentially dangerous social networks to the e-safety pages of the school website. This list show the name and logos of such networks and explains the potential dangers associated with using them. This list can be found by going to then clicking ‘Parents’ then clicking ‘E-Safety for Parents’. Copies of this extensive list can be printed or emailed directly to parents on request, please contact Mr Hussey at OBA if you would like a copy of the list in either of these formats.   

Students, parents and friends of the school can now also receive e-safety updates on Twitter. Please follow @esafetyoba for the latest information on keeping safe online from the school and our partner organisations. 

If you or someone you know has an e-safety concern you need to speak out. You should report e-safety issues to your parents/carers or any adult in school such as:

  • Mr Hussey - OBA E-safety Co-ordinator
  • Form tutor
  • Head of Year / Assistant Head of Year
  • Mr Easton, Mr Hough, Mrs Ryan

Local police can be contacted on 101 if necessary.

Or you can report concerns using the CEOP report button on the OBA website

Simply go to: OBA homepage > Academy Information > E-safety Information

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