Here at OBA we are proud of our English Specialism status and throughout the school all our staff believe that English and Literacy are key skills that are driven across the curriculum. We are passionate about giving our pupils the necessary skills to excel in life. For our years 7-9 students this means at least one reading lesson per week of dedicated reading time in our excellent new library. This Accelerated Reading lesson helps ensure pupils can read well and go on to become motivated readers for life.
Our KS3 curriculum is dedicated to securing the key skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening to turn our pupils into confident, analytical and articulate individuals. Pupils study a range of novels through which all key skills are taught. In addition, pupils have one lesson of ‘Oracy’ per week in which Philosophy 4 Children is delivered and also once a term through ECM lessons. P4C is also delivered across the curriculum as all faculties have Level 1 trained P4C staff. We place an emphasis on the importance of excellent speakers and all pupils are trained to be ‘Greeters’ in order to welcome visitors into our lessons and encourage their confidence to meet new people.
Year 8 students recently took part in The Shakespeare Schools’ Festival, performing ‘Hamlet’ at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool. For the full story click here.
What is Philosophy for Children?
Benefits for Children:
- A way to open up children’s learning through enquiry and the exploration of ideas.
- Gives children the possibility of seeing that their ideas have value, and that others have different ideas that have value too.
- They realise that they don’t always have to be right.
- They have the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.
- All learners (including teachers) have opportunities to genuinely enquire.
- A chance to speak and be heard without fear of getting an answer wrong.
- Intelligence grows.
- Gives children who are not considered “academic” a voice and a chance to flourish.
- Gives the “academic” children a chance to think outside the box and to see that the non-academic have inspiring ideas.
- Gives all children value.
The fantastic results in the summer were a testament to the hard work at OBA on teaching such crucial life skills. The pupils and English team saw results top all Halton and Ormiston schools with 88% 3 levels of progress, 37% 4 levels of progress and 10% 5 levels of progress and achieve significantly above national standards – a superb result.
Bronze Award P4C Status
OBA has been awarded the Sapere P4C Bronze award for its commitment to Philosophy for Children and it is only the second secondary school in the country to be recognised for its excellent practice. Here are some of the reasons why:
- The regular commitment to include at least one P4C session a week through Oracy (KS3) and English (KS4).
- A structured team of teachers leading P4C through each faculty notwithstanding recent whole school staff training.
- Pupil’s familiarity with the 10 step model and ability to ask open philosophical questions which contain concepts.
- Clear planning of P4C sessions using a range of starting points.
- Sharing of practice through the school’s learning platform.
This term has also seen 25 Lead P4C learners complete their Level 1 training so they are now able to plan and deliver their own P4C sessions across the school.
Congratulations to all the staff and children. Another triumph!
National Poetry Day Celebrations
In October, OBA celebrated National Poetry Day. Mr Traves, the school Librarian, had arranged for a special guest for the pupils: Jamaican Liverpudlian performance poet and script writer Patrick Graham. Throughout the school day Patrick ran workshops with our year 7 pupils, performing his own poems with audience participation from the students. Afterwards he then assisted the pupils in writing their own poems.
Mr Traves said of the day: “It was a fantastic day for our pupils to work with an actual writer and also someone from a completely different background, to learn about his inspirations.”
Reading for Success
Year 9 pupils have been sharing their reading skills at Gorsewood primary. The project, led by Ms McCabe, sees 8 of our of Reading Leaders visit Gorsewood Primary School every Thursday morning in order to read one to one with pupils from year 1 through to year 6 and the project is having a huge impact on the reading levels of the primary pupils and also their enjoyment of reading.
Not only do the Reading Leaders visit Gorsewood, but year 6 pupils also attend OBA on a Friday to read books in our Library on the school’s Accelerated Reading programme.
Excellent work from our Year 9 Reading Leaders!
Primary Schools at OBA
The academy has been pleased to open its Library doors to two primary schools this term and both have enjoyed taking part in the Accelerated Reader programme.
“Year 5 really enjoyed coming to OBA for the reading time. The audiobooks were a great alternative for those less able and to help move them up levels. Mr Traves (Librarian) and Mrs Palmer (HLTA) were both fantastic – a huge thank you.”
– Ms Bebbington, Gorsewood Primary
“The pupils enjoyed the quizzes on the iPads after finishing their books and this provided us with excellent information about what the pupils actually understood.”
– Ms Newman, Windmill Hill
Halton Public Speaking competition
On Tuesday 4th February 2014, Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy hosted the Halton Schools’ Public Speaking Competition 2014. Read more about it here.