OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 86 - 23rd November 2016

Issue 86 - 23rd November 2016
Dear families and friends of OBA,

I am delighted to announce that we have recently secured the prestigious Investors in People award at Silver level. It is also testament to the fantastic OBA teamwork which delivers excellent provision and outcomes to our youngsters. Congratulations to all our staff members on this fantastic achievement. You will shortly be able to view the full report in the 'Information' section of our website.

In other news, a group of our students gave a superb account of themselves at Halton's Mayoral Debate event last week.  Mrs Woolmer, Miss Styles and Mr Bird prepared them thoroughly but we were just pipped to the prize at the last hurdle.  Next year victory shall be ours!  

Also nearly half of our Year 11 students visited The Lowry Theatre in Manchester for a special performance of 'Blood Brothers'.  With this being one of their GCSE English Literature texts, it was a great opportunity to see the musical play in a unique setting that brought to life its themes and characters.

Please keep an eye out for further details and communication about our forthcoming production of 'A Christmas Carol'...a treat not to be missed!

Best wishes

Mr. M Wyss
Academy Principal

Blood Brothers Comes Alive

On Thursday 17th November forty-seven students from Years 10 and 11 attended a performance of 'Blood Brothers' at The Lowry Theatre in Manchester.

The students have been reading 'Blood Brothers' as part of their GCSE English Literature course, so this was a fantastic way to really bring the play to life for them! The production was fantastic and was extremely funny, but with some very touching and emotional moments that really brought a tear to the eye.

Miss O’Keefe, Head of English, said:

After the play had finished, it was lovely to hear the students pass so many positive comments about their theatrical adventure.

Year 11 student, Sarah Skiffington spoke about the amazing opportunity she had experienced, whilst Lauren Shannon, also from Year 11, thought that the play was hilariously entertaining.  Tamika Hunt, on the other hand, commented on how seeing the play itself made the script in the classroom really come alive. She talked about how she felt the trip had really helped her to understand the play so much better, stating that she now felt more confident about tackling questions on Blood Brothers in her GCSE exam. 

Miss O’Keefe went on to say:

There were a lot of other schools in attendance at the theatre and, in my view, our students were a real credit to the Academy. The manager of the Lowry even came to speak to me at the end of the performance to tell me how impressed he had been with our students’ behaviour and their enthusiasm for the show.

On the way home this continued to be the case as the students hummed along to some of the classic 'Blood Brothers' songs.  Renditions of ‘Tell me it's not true’, ‘We'll go dancing’ and ‘Living on the Never, Never’ echoed around the coach; songs that will hopefully stick in their minds, helping them to visualise and remember some of the key messages of the play in their exams next summer. 

Supporting the Shoebox Appeal

As detailed in last week’s newsletter, OBA’s students, parents/carers, staff and members of the local community have been gathering gifts to fill shoeboxes which will be sent to children in great need across the world.

Helping to brighten up the life of a child that is much less fortunate than yourself is a very humbling and rewarding experience, and enables students to discuss and appreciate how much luckier they are than many other children of a similar age to themselves.

Laden with brightly decorated boxes, Miss McEvoy and several students proudly went to the local collection point to drop off the many parcelled up goodies they had been gathering in recent weeks.

Miss McEvoy said: 

A little gift can mean so much and can be something that we could just take for granted.  It is good to stand back and think of others throughout the year, but at Christmas time this is all the more important.  We are all very proud of how many boxes we managed to fill and took great pleasure in participating in the great Shoe Box Appeal.

Children’s Commissioners Takeover Challenge

On 18th November four Sixth Formers, accompanied by Mrs C smith went on a trip to Bridgewater NHS trust for the ‘Children’s Commissioners Takeover Challenge’.  The students were given the opportunity to interview professionals from the Health and Social Care sector and, therefore, gain a real insight into life as a health professional.  The day was also focussed on how to demonstrate their understanding of the 6 Cs while working for the NHS, these being Care, Compassion, Courage, Communication, Commitment and Competence.  

The students involved themselves in group discussions about work experience at Bridgewater and then went on to volunteer carefully thought-out information in their discussions with students from other schools and Sixth Form Colleges.

Mrs Smith said:  

OBA’s students were very mature, constructive, and confident and took the lead during this section of the day.

In the afternoon the girls had to create an animation about a career, the 6 Cs or Bridgewater itself.  They had fun using Lego to do this as well as the stop motion animation app on the iPads provided on the day.  All four of them threw themselves into this activity and chose to animate the career of an occupational therapist, as well as two of the 6Cs, which were Care and Communication.

Mrs Smith added:

Throughout the day the girls were real ambassadors for OBA.  They were polite, passionate and presented themselves in an exceptional way.  I was bursting with pride watching them interact all day; they just kept growing in confidence and they got so much out of the trip.  I listened to them talk to other students about OBA.  They were so positive about college life and how grateful they were for the facilities and opportunities at OBA.  As a result of the positivity they displayed and their general excellence as the day progressed, I am delighted that they have now been invited back in the summer holidays to do some work experience on the wards.

Support The British Heart Foundation

If you are having a good clear out before Christmas and want to make room for all those new gifts and furniture items, then why not donate some of your unwanted items to a worthwhile cause?

Please follow this link to find out how you can have any such items collected free of charge by The British Heart Foundation, helping others at the same time as helping yourself.

The Cheshire Cup

Football Update

OBA’s Year 11 football team played their first round of the Cheshire Cup recently against Winsford Academy, and there was a lot to live up to, seeing as the Year 10 team had already progressed to the next round of the competition.

Due to injury, the lads only arrived at Winsford with a ten men team, so the game was set to be an uphill struggle from the kick off.  However, after Captain Eden Gumbs took an early lead, OBA’s team were clearly playing the best football and they came away from the first half with a 3-2 lead.

Following a pep talk from their manager, Mr Barrett, the boys kept up the hard work. Wesley Highdale, the lone striker, soon faced a one on one with the opponent's goalie and before long the game was 4-4.  However, Louis Nickson and Will Avon soon helped the team to dominate the midfield, then goals from both ensured success for OBA’s team, with the final score being a magnificent 7-4 victory.

Puzzle Challenge

Last week we gave you a puzzle to solve. Did you crack it? Check your answer below:

Now have a go at this week’s Maths Puzzle Challenge.  

Tech Talk

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

This week, Mr Wyss re-launched a very useful revision app to all Year 11 students called ‘GCSE Pod’. GCSE Pod is the only app to provide in-depth online subject knowledge for 20+ GCSE subjects, every exam board and 150 different specifications with a 25,000 strong question bank. Here is some more useful information on this award winning app for students and parents. 

GCSE Pod can be used both in and out of school. It’s a bit like carrying a huge pile of textbooks with you everywhere!  With just a few taps on your device, you can have experts read and explain everything to you clearly, including all the right facts, quotes, keywords, dates and diagrams on screen.  You won’t need to use it for long to feel the impact.  Consistent use in brief 10 minute sessions is proven to support achievement right up to A* grades. 

GCSE Pod is downloadable on Android and Apple devices and allows you to:

  • Get organized with ready-made or bespoke playlists
  • Highlight Pods on topics you find hard as your favourites, then revisit them and fill your knowledge gaps
  • Complete tests to identify your weaker areas and then watch personalised playlists to help strengthen those areas
  • Watch exam specific playlists, with everything you need to help you excel in upcoming exams
  • Complete homework online and get instant feedback (no waiting for your teacher to do the marking!)
  • Listen to GCSE Pod privately on your mobile – no one needs to even know you are working
  • Share Pods via links to Twitter and Facebook and see what your friends are watching

Posters with more information about GCSE Pod can be found in all Year 11 Form rooms. Or you can see Mr Hussey in F022, if you have any questions on using this excellent resource.

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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