OBA Weekly Newsletter. Issue 118 - 16th December 2017

Issue 118 - 16th December 2017
Dear families and friends of OBA,

Welcome to our final weekly newsletter of the term, and the calendar year! Despite it being the last week, the school did not slow down and this edition is absolutely packed full of events that took place at the school over the last week to ten days. 

Staff and students worked hard right up to the end of the term and there was so much going on. This issue details our annual show. This year it was Annie. I was lucky to see it twice this year, and enjoyed superb acting and singing by all involved. My thanks to the many, many staff who took part to make the show work with such success and congratulations to all students, front and back stage, who gave a production to remember.

Also last week was our Christmas Market – thank you to everyone from the school community who came along to support the event. Well done and thank you to Mrs Snagg who led the organisation of the event.

Congratulations also to Johnny Adamson-Edwards who won our school Christmas card competition – Johnny’s card has made its way to over 100 people across the country.

The end of term has also seen many rewards trips taking place – we always seek to reward all of the good things students do each day, and those who were most successful across the term were treated to a range of trips and activities!

Can I thank everyone for your wonderful welcome and support since I took my role as Principal of the school. It has been an all action first term but I am really enjoying life as Head of our great school. Can I also take the opportunity to wish everyone a really great Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Mr. E Wright


This year’s sell-out performance of ‘Annie’ was a spectacular success!

After months of preparation, the 70 strong cast, involving students from Year 7-13 delivered four show-stopping performances to four consistently packed out audiences. Their polished performances were a result of sheer hard work and determination; from early September students have attended rehearsals three times a week, often late into the evening and also across full weekends. Countless hours of their own time has been dedicated to learning lines, singing songs, perfecting dance routines and blocking scenes and they all did us proud last week by going out there and giving it 110%.

I’m sure that most of you reading this are familiar with ‘Annie’ but for anyone not fortunate enough to see our show, the story is based on the tale of Annie the orphan who lives in a children's home run by the mean Miss Hannigan. Annie believes her parents left her in the orphanage by mistake and when a rich man named Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks decides to let an orphan live with him to promote his image, Annie is selected. However, Annie still longs to meet her parents so Warbucks declares a search for them which encourages many frauds to come forward and try their luck.

Miss McKevitt, Director said:

The show proves that it stands the test of time and that its genuine honesty and positive outlook never loses its relevance, no matter how old you are.

As always the calibre of talent is phenomenal and our students made it very difficult to choose just one person for each role so we decided to double cast some of the lead roles, giving all our students the deserved opportunity to shine on stage!

Mrs Barker, Choreographer said:

It has been a delight to work with our whole cast and group of core dancers in this year’s production. The show has all of our favourite songs which we know and love and I could not wait to get started to create the routines and bring the scenes to life.

I am very lucky to get to work with such a talented group of students who have rehearsed their socks off, with the several key dance routines that appear in the show. Many of the students were keen to add their own creative input into the choreography and I am sure you will agree, the dancing looked great!

Mrs Cathcart, Musical Director said:

The school production can only become a success when talent and potential are combined with a steady work ethic and a lot of hard work- these are qualities we have seen in abundance in this year’s cast. I have had the privilege of working with the students this year on all musical aspects of the show, from rehearsing individual solo songs to whole-cast numbers and scene change music. I have also been ably assisted this year by peripatetic staff Miss Whittle and Miss McDougall, who have led chorus rehearsals and individual singing lessons to support our students through the rehearsal process.

This year for the first time we featured a combined staff and student band which gave some of our instrumentalists the chance to experience playing in a ‘pit’ orchestra for the show! I am extremely proud of the young musicians who have joined the show band this year and I am sure you will agree, they contributed greatly to four fantastic performances!

Students had the chance throughout the process to experience all aspects of theatre production both on and off the stage. Rhys James and Ryan Pickering (Year 10) made up our technical crew under the watchful eye of Miss Edwards. The boys worked tirelessly to ensure the lighting and sound were as spectacular as the performance on stage. Without them, the atmosphere and mood could not have been captured and kept the audience engaged. Miss McKevitt commented that ‘it is a team effort that brings a show like this to life’. The show isn’t just about the stars on the stage, technical based jobs within the performing arts industry include key roles such as lighting designer, sound designer, backstage crew, costume designer, hair and make-up, special effects, set and props design and many more. 

I really enjoyed working with a big cast as I got to meet and work with new people. I feel the show helped improve my singing, acting and dancing. I’ve really enjoyed staff and peers coming up to me telling me how much they enjoyed my performance and it’s given me inspiration to take on more opportunities like this.Mia Graham, Year 10 (played Miss Hannigan)

My favourite part about doing Annie was making new memories along the way and sharing the experience with my friends. I do a lot of performing arts outside of school and it was great to be able to showcase this in school.Millie Bennett, Year 8 (played Annie)

The best thing about doing Annie was doing something that I enjoyed and to take me one step closer to performing on Broadway.Elle-Mae Clare, Year 8 (played Annie)

I enjoyed the chance to play new music that I hadn’t before. It gave a lot of us in the band the opportunity to show what we could do and show off our performing skills.Ben Kavanagh, Year 9 (played drums in the band)

Being part of the cast was really fun and I have enjoyed working with everyone and learning all the dances. I especially enjoyed the tap dance and it has given me a lot more confidence.Katie Hughes-Yeoman, Year 9 (dancer in the show)

Annie has made me so much more confident about being on stage. Before the show, I had never sung in front of anybody and by the end of the production, I had sung in front of over 200 people! It has been an amazing experience.Charlie Oxton, Year 9 (played Grace Farrell)

A big thank you for all you have done with Mia, this was the first time Dad has seen her act and he was amazed!Parent of Mia Graham

Just a quick note to thank you (and everybody else involved) from Mrs Gillard and I for providing us with such uplifting and professional entertainment last night. We are still smiling!Mr Gillard, Maths Teacher and fan of the show!

A massive well-done is also awarded to our four fantastic Year 5 classes, who starred in each of the ‘Annie’ performances:

  • Monday Matinee Performance – Palace Fields Primary School, Year 5
  • Tuesday – Windmill Hill Primary School, Year 5
  • Wednesday – Gorsewood Primary School, Year 5
  • Thursday – Brookvale Primary School, Year 5

All four classes worked extremely hard in the run-up to the show, attending rehearsals at OBA and perfecting scenes back at their primary schools for ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’ and ‘Let’s Go to the Movies’.

Their dedication was clear to see on each performance as the brilliant Year 5 students braved the big stage and sung their hearts out! 

To our primary partners - thank you to all teachers, students and parents involved for your support with rehearsals, consent and costumes – it was great to have you involved and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! 

Miss McKevitt said:

I would like to extend a special thank you to all parents who have supported us this year and to everyone who bought a ticket – we could not do this without you. See you again next year!

...and that’s a Wrap! 

On Friday afternoon after the hype of the final night of the show, the cast of Annie were treated to a wrap party to celebrate months of hard work and an amazing show! They watched the original version of Annie, munched on popcorn and had a well-deserved break! 

Congratulations again to all involved you should be so proud of yourselves!
Until next year...

OBA Christmas Market

An evening of festive fun was enjoyed by the school and local community on Tuesday as we opened up our doors for the Academy’s annual Christmas Market.

The popular Fish Bay Camper Van returned again this year trading its fantastic freshly battered fish and chips, along with Coffee on the Hoof, The Vintage Tea Pot pop-up café, and two brand new additions; ‘The schnitzel House’ selling authentic German sausages and ‘The Donut and Milkshake Van’ serving hot treats and mouth-watering milkshakes.  

The ever-popular ice rink was back again this year offering free skating to anyone brave enough to don the boots and the bucking rodeo reindeer offered a new festive challenge!   

Our talented choir braved the bitterly cold night and welcomed happy shoppers into the market with a variety of popular carols and of course, Father Christmas made an appearance along with his trusty reindeers! 

The two magnificent ‘real’ reindeers visited OBA from Cheshire Reindeer Lodge and for once looked right at home amongst the snow still settled on the ground.

The queue for Santa’s grotto was constant all night and our jolly Father Christmas handed out presents to almost 90 happy young children! A job very well done!

Mrs Snagg, who organised the event said:

What a fab evening! It was fantastic to see so many of our students and their families at the event on Tuesday. It was a freezing cold night but there were lots of happy faces around the Academy as people mooched around the stalls buying Christmas presents or tasting one of the many sweet treats on offer!

Thank you to all the stall holders, food vendors, Starlite Entertainment, Cheshire Reindeer Lodge and most of all our families and friends who came out to support the event. Same again next year!

Year 7 Christmas Card Competition

Year 7 students set the bar high this year with the fantastic designs they submitted for Mr Wright’s first ever OBA Christmas Card Competition.

They were advised that the winning entry would be turned into this year’s Academy Christmas Card and sent out to all our friends, colleagues and contacts to spread a little festive cheer!

Students were given the jovial brief and set a tight deadline to complete their ideas. It was clear all students had put a lot of time and effort into their designs and the following students must be praised for their high-quality efforts;

Callum Smith, Jamie Gillespie, Maddison Adamson Edwards, Alexandros Konstantinidis, Lucy Mahon, Clarence Beaumont and Lily Williamson.

Mr Wright and Mrs Snagg spent a lot of time deciding over the entries and are delighted to announce that Johnny Adamson-Edwards is this year’s winner.

Mrs Snagg said

The attention to detail on Johnny’s card was brilliant. He had obviously dedicated a lot of time to perfecting his picture and it now looks fantastic on our Academy Christmas Card.

Well done Johnny!

Choir in the Community

OBA’s talented choir have been out and about in the local community this week spreading festive cheer with their jovial melodies!

The merriments started at The St Berteline’s and St Christopher Christmas Tree Festival in Norton Hill, where our tinsel-clad students sang as members of the community popped into church for a mince pie and a hot drink. This was followed on Monday 10th December by a stint in Runcorn Shopping City and an afternoon visit to Beechcroft Nursing Home in Palace Fields.

Led by Miss Whittle, our brilliant vocalists entertained residents at Beechcroft with a variety of Christmas classics and had everyone clapping and singing along! Following their performance students served the residents some festive treats and took the opportunity to chat over a cup of tea.
Mrs Whittle said: 

It was a really lovely afternoon – the students thoroughly enjoyed it!

Saturday Academy Christmas Celebration

On Saturday 9th December 55 Year 6 students and their families joined us for the Around-the-World Christmas special.

Students spent the morning crafting decorations with Mrs Fisher and making mince pies with Miss Ray in eager anticipation of their parents' arrival.

At 12.15 our dedicated ATW group and their parents packed out the learning plaza for an end of phase 1 get-to-together. While watching photo highlights taken over the course of the term students and their parents had the chance to enjoy a homemade mince pie while chatting to other families. We also asked for some feedback about the ATW project so far and were delighted with their comments;

  • 100% of parents indicated that their child had greatly enjoyed the ATW project.
  • 90% of parents stated they had already noted an increase in confidence in their child since starting the ATW project

Leoni was dreading high school but now feels a lot better and is actually looking forward to it.Year 6 parent

Joshua is an anxious child and this project has helped tremendously.
Year 6 parent

No improvements needed, Jessica is very happy with the project and enjoys coming to school on Saturdays.Year 6 parent

Megan is now more confident attending alone and meeting new friends. We think this is fantastic for all the kids.
Year 6 parents

Michael was very worried about moving to high school but now he is looking forward to it.Year 6 parent

100% of the students stated that they now feel more confident as a result of attending the ATW project and their comments about what they have enjoyed most so far included the following:

  • Everything!
  • Meeting new people and doing different activities
  • Learning and trying new things
  • Getting to know the school
  • All the different experiences
Having fun
  • Making new friends
  • Different foods
  • Cooking our own dinners

Mrs Snagg said:

It has been great getting to know the children on a Saturday morning. Over the course of the term, almost 90 students have attended ATW and it has been fantastic to see some of the more quiet students gaining confidence and having fun with new friends they have made at OBA. We have a really exciting programme planned for January and would love to see even more Year 6 students taking part!

The ATW project is exclusively for children in Year 6. It runs every term-time Saturday 9.30am – 1.00pm and costs just £1.00 to attend. The children do different activities each week focused on a certain country and this includes dance, drama, music, sport, technology, science and lots of trips out! For students attending OBA next year, ATW is a great way to build confidence, make new friends, learn the layout of the school, meet teachers and all together make the transition to high school a lot smoother and altogether stress-free!

For more information about ATW, please contact Mrs Snagg or Miss Campbell at school.

Year 7 & 8 Reward Trip

30 Year 7 & 8 students attended a Key Stage 3 Reward Trip this week at MFA Bowl Warrington, due to their excellent Attitude to Learning (A2L) scores, attendance and punctuality over the Autumn Term.

Students played a competitive game of Lazer Quest before taking each other on in a fun albeit slightly competitive game of Bowling!

Students had a fantastic time throughout the trip and Matthew Hughes-Yeoman in Year 8 said:

It was the best day as I got to spend time with my friends and it was really fun.

Clarence Beaumont (Year 7) added “I loved it” and Bradley Shorrock (Year 8) said, “It was really fun.”

Miss Porschke and Mr Murphy who led the trip enjoyed spending time with the students, especially playing Lazer Quest!

Mr Murphy commented:

It was lovely to get to spend time with the students and see them enjoying themselves outside of the classroom.

Well done to all students who took part in the reward trip and keep up the great work!

MFL Reward Afternoon

On Monday 4th December, 60 Year 7 and Year 8 Spanish students took part in a language reward afternoon. The students have worked extremely hard since starting school in September and they were chosen as a reward for their excellent behaviour and effort, as well as their fantastic progress in lessons during the autumn term. The students spent the afternoon watching a movie with plenty of sweets and popcorn. The movie was called ‘The Book of Life’ which is about a traditional Mexican holiday called  El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). It was good for students to get the opportunity to watch this movie as both year groups were studying Mexican culture in October, and were learning all about the Day of the Dead. It was very difficult for teachers to only pick three students from each of their classes as we have so many amazing language students, so it will be exciting to see who is selected to attend the next reward afternoon for the spring term at Easter.

Year 7 Photo: Calum Carmon, Abigail Coull, Bethany Murdoch, Jamie Bloxam and James Jones.


On Tuesday 12th December a mixture of 12 year 9 and 10 students took part in a focus group arranged by the Halton Social Sense Team. Kit from ‘LYFE PROOF’ led the session as a follow up to the ECM ‘Mindful Me’ day that both year groups took part in last year. Students continued work from the day in their ECM lessons where they looked at Mindful techniques and explored what made them happy and how they can use the techniques.

Kit, who led the session is working with secondary schools around the country to gather data to help inform his next bid to fund a mental health programme aimed at teenagers.


Students were asked what techniques did they remember, what concerns they had, both in and outside of school, how the new structures to exams has affected their mental wellbeing and what services they would like to have offered to them.

Last week the government pledged to provide support and funding to ‘boost mental health in schools’.

The government's new green paper proposes:

  • training for senior designated mental health leads in schools to improve prevention work
  • earlier access to services through the creation of new mental health support teams working in and directly with schools
  • a new four-week waiting time for NHS children and young people's mental health services
  • every primary and secondary school in England to be offered mental health awareness training
  • all pupils to be taught about mental health and wellbeing as part of improved relationships education and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) lessons

The new measures are part of a £300m investment by the Department of Health and Education.

Mrs Noon, Leader of ECM said:

At OBA we take the mental health and well-being of our students very seriously. If any students have any concerns or need someone to talk to they should approach a member of the pastoral team; their form tutor or head of year or myself, Mrs Ryan or Mr Easton.

English Staff Plan Ahead

On Friday 1st December Mrs Platt, Head of English at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy attended an English Hub meeting at Bebington High School on the Wirral. This meeting was a chance for the Heads of English from several local schools to gather, share ideas, resources and discuss strategies for improvement within English. The agenda covered: an analysis and reflection on the 2017 exam results; how to challenge the most able pupils; how to engage boys with the subject; how to improve Literacy across the curriculum and effective revision strategies to use with GCSE classes.

Mrs Platt said:

The meeting was really useful. It was great to meet colleagues from other schools and have the chance to share our knowledge, give one another advice and discuss successful strategies to implement in English lessons. I came away with lots of new resources to use back at OBA and a whole plethora of ideas to help our pupils to achieve even more in the future.

The next meeting will take place in March.


Artist of the Week

Cameron Ord, Year 11 has created pieces in a range of different media including oil pastels, paint and digitally and even enlisted the help of his younger brother, Lewis, as a face painting model. All of the studies Cameron has produced are based on the Mexican festival ‘The Day of the Dead’. In addition to his practical work, Cameron has researched and analysed the work of a number of relevant artists and the traditions practised as part of the celebration.

Mrs Cleverly said:

Cameron has made huge improvements to his GCSE coursework over the last term, his attendance at art enrichments has been fantastic and he is now developing a very strong body of work. If he continues to show as much dedication to the subject as he has demonstrated over the last few months we expect him to do very well in his GCSE in the summer.

E-Safety Update

This week a new website called 'Own It' was launched by the BBC to teach under 12s about online safety. 'Own It' is here to help young people in years 7 and 8 stay safe online. The site has real-life stories, advice from experts, fun quizzes, and videos with celebs and star vloggers - all to help you be the boss of your online life.


The site is divided into a number of different sections:

  • 'The Basics' which covers general e-safety information
  • 'Take Control' which gives information about how young people should take ownership of their online activities and act in a safe manner online
  • 'It's personal' which gives tips and advice on a range of issues that youngsters may face
  • 'Don't panic' where students can find out what to do if they have a concern 
  • 'About us' where students can get information about why the BBC have made the site and here there is also a page for parents.

All year 7 students will have the chance to explore 'Own It' in their ICT lessons and we encourage you all to check this out too.

If you or someone you know has an e-safety concern you need to speak out. You should report e-safety issues to your parents/carers or any adult in school such as:

  • Mr Hussey - OBA E-safety Co-ordinator
  • Form tutor
  • Head of Year / Assistant Head of Year
  • Mr Easton, Mr Hough, Mrs Ryan

Local police can be contacted on 101 if necessary. You can also report concerns using the CEOP report button on the OBA website. Simply go to: OBA homepage > Academy Information > E-safety Information

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