Mayoral Celebration of OSA Success

January 12th, 2018

Thursday 4 January saw the annual celebration of GCSE and A level successes at Oxford Spires Academy.

 

 

presentation evening 2

This year, the East Oxford school welcomed Cllr. Jean Fooks, Lord Mayor of Oxford, to speak to students, parents and teachers, and to present prizes and certificates.

 

Encouraging students at or near the end of their school years to makes the most of all the opportunities offered in life, Cllr. Fooks talked about the importance of confidence, and aiming for what mattered to them.

 

Listening carefully to her advice were a group of younger students, from Year 8 upwards, who were nominated for House awards – high achievers who helped lead others in drama, music, sport and other extra-curricular opportunities at OSA.

 

The school took the opportunity to congratulate all students who met personal goals in the summer exams, but at the same time awarded prizes to those who scored best in subjects at GCSE and A level.

 

High achievers at both levels won awards, with many overcoming personal challenges to do so.

 

Of particular note were top students Vivien Urban and Helen Woods. Helen, who gained 9 GCSE grades at A*, alongside grades 7, 8 and 9, beat others very close to her to snatch the prize at that level.

 

Former Head Girl, Vivien Urban, arrived at OSA in Year 10 from Hungary, and learnt English as a beginner. She secured the A level prize with A*AAB grades and is now studying English Literature at St Andrew’s University.

 

The evening was brought to a conclusion by the current Head Girl, Jolaade Agunbiade Oke, who thanked Cllr. Fooks, and summed up the students’ pride in their achievements and their school.

 

OSA’s Principal, Marianne Blake, who took over the Academy in September 2017, was delighted to see the celebration of students’ success last summer. ‘Oxford Spires is a very special place’, she comments. ‘It’s a family environment, supporting young people through what is a very stressful exam time.

 

‘We’re so pleased to see them achieve their best – and to progress to university or employment. A night like tonight is when we see some of them back from their first months away from school and it’s wonderful to see them as mature, responsible and enthusiastic participants in a wider community now.’

Christmas Card Competition

January 3rd, 2018

Andy Yarrow from CfBT asked all schools across the Academy Trust to design a Christmas card for CfBT.   Hundreds of OSA students entered the competition and there were so many skilful and exciting designs. 

 

The competition was fierce!

 

 

The following students designs were selected for the shortlist and were therefore Highly Commended:

 

Molly Terry 10B2

Libby Hadfield 10S1

Olivia Hartley 10S1

Delilah Lunch 7B1

Cian Anderson 9T1

Harry Stillborn 7S1

 

The overall winner was, our very own Rosie Young 10E1 who beat the competition from all the other schools and her design was sent out to hundreds of people from our Academy Trust.

 

Congratulations to all that entered.

University of Bristol Visit

December 15th, 2017

On the 15th November the Year 12 chemistry students went on a practical laboratory experience to the University of Bristol.

The aim was to extract caffeine from tea leaves and to use laboratory equipment and techniques which are not available in school labs. The work was supported by undergraduate and postgraduate students, allowing our pupils to ask questions about university life as well as about studying chemistry at a higher level.

 

The day finished with two talks on postgraduate research which kept students updated on what is happening at the cutting-edge of chemistry, followed by an engaging lecture demonstration with lots of whizzes and bangs.

 

Our students were a credit to us once again and the experience was extremely valuable.

 

Below are some of the comments that they made on their return:

 

“I found it very interesting as I learnt about different paths of chemistry that I did not think that I could go into before, such as making new catalysts from transition metals which was fascinating. The experiment in the labs was fun and relevant, I saw a spectrometer for IR for the first time and learnt how it works. Overall: a good experience. I felt very nervous handling equipment which is very specialist and delicate but now my confidence has increased by seeing that I was able to obtain a very pure compound and also not break anything!”

 

“The Bristol chemistry trip was a great one for me, because it really helped me see what university-level chemistry is like. We attempted to extract pure caffiene from teabags, and had to test our product to see if it was what we wanted by checking the melting point and its infrared spectrum. It made me realise that chemists don’t really know what they’ve made until they’ve run tests on it- there’s a lot of room for mistakes, but they will help you get to where you need to be! We also had some lectures from chemistry students who are studying at Bristol about what they do there. It was overall a very eye opening experience for me that helped me realise just how close further education is, what it’s like and what I would like to do at university. I definitley plan on going into a chemistry-related field in university and this trip just solidified that dream.”

 

“The trip was a real eye-opener to the world of chemistry and how it applies to the real world. It sparked my interest in chemistry at university. The experiment we carried out of extracting caffeine from tea leaves was very interesting especially about how the yield from 10 teabags was so minuscule. If given the opportunity, I would definitely go again.”

German Christmas Biscuit Bake-Off

December 15th, 2017

german biscuitOn Tuesday 5th December 5 Year 7 students went to a Christmas biscuit competition run by the Oxford German Network.

 

Each student had put in a great deal of effort at home to bake and decorate their traditional German biscuits (using recipes in German) and the finished results not only looked amazing but tasted delicious too!

 

When they arrived at the Taylor Institute the students crafted some home-made decorations and later on they took part in a quiz on Christmas in Germany, where they put their knowledge from their German lessons to the test. Out of 5 other schools Ashley, Carys, Simeon, Heather and George won best tasting biscuits, which was truly deserved against some stiff competition.

 

Thank you to all students involved and to Mrs Konstantine for organising.

Christmas Concert

December 15th, 2017

The first ever OSA Christmas Concert took place on the 8th December.

 

Students from all years took to the stage, performing Samba, Rock, Christmas songs, piano , singing and flute solos. It was the first opportunity for the new school orchestra and choir to perform the  choir also showcased what they have been working on this term.

 

The student leadership was outstanding and the collaboration across the year groups and between music groups was amazing. A massive thank you to Sally Ahmed for compering and Mr Dixon for technical support.

 

A special mention has to go to Josie Whitehouse, Delta McNicholas, Erica Masters and Irene Halle for leading the music groups so brilliantly!

 

We look forward to the spring concert in March!

 

Miss Stoneham and Mr Devey

End of Term Arrangements

December 15th, 2017

The timings for the end of Term 2 – Tuesday 19th December are as follows:

Year 10, Year 11 and Sixth Form depart 12.15pm
Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 depart 1.15pm

Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you all back for the start of Term 3 Thursday 4th January 2018

Non Uniform Day 15th December

December 13th, 2017

We have decided to host a non-uniform day to raise money to support the charities chosen by each House.

The expectations for non-uniform day are as follows:

  • Students are invited to attend school in their own clothes and/or festive jumpers, provided they are appropriately dressed.
  • Students should be mindful that basic uniform expectations still apply i.e. no hats in buildings and no electronic equipment should be seen

For this privilege students must pay £1 at the school gate. However, if students arrive at school wearing non- uniform without the correct money they will be sent home to change into the correct uniform or bring in their money.

Please help us to support Student Voice as OSA and help us support and our chosen charities, which are:
 

  • Water Aid
  • Cancer Research
  • OAB-Oxfordshire Association for the Blind
  • Restore Garden Café-Oxford

 

Yours sincerely

Jo Dunphy

Vice-Principal

Thank you for your support during the hazardous weather

December 12th, 2017

Thank you all very much for your continued support during the hazardous weather over the last few days.  Our Site Team has worked extremely hard to ensure the entire site is safe.  The students have behaved exceptionally well today and we are very proud of them.  It is likely to still be extremely cold and slippy early in the morning so please wrap up warm, wear suitable footwear and take care on your journey to and from school.

Oxford Spires Academy will be open regular hours from tomorrow (Wednesday 13th December)

 

Normal Finish Time Today

December 12th, 2017

Oxford Spires Academy will close at the normal time of 3.10pm today.  There will be no evening events.

UPDATE: School is open from 9.45am

December 12th, 2017

Oxford Spires Academy is open for all students from 9.45am today (Tuesday 12th December)

A quick reminder – Students need to wear suitable footwear and warm outer clothing. Please take care on your journey to school and use the extra time to get here safely.

 

Update: Opening Tuesday 12th December 2017

December 11th, 2017
Dear Parent/Carer 
We plan to open tomorrow, Tuesday 12th December at 9.45am the slightly later start will give students and staff more time in the morning to travel safely to school. All students should wear full school uniform but wear suitable footwear and outer clothing that is appropriate for the weather. Can I dissuade students from cycling to school where possible as the roads may be slippery. 
 
The final decision to open or to close the school will need to be taken in the morning. The information will be emailed to parents via ParentMail and placed here onto the school website by 7.30am. We will also use the local radio stations and the Oxfordshire County Council website to inform you if we need to close to students for a second day. 
 
Kind regards 
Marianne Blake, Principal. 

Update: Bannister Christmas Lunch

December 10th, 2017

Unfortunately due to deliveries being unable to access the school site, we have no further option than to reschedule the Bannister Christmas Lunch that was calendared for Tuesday 12th December.

 

Bannister Christmas Lunch will now take place Monday 18th December.

Please remember to bring a usual packed lunch / payment for meal for Tuesday 12th December

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

 

Update: School Closure Monday 11th December 2017

December 10th, 2017

Dear Parent/Carer 

I can confirm that Oxford Spires Academy will in fact be closed on Monday 11th December for all staff and students
 
The adverse weather conditions will impact significantly on our staffing for tomorrow. We have also audited the school environment and I am concerned about the safety of our students on site.
 
It is for these two reasons that I have decided to close the academy. 
 
My apologies for an inconvenience that this may cause families. 
 
Best wishes 
Marianne Blake – Principal

Snow & Hazardous Weather Conditions

December 10th, 2017

Due to the current hazardous weather conditions for staff and students, we will be making a decision on the closure of the school, once the site has been inspected later this afternoon.

 

As several teachers and staff live outside of the Cowley/Oxford area, we need to ensure staffing numbers are adequate for teaching/supporting the students and also the site is safe.

Please check back here at 7.00pm this evening for an updateosasnow.

Enjoy the snow!

 

 

 

Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company

November 29th, 2017

On the 29th November, Year 10 and Year 13 English and Drama students were given the opportunity to participate in a workshop by the theatre company, Cheek by Jowl.  The students engaged with two professional actors from the company who introduced them to new ways to interpret Shakespeare for the stage as well as giving them the chance to work together using warm up activities that the company themselves use.  The students were lively and enthusiastic, contributing ideas and energy to a successful workshop.  Thanks to Cheek by Jowl for the opportunity.

Shakespeare for Schools Festival

November 28th, 2017

On 10th November, 15 students in Years 9 – 12 took part in the Shakespeare for Schools Festival.  This was the first time that Oxford Spires has participated in this event and the students produced an incredible 30 minute version of the Shakespeare play ‘As You Like It.’ 

Beginning as an idea in the summer holidays, students had worked independently to create a 1930s version of the play, with music from the time as the backing to dances as well as singing live on stage.  Telling the story of Rosalind’s exile from court and her love for Orlando, the play is a comedy highlighted by disguise and confusion as she and her cousin Celia, find their way in a very different world.  The students led much of the project, rehearsals and staging ideas themselves and all credit is due to them for an excellent performance.

Thanks also to Kate Morris and Peter Sheward-Himpson for their support throughout and on the day.

SHAKESPEAR FOR SCHOOL 1 SHAKESPEAR FOR SCHOOL 2

AIM HIGHER: Overcoming Obstacles

November 22nd, 2017

Growth Mindset workshop at Oxford Brookes University

 

Aim Higher Overcoming Obstacles

 

Thirty of our Year 7 students attended a fun workshop at Oxford Brookes. The students were engaged and considered their ‘personal development’ and thought about ways to create a more positive growth mindset for themselves in relation to their thinking and their actions.

 

The morning ended with a competitive tour of the university.

A fun day for our young year 7s.

Articulation Project

November 22nd, 2017

All A level students are taking part in the Articulation Project which is designed to develop and support students’ understanding and engagement with art. This is a great opportunity and will be considered as part of their arts projects as well as helping students develop their research, critic and presentation skills.

 
Students took part in an all day workshop at the Ashmolean Museum where they worked in groups to explore art works through personal observation, discussion and primary research. They were encouraged to think independently, analyse information, and ask informed questions. Through the project they will also learn how to conquer nerves, physically prepare and become successful presenters as well as meet with and interview art world professionals.

 
The skills they develop through this project will directly inform their Personal Study element of their coursework unit as well as provide transferrable skills they can use in other areas of their lives.

6th Form Artists

November 22nd, 2017

Year 12 and 13 A level Art students are currently taking part in collaborative projects with both Modern Art Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum.

 

Modern Art Oxford Photography Project

Students spent the day at Modern Art Oxford to receive the creative brief for a photography project around the theme of Journeys that they will be working on between now and the summer term alongside students from Cheney school and City of Oxford College. In the coming months students will be guided by both their teachers, lead photographer Laura Montag and the Modern Art Oxford Curatorial team to create a series of photographs that they will present and critique.

 

They will take part in project seminars, photography workshops, open studio sessions with Laura Montag and independent development time. Their individual work will form part of a collaborative book showing a selection of photos from each student.  They will also exhibit their work to the public through the gallery.

Lantern Parade

November 22nd, 2017

Oxford Christmas Light Festival – Lantern Parade

 

Year 9 GCSE Art students took part in the Oxford Christmas Light Festival again this year, which involved creating lanterns that they then paraded through Oxford city centre on the evening of Friday 17th November.

 

The festival theme for this year was ‘The World in Oxford’ and the large lanterns as part of the parade depicted elements from stories about travelling the world.  Our lantern was a large bicycle from The Boy Who Biked The World by Alastair Humphreys.

 

Students took part in a two-day workshop with artist Paul Batten to create a 3 metre by 2 metre bicycle lantern with spinning globes for wheels. The students also made smaller lanterns in the shape of books to accompany it.  

 

It was a great opportunity for our younger GCSE students to work with a visiting artist, learn more about 3D sculpture, work collaboratively and take part in a community event where they can display their hard work. The Lantern parade itself was also a wonderful evening to be part of and a great kick-off to the festive season.

 

 

 

UK Parliament Week – Sixth Form debaters in the Bodleian

November 21st, 2017

On Thursday 16 November, three students from Oxford Spires Sixth Form took on a challenge.  They debated whether people should have the right to be forgotten online, as part of the University of Oxford’s 2017 Parliament Week.

 

bodleian pic 1

 

Alongside Lord Tom McNally, and local MP Annaliese Dodds, our three students (Eleanor, Ishmail and Sana) proposed the right to have irrelevant or incorrect things online deleted. 

 

They were opposed by a team of student debaters from Cheney School, accompanied by MP Damian Collins.  The whole debate was chaired by the Principal of Somerville College, Oxford, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon.

 

 

The debate took place in the medieval Convocation House, where the English parliament had met during the Civil War.  In the audience were over 100 local Sixth Form Politics students, undergraduates and university staff. 

 

Bodleian 2

 

The students had prepared with a workshop at the Politics Faculty, and A level Politics teacher, Dan Glazebrook, accompanied them on a trip to Parliament, where they had interviewed MPs, Lords and the Speaker, John Bercow.

 

Head of Sixth Form, Jackie Watson, was proud of the students.  ‘They were all so confident and articulate!  It’s not easy to speak in front of 100 of your peers, never mind doing it alongside Members of Parliament and University lecturers.  They all did a brilliant job!’

 

The Proposition won the debate by 43 votes to 38.  A good job done!

Aim Higher -The Fix Up Team

November 13th, 2017

The Fix Up Team returned to work with our students motivating and inspiring them to achieve success. They worked with our Year 11 students with a great motivational assembly focusing on developing a growth mindset and positive active attitude when focussing on their education and personal lives. This was followed by workshops on revision skills for exam success and another on confidence and resilience.

 

One of their quotes of the day “Potential means nothing without action”

 

In addition all of the Year 10 and Year 9 groups received a motivational assembly on independent choices, resilience and focus. All students were encouraged to develop a ‘VIP Mindset’ – Vision. Identity and Power.

 

Fixupteam

Aim Higher Passport Day

November 13th, 2017

Year 10 Passport Day at Oxford Brookes University

 
Forty Year 10 students visited Oxford Brookes University for a Passport day. The day was all about giving students more information about university increasing their knowledge on how their journey of study can lead to university. The Ambassadors (university undergraduates) worked with students explaining just some of the 37,000 different courses on offer in the UK.

 

The day gave students the opportunity to discuss what subjects they are currently enjoying, what their personal interest are and to consider their future career ambitions.

A great day with an insight into university life… The more information and experience our young people have the more of an informed choice they are able to make in their future!

German Student Exchange

November 13th, 2017

Once again for the third year running Mrs Constantine and Mr Fanchi took 9 students from Year 9 to Year 13 to stay with German families in Aschaffenburg in Germany. It was a very valuable experience as students were there not only to improve their German language, but also immerse themselves into the family lives of their exchange partners. As a result the students grew in their confidence and I congratulate them on taking on such a challenge!

 

Germantrip2

The group visited the towns Aschaffenburg and Miltenberg. Each family arranged individual activities with their exchange partners so that every one of them has a different story to tell. Students also visited the school and took part in the lessons.

 

German trip 3

A particular focus of this year’s trip was the Jewish history of the town Aschaffenburg including its dark period under the Nazi regime. The Jewish museum was very kind in giving us a guided tour visiting the places, where Jews used to lived, before they were deported to the concentration camps. We paid our respect by cleaning some the Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) which have been placed into the ground in front of their houses. It was very moving and the students impressed with their compassion and respect for these lost lives.

 

German trip 1

 

Yr 7 Humanities Exhibition

November 13th, 2017

IMG_0430

Year 7s celebrated the completion of their first Humanities homework project with a celebratory display of their best work in the Atrium. Students had included insights from the visit from Wilderness Pioneers so their work was as historically accurate as possible. We are very proud of what they have achieved this term.

IMG_0426

Parental Communication

November 13th, 2017

Dear Parent

Improving School Communication with ParentMail

 

Communicating with parents is an important part of what we do. Making sure you get the correct information about activities, events and things that really matter is something we care about.

 

Traditionally we have used printed letters but delivery of these can be unreliable; they are also expensive, to produce and are not environmentally friendly.

ParentMail is a service used by over 6,000 schools, nurseries and children’s clubs to communicate to parents. ParentMail will be beneficial to you because:

 

  • Messages will get to you reliably and on time
  • We can send messages directly to mums, dads and others carers at the same time
  • Emergency Information can be sent by text message

 

If you haven’t yet connected to ParentMail all you need to do is verify your account. Over the next few days you will be sent either an email from ParentMail, when you receive this please just follow the instructions below:

 

Email Registration:

Please click on the link in the email and follow the registration process. You will be asked to enter some details; answer a security question to verify who you are and to then set a password for your account.

 

Please be assured that ParentMail is registered with the Information Commissioner and guarantees that all information you provide will be kept private and will not be passed on to any other organisation.

 

Yours sincerely

Marianne Blake – Principal

 

 

 

registration advert

 

 

Tickets on sale now!

November 8th, 2017

 

House Drama  – Thursday 23rd November 6.00pm

 

Panto – Thursday 13th December 6.00pm

 

Tickets can be purchased from Mrs Crook in the Red Zone Office.

£4 Adults, £2 Students / Under 18yrs 

 

Year 8 Geography Field Trip

November 3rd, 2017

On the last day of term, 12 hard working and dedicated Year 8 geographers got the opportunity to visit some of the areas top rural tourist attractions. The weather was unusually nice for late October, though a bit windy it made things interesting on top of the Wittenham Clumps and White Horse Hill.  The students got into groups of 4 and investigated their chosen tourist attraction to see how people felt about the place.

 

They will now need to take what they learnt about each attraction and try to come up with ways to improve it to attract more tourists but without destroying the attraction.  Their final decisions will be presented to all Year 8 geography classes in lessons in the spring term.  Well done to all Year 8s who worked so hard on the trip.

Geog Field Trip Oct 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 11 Parent Update & Information

November 2nd, 2017

Please visit the ‘Recent Letters’ section of our website to read ‘Year 11 Parent Update and Information’ and to see a great revision guide that will be extremely useful for all Year 11 students with mock exams fast approaching.

http://www.oxfordspiresacademy.org/parent/recent-letters/

 

Autumn Update Oct 2017

October 23rd, 2017

Dear Parent/Carer
It has been a really fantastic start to our new academic year here at Oxford Spires Academy. We are really proud of our students as they have really excelled themselves.

 

House Competitions

Over 480 of our students have taken part and supported our house sports competitions last week. At least 220 girls played in their house Football teams, 150 boys played rugby and 110 boys & girls played house DodgeBall.
 

Performances

Our first Piano recital using our new baby grand piano was an overwhelming success, so much so that we are now organising a second musical evening before Christmas. Students have also taken part in the Shakespeare in schools work shop and I very much look forward to the final performances of this next term.
 

Projects

Students in Year 7 have completed their first homework project in Humanities. Our Year 7 have produced some truly amazing models of Palaeolithic camps, they are rightly proud of them and they will be on display in our meet the tutor and settling in meeting for Year 7 this week.
Our Students in Year 8 have produced Volcano models and these again are marvellous, we have exploding volcanos models, fact files and posters and edible cake volcanos, some truly amazing outcomes.
 

News Flash

Our Oxford Spires News team have officially launched our student website ‘The Spires Scoop’.
This is now live and can be found using Google, please make sure to have a look, it really is amazing and full of information that you just can’t miss.

 

Open Evening

Over 400 students helped out on Open evening, it was a lovely atmosphere and I really enjoyed meeting both parents and our potential new students for September. If you were unable to visit our wonderful school and would like to come and see us, please do not hesitate to contact us at and academy and we will arrange a tour for you.
 

Poetry Successes on an international stage

We have an amazing 7 winners in the Foyle Poetry Competition. One of our young ladies has achieved a place within the top 15. There is a special recognition from the Poetry Society for OSA as we are once again the most successful school in the world in this international competition. (15,000 entries annually are judged anonymously)
We have so many things to celebrate within the academy and I would like to thank our committed and dedicated teachers for making all of these opportunities possible.
Have a wonderful half term break.

 

Best wishes
Marianne Blake

House Competitions

October 23rd, 2017

220 girls took part in House Football, 150 boys in House Rugby and 110 boys in House DodgeBall. In total 480 students took part, that’s nearly half the school. Well done to everyone who joined in.

Cake Sale

October 23rd, 2017

A cake sale was held in the staffroom at the end of September to raise money for Macmillan cancer. Thank you to all staff who supported the sale and managed to raise a fabulous £131.

OSA Student From Syria Wins National Poetry Award

October 11th, 2017

Winner of The John Betjeman Prize 2017

This is a huge reason for us to celebrate at OSA, two of our young ladies have achieved great things within this year’s John Betjeman Poetry Competition.

Amineh Abou Kerech is the overall winner of the whole competition with her poem called ‘Lament for Syria’.  Jemima Webster has also accomplished amazing success and achieved the first runner up slot.

 

These two young ladies competed against more than 2000 entries.

I would like to congratulate both of the girls and their teacher Kate Clanchy and I am sure that their families are as proud as we all are at academy.

 

Front Sat 7 Oct oxford mail

 

 

Read the full article from the Oxford Mail here

Higher Level Learning Day-29th September 2017

October 9th, 2017

Year 12 Higher Level Learning Day – 29 September 2017

It is vital that Year 12 students, beginning A levels, get off to a flying start! As most people realise, A level study requires a lot of determination and organisation.  On Friday 29 September, OSA’s Year 12 students took part in a day dedicated to the skills they will need for success.

Setting goals and overcoming barriers was the subject of their first session – led by Ms Ali. They were asked to make plans – think ahead – and envision the success they wanted.

Further sessions focused on how to make professional presentations – a skill key to the workplace as well as to school and university courses. Every member of the year group spoke and they learned how to adapt presentation slides to meet the needs of their audiences.

As well as presentations, students learned about Sixth Form research and referencing – looking at how to find information, and how to record their findings. And they had a very relaxing session learning how to manage the stress which is a necessary part of this level of learning…  (Thanks, Mr Fanchi!)

The afternoon saw the whole year looking outwards – at the many opportunities they have to work with both universities in Oxford, and to broaden their learning as well as planning their future. Becky Bartle, from Oxford Brookes, gave a presentation on Brookes Engage (a popular 18-month scheme to help students prepare for university, and offering them access to Brookes’ library and sports facilities).  From debating, to university lectures, to study days at the Ashmolean, university departments and the Bodleian Library – we hope that all our Year 12s enjoy this exciting phase in their education!

Piano Recital – 28th September 2017

October 9th, 2017

In order to celebrate the purchase of our brand new Feurich Grand Piano, 28 OSA students took to the stage in their smartest outfits to share pieces that they have been working on. The quality of the performances was exceptional, each student demonstrating a clear ability to master and get the best from the piano. The evening finished with a very special performance of Take Five from the wonderful Sally Ahmed, a peripatetic piano teacher who has supported most of the students who played that evening. We hope this will be the first of many events of this nature.”

 

Piano Recital

Roadworks 7th Sept – 21st October 2017

September 5th, 2017

Roadworks ahead

GCSE Results 2017

August 24th, 2017

GCSE results at Oxford Spires Academy

 

84% of students achieved a 4+ (C equivalent) in English

62% of students achieved an 4+ (C equivalent) in mathematics

 

67% of students achieved a 5+ (C equivalent) in English

44% of students achieved an 5+ (C equivalent) in mathematics

 

We are delighted with the better than National average number of students achieving Grade 9 in English.

Provisional Progress 8 is 0.1

 

Especially strong results were achieved by a number of departments and special mention should go to: English/ English Literature 84% 4+, Maths 62% 4+, French 79% A*-C, Geography 80% A*-C and Drama 60% A*-C

 

There are some extraordinary personal successes:

 

Jasmine Burgess: Two grade 9s a grade 8, seven A*s and 1A grade plus an A* grade in A Level Creative Writing

Helen Woods: One 9, one grade 8 and one grade 7 and 9 A*s and an A* grade in A Level Creative Writing

Mukahang Limbu : one grade 9, two 8s and 3A*s and 5 As and an A* grade in A Level Creative Writing

Ishmail Hussain: two grade 9s, one grade 7, six A*s and one A grade

 

We are so proud of the students who made the most progress adding one or two grades on average across all their subjects above government expectations. Congratulations go to Khazina Abbas, Kirsten Richards, Azeem Abdul, Hurriyah Khatun and Saya Ali to mention the most impressive of so many students.

 

Congratulations go to the students and teachers for their hard work, and of course to parents too.

 

Mrs Croft said: “We are delighted with the successes achieved by students in this year group. The outstanding attainment will enable so many to have bright futures. Students and staff worked incredibly hard and have reaped the benefit. We are so proud of the students’ outstanding success.”

 

Tony Brett, Chair of Governors said, “The students have worked extremely hard and impressively productively with their teachers, who have often gone the extra mile to enable the students to achieve at the highest level, to be the best they can be. I am delighted to see such success. Not only are the students a credit to Oxford Spires and excelling in their extra-curricular activities, they are making exceptional progress and opening further opportunities for themselves. I am incredibly proud of all of them and they should be too!”

A Level Results 2017

August 24th, 2017

A-LEVEL and BTEC RESULTS AT OXFORD SPIRES ACADEMY

Thursday 17 August 2017

 

Oxford Spires Academy is delighted to announce an excellent set of A-level results.  The Principal has congratulated all students involved in these examinations and, of course, their parents and teachers. There were 86 candidates in the Upper Sixth this year and there have been excellent performances against the full range of ability. The overall pass rate is 94%. The percentage of grades at A*-C is 63% . There were particularly strong performances in Religious Studies, Chemistry, Spanish, Creative Writing, Sport and Business Studies.

 

All students have achieved success, many whilst overcoming considerable challenges, and particular mention should be made of the following students, who scored particularly strongly:

 

Vivien Urban A*,A,A,B going to St Andrew’s to study Comparative Literature and English. Vivien joined OSA part way through Year 7 with no English.

Mohammed Mujtaba A,A,A going to Edingburgh to study Chemical Engineering.

Ettore Loiselle A,B,B going to Edingburgh to study Chemistry.

Joel Larkin, who joined us from another school in the sixth form and achieved 5 A Level equivalent grades: Double Distinction* in Sport, Double distinction in Business and a D in Geography. He goes to Manchester to study Sports Management.

 

The following students achieved Triple Dis * in Sport:

Clifton Gaughan

Miraaj Hussain

Fatima Rehman

The following students achieved Double Dis* in Business:

Kevin Chavunduka

Grace Ehibhatiomhan

Jack  Hicks

Fabiha  Hoque

Noureldin  Osman

 

Principal, Sue Croft, said, “These results demonstrate the hard work of students and teachers and the improvements in attainment at Oxford Spires Academy. All students who have chosen to do so have won a place on a degree course and we are confident that all our students leaving school this summer can look forward to a very bright future. This year group is the last to have been in the predecessor school and achieved top 5% progress at GCSE; they have succeeded not only in their academic goals but have grown beautifully into caring, moral and hard working adults. We are delighted for each success and proud of each achievement and wish all well in the future.”

 

Tony Brett, the Chair of Governors, said, “This was indeed an impressive year group who took full advantage of their opportunities at OSA. Their successes reflect the outstanding teaching at Oxford Spires Academy and the drive for excellence by the Principal Sue Croft.”

What the new GCSEs mean

August 23rd, 2017

A guide for Parents and Carers

What The New GCSEs Mean Aug 2017

Message from Sue Croft

July 25th, 2017

Thank you to so many parents and friends of Oxford Spires for your kind words, good wishes and generosity on my retirement!

I had the most wonderful last day of term and will miss you all!

THANK YOU!

Sue Croft

July 2017 Newsletter

July 20th, 2017

The Oxford Spires Academy Newsletter for July 2017 is available now.

July 2017

Shortening of the School Day

July 13th, 2017

Dear Parents

The consultation for the change of the school day has closed.  We have had a total of 469 responses, 350 of which in favour of the change and 114 against.  Overall that is in favour of shortening the school day of 75% of the total responses, 67% of these were from parents, 73% from staff and 79% from students.  There was overwhelming support for Friday as the best day for the shortened day.  41 people preferred Monday, 64 preferred Wednesday and 296 preferring Friday. 

 

This positive response, (plus the positive response following the slight alteration to the internal workings of the day allowing for a 10 minute break between lessons 2 and 3), as well as a positive response from the trust and governors means that we will go ahead with a shorter school day on Friday ending at 2.30pm from September 2017. 

 

Just a reminder of the amendments to the original consultation; Fish and chip Friday moves to Thursday.  There will be a more limited menu on a Friday.

 

Friday:                                   

Period 1                   8.45-9.45

Period 2                   9.45-10.45

 

Comfort Break        10.45-10.55

Period 3                  10.55-11.55        

 

Period 4                  11.55-12.55

Lunch                      12.55-1.30

 

Pd 5                         1.30-2.30

End of day               2.30pm

Friday 21st July – End of Term

June 28th, 2017

School term finishes on Friday 21 July at 1.20pm.

School Trip to School of Rock – 8th June 2017

June 6th, 2017

To Parents of Year 7/8

Having consulted with the Chair of Governors and the local authority we are happy for this school trip to continue on 8 June 2017 to London’s New Theatre. Students will travel by coach which will drop students off at the door of the theatre and pick them up at the same place. 

 

A full risk assessment has been undertaken and staffing levels are less than 1:10.  Students will be fully briefed on what to do in an emergency.

 

No parent nor student should feel obliged to go on this trip.  Some may choose to take up this opportunity at this time.  If you wish to ask any further questions please contact Di Aspinall on daspinall@oxfordspiresacademy.org or Sue Croft on scroft@oxfordspiresacademy.org

Yours truly

Sue Croft

OSA Newsletter May 2017

June 5th, 2017

The OSA Newsletter for May 2017 is now available.

May 2017

Additional INSET Day

May 5th, 2017

Please Note:
Friday 10th November 2017. This day will be an additional INSET day and students will not be in school.

OSA Newsletter April 2017

April 5th, 2017

The April edition of the OSA Newsletter is now available

April 2017

CfBT Schools Trust Announcement

March 22nd, 2017

Please see attached CfBT letter regarding the Appointment of a new Principal at Oxford Spires Academy

New Principal Announced

March 20th, 2017

The Governors and CfBT Schools’ Trust are delighted to announce that the new Principal of Oxford Spires Academy with effect from September 2017 will be Marianne Blake. Marianne is currently Senior Vice Principal (Achievement and Standards) at North Oxfordshire Academy, where she has worked since 2012.

Oxfordshire Teaching Alliance

March 1st, 2017

“Oxford Spires Academy is a Strategic Partner / Partner school in the Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance (OTSA). Teaching schools are part of the government’s drive to give schools more freedom and to enable headteachers to take increasing responsibility for managing the education system. The Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance is a partnership of Oxford schools, Oxford County Council, The University of Oxford, The University of Reading, Oxford Brookes University and other significant educational organisations. Our vision is that by bringing together the strengths of all OTSA partners we have a unique opportunity to develop a sustainable culture of aspiration, collaboration and excellence leading to a world class education for all young people in Oxfordshire.

The Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance is working in the following key areas; Initial Teacher Training, Research and Development, School to School Support, CPD and Leadership Development, Succession Planning and Talent Management, Special Educational Needs and Disability, NQT Induction and Professional Learning Networks. Strategic Partner schools take responsibility for delivery of a specific area of work within at least one key area in which they have particular expertise, while Partner schools contribute to, or participate in, at least one of these areas.”

www.otsa.org.uk

Oxford Writers’ House

February 23rd, 2017

Please be aware that there is a writing prize led by Dr April Pierce, founder of Oxford Writers’ House. The prize has attracted some funding and an internationally respected literary judge. There is a great venue for the ceremony with support from the city and mayor’s office. It is open to young creative writers aged 12-18, the prize entries are free for students in school. Please see details on the website https://www.oxfordwritershouse.com/our-events/writing-prizes It would be lovely for Oxford Spires students to show their writing skills in a local competition.

Parent Survey

February 22nd, 2017

This year’s Parent Survey is now online. We would really like to hear your views.
Parent Survey

OSA Newsletter February 2017

February 9th, 2017

The OSA Newsletter is now available

February 2017

 

Mrs Croft Announces Retirement

January 13th, 2017

After more than six happy and successful years leading Oxford Spires Academy, Mrs Croft will be leaving the school at the end of this academic year. She is retiring as Principal to take on another important job – that of grandmother to her new grandson – and to enjoy more time with her semi-retired husband.
The search for Mrs Croft’s successor is now underway. The school is in an excellent position to attract a strong field of potential new Principals who understand what makes Oxford Spires special and to support its culture whilst leading it towards further success.

December 2016 Newsletter

December 15th, 2016

Our December 2016 Newsletter is now ready to download

December 2016

October 2016 Newsletter

October 19th, 2016

The October 2016 newsletter is now available to download.

October 2016

 

Student Safety

September 29th, 2016

Dear all

Please be aware that a girl wearing a school uniform was grabbed by two men in a silver car on her way to school and was seriously sexually assaulted. This was near Marston Ferry and Banbury Road in Oxford.  We advise that all children walk in groups both to and from school.  Be vigilant and report anything suspicious.

Mrs Croft

GCSE results at Oxford Spires Academy Aug 2016

September 22nd, 2016

84% of students achieved an A* to C in English (84% with reduced cohort of 98)

65% of students achieved an A*-C in mathematics

 Provisional Progress 8 is 0.43, nearly half a grade more for all students across all subjects on average than elsewhere nationally
 
Last year Oxford Spires Academy secured an award for being in the top 5% of schools nationally for progress made by students in GCSE.   Our provisional Progress 8 score of 0.44 means that students at Oxford Spires achieve nearly half a grade higher on average for all students’ best 8 GCSE grades including the highly academic subjects and ensures that we will certainly feature in further awards.
 
Especially strong results were achieved by a number of departments and special mention should go to: English 84%, Spanish – 73% A*-C, Geography -73% A*-C , Business – 73% A*-C and Maths 65% A*-C
 
Students made progress in excess of expected levels and the national average, not only achieving above the national average at 3 levels of progress (expected progress) but also with significant numbers of students making 4 and 5 and even 6 levels of progress.

 

3+   4+     5+

English    87%    42%    12%

Maths      71%    34%    8%

 

We are delighted that our pupil premium students made better progress than all students in their Best 8 academic subjects (pupil progress 0.49).
 
There are some extraordinary personal successes:

Michael Reynolds: 10A*s and 1A grade

Holly Gardner: 5A*s 4As and 2 Bs

William Cheetham: 9 As and 2 A*s
 
Ivan Haji & Radwan Omar made 7 levels of progress in English!

Sudaysi Sharif made 6 levels of progress in maths!
 
Radwan Omar had a Progress 8 score of 4.2 achieving over 4 grades higher for each GCSE (on average) than expected attainment.

Sudaysi Sharif had a Progress 8 score of 3.4 achieving over 3 grades higher for each GCSE (on average) than expected attainment.

Arthur Basso had a Progress 8 score of 2.8 achieving over 2 and a half grades higher for each GCSE (on average) than expected attainment.

Sophiya Yakha Rai, Ivan Haji and Chadni Majumdar all had a Progress 8 score of over 2 achieving over 2 grades higher for each GCSE (on average) than expected attainment.
 
Congratulations go to the students for their hard work, and of course to parents too. Oxford Spires also congratulates and thanks all, teaching and support staff for their dedication that makes such success possible.
 
Mrs Croft said: “We are delighted with the successes achieved by students in this year group. Students and staff worked incredibly hard and have reaped the benefit. We are so proud of the students’ outstanding success.”
 
Tony Brett, Chair of Governors said, “The students have worked extremely hard and impressively productively with their teachers, who have often gone the extra mile to enable the students to achieve at the highest level, to be the best they can be. I am delighted to see such success.  Not only are the students a credit to Oxford Spires and excelling in their extra-curricular activities, they are making exceptional progress and opening further opportunities for themselves.  I am incredibly proud of all of them and they should be too!”

Lewis and Maah-Noor A Level Exam Success 2016

August 18th, 2016

Cambridge University success for Lewis Thorne! Oxford University success for Maah-Noor Ali!
 
A level exam results 2016 Lewis
 
Lewis Thorne achieved an impressive 590 UCAS points with A*s in Further Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics and an A in Chemistry to secure his place at Cambridge University to study Chemical Engineering. He is OSA’s first Oxbridge success paving the way for many Oxford Spires students to follow!
 
Lewis underwent a rigorous selection process in December, including entry examinations and interviews, to be offered a place subject to successful A Levels.
 
Lewis said, “I am very, very happy…and so proud.” He is looking forward to Fresher’s week, dressing up in wizard robes and the whole experience.
 
Dr Watson commented, “This is a great tribute to Lewis’s hard work and his intelligence. He is part of a high achieving group in Oxford Spires’ Year 13 and has made the most of all opportunities to extend his learning in Maths and Sciences. He’s also been a great role model for younger students and many others will follow him now to make the most of their academic potential.”
 
“Oxford Spires was proud to gain the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) Challenge Award in 2014 – given to schools working well with their able students. We are the first school in Oxford city to gain this award. Lewis and other students in our school have benefited from super-curricular activities such as Maths Olympiads, Chemistry Challenges, residentials at Oxbridge colleges, Extended Project research, local university lectures and Nuffield Science Placements to extend his learning more independently.”
 
“We are so proud of Lewis and all he has achieved; he has been such a wonderful student in all respects: hard working and committed to his house and leading others. From playing the panto dame and being the lead in the dance show, to being Chemistry captain and winning cross country successes, he has been an inspiration!” said Mrs Croft.
 
Maah-Noor Ali will be the first Oxford Spires student to go to Oxford University having been offered a Foundation year in English Literature at Lady Margaret Hall. One of the first students ever on this new programme, Maah-Noor was selected after a rigorous interview process last term and is very excited by her success.
 
“We are delighted for Maah-Noor and know that her talents and hard work will be rewarded once again. She has benefitted from our successes and experiences across the board with our excellence in English. We are so proud and excited for her,” said Mrs Croft.
 
Dr Watson said, “I am so pleased that Maah-Noor will now be able to pursue her passion for Literature in one of the world’s best English Faculties. She’s worked very hard for her A levels and really deserves this new opportunity to develop her talents.”
 
“Students like Maah-Noor have benefited from both the excellence of teaching in English at Oxford Spires and from the extra provision for Creative Writing in the school. As Kate Clanchy’s recent article for The Guardian newspaper
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/14/very-quiet-foreign-girls-poetry-foyle-young-poets-kate-clanchy)
showed, our students can find an outlet for their creativity and develop literacy to a very high level through the school’s exciting programme of workshops. Maah-Noor, alongside several others in her year, had work published and grew in confidence as a result. I’m sure it all helped her cope with university interviews too!”

Plenty of A*s and 99% passes for OSA students!

August 18th, 2016

A-LEVEL AND BTEC RESULTS AT OXFORD SPIRES ACADEMY

Thursday 18th August 2016

Oxford Spires Academy is delighted to announce its best ever set of A-level results. The Principal congratulates all students involved in these examinations and, of course, their parents and teachers. There were 68 candidates in the Upper Sixth this year and students have succeeded in meeting challenging grades to go on to top Universities and the next stage in their education and career. The overall pass rate is 99%. An impressive 46.4% of all students achieved 2 or more qualifications at grades A*-B. There were particularly strong performances in Further Mathematics, Computing, Philosophy and Ethics, Physics, Geography, Media Studies, Spanish, Sociology, Creative Writing, Sport Studies and Business Studies
 
Students who achieved particularly high results include:

Arturo Loiselle 4A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics: Arturo has a
place at Edinburgh to study Chemistry.
 
Lewis Thorne 3A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and an A in Chemistry: Lewis
has a place at Cambridge to study Chemical Engineering.
 
Andrea Pinedo 3 A*s in English Literature, Sociology, Spanish and a B in Drama:
Andrea is taking a gap year and will work at OSA.
 
Ben Thorne 2 A*s in Maths, Further Maths and As in Physics and Chemistry: Ben
has a place at Bristol to study Engineering.
 
Joseph Zhu 2 A*s in Maths and Further Maths, A in Physics and a B in
Chemistry: Joseph has a place at Warwick to study Mathematics.
 
Victoria Baden 3 Distinction *s in Sport: Victoria has a place at St John’s York to
study Sports Studies and rehabilitation.
 
Amber Bartlett 3 Distinction *s in Sport: Amber has a place at Gloucester to study
Physical Education and coaching.
 
Dr Watson, Head of Sixth Form commented, “It has been a pleasure to work with Oxford Spires’ Year 13 students as Head of Sixth Form, and to see individuals flourish. I am pleased that this year’s excellent results allow so many of them to progress to the university courses of their choice. Results reflect students’ hard work and maturity.”
 
Principal Sue Croft said, “Our sixth form students are exceptional young adults who have achieved great results through hard work and a love of learning. I am indebted to an excellent sixth form team, ably led by Dr Watson and a wonderful academic and driven team of staff. The students have been a joy to teach; we are excited for them and their aspirational futures. They will be missed though they have left a legacy of excellence in personal qualities and academic achievement. The vast majority of pupils have won a place on a degree course including Lewis Thorne who has achieved a place at Cambridge University.”
 
Tony Brett, Chair of Governors said, “This year’s sixth form have been an impressive cohort and they have excelled in making Oxford Spires all the great things it is as well as achieving great results in their academic studies. Their brilliant attainment, progress and leadership reflect the outstanding teaching at Oxford Spires Academy and the drive for excellence by the Principal, Sue Croft; and head of Sixth Form, Dr Watson.”

Year 13 Chemistry – Leaving with glory

June 2nd, 2016

It is extremely sad, but we are filled with pride, that we say goodbye to our Year 13 chemistry students. They have been an outstanding group of pupils, displaying consistently the values of the school and being role models academically and personally. Their study habits are generally excellent and they have developed quickly into independent learners who will no doubt succeed in their chosen undergraduate studies next year. The recently obtained Silver Certificates from the National Chemistry Olympiad is just one more token of the excellence in this class, as they have proven in many other events across several subjects.

The Chemistry department would like to particularly thank Arturo Louiselle , Ben and Lewis Thorne for their involvement and enthusiasm in the Chemistry Club over the past two years. The lower school has greatly benefited from their time and effort and we hope that future generations of chemistry students will continue to run the club. Thank you also to Nelvin Kiratu and the mentioned boys for endless Open Evening and Sixth Form evening events to which they provided feedback, support and more than one spark!

It has been lovely to teach them and we wish them luck for their exams and all the best for the future.

First Steps – a new course for new arrivals

May 4th, 2016

In Term 6 OSA will pilot First Steps, a new course for beginners in English age 15-18. The course will offer basic training in English language and Maths, as well as project-based learning in Science, Humanities and Arts topics. As the name suggests, our aim is to give students a ‘first step’ to progress in education, whether at OSA or at City of Oxford College.

First Steps is a response to growing need within the city. Oxford has always been a cosmopolitan city and is now a designated City of Refuge, but recent numbers mean that many new arrivals have been unable to find places in education. At OSA we know that with the right support our overseas students can achieve huge success, as our exam results over the past few years have shown. In fact, increasingly we are being asked by other schools around the country for the secret to our success!

If you would like to know more about First Steps, please contact our heads of EAL, Irena Gwiazda and Melanie Tuck.

The Wisdom and Eloquence of Youth

April 28th, 2016
It was a double Seacole victory in an erudite and astoundingly uplifting afternoon on Thursday 28 April at House Public Speaking in Oxford Spires Academy’s theatre.  The evening opened with an astonishing Bannister House junior speech looking at YouTube.  Seacole Junior House then amazed us by tackling the issue of food labelling in a highly entertaining and well researched speech.  This was an excellent team performance performed entirely without notes.  Earhart and Tolkien both amazed the audience with their eloquence and the quality of ideas and strength of argument.  The morality of their argument was impressive.
The senior team had a difficult task to follow such brilliance from junior students and rose to the challenge impressing with their oratory and intellect.
Students spoke of Scientific Literacy (Seacole), Political Reform (Earhart), Community (Bannister) and Nuclear Weapons (Tolkien).  The audience were moved to tears with Mukahang’s admiration of his mother and educated by Lewis and Ben Thornes’ final House Public Speaking speeches.
The final winners for both junior and senior teams were Seacole House.
Main Speaker   Linnet Drury ( Seacole) (Junior Team)  Mukahang Limbu (Bannister) (Senior Team)
Chair Person   Sami Asgher (Tolkien) (Junior Team) Nick Bevin (Earhart) (Senior Team)
Vote of Thanks   Teoni Siani-Dash (Tolkien) (Junior Team) Ettore Loiselle (Earhart) (Senior Team)

Year 10 Geography Field Trip: The Purbeck Coast!

April 26th, 2016

On Tuesday, April 26th, our Year 10 Geographers took the opportunity to experience our current topic first hand by visiting the Purbeck Coast in south Dorset.  This World Heritage Site is a perfect example of the amazing coastal landforms that we’ve been studying such as beaches, sand dunes, cliffs, caves, stacks and the most famous natural arch in the UK.

It was a clear but cold morning as we made our way to Studland Beach via the Sandbanks – Studland chain link ferry.  The beach was beautiful and we could see Old Harry Rocks in the distance as we toured the area observing the sustainable management which made up our recent case study.  After a nice beach walk and some answers in the field trip workbook, we got back on the coach to our second destination.

On the drive to the awe inspiring natural arch known as Durdle Door, we saw the ruins of Corfe Castle which was of interest to the historians on the trip.  After walking to the Durdle Door viewing area, the students were given the opportunity to descend the newly re-built steps (the original steps were eroded away in the storms of 2014) down to the beach in front of Durdle Door.  Usually only a few students are up for this very steep walk, but with our inspired group, everyone took the chance to get an up close view and take some fantastic pictures.  Unfortunately, time was short so we had to get back up the steep steps and on to our next world famous site, Lulworth Cove.

This is where the trip took an unexpected turn.  On our walk to Lulworth Cove, a freak blizzard hit us.  This is not supposed to happen in late April and though the BBC weather website did mention scattered showers, we were not ready for a blizzard.  The adverse weather forced us to abandon our plans to explore Lulworth Cove and take shelter in the coach.  So I guess if the Year 10 geographers want to see Lulworth Cove, they will need to take A Level geography as we do our 3 day residential there!

Oxford Spires Academy wins award for exceptional 2015 results

April 19th, 2016

Oxford Spires Academy has been nationally recognised for its exceptional 2015 performance by the Schools, Students and Teachers network (SSAT). Educational Outcomes data analysis from SSAT has shown that the school is in the top 10% nationally for progress made by pupils between their key stage 2 results at primary school and their key stage 4 results.

Indeed Oxford Spires was in the top 5% of schools for Best 8 progress and the top 1% of schools for progress in Modern Foreign Languages.

The school’s SSAT Educational Outcomes award will be presented at a regional celebration event held to draw attention to the work of high-achieving, improving and innovating schools and teachers.

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said:  ‘It’s my great pleasure to commend Oxford Spires Academy on their excellent 2015 performance, and to have the opportunity to highlight and share their great work at the SSAT Educational Outcomes celebration evening. I have the privilege of visiting a lot of schools and I am always impressed by the creativity of teachers in engaging and inspiring their students. ‘I hope that SSAT’s Educational Outcomes award will highlight the professionalism, commitment and hard work of the leaders, teachers and students at Oxford Spires Academy. Recognising and sharing successes like this is at the heart of SSAT’s mission, so I’m delighted to congratulate Oxford Spires Academy on their achievement.’

Sue Croft, Principal said “We are delighted with this award which reflects the hard work, aspirations, great teaching and learning and strong relationships at Oxford Spires Academy. We are so proud to receive this recognition”.

Note to editors:

SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers Network, is the name of the company founded from the former Specialist Schools and Academies Trust in May 2012.

High Level Forensics at The University of Oxford

April 13th, 2016

On April 13th, Year 12 chemists and a selected group of Year 11 future chemists approached a forensics challenge. Both year groups worked together in the chemistry laboratories of Oxford University to solve a challenge set in a forensics scenario.

For Year 12 this was a great opportunity to practise the experimental skills that they have been developing all year, as well as to familiarise with some of the spectroscopic techniques that are not available in school but are part of their exams next month!  They proved to be very competent and their previous workshops in Southampton University in January paid off when it came to using the more complex apparatus in the lab.

Year 11 were not daunted by the challenge or the difference in background, and approached the tasks with a positive attitude and deep thinking. They gained invaluable experience from the advice and guidance of our Year 12 pupils and the Oxford graduates who were aiding with the practical work. Using equipment such as a rotary evaporator or generating their own IR spectra and learning to interpret it were exciting moments, full of shiny eyes and a deep sense of achievement.

Their comments are a better summary of what happened that day and the impact of this trip in their aspirations and scientific understanding:
“It was very exciting going to see how things worked around Oxford university for the first time in my life. To see the equipment used and asking questions about how things work around the university was very interesting”.  – Arthur Basso
“The trip was very interesting, having shared it with Year 12s, we were able to see the more advanced level of chemistry that they are exposed to. I feel it will be beneficial going into sixth form as it will be experience that our peers will not have had”. – Nick Bevin
“This workshop was a good opportunity for me to learn about forensic science and I loved it”. – Amna Aamir
“It was an interesting experience which gave us a rich insight into a dimension of science many know very little about”.  – Radwan Omar
“It was an experience that not only allowed us to work together and get to know each other, but that we also learnt a lot from. It was great to explore deeper into chemistry”. – Islem Chemlal El Aboussi

All teams successfully solved their mystery product and even offered some help to students from another school who were sharing the lab with us. This was a really successful activity and as a result we intend to continue a scheme of co-work across the higher end of the year groups to support and stretch our potential chemists. If you are starting Year 11 and have chemistry in your mind for a future A-level subject, make sure that you let Dr Garcia know!

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March 2016 Newsletter

March 31st, 2016

The March 2016 Newsletter is now available for download, below:

March 2016

Safeguarding

March 10th, 2016

We are delighted to announce that Oxford Spires Academy has passed its safeguarding audit from the trust with flying colours. They found exceptional practice especially in the speed of communication and alertness of staff. I quote, “Oxford Spires has well organised, effective, robust protection procedures in place to safeguard the well-being, safety and emotional and physical health of their pupils.

All staff demonstrated a high level of commitment and vigilance to safeguarding, and approach this in a connected, systematic and caring manner.

Pupils presented as enthusiastic, grounded and well behaved individuals who seemed happy to engage with the many opportunities that Oxford Spires offers.”

Students and parents may well have noticed that we have secured new fencing courtesy of our trust (Education Development Trust previously known as CfBT Schools Trust) to ensure that adults using the new fitness gym during the school day are clearly guided along the outside of the school and then up to the main entrance of the gym. There is an area just prior to the entrance to the gym where students can access the netball courts to play football that is not fenced. There are two clear safeguarding strategies in place. Firstly there is very clear signage about where adults should go. Secondly we have trained all students and staff to be clear and check that there are no visitors on site without a school badge having signed in at Main Reception in the appropriate way. Students are alerted to let a member of staff know should they see anybody who has not signed in appropriately and staff response to this will be immediate. We test the system regularly by having a mystery shopper on the school site to check that they are suitably challenged and that the whole community is alert to any visitors on our site.

We are a community school and we do welcome members of the community on to our site. This is balanced with vigilance and strong safeguarding practices.

Any parent who has any concerns and would like to know more please make contact directly with Sue Croft.

Annual Parent and Carer Survey 2016

February 22nd, 2016

Please click here to complete the survey: Annual Parent and Carer Survey 2016

Notice for January 11-15 2016

January 11th, 2016

Notice for January 11-15 2016
Emergency gas works have resulted in partial closure of Glanville. Entry to the school via Glanville Road only and exit by Cumberland Road.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Many thanks,
Mrs Croft

December 2015 Newsletter

January 5th, 2016

Please click here to download our 2015 newsletter.

Geography Master Class

December 21st, 2015

On the 10th of November, a group of motivated year 4 primary students arrived at Oxford Spires Academy for a Humanities – Geography Master Class. Mr Haynes delivered an exciting and humorous master class focusing on the problem solving of a major world event – Hurricane Sandy. They looked into helping the state of New Jersey recover from this natural disaster. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves, showing a great depth of understanding and discussion skills. Many thanks to Mr Haynes and our lovely student helpers, Rebecca Craft and Ishah Zainab.

Lord Chadlington inspires Sixth Formers

December 21st, 2015

Lord Chadlington visited OSA in the summer through the Speakers for Schools scheme which provides excellent speakers for secondary school students . Lord Chadlington then spoke to year 8 and 10 about his fascinating careers and told them about his ” ten steps to success . He was so inspiring that we asked if he may return and speak to those students making decisions about their future careers. Lord Chadlington kindly visited OSA again on November 27th and spoke to students about the true meaning of success and invited questions about the many different careers and business ventures he has been involved in. Lord Chadlington implored students to do what they enjoyed and to take measured risks to achieve success . He spoke of the importance of courtesy and manners and of being happy. The sixth formers asked insightful questions and the event culminated in a debate.

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OSA through to the English Speaking Union Public Speaking final

December 21st, 2015

Year 10 students Jasmine Burgess, Helen Woods and Mukahang Limbu this week represented OSA at this prestigious competition and achieved a place at the regional final. Students must work with one other member of their school team and one student from another school to present a speech and answer questions on a previously determined topic. The OSA team spoke on the topic ” The Internet is a Drug and we are all Addicted.” Jasmine won the Best Speaker award for her eloquent speech and the entire team will now compete in the next round of the competition on January 12th.
 
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Blenheim Palace Public Speaking Trip

December 21st, 2015

The English club enjoyed their annual public speaking trip to Blenheim Palace at the start of November. Students were treated to public speaking workshops and a tour of the Palace before being given more information about the Blenheim Palace Public Speaking competition.

Year 7 and 8 students will compete for the opportunity to represent OSA at this competition by entering an internal competition in December. This winning team will then represent OSA at the competition at the Palace in March 2016 . This team will be hoping to retain the trophy which Frances Thompson, Annie Davison and Ilona Sell won last year . OSA has also previously won this competition in 2011 and 2012.

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Pantomime – TICKETS ON SALE!

December 14th, 2015

Wednesday 16th December at 5:30PM in the theatre at OSA.

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Senior Maths Challenge Success!

November 27th, 2015

Joseph Zhu has qualified for the British Maths Olympiad putting him in the top 1000 in the country.   Felix Wu and Arturo Loiselle have both qualified for the senior Kangaroo putting them in the top 3000 students.  All three have received Gold certificates. Lewis Thorne, Thanadol Hedges and Michael Reynolds have received Silver certificates which means they were in the top 30% and Atul Anand, Ettore Loiselle, Mikolaj Tomczynski and Shayan Zaheer have Bronze certificates putting them in the top 60% of the brightest mathematicians in Years 11-13 that enter this prestigious competition.

House Drama – SOLD OUT!

November 19th, 2015

Please note that Tickets for House Drama on November 26th are now sold out!

October Newsletter

November 9th, 2015

The October newsletter is now available for download here:

October 2015

Update: Year 7, 9 and 12 reports

October 19th, 2015

Please note that Year 7 and Year 12 reports will be issued today. Please ask your son/daughter to give them to you. Year 9 reports will be distributed tomorrow, Tuesday 20th October.

Paris Trip – July 2015

September 18th, 2015

On Friday 17th July at silly o’clock in the morning over 40 students along with Mr and Mrs Finch, Miss Cross, Mr Bayliss and Mrs Spacksman set off on their adventure to Paris. After a long journey and failed attempts to spot fish out of the window as we went through the Channel Tunnel we arrived at the Chocolaterie where we witnessed cats being destroyed (chocolate ones honest!) and the brave tried 100% cocoa solids chocolate. On the Saturday we made our way into Paris following a special route past the Cloud Factory and the Bread Bank. OSA students then successfully got themselves 59 floors up the Tour Montparnasse and stole the Eiffel Tower. They then broke for lunch whilst cruising up the River Seine taking in the most famous sights of Paris. This trip concluded with a Tour of Notre Dame Cathedral and then an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Miss Cross and Mr finch in the water polo. After dinner songs and marshmallow toasting around the campfire deep in the woods rounded off the evening. Sunday morning offered shopping at the market in nearby town of Brie Comte Robert and opportunities for students to use their French. That afternoon saw the OSA students literally climbing the wall (a lot of them reached the top) and then abseiling back down action film style (well, in one or two cases!). We also have a few budding Katniss Everdeens on the archery field (girls more than boys I must say). That evening many of us had escargots for dinner (yes that does mean snails!!!) the teachers treated the students to their disco routines which they had been practising hard all term, sadly we were out danced by the students. All too quickly Monday morning came round and we had to pack up and start the long journey home. However, a trip to the hypermarket for more shopping helped.

Here are some comments from the students:

 “it was a lifetime experience which I shall cherish forever. The facilities were phenomenal, PGL staff were really helpful and friendly and the food was amazing.”

“J’adore the Trip. Paris EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING. C’était super cool!”

“je suis tombée amoureuse … with the city of love!”

I would like to thank the staff and students for being amazing and making the most of all the opportunities they had during this trip and look forward to the next one.

Mrs Finch

 

 

Best ever progress for Year 11 GCSE students!

August 20th, 2015

Date: Thursday 20 August 2015

GCSE results at Oxford Spires Academy

 

64% of students achieved 5 or more A*-C grades

 

55% of students achieved 5 or more A*-C grades including English and mathematics

 

Students made the best progress ever at Oxford Spires!

 

Last year Oxford Spires Academy secured an award for being in the top 20% of schools nationally for progress made by students in GCSE.   This was when we achieved a Progress 8 score of 0.24. This year the provisional Progress 8 score is a whopping 0.54. This means that students at Oxford Spires achieve half a grade higher on average for all students’ best 8 GCSE grades including the highly academic subjects.

 

Especially strong results were achieved by a number of departments and special mention should go to: English Language 70% A*-C, Mathematics 71% A*-C, Science 79% A*-C, Spanish 85% A*-C, Business 93% A*-C and English Literature 68%.

 

Students made progress in excess of expected levels and the national average, not only achieving above the national average at 3 levels of progress (expected progress) but also with significant numbers of students making 4 and 5 and even 6 levels of progress.

 

3+        4+       5+

English   78%     43%     12%

Maths     71%     34%   6%

 

We are delighted that our pupil premium students are making as good progress as all students in English and in mathematics.

 

There are some extraordinary personal successes with Alissa Reis making 6 levels of progress in English achieving 5A*s, 4 As and 4Bs. Cintia Pinto joining us in Year 11 with very little English and achieving 2A*s, B in maths and in science, C in English and further GCSEs in less than a year. Najma Omer made 6 levels of progress in English and 5 levels in mathematics achieving 1A, 3Bs and 2 C grades.

 

Congratulations go to the students for their hard work, and of course to parents too. Oxford Spires also congratulates and thanks all, teaching and support staff for their dedication that makes such success possible.

 

Mrs Croft said: “We have enjoyed this year working with students who were driven for success. As a year group they showed great resilience and character; many surprised themselves with how far they had travelled. We are so proud of the students’ outstanding success.”

 

Tony Brett, Chair of Governors said, “The students have worked extremely hard and impressively productively with their teachers, who have often gone the extra mile to enable the students to achieve at the highest level, to be the best they can be. I am delighted to see such success. Not only are the students a credit to Oxford Spires and excelling in their extra-curricular activities, they are making exceptional progress and opening further opportunities for themselves. I am incredibly proud of all of them and they should be too!”

 

A Level and BTEC Results 2015 – 68% A*-C

August 13th, 2015

Oxford Spires Academy is delighted to announce a successful set of A-level results. The Principal congratulates all students involved in these examinations and, of course, their parents and teachers. There were 79 candidates in the Upper Sixth this year and there have been excellent performances against the full range of ability and across all subjects. The overall pass rate is 95.8%. The percentage of grades at A*-B (or equivalent) is 44% and 68% for A*-C. There were particularly strong performances in Mathematics, Computing, Philosophy and Ethics, Urdu, Business Studies, Music and Sport Studies.

 

Students who achieved particularly high results include:

Laura Thomas gaining A* and 2 As in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry with an A grade in AS Further Mathematics and an A* in the Extended Project Qualification

Stephanie Ferreira gaining 3 Distinction *s in Sport, A in Portuguese, and B in AS Spanish

Grace Palmer gaining 2 As and 2Bs in Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry

Esme Partridge gaining 2As, a B and a C in English, Creative writing, Theatre Studies and History

Billy Wheeler gaining 2As, a B and a C in Mathematics, Computing, Physics and Chemistry

Riema Eldawi gaining 2 As and a B in Economics, Mathematics and Chemistry

Ben Doling gaining 2As and a B in Mathematics, Computing and Physics

 

Dr Watson, Head of Sixth Form commented, “It has been a pleasure to work with Oxford Spires’ Year 13 students in my first year as Head of Sixth Form, and to see individuals flourish.  I am equally pleased that this year’s excellent results allow so many of them to progress to the university courses of their choice.”

 

Principal Sue Croft said, “Our sixth form students are exceptional young adults who have achieved great results through hard work and a love of learning. The vast majority of pupils have won a place on a degree course and we are confident that all our pupils leaving school this summer can look forward to a very bright future indeed.”

 

Tony Brett, Chair of Governors said, “This was indeed an impressive year group who helped to shape the academy and achieved success in their academic study. Their successes reflect the outstanding teaching at Oxford Spires Academy and the drive for excellence by the Principal, Sue Croft, Dr Watson and the dedicated teachers.”

Jumpers During Warm Weather

June 30th, 2015

Please see the letter below regarding uniform during the remainder of the summer term.

Students learn about Artificial Intelligence

June 24th, 2015

Year 7 Show Their Colours at ‘Art in Science Day’

June 17th, 2015

artiinscience

On Tuesday 9th June, Oxford Spires Academy were very lucky to be able to host both Dr Lizzie Burn (a science-based artist) and Jennifer Whitfield a pathologist at the Churchill hospital for a day of art and science.

All of our year 7 students attended a 1-hour session throughout the day in which they learnt about cells, the discovery of the microscope and the way a pathologist works to identify disease-causing or abnormal cells in the human body. As part of this, each made a cork tile with an image of a cell – inspired by what they had learnt.

There was great excitement as students found inspiration from colourful microscope images, decided on their medium and designed, drew and painted their own creation. There was a real buzz of understanding as Dr. Burn linked these two favourite subjects so clearly! At the end of the session, there was an opportunity for students to ask Jennifer Whitfield about her career and latest work in understanding the human genome – there certainly seem to be some budding pathologists amongst our year group!

The final result was astounding as the tiles were linked together to create a 150-strong piece of artwork that showcased both their artistic skill and scientific accuracy! We look forward to seeing the result appearing on display around school very soon.

Chess Supremo!

June 2nd, 2015

Early in May Oscar Idle took part in the chess mega final at Oxford Spires Academy. He was playing against 30 students in his age group (under 13) who had all qualified to get to the chess mega final. Over 60,000 hopeful youngsters applied to take part in the UK De Lancy Chess Schools’ Championship and by the time any reach the Tera Final, the top 60 in the country under 18 will compete. Oscar said “I am pleased to be in a position to be able to get to the Tera Finals again this year, I love the complexity of chess”. Oscar is grateful to his generous sponsors:

Webb Paton Chartered Surveyors
Carter Jonas Estate Agents
Penny & Sinclair Estate Agents

chessSsupremo

OSA Students win Nuffield placements!

June 2nd, 2015

Arturo Loiselle and Melissa Sebata win Nuffield Research Placements in the Summer 2015.

This is a fantastic achievement, as only 22 students have been offered placements in Oxfordshire.  Students will be working alongside professional scientists/engineers/technicians/mathematicians and completing a real research project at a high level for 4 weeks.  The project will therefore be academically challenging.

“Art can change the world” poetry event

June 1st, 2015

On Tuesday May 19th, Oxford Spires Academy held its first international poetry afternoon, hosted by sixth form’s Michael Egbe. We were graced by two amazing professional poets all the way from America plus local drummer and author Natty Mark. The event was kicked off by Michael, who performed a moving piece about his homeland of Nigeria, with piano accompaniment. Then came Natty Mark who entertained the audience through spoken word poetry followed by a lively performance of cultural African drumming. We were also joined by two of the incredibly talented student poets from year 11- Abdullah Yusuf and Leah Smith. Abdullah presented a moving poem on racism, off by heart! While Leah performed her fascinating poem “Circles”.

Then the main event started when Aisha Oxley graced us with a few of her stunning poems ranging on topics about barbeques to her heroes. Her performance was so capturing that the whole audience was silent throughout. Next we heard from Marquese McFerguson whose poems mainly focused on the American Civil Rights Movement and the topic of racism. His performance was not only hugely entertaining (and in some parts comedic!) but sent an extremely strong message on the injustices that many Americans faced and still face today. After a final performance from Abdullah, the event ended with a lively and wide ranging discussion between the students and the poets. Overall it was an extremely interesting and entertaining afternoon which many of the Oxford Spires students and staff enjoyed thoroughly.

Holly Gardner

10B

art-can-change

“I truly enjoyed my visit to Oxford Spires Academy. It is a truly amazing school with amazing students and teachers. The “Art Can Change The World” event was amazing. Visiting Oxford Spires was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to the U.K.”  – Dr. Marquese McFerguson, US poet and academic.

Sixth Form lawyers and future scientists…

May 21st, 2015

Work experience is important for a lot of students in the Sixth Form. This half-term, Miss Plant has helped Year 12 students to take part in two projects which will help them make successful university applications after the summer.
Nuffield Research Placements provide over 1,000 students nationally each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Last year’s successful applicants worked on their own research in computing and practical science areas, with the support of local scientists at Rutherford Appleton laboratories. This year’s successful applicants from Year 12 will begin their placements soon – and will report back in a future newsletter on their experiences.
As well as scientists, potential future lawyers make the chances of a successful university application more likely by undertaking work experience. Maah-Noor Ali, Shukryia Rezaei and Matin Shirani took part in the placements in April and feedback from the law firm was very positive indeed.

African school

May 21st, 2015

In February and March of this year, OSA made history by being the first state comprehensive in the county to offer an accredited course in African Studies. The course was completed by five students: Maah-Noor Ali, Nailah James, Haseefa Imran, Chupkatha Priovarshini and Rupkatha Priovarshini. Nailah James said of the course: “African School is a great opportunity to explore the rich and diverse history of pre-colonial Africa. Taking part in this course, allowed us to extend our knowledge and open our minds to another part the world through learning about many aspects of African history. For instance, we studied trade and how this influenced the integration of cultures and languages, such as Swahili. In addition, we looked at the different belief systems, architecture, music as well as art, in particular different fabrics and their various patterns and methods of creating them. To add to the brilliance of African School, the content is taught through interaction and discussion, creating classes which are very engaging, interesting and extremely enjoyable!”
In the autumn term, African school tutor Natty Mark will be back to run a new course, focusing specifically on the pre-colonial history of Somalia and East Africa.

New Head boy and Head girl and Deputy Head boy and Deputy Head girl announced on Friday 8 May 2015

May 21st, 2015

There was the most astounding leadership group who have been through the full process of speaking to all their peers, writing an application, being interviewed by the outgoing Head boy and Head girl and being interviewed by Dr Watson, Miss Plant and Mrs Croft. The quality was astounding! After much deliberation Oxford Spires is pleased to announce that

Head boy is Ben Thorne
Head girl is Zainab Azam
Deputy Head boy is Arturo Loiselle
Deputy head girl is Andrea Pinedo

They are supported by a very able and strong leadership group of Lewis Thorne, Melissa Sebata, Matin Shirani, Han-sun Nkumu, Amber Barlett, Hassan Latif and Tom Moorwood.
Oxford Spires is in very safe hands with such outstanding moral, academic and personal leadership.

headboyandgirl2015

Esme Awarded Prestigious Prize by Poet Laureate

May 21st, 2015
poetlaureate

Esme (second from the left) pictured with other winners and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy (centre)

Esme Partridge and Michael Egbe were both shortlisted in the national Keats Shelley Young Romantics Competition for their poems on the theme of ‘Lost Angels’. The competition was judged by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
On the 21st of April Esme travelled to London to hear the Poet Laureate read in a ceremony in St Martins in the Fields, London. This was amazing enough: then Carol Ann Duffy announced that Esme had won second prize, and invited her up to read herself. The remarkable evening was topped of with an invitation to the Atheneum Club, where our heads were turned by the historic setting and fine dining.

Aspiring to university!

May 21st, 2015

Year 12 students will begin making their UCAS applications to go to university when they return from AS exams in June. Many have already taken opportunities to learn more before those applications begin…

Five students – Arturo Loiselle, Chup Priovashini, Rup Priodarshini, Ben Thorne and Lewis Thorne – took part in a preparation event for Oxbridge applications over the Easter holiday. They spent two days at Peterhouse College in Cambridge, attending lectures, gaining advice and experiencing life in an Oxbridge college.

Many students in the Sixth Form are currently applying for places on summer schools at a variety of universities including Oxford Brookes, the University of London and the University of Sussex. Places on some of these schemes are still available, and anyone who would like to go in the summer term or the holiday to learn more about subjects, institutions and applications should go online and apply now.

Year 9 and 10 Scholars Graduate!

May 21st, 2015

The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme ran for Year 9 and 10 students last half term. After a visit to Royal Holloway University, they had six small group tutorial sessions with a PhD student supervisor – with challenging university-style work. Students had to submit their final assignments over the Easter holiday, and the results are now in…
We congratulate the following on their successful completion of the programme, and their excellent results: Rubina Ali, Sumeet Daudhar, Holly Gardner and Michael Reynolds from Year 10, and Ismail Aktar, Jasmine Burgess, Renad Eldawi, Mukahang Limbu and Helen Woods from Year 9. Distinctions for the quality of work in sessions and in their outcomes go to Holly Gardner and Michael Reynolds.
Well done to all of them!

Seacole double victory in House Public Speaking

May 21st, 2015

seacolepublicspeakingEverybody was a winner in our junior and senior house public speaking competition on Wednesday 15 April. We had three eminent judges, John Harrop who run the Oxfordshire branch of the English Speaking Union, Zelda Eliott who teaches English language and PGCE at Oxford University and Sue Bagnall, Head teacher of St Ebbes Primary School. They were enormously complimentary to our confident and eloquent speakers.
Students at Oxford Spires are confident but have the complex understanding of complex ideas and a wonderful mastery of imagery with which to be able to share those with an audience. It was such an enjoyable evening of outstanding talent. The worthy winners of the junior competition were Chair, Ilona Sell of Bannister House, vote of thanks, Felix Henson of Seacole House, speaker Linnet Drury of Seacole House and overall Seacole junior team won.
Senior competition Chair Abdullah Yusuf of Bannister House, vote of thanks Lewis Thorne of Seacole House, main speaker Will Cheetham of Earhart House overall winners were Seacole house.
Every speaker is to be congratulated on superb oratory!

Year 10 Silver Arts Award

May 21st, 2015

artsaward14 Year 10 students have been working towards their Silver Arts Award since March. The level 2 qualification encourages young people to find their own research projects and develop individual leadership and arts skills through creating and managing an arts project. The OSA group have worked on inspiration from the History of Science Museum and have already created animations, learning the skills of the trade from a professional. They will now go on to complete their award through self chosen leadership projects which will give them the opportunity to create something truly original through the media of Art and Drama. They have been an inspiring group to work with and we look forward to seeing their finished pieces at the end of the Summer term.

AIM HIGHER

May 21st, 2015

As always lots has been happening with Aim higher this term events such as the sixth form Higher Education conference at Oxford Brookes, Decision Challenge for year 8 option choices, the year 9 Careersfest at the Kassam stadium, Passport days for years 9 and 10, and the list goes on…
One very exciting event occurred just before Easter, Aim Higher worked with a group of year 10 students to support them in a ‘Team Up’ fundraising competition.
These year 10 students worked hard and fast to form a team, called themselves ‘Caring for YOUth’, set task to raise money for ‘Children in Need’ and deliver those task all within three weeks.
How did they do this in such a short space of time?
They appealed for endorsements, held a cake tuck shop sale and raffle in school and they used their initiative in the community and procured a stall donation from the Oxford Gloucester Green market, obtained donations of beautiful cupcakes from ‘The Cake Shop’ in the Oxford Covered Market As well as raising support and donations from stores in Oxford city centre. All this was actioned in a space of a week!
Finally before the Easter holiday, students submitted their competition entry a video presentation to the judges and to their delight and the school’s they were shortlisted from forty other schools to the final three. This now meant that they would have to present to a panel of judges to explain the What, Why, How and Outcomes of their venture

The Award final.
On a Saturday morning in April at the Pill Box venue in London the students were full of enthusiasm and extremely professional. Accompanied by Deliah Wilkinson, Aim Higher manager and Marcus Li the Team Up mentor, they delivered a polished and accomplished presentation.to a panel of judges. The Judges Sharla Duncan (CEO and founder of Team Up), Mary Curnock-Cook OBE (CEO of UCAS), Dr Jamie Woodcock (Queen Mary University, School of Business) and Fran Campalani (Head of Emerging Talent, Lloyds Banking Group) were impressed by the teams initiative, confidence in communicating and negotiating within the school and the community as well as their strong determination to make the venture a success. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and plan to continue their work with an International food event in the coming months.

The final result…
The students were all winners! They won an ‘Insight training session’ with Lloyds bank and over £2000 for the school to further develop their skills and that of their fellow students.
Yet another accomplished achievement for our students.

Simon Bayliss from Oxford Spires Academy has been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Pearson Teaching Awards

May 21st, 2015

sbay
Simon Bayliss from Oxford Spires Academy has been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Pearson Teaching Awards

Spotlight shines on outstanding education professionals as the “Oscars for teachers” selects finalists for 2015!

Simon Bayliss from Oxford Spires Academy has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Pearson Teaching Awards.

Finalists were selected from thousands of nominations from across the UK and Simon joins a list of 67 exceptional teachers who are the Teaching Awards “stars” of the education profession for 2015.

Finalists will find out if they have received a Pearson Teaching Awards on Thank a Teacher Day, 12 June 2015. Winners will then be invited to the star-studded UK final to be held at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in October 2015 which is filmed and broadcast by the BBC.

The Pearson Teaching Awards were established by David (Lord) Puttnam in 1999, to celebrate and recognize outstanding educational professionals.

Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, president of the Teaching Awards said: ‘I am genuinely proud and honoured to be the president of the Teaching Awards. I owe so much of what I’ve done to my fantastic teachers at school and university and it is exciting to join in celebrating what is probably the most important profession of them all.’

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK said: ‘Supporting the Pearson Teaching Awards gives us a unique opportunity to champion exceptional teaching professionals across the UK. Pearson has long held lifelong learning to be at the heart of all its business. All young people deserve the very best chance to make progress in their lives through education. That is why we believe it’s vital to recognise inspirational teachers, for their commitment to teaching and learning and improving the life chances of the next generation.’

Simon joined Oxford Spires Academy in September 2014 and is an exceptional Newly Qualified teacher. He is an outstanding Biology teacher and Year 7 Seacole House tutor. Students and parents have written high praise for the ambitious and high achieving professional who is undertaking a Masters at the same time as achieving Qualified teacher status. He is an inspirational teacher and tutor who builds strong relationships with students, parents and his peers.

May 2015 Newsletter now out

May 20th, 2015

Please click the link below to download the newsletter.

May 2015