OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 114 - 14th November 2017

Issue 114 - 14th November 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,
I am pleased to bring you this week’s edition of the newsletter, that features a very exciting visit to the school from Ormiston’s Chief Executive Officer, Nick Hudson. Nick was really impressed by our students, who made him feel very welcome during his visit. 
As always,  our weekly newsletter highlights the many enrichment activities that happen in the school to support our pledge to pupils. Of particular note this week is our involvement in the Shakespeare Schools Festival and Debate Mate – two enrichment activities with a particularly strong academic dimension.
I would draw your attention to the section on attendance which follows up on my letter sent home to parents in relation to holidays in term time. Unless there are exceptionally special circumstances, holidays in term time are not authorised. Whilst I appreciate the unfair pricing structure that holiday companies impose, I would ask that all members of our school community do not take children on holiday during school time.
Once more, my thanks with your continued support with all aspects of academy life.

Mr. E Wright

A Warm Welcome to OATs new CEO

Nick Hudson, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), visited OBA on Wednesday to meet our new Principal, Mr Wright. He was greeted on arrival by Year 10 students Ewan Jago and Milly Ward, who treated him to a fact-filled trip around the Academy!

Mr Wright said:

I was really pleased to welcome Nick to the Academy this week. Nick enjoyed a tour of the school before meeting with myself and some of our school Governors to discuss our plans for the future development of the academy.

As quoted from the OAT website:

Nick was appointed CEO in October, 2017. He was formerly Ofsted Regional Director (RD) for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region since January 2013 and for a period of time, whilst still RD, assumed responsibility as Ofsted National Director for Early Education. Having started his career as a secondary education teacher, Nick is an outstanding educational leader having built his career on working in senior leader roles within LEAs children, young people, families and adult services.


We were really pleased to welcome Nick to our Academy, and proud that he took time out of his week to visit us. We look forward to seeing him back at OBA again soon.

Year 6 Experience a Taste of Japan

69 lucky Year 6 students were treated to an authentic taste of Japan on Saturday as they visited Siam Thai and Teppanyaki Restaurant in Chester. The students who are all part of OBA’s innovative Around-the-World (ATW) project had the exciting chance to watch Japanese chefs at work – cooking up a delicious dinner right in front of their eyes. 

Students, who attend the project from 22 different local primary schools sat with their friends at authentic Teppan grills while enjoying a theatrical cooking performance from skilled chefs.  Roaring flames, juggling knives, tossing eggs and silly-string tomato sauce kept all pupils on the edge of their seats whilst waiting for their lunch to arrive! 

Children had the choice of chicken, pork, salmon, sea bass or soba noodles cooked in a tasty teriyaki sauce accompanied by griddled potatoes and vegetable egg-fried rice. 

Mrs Snagg who organised the trip said:

It was a really fantastic afternoon! It was great to see the students in such a different environment having such a good time. OBA staff were really pleased to see so many of the children choosing options off the menu such as salmon and sea bass and trying … and enjoying… foods that they said they have never tasted before!

The chefs put on a brilliant performance for our students and had them all laughing by tasking them to catch potatoes in their mouths as they threw them from behind the Teppan grill!

The children were exceptionally well behaved throughout the visit and made comments to ATW staff such as ‘This is the best trip ever!’ , ‘My lunch was amazing’, ’We love it here’ and ‘I’ve had such a great afternoon’.

OBA would like to say a massive thank you to Steve, Vanessa and all the team at Siam Thai Teppanyaki Restaurant for accommodating the ATW group for the 7th consecutive year and once again ensuring that this trip is a highlight of the project calendar.

Shakespeare Schools Festival


On Tuesday 31st October a group of our talented students performed at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. The cast had been working extremely hard since the beginning of the academic year to create an abstract version of Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’. On the performance day, the cast departed school after lunch and had a technical and dress rehearsal in the theatre. This was the first time they had performed with all lighting, sound and costume and they were fantastic!  In the evening, the cast performed alongside New Brighton Primary School and Clare Mount Specialist Sports College – All schools produced fantastic individual representations of Shakespeare’s work and certainly impressed all audience members. 

Miss Edwards, OBA Drama Teacher said:

As the director of this production of King Lear, I am extremely proud of the effort and determination shown by our students, they have blown me away with their talents! Throughout the whole rehearsal process, they have contributed so many fantastic ideas and created a spectacular performance.

Nuffield Research Placements

Nuffield Research Placements provide over 1,100 students each year with the invaluable opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

A Level students studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) course are eligible to apply for authentic, hands-on experiences across the UK where they will have the unique chance to contribute to the work of the host’s organisation.  These appointments are highly sought after and involve a rigorous application process, but OBA is thrilled to report that five of our current sixth form students successfully competed against students across the whole of the North West of England for one of these prestigious placements. 

Congratulations to Charlie Fogg, Matthew Kyprian, Niamh Allanson, Ellis Chaffe and Owen Eagan!

Ellis gained a place at the University of Liverpool working with the QUASAR group, a world-class research group whose work includes optimising the performance of particle accelerators.

Published on the University of Liverpool's website, Ellis wrote that:

My time here was really good because I got to meet new people and make new friends. I learned about the jobs that researchers do in the particle physics industry and what they do on a day to day basis. The thing that I found the most interesting was looking at the different accelerators and learning more about them especially EMMA. I learnt about machine learning and learnt about the diagnostics of a particle accelerator beam.

Another of our students, Charlie Fogg, shares on the website how his research placement at the Centre for Cell Imaging has influenced his future ambitions. He writes:

Over the summer of 2017, I spent four weeks with the University of Liverpool, trialling a new method for imaging and testing anticancer drugs. I used many different drugs on glioblastoma cells in an attempt to prevent cell migration. Migration should be aimed to be prevented because that will allow targeted treatment of cells in sensitive areas such as the brain. This research had real-life application and resulted in a new method being proven as effective for testing on multiple sets of cancer cells with different drugs; meaning my work will be used in future research at the university.

I believe that this summer placement at the University of Liverpool was the greatest experience of my life, and I will always remember it as the reason I firmly decided that this was the career in which I needed to pursue. I believe that this summer was an eye-opening experience into the real world of science, specifically cell microscopy, and it gave me countless new ideas and theories which I will take away with me into the future, and hopefully begin to research into myself one day. The placement inspired me to want to carry on pursuing science for the rest of my life and fed my ambition to achieve in a new world which I now see with many more possibilities than I had originally perceived.

Since Charlie completed his placement at the University of Liverpool, he has been awarded the highly acclaimed Gold CREST (CREativity in Science and Technology) Award. This amazing accolade celebrates the fact that Charlie dedicated over 100 hours work on his designated project, working at an extremely high scientific level – Well done Charlie!

Debate Mate

On Friday afternoon Mr Bird took 11 students ranging from Year 7 to 10 to the launch of Debate Mate 2017.

This will be the 10th anniversary of the Debate Mate competition and Mr Bird who will be working with our school team said, “Our students are lucky to be joining an exciting journey along with a record number of schools not just in the UK but also worldwide.” 

Mr Bird told that whilst at the event on Friday afternoon, OBA students along with four other schools from the Liverpool area viewed launch events that were taking place as far away as Kingston Jamaica! They had the opportunity to witness a debate taking place between some of last year’s UK champions who were considering the interesting topic of whether school pupils should be allowed to appoint their head teacher. They also heard about the successes of previous entrants who were fortunate enough to attend the final in the House of Lords and felt inspired by the stories of those who are now enjoying studying at a number of top UK Universities.

Mr Bird said:

Our students saw first-hand the confidence with a microphone exhibited by students from other schools. They are excited about the challenge ahead and cannot wait to get started.

Our teams will be mentored by University Undergraduates and will be involved in regional leagues along with a whole day devoted to the Debate Mate cup. 

Attendance Matters

November is Attendance Focus Month

An excellent record of attendance at school has a major impact on your child’s academic progress. Research shows that there is a direct link between poor attendance and poor examination results.

Every student in OBA has an absolute minimum attendance target of 96% but even with this figure your child will still have missed 1.5 weeks of school that year, that’s a massive 35 lessons in total! 

Mrs Wallace said:

Days off school soon add up! Not attending school for only one day a week equates to a mere 80% attendance. To support OBA’s drive to improve attendance we are running the November focus month in a bid to highlight to students and parents how and why good attendance matters so much.

All students who achieve 100% attendance and punctuality during the month of November will receive a prize!

Students across the school compete each week within their tutor groups to win the top spot for both attendance and punctuality. 8AHH are this week’s tutor superstars having achieved a fantastic 99.6% attendance and 0 late marks. Well Done to Year 7 who are currently flying the flag overall for the year to date.

Girls Rugby

The Year 9 and 10 girl’s rugby team competed in a Girls Rugby festival led by the Rugby Football Union. Playing against many local rivals and also against some new competition, the girls gave it their all and put their bodies on the line. From creating the space for some amazing sprints down the wing to putting in some brave and incredible tackles, the girls all played for one another. Out of the five games played on the day, the girls came away with a victory against South Wirral High School.

Miss Roberts, Coach shared some thoughts on the outstanding efforts from the competition:

For the first competition back of the school year and with many new girls stepping up, I think the girls should be very proud of themselves. They played for one another and had lots of fun. My personal highlight was watching Taylor Braithwaite track back to make a try-saving tackle against one of the Wade Deacon players, who broke through our defensive line. Another highlight was watching Maddison O’Rourke run through and around the girls on the other team as they were trying to tackle her. All of the girls made some brilliant tackles to force many knock-ons. I’m super proud of them ALL!

The Year 9 and 10 team return to the competition on Thursday 8th February 2018 at Widnes Rugby Club and Thursday 1st March 2018 at West Park Rugby Club, St Helens, for the remaining fixtures. With more girls attending rugby enrichment, we’re sure they’ll return from the upcoming fixtures with more victories to hand. Well done girls!

Thank you to the Rugby Football Union, for organising the event. 

Tech Talk

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

This week’s Tech Talk is going to focus on an app called ‘Fit Brains Trainer’ which has been ranked the top education app in over 90 countries. Fit Brains is designed by neuroscientist Dr Nussbaum, a leading brain expert in clinical Neuropsychology and Chief Science Officer. Fit Brains Trainer prides itself as the only comprehensive brain trainer that can stimulate your IQ and EQ (cognitive & emotional intelligence) whilst being a fun and challenging way of challenging the mind. Fit Brains Trainer is an award-winning personalized brain games app that challenges you to perform at your best. The award-winning free brain fitness system has 50+ fun games, 500+ workout sessions & in-depth performance reports. Fit Brains Trainer enables people of all ages and abilities to play the widest variety of brain games and offers an easy and quick way to stimulate the mind. 

Fit Brains targets all 6 major areas of the brain: Memory, Speed of Thinking, Concentration, Problem Solving, Language and Visual-Spatial. Plus, it targets EQ, Emotional Intelligence, the ability to recognize and manage your own and other people’s emotions, in 4 key areas: Self-Control, Self-Awareness, Social Awareness and Social Skills.

Fit Brains Trainer is available for free on the Apple App Store and on Android devices. Download it now and start training your grey matter!

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:

Halton Haven Santa Dash

The Halton Haven Santa Dash is returning for another year!

Taking place at Victoria Park in Widnes on Sunday 3rd December, this 4km sponsored fun run (or walk!) is a brilliant festive event for all the family! 

Information on Halton Haven’s website states:

Everyone who registers for the event will receive a Santa suit to wear for the run, creating a fantastic sight on event day as hundreds of Santa’s dash the three and a half lap route around Victoria Park. After registering, your Santa suit will be available to pick up from one of our high street shops or at the event on the day. There will be mince pies and a brand new medal waiting for you at the finish line! You may even receive your medal from our special guest...

Your entry fee only covers the cost of putting on the event so we rely on your sponsorship to ensure we raise money for patient care. It costs £2.5 million to run the Hospice every year and we receive just half of that from government funding. We rely entirely on the local community to help us raise the remaining £1.25 million to ensure the Hospice stays open. Your support in raising sponsorship from the Santa Dash is hugely appreciated by all of us at Halton Haven.

Once again, this memorable event will be followed by ‘Panto in the Park’ where members of the local community will be treated to a fantastic performance of Sleeping Beauty and a chance to meet the stars as the cast visit Victoria Park. You can sign up or find out more information about the event on Halton Haven’s website and on Facebook at Alternatively, please contact Chris Andrews, Community Fundraising Manager at Halton Haven for more information.

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