Message from the PE Department

April 20th, 2018

Please see the following regarding PE lessons as the hot weather approaches

 

 

  • Students ARE allowed to wear baseball caps (peaked caps) if needed

  • Students need to provide their own sunscreen should they require it

  • Students are advised to bring an extra bottle of water and bring it out for PE lessons

  • Sunglasses are only permitted if they are prescription lenses

  • Shade will be provided where possible in very hot weather, but cannot always be guaranteed

 

April 2018 Newsletter

April 17th, 2018

Our April 2018 newsletter is now available to download.

 

Easter Newsletter April 2018

 

OSA Poems Go Viral

April 16th, 2018

For the last year or so, I’ve been posting some of the amazing poems our students write on twitter on my account KateClanchy1. I had a few hundred followers, mostly writers and teachers like me, and I used to get a lot of lovely ‘likes’ and comments to share with the students. One or two poems went further – for example Mohamed Assaf’s very moving poems about Syria, and Iesha Jennings very funny protest against Year 11 pressure ‘I Want to Be the Moon.’ 

 

So, on  Tuesday when I just couldn’t choose a winner for the Year 9 Poetry Competition, I put some of the entries on twitter. A few minutes later, my phone started buzzing like a toothbrush. The poems were getting a huge response and being retweeted by people like James Rhodes, the famous pianist. A couple agreed to read Flora Pizey’s poem at their wedding. Someone else was going to frame Freya Carter’s – and they were being retweeted thousands of times. The next day was World Poetry Day, and several high profile tweeters suggested checking out my entire account as a good thing to do, and more and more of our students poems started to be retweeted and praised. 

 

On Friday, I put up Louie Wright’s poem When I Was a Kid I Waited… It’s been published twice in fact in book form already, once  in one of our anthologies and also in a City Libraries anthology : all the same, I spelled his name Louis and took the surname off, for privacy reasons. Which was fortunate, as the poem was promptly retweeted by JK Rowling and has now passed across the screens of 2.5 million people. 

 

On Friday night, Jamie Allport’s poem was retweeted by  the famous poet Michael Rosen, which is a huge compliment. 

 

By Sunday we had nearly 5000 people following our account. 

 

We are already having an anthology of OSA poems past and present published by Picador – it’s called England, Poems from a School. Now we know how well it will do. Our students really are exceptional writers, and they can touch the heart of millions. 

 

Freya Carter, Flora Pizey, Edie Michael – all wrote much adored love poems. Freya’s is on 14.5k likes.

Iesha Jennings – her subversive poem started the ball rolling

Aisha Borja – a lot of dyslexic superfans!

Jamie Allport : Huge honour to be picked out by Michael Rosen

Mohamad Assaf – Retweeted by Lindsay Hilsum, breaking hearts across the globe. 

Hasan Sana – his poem about his brother makes adults cry on trains. 

Louie Wright – went global.

 

Kate Clanchy – Writer in Residence

Aim Higher News

March 27th, 2018

Year 8 Option Decision Challenge

At the start of the new term all year 8s over two days, participated in the Decision Challenge workshop, which involved Aim Higher and Oxford Brookes University school liaison team working with the students to support their understanding the process and selection of their imminent GCSE choices.

 

 

INTO university workshops Year 8 and 9

We invited INTO UNIVERSITY into school once again to work with our students in workshops with up to thirty students at a time. Students were thinking about their study styles and goals for their education.

 

Part 1 of the Year 8 Buddy workshop started in school and a week later they completed part 2 at the second workshop in Jesus College (University of Oxford). Year 8 students worked brilliantly and confidently together on a project of Reparation for Slavery and gave some fantastic arguments as well as having the opportunity to view the lovely location and speak to the undergraduates discovering the answers to those unanswered questions regarding University.

 

 

Business Stimulation Day at Freeths Solicitors

Fifteen of our Year 10 students engaged in the opportunity to be part of a mock court where they opposed or defended a case for a new airport in London. Students adapted well to their new roles as Barristers, legal assistance media managers and more and gave some strong realistic presentations, cross examinations for their case. They also learnt about the education pathways into Law and various opportunities in general and with Freeths. A great day was had by all.

 

 

Careers week

We had a Careers Week for our Sixth Form where over the course of the week professionals came in to Oxford Spires to share experiences and facts in Law, business and finance, apprenticeships, journalism, publishing and a variety of science careers as well as the armed forces.

 
The students demonstrated a good level of engagement with our visiting professionals to increase their understanding and knowledge in careers of interest.

Chemistry Olympiad

March 26th, 2018

Last month a few of our Year 13 Chemistry students entered the International Chemistry Olympiad, the most prestigious Chemistry competition in the country.

It was entered by over 6000 students from a wide variety of institutions.

We are very proud to announce that the following students have achieved Bronze Award:

Nick Bevin
Jake Richard
Katerina Rapi
Jasmine Burgess

We are awaiting confirmation for Saya Ali as she has 15.5 points and the boundary starts at 16. Congratulations to all involved.

Bonnie Langford Interview

March 26th, 2018

 

Last term in Mr Sheward-Himpson’s (Mr Shew) drama class the students were looking at inspirations, personal and dramatic. As part of that Mr Shew organised a Skype interview with one of his personal inspirations…singer, dancer, actress… Star of Dancing on Ice and Eastenders, Bonnie Langford!

 

He collated lots of interesting questions from his classes and had a video call with Bonnie asking those questions from his students. Mr Shew then filmed the lucky students and edited a condensed version of the interview including photos and clips of Bonnie’s previous work.

 

The finalised piece was then shown in class in the hope it would inspire the students both as performers and young people.

 

Bonnie spoke about her experience as a child star right up to her current role in a fast paced soap opera, she also had great advice for the pupils and was incredibly kind to give up her time for the drama classes of OSA, she finished the interview with some positive advice “Drama and any kind of creative expression is so valuable and no one can take that away from you… As long you are supporting each other… It can be the most wonderful way to grow.”

Duke Of Edinburgh Training Cancelled

March 23rd, 2018

Dear Parents/Carers
The Duke of Edinburgh training scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday 24th March) has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
Sorry for any inconvenience

Netball Success

March 22nd, 2018

Year 7 Girls’ Netball

 
The Year 7 netball team have had a brilliant start to their netballing careers at OSA. They played in the local city schools netball tournament at Oxford Academy. The girls played tactically and clinically throughout the tournament and they narrowly missed out on a first place to Lord William’s. The team also had a friendly fixture before the tournament against Cherwell School, winning this 8-3! The team have built a strong foundation for tournaments and fixtures to come.
 

Year 7 Results:

1st – Lord William’s
2nd – OSA
3rd – Cherwell
4th – Cheney
5th – TOA B
6th – TOA A
 
Team: Isis Bell, Ruby Frizzell, Dora Grandy, Flo Hadfield, Nabihah Hoque, Delilah Lunch, Wiktoria Siemianowska, Emily Thete, Martha Shepherd
 

Year 8 Girls’ Netball

 
The Year 8 netball team also represented OSA at the city netball tournament. The girls had an excellent start to the tournament winning their first game. The girls kept up their momentum in play with some brilliant passing phases. The team have also made a promising start to their season and deserve much success in the future.
 
Year 8s: Leikaysha Awotayo, Jess Faye, Amber Goodes, Kaltoon Hassan, Bhumika Rai, India Seal, Shumayyah Shorkar, Amelia Pettit, Aisha Lawal
 
Mrs Minton and Miss Baker would like to thank all the girls for attending the competition, there was some fantastic netball on display! A huge thank you to the leaders from Year 9/10 Ana Sarwar, Hensly-Ann Clark, Megan Penny-Larter and Nailah Hoque. It was great to have so many young leaders developing their confidence and competence in umpiring.
 

Year 8 Results:

1st – Cherwell
2nd – TOA A
3rd – Oxford Spires
4th – Cheney
5th – TOA B

 

U14 Girls’ Netball:

 
The U14 girls’ netball team have had a very positive season in the schools city netball league. They achieved victory over Cheney and narrowly lost to Cherwell in a closely fought game where Cherwell only just managed to score in the final minute. The girls will take everything they have learnt from this season continuing to improve on their defensive and attacking play into next year. Mrs Minton would like to thank all the girls for their hard work and commitment over the past season. Well done girls!

 

Team: Zoe Earl, Miray Bilgin, Izzy Mackinnon, Natalie Bell, Simran Sherchan, Abby Gibbs, Ana Sarwar, Klara Jepson

 

Results:

9.11.17 OSA vs Cheney (won 25-0)
14.01.18 OSA vs Cherwell (lost 15-14)
19.02.18 OSA vs Lord Williams (lost 25-17)

 

U15 Girls’ Netball:

 

The U15 girls’ netball team have had a very successful season in the schools city netball league. They achieved two convincing wins against Cheney School and Oxford Academy, however, narrowly lost against the cities top two teams. The girls have continued to improve on their strategic play and have been training with a high intensity which has resulted in some great results this season. The team have also been preparing for their upcoming netball tour to Spain which will take place in the summer term. Mrs Minton would like to thank all the girls for their hard work and commitment over the past season. Well done girls!

 
Team: Hensly-Ann Clark, Isobel Craft, Maddie Harnden, Nadiira Quraanye, Olivia Hartley, Nailah Hoque, Megan Penny-Larter, Posey Whidden, Teoni Seoni-Dash, Bayan Abdel-Haq, Lena Abdel-Haq, Sofia Denno
 

Results:

6.11.18 OSA vs Lord Williams (lost 9-8)
9.11.18 OSA vs Cheney (won 25-0)
20.11.18 OSA vs Oxford Academy (won 9-3)
9.01.18 OSA vs Cherwell (lost 20-3)

Year 10 Work Experience

March 21st, 2018

During the week of 5th-9th March Year 10 students went out to a variety of businesses, shops and schools right across Oxfordshire to experience the world of work. Many of our students visited primary schools and many found a variety of jobs in retail and working for charities.

Students did themselves enormously proud. The reports that have come back from businesses have been hugely complimentary about professional standards of dress, punctuality, good communication skills, confidence, impressive knowledge and business skills. We were also really delighted that the students were very happy in their placements and felt that they had grown personally. We have had a number of students report they have been offered part-time jobs along with apprenticeship offers.

The coveted work experience trophy will be handed out in the end of term assembly and Mrs Crook has a long list of outstanding candidates including Rebecca Craft, Irie Lunch, Frances Thompson, Anushka Kar, Sammy Berbato, Eyssa Shabir, Olivia Hartley, Joe Lawal, Shania Davies, Angel Kay-Parsons, Molly Ackland, Fahim Ahmed, Jayden Thomas-Collaire and Earl Anand from whom to choose the eventual winner. Well done Year 10!

Basketball News

March 21st, 2018

 

 

The month of March has been tremendously successful for Oxford Spires Academy Basketball team in their away games. 

Year 10 girls team travelled to King Alfred’s to defeat them by double digits. In the beginning, it looked as though it was a evenly matched game. Both teams were playing with intensity but in the 2nd half, OSA took over the game. We won by more than 10 points.

 

Year 10 Boys went to St. Gregory the Great Catholic School and won by single digit. It was a home court advantage for them but that didn’t matter for OSA. We dominated the game in 4th quarter by offensive play and tougher defense.

 

Finally, our 6th Form boys team played at The Oxford Academy. The basketball court was packed by their supporters but unfortunately for them, the result was not in their favour. From the start, OSA scored basket-after-basket, absolute dominance on the board, unstoppable offense and rock solid defense. We won by more than 20 points.

Go SPIRES!

English Speaking Union Success

March 19th, 2018

More great news from our public speaking teams

 

This weekend 3 of our students won the English Speaking Union regional Final.
Linnet, Felix and Rafi are now all off to Cambridge on the 21st April.
They are now competing in the English Speaking Union national final.

Blenheim Palace Public Speaking

March 19th, 2018

DSC_0388
DSC_0380

On Tuesday March 13th a team of Year 7 and 8 students took part in the Blenheim Palace Public Speaking competition. Their chosen topic was; ”I have derived continued benefit from criticism at all periods of my life and I do not remember any time when I was short of it”. 27 November 1914. At a time when everyone is a winner and competition is frowned upon, is it better to praise or to give fair and honest criticism?.

Katie and Erica were the main speakers with Ruby as the chair and Max and Flo supported the team as researchers. Katie spoke about praise and criticism in the context of Winston Churchill and Erica looked at where the healthy balance between praise and criticism lies. Ruby introduced the topic and the invited questions from the distinguished guests and judges (including members of the Churchill family) before summing up. All three spoke clearly and eloquently and impressed the judges with their content and humour. The whole team coped brilliantly with the questions which ranged from “is your school competitive?” to “How do you decide whether the criticism you receive is constructive or not?”. The team managed to maintain their flair and wit when answering these questions which really made them stand out from the other teams.

After taking photos with the Duchess of Marlborough we were delighted to discover that Oxford Spires Academy were the winners of the competition. The team were very excited to receive their trophy and book prizes from Churchill’s great granddaughter. Katie and Erica were excellent team leaders having been researchers last year. Ruby, Max and Flo are looking forward to their turn at leading the team next year. The whole team is be congratulated for their hard work and enthusiasm. They have been rehearsing since January and even organised their own visit to see the new Oscar winning film “The Darkest Hour” to help with their research. We are very proud of them.

Junior Maths Challenge

March 19th, 2018

Maths

On the 12th March four students competed in the Junior Maths Challenge regional heats run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford. Alex, Ishaq, Dory and Joseph completed four rounds including a shuttle round and relay race.

All four students came out of the event rightfully upbeat and said they had really enjoyed the day. Their excellent team work earned them an outstanding 6th place out of 28 which is the highest level Oxford Spires have achieved in a Junior Maths Challenge in recent years.

Well Done Boys!

Weather Update

March 19th, 2018

Oxford Spires Academy is open as normal today. Please remind all students to wear sensible shoes and wrap up warm. Take care when travelling to and from school.

Yr 9 ParentMail Booking Window Is Now Live!

March 14th, 2018

Parent Mail App Poster

Year 10 Work Experience

March 2nd, 2018

Dear Year 10 Parents

The worst of the snow is over and is due to clear over the weekend, due to rain on Saturday and Sunday.  Work Experience is still going ahead as normal. Where employers have had a change of circumstance due to the weather, they have already made contact with us and we have made contact individuals concerned. We expect no further changes or complications.

 

If you have any specific concerns, we will aim to resolve them today.  Please email me, jdunphy@oxfordspiresacademy.org or Mrs Crook scrook@oxfordspiresacademy.org 

School Closure 2nd March

March 1st, 2018

Dear Parent/Carer
The weather conditions are worsening and these are due to continue over night. I am concerned about our site health and safety for our students and colleagues. I am highly concerned for their safety when travelling to and from school.

 

With all factors considered I am sorry to say the Oxford Spires Academy will be closed to students on Friday 2nd March.

 

Thank you in advance for your support.

 

Marianne Blake – Principal

Weather Update

March 1st, 2018

We have been closely monitoring the weather forecasts and currently predict that OSA will be open as normal tomorrow.  We will continue to monitor the forecasts and will keep the website and ParentMail updated this evening and early in the morning.

Regards

Marianne Blake – Principal

 

Snow Update

March 1st, 2018

The school site has been inspected this morning and I can confirm Oxford Spires Academy will be open as normal today. We will closely monitor conditions this morning.

Please remind students to be careful on the way to and from school, wear appropriate footwear and wrap up warm.

We will post any further updates on the school website and ParentMail between 12-1pm.

Regards

Marianne Blake – Principal

Snow Update and Information for Parents

February 28th, 2018

Dear Parent/ Carer

 

At it currently stands we are planning to open the school tomorrow. However as the weather may worsen overnight this situation could change. This will be closely monitored by myself, the senior team and site team. If this changes we will notify parents by 7.30am through ParentMail and through the use of the school website.

 

Obviously we have continuing adverse weather conditions forecast for the rest of the week, so please continue to check our website for regular updates. We will forward out a ParentMail communication each day and try our best to keep you updated as much as we can.

 

Please ensure that your child wears appropriate outer clothing and footwear to school for the rest of this week, as pathways may be slippery under foot and we would like all of our students to remain safe.

 

Thank you in advance for all of  your support

 

Best regards

Marianne Blake  – Principal

Art Trip Cancellation

February 28th, 2018

Unfortunately due to adverse weather condition the Year 10 – Year 13 Art trip to the Tate Gallery has been cancelled.

Sorry for any inconvenience

Improving Communication

February 26th, 2018

Dear Parent/Carer

 

Improving School Communications with ParentMail

 

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

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

  • Use a free mobile app on Android and iOS to pick up school messages instantly.
  • Have an account simply for school messages (away from your busy email inbox!)
  • Connect to other schools, nurseries or clubs that use ParentMail.
  • Highlight important messages or archive old messages to make life easier.
  • Messages can be sent directly to mums, dads and carers – even grandparents!

 

 

An easier way to book parents’ evening appointments!

 

From April we will be trailing Parents’ Evening Manager on ParentMail – so you can book your parents’ evening appointments from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

 

Once registered, if you have an Android or Apple smartphone, we would highly recommend you download the ParentMail App for the best user experience. To do this, simply follow the corresponding link from your mobile device

 

iOS (Apple)

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/parentmail-pmx/id937274547?mt=8  

 

Andoid

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.parentmail.parentmail&hl=en_GB

 

Once you have downloaded the APP you will be alerted once you can book appointments. You will be able to select times that are convenient to you. It’s all very straight-forward. You will need to be registered with ParentMail to be able to book appointments on your phone as soon as the appointment booking goes live!

 

If you need any additional information or assistance, please visit the help site: www.parentmail.co.uk/help/parenthelp/  or to receive a registration email please contact Sandra Poyser – Communications Officer spoyser@oxfordspiresacademy.org

 

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.

Philip Wetton Telescope Trip

February 20th, 2018

Year 12 and 13 Physics students had the opportunity to visit the Philip Wetton telescope at the Oxford University Department of Physics. They learnt about how we use diffraction to analyse light from distant stars and galaxies to work out what they are made of and how fast they are moving and had a go at calculating the age of the universe using Hubble’s constant, as well seeing how the telescope works and having a chance to view some celestial objects.

 

The students were really enthusiastic and asked loads of excellent questions – they were a credit to the school as always.

 

Telescope 2 web telescope 3 web

Isaac Physics Wokshop

February 20th, 2018

On Monday 5th February Jenny Barnes from Oxford Physics came in to do an Isaac Physics problem solving workshop with Y12 and Y13 Physicists after school. The students were shown how to approach problem solving and how it is relevant in research and further study, plus given lots of practical tips in how to apply this to improve exam scores.

 

The students said: “It was an excellent workshop and really useful”.

 

Isaac Workshop

 

Netball Success

February 20th, 2018

U15 Girls Netball

Under 15s

 

The U15 girls’ netball team have had a very successful season in the schools city netball league. They achieved two convincing wins against Cheney School and Oxford Academy. However, narrowly lost against the cities top two teams. The girls have continued to improve on their tactical play and have been training with a high intensity which has resulted in some great results this season. The team have also been preparing for their upcoming netball tour to Spain which will take place in the summer term. Mrs Minton would like to thank all the girls for their hard work and commitment over the past season. Well done girls!

 

 

Team: Hensly-Ann, Isobel, Maddie, Nadiira, Olivia, Nailah, Megan, Posey, Teoni, Bayan, Lena and Sofia.

 

Results list:

6.11.18 OSA vs Lord Williams (lost 9-8)

9.11.18 OSA vs Cheney (won 25-0)

20.11.18 OSA vs Oxford Academy (won 9-3)

9.01.18 OSA vs Cherwell (lost 20-3)

 

Under 14s

 

UNDER 14 GIRLS NETBALLThe U14 girls’ netball team have had a very positive season in the schools city netball league. They achieved victory over Cheney and narrowly lost to Cherwell in a closely fought game where Cherwell only just managed to score in the final minute. The girls will take everything they have learnt from this season continuing to improve on their defensive and attacking play into next year. Mrs Minton would like to thank all the girls for their hard work and commitment over the past season. Well done girls!

 

Team: Zoe, Miray, Izzy, Natalie, Simran, Abby, Ana, Klara.

 

Results list:

9.11.17 OSA vs Cheney (won 25-0)

14.01.18 OSA vs Cherwell (lost 15-13)

19.02.18 OSA vs Lord Williams (lost 12-25)

Maths Fest

February 9th, 2018

On 6th February, 6th further mathematicians in Year 12 & 13 attended a day of engaging and exciting maths talks at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.  Featuring several of our favourite internet mathematicians we learnt about the maths underpinning things ranging from laser light shows and card tricks to codebreaking and crowd management at Glastonbury. 

 

We were also shown why sometimes it is good to do maths just because it is beautiful and fun rather than because it solves a particular problem.  The Baby Nerds Team had sent a pile of calculators which their mathematical idol Matt Parker very kindly signed. One of the organisers recognised us as being from Oxford Spires and said they were really pleased to see us there as they knew we were the school that had the “small excited people” who clearly loved maths.

English Speaking Union

February 9th, 2018

Linnet, Felix and Rafi Joyce have won a place at the regional final of the English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition, where they will be representing the whole of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, for the second year in a row. Linnet spoke on the topic “Why are we so interested in the idea of discovering extra-terrestrial beings?” and won the prize for best speaker. Rafi was awarded the prize for best questioner and Felix was highly commended as chair. They beat off stiff competition from several private schools and are looking forward to the next round where Linnet has chosen the topic “Social proof and confirmation bias are more persuasive than rational evidence”.

Winter Update 2018

February 9th, 2018

Dear Parents/Carers

 

It has been a really fantastic start to our new year here at Oxford Spires Academy. We now continue to build on our fantastic Ofsted visit and outcomes from December with yet more successes from our wonderful students.

 

Our own prize winning Year 9 poet helps people to understand migration

Only 18 months after arriving in the UK as a refugee from Syria, and starting to learn English, Amineh has won a national poetry competition, been chosen to be part of a published anthology and – on Thursday 1 February – read her poetry to those assembled at a symposium on refugees and education at Somerville College. This has been a really busy year for Amineh.

 

House Dance 2018

Over 100 students have participated in this year’s esteemed House Dance Competition. Dedicated students have been practicing tirelessly over the last few months to choreograph their individual team routines and presentations. What an amazing evening with all students showing what a credit they are to the academy and to their individual Houses. What a wonderful demonstration of their talents and creativity.

 

Our Sixth Former wins prestigious place at the National Film and Television School

In years to come, you might see Angel Gitau’s name on your TV screen, and remember you heard about her here first!

Angel, a Year 12 student at Oxford Spires Academy, is one of just over 60 young people aged 16-19 nationally to be awarded a place on the National Film and Television School craft residential – the launchpad for many brilliant careers in the media industry. This is highly competitive, the National Film and Television School offers participants training in different media crafts. Angel will be focusing on sound as her specialism, and is one of only 11 students who will work with a professional crew to produce a short film.

 

English Speaking Union

3 of our students have won a place at the regional final of the English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition, where they will be representing the whole of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, for the second year in a row. Our students won the prizes for the best speaker and best questioner. They beat off stiff competition from several private schools and are looking forward to the next round.

 

Sports Residential in Yorkshire

In December, the PE department undertook our first GCSE PE Residential to High Adventure Outdoor Education Centre, near Skipton in Yorkshire.  We were delighted to take 21 students from Year 11 who received expert tuition and GCSE assessment in indoor climbing and road cycling. The climbing involved over 15 hours learning how to tie safety knots on the ropes, how to set up and belay safely, basic and advanced climbing skills, and bouldering techniques and abseiling.  Many of our students had never been on a climbing wall before but they all rose to the challenge.

 

Extreme Reading for Year 8 students in German

In our year 8 German class we have been studying the topic of media including types of TV shows, films and books. Students were challenged to take a photo of themselves ‘Extremlesen’ (extreme reading) and these were used in our work in class to discuss where and how often they read. Students learnt new German vocabulary in really interesting contexts including up a ladder, on a roof and on a trampoline.

 

These are just a few of the wonderful opportunities and successes from this term. Please take a closer look at these stories and more on our school website. Have a lovely half term break.

 

Best Wishes

Marianne Blake

Extreme Reading

February 8th, 2018

In our Year 8 German class we have been studying the topic of media including types of TV shows, films and books. Students were challenged to take a photo of themselves ‘Extremlesen’ (extreme reading) and these were used in our work in class to discuss where and how often they read. Not only did they learn some new German vocabulary (up a ladder, on a roof, on a trampoline!) but our winner won a £5 book voucher to buy a book of their choice.

 

extreme reading 
  

Well Done to the winning entry – Hattie!

Fun Run

February 8th, 2018

fun-runThe end of January saw our students undertake the annual inter house cross country event again, with

students from every year group taking on the undulating and very muddy course around our beautiful school grounds.

 

This year, with the added “fun run” element, 45 students turned out in fancy dress and running clothes to take on the course simply for the love of running!  This has led the PE department to plan for a brand new running club for our students starting in the spring term.

 

The competitive cross country was the show pieced event of the term.  Students had been training and preparing in their PE lessons ready to tackle the course against their peers.  The competition was very tight, with 160 students competing for points across the year groups.

 

We are delighted to reveal the final results:

In 4th place – Earhart

In joint 2nd place – Bannister and Tolkien

In 1st place, Seacole House.

 

Congratulations to everyone who took part in both the fun runs and the competitive races.

GCSE PE Residential

February 8th, 2018

pe residential 4

 

 

The PE department undertook our first GCSE PE Residential to High Adventure Outdoor Education Centre, near Skipton in Yorkshire.  We were delighted to take 21 students from Year 11 who received expert tuition and GCSE assessment in indoor climbing and road cycling.

 

The climbing involved over 15 hours of tuition learning how to tie safety knots on the ropes, how to set up and belay safely, basic and advanced climbing skills, bouldering techniques and abseiling.  Many of our students had never been on a climbing wall before but rose to the challenges with some very good practical scores achieved. 

 

Midway through day two, the tuition and assessment moved to road cycling.  Again, following a very intensive training course, students learnt bike maintenance and safety, how to corner at speed, techniques for hill climbing and descending at speed and optimal use of gear changing.  We then visited the race track whereby students learned the science of race craft before putting all that they had practiced in to a 10 mile race.  We were impressed that every student completed the race within the given time with many employing very detailed race craft to finish strong.

 

Special mention must go to Arnold Marton who, having never raced a bike or climbed before, achieved top GCSE marks in both sports.

 pe residential 3 pe residential 2 pe residential 1 pe residential 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

National Film and Television School

February 8th, 2018

Oxford Spires Sixth Former wins prestigious place at National Film and Television School

 

Angel-Gitau---filming-in-Oxford

Angel, a Year 12 student at Oxford Spires Academy, is one of just over 60 young people aged 16-19 nationally to be awarded a place on the National Film and Television School craft residential – the launchpad for many brilliant careers in the media industry.

 

Highly competitive, the National Film and Television School offers participants training in different media crafts. Angel will be focusing on sound as her specialism, and will work with a small group of other students, and a fully professional crew, to develop skills and to produce a short film.

 

Lasting 11 days over the Easter holiday, Angel will attend masterclasses throughout, where professionals in different aspects of film-making will share their knowledge. The films students produce will be shown at the BFI South Bank at the end of the residential.

 

Angel studies Media Studies A level at Oxford Spires, and was accepted in October (along with other OSA students) on to an annual Film Oxford course. Clearly determined to succeed in an industry that is notoriously difficult to break into, Angel’s film making experience began when she joined the National Citizenship Service project after GCSEs.  She built on her home experience and worked with others to make a film about Young Carers.

 

At school, she has gone from strength to strength. In the classroom, her radio recordings and music videos show a talent just beginning to emerge.  Outside, she sings and records music, producing her own YouTube videos.

 

Dr Jackie Watson, Head of Sixth Form at Oxford Spires Academy, is incredibly proud of Angel’s achievement. ‘I am delighted to see a student of 17 making the most of all the opportunities available to them to succeed after they leave school.  Angel is a hugely positive personality, and works hard inside and outside the classroom, and she’s a great addition to our Sixth Form.  One of the key things a school has to do is support students in these chances to develop their skills and build their academic confidence’.

 

‘The residential placement often leads to job offers and internships,’ she continued, ‘and we hope that this could be the beginning of a great career for Angel in a field she loves’.

 

Amina-filming-in-Oxford Angel-Gitau---filming

Prize-Winning Schoolgirl Poet Helps People Understand Migration

February 6th, 2018

Amineh and the Panel 2

 

Amineh,  a Year 9 student at Oxford Spires Academy, has had a busy year.

 

Only 18 months after arriving in the UK as a refugee from Syria, and starting to learn English, Amineh has won a national poetry competition, been chosen to be part of a published anthology and – on Thursday 1 February – read her poetry to those assembled at a symposium on refugees and education at Somerville College.

 

Amina’s poem, ‘Lament for Syria’, looks at the heartbreak of being forced to leave your homeland, and how you remember a culture left behind. It won the John Betjeman prize in 2017. https://www.betjemanpoetryprize.co.uk/2017-finalists

 

The event, organised by the Principal of Somerville College, Janet Royall, brought together local groups and charities such as Safe Passage, with individual refugees who told their stories. The main speaker of the event was Alf Dubs, former MP and member of the House of Lords, whose work in Parliament has done so much to help child refugees.

 

A child refugee himself, Baron Dubs came to the UK on a kindertransport train from Prague in 1939 – one of the 669 children helped to escape Nazi persecution by the famous Nicholas Winton. He was keen to tell the audience at Somerville to keep fighting to protect the right of children in peril to come to the UK.

 

‘Do three things’, he instructed the audience. ‘Write to your MP and ask them to support the continuance of Section 67’, referring to the amendment he proposed in April 2016 where the UK promised to take children in danger.  Secondly he wanted MPs to be support the taking of the full quota agreed by that amendment.  And finally, he asked people to argue that a treaty – the Dublin Convention – that allows unaccompanied child refugees to move within the EU to join family members – should be continued even if the UK did leave the EU.

 

Amineh’s poem joined with the political work of Baron Dubs, the practical help of charities such as Safe Passage, and the personal testimony of young men such as Ishmail (from Syria), who is just about to begin a degree at Birkbeck College, London, and Taj (from Afghanistan), taking part in Lady Margaret Hall’s Foundation Year programme.

 

From politics to poetry, from music to the often unhelpful media coverage, the evening gave a rounded view of the issues refugees face and how they might be helped. As Janet Royall, chairing the discussion, put it, ‘Welcoming refugees is a mark of a civilised country’.

 

Schools in Oxford, such as Oxford Spires Academy, are proud to work with students like Amineh whose talent and imagination add so much richness to the culture all students are exposed to, and to play their part in making the UK more civilised.

Southampton University Trip

February 6th, 2018

Year 12 Chemistry trip to Southampton University

 

Southampton University 2 southampton university

On January 22nd we took the Year 12 Chemistry pupils on a “real Chemistry” experience at Southampton University.

 
The students carried out some laboratory techniques extracting trimyristin from nutmeg, a multi-step chemical protocol which gave the students the opportunity to use a range of organic practical and analytical techniques, most of which are studied for the A-level curriculum but rarely demonstrated or performed in a school laboratory.
Working in pairs, they crushed, dissolved in various organic solvents, used vacuum filtration and rotary evaporators, and purified their samples to submit them to several identification tests including melting point, infrared spectroscopy and TLC.

 

The event was supported by lecturers, University undergraduate and PhD students who were extremely friendly and gave our pupils advice and an insight of life in an undergraduate chemistry lab, as well as a great overview of the different fields that chemistry covers. Our students impressed them with the high purity of their final product and their ability to work independently. We took back some beautiful spectra to use in our lessons.

 

It was a late evening and we did not make it back until nearly 9pm, however all of them were smiling, hard-working, supportive and a real credit to the school and to us all. They said that they enjoyed the experience and this will hopefully add a spark to the curriculum and help them remember and relate our lessons to what is happening in the world as cutting-edge research.

 

“The chemistry trip to Birmingham was an exciting experience for us where we had the chance to understand chemical processes by gaining an insight that stretched from the experiments that we do in the school laboratories. We heard some of the best scientists and authors of books that have inspired chemists. The speakers were very engaging and passionate about their fields and research in chemistry; students were left mesmerised after a lecture on the atomic orbitals by Dr. Wothers, and Professor Andrea’s experiences with mercury had the entire room filled with laughter.” – Shayan (Yr 12)

House Dance – Tickets on sale NOW!

February 1st, 2018

House dance tickets ON SALE NOW

Indoor District Athletics Competition

January 26th, 2018
Well Done! Harry, Sylvan, Max, Jacob, Atif, Delilah, Ruby, Lola, Nabihah and Maria,

Well Done!
Harry, Sylvan, Max, Jacob, Atif, Delilah,
Ruby, Lola, Nabihah and Maria,

 

We are delighted to share the results (below) from the recent Indoor District Athletics Competition. 

The results are as follows;

 

Girls

1 – The Cherwell School

2 – Oxford Spires Academy

3 – St Gregory the Great

4 – The Oxford Academy

 

Boys

1 – The Cherwell School

2 – Oxford Spires Academy

3 – St Gregory the Great

4 – The Oxford Academy

 

This was our first year of entry for this competition.  All of the students were a credit to the school.  Well Done to everyone who participated! 

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