Dear families and friends of OBA,
The end of this half-term is already upon us and business continues to be brisk and productive at OBA!
For the second year running, a group of OBA and Ormiston Chadwick Academy students have embarked on a ski trip to Alpe D'Huez in France. We hear that conditions are excellent, with lots of snow and fun being enjoyed by all. I look forward to sharing a full report with exciting pictures with you after the half-term holiday.
Our Year 11 students will this week receive their mock examination grades at a Results Day event to foreshadow the real thing on 25th August. Some will be encouraged by their progress, while others will understand that they need to squeeze out a little more effort over the next few months. Year 11 students and parents will be able to discuss their achievements and plans at Tuesday's Parents' Evening. Please be reminded that all students will finish at 2.30pm on Tuesday. This is our usual closing time on Parents' Evenings. There is a full half-term revision programme planned for Year 11 and this will be sent home to parents via the students. Please also find this on our website.
Finally, you will read about a meeting that Mr Rigby and I attended at Downing Street last week. Following the Prime Minister's visit to OBA in June, we were invited to contribute to a discussion about how the UK can further improve social mobility and diversity. The round table discussion was led by Sajid Javid, The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and The Prime Minister himself. Whatever your political leanings may be, it is a great honour for OBA to be recognised as leaders in secondary education, a status that only comes from the hard work of our students, staff and parents.
I am always extremely proud to represent OBA and our community; on this occasion at Number 10 this was especially true.
Enjoy your half-term holiday.
Mr. M Wyss- Academy Principal
OBA Principals invited to Downing Street
OBA's Executive Principal John Rigby, and Principal Mark Wyss, were honoured last week to be invited to 10 Downing Street to take part in a roundtable discussion on Social Mobility in Higher Education.
The discussion was initially led and chaired by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid. Before being joined by Prime Minister, David Cameron, Sajid Javid addressed how universities, schools and charities can collaborate more successfully on widening participation, therefore addressing the often huge discrepancies in the offers made by universities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Also present was Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, who said: “Legislation for a new transparency duty will shine a spotlight on the whole admissions process and expose where offer rates for some of the poorest students, and those from black and minority backgrounds, are particularly low.”
In the meeting the Prime Minister singled out the phenomenal successes of schools like Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy which go the extra mile to ensure that as many students as possible achieve results above the national average, regardless of their background. He commented on how such schools can transform the life chances of students and their families.
Mr Cameron has recently accused Oxford University, his place of study as an undergraduate, of “...not doing enough to attract talent from across the country.” Those in attendance that Mr Cameron addressed about his concerns included representatives from the Russell Group Universities and the Vice Chancellors of the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and King’s College London.
John Rigby, Executive Principal at OBA said: “Mr Wyss and I were very proud to hear the Prime Minister praise the achievements of our students at such a high profile meeting. Mr Cameron visited OBA last summer to meet some of our amazing students at work and when he was there he also heard about the many university successes of our former sixth formers. It was an honour for us to attend and an even greater honour for all the hard work of our students, staff and parents to be acknowledged.”
OBA celebrates ‘Harry Potter Day’
OBA was transformed into ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ on Thursday 4th February as selected students were invited to attend a literacy event held in ‘The Great Hall’ (formerly known as the library!) as part of a worldwide ‘Harry Potter Day’.
Students sent an official letter of acceptance to Hogwarts, before attending Charms, Potions and Transfiguration classes where they tested both their English skills and their wizardry ability. Student Leaders from Key Stage 4 were on hand to assist the twenty-seven Key Stage 3 students through their tasks which included; making an egg float in water using ‘levitation powder’, creating a wand, designing a potion and enchanting a ‘muggle’ object.
The students were also treated to readings of extracts from various Harry Potter books, as well as enjoying a screening of the ever-popular film in an after-school enrichment session.
Miss Styles and Miss Howard were very proud of the Key Stage 3 students who took part so eagerly and with such great interest. However, special thanks and congratulations must go to the Key Stage 4 Book Club members who led the magical event so professionally from start to finish.
“Shrek – The Musical”
The Lowry Theatre, Manchester
On Wednesday 3rd February a cohort of twenty-four Year 8 Drama students went to see a performance of the award winning “Shrek – The Musical” at The Lowry Theatre in Manchester. The students were given this opportunity due to their outstanding achievement and behaviour in Drama lessons to date.
The aim of the trip was to enthuse and inform the students about the wide variety of careers in the arts industry, as the show displayed a breath-taking set, outstanding theatrical performances and special effects never seen before!
All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the performance from start to finish, including the finale which saw them dancing and singing along with the rest of the audience.
Miss McKevitt, Drama Teacher, who organised the trip said: “It was great to see the delight on the students’ faces at the end of the performance. They learned so much from it and had great fun at the same time. They literally danced their way out of the theatre and sang all the way back to school. We will now be able to do follow-up work in class and discuss all the behind the scenes work that goes on to create such a magnificent, professional production.”
Drama students from OBA’s Saturday Academy ‘Centre Stage Youth Theatre’ presented an adaptation of Arthur Miller’s classic, The Crucible, on Tuesday 2nd February.
The students involved in this theatrical group have worked superbly over recent months to create a modern twist on the 1962 Salem Witch Trials; this event saw a collection of girls fall ill, experiencing hallucinations and seizures in Puritan New England. The young actors captured the hysteria that gripped the small town of Salem, Massachusetts and contrasted this with contemporary sections of movement and physical theatre.
Miss Carden, Head of Drama, said: “Performing classic play texts such as the Crucible is extremely challenging for our young actors, some of whom were from local primary schools. However, they were able to deliver a fantastic performance due to hours of hard work and dedication on many Saturdays throughout last term. Well done to Jill Malloy, our Saturday Academy Drama Teacher, who created a fantastic piece of modern and exciting theatre. This did not only challenge our students but it also left the audience wowed by the incredible talents of the group members.”
Every Monday (3pm-4pm) Mr Traves and Mr Rushton run a creative writing enrichment in the Library entitled ‘Future Authors’. Based around encouraging and inspiring students to write fiction, this enrichment allows them to be creative and gain confidence in their writing.
The enrichment is open to students of all ages and is currently regularly attended by students from Year 7, all the way up to Sixth Form. English teacher and keen writer, Mr Rushton, and Librarian and published author, Mr Traves, use their own writing to fuel the creative gathering.
Every student who has attended has now completed at least one short story. Whether their aim is to see their work published or they simply write for pleasure, the positive impact it can have on the students’ school work is tremendous, not just in English lessons but across the academy. So, come along and have some fun!
Team Inter-school Table Tennis Championships
OBA’s under 19 Boys’ Table Tennis Team got up especially early last Saturday morning to travel to Blackburn where they took part in the regional qualifying round of the Team Inter-school Table Tennis Championships. The team met up with Mr. Daniels at 7:30am to travel to the venue and have some last minute practice, before playing teams from Altrincham and Macclesfield to battle it out for a place in the National Finals.
This was the highest level event that any of our students have played in. Aaron Flynn had a great match against the UK’s No.45 ranking for his age group, Kin Fung Chan, taking him to deuce in the first set and losing by two points in the second.
Ryan Makin, our team’s number 1 player who is ranked amongst the top 150 players in the country for his age group, had some great successes, beating Tytherington school’s No.1 and No.2.
Marc Nuckley had tough matches, taking two of his opponents to a final fifth set but unfortunately succumbing to pressure and being unable to close the matches out for the wins.
Josh Kopec also played some impressive table tennis but the team as a whole were not able to score the points they needed to get us through to the next round.
Above: Students who took part in the County Team Inter-school Table Tennis Championships.
Our team played well against tough competition. Even though they did not get through to the next round, they showed great commitment and strength in getting through to this stage and have come away with a great experience and the knowledge that their skills and determination can help them achieve at a very high level. With the team Nationals now out of reach, all focus is now on success in the Singles Championships coming up later this month.
Girls’ Sixth Form Football Team Set Out to Impress
OBA is proud to announce the successes of its first Girls’ Sixth Form Football Team.
The team is taking part in the new Cheshire Developmental League and OBA hosted the second round of the league’s fixtures last week.
Firstly playing Mid Cheshire College, OBA won 1 – 0, with Leah Bentley, team captain, scoring the winning goal. OBA then went on to play West Cheshire College and won again, but this time with an impressive 4-0 final result which saw two goals being scored by Olivia Moore, one goal from Leah Bentley and a surprise finishing goal from super sub Keerah Watts.
Player of the tournament went to Olivia Moore for her amazing dodging and superb goals.
The girls are now looking forward to the next round of fixtures which will be played on Moss Farm’s 3G pitches. We wish them well and are hoping for some more fantastic results!
Mrs Charnley has been working with Sixth Form students to educate them about the ‘Time to Change Mental Health’ event. Mental Health is an issue that is high on the government’s agenda and is an area that many would argue does not have a high enough profile, nor indeed adequate resources attached to it. For further details follow the link:
Welcome to this week’s instalment of Tech Talk where we share useful apps, websites and devices with you all.
This week’s focus is going to be an e-safety website run by the Government called www.thinkuknow.co.uk.
Technology is now part of our everyday lives and the internet has changed the way we live. However, we all need to be careful when using the internet and ThinkUKnow is the place to go to find out how to use the internet and technology safely. When you visit ThinkUKnow you can find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about the internet via the range of written information, videos and interactive games. ThinkUknow.co.uk also has sections of its website dedicated to parents/carers and teachers.
ThinkUknow.co.uk is a great place to go if you want to find out how to have fun, how to stay in control and how to report a problem when using the internet. Remember that if you are concerned about something you have seen online you should report it to your parents/carers, any member of OBA staff or PC Williams.
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: L.Hussey@ob-ac.co.uk