Dear families and friends of OBA,
I trust you enjoyed your half-term holiday and are looking forward to this next half-term that promises to offer many more exciting opportunities to get involved with the OBA community. Next Wednesday, on the 9th of November, we are holding the first of our 'Prepare like a GCSE champion' workshops for Year 11 students and their parents or carers. We will be going through top revision tips and techniques, as well as providing information about the Sixth Form application process. The event runs from 6:30 to 8:00pm and I encourage all Year 11s and their parents to attend.
In this newsletter you will read about the very moving Hillsborough commemoration event where we celebrated the lives of three young men who were part of the Brookvale and Norton Priory school communities when they lost their lives on that tragic day at Hillsborough. Their families joined us for a ceremonial planting of a tree in their memories in front of the existing memorial stone.
In other news, Year 10 students enjoyed their work experience at Isover Saint Gobain, Year 7 and 8 students took part in a range of Every Child Matters activities and a number of our community completed a charity fun run.
Best wishes for this half-term and I look forward to sharing further news with you next week, including the highlights of our Awards Evening.
Mr. M Wyss
Making a Positive Contribution
At the end of last half-term, OBA’s Year 7s and 8s took part in a fun day based on the theme of ’Making a Positive Contribution’. They gave their time and very best efforts to raise a total of £258.40 for OBA’s annual trip to Kenya.
All Year 7 students designed different Halloween products which were then sold at the Year 7 Settling-in Evening. Students designed and made a range of different products which included Halloween masks and mugs, torches with spooky faces on them, cupcakes with scary designs, Halloween bunting and chocolate wrappers.
Throughout the day students worked in the Technology Faculty and then the Year 7 Sales Team sold the products that evening, raising £58.60.
Meanwhile, Year 8 students took on the rain and wind and took part in a sponsored walk up Moel Famau, in North Wales.
They completed a range of challenges with their peers on the way up the mountain, developing their team work skills. The Year 8s were proud to raise £199.80 for the Kenya trip and they had great fun along the way!
Some Year 8 students who were unable to take part in the sponsored walk were involved in an alternative ECM Project day. They worked on a radio advert with Cheshire Police to raise awareness with young people of the dangers of legal highs, sexting and the issue of healthy relationships. The students completed research, made decisions about what content to include in their advert and wrote the script. They also added music and other sound effects before going on to rehearse and record their radio adverts. All the adverts will now be submitted into a competition and the creators of the winning adverts will be given the opportunity to work on their own professionally-produced radio advert, working alongside industry experts.
Creating Employment Links Within Our Community
Project Day for Year 10 - Report by Mrs Jarvis
Further to my last post regarding my time spent over at local global company, Saint Gobain Isover, I am pleased to inform you that the business partnership launch event took place here at OBA on 20th October, as planned, and it was a great success.
The launch event was designed to inform OBA’s Year 10 students of our new working partnership with the company and to discuss the exciting career-linked opportunities that would be available to them over the coming years.
The day kicked off with an informative assembly hosted by Saint Gobain Company Director, Simon Tait. Simon provided the students with an in depth overview of Saint Gobain; who they are, what they do and what they manufacture, the history of the company and the various industry and job sectors across the business.
The rest of the day was then broken down into a series of 5 workshops which were linked to Saint Gobain’s brand awareness and possible future careers. The workshops were entitled: Sharing our expertise; Enhancing the customer experience; Creating the feel good factor; Innovation; Sustainability.
Through undertaking creative tasks, each workshop was designed to get the students to think innovatively, to develop their team building and communication skills, to discuss and identify the important skills involved within the various job sectors at Saint Gobain and, most importantly, to help raise our students’ aspirations.
The workshops were carried out by ten Saint Gobain professionals, from a variety of job roles. These included: HR Advisor, Product Manager, Operations Manager, Operations Director, Graduate Process Engineer, Product Manager, Marketing and Sales Assistant, Area Sales Manager and Supply Chain Manager.
Some of the feedback from the day included:
The group work activities and the discussions with the experts were really beneficial elements for our students….I have never heard the pupils ask so many questions!(Miss Boardman, English teacher and YR10 Form Tutor)
The most helpful activity was in the innovation workshop because it helped me to understand that there are many different options to explore in the future and that I have to put myself out there!(Student from 10EBN)
The most important thing that I have learnt from the business professionals today is to make the most of every opportunity.(Student from 10 SHN)
The main benefit of participating in today has been to improve our local network, awareness of our infrastructure and the challenges facing the development of our local young people.(Saint Gobain professional)
By participating in today I feel that I have made the students at OBA more aware of the world of work helping to educate young people about the decisions that they make in the future is really important.(Saint Gobain professional)
On behalf of students and staff at OBA, I would like to say a huge thank you to staff at Saint Gobain for taking time out of their busy daily schedules to work with our students and for inspiring them about possible future career choices.
I look forward to reporting back soon on some further exciting initiatives that we will be embedding over this academic year.
Justice for 96
OBA Pays Tribute and Remembers
On Friday 21st October, Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy honoured, once more, three former students who sadly lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989. The three boys, Tommy Howard (14), Adam Spearritt (14) and Kevin Tyrell (15) attended Norton Priory and Brookvale High Schools at the time, schools which eventually joined together to become Halton High School and subsequently Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy.
However, we are all only too well aware of the further pain that their families and friends had to endure following the disaster, as they fought to clear the names and reputations of their loved ones. It took twenty-seven years to do so, and after the torment of lies and cover-ups, the families of the 96 finally saw justice win through when, on April 30th this year, a jury ruled that those who had died at Hillsborough had been “unlawfully killed”.
OBA was very keen to commemorate this long-awaited victory for ‘Justice for the 96’ but was very well aware of the emotional drain and toll that the whole process had had on the families, so we decided to wait for six months before holding a commemoration event.
The families of the three boys were invited to OBA for a short, but very moving ceremony to remember them once more. All three families were represented with parents, siblings, and other family members who remembered the boys and acknowledged, once more, how justice had eventually prevailed.
The ceremony took place around the existing memorial stone that sits outside the front of OBA’s main entrance, with staff and governors also in attendance to pay their respects. After an introduction by Executive Principal, Mr Rigby and an address by Principal, Mr Wyss, Liverpool Football Club’s representative, Phil Thompson, spoke about how honoured and humble he felt to be part of the ceremony for the three former students as well as the other ninety-three fans who lost their lives back in 1989.
Also present was Maths teacher, Simon Donegan, a staunch LFC season ticket holder, who was present at Hillsborough on the fateful day. Brave student, Bobby Muscart, who is a dedicated Liverpool fan, read out a very emotional poem that he had written last April when justice was declared. It summed up not only his feelings but those of so many. The families of the boys were very moved by Bobby’s poem and were each presented with a framed copy at the end of the ceremony.
Head Boy, Connor Murphy, and Head Girl, Emily Wilcott, represented all of OBA’s students and planted a tree, specially chosen to flower every year in April, in the boys’ memory and in the name of justice.
The families then joined governors, invited guests, staff and students for lunch and shared some of their memories. The families all offered their thanks for keeping the memory of their loved ones alive as well as highlighting to young people the importance of fighting for justice and truth.
By Bobby Muscart
It’s been 27 years
Of uncontrollable tears
And an awful amount of pain
Never came home
Since they swayed in Leppings Lane.
A court case disgrace
Saying lies to their face
Constantly dodging the blame
But we never gave in
At several hearings
And now its justice we’ve gained.
Their souls can now rest
We could have all guessed
The police were the reason they died
But you can’t hide the sun,
The moon and the truth
Even with well thought out lies
But yet I’m still sad
And hurt deep to say
27 years to prove wrong
But with hope in our hearts
But it was 27 years too long.
In response to the tribute, the following letter was received from Margaret Aspinall, Chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
Click to view at full size
Wallace and Walker Wowzer!
Congratulations to Mrs Wallace and Mrs Walker who ran the Manchester Half Marathon on Sunday 16th October.
After joining OBA’s Staff Running Club last June, the two brave runners started a gruelling training regime which pushed them to the limit and saw them achieving more than they ever thought possible.
Running through the wind and the rain along the streets of Stretford, Sale and Old Trafford they ran side by side, along with another 8,500 competitors, covering the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours and 26 seconds, a time that both runners were very proud of. Despite their combined age of 103, they ran all the way, dancing to the music of the bands playing along the route, only slowing down slightly to ‘high-five’ the younger supporters who lined the roads, urging them on!
Mrs Walker said:
There were hundreds of residents lining the streets and leaning out of windows shouting their support to all the runners. The atmosphere was amazing.
Mrs Wallace added:
We took full advantage of the water and treats, such as jelly babies, that they were all offering us. Their enthusiasm for us to succeed spurred us on to do our absolute best. Although it was hard at times, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we are now looking forward to the next challenge so watch this space!
Year 7 Settling in Evening
On Wednesday 19th October parents and carers of Year 7 students were invited to attend OBA’s annual Settling in Evening.
The evening started with a short presentation by KS3 coordinators for English and Maths, Miss Boardman and Mr Coring, who provided an insight into what the Year 7 students have been studying in English and Maths since starting at OBA in September.
There was the opportunity to view work in their child’s exercise books and to talk to their class teacher. Head of Year 7, Miss Porschke, and Assistant Head of Year, Mr Milne, were also present, along with Year 7 Form Tutors, to discuss how students had settled in pastorally.
In addition, representatives from O2/NSPCC did a presentation to communicate some key messages to parents about online safety, including some top tips for how to keep children protected online. They also had a stand in the Learning Street and were available to discuss any concerns with parents throughout the evening.
Mrs Snagg, Director of Transition and Community Development, said:
The evening went really well and 100% of those parents surveyed indicated that they received the information they wanted and or needed from the event. It is always important for parents to be reassured that the big move from primary to secondary education has gone well.
Parental comments included:
It was valuable to be able to touch base – to make sure everything is on track.
Enables parents to know where their child might need help and how they can help too.
Great to meet teachers and see how my son is settling and progressing.
Very reassuring event.
Helps to resolve any issues early on.
It was good to see how well my daughter has settled in and it alleviated any concerns I had regarding this.
Peace of mind on how my child is settling into secondary school.
I couldn’t be more pleased with the Academy and how my son has settled in.
My son loves his time here so far.
We have seen our daughter’s confidence grow since attending OBA.
Couldn’t be happier!
Over the moon with the school and how my daughter has settled in.
Extremely happy, I feel my daughter has progressed more than I expected.
Absolutely amazed at how well our daughter has settled in and even more pleased by the progress being made by her – thanks!
The home emails, texts and phone calls are great.
We are always well aware of any activities during or after school.
Received a lovely phone call about his work – was nice to hear positive feedback.
OBA’s 2k Fun Run for ‘Caring Matters Now’
On Thursday 20th October, over ninety students from Years 7 and 8 in OBA took part in a fun run to help raise money for a Liverpool based charity, ‘Caring Matters Now’.
‘Caring Matters Now’ supports people affected by a rare skin condition and helps to fund research at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where treatments and an eventual cure for the condition are being worked on. The money raised from this event at OBA will go towards funding this vital research.
Along the course of the run, students tackled hurdles, scramble nets, tyres and a large 40ft inflatable obstacle course! They all really enjoyed taking part in the event and were very competitive throughout, wanting to beat their friends to the finish line!
Miss Arends, teacher of Maths at OBA who organised the event, said:
So far the students have raised a total of £650 for the charity, with more still to be collected. This is an amazing amount of money that will benefit the charity greatly! It was wonderful to see so many of the Year 7 and 8 students getting involved in the event and enjoying themselves. I would like to give a massive thank you to 'Active Children's Education' who were kind enough to lend us the equipment for the day. I would also like to extend my thanks to all the staff who helped to organise the event, not forgetting the students for raising so much money for this very worthwhile cause.
Free Skiing Holiday
Two lucky OBA students have been selected to take part in OBA’s annual ski trip, TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE!
Demi Leigh Gaskin from Year 7 and Elias Gumbs from Year 10 had their names put into a hat, along with ten other students who had fulfilled all of OBA’s ‘PRIDE’ criteria. All the students had achieved 100% attendance and 100% punctuality since September. They had also scored amongst the highest number of A2L 1 achievement points and attended the most after school enrichments sessions.
Mr Fenner, who organises the annual ski trip each year to France, was thrilled to announce the results and commented:
“These two students really deserve this magnificent prize. The ‘PRIDE’ criteria are really hard to achieve and such students are therefore setting the standard for others to follow. Many congratulations to them both.”
At OBA, students are taught about e-safety and the importance of staying safe online in and out of school. Over the coming weeks we will introduce you to a selection of online articles highlighting some important issues.
This week: Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying can have a devastating effect on children and their families. Campaigners warn that this time of year is associated with an increase in cyberbullying and "connecting with friends on social media and online can be liberating and empowering for children, which makes cyberbullying all the more impactful."
Read more in the full article at home.bt.com/news/uk-news/campaigners-warn-of-cyberbullying-rise-at-start-of-new-school-year-11364101037770
Information about how to protect children from cyberbullying and warning signs to watch out for can be found at www.internetmatters.org/cyberbullying
Year 10 Football Update
The Year 10 team played in two cup matches before half-term and worked really hard, displaying some excellent footballing skills.
The first match, which was against Christleton High School was an away game and was played a 3g pitch. The team fought hard to finish the first half 3-2 down and unfortunately, after using all their energy up in the first half they ended up being beaten 6 goals to 3. There was a late consolation goal from Josh Elverstone who struck the ball hard from ten yards out to score a brilliant goal into the top corner of the net.
The second match was against Ridgeway High School on The Wirral and OBA celebrated a fantastic
7 -1 victory, with a hat-trick from Louis Morton and a top performance from a Year 9 addition to the team, Daniel Kavanagh.
Team Manager and Coach, Mr Barrett, said:
The lads gave both matches everything they had and there were some really stunning goals. They have made a good start to the season. I know you can’t win them all, because that’s football, but all I can ask is they give it their all and they certainly did that.
Try your hand 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.