OSA Newsletter – 17th September 2021

September 17th, 2021

We are pleased to share our latest Oxford Spires Academy newsletter.

Covid 19 update

September 17th, 2021

I am writing to let you know that we have a confirmed case of Covid-19 at Oxford Spires Academy.

In line with current government guidance, there is no longer a need to self-isolate if you have come into contact with someone with Covid-19, so all students should continue to attend school as usual.

However, do please remain vigilant for the main signs and symptoms of the virus. If your child displays any of these, they should stay at home and book a PCR test as soon as possible. Click here for more information about how to book a free PCR test.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

GCSE Results

August 12th, 2021

Thursday 12th August 2021

GCSE results at Oxford Spires Academy

 
We are incredibly proud of our Year 11 cohort who have worked extremely hard and in these uncertain times have shown tremendous resilience and patience. These results mean that our students are well prepared for the future and we are very much looking forward to celebrating many of our students progressing into our sixth form next year.

Our high achieving students have performed exceptionally well this year. There are many individual successes of note and these include:

Phoenix Denno who achieved Grade 9s across 11 subjects and 1 Grade 8: Callum Young achieved 10 Grade 9s and 2 Grade 8s: Tristen Dupret has achieved 12 GCSE Grades 7-9 and which include 9 Grade 9s: Jemima Webster has achieved 7 Grade 9s and overall gained 12 GCSEs Grade 6-9 overall: Millie Hastings and Iona Hallthorp both attained 12 GCSEs overall including 5 Grade 9s: Mira Harris gained 12 GCSEs including 6 Grade 9s.

Many of our students have shown tremendous drive and determination and have made strong progress again this year. We would like to recognise and congratulate Semin Qahramany who has made over four grades of progress across her subjects and achieved the strongest progress overall this year. Molly Ahmed, Emeka Obiekwe, William Harrison, Deimantas Sankauskas, Emmerson Earl, Martha Heaver and Maddy Taylor have all achieved at least three grades of progress across their subjects and this is really extraordinary.

As always, we have a huge amount to celebrate. Congratulations go to all our students and a huge thank you to teachers for their hard work, and importantly of course, to parents too. We are delighted that so many students have thrived during their time at Oxford Spires, and have shone for so many reasons inside and beyond the classroom; we look forward to sharing in their future successes as students move on to their next phase of their life journey.

Commenting on this success, Principal Marianne Blake said:
“I am really delighted to share in the successes achieved by our students this year. Despite the turbulent and challenging national picture our students have risen to the challenges and shown resilience and determination to achieve their very best. They have achieved the grades that they deserved and this will enable them to progress successfully on to their chosen A Level courses, training or employment routes. Across the board, it is fantastic to see students achieving their personal best, whatever their chosen pathway.”

Chair of Governors Chris Scrivener said on behalf of the LGB:
“These results mean that students can genuinely celebrate their achievements secure in the knowledge that their results are based on their individual effort and hard work as evidenced through school assessed and work and internal exams, which have been carefully scrutinised by teachers and moderated by senior leaders. Our congratulations to all students, staff and families/carers for these results at the end of a turbulent and unimaginable year.”

Covid Testing Timetable Sept 2021

August 11th, 2021

Following government guidance, we are offering all students two Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests in school at the beginning of the Autumn term. This will help to identify cases of COVID 19 and stop transmission which will support the return to education – particularly as most students have not been testing for a long period over the summer and will need to re-establish the habit of regular twice weekly testing. It will also give new pupils and students the opportunity to get used to swabbing in a supervised environment before moving to twice weekly testing at home.

We are all students to come into school on Thursday 2nd September 2021 for their 1st test at the following times. (students do not need to wear uniform)



Students will have their 2nd test within the school day on Monday 6th September 2021.

A Level Results August 2021

August 10th, 2021

Sixth Form Press Release

A-LEVEL RESULTS AT OXFORD SPIRES ACADEMY

Tuesday 10th August 2021

 

 
Oxford Spires Academy’s Sixth Formers continue to go from strength to strength, with this year’s cohort achieving some fantastic results in their A levels and vocational qualifications. For the fourth year running, outcomes have further strengthened across the board, with 31% of students achieving A* and A grades, and 82% achieving A* to C grades.

As an inclusive mixed ability Sixth Form we are delighted to see that students of all abilities have surpassed target grades and many have overcome personal adversity in this very challenging year in order to achieve grades of which we can all be proud.

We are delighted to report that almost all of this year’s Year 13 students have secured their first choice of university place including 5 at Oxford University and others going into competitive courses such as medicine. Some of our students have also secured high value apprenticeships and traineeships.

Our top-performing students have done particularly well and amongst a large number of students gaining top grades we would like to mention the following with 4 A* grades at A Level: Felix Henson who will be going to the University of Bath to study Maths; Joseph Araujo will be going to the University of St Andrews also to study Math; Linnet Drury going to Pembroke College Oxford to study Maths & Philosophy and Adam Al-Khalidi to St John’s College Oxford to study Engineering.

With 3 A* grades at A Level and A* in Extended Projects we have Posey Whidden going to Vassar College USA; Anna Beekmayer going to Corpus Christi College Oxford to read Biomedical Sciences; Laura Bell going to Durham University to read Engineering; Sara Al-Dahwi going to Keble College Oxford to study Medicine and Annie Davison going to the University of York to read English. Finally, with 3 A*s and a Distinction* in Sport BTEC is Dan Shaw going to Durham University to read Chemistry.

Commenting on this year’s results, Principal Marianne Blake said:
“I am really proud of the accomplishments of all our students this year. We have a rising academic profile and remain committed to providing an inclusive Sixth Form for our local community. The vast majority of our students will progress into university this year and many have been successful in securing their first choice.

I would like to take the opportunity to recognise and thank our staff for working hard to support and encourage our students particularly given the extreme challenges of this year. I know that we are all rightly very proud of our students and their achievements and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”

Chris Scrivener, Chair of the Local Governing Body, commented:
“Students have worked very hard, and with much success, in difficult conditions. Our teachers have also worked hard and drawn on their experience and expertise in teaching to ensure students are well supported in their learning. In the absence of formal examinations, teachers are best placed to judge standards of attainment.

Governors are proud of these achievements in a time of Covid-related closures, bubbles and changes to examination awarding procedures.”
 

Start of Term September 2021

August 9th, 2021

Please see details for the start of Term September 2021

Term will start at 8.30am Friday 3rd September 2021 for Years 7, 11 and 12* (12* – Year 12 students will have short meetings with Sixth Form staff).
Years 8,9,10 and 13 will return 8.30am Monday 6th September 2021.

End of Term Arrangements

July 14th, 2021

Our end of term newsletter will be published this Friday.  We also want to advise you that students will finish for the summer at 1.00pm on Friday 16th July.

 

7E2 Fundraising

June 23rd, 2021

When 7EH2 brought the idea of a charity event to their tutor, they explained that they wanted to continue to help the local community after their food donations at Christmas. The group then worked hard to decide on an appropriate event and receiving charity, settling on a litter pick to help the environment and The Lady Fatemah Trust as they help all over the world in a wide variety of situations. Pupils then asked for sponsorship from family and friends which encouraged conversation about being charitable and considerate as well as wider issues. We feel the pupils really benefit from the lessons they learn from this type of activity as well those who receive their generosity. The event went on to raise £107.90. OSA would like to thank the pupils for giving up their time and you for supporting your children.

Orchestra of St John

June 22nd, 2021

German Olympiad

June 21st, 2021

Our MFL department is so thrilled and beyond proud that 3 of our OSA students have won a leading position in this year’s German Olympiad.

This is a competition organised by the Oxford German Network, run by the Modern Languages Department of the Oxford University.
The Network received an unusually large number of entries this year (more than 500 in total) and it is an absolutely amazing achievement that the below three students’ work has been chosen and published on the OGN website out of such a large number of contestants from all across Oxfordshire.

  • Y8 – Cara – winning position (5th)
  • Y9 – Matilda – runner-up to winners (7th)
  • Y12 – Dory runner-up to winners (3rd)

Please see their winning entries on the OGN website via these links:
Results Oxford German Olympiad 2021 (scroll down to Year 7 to 9)
Results round 2

Congratulations to the above students on their amazing achievement. They are such excellent linguists. We are very proud of you and all of your hard work!

Meet our new Interim Principal – 24th June 2021

June 17th, 2021

Dear Parents,

Further to the recent letter from Mr Andy Yarrow, CEO Anthem Trust we would like to invite you to an online event where you can hear from our new Interim Principal, Mr Jon Hebblethwaite.

To register your place and submit a question to be answered during the online session, please complete and submit the form which can be found in the ‘FORMS’ feature of your ParentMail account.

If you need any help using the FORMS feature of ParentMail please do not hesitate to contact spoyser@spires.anthemtrust.uk

Interim Principal appointment and engagement with parents

May 25th, 2021
Interim Principal And Parental Engagement

National Reading Championship Quiz

May 21st, 2021

On the 19th of May, students from Oxford Spires Academy competed online in the National Reading Championship Quiz, they competed against 26 other teams in the Oxfordshire & Berkshire Regional heat.

It was a very hard competition, much harder than last year and our students did themselves and the school proud. We unfortunately didn’t win, this year it was St. Helens and St. Katherine. However, our teams did do very well: Our Team 2 (Yvette, Ruth, John, and Beatrice) finished 4th with 64 points, a single point behind 3rd place.

Our Team 1 (Lilly, Felix, Izzy, and Mila) finished joint 6th with 61 points.

Year 13 Complete EPQ Projects

May 21st, 2021

Orchestra of St Johns

May 20th, 2021


 

Interim Principal Appointment

May 19th, 2021
Interim Principal Appointment May 2021

National Reading Quiz

May 12th, 2021

Sixth Form House Debating

May 11th, 2021

KS3 Public Speaking

May 11th, 2021

House Debating

May 11th, 2021

Photography A Level Exhibition

April 26th, 2021

ESU Festival of Speaking

April 23rd, 2021

Birthday Celebrations Continue

April 23rd, 2021

Shakespeare’s Birthday Continues

April 23rd, 2021

Inspiring Students – Shakespeare’s Birthday

April 23rd, 2021

Queens Margaret and Elizabeth – Shakespeare’s Birthday

April 23rd, 2021

As You Like It

April 23rd, 2021

Shakespearean Queen

April 23rd, 2021

Shakespeare’s Birthday

April 23rd, 2021

Football Shirt Competition

April 4th, 2021

Parent Updates – Spring 2021

April 1st, 2021

Our latest Parents’ update can be found here:

KS3 Parent Update Spring 2021
KS4 Parent Update Spring 2021
Year 11 Teacher Assessment Grades

Sexual Harassment Awareness Day

March 30th, 2021

Alterative World Book Day

March 23rd, 2021

Covid 19 Home Testing Kits – Students

March 16th, 2021
Home Testing Letter To Parents March 2021
GOV Home Testing FAQs
GOV Privacy Notice - Oxford Spires Academy

Science Week

March 12th, 2021

World Book Day

March 4th, 2021

Remote Education and Live Segments In Lessons

February 8th, 2021

On the 30th January, we shared with you our next step to increase live content for students to support their connection to their teachers and to school. In our previous update we stated that by the end of last week we would reach our final target of half of all lessons per week containing a live segment. I am pleased to say that we have achieved this and that students will benefit from this starting today.

  • Your children will know when these live segments are taking place through their Teams calendar. We are aware that we have a Week A and a Week B timetable and so sessions may vary across the two weeks.
  • As with all systems there may also be those rare occasions where there may be some difficulties with connections. Colleagues will try to resolve these with students as quickly as possible.
  • We have a small number of colleagues who due to personal circumstances are currently unable to provide live segments so again this may impact in some areas. We will keep the timetable updated each week on the website to reflect any change in circumstance.

We will be adding a timetable of these sessions to the website on the Remote Education page. In addition to this, we will be continuing with our tutor sessions, house challenges and assemblies each morning from 9.00-9.20.

Testing Consent: We would like to ask you to complete the consent forms for the lateral flow tests that have recently been sent to all parents that have not yet done so. (This can be found in the FORMS section of your ParentMail account). This will help to put in place plans for the students return and will enable us to organise the students to come back into school as quickly as possible. If you have not yet returned a reply you will be contacted this week by phone or email.

Many thanks as always for your continuing support.

Your Donations and Generosity

February 6th, 2021

Recently we have received wonderful donations from parents, a laptop from one of our local residents and an anonymous donation of £2500. These donations are incredibly kind and thoughtful, and I am sure that they will be greatly appreciated by the students who benefit from them. You can either donate a new or used laptop, Chromebook or tablet or contribute to the laptop fund which will be used to buy Chromebooks for students.

All your donations along with 82 laptops sent from the DFE have made all the difference to so many children. Evidence shows that digital exclusion can lead to increased isolation and less access to education and jobs, so these laptops are making a huge difference to children as they are now able to complete online work and stand a chance of keeping up with their peers. Your contribution really will make a huge difference to a child’s life chances. Thank you!

We are keeping our campaigns open on Lets Localise as there is still a need in our community. Please visit and share our page: Lets Localise Campaign

Student Work Gallery

February 4th, 2021

Please enjoy our latest Student Work Gallery which showcases some of the fantastic work that students are submitting during lockdown.
 

Sixth Form Applications

February 1st, 2021

Thanks to all those who applied before the end of January – we’ll be contacting those students over the next couple of weeks with appointments to discuss courses with Sixth Form staff, and using their requested subjects to help build next year’s timetable.

For anyone who would still like to apply, we will now open our waiting list – please continue to put applications in, but it may be a little longer before we’re able to process your form.

Here is what the current Sixth Form made to show you why OSA is such a good place to be for your A levels… https://youtu.be/VXhtyP5-Uuw

Any questions about Sixth Form applications, please email Dr J Watson, Head of Sixth Form, on jwatson@spires.anthemtrust.uk

Congratulations Year 13s

January 19th, 2021

The Young Artists’ Summer Show At The Royal Academy

January 19th, 2021

Last year as a school we participated in the YASS – the Young Artists Summer Show, at the Royal Academy of Art. 2 successful OSA students had their work exhibited in the RA exhibition!

The Young Artists’ Summer Show is an opportunity for young artists aged 5 – 19 years to exhibit their work online and on-site at the Royal Academy. Prizes are awarded each year for two inspiring artworks from each key stage, as chosen by the President of the Royal Academy, and you can also vote for your favourite artwork in our annual People’s Choice Award. Take a look at the 2020 prize winning artworks A panel of passionate and award-winning artists and arts professionals work together each year to select artworks to exhibit online and on-site at the Royal Academy. Read about the judges of the 2020 exhibitions.

Full details on how to enter have been emailed to OSA students.

Keep up to date with the latest on YASS, on social media using #RAYoungArtists
For more information, please see the gallery FAQs here: https://youngartists.royalacademy.org.uk/faqs

Please send all submissions to: emadani@spires.anthemtrust.uk

We look forward to receiving your entries.
Good luck!

FOSA Meeting

January 13th, 2021

There will be a FOSA meeting on Zoom this evening at 7.00 pm (Wednesday 13th January). If you’d like to join the meeting, please email FOSA for the link. All welcome!

Jingle Bell Rock

December 11th, 2020

A little festive cheer from our music students. Enjoy!

Jingle Bell Rock

The music students really got involved with recording music and video remotely. Well done to all involved.

Refugee poets awarded high-profile Oxfordshire award for work

November 26th, 2020

Online Parent Evening Booking – OPEN NOW!

November 18th, 2020

The new booking system for online parent evening appointments is now open.

Please visit SchoolCloud to book your appointments. Appointments will go very fast.

Year 7 & 8 Thursday 3rd December 4.00-7.30pm
Years 9 & 10 Tuesday 8th December 4.00-7.30pm
Years 11, 12 and 13 Wednesday 16th December 4.00-7.30pm

  • Appointments can be made from 8.30am 18th November – 4:00pm 29th November 2020
  • To book your appointments you MUST use the email address you have registered with us for ParentMail
  • PE Students – Due to the current Covid timetable you will see 2 members of staff listed. Please only book appointments with the female teacher for girls and the male teacher for boys
  • Year 11/12/13 Only – If you wish to book an appointment for careers advice please book an appointment with Mr David Bingham – Adviza who will also appear in the booking system.
  • If a teacher is shown as fully booked a ‘Join Waiting List’ button will show. If an appointment becomes available, we will assign appointments to parents on the list.

If you need any further assistance with booking Parent Evening appointments please contact Ms Poyser

Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award

November 11th, 2020

Face Coverings at Oxford Spires Academy

November 4th, 2020

Please see that attached document for the latest guidance regarding the wearing of face coverings at Oxford Spires Academy.

 

Face Coverings At Oxford Spires Academy

Year 7 – The Spires Baccalaureate Newsletter

September 21st, 2020

The Year 7 Spires Baccalaureate Newsletter is ready to download here:

Year 7 Baccalaureate Newsletter

School Timings w/c 7th September 2020

September 4th, 2020

It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces returning to school this week. We hope that students enjoyed being back at school and feel at ease with the safety procedures we have implemented. Can I please take this opportunity to remind parents of the school timings commencing 7th September 2020.
 

Year group Monday- Thursday Friday Timings
7 8:15-2.20pm 8:15-2.00pm
8 8:30-2.40pm 8.30-2.20pm
9 8:45-3.00pm 8.45-2.10pm
10 9:00-3.10pm 9:00-2.35pm
11 9:15-3.40pm 9:15-2.50pm
12 & 13 As per students individual timetables

 

Dropping off at school

Could we please ask for your support to put in place a one way system to pick up and drop of your child. Please come up Glanville Road and drop of your child and turn left across Barracks Lane and down Cumberland Road.

There is very limited parking outside of the school. The road to the right of the school entrance leading to Marsh Park has cycle lanes on both sides of the road and have parking permit allowances for our local residents, please be respectful of this and do not park or stop in this area.

Can we again encourage children wherever possible to walk or cycle to school. Not only is this good for their wellbeing but also helps them to be active and stay healthy.
 

School Meals

The catering team are working hard to ensure a wide variety of healthy meal choices are available to students.  Updated menus will be available on the school website early next week

GCSE Results 2020

August 20th, 2020

Thursday 20th August 2020

GCSE results at Oxford Spires Academy

 
GCSE Year 11 Press Release
We are immensely proud of our Year 11 cohort who have worked extremely hard and in these uncertain times have shown tremendous resilience and patience. These results mean that our students are well prepared for the future and we are very much looking forward to celebrating many of our students progressing into our sixth form next year.
Our high achieving students have performed exceptionally well again this year. There are many individual successes of note and these include:
Alex Dunn who has achieved top grade 9s across 11 GCSEs and this is in addition to the grade 9 which he had previously achieved in maths at the end of year 10. Brothers, Dory Reynolds and Gaby Reynolds both have 9 GCSEs at grade 9 in addition to their grade 9 which they both achieved in maths last year.

Evie Manton has attained 12 GCSEs overall and her impressive results include eight grade 9s and four grade 8s and Esther Abe has accomplished an exceptional set of results achieving 11 GCSEs at grade 7-9 with four GCSEs at a grade 9.

Dufuwaa Smith has achieved outstanding results with her 10 GCSEs at grade 7-9, including two fabulous grade 9s in Spanish and Chemistry. Noor Khan has attained fantastic outcomes with all 11 GCSEs at grade 7-9. She has achieved a grade 9 for Design Technology, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Daisy Stilborn has been four remarkable grade 9s in Geography, History, Physics and RE and all 11 of her GCSEs at grade 7-9.

Many of our incredible students have shown tremendous drive and determination and have made strong progress again this year. We would like to recognise and congratulate Maria Miguel who has made nearly four grades of progress across her subjects and achieved the strongest progress overall this year. Miray Bilgin, Ronan Bennett, Dahnish Ali, Alisha Dogar and Nosheen Mullick have all achieved at least three grades of progress across their subjects and this is really extraordinary.

As always, we have a huge amount to celebrate. Congratulations go to the students and a huge thank you to teachers for their hard work, and importantly, of course, to parents too. We are delighted that so many students have thrived during their time at the academy, students have shone for many reasons inside and beyond the classroom and we look forward to sharing their future successes as students move into their next phase of their journey.


Commenting on this success, Principal Marianne Blake said:

“I am really delighted with the successes achieved by our students this year. Despite the turbulent and challenging national picture our students have risen to the challenge. They have achieved the grades they deserved and this will enable them to progress successfully on to their chosen A Level courses, training or employment routes. Across the board, it is fantastic to see students achieving their personal best, whatever their chosen pathway.”

Chair of Governors Chris Scrivener said on behalf of the LGB:
“These results mean that students can genuinely celebrate their achievements secure in the knowledge that their results are based on their individual effort and hard work as evidenced through school assessed and work and internal exams, which have been carefully scrutinised by teachers and moderated by senior leaders. Our congratulations to all students, staff and families/carers for these results at the end of a turbulent and unimaginable year.”

A Level Results at Oxford Spires Academy

August 13th, 2020

Sixth Form Press Release

A-LEVEL RESULTS AT OXFORD SPIRES ACADEMY

Thursday 13th August 2020

 

 
Despite a year of challenges and uncertainties for Sixth Form students nationally, Oxford Spires Academy has seen further improvements in its A level results this summer and we are delighted to report that almost all of this year’s Year 13 students have secured their first choice of university place. Some of our students have also secured high value apprenticeships and traineeships. The grades received may improve even further following the appeals process, widely covered in the national press.

Our top-performing students have done particularly well, even in these adverse circumstances. Head boy Patryk Tomczynski has been awarded A grades in Physics and Further Maths and a B in Maths; Matty Clark has been awarded an A* in Physics, A grades in Maths and Chemistry and a A in Computing AS level; and Houzeefa Zaffar has been awarded grade A in Economics, with Bs in Maths and Physics.

We would also like to congratulate Briah Bilverstone (A in Sociology, Cs in Philosophy and Ethics, and Politics); Miranda Lipscombe (A in Media, B in History, C in Philosophy and Ethics, and A in her Extended Project); Nadia Shah (B in Geography; B in Spanish as well as BTEC Sport); Sanaa Ahmed (B in Economics alongside Distinction and Merit in Double Business BTEC); and Libby Harris (C in Psychology, as well as double Distinction in Business BTEC and B in her Extended Project).

Commenting on this year’s results, Principal Marianne Blake said:
‘I am really proud of the accomplishments of all our students this year. We have a rising academic profile and remain committed to providing an inclusive Sixth Form for our local community. Over two thirds of our students will progress into university this year and many have been successful in securing their first choice.

I would like to take the opportunity to recognise and thank our staff for working hard to support and encourage our students particularly given the extreme challenges of this year. The government suggested this week that mock grades might be used as a basis for challenge. Our most recent mock grades indicate that 40% of results could be higher than those allocated to students. I would like to support students in making appeals so that their hard work and the progress we have made is fully realised.’

Chris Scrivener, Chair of Governors, states:
‘On behalf of the Local Governing Body, can I congratulate all students on their achievements as they transition from school to higher education or employment. It is pleasing to know that most of our Sixth Form students have secured their first choice university places and it was good to see so many happy faces today.
This is a testament to the hard work of our teaching staff and colleagues within Oxford Spires in these exceptional and challenging times’

Sixth Form Taster Days for Year 11 students

June 19th, 2020

3 July and 10 July 2020
 
All applicants for Year 12 next year have an email giving them information how to book on to taster sessions. Any questions, please email Dr Watson on jwatson@oxfordspiresacademy.org

Climate Anthology Competition

June 15th, 2020

Social Distancing Measures – Classroom Changes

June 11th, 2020
Social distancing measures and classroom changes video

 

We are looking forward to welcoming back Year 10 and 12. The staff at OSA have been busy preparing the site to minimise risk. We have created a video for you to see some of the measures that we have put in place, including social distancing queues and an example of a classroom. Looking forward to seeing you very soon.

Latest Parent Update

June 3rd, 2020

Latest parent update available now

OSA Potential Reopening

May 30th, 2020

Dear Parents & Students,
I hope that you are all well and that you have enjoyed the hot and sunny half term. As I am sure many of you are aware the government has released the guidance for secondary schools this week.

They have confirmed, that we will be able to offer some face to face sessions for our Year 10 and Year 12 students from Monday 15 June. As I am sure you will understand this will be a small amount initially however, we will try to ensure that all Year 10 and 12 have the opportunity for some face to face time with each of their subjects before the start of summer.

I will be releasing more information in my update on Tuesday 02 June, but I wanted to make sure that you were clear that the school will not be opening to additional students next week. I hope that you enjoy your weekend and I very much look forward to seeing you all soon.

Best of wishes
Marianne Blake

For Children and Young Adults – PC Bury

May 23rd, 2020

A message from Thames Valley Police – PC Bury Click here

Update regarding Free School Meals Vouchers

April 17th, 2020

Thank-you all for being patient with us as we continue to apply for your child’s entitlement to free school meal Vouchers. I am pleased to let you all know that as an Academy we are set up on the Government system and are now awaiting for the vouchers to be processed. This has taken longer than we had expected, and we are checking several times on a daily occurrence to ensure that your vouchers reach you as quickly as possible.

Recent Communication

April 8th, 2020

Dear Parents
We have sent lots of information recently. You can find copies of recent letters and updates on our website under the Parent Tab – Parental Communication. – Recent Letters

Free School Meals – Food Vouchers

April 7th, 2020

Can parents/carers that receive free school meals please check your ParentMail account.  Please click on the FORM tab to see our latest information.  Please can we have your replies by 10th April 2020.

Kind regards

Sandra Poyser – spoyser@oxfordspiresacademy.org

Looking after our families

March 31st, 2020

Please be aware that staff may be making contact with you and your children over the next few weeks. The calls may come through as ‘No caller ID’ – we ask that you answer these calls to allow us to communicate with you.

Kind regards
Shelley Baker – Designated Safeguarding Lead

Warning – SCAM Email Alert

March 24th, 2020

Dear Parents

We have been informed that a number of parents across the country have received an email regarding Free School Meals.

The scam email is asking for parents to supply bank details if their child is you entitled to Free School Meals in order for parents to be supported.

We can confirm this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.

Key Workers Q&A

March 20th, 2020

Can my child come to school if I am not a Key Worker?

 
The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

 
If your child is unwell or showing any symptoms PLEASE do not send them into school as we do not want to risk the health and wellbeing of the teacher or students of any other Key Workers in the school.
 

Does my child have to attend every day?

 
Your child does not have to attend school every day but they will need to attend for full days 8.45-2.00pm.They will need to register in each lesson. Students will need to enter via main reception area in the morning. Can we please encourage students to try to arrive on time?
 

What is the structure of the day?

 
School will open 8.45-2.00pm Students in school from Year 7-10 will study a national curriculum timetable. Students do not need to wear school uniform and they will be provided with a timetable when they arrive on Monday or the first day they come into school.
 

What about Year 11 and 6th Form students of Key Workers

 
Year 11 and 6th Form students of Key Workers are able to self-study in the 6th Form common room.
 

What are the catering provisions?

 
There will be a limited choice and service available from the catering team. The conference centre dining area will be closed but all food will be served through the Willow Café. We will pay for and provide lunch for students who are in receipt of free school meals as well as students from our key worker families.

Key Workers

March 19th, 2020

Thank you for completing the Key Worker Parental Survey. A number of you have already confirmed that as Key Workers you do NOT need extra support from the school. For the academy to offer a skeleton timetable and remain open we need to have accurate numbers of students that still need to come to school. This will enable us to keep accurate registers to safeguard our students.

The school will open at 8.45am – 2.00pm from Monday 23rd March until further notice. There will be a limited choice and service of our school catering facilities.

As a Key Worker if you wish for your child to still attend school on reduced timetable and hours please email spoyser@oxfordspiresacademy.org Please state your child’s name and tutor group.

Parent Update 18th March 2020

March 18th, 2020

We hope you are all well and keeping safe. In light of the government advice this evening. I can confirm that we will be closing at the end of the school day on Friday 20th March for all year groups.

So far, we have received 438 responses from our survey. 179 of you have identified that you are a key worker. If you are yet to respond to this, please do so by the end of tomorrow afternoon. This will be extremely helpful in us helping to support our vulnerable and key worker families.

To support our students while we are closed teachers have set work and made available resources for students to continue studying. I would like to remind you of the remote learning plans and support we have shared with you just recently, please visit our school website.

At this point there are suggestions in regards to many aspects including the summer exams provision as soon as I have any further information I will update you with all of the additional detail. I am sorry for the uncertainty that this presents to you and our young people at this time. It is an incredibly difficult situation for everyone and I appreciate your continuing support.

Marianne Blake

Year 8 Choices

March 18th, 2020

Please see the latest information for Year 8 Students and Parents regarding Year 8 Choices.

Letter Home - Choices Year 8

Remote Learning

March 17th, 2020

Dear Parents

I am writing to let you know that we have organised remote learning packs from all subject areas for our students. During this time of uncertainty we wanted to ensure that all students have access to relevant learning.

Plans and guidance for all subjects and year groups can be found on our website under the ‘Student’ tab or by following this link and choosing the relevant year group. https://www.oxfordspiresacademy.org/student/remote-learning/

Students can access ‘remote learning folders’ through the Student Portal. Access to the portal is https://oxfordspiresacademy.sharepoint.com/sites/OSAStudentPortal

Students can also access work that teachers set through Show My Homework.

BBC Bitesize provides free and well-structured learning resources for both KS3 and KS4 students: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

For those students in GCSE wanting further revision GCSE Pod is also free for them to log in and use.

Students in our Sixth Form will receive work set by their teachers by email and through Show My Homework as and when needed.

For our most vulnerable families who may need to contact us during long periods of self-isolation, we are always contactable, please follow this link for additional support. https://www.oxfordspiresacademy.org/contact/staff-emails

How to guides: https://www.oxfordspiresacademy.org/student/remote-learning/

• How to access the student portal:
• How to log onto show my homework:
• Quick Start Guide GCSE POD:

Recent Letters
Latest News

Very Best wishes,

Sara Fletcher – Vice Principal

Parent update and partial closure of OSA 18 March 2020 Years 9, 10 and 12 only

March 17th, 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

We hope you are all well and keeping safe. Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our staff or student body. As a school, we are following the daily Government Guidance regarding COVID-19 and acting both proportionally and rationally with our response.

We are currently experiencing staff shortages, due to the need to protect our most vulnerable students and staff via self-isolation. We have therefore made the decision for a partial closure of the school until we advise otherwise.

The school will be closed for Years 9, 10 and 12 from Wednesday 18th March onwards.

Students will be expected to stay at home and complete work set by class teachers. A separate letter will be sent home regarding access and setting of work to enable our students to learn remotely from home.

All students who are at home who have been advised to self-isolate will be given a Y attendance code to indicate non-attendance due to unavoidable circumstances. During the closure students in Year 9,10 & 12 will be marked with an authorised code.

As this is an increasing picture please keep an eye on the website for potential closures to further year groups in KS3 from 19 March 2020. We are trying to maintain lessons for our Year 11 and Year 13 students for as long as possible. Can I please ask our Sixth Form students to read the email from Dr Watson with further details?

Regards

Marianne Blake

Coronavirus – Latest Update

March 16th, 2020

Year 10 Work Experience

March 11th, 2020

Seven lucky Year 10 students had the chance to work along side our very own site team during work experience week.
All seven took part in COSHH , Health & Safety and Risk Assessment training before seeing the working side of site team most people never see, from gardening work to unblocking drains, changing lock barrels to setting up assemblies, but more importantly understanding the need to work as a team and look out for another.

Onatti Play

March 10th, 2020

On Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, twelve of our Year 9 students had the unique opportunity to watch a drama performance entirely delivered in German. ‘Das Schlimmste Hotel’ (the worst hotel) was performed by the Onatti theatre group at Magdalen College School, whose work is specifically designed for learners of German at Key Stage 3 and 4. Our students were thrilled by the experience and astonished about how much of the play they were already able to understand. The experience has given them a great boost of confidence in their language skills and underlined how well they already comprehend the German language after 2 years of studying. They commented: “I really enjoyed watching the play. It was good for my listening and comprehension skills and I understood more than I thought I would” (Wiktoria).“It was very easy to understand and very enjoyable. The play was very visual and it helped me to understand the story. I was surprised about the amount of German I already knew. Overall, the play was fantastic and very educational” (Martin).

Geography Field Trip

March 9th, 2020

The most recent A Level Geography field trip took place in the second week in February. We stayed in the magnificent Grade 1 listed Nettlecombe Court in Somerset, which is a field study centre operated by the FSC. It is an historic building held before the Norman Conquest by the son of King Harold. William the Conqueror assumed possession of Nettlecombe after defeating King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. It is surrounded by 223 acres of parkland on the edge of the Exmoor National Park. Nettlecombe makes a great location for telling ghost stories!

Study sites included Minehead town and Porlock Bay; both located on the South-West Coast Path. Minehead is well known for its Butlins holiday camp which opened in the 1960s. Our students investigated the impact of coastal defences to find out whether Butlins and the sea front at Minehead will be adequately protected from the risk of coastal flooding in the future. The Porlock Bay day had the best weather with bright sunshine where we measured beach profiles and looked at the effects of a ‘Do Nothing’ approach; which is the governments’ shoreline management plan for the next 90 years.

Year 12 students will use their fieldwork to prepare for their AS Level exams and A level students built on their experience last year in order to complete coursework ready for submission just after Easter.


Student comments: “I didn’t realise that we would hear erosion taking place with the sound of the pebbles rolling in the waves on the beach – that’s pretty cool and a bit like relaxation music.”. “Staying at Nettlecombe Court was great, they have all the equipment we needed and new things to try like data loggers and apps. It’s also helped my understanding of fieldwork and changed how I look at Oxford. I’m constantly asking questions about why and how.”. “I didn’t think I’d like the food but it was actually really good and although the building we stayed in is old, all the bedrooms and classrooms are modern, warm and we had our own bathrooms too.”

Trip leader Ms Wilkinson, Senior Leader for KS3 and Head of Geography, said, “We all had a wonderful time immersed in all things geographical for three days. The students worked really hard and some stayed in the classroom until after 10pm to complete the investigations they had started; however, they did all enjoy some free time too. The coastline we studied has incredible features and controversial flood risk management. It’s a great place for an A Level field trip.”

Pen Pals

March 9th, 2020

A written exchange programme has been set up with a Spanish city called Albacete. The idea is that students will be able to communicate with people of their own age in the foreign language, and ask and learn about their culture first-hand.



Year 8 (Boys) PE lesson in Cross Country

March 9th, 2020

The boys were put into 2 groups and the task was to run the whole 2 rugby pitches TOGETHER. Some students struggled but they joined forces to motivate everyone to get to the finish line – TOGETHER. Students started making plans, positioning and pacing. Callum’s (8S1) team went first with the time 3:18 and Eshan’s (8S1) finished 3:10. Samuel (8T1) approached me saying that he lost his inhaler, but he wasn’t exactly sure whereabouts he dropped it. The whole group went out to find it, without me having to ask them. Robert (8T1) found it and gave it back to Samuel. We don’t only teach students the value of teamwork and overcoming pain to win, but also the values of humanity.

Shadows of Troy

March 9th, 2020

12 students from Year 9 took part in a Greek translation workshop run by Queens College Oxford University. They learnt about the Greek alphabet and how many English words have roots in the Greek language. Following this the students went to see the Oxford Playhouse production ‘Shadows of Troy’.
As always the students were a great credit to Oxford Spires Academy.
 

OSA Careers Week – 2-6 March

February 27th, 2020

The following events will take place next week as it is National Careers Week and we’re joining in here at Spires!

Year 10 will have Work Experience all week.
Some Year 12 students will go to Cambridge to find out about admissions.
All Year 12 will have an afternoon learning about Apprenticeships.
Some Year 11 students will visit BMW to discuss applications for apprenticeships.
Speakers on IT/Technology careers, on Creative Media and on International Business are available for students from any year. For these, students need to look at the link they have via school email.
Dr Watson will give a talk for any interested parents and students in Year 7-10 on Thursday 5 March (see parentmail invitation already issued).
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers workshops have been offered to selected parents and students in Year 7 and 8 from under-represented backgrounds (see parentmail invitation already issued).
Year 11 students will continue with their individual interviews with the careers advisors.

Careers events happen for different students in most weeks – and careers week is not the only chance students have to find out about the workplace, about different routes into careers and about university and apprenticeship admissions. If you have any suggestions for additions to the annual careers programme, or any questions, please contact Dr Watson on jwatson@oxfordspiresacademy.org

Parents’ Evening / Morning Booking System

January 29th, 2020

The booking system for Parents’ Evening/Morning (13th and 14th February Years 7,8,9 and 12) will go live Friday 31st January. Please book your appointments via the ParentMail app or desktop site.

For assistance with ParentMail please contact Sandra Poyser on spoyser@oxfordspiresacademy.org

Latest Newsletter

January 20th, 2020

Our latest newsletter is now available to download.

 

Newsletter January 2020

Yr 12 Biology Visit to the Oxford Museum of Natural History

December 18th, 2019

Y12 biologists visited The Oxford Museum of Natural History to take part in Cells Day – a series of lectures from scientists from the University on the subject of cells.

We were able to get access to the Museum before the other schools and studied the “First Animals” exhibition, covering the first evolution of multi-cellular life around 600 million years ago. This led into the talk by Peter Holland (head of the Zoology Dept) on “Why did cells stick together”. Before that was a talk introducing cells, in particular the cytoskeleton which moves structures around cells on “rail tracks”. There were also two talks on plant cells, one which challenged the pupils’ perception of plant cell structure.

In the afternoon the talks were on using bacterial cells to solve the problem of the over-use of plant fertilisers, and two on diseases. The last one, by Robert MacLaren, was about using viruses (injected by a robot) to add DNA to heal defective eye cells – the students found this particularly fascinating.

Amazing Apprenticeships

December 13th, 2019

Dear Parent

Every so often I’ll forward to you the Amazing Apprenticeships parents’ pack so you can see what kind of opportunities may be available for your child in this career pathway. OSA have sessions on Apprenticeship applications for students in Year 10-13, and we encourage students to think about different routes that might lead them to the career destination they are interested in.

Please download the pack here: Parents Pack

If you have any questions on any aspect of OSA’s careers work, please don’t hesitate to contact me on jwatson@oxfordspiresacademy.org.

Dr J Watson
Vice-Principal (Sixth Form, Careers and Enrichment)

The Scientific – Issue 2

December 12th, 2019

The OSA Medical Society has worked hard this term, sorting out work experience placements, booking a First Aid training day and meeting with Dr Jacobs, their mentor, to plan their reading and research. Many students who are interested in a medical career in Year 12, 11 and 10 have also booked on to a January conference at Oxford Brookes. They have also produced the second issue of their magazine, The Scientific – available here.

The Scientific - 11


Enjoy!

If any further students are interested in registering for the Medical Conference at Oxford Brookes on 18 and 19 January, please email jwatson@oxfordspiresacademy.org.

The ESU MACE for Sixth Form debaters

December 10th, 2019

Following the English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition, entered by Year 9 and 10 students at OSA, the next step is the MACE, the national debating competition, largely entered by Sixth Form students.  We hosted the first round at OSA last year.

This year our team – Linnet Drury, Felix Henson and Huma Khan – travelled to Abingdon School and joined in an evening of lively debate.  Opposing the motion ‘This House believes that people in the UK should be limited to one flight each a year’, the team argued ably against the team from the host school.  Though Linnet and Felix reached the national final of the ESU Public Speaking in Year 10, and Linnet was invited to join the UK team, they are building up their debate skills still and on this occasion didn’t get through to the area finals.

We look forward to further Sixth Form debating in the Oxford Schools Competition in January.

 

New College Debating

December 10th, 2019

Dr Watson, Miss Morris and Mr Hart took a group of students from Year 7 and 8 to compete in the New College Debating Competition against Cheney and New College School. This is the second year the competition has been held and we went into it with the added pressure of having won last year. One of last year’s competitors – Olivia Ward Jacobs – led the training for the Year 7 students with great skill and commitment.

They had to prepare on debate in advance on the topic of “This House believes the cost of space exploration far outweighs its benefits”. After dinner in New College Hall there was a second debate on the topic “This House believes that young people have never had it so easy”. This time students had less than half hour to prepare their speeches. All our students gave excellent performances.

Erik Moseley was awarded the prize for best speaker in the Oxford Spires team and Olivia was awarded both the prize for the best Oxford Spires summariser and the best overall summariser. In addition we were very excited to win the overall trophy meaning we maintained our 100% record in this competition.

Kids’ Lit Quiz

December 10th, 2019



On 26th November Miss Morris and Mr Sheppard took two teams of year 7 and 8 students to compete in the Oxfordshire Heat of the Kids’ Lit Quiz. This is an international quiz on children’s literature that is held all around the world with the Internation Final taking place in New Zealand this year. Our two teams had to answer 10 rounds of questions on over 100 years worth of children’s books, requiring knowledge of plots, authors, characters and illustrations. The questions were incredibly challenging and some were University Challenge and Mastermind level. After each round there was a prize for the highest scoring team on that round. If there was a tie then it went to a sudden death tie breaker.

Our B team won the prize after the round on Dreams and our A team won a tie breaker to get the prize for the Legends round. There were also prizes for the audience member that was the fastest to answer a question after each round and Miss Morris and Mr Sheppard were both very pleased to win one of these each.

In the end our B team came 7th out of 22 and our A team came 5th, beating a lot of teams from prestigious private schools. The A team was just 1.5 marks behind 3rd place and worked out that had they played their joker and doubled their score on a different round then they would have come 2nd.

Both teams had a great time and were a real credit to the school – and this competition will now become an annual event!

End Of Term Arrangements

December 9th, 2019

Dear Parents
End of term for the students is 18 December 2019. As usual we will celebrate this occasion with our End of Term Awards Assemblies. Year 7 students will also have the opportunity to watch the Annual OSA Panto.

Students will finish school at the following times:
Year 11, 12 and 13 – will be dismissed at 12.10
Year 7-10 will be dismissed at 14.10

 

 

German Student Exchange

December 9th, 2019

Now in it’s fourth year, our German Student Exchange has had yet another successful trip to Aschaffenburg and Berlin with financial support from the British Council, which we are very grateful for. The students immersed themselves in German culture and really stepped outside their comfort zone by staying with families they had never met before. We are very proud of our students’ willingness to try out new things and experience first hand how speaking another language can open doors to new possibilities you would never experience without giving it a go. Many thanks also to all the staff who supported this trip especially Mr Fanchi and Miss Stober without whom this would not have been possible. We are excited and looking forward to hosting our German friends in July.

OSA Students Meet Author Jeff Kinney

December 3rd, 2019

On Friday 22nd November, the English department took over 30 Year 7s to the Oxford Playhouse to hear from worldwide best-selling author Jeff Kinney. Some parents may be familiar with his series of books ‘the Diary of the Wimpy Kid’. The children absolutely loved seeing one of their favourite books brought to life with a range of engaging activities and lots of audience participation. The audience, which was filled with local secondary and primary schools in Oxford, were tasked with the challenge of asking Jeff a question he had never heard before during the Q and A. One of our students creatively asked “How many crocodiles have you seen in your life?”. This garnered a laugh from Jeff (who had indeed never been asked that before)and the rest of the OSA students showing their full appreciation of this through cheering an applause! 

 

House Drama

November 22nd, 2019

Thursday 7th November 2019 saw House Drama students ‘Dicing with the Decades as they created performances about key points in our history.

Our Student Captains worked tirelessly to research historical events and create a script which was interesting and presented some of the issues that we have faced or could face in the future.

The houses worked every week to develop their performances and built relationships across the year groups in the process. Each house took a different idea from the topic of dicing with the decades and found inspiration in their research.

Seacole explored the idea of a meteor crashing into the earth and ending the world

Earhart looked at the great depression and the impact it had on the theatrical world

Bannister showed the effect of communist’s vs the rich upper-class and their battle for equality

Tolkien delved into the stonewall riots and the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community

With each house making their plot decisions based on their interests and strengths it made for a difficult decision for the judges on which house they thought deserved the win. As always the House Drama competition showcased the talent of our students here at OSA as well as the developing leadership skills, creativity and perseverance of our captains. The winners on the night were:

  • Overall Winner – Tolkien
  • Best Actor – Sam Sperry Year 11
  • Best Supporting Actor – Emjay East Year 8
  • Best Actress – Naama Brittenden Year 12
  • Best Supporting Actress – Zulekha Sharif Year 13
  • Best Script – Tolkien (Freya Carter Year 11)
  • Best Lighting and Sound Design – Seacole
  • Best Costume Design – Bannister
  • Best Program – Seacole



All the houses should be proud of the hard work, determination and perseverance that they put into their performances and this year Tolkien walked away the overall winners which was well-deserved.

Year 12 Medical Society

November 13th, 2019

It’s not easy to be accepted on to a university medical degree, but some of our Sixth Form students are working really hard to make sure their applications next year are successful. They’ve set up a Medical Society and are meeting weekly, booking speaker meetings and working with one of our generous parent-mentors (who works in a local hospital) to arrange work experience and prepare for entrance tests.

One of the first things they’ve set up is a MedSoc newspaper, to showcase their research into medical issues. The latest issue is available here – The Scientific - 8

Year 11 students are welcome to join MedSoc and should let Dr Watson know if they are interested email jwatson@oxfordspiresacademy.org

They, and any interested Year 10 students, are also invited to apply for a medical conference being held at Oxford Brookes university in January. Dr Watson has emailed details to them.

Year 12 Theatre Experience

November 5th, 2019



On Thursday 24th October a group of Year 12 A Level Theatre and LAMDA students had a fun filled theatre day in wet and rainy London! We met at 8.45am at Oxford Station, to catch the 9.01am to Paddington – where we then travelled by tube to Temple and the National Theatre Archive. Everything was going brilliantly until we got delayed on the journey in and discovered the National Theatre Archive – isn’t actually at the National Theatre ‘Ooooops’.

After an hour delay on the train and some dodgey navigation we arrived at the Theatre Archive – where we had the opportunity to watch an amazing recording of Christopher Eccleston and Jodie Whittaker (2 Doctor Who’s) performing Antigone. We also got to look at original scripts, costumes and stage designs – with notes from the director!

We then hopped back on the tube and went to Stratford (sadly no time for shopping at Westfields) to see the matinee of ‘Our Lady Of Kibeho’. It was absolutely amazing – it told the true story of a teenage girl who was studying at a RC School in Rwanda who communicates with the Virgin Mary. She has beautiful visions, always accompanied by the smell of jasmine – inexplicably two more girls start to have visions of the Virgin Mary. An envoy from the Vatican comes – to disprove their story but by the end of his meetings and tests he is convinced they are telling the truth. The girls go on National Television as a celebration of an official miracle and share with Rwanda not the beautiful vision of ‘the garden of God’ but of a country bathed in blood, death and destruction! A vision of the atrocities to come, thirteen years later in 1994 over one million Tutsi’s were brutally tortured and murdered during the countries genocide.

It was then back on the Tube to Covent Garden for Street Theatre and food and then to the Peacock Theatre in Holborn, for the second show of the day! ‘Some Like it Hip Hop’ was a complete shift in mood and emotion but equally as fantastic as the first show. Set in a world where woman are valueless, allowed only to do the most menial of tasks. Where men have all the power and privilege – in a world where books are banned and reading is outlawed. Two women set out to prove that the female of the species is just as able as the male. Disguised in suits and fake facial hair they infiltrate the world of the all-male office! The whole story is told through, narration, song, music, hip hop and street dance. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ the comical tale of love, mistaken identity, cross dressing and revelation was a great way to end a FANTASTIC day!

National Poetry Day

October 24th, 2019

For National Poetry Day, the wonderful Timi Amusan (in Year 13 last year and now studying at Portsmouth University) is Oxford City Poet. He was interviewed last term on Radio Oxford, but they have also made a film of his National Poetry Day poem for the city – . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ou9wXomWsg

OSA poets have had a very good first term…

October 24th, 2019

First we heard that two of our students had beaten 16,000 entrants from across the world and were announced as finalists in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year.  Congratulations to Annie Davison (Year 12) and Helen Woods (who left last summer and is now reading English at Wadham College, Oxford).  Their poems are on the Foyle website at
https://poetrysociety.org.uk/competitions/foyle-young-poets-of-the-year-award/ and they were interviewed by Lily Mitchell at Radio Oxford earlier this month
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07ndt0s Listen from about 1:36:00

House Drama – Tickets on Sale Now!

October 17th, 2019

Square Go

October 14th, 2019

On Tuesday 8th October a small select group of GCSE Drama students went to The North Wall Theatre to see the award winning ‘Square Go’, it was hilarious, poignant and very, very colourful!
We meet Max and his mate Stevie, two thirteen year old boys hiding in the school ‘bogs’ just before the bell for the end of the day – when Max has got to step up for his ‘Square Go’ (a fight, scrap, ruck) at the school gates with the never actually seen, Danny Guthrie!! However, before he can wrestle the school bully, he must first wrestle his own demons. With the help of his weird wee pal Stevie he goes on a journey of self-discovery before learning there are some fears you just have to face and growing up is one of them!

Look out for up and coming trips and events; House Drama – 7th November. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (West End Theatre Trip – KS4) 4th December. Plus a KS3 Theatre Trip TBC

Maths Mayhem!

October 8th, 2019

OSA held one of its most successful primary events on Wednesday 2 October when 15 teams of Year 5 and 6 pupils from 9 local primary schools came to compete in the annual team competition.

Although it was after school, all the students showed great energy and commitment to solving their maths problems! Many thanks to all the OSA students who helped Miss Morris and Mr Sheppard run such a successful evening.

Winners this year came from St Andrew’s Primary, followed by a team from Tyndale. Congratulations to them, and to all who took part!







Year 13 Classical Civilisation A level students at the Ashmolean

October 8th, 2019

Classical Civilisation is a new A level for OSA this year and 14 students are in the first group. They have to study literature texts from Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as places and artefacts important in classical culture.

On 1 October, they took part in a study day run by the Ashmolean and the Classics Faculty, and attended lectures and workshops on a range of topics from Greek theatre audiences, to coins, to pottery. They also had the chance to see the current exhibition at the Ashmolean – Last Supper in Pompeii.





‘Wicked’ was wicked!!

October 8th, 2019

On Thursday 3rd of October a group of 48 Drama and Music students travelled to the sparking emerald city of Oz, via London’s Victoria Apollo Theatre.

The story begins with Galinda the good witch telling the citizens of Oz that Dorothy, with her faithful dog Toto, has killed the wicked witch of the West – to great celebrations and joy!

The story then leaps back in time and we discover the real story of the Wizard, Tin Man, Straw Man and Cowardly Lion – it tells the tale of two unlikely friends, Elphaba and Galinda, who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, multiple frilly dresses and reactions to the Wizard of Oz’s corrupt government, and ultimately Elphaba’s public fall from grace and tragic demise!

It was a FANTASTIC evening with a gorgeous group of students whose behaviour and conduct were a credit to themselves and the school!

Look out for up and coming trips and events; House Drama – 7th November. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (West End Theatre Trip – KS4) 4th December. Plus a KS3 Theatre Trip TBC

Careers Interviews start for Year 11

October 8th, 2019

As the end of GCSE work looms in the distance for Year 11 students, they are beginning to consider their future paths. Later in the term, on Thursday 17 October, they will have an options afternoon, looking at OSA Sixth Form courses and applications, at applying to the City of Oxford College and at finding out about apprenticeships. Almost 40 students have also registered their interest in taking part in New College’s Step Up group, and workshops for that begin in October too.

All students in Year 11 are also seeing our careers advisor, Mr Bingham, individually before Christmas. Students are advised to keep an eye on their school email for appointment times. Parents will be able to see the Action Plan Mr Bingham prepares for them as soon as their interview is completed.

Any questions about progression after GCSEs, please talk to your son/daughter’s Head of House, or contact Dr Watson, who is in charge of the Sixth Form at OSA and also oversees careers work.

Merton College Library hosts EPQ students

October 8th, 2019

Sixth Form students taking Extended Project Qualifications this year had a research skills session on 12 September at Merton College Library. The college, part of the university’s library network, gave our students access to academic resources and students planned their reading for the term ahead on the independent projects they are planning. These are, for most students, 5000 word essays on a topic of their own choice, usually connected with the subject they plan to study at university.
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The Merton librarians were most helpful, and thanks to them for their time. Following this session students took part in a research day at the Bodleian on 24 September.