Dear families and friends of OBA,
Welcome to our weekly newsletter. This week saw the national publication of school performance tables that are based on 2015 results. You can view the OBA performance table here
The table confirms our proud record of being above 60% for students achieving five A*-C GCSE grades including English and maths for the last three years, as well as being well above national and local averages for the same period. You can also follow a link to compare OBA's performance to similar schools with students that have the same average Year 6 scores on entry to the school. Again, I am delighted to report that we perform well above similar schools and are in fact the best performing school of this type within a 75 mile radius!
These fantastic achievements only happen because we work so well together as a community. All the students and staff at OBA greatly appreciate your key role in this partnership.
Here's to continued success in the future.
Mr. M Wyss- Academy Principal
The Auschwitz Experience
Two really lucky Year 13 students from OBA recently experienced a very moving History trip of a lifetime to Auschwitz.
James O’Day and Chloe Goff who took part in this unbelievable educational trip to Poland also participated in seminars where they heard talks from Holocaust survivors and leading researchers and historians.
James O’Day taking pictures at Auschwitz
The students were extremely moved by the memorable tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration camps, as they brought home to them the stark reality of some of the world’s worst atrocities. They also visited a War memorial and a cemetery and learnt a lot about the culture and the lives of Jewish people who lived in and around there before the German occupation.
Returning to school, both students are now in the process of working on a project, a display board and an assembly to share with others in OBA what they learnt and gained from this memorable experience.
History teacher, Magdalina Bhebe, who co-ordinated the trip said:
“The students told me that they will carry the memories of what they saw and felt there with them forever. I know that they found the whole experience to be really emotional. It is heart-wrenching to be able to see first-hand some of the places where so many terrible events took place. It does, however, help students to have a deeper understanding of what they are studying, despite all of the mixed emotions that were running high.”
Catch Us for Kenya
On Sunday 17th January, seven members of staff from OBA braved the chilly, wintery weather and completed the 10K Liverpool Winter Run. The event, which started at Wapping Dock and finished inside the ECHO arena, was the city’s first major running event of the year.
Running past famous landmarks such as the Liver Building, the Albert Dock and the Cunard Building, the winter-themed race had snow men and snow zones dotted around the course, as well as polar bears giving out hugs at the finish line for all the 2,500 finishers!
OBA’s team comprised of Mr Rigby, Mr Wyss, Mr Hussey, Mr Clerkin, Miss Holton, Mrs Hughes and Mrs Oakley who all took part in order to raise funds for the trip to Kenya. Mr Clerkin was the quickest member of the team, completing the 6.2 mile challenge in 47 minutes. Over £200 has been generously donated so far and we would really appreciate any further donations - no matter how big or small!
Further donations can be made to Mr Hussey or by visiting:
Congratulations to all the participants and thanks to all those who have donated so far!
STOP PRESSFollowing on from the success of this run, Mr Allan Bird will be starting a running club for staff on a Wednesday night.
After half term, Mr Bird and Mrs Campbell will be starting a running club, also on Wednesdays, for students. No matter how good or bad you consider yourself to be at running, all students will be welcome, so come along and give it a go! We will start with simple runs initially but the long term aim will be to develop running skills and techniques to compete against other schools. So get you jogging shoes on and have some fun whilst staying fit at the same time!
Sharing Success in English
On Tuesday 19th January, Assistant Principal Jenny Smith was invited to speak at Ormiston Academy Trust’s national English conference in Cambridge.
OBA is OAT’s leading English Faculty, due to impressive results which have been well above national standards for several years, so the twenty-four secondary OAT academies were keen to learn the secrets behind such success.
Gwayne Gibb, OAT’s Director of Teaching, Learning and Progress highly praised the presentation and sent his thanks to OBA: ‘Thank you for supporting the really successful English networking event in Cambridge today by arranging for Jenny to make a fantastic presentation to delegates, and demonstrate why the academy is worthy of the Gold Standard.’
In addition, the faculty has also achieved the prestigious OAT Gold Standard award which recognises the outstanding practice and the significant hard work of both staff and students alike. As an academy with literacy at its heart, this award highlights what we have known at Bolingbroke for years….our English faculty is simply outstanding!
On Friday 15th January The Splendid Theatre Company visited OBA and performed their interactive, modern and physical interpretation of ‘The Odyssey’. The company retell the story of Odysseus on his difficult journey home from The Trojan War, as he encounters a range of challenging obstacles.
As we all watched, the journey through the rough seas to the pleasant lands of Greece saw us meeting some magical and mysterious characters who captivated the audience; from men with floor length woolly grey beards, to lotus-eating Trojan Warriors, to Cyclops the mythological human eating giant. These were only some of the many characters we met as we experienced our journey with Odysseus.
Students from Years 8 to 13 were lucky enough to see the entertaining performance which is storytelling and physical theatre at its ultimate best.
They then went on to enjoy an exciting and engaging workshop afterwards.
The actors commented on how focused and pleasant OBA’s Drama students were throughout the whole event and how keen they were to get involved in the interactive performance.
Miss Carden, Head of Drama, commented; ‘It is fantastic that we are able to provide so many industry professional and exciting workshops and experiences for our talented Drama students. Our motto ‘Lucere Aude’ meaning ‘Dare to Shine’ is at the heart of what we do each and every day in the Drama Department.’
World Book Day Approaches
Thursday 3rd March will be a truly special day in the English Faculty, and across the whole school, because it will be World Book Day!
In a few weeks the highly anticipated event will soon be upon us and the day itself will be packed full of exciting events including a visit from crime and sci-fi author Malcolm Rose. Malcolm's visit will bring a flare of the theatrics as he talks us through the interesting path to writing crime novels in his unique and fascinating style.
Before World Book Day begins, we have an amazing opportunity to become a part of a Guinness World Record on Monday 22nd February. Students from Years 7 and 8 will take part in the World Book Day Bumper Book Quiz in an attempt to help achieve a Guinness World Record.
World Book Day will be crime/sci-fi themed and the staff will be getting into the full swing of things with their fancy dress. There will also be a mystery quiz taking place around the school (keep an eye out for that!) as well as visits from local primary schools. World Book Day is sure to be so exciting it would be a crime to miss it!
English at Saturday Academy
The English Faculty is beaming with pride after a successful start to the Saturday Academy extra English sessions.
Over fifty students attended the recent Saturday session, working incredibly hard throughout the three hours to ensure an extra boost in preparation for mock exams that commenced on the 18th January.
Over the coming weeks English staff will be running Saturday sessions with a focus on preparing speeches and then, on the 18th and 27th of February the fun continues as the English faculty offer 1-1 or small group tuition so the students can practise their speech in preparation for their exam. So, come along and boost those grades!
Welcome to ‘Tech Talk’ where each week our ICT department will share with you some information about a useful device, app or website. This week’s Tech Talk will focus on QR codes.
You see them everywhere these days: at the back of your favourite box of cereal, on giant posters at bus stops and on adverts in the window of your local estate agent. And you will now be seeing them every week in OBA’s Tech Talk! A QR (Quick Response) Code is a type of barcode that is scanned using your smartphone and automatically takes you to a web page.
First used in the Japanese car manufacturing industry, these clever barcodes can be read using smartphones, tablets, laptops and dedicated QR reading devices. All you need is a camera lens on your device and a QR code scanning programme which can be downloaded online for free as an app. QR technology makes opening articles, emails, websites, phone numbers, videos, social media pages and much more quicker and easier. All you need to do to get started is to search your app store for “QR Reader” and download one of the many free QR scanners that are available. Scanning the below QR code will take you to our school website.
Do you have a piece of technology that you would like to share or that you may have heard of but would like to see explained in Tech Talk? If so contact Mr Hussey via email: L.Hussey@ob-ac.co.uk
Care 4 Children have produced a guide about gang awareness. Please click here to view the full brochure.