OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 82 - 18th October 2016

Issue 82 - 18th October 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

We are already at the end of our first half term of this academic year and this week’s news is yet another example of a typical action-packed week here at the Academy. I am particularly delighted that you can read about the week’s trip that a group of our students had down at the UK Sailing Association’s centre on the Isle of Wight.  They enjoyed lots of sailing and other watersports, whilst also enjoying the superb facilities that the centre had to offer.

We also recently celebrated two high profile national initiatives.  Firstly, the European Day of Languages was a chance for students and staff to experience other languages beyond the Spanish that is taught here.  The canteen also ran a week of menus themed around countries, for example Portugal and Germany.  Secondly, during National Poetry week, students and teachers took part in poetry readings and street poet, Levi Tafari, led a series of poetry workshops.

Sixth Form Open Evening was a great success last week, with over 100 students and their families attending, many from other schools in the borough.  I wish them all the best of luck with their GCSEs this year and look forward to welcoming them in September.

The Academy is closed for students on Friday as our staff have a training day.  During half-term we will run a programme of enrichment events for Year 11 and 12 students.  This will be a chance for them to hone their revision skills and further improve coursework assignments.  Please check the schedule in this newsletter for full details.

Enjoy your October break and remember to put your clocks back by an hour on Sunday, 30th October - just in time for the start of the new half term on Monday, 31st.

Mr. M Wyss
Academy Principal


An Unforgettable Water Adventure for OBA’s Students

Ten extremely lucky Year 9 students from OBA, accompanied by Miss Belford and Mr A Bird, experienced the trip of a lifetime last week when they took part in a very memorable trip to the UKSA Centre in West Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

UKSA is a charity that believes that by using the power of the sea, you can help change the lives of people of all ages and Megan Berry, Dominque Costello, Elisha Francis, Abby Hilton, Jorja Tipton, Liam Grocott, Ryan Cooper, Kieran Clothier, Ewan Roberts, and Kai Porter were the fortunate students who experienced what UKSA had to offer.  The activities that they were able to try their hands at were all aimed to build confidence, inspire and motivate students to achieve things they never thought possible. 

Amongst the activities that UKSA offers students to take part in are sailing, keel boating, dinghy sailing, team building games, paddle boarding, windsurfing, surfing, kayaking, raft building and raft racing and all the Year 9s had great fun trying out activities that they had never tried before.

Miss Belford, PE teacher, who co-ordinated the event said:

Although many of the activities were lots of fun, some of them did require significant levels of perseverance and determination, skills which all our students learnt to develop throughout their week away. They were an absolute credit to the school during the week and they all did themselves proud. I hope they carry on developing their water sports skills, safe in the knowledge that if they believe they can do it, then they will.  It was so great to see the students relishing the opportunities they were presented with.  Thanks must go to Ormiston Academies Trust who part-funded the trip, as well as the fantastic staff at the UKSA centre for the excellent service that they provided.”

Below is a report on what our students gained from their UKSA experience, written by Megan Berry, Elisha Francis, Ewan Roberts, Dominque Costello and Kieran Clothier.

“We set off very early at 5am on the Monday morning to get the ferry to the Isle of Wight. The journey was fun and we got to stand on the deck of the ferry and wave goodbye to England. When we arrived at the UKSA Centre we were excited to get our wetsuits on and get into the sea! We played some really fun team games that involved jumping in and trying to push each other off a paddle board. In the evening we went on a walk around Cowes, which was the local town. Once we got to the beach, we all tried skimming stones and it was soon dark, so Miss Belford taught us some constellations before we went back to go to bed! 

During the week we got to try so many fun activities that we have never done before. Firstly, we all sailed a big boat called a keel boat and it was fun using the jib to turn the boat around. On the Tuesday afternoon we tried paddle boarding and it was so hard but such fun. All you could hear were splashes as people kept falling in! The instructors tried to make us stand up and jump on the boards which was really hard to do. Eventually we got the hang of it and managed to travel quite far. The best bit was pushing all the instructors and Miss Belford in the water! 

The next day was really hard because we had to do windsurfing on the beach. It’s like normal surfing but instead of using the waves to move, you use the wind. We spent about four hours in the sea trying it and eventually we all managed to do it, which was such a good feeling. But it was funny watching Abby and Elisha because every time they did it they would celebrate and then fall off! Ewan, Liam and Dom were performing like professionals by the end because they could go out to sea, turn around and come back! In the evening we were in the swimming pool playing games against another school, Ormiston Maritime Academy, and we beat them. Wahoo!

On the final full day we did laser pico sailing. The sailing was great fun but we capsized so many times! This activity was hard to do because you had to work as a pair, one to turn the boat and one to change the sail around, so if you got it wrong you were in the water so quickly! The last thing we did was kayaking. This one was so much fun because we had to do all games where you had to change kayaks and run over the top of them. We were also given the opportunity to travel out really far in them and also had some races. 

Overall the trip was so much fun. We tried so many things we would never have had the chance to do. The whole experience helped us all to believe in ourselves and push ourselves further than we thought possible. Even when an activity seemed impossible, we all persevered (which was the word of the week!) and got there in the end. It was such an amazing opportunity and we are so grateful to OBA, Mr Rigby and Mr Wyss for letting us go to the UKSA Centre.  A massive thank you also to Miss Belford and Mr Bird for taking us. We will never forget it!“

OBA Celebrates National Poetry Day

OBA always enjoys celebrating National Poetry Day and this year was no exception.

Throughout the day, students from Years 7 and 8 gathered in the library to listen to various members of staff from across the school read out some of their favourite poems on the theme of ‘Messages’. 

Sixth Form students who study English also joined in with the celebrations and performed some of the poems that they had written themselves to the gathered audiences. There was a huge range of different types of poetry read out from the very funny to the very moving and sad. Both the staff and the Sixth Formers read them with great passion, delighting the Year 7 and 8s who listened with interest. A stunning performance, which was very vocal and dramatic, was put on by Mr Finnigan who, every year, does his best to be singled out for a noticeably loud and entertaining rendition!  

The day after National Poetry Day, local poet and regular visitor to OBA, Levi Tafari, came in and took an assembly with the whole of Year 9, which they all thoroughly enjoyed. Levi then led a Poetry Writing Workshop with Years 10 and 11.  The students considered different ways of writing poems with a message and produced some wonderful pieces. Levi finished off the day with a mini assembly with some of Year 8 students who had great fun chanting some of his very inspirational poetry out loud. 

Miss Ingram, English teacher, who helped to organise the two days said:

I was delighted with the exceptional effort and interest that all the students displayed across the two days and we look forward to having Levi Tafari in OBA again soon - he really helps to bring the wonderful world of poetry alive.

European Day of Languages

Each year on The European Day of Languages, people from across the whole of Europe take part in activities and events to celebrate the importance of languages in our society.

Here at Ormiston Bolingbroke we celebrated with lots of events going on throughout the Academy. Many students took part in taster sessions of languages such as Russian, Italian, German, French, Welsh and Basque. The Music Department taught students to sing in Spanish and the Dance Department taught students about ballet terms in French and considered styles of European dance.

At lunchtime the canteen served European speciality food throughout the week based on a different country each day; amongst the vast range of European food on offer was pork schnitzel and sauerkraut on German day and chicken chasseur on French day.

Miss Crowder, Spanish teacher, who co-ordinated the day, was delighted with the enthusiasm with which both staff and students threw themselves into the European experiences.

Sixth Form Football Update

The Sixth Form had their second match of the season last Wednesday, playing away at Elite Sports Academy in Crosby. After a disappointing 4-3 defeat last week the team was looking to gain a positive result this week. 

They started the match brilliantly but went 1-0 down against the run of play, but then John Gobin scored a fantastic goal from outside the box to level the score. The team played some lovely football throughout the game and a special mention must to Connor Lindsay and Declan Edwards who played some outstanding individual and team football. 

Mr S Murphy, Team Manager, commented:

Although OBA finally had to settle for a 3-2 defeat, the final result did not reflect how hard the whole team performed throughout the match. The lads were a real credit to themselves and to the Academy.

OBA’s School Production Technical Blog
A Report by Drama Teacher, Miss McKevitt

Rehearsals are now in full swing for this year’s school production ‘A Christmas Carol’. Our annual production would not take place if it wasn’t for our dedicated technical team who work tirelessly behind the scenes on costumes, props, set, lighting, sound, make-up and much, much more to ensure everything is ready for opening night!

The technical aspect of any production or show is an exciting one with many roles and opportunities for all those involved. The team have recently set up their own production and technical blog which details everything that the technical team gets involved in.

You can read our blog by following and you may even want to leave a comment! It is updated weekly and includes interviews with lead roles, director’s comments, as well as information on the different projects the team are currently working on. 


Half-term Enrichment for Year 11s

There will be a series of Enrichment and catch up sessions for Year 11s during the half-term as detailed below.  Please ensure that you attend as many of these as possible to help improve your GCSE grades.

Wellbeing: We've Got It Covered

The online magazines cover typical PSHE topics such as healthy eating, exercise, staying safe online and good mental health, as well as careers advice and positive role models. All the articles and videos included have been verified by members of the Health Improvement Team at Halton Borough Council.

In this edition find out what makes a good friend, how to be digitally resilient, the importance of sport and healthy eating, plus watch what happens to your body when you smoke and a hard-hitting anti-bullying film that will, we hope, create a great basis for discussion.

You can find links to our online Wellbeing magazine from our School website.

Tech Talk

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

This week’s Tech Talk is going to focus on a very effective Maths website that many Year 10 and 11 students can use to help them prepare for their exams. 

PiXL Maths app is a free to use website that can be found at and features a range of interactive and fun activities that will improve your Maths skills. Some of the great tools in the PiXL Maths App include skill analysis, fun challenges and homework tasks that your Maths teacher can set. 

All that you need to use this fantastic app are the details below:

School ID: OB1358

User ID: your surname followed by your first initial e.g. BLOGGSJ

Password: exactly the same as your user ID, your surname followed by your first initial e.g. BLOGGSJ

Please see your Maths teacher or Mr Collinson if you have any queries using PiXL Maths App. 

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Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy
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