Owen’s Last Days – National Competition

December 7th, 2018

This term several students in Miss Bloom’s Year 9 English class took part in the ‘Owen’s Last Days’ national competition, run by the University of Oxford to commemorate the life of war poet and soldier Wilfred Owen. The students worked independently in groups to produce posters analysing little-known poems by Owen. They put in hours of work​ outside of lessons, and the end results were amazing.

The participants were Jemima Webster, Mira Harris, Juniper Sweet, Ella Norland, Mikey Dunkley, Gianluca Walker, Daniel Floyd, William Harrison, Remus Henson, Barney Steel, Roma Nadnur, Ayana Woodhill, Luiza Sheina, and Molly Ahmad.

Mikey, Gianluca, and Daniel won the national competition (Years 7-9 category) for their poster, and the poster by Jemima, Mira, Juniper, and Ella was highly commended.​ Congratulations to all students involved!

You can find out more about the project by searching the hashtag #OwensLastDays, or visiting the website: http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/arts-blog/last-days-wilfred-owen







Booking appointments for Parents’ Evening / Morning

November 29th, 2018

German Exchange Trip 2018

November 28th, 2018

I had the great pleasure of taking 10 students from Year 9-13 on our annual German exchange to Aschaffenburg including a 24 hour stop in Berlin. Once again we all came back with a rucksack full of memories and the students really did us proud with all the courage that goes with staying in a stranger’s family. I am immensely proud of them. I am very grateful to Mr Fanchi whose support on this trip in invaluable and without whom I wouldn’t be able to organise this trip every year. Also our German host families and teachers, especially Mr Barz the head teacher, have to be thanked for their warm welcome and hospitality. Now we are looking forward to hosting our German friends in July 2019, but before that let’s have a look at what we got up to and for this it is best to let the students speak for themselves:

Molly Ahmed Year 9: “This was my first time going on the exchange and I really enjoyed going to Berlin and going to the Stasi prison and going on the tour. I also enjoyed going to school in Germany”.

Rozie Ehata Year 10: “My exchange partner and her family were really friendly. The food was very good”.

Sofia Denno Year 11: “Going to Germany was an awesome experience which I recommend to the older and younger years! My exchange partner and family were lovely and I will continue to keep in contact with them. They have become like a second family and the whole experience has really improved my German by giving me new and useful vocabulary”.

Laura Bell Year 11: “Going on the exchange was a fun way to improve my German and make new friends. The exchange students and my exchange family were very friendly and they made me feel very comfortable by letting me practice my German but also speaking to me in English when I struggled to understand them. I really enjoyed the trip and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested”.

 
Oscar Year 11: “Sort of being the third time going on this exchange it was just as great as any year. The families were absolutely lovely as well as the fantastic food. However, specifically this year, we were able to stay for a night in Berlin, making room for some sightseeing including sights such as Brandenbrg Gate and the Stasi Museum. Although I believe the most important part of the trip even over your development in German is having the ability to spend a decent amount of time hanging out with some lovely people that you may not have usually associated yourself before”.

Celeste Dewshi Year 11: “I loved the sights and their history. We defeated the language barrier by laughing at it. I was welcomed so warmly by my German family, I felt I was at home. The architecture in Frankfurt’s old town rivals that of Oxford – in many places the buildings are beautifully gilded. The exchange cultured my confidence and I look forward to seeing my exchange again”.

Mukahang Limbu Year 13: “Every exchange has been an opportunity for us to apply the language we have learned in real life situations. The exchange is also an experience where we strengthen our understanding of the history and culture of Germany. Visiting the Stasi museum and learning about the holocaust victims in Aschaffenburg was important in exploring the fragility of our current circumstance; it illustrated how we must be vigilant and aware, how we must learn and exchange dialogue between different histories to understand not only the problems of today, but to prevent history from repeating itself. The time spent with the families, and the relationship that we built in a few days are a testimony to how dialogue, communication and the desire to learn more about each other transcends borders and the differences we share. It is an exciting, frightening and rewarding experience. I was personally very fortunate as my family lived in a village, so I was able to go on long walks, and take time to think and de-stress. I have participated in the German exchange three times and it has made the difference to my German speaking skills, expanding my vocabulary, and fluency. Due to the exchange I have made many friends, and I am also now lucky enough to have three more homes”.























Amazing House Drama Performances

November 23rd, 2018

Thursday 22nd November was a brilliant evening with 4 amazing performances from our wonderful students.

  • The winner for the best script – Earhart House
  • The winner of best costume design – Seacole House
  • The winner for the best sound and lighting – Bannister House
  • The winner for the best director – Tolkein House
  • Our overall winners for 2018 were – Seacole House

Congratulations to all students and staff involved.

To Infinity and Beyond…!

November 20th, 2018

On 7 November a group of Year 7 students had the chance to meet Jim Pawelczyk, the US astronaut who flew aboard the NASA STS-90 Space Shuttle mission. In the University’s packed Department of Anatomy and Physiology, the students heard how Pawelczyk, now a researcher of physiology and Kinesiology, prepared for the mission and how the group of scientists lived in space. With lots of exciting footage of the launch, Pawelczyk explored for his largely 11-year-old audience how the human body copes with space travel.

And why 11 year olds? Pawelcyzk explained to the school students in the audience that they were exactly the age to begin their ambitions to fly in space – when they’d trained – as by that time he believed we would be sending manned space flights to Mars.

Year 7 Debating

November 19th, 2018

Debating is usually something for Sixth Formers, but on Wednesday 14 November, nine students from Year 7 showed that it doesn’t have to be!  They won the first Inter-School Debating cup at New College, Oxford, competing against other local schools.  Motions had them discussing the merits of friendship with Europe and whether you learn more out of school than in it.

Congratulations to the following: Izzy Crane, Carina Janszen Hamnett, Douglas Finch, Annet Stephen, Daisy Edwards, Aqsa Salim, Olivia Ward Jacobs, Matilda Percy Bowersox and Stella Pataridou.  Especial congratulations to Annet (best speaker) and Stella (best summariser).

Thanks to New College for starting the competition, and for their hospitality.  It was a great opportunity for young people to shine.

Further public-speaking and debating competitions are coming up.  OSA are hosting the first round of the English Speaking Union MACE on 26 November. Year 12 will also compete in the Oxford Schools Debating in January. Also in January, students from different years will take part in the Rotary’s Youth Speaks competition, and Year 7/8 students will speak at Blenheim Palace in March. In the summer, after House Public Speaking, the second CfBT competition will allow OSA students to compete against other schools in our Academy Trust. Any students wanting to get involved should let Mr Archibald, Miss Morris or Dr Watson know.

6th Form Open Evening

November 19th, 2018

Change of date: Sixth Form Open Evening will now take place on 24 January.

We look forward to welcoming Year 11 students from OSA and other schools to our Post-16 Opportunities Evening on Thursday 24 January, beginning with a talk from the Head of Sixth Form at 6pm in the Theatre. Teachers and students in all A level and BTEC subjects on offer next year will be there to talk to you about your future… The new Sixth Form prospectus for 2019-20 is currently in production and will be available at the end of this term.

Change For Life Sports Event

November 12th, 2018

Children from East Oxford, St Christopher’s and Larkrise enjoy keeping fit together. The message of the festival is that PE is fun and exercise is good for you. Children are encouraged to do 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Year 6 Sports Leaders from St Christopher’s school helped to run the event.

Indoor Athletics Event

November 12th, 2018

Year 5 and 6 Children came to OSA to compete in indoor track and field events. We had an amazing competition where children demonstrated great talent and great team work. Well done to 1st place winners St Christopher’s School and thank you to Church Cowley, East Oxford and St Francis for attending. The event was supported by Year 7 OSA Sports Leaders – well done to all involved!

Rock band reach talent show finals

November 12th, 2018

Collison Theory, made up of five Spires GCSE music students, have won through to the finals of Spotlight Talent Oxfordshire. They dazzled at the regional heats but now need your help! One of the prizes on offer is for audience participation so they want as many fans, friends and parents to come a long as possible.

The final is on Friday 23 November, 7.15pm at OXFORD: Centre for Music on Bayswater Road.Tickets are available WeGotTickets and cost £4.99 or £3 (includes booking fee).

The band – Dan, Frances, Felix, Max and Max. – have only been playing together for about a year but already have performed at FloFest and the Isis Farmhouse. They play covers from the likes of The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Wheetus, Nirvana, Radiohead and more. If you want to hear them, check out their YouTube Channel or hang around outside the music rooms on a Tuesday or Friday!

Spotlight Talent is an Oxfordshire-wide competition for 11-18 year olds. There were four heats, all around the county, with the best soloists, bands, singers, etc. going through to the final.

Collision Theory

Autumn Term Update 2018

November 5th, 2018

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, working diligently and taking part in lots of learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
 

Sports News – Tennis

On Tuesday 2nd October, Oxford Spires Academy took 12 students from Year 8 to Florence Park tennis courts to represent OSA in the first ever Schools of Tennis Team Challenge Event. We thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and were even more delighted to come home as tournament winners, following success in both the boys’ final (won by Simeon Watts and William Harrison) and the girls’ final (won by Delilah Lunch and Ruby Frizzell). Well done to everyone who took part in playing and organising the day.
 

House Sports Competition

There was a really healthy sense of competition, as over 500 students took part in our House sports event this term with our girls’ football, boys’ rugby teams and mixed bench ball. This was a really tremendous week of sport.
 

Our Primary Sports Partnership

Hundreds of children from Year 3, representing St Christopher’s, East Oxford, St Francis, Larkrise and St Mary and John, all took part in our successful Multi-Skills Festivals. Great engagement from everyone and well done to Year 5 leaders from Larkrise and Year 7 and 8 Leaders from OSA who helped to lead the event.
 

Primary Maths Event

Pupils from six local primary schools took part in a team challenge on October 10. It was fantastic to see so many young people doing so well – helped by our Year 8 and 9 students.
 

Careers Week

Thanks to the 30 parents and friends of the school who have volunteered to come in from 5-8 November to give talks to students in Careers Week. More information on this to follow in future updates.
 

Our Aim Higher Events

In October 10 of our Year 10 Business students participated in a Business Stimulation Day at Oxford Westgate Centre in association with Ahead Partnership. Landsec who own the Westgate hosted our visit in their Business suites and the students attended several workshops in Branding, Social Media Campaigns and Sales. An enjoyable day for all and phase 2 will be in November when our OSA team will return to compete against other Oxford schools.
 

Year 11 Step Up to University

40 students in Year 11 took part in their first meeting with staff from New College, Oxford, on 26 September, as part of the College’s outreach programme, Step Up. Misha Brazier Tope, Outreach and Communications Officer at New College, met the GCSE students as they start to think about their futures. He discussed with them what they thought about universities, what they expected of the University of Oxford in particular, and what they thought universities were looking for from applicants. They visit the college in early March.
 

Sixth Form Assessment Centre Day

Year 13 have begun to work on applications as part of their careers programme. For some, this meant an Assessment Centre Day on 25 and 26 September. Supported by local business people from the RSA and staff in school, students took part in group tasks, individual interviews, presentations, inbox activities and so on. They enjoyed their first day, and responded well to the challenges presented. On the morning of the second day, students received personal feedback on their performances, with advice on what employers would expect from them. As university and apprenticeship applications, and applications for competitive paid internships, loom, this was a day students benefited from very much indeed.
 

Our New Parents’ Evening/Morning Dates

We have so many things happening over the next term. I wanted to remind you of the changes that we have made to our parents’ evening format. We now have a parents’ evening followed by a parents’ morning right at the end of term. You will need to log in to Parent Mail to book your parents’ evening appointments with teachers. This is open to all Year groups in Year 7-13. Registering is easy please email Sandra Poyser on spoyser@oxfordspiresacademy.org

 

Friday 30th November- Parents evening/ morning booking will open
Thursday 13th December- Parents evening/ morning booking will close
Thursday 20th December- Parents Evening 4.30pm-7.00pm
Friday 21st December- Parents Morning 9.00am -1.00pm (open only for parents morning)

 

Key Dates to remember

Your children are involved in lots of exciting opportunities this term. We are also organising parent information evenings and a FOSA Christmas Soiree and it would be lovely to see you there.
Please take the time to read through the information below:
 
Wednesday 7th November-Helping your child to achieve 5.00pm-6.00pm (information evening Yr7/8)
Monday 12th November-Launch of House Celebration Card Competition
Thursday 22nd November-House Drama 6.00pm-9.00pm
Monday 26th November-Friday 30th November- Year 11 & Year 13 Mock Exams
Tuesday 4th December-FOSA Parents Christmas Soiree 6.30pm-7.30pm
Monday 10th December-Thursday 14th December- House Christmas Lunches
Monday 10th December-Friday 15th December- House Football/Netball
Thursday 13th December-Year 11 Mock results evening 6.00pm-7.00pm
Tuesday 18th December-OSA Christmas Pantomime 6.00pm-8.00pm
Thursday 20th December-Last day of term for students
Monday 7th January 2019-First day of term for students
 
I would like to thank all of our wonderful parents for all of your support over the last term and I look forward to seeing many of you over the next coming weeks in the lead up to Christmas.
 
Best wishes
 
Marianne Blake-Principal

Aim Higher Term 1

October 19th, 2018

In October 10 of our Year 10 Business students participated in a Business Stimulation Day at Oxford Westgate Centre in association with Ahead Partnership. Landsec who own the Westgate hosted our visit in their Business suites and the students attended several workshops in Branding, Social Media Campaigns and Sales.

An enjoyable day for all and phase 2 will be in November when our OSA team will return to compete against other Oxford schools to design the own best logo for a refillable water bottle.

The winning team will get to sell their designed bottles to the public at the Westage supporting their REFILL ME! campaign.

Refill Me Campaign!




 

Fix Up Seminars 2018

Once again the Fix up team returned to OSA to work with our young people. Year 11 had a Motivational and Be focused assembly followed by workshops on study skill and exam preparation.
In addition Years 9 and 10 had an assembly on Confidence Building and Growth Mindset respectively.

Just a few of the feedback comments from the evaluations:
“It was enjoyable and interactive. They were very inspiring and funny. They have helped us learn how to act before exams.”
“Inspiring, funny, motivating. This has been so helpful omg!!”
“Loved it! So engaging yet actually learnt points”


“Your focus determines your reality”

Primary Sport Partnership News

October 16th, 2018

Hundreds of children from Year 3, representing St Christopher’s, East Oxford, St Francis, Larkrise and St Mary and John, all took part in our successful Multi-Skills Festivals. This was an opportunity to work together and develop not only physical skills, but also social, cognitive and personal skills. Great engagement from everyone and well done to Year 5 Leaders from Larkrise and Year 7 and 8 Leaders from OSA who helped to lead the event.

Even more children attended the KS2 Cross Country events. The intention for this event was to allow schools to bring a whole class to experience the adventurous course at OSA. A tough challenge but well done to everyone who was brave enough to have a go and determined enough to complete the challenge.
Thankyou to Larkrise, St Christophers, East Oxford and SSMJ for their fantastic participation.





Sport News

October 9th, 2018

On Tuesday 2nd October, Oxford Spires Academy took 12 students from Year 8 to Florence Park tennis courts to represent OSA in the first ever Schools of Tennis Team Challenge Event. This involved students from Oxford Spires, St Gregory the Great and King Alfred (Wantage) enjoying an afternoon of tennis with a focus on participation and fun as part of the new LTA drive to get more children playing and enjoying the sport.

Playing in a doubles tournament organised by the excellent Tennis Ambassadors from Oxford Spires, under the guidance of Andy Aitkin (Oxford Community Tennis Manager), our students enjoyed working as a team and developing their skills in tennis. We thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and we even more delighted to come home as tournament winners, following success in both the boys final (won by Simeon Watts and William Harrison) and the girls final (won by Delilah Lunch and Ruby Frizzell). Well done to everyone who took part in playing and organising the day and we look forward to the Year 9 event in March!

Year 11 Step Up to University!

October 3rd, 2018



40 students in Year 11 took part in their first meeting with staff from New College, Oxford, on 26 September, as part of the College’s outreach programme, Step Up.

Misha Brazier Tope, Outreach and Communications Officer at New College, met the GCSE students as they start to think about their futures. He discussed with them what they thought about universities, what they expected of the University of Oxford in particular, and what they thought universities were looking for from applicants.

This is the first of several steps on the programme that leads towards support in Year 12 and 13. They visit the college in early March.

Year 11 are really focused on their future right now, with one-to-one careers interviews starting and many students taking part in Morrisby, the careers assessment leading to individual feedback. If your son or daughter is in Year 11 and you would like to find out more about Morrisby, please contact Dr Watson, Head of Sixth Form, on jwatson@oxfordspiresacademy.org

Sixth Form Assessment Centre Day

October 3rd, 2018

Year 13 have begun to work on applications as part of their careers programme.  For some, this meant an Assessment Centre Day on 25 and 26 September.

Supported by local business people from the RSA and staff in school, students took part in group tasks, individual interviews, presentations, inbox activities and so on. They enjoyed their first day, and responded well to the challenges presented.

On the morning of the second day, students received personal feedback on their performances, with advice on what employers would expect from them.  As university and apprenticeship applications, and applications for competitive paid internships, loom, this was a day students benefited from very much indeed.

 

Boys Football Update

October 3rd, 2018

The U13 (Year 8) boys football team beat The Bicester School 3-2 on penalties in the 1st Round of the County Cup. The game finished 2-2 after extra time.

Well done to all.

GCSE Results – 23rd August 2018

August 23rd, 2018

We are delighted with the better than National average number of students achieving Grade 9s in English, Maths and within Biology, Chemistry and Physics. A grade 9 will put them in the top 3% of students in England.

 

Subjects with strong results include Maths, English, History, RE, Product Design, Art & Design, & across all the Sciences.

 

English/ English Literature with 78% of students achieving passes at grade 4-9, and 66% achieving a grade 5 or higher. 3 students achieved the very highest grade 9. A special mention goes to Rachel Gittens who achieved a grade 8 in her English Language GCSE and a grade 9 in her Literature GCSE.

 

Maths has also performed well and 61% of students have gained passes at grade 4-9, with 41% gaining a grade 5 or higher. Matty Clark, Oscar Idle and Kiril Kirzakov have all achieved the highest grade 9 in their Maths GCSE.

 

Achievement in the Sciences has been exceptional with 46% of the Biology cohort achieving grade 8 or higher and 4 students achieving grade 9. In Chemistry 38% of the cohort achieved grade 8 or higher with 4 students achieving the highest possible grade 9. In Physics a third of students achieved a grade 8 (equivalent to an old A*) and 2 students achieved a grade 9. Overall 65% of the cohort have achieved a grade 4-9 for two EBACC sciences at GCSE.

 

Congratulations go to the students and a huge thank you to teachers for their hard work, and importantly, of course, to parents too. There are some individual successes of note and these include;

 

Matty Clark who has achieved 11 GCSEs at grade 5-9. He has achieved 3 grade 9s in Maths, Chemistry & Biology

 

Oscar Idle who achieved 11 GCSE grades at grade 5 and above including 4 grade 9s in Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry and a grade 8 in History

 

Ilona Sell who has 10 GCSEs at grade 6 or above including 3 grade 9s in English Language, Religious Studies and Biology and 3 Grade 8s in Maths, Chemistry and Physics

 

Leo Lasrado who has achieved 11 GCSEs at grade 5 or above including a grade 9 in Biology and 4 grade 8s in English Literature, Chemistry, Geography and History

 

Caleb Masters with 11 GCSEs at grade 5 or above including grade 9 in English Literature and 8s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics

 

Lojain Hussan who has 10 GCSEs at grade 5 and above, with grade 8 in Chemistry and Biology, 7s in English Literature and Maths and an A grade in Business Studies.

 

 

Commenting on this success, Principal Marianne Blake said:

“I am delighted with the successes achieved by our students this year. Despite the national tightening of GCSE standards we are really pleased to see that our students have risen to the challenge. It’s very pleasing to see the numbers of students achieving the highest grades that will enable successful progress on to their chosen A Level courses. Across the board, it is fantastic to see students achieving their personal best, whatever their chosen pathway.”
 

 

Tony Brett, Chair of Local Governors, said:

“National changes have made this a challenging year and it has been very hard to know how things are moving against that backdrop of change. I am particularly pleased to see these results that show clearly how dedicated teachers and students alike are to their work.  In addition I am so grateful to all our support staff; parents and carers; Friends of OSA; and our sponsor, CfBT Schools Trust, for providing and maintaining an environment that makes such excellent outcomes possible.  I am proud to know that Oxford Spires has so effectively enabled our year 11s to be the best they can be and to prepare them as well as possible for life post-16.  What a wonderful way for our new Principal to end her first year in post!”

 

A Level Results – Press Release August 2018

August 16th, 2018

Sixth Form Press Release – 16TH August 2018

Oxford Spires Academy is delighted to announce an excellent set of A Level results with significant improvements across the board. The percentage of A*-C grades achieved by Year 13 students has risen to 64% and over a third of A level entries were at A*-B. There were a number of subjects whose performances were particularly strong, including Chemistry, Economics, Maths, English Language, German, Psychology and Spanish.

Once again individual Year 13 students excelled and will now be able to progress to their chosen university courses. These include:

Eleanor Floyd who has achieved 3 A* grades in English Literature, History and Politics will now progress to read History at Exeter University.

Head Boy William Cheetham gained A grades in Mathematics and German and B grades in Further Maths and Physics and plans to read Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London.

Sarah Nadeem, having gained A grade in Psychology, C in Biology and Distinction in Sport will now read Biology at Bristol University.

Holly Gardner with an A in Geography and B grades in Economics and History plans to read History at University College London.

Rubina Ali with A grade in Economics, B in Psychology and C in Biology plans to read Bio Medical Sciences at Warwick University.

Arthur Basso with A in Economics, B in History and C in Politics will now read International Relations and Politics at Oxford Brookes.

Lewis Waring with an A in Art, B in English Literature and C in History will now go on to study Fine Art.

Commenting on this success, Headteacher Marianne Blake said:

“Taking over Oxford Spires this year has been a revelation. It has been wonderful to see how our oldest students combine academic success with the role they play leading our school community. I am delighted to so many personal successes and so many meeting their university ambitions.”

Tony Brett, Chair of Local Governors, said:

“I am extremely happy to see that under the inspirational leadership of Marianne Blake and Jackie Watson, our Head of Sixth Form, our students have once again excelled themselves and indeed achieved pleasing improvements. These results are testament to the skill and dedication of all our teaching staff and the hard work and application of our students so I send my congratulations to them all and wish them success in their future studies or workplaces.”

Summer Newsletter 2018

July 24th, 2018

Our latest newsletter is now available

Newsletter July 2018

Mukahang Limbu Radio 6 Interview

July 19th, 2018

Head Boy Mukahang Limbu, winner of the Foyle Prize for poetry and one of the contributors to OSA’s poetry book England: Poetry from a School, was interviewed this term by Cerys Matthews on Radio 6 Music.

Hear it here: Interview

Year 8 Students – BBC Radio Oxford

July 3rd, 2018

On Monday 2nd July our wonderful Year 8 students talked about their research into soldiers, predecessors at our school, who fought in WW1.   The project is leading to an exhibition in November, to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice –  more info on that to follow…

 

Listen to the broadcast from the visit to Radio Oxford here OSA BBC Oxford
 

 

Netball Success

July 2nd, 2018

On Thursday 28th June Dora, Amelia and India all trialled at Rye St Antony School to gain a place at Abbey Netball Club. Following this they have all been selected to play for Abbey Netball Club in Oxford from September.

 

Netball Success 2

Dora, Amelia and India – Well Done Girls

 

We would like to congratulate them on their success and wish them all the best in their netball careers to come!

UNHCR – Poetry helps Afghan girl find her path in England

June 22nd, 2018

OXFORD, England – No one, not her family, her teachers, nor any of her 900 schoolmates, was more surprised than Shukria Rezaei herself, when she was judged the best poet in her year. A shy, 15-year-old Afghan girl, who was still grappling with an adopted language.

Read the entire article by Caroline Brothers here

BBC Breakfast – England, Poems from a School

June 20th, 2018

Courtesy of BBC Breakfast.

Head Boy Mukahang Limbu and Writer in Residence Kate Clanchy appeared on BBC Breakfast to talk about England, Poems from a School. Former Head Girl Vivien Urban and students Asima Qayyum and  Tarzina Khatun also feature on the clip. 

BBC Breakfast Clip

England: Poems from a School is a Picador book, available from all bookshops and online retailers.

Women and Science – Year 8 visit the Botnar Research Institute

June 13th, 2018

The University of Oxford Hospital Trust is concerned that school students don’t know enough about the range of science careers available. They’re also worried not enough girls apply for science and medical courses in and after Sixth Form. So NDORMS (The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciece), based at the Botnar Research Institute, designed a special day course for our Year 8 girls.

The first set of 20 students visited on 13 June. The day consisted of workshops in areas of surgery, engineering and the conduct of scientific tests. OSA students met doctors, engineers, statisticians, physiotherapists, psychologists, science writers (the list was endless!). They learnt how they made career choices and reached their current jobs.

A talk from the Director of Graduate Studies at the Institute (the amazing Dr Afsie Sabokbar), a question and answer session withe some great role models, and tours of the research labs; from learning how to suture wounds, to doing keyhole surgery on knees, to moving beads around with chopsticks; the day was hugely enjoyable and gave students food for thought about their futures.

NDORMS’ idea is to make this available now for other schools – and another group of OSA students will visit in September.

Botnar 1

Botnar 2

OSA Welcome Year 5 Shakespeare Speakers

June 13th, 2018

We were delighted to welcome teams of Year 5 pupils from local primary schools to Oxford Spires on 12 June for our first Shakespeare Speaking competition.

The young people had prepared monologues and duologues in advance and performed their speeches in the Theatre, in front of a Year 7 audience.

Pupils from St Francis, SS Mary and John and St Joseph’s schools delivered speeches from a range of famous plays – from Twelfth Night to King Lear, Love’s Labour’s Lost to Macbeth.

The winner of the monologue competition was Maxwell from St Joseph’s, who made the audience laugh as Trinculo in The Tempest. In the duologues section, the pride was shared between Tiphanny and Mark (from St Joseph’s) in Antony and Cleopatra, and Bareerah and Maya (from SS Mary and John) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The day gave Year 5 the chance to gain confidence in the performances, and also to talk to Year 7 students over lunch about being at secondary school.

Well done to all who took part – and thanks to their teachers for bringing them and helping them prepare such great performances.

Shakespeare Competition 1

Shakespeare Competition 2

 

Year 8 Research Former Pupils

June 13th, 2018

Year 8 research former pupils at their school who took part in WW1

On Tuesday 12 June, a group of able Year 8 historians visited the building where OSA began – now the University of Oxford’s History Faculty.

Before the school that we know, in 1880, the City of Oxford Boys’ School was founded on George St in central Oxford. Set up originally to give boys from all backgrounds the chance to go to university, the school faced the First World War in 1914.

Boys volunteered to fight, many died, and all the students involved are recorded on the Roll of Service on the wall in the old school building… Amongst the names we no longer recognise are the famous T.E. Lawrence (‘Lawrence of Arabia’) and an ancestor of the Salter family (who run Salters’ Steamers in Central Oxford).

Fifteen Year 8s have each chosen a name from the Roll of Service and are researching all they can find out about him – his home background, his war service and, if he didn’t die in the War, what happened to him.

The students are working with local historian, Dr Liz Woolley, and History Fellow at Pembroke College, Professor Adrian Gregory – both of whom are currently researching the school’s WW1 participants.

The students’ research will be in written or visual form, and will be in an exhibition, in school to begin with, in November this year, as part of the City’s commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice.

More information will follow in September about how and where to see their work.

Netball Tour 2018

June 11th, 2018

The Barcelona tour was an amazing experience for the whole team because not only did we play competitive netball we also grew as people. Every single person, including the staff, worked as a team, supporting each other through challenging games. We all experienced the Spanish culture in both Lloret de Mar and Barcelona, from the food to the breath-taking Nou Camp. Netball in Lloret de Mar was of a high standard as many of the teams were elite. We were driven and motivated by each other and the training helped better our skills. Through perseverance we managed to come third in our division out of nineteen teams through point difference. Despite coming third, we were in high spirits as we felt we had worked hard and we were ready to enjoy the rest of the trip which was brilliant. We take home the knowledge obtained in our netball training and match play.

We would like to thank both Mrs Minton and Miss Bartlett for being so supportive and driving us to do our best in all that we did. Special thanks to Mrs Minton for being an excellent coach and getting us on this trip. Good luck to any teams that go after us as we know you’ll love it as much as we did!

Written by Teoni Sani-Dash and Nailah Hoque

#blacklivesmatter Movement

June 11th, 2018

Some of our Year 12s have been working on a theatre and spoken word project with ex Artistic Director of Pegasus theatre, Euton Daley MBE and his Unlock the Chains Collective.

The work initially involved discussed on issues emerging from the #blacklivesmatter movement – linking to stories of racial injustice and racial empowerment. The final piece was an amalgamation of their own work and they really did OSA proud in creating and performing a powerful and thought provoking piece.

The project was part of the Windrush Next Generation launch at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Fantastic work, Well Done to our performers Jasmin Uddin, Mukahang Limbu, Azeem Abdul, Renad Eldawi, Emmanuel Ntuli, Keith Gichovi, Yaxye Quraanye and Samiur Rahman.

blacklivesmatter

Design & Technology – ‘Finishing with Style’

June 11th, 2018

The current Year 11 are the last group to undertake the legacy Design and Technology examination before students move on to the new Design and Technology qualification. I am very proud to say that they rose to my initial brief which was to go out with a bang! They all produced work of a high standard which was reinforced by the external moderator commenting that he chose to visit the Oxford Spires Academy because all the work was of an exceptional quality.

It is a privilege to show you how they Finished with style.

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Picture 1 of 17

Science Technician Conference

June 8th, 2018

The Oxfordshire Technicians Conference run by Science Learning Partnerships (SLP) was held at Oxford Spires Academy this week. Please click below to read the full article from this week’s Oxford Mail.

Science Technicians Conference

National Book Tokens Competition

June 8th, 2018

The school has entered a competition run by National Book Tokens to try and win £5000 for the school library to spend on new reading materials. It would be really helpful if you get a spare minute to support us in this by filling in the entry form. It doesn’t not require much information and if we win then it will be brilliant for the library in helping us expand our collections.

 https://www.nationalbooktokens.com/schools

 Thank you for your support in this.

 Best Regards,

Mr Sheppard – Librarian and Primary Liaison.

 

Summer Update 2018 and Parental Calendar

June 4th, 2018

Our latest newsletter – Summer Update 2018 and dates for your diaries – Term 6 Calendar are now available.

 

Summer Update 2018

Term 6 Parent Calendar

 

 

 

Primary Sports Partnership News

May 30th, 2018

This term we have enjoyed some fabulous mini red tennis festivals for Year 3 and 4 and some great multi-skills festivals for Year 1 and 2. We have had children from St Francis C of E Primary, Larkrise Primary School, St Mary and John Church of England Primary School and St Christopher’s Church of England Primary School participating in fun activities with the help of some of fantastic OSA sports leaders.

 

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Aim Higher Passport Day At Buckingham New University

May 30th, 2018

Some of our Year 9 students attended the Passport day at Buckingham New University. Students had a fun day engaging with the undergraduates who enlightened them about their personal journeys and their studies of a range of subjects from Flight aviation, Airport management , Nursing and more.

Students challenged each other on tasks, researched courses of interests and had a feel of what it is like to at University and embarking on the pathway of  Higher education.  A enriching day for all.

 

Aim-Higher-web

 

 

Dorset Geography Field Trip

May 30th, 2018

Another lovely geography field trip to Dorset happened for Year 10 students on May 9 and 10. A lovely sunny day for both days in our investigations of Swanage, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.  We investigated the effectiveness of the groynes and other sea defences in Swanage among other investigations initiated by each group of students.  Now the fun part: the physical geography investigation write up!!!!

 

Geography field trip

Cake Sale for Cancer Research

May 30th, 2018

With the support of Mr Mesure and Miss Hoe students from 10E held a really successful cake sale. Thanks to students putting in lots of time and effort – over £50 was raised for Cancer Research. Fantastic Achievement!

 

National Art Gallery, London.

May 30th, 2018

Art students from Years 11, 12 and 13, had a fantastic trip attending the National Art Gallery in London recently. Students spent the afternoon in the Gallery, exploring the vast exhibition, viewing world famous artwork that they had been responding to within their coursework in school. Students filled their time with sketching and collecting vital research information for their GCSE and A Level coursework.

 

The Ashmolean Museum and Modern Art Oxford Gallery, Oxford.

May 30th, 2018

Students from Year 10 and 12 spent the day between the Ashmolean Gallery and Modern Art Oxford responding to the theme Order & Chaos. Students firstly had a tour around the Ashmolean’s exhibition ‘America’s Cool Modernism’and spent the morning drawing in the gallery from the artwork followed by workshop sessions in the education suite.

 

Ashmolean-photo-web

 

In the afternoon we walked across to the Modern Art Oxford, and saw the exhibition by Cinthia Marcelle. Students then used the same materials that were used in the exhibition to respond to the theme ‘Order and Chaos’. As you can see from the images, students thoroughly enjoyed this, some Year 10s are now planning their very own exhibition in school in response to their experience!

 

MAO-photo

Oxford Arts Festival Workshops

May 30th, 2018

Art GCSE students in Year 9 were given the opportunity to work with the leading wildlife photographer, Andrew Walmsley. Students attended 2 workshops where they were taught skills in creating strong images which consider lighting, composition and editing. Some of our student’s work is being professionally exhibited at Frideswide Square during Oxford festival of the Arts alongside Andrew’s own photographs.

We’re so proud of our OSA artists; Dufuwaa, Keira and Noor.

FOSA Quiz and Curry Night

May 3rd, 2018

Friday 8th June 2018 7.00pm

Tickets on sale now!

£10 Adults

£5 under 18s

Tickets available from The Reprographics Department – spoyser@oxfordspiresacademy.org or FOSA osafriends@gmail.com

 

Quiz & Curry Night Poster

Year 9 Parent Evening Appointment Locations

April 25th, 2018

Dear Parents
Thank you all for your support and feedback with the new appointment booking system. Due to the size of the year group we will be using 2 locations for appointments. Please arrive at the Conference Centre Hall where you will need to register and collect students Year 9 reports.

 

Appointment Locations

• English/SENCo and Maths appointments – The Atrium (Wedge Building)
• Physical Education appointments – CC1.1 (Conference Centre)
• All other subjects – Conference Centre Hall

 

Miss Blake, Miss Dunphy and Mr Dixon will all be available at the evening and would like to hear parent feedback on the Parent Evening process.

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

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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!