OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 113 - 7th November 2017

Issue 113 - 7th November 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

I am delighted to bring you the next edition of our weekly newsletter. This edition demonstrates, once more, the Academy’s commitment to the enrichment of our students’ school experience. You will find exciting details of a number of trips out of, and visits into, school. 
The school has a broad and balanced curriculum that enables all students to make excellent progress onto the right GCSE and A level courses and further into University, an apprenticeship or into the world of work.  As featured in our revised school strategy map, our mission statement of nurture, support and excellence covers every aspect of the work we do so I am delighted that this edition features how we are involving students in the curriculum planning process, so that it not only remains fit for purpose for students’ futures but also remains relevant to our students interests and needs.
Also announced in this edition are the dates for our school production Annie. So much work has gone in from staff and students in the build-up to the production that it is going to be a real treat - please do come along and support our students on one of the performances. 
Dare I say it but with Christmas just 7 weeks away, we also launch today our annual Christmas Market which everyone associated with our great school is more than welcome to attend.
Finally, details of my next Principal’s drop in. Monday 13th November from 3.00-6.30, I will be available to any parent who wishes to see me (without an appointment) to discuss any aspect of school life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s newsletter, and for your continued support of the school.

Mr. E Wright

Young Enterprise at OBA

105 Year 5 students joined us on Tuesday this week for a spooktacular Halloween themed enterprise day! 

Led by Mrs Fitzgerald and Mr Fenner, children from Windmill Hill Primary School, Brookvale Primary School and Murdishaw West Community Primary School were treated to a spooky day of fun, involving activities ranging from team building to product design and creation. After crafting a unique company name and logo, students went off to one of four production zones to make a marketable product for Halloween.  

Enchantingly designed decorations, zombie sweet-filled hands, ghoulish goodie wrappers and creepy cupcakes were all created under the expertise of OBA’s talented Technology team and then brought back to the learning plaza to pitch to the judge! 

‘Hands of Horror’ -Windmill Hill Primary School

Mrs Snagg had the extremely difficult decision of judging the pitches and commented that she was highly impressed with the amount of creativity, skill and effort that had gone into the dragons-den style presentations.

Mrs Snagg said:

I saw 19 groups pitch their product and deciding who the winners were really was a tough call to make. I scored the groups on four areas – Company Name, Team Work, Creativity and Advert. The winning groups ‘Top 5 Girls’ (Brookvale Primary School) Hands of Horror (Windmill Hill Primary School) and The Creepy Crew (Murdishaw West Community Primary School) were all selected as they gave fun and lively pitches. They all commented on enterprising skills they had used throughout the day such as communication and teamwork, their brilliant products were well represented in their pitches and each of these three groups articulated a clearly thought out pricing strategy. Well done to all involved!

‘The Creepy Crew’ – Murdishaw West Community Primary School

The teaching staff from each of the three attending primary schools also enjoyed the day!

The day was fantastic! It was well organised and lots of fun for the children and adults. The activities were well prepared and easy to understand. The afternoon was a great way for children to work together as a team and learn some new ICT skills. The lunch was brilliant with lots to choose from and all staff were so helpful and friendly.

Chelsie Walsh, Year 5 Teacher
(Windmill Hill Primary School)

“A fun-filled schedule of events!”

Marie Bell, Year 5 Teacher
(Brookvale Primary School)

All children enjoyed the day with lots saying that they can’t wait to come to OBA for their high school. Thanks for another great day and thank you to the staff for their enthusiasm.

Laura Dyer, Year 5 Teacher
(Murdishaw West Community Primary School)

‘Top 5 Girls’ – Brookvale Primary School

Annie – Act One is Complete! 

Tickets now on Sale!

Act one of our fantastic Christmas production ‘Annie’ has been rehearsed and completed during the first half-term. 

Miss McKevitt said:

The cast have been dedicated as always attending rehearsals three nights a week without fail. It is thrilling to see the show coming together and we are excited to announce that tickets for the performances will go on sale Monday 6th November. Four of our fantastic local primary schools are also starring in the show this year. Year 5 children from Windmill Hill Primary School, Gorsewood Primary School, Brookvale Primary School and Palace Fields Primary Academy have been working really hard perfecting their routines for the scenes ‘it’s a hard knock life’ and ‘Let’s go to the Movies’ and we can’t wait to see them on stage with OBA students in December!

Please contact Miss McKevitt for more details. Tickets are sure to sell out quickly so please be sure to book yours early to avoid disappointment! 

Show Dates: Tuesday 5th, Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th December - 7.00pm start.

Ticket Information: Tickets go on sale: Monday 6th November – Wednesday 8th November for CAST MEMBERS ONLY.  Thursday 9th November general sale tickets are sold through School Gateway and the Academy’s uniform shop Mon-Fri 8.00am -8.30am as well as Monday & Wednesday 3.00pm-3.30pm. All 140 tickets have been numbered and tickets must be produced on the night. 

OBA Christmas Market – A Festive Treat for all the Family!

The Academy’s much anticipated annual Christmas Market will return this year on Tuesday 12th December 2017.

We already have a brilliant variety of stalls booked in to attend again, selling all kinds of goodies ranging from toys, flowers, festive decorations, jewellery, sweet treats, candles and cards to an array of unique posh presents exclusively for your pets! 

The popular Fish Bay Camper Van is set to return again this year selling its fantastic freshly battered fish and chips, along with Coffee on the Hoof, The Vintage Tea Pot pop-up café and a brand new addition selling delicious doughnuts and mouth-watering milkshakes!  Also set to return this year is the ice rink, our talented carol singers and of course Father Christmas will be making an appearance along with his trusty reindeers!  We are looking forward to another fun and very festive evening so please make sure you put the date in your diary!

If you are interested in booking a stall (small fee of £5.00 per stall) or would like more information about the event, please contact Mrs Snagg at school on 01928 711643. 

Rapper in Residence at OBA

On Monday 30th October OBA was visited by poet, rapper and author Karl Nova. Karl was visiting the school to discuss his poems and raps with our students. The day started with an exciting assembly for year 8. Karl shared some of his raps and even had the students up and performing as a whole group. All the students were excited and fully engaged by Karl’s incredible work. Students from year 9 and 10 were treated to focus workshops with Karl where they got the chance to question him on his work and even have a go at writing some raps themselves

Year 9 student Holly Mogg said:

Today was really fun and entertaining. We all got involved and attempted our raps. Karl was great!

Grant Powell, also in Year 9 said: 
It was a really fun day. I learnt how to rhyme in a different way and it has given me lots more confidence.”

Miss Smith, who organised the event commented:

All the students were really engaged and enthusiastic during the sessions. It was exciting to look at poetry in a different way and the students really enjoyed it. Karl was excellent and I look forward to our poetry day next year.

Business as Usual for Year 12

On Monday last week, Mr Fenner and Mrs Hook took 27 Year 12 Business Studies students on a trip to The Bentley Brook Inn, set on the edge of the Peak District. Business Resources is the unit of work Year 12 are currently studying and this expedition gave students the opportunity to look closely at how a family-run business operates in terms of its resources. Students discussed with the owners of the hotel how they control their financial, technological and physical resources and discussed the impact of them when running a small business compared to large hotels.

Mr Fenner, Head of Business at OBA who organised the trip, commented: 

The visit to this classic country inn really made the unit we are currently studying come to life! The group enjoyed a tour of the hotel, a talk from the owners and were treated to a hot lunch before returning to the academy!

Year 12 student Caitlin Seddon said:

One of the main things we learned from visiting The Bentley Brook in was about profit and loss. We spoke to the owners about where they make the most money and where they spend the most and now we can use this information to complete our coursework where we need to consider how the hotel could improve its finances.

Abbey Ashton, also in Year 12 said: 

The whole day was really enjoyable. The owners were really lovely and welcoming and we all felt we learnt a lot from the visit.

Student Parliament Help Plan the Curriculum

Members of Student Parliament were involved in an important planning meeting this week with Mrs Noon as part of her ECM student voice initiative. Students were informed of the changes made to the ECM curriculum and project days as a result of the planning meeting that representatives took part in last year. The positive outcomes of the ECM student survey completed in July were discussed and an action plan was started for key areas that students wanted to see in the curriculum this year. These included; mental health awareness and suicide prevention, anti-extremism and terrorism, life skills (including how to buy your own house) and interactive ECM days.

Mrs Noon commented:

I feel it's important to involve students in the planning of the ECM curriculum. The student parliament plays a crucial role in being the voice of OBA, by them taking ownership of certain aspects of the curriculum our PHSE programme can be tailored to suit their needs and interests thus hopefully making the learning more enjoyable and have a lasting impact.

Poppy Pride

As always, Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy is supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal this year. Students from 11LHU are leading on the sale of poppies and will be visiting tutor groups every morning. We are asking for a minimum donation of 10p per poppy and would love to see as many students as possible proudly wearing their poppies and supporting our forces. 

The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign held every year in November, the period of Remembrance. Paper poppies are sold throughout the nation, collecting donations in return to help support the vital work we do for the Armed Forces community. Members of the public wear the paper poppy on their chest as a symbol of Remembrance: to remember the fallen Service men and women killed in conflict. The first Poppy Appeal was held in 1921, the founding year of The Royal British Legion. Red silk poppies, inspired by the famous First World War poem In Flanders Fields, sold out instantly and raised more than £106,000. The funds helped WW1 veterans find employment and housing after the war.

Remembrance Sunday, which falls on 12 November in 2017, is a day for the nation to remember, reflect and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

Please bring change into school to purchase your poppies when members of Mr Hussey’s form come round with poppies to sell. 

Examination Day for LAMDA Drama Students

On Saturday 28th October three of our highly dedicated drama students, Holly Mogg (Year 9) Sarah Taylor and Carrie Clarke (both Year 13) sat their Level 3 LAMDA examinations at Liverpool’s Masonic Hall Performers Studios. Nervous prior to entering, all three girls were beaming with confidence and pride as they exited the examination room. 

Miss McKevitt said:

As always the girls gave 100% and tried their best which is all we ask of them. All three girls have spent hours rehearsing, perfecting and polishing their chosen scenes for performance. They have stayed after school and rehearsed at home as well as keeping up to date with all school work. They should be extremely proud of themselves as I definitely am! Their continued hard work and commitment is testament to their success! Well done girls!

Fingers crossed, in six weeks’ time they will achieve the grade that they deserve…Distinction of course!

If you would like any further information about how you can get involved in LAMDA examination classes starting January 2018 please contact Miss McKevitt – Drama Teacher & LAMDA Centre Co-ordinator.

Page to Stage Opportunity for A Level Drama Students

On Wednesday 1st November, Mrs Noon took nine A Level students to The Lowry Theatre to watch a performance of Hedda Gabler by the critical acclaimed National Theatre. The students are studying it as a set text for their written examination so it was a fantastic opportunity for them to see it live on stage. Mrs Noon arranged a Page to Stage workshop with the directors, performers and stage manager before the show. 

Mrs Noon commented:

This was such a brilliant opportunity for the students to get a real insight into the Directors performance concept which is a vital part of one of their examination questions. Students took part in exercises with the actors and were asked to help redirect scenes focusing on character motivation and directors intentions. The director commented on how insightful their responses to the themes, characters and set design were.

Ellie Mogg commented

I really enjoyed the performance I found it so useful for my upcoming A Level Drama and Theatre Studies exam. The workshop was really good and it was interesting to look at different job roles in the Performing Arts industry.

Keeping Our Kids Safe Online

At our recent Year 7 Settling In event, we were fortunate enough to be joined by Jo, an O2 NSPCC representative, who shared with parents a few top tips for keeping children safe online. Jo explained that one of the top reasons for a call into the helpline is around the sharing of images online and therefore has shared this blog post to advise parents about where you can get the support you may need in creating a safe environment for your children to enjoy the online world:

Working on the O2 NSPCC Helpline we speak to people about all aspects of online safety, but one popular topic is the sharing of images online. We live in a world where it’s never been easier to share a funny picture of your cat, a selfie, or even what you ate for dinner that day. And with 80 million photos shared on Instagram every day, it’s a trend that’s unlikely to change any time soon. While it may seem obvious to us what’s inappropriate to share online, it’s not so simple for children who are still learning and exploring the online world, experiencing things for the first time. 15% of the calls we take are about this so you’re not alone if you have questions.

To begin with, I think it’s important for us to realise the value that image sharing brings to children’s lives. It lets them be creative, and connects them to new skills. It’s a great way for children to socialise in this digitally expanding world - plus, it’s fun!  

At a recent community event a parent approached me to express his delight at how much his son had come out of his shell since they started using a picture messaging app together. He struggled to get his son to talk about his feelings, but using the app helped open up a means of discussion. It was a great story to hear as it makes me feel proud to work for a business who embraces the digital world as much as O2 does.  But we must recognise the potential risks of living in a world where it’s so easy to share images. It can lead to issues such as bullying, low self-esteem, oversharing, and it could even affect future employability.  Situations can quickly get out of control if not dealt with correctly. I have spoken to parents who are worried as their child has sent an image of themselves to someone who is now threatening to post it online. In this scenario, it’s crucial the police are contacted as soon as possible to prevent the image from being shared further. If the image has already been posted to a public place, then the Internet Watch Foundation may be able to help get it removed. 

It’s important to remember that you, the parents, need support too. It’s all well and good telling you to speak to your child regarding the importance of being mindful what they post online, but – what do you actually say to them? Thankfully, because of our partnership with NSPCC we work extremely closely with them to ensure you feel confident you’re able to manage these situations in the best possible way. Also, the Share Aware website is a great resource full of useful information to help guide those conversations down the right path, ensuring that both you and your child feel supported. 

The ever-expanding online world can be a scary place for any parent - but it doesn’t need to be. Working together with NSPCC, O2 are here to support you in creating a safe environment for your children to enjoy the online world and share images safely. Whether they’re using images to learn, express themselves, or be creative, it’s our responsibility to encourage the right attitude and behaviour to help them get the most out of technology. While there are dangers we need to be aware of, we can’t forget all the amazing benefits and opportunities having access to this digital world brings children today

Keeping up to date with changing technology can be a challenge and helping children stay safe online can sometimes seem even harder.  Help is at hand, for support with any aspect of online safety you can call the O2 NSPCC helpline free and in confidence on 0808 800 5002 Monday – Friday 9am to 7pm and Weekends 10am to 6pm.


A Parents’ Guide to Being Share Aware and Your Child’s Online World – A Guide for Parents, can both be found under Parents then E-Safety for Parents on the Academy website. 

Tech Talk

Welcome to Tech Talk @ OBA, the part of the weekly newsletter where we share useful apps, websites and devices. 

This week we are sharing with you all an app that is free to download and is a must-have for all budding scientists. VideoScience is a collection of short videos of science demonstrations designed to serve as your digital colleague and science teaching companion. With over 80 videos currently, and more added every month, VideoScience helps you find inexpensive lab tools and lots of experiments that are easy, effective, and hopefully fun to offer your students.

Vide Science features experiments, book reviews and a “virtual toolkit” of equipment. The videos are also available as a free app on the iPhone and iPad.

VideoScience is hosted by Dan Menelly, Education Advisor to the Science House Foundation. Dan Menelly is a science teacher at the United Nations International School in New York City and a 2010 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, working with the National Science Foundation in the Office of Cyberinfrastructure.

VideoScience is for science teachers and science enthusiasts alike. VideoScience offers concept notes, links to purchase the materials needed for experiments, and a blog where users can share their experiences and ask questions.

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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