OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 77 - 12th July 2016

Issue 77 - 12th July 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

The end of this fantastic academic year is hurtling towards us at breakneck speed and there are still so many events taking place at OBA!

Over the last week there have been the Year 7 and Year 8 Parents’ Evenings, as well as our biggest ever Year 6 Induction Evening.  The vast majority of our new intake of over 200 students attended the evening where parents were able to meet the Year 7 form tutors, talk to Pastoral and SEND Teams, sign up for Summer School and stock up on OBA’s uniform.

We are very much looking forward to the last week of term, with the Year 7 beach trip and our Sports’ Day taking place on Wednesday.  In both events, Year Teams will be competing for the prestigious Year Sports’ Trophy.  Please be reminded that students should come in their PE kit but they can also wear an item in their House colour - let’s pray for some glorious weather!

Best wishes

Mr. M Wyss
Academy Principal

Belfast for Business Students

For one of their units of study, Year 12 Business Studies students have to plan and take part in a trip of their choice. This allows them to demonstrate many of the skills they have to learn and develop during their two year Business Studies course. So, ten Year 12s put their heads together and chose Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, as their destination because of its great cultural and historic interest.

The project involved them planning their return journey from Birkenhead to Belfast by ferry, with allocated cabins for their overnight journey. Once they had arrived in Belfast, it was time to tuck into a typical breakfast of Ulster fry and pancakes before they went on the scheduled tour of all Belfast’s major sites and landmarks on an open-topped bus.  

All the careful planning paid off and the students enjoyed visiting the Albert Clock, the Titanic Quarter and the Stormont Parliament Buildings.  They also built in a bit of time for shopping in Victoria Square, a trip to Maud’s famous ice-cream parlour, had a fun time in Northern Ireland’s leading entertainment complex ‘We Are Vertigo’ and they even managed to witness a traditional ‘Orange Parade’.

Business Studies Teacher and Head of Year 12, Mr Fenner, said:

They all had a great time and the way they had planned the trip down to the last detail was very impressive.  They organised a range of different activities, so there was something in it for everyone.  They did really well on this unit and it didn’t really seem like work to them as they thoroughly enjoyed planning it from start to finish.

Y7 Maths Project Day

Forty-two Year 7 students recently took part in a project day to plan a new and exciting fundraising event for a local charity called ‘Caring Matters Now’ that will be taking place in OBA next year.

The CEO of ‘Caring Matters Now’, Jodi Whitehouse, delivered a session on ‘Living with a difference’ and she helped support the students to develop their fundraising ideas throughout the morning. All seven tutor groups worked diligently to see which one would come up with the best creative fundraising event and there was a very competitive edge to the day, as each group tried to come up with the most creative and impressive plans.

Miss Arends, Miss Hanson, Mr Hussey and Mr Mercer all helped judge their presentations and the competition was tough; some students even dressed up to show off their ideas and impress the judges!  

The winning tutor group was 7JIM with their idea for a colour run/obstacle course, closely followed by 7SMG who planned to hold an event with lots of small individual stalls, each with a different theme and challenge. Both tutor groups gave confident and enthusiastic presentations of their proposals and they also had to cost out the event, as well as estimate how much they expected to raise for the charity.

The winning event will be taking place during the autumn term at OBA for Years 7 and 8 with staff and parents also being invited to take part! Keep a close eye on the newsletter next term for more information about this charity and the event and come along and raise some money for this worthwhile cause.

Pioneering Scientific Research

A group of Year 9 and 10 budding scientists recently visited Daresbury Laboratory as part of the Sci-Tech Daresbury Open Week. Students enjoyed browsing a Science Fair where they saw demonstrations and spoke to practising scientists about their work. 

This was followed by a fascinating lecture about the particle accelerators situated underground at Daresbury, which are responsible for many luxuries we take for granted, including the taste of Cadbury’s chocolate. 

Students were then treated to a presentation in a 3D data visualisation studio where they learned about how scientists recreated 3D sculptures of Ancient Egyptian mummies and the structure of crocodiles. 

The final activity saw the young scientists coding a temperature controlled switch which would respond to its environment, similar to the cooling units used to keep the laboratory’s 25 petabytes of data (equivalent to 1 million Blu-ray disks) from overheating.

Sixth Form Taster Day

OBA proudly opened its doors to its future Year 12 students recently, allowing them to sample what their future studies will be like in the Sixth Form.

Initially, students learnt about the myriad of enrichment opportunities available here at the Academy including driving lessons, go-karting and free music lessons.  Students then went on to explore the subjects they would like to study in the next academic year. 

Over 25 different sessions were offered, with one of the most popular subjects being Animal Care and students very much enjoyed their exotic encounters with snakes! Those, who were slightly less brave, worked with more domestic animals by looking after gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs.

In Chemistry, students participated in a very much hands-on experiment which gave them a taste of the type practical experiments they would be doing next year. Sport meanwhile took the opportunity to broaden students’ knowledge and fitness by undertaking a series of gym tests.

All the other subjects also offered a range of sample lessons throughout the day, and the students were able to ask lots of questions to ensure they chose the perfect combination of A Level or BTEC qualifications to prepare them for their future career.

Mr Fenner, Head of Year 12, said:

I was delighted with the day and the enthusiasm the students showed. It was wonderful not only to see so many familiar faces but also the faces of students from other schools and colleges who intend to join us in September.

OBA Students Become Teachers for the Day

At Palace Fields Primary School

Chinese tutor Miss Zhao and Mrs Noon recently took three OBA students to Palace Fields Primary school to perform a Chinese Dance and deliver a workshop on ‘The Art of Chinese Paper Cutting’.

Billie Jo Barton, Arabella Mitchell and Sophie Rowland have been attending Chinese enrichment classes in OBA since last February and have learnt about Chinese dance, language and culture, culminating in this visit.

Miss Zhao has been working in OBA since September as part of The British Council's ‘Connecting Classrooms’ teacher exchange programme, and she has been an excellent addition to the OBA’s teaching staff, delivering a Chinese language and culture class to all Year 7 classes every week. She has also worked within the Catering Department, assisting Year 7 lessons and delivering Asian themed cookery lessons.

The three students were keen to get involved in Miss Zhao's visits to Palace Fields to pass on some of what they had learnt. They performed their Chinese dance, independently created a presentation that included physical warm up activities, similar to the ones that all students in China take part in every day before school and they put together an interactive quiz as well a session on how to make Chinese Lanterns.

Miss Zhao has attended Palace Fields Primary school every Thursday where she has worked with Miss Ditchfield’s Year 4 class. Everyone present was really impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and knowledge of the Chinese language and culture. All the primary pupils created fantastic lanterns and Miss Ditchfield thanked the students for their oriental experience saying:

It's great for our Year 4 students to see OBA students delivering a workshop and interacting with them in this way, as the majority of our pupils will be attending OBA in a few years. Thank you for the experience; the students loved every minute of it.

Book of the Week

Miss Boardman

One of my favourite texts to read is ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’ because of the emotional impact it has upon me as the reader. I first read it when I was in Year 7 and I chose Anne Frank as an inspirational figure for a project which we had to do in English. Recently, I visited the ‘Anne Frank Museum’ in Amsterdam and I was completely overwhelmed to be in the same building where Anne had gone into hiding when she was only a teenager.

I enjoy reading her diary and hearing about her unique personality, as well as the daily struggles which she had to face. Despite enduring such a difficult situation, she is still so relatable and as a teenager myself, when I read it for the first time, I was completely captivated by her.  

Anne’s bravery and optimism makes me revisit her diary again and again. She is not the only person who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime but her diary makes her story so personal and special. Through her words, it makes the world realise how we need to stand up to prejudice and ensure that the message of her story is never lost.


Poem of the week by Miss Styles

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

This poem is written by a man called Rudyard Kipling. As well as being a poet, he is well known for being an author of both fiction and non-fiction texts. He is most famous for writing The Jungle Book. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old.
This poem is basically an instruction manual for how to be "a man," according to the speaker. It is a poem full of advice and guidance. It is a very popular poem and is often read out due to its wisdom and moving sentiment. This poem really makes the reader think about the choices they can make, and how to be a better person
I love this poem because it doesn’t just give out sound advice, but it flows wonderfully due to the iambic pentameter. It is a beautiful poem that teaches the reader a lesson without lecturing them or making them feel guilty for past choices.

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 interactive astronomy guide called Star Walk for your iPad.

Star Walk is a brilliant app for those who are interested in astronomy and/or those who are currently studying Physics. Whether you are the next Professor Brian Cox or just a stargazer, Star Walk will keep you entertained for hours whilst giving you an insight into what is in the sky above us. Simply point your iPad at the sky and this educational app tells you what you are looking at. It labels the constellations, stars and satellites. With its Apple Design award-winning graphics, loads of educational content, including events to take part in, this is a great app – and you don’t even need an internet connection.

Star Walk has a range of up to date features including night mode, satellite tracking and a calendar of events so you can plan your stargazing in advance. If you are searching for a particular star, plant or satellite that you may have heard of in class, then this app will find it for you. You can also link Star Walk to a big screen allowing you to view the night sky on a separate display. With an average rating in App Store of 4.5/5 Star Walk is an app not to be missed!

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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