OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 99 - 14th March 2017

Issue 99 - 14th March 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Last Wednesday, we welcomed James Dumbill and Hannah Carmichael, from the Department of Education, to OBA for a good practice visit. They were impressed by the progress of our students, our transition programmes, how smart the students looked and the overall positive learning environment in OBA.

That same evening we welcomed Year 8 students and their parents to a busy and informative Options Evening.  Mr Easton and Ms Dutton delivered a presentation on the importance of choosing the correct subjects; many staff and students were available throughout the evening to help our Year 8s choose the best options for them. Over 90% of students and parents/carers attended and the vast majority have already handed in their option choices. Mr Easton will now analyse the data and we will soon be sorting out the implications of their choices for next year's staffing and timetable.

On Thursday we celebrated the 70th birthday of Mrs Wightman who has now worked on this site at OBA, at the former Halton High School and Brookvale for many years. Mrs Wightman is responsible for printing and photocopying at OBA and has always been a most hard-working and reliable member of staff.

Mr. J Rigby
Executive Principal

OBA Works with Local Businesses on International Women’s Day

To mark ‘International Women’s Day’ on Wednesday 8th March, a selection of female students from Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy’s Sixth Form and Year 10 attended two separate business networking events with well-known local businesses, Isover Saint Gobain and Capita O2.

On this special day in particular, organisations from around the world host events to support the #PledgeForParity campaign.  From awareness raising to concrete action, females work tirelessly to pledge support for gender parity.  Businesses such as Isover Saint Gobain and Capita O2, are proud to say that they have always had this important issue high on their agenda. They are totally committed to helping women and girls achieve their ambitions by challenging conscious and unconscious bias, ensuring gender-balance in leadership roles and giving equal value to the contributions of both men and women.

To mark this occasion, Isover Saint Gobain invited fourteen Year 12 Business Studies students over to their company, to join ten of their female professionals for afternoon tea. Over tea, and a fine range of food, the students were given the opportunity to find out about the various job roles within the industry. Each of the female professionals they met spoke about how she had risen to success, in what had traditionally been a predominantly male working environment. 

Following the success of the event, some of Isover Saint Gobain’s female professionals have already established further links with individual students by becoming their ‘Business Mentor’ for the remainder of this academic year. This opportunity will not only allow the students to access first-hand knowledge and expertise from those working directly in their field of interest, but it will also allow for personalised, professional 1 to 1 support when it comes to completing CVs, university and job applications and preparation for interviews.  

In addition, four female professionals from Capita O2 came to OBA for a breakfast meeting with fourteen female students from Year 10.  This gave them the opportunity to discuss educational and training opportunities and the students were enthralled to hear the Capita O2 staff relate some of their real-life experiences and successes. 


Mrs Amy Jarvis, Careers Co-ordinator at OBA, said:

The students and the professionals from both companies felt that the event was insightful and of great benefit.  We are very grateful that these local companies take these issues so seriously and were able to allow the female professionals a few hours out from their busy schedules. They inspired our students to have the self-belief to aim high in order to achieve their goals in the world of work.

Chilling out at the Chill Factore

Members of Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy’s Ski Club enjoyed a day of skiing at the Chill Factore in Manchester recently, which was a welcome change from the ‘Dendix’ artificial surface they practise their skills on each week.

After a lesson with one of the qualified British Association Ski Instructors, many students in the group took on the challenge of negotiating the main 180 metre slope.  Some of the more experienced skiers were able to perform linked parallel turns, along with Miss Belford, whilst others concentrated on perfecting other skills they had been taught.

Mr A Bird, who is himself a qualified ski instructor, said:

It was interesting to see the confidence of the entire group grow during the hour on the slopes and their smiles indicated just how much they enjoyed the experience.  They were a real credit to OBA in every way.

Biology Beyond the Classroom

A Level Biology students at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy spent a day last week on a Field Trip at Preston Montford Field Studies Centre in Shrewsbury, accompanied by Head of Key Stage 4 Science, Miss Sophie Hanson and Science Technician, Miss Jeanette McLean.

The day commenced with students being introduced to sampling techniques and they had the chance to use specialist equipment such as quadrants, point frames, light metres, humidity testers and soil moisture pins.

They then had the opportunity to investigate how the light intensity away from a tree affects the abundance of species there, and their habitat as a whole. 

In the afternoon, the students collected their nets, donned their wellies and walked to a local field pond, where they then carried out an experiment as a part of the practical component of their A Level exam. Their investigations were to discover whether there was a difference in the species found in clean water habitats compared to those found in polluted water habitats.  All very exciting stuff and the students had great fun carrying out their experiments. 

Once they had collected their samples and identified them using their keys, they then headed back to the classroom base to discuss their findings. After analysing them in more detail they put together a presentation of their results, backed up by statistics and graphs.

Science teacher, Miss Hanson, said:

A great day was had by all of the students.  They had fun at the same time as working very hard, and under quite tight time constraints too.  We were fortunate that the weather was on our side as it helped the students to carry out their experiments to a really high standard.  They were excited to be able to apply what they had been learning in the classroom to real life experiments, which helped to make everything seem much more relevant.

The Team Triathlon Fundraiser

Last week Sixth Form Sports students Thomas Dyson, Liam Duckers and Jacob Coole-Healey planned a Team Triathlon Staff and Student Challenge to raise funds for OBA’s and OCA’s joint expedition to Kenya.  

Organising a sports event is part of an assessment for their A Level coursework, and the students managed to persuade twenty-six members of staff and ten Sixth Formers to participate in the Team Triathlon.


Working together in teams of three, one person covered 2kms on a rowing machine, one cycled a 10kms distance on an exercise bike and the third ran a distance of 5kms on a treadmill.  The event became very competitive and everyone gave everything they had, although it was rumoured that there might have a bit of cheating along the way, by a particular member of staff, not mentioning any names, Mr Fenner!

The winning team consisted of three very competitive PE teachers, Mr Barrett, Mr McIntyre and Miss McAuliffe and in second place, although twenty-five seconds behind, came Mr Fenner, Mrs Barker and Mr Coring’s team.  

Well done to all staff and students who took part, had fun in the process and raised money for such a good cause. Further congratulations go to Thomas, Liam and Jacob for the planning, marketing and execution of this great event.

Kenya Expedition Update 

Year 11 students from OBA who will be taking part in the Expedition to Kenya this summer had the opportunity to meet up with fellow Year 11s from OCA last Friday evening for a game of ten pin bowling.

Miss Mc Mullen, who is one of the staff who will be accompanying the students on this amazing adventure, said:

This  trip was organised for the students so that they could have fun together and  'bond' prior to their joint big adventure.  They have already been introduced to each other at various meetings and fund-raising events but, because they have all been so busy doing  so many extra lessons in preparation for their exams, both the students and the staff really haven't had a lot of time to socialise and get to know each other properly.

So, what better way to do just that than to have a laugh together, enjoying a competitive game of bowling at Widnes Superbowl? Everyone had great fun and got to know each other much better.  They are now all really looking forward to working together in Kenya to help improve the quality of life of others less fortunate than themselves.

If anyone would like to make a donation to the OBA/OCA Kenya Expedition Fund, then please contact Executive Principal, Mr Rigby on 01928 711643.

Run, Forest, Run!

Following on from their successful debut at ‘The Warrington Park Run’ in January, OBA’s Running Club enjoyed a trip to the Delamere 5k Park Run recently. The run was held in slightly testing conditions after heavy rain and wind had left the course very wet and muddy in parts.

However, with the assistance and encouragement from Mr Gillard, Shea Bennett achieved a new personal best for the Delamere course with a time of 27 minutes and 31 seconds.

Mr A Bird, who co-ordinates OBA’s Running Club said:

The students gave it their best and are coming on really well.  They are so keen and their determination and resilience is very encouraging.  They really deserved the ice cream that they enjoyed in the café afterwards and are now looking forward to their next event to try to beat more personal records.

Puzzle Challenge

In the last newsletter we gave you a puzzle to solve. Did you crack it? Check your answer below:

? = 7
You divide the top number by the bottom number so 91 ÷ 13 = 7

Now have a go 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.

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 a language learning app that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet free of charge. Duolingo allows you to learn many modern languages including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, Turkish and English. This is really fun to use and is totally free.

Duolingo will take you from being a total novice and allow you to practise your speaking, reading, listening and writing skills while playing a game! You'll improve your vocabulary and grammar skills by answering questions and completing lessons. 

Duolingo was named Google Play's Editor's Choice and "Best of the Best" of 2013 and 2014 and comes highly recommended by many reputable sources:

• "Far and away the best language-learning app." —The Wall Street Journal

• "Duolingo may hold the secret to the future of education." —TIME Magazine

• "Among apps for learning a language, you can't beat Duolingo." —PC Magazine

Duolingo is changing the way people learn languages. You advance through the app by completing bite-sized lessons and you can track your progress. So, give it a go and see how much you can brush up on that vocabulary for your summer holidays!

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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