Winter Update 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