Welcome to the OLA Newsletter, 11 June 2021
Watch this week's video message from Mr Oliver and read The Principal's Blog

At OLA we encourage pupils above all to follow their interests, providing a broad range of options to enable them to do so. Every single subject gives value over and beyond the subject matter involved. Good teachers don’t just open a door to knowledge but, whatever their specialism, teach skills that go beyond it. In this way our children develop into rounded human beings with a range of personal and academic aptitudes that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives.”  

In his blog this week Mr Oliver tell us about his favourite – and least favourite! – subjects as a school pupil, and reflects on what comprises a broad and balanced curriculum.
Read The Principal's Blog
For Your Attention:
  1. House Bake Offs, 16 and 23 June
  2. Photographer needed for Year 11 Prom, 25 June
  3. The OLA 6th Leavers’ Ball Friday 9th July at Garden House
  4. Year 10, 11 and 12 new cashless card system for when the Café Mall reopens in September.  
The final Parent Voice meeting of this academic year was held on Friday 21 May 2021 attended by Mr Oliver, Dr Reynaert and the parent reps. A summary is now available on Classlist.
Read More
We are delighted to announce that Mr Sissons, OLA’s Head of Careers, has been appointed as Acting Head of OLA 6th from October next year, when Dr Lawson begins her period of maternity leave. Mr Sissons has extensive previous experience in the role and will work closely with Mr Allen and Mrs Sharkey to ensure that our Sixth Formers receive the best possible academic and pastoral care while Dr Lawson is away.
We wish Dr Lawson all the very best for the happy event that awaits her next year.
We have been having some technical issues with our careers page on the Learn Live channel but we are now glad to say that it is up and running properly. You can register on the page so that you have full access to the site and the wide range of careers advice and guidance available.
If you do want to leave a message for Mr Sissons concerning anything careers related, then please do so in the chat function; he is in school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8.00 am until 2.00 pm.
Celebrating the Achievements of Sport 
The weekend of the 29 May 2021 saw the first proper racing for serious water sport athletes since the start of the Covid restrictions in 2020. Athletes from OLA were delighted to qualify for and attend the National Schools Regatta (NSR) and Junior Sculling Regatta (JSR), held at Dorney Lake.
Huge congratulations to OLA’s rowers! 
In the Junior Sculling regatta Ellie Ashley-Carter (Year 10) is ranked 5th in the country after rowing in the single. James Evans (Year 10) is now ranked 6th in the country with his team mate in the double sculls. James Lamboll (Year 10) and his team are ranked 12th in the country after competing in coxed quad and Delphi Macaulay (Year 10) and her quad finished in 21st position.  Whilst in the National Schools Regatta Istvan Bessenyei (OLA 6th) had a successful 2 days and is now 5th in the country in the double sculls. 

All the above athletes will be on stage again at the National Junior Championships in Nottingham in the middle of July, where they hope to put their hard training to the test again, at National level. Amazing!

Also in Water Sports…
Gabriel (Y11) competed at the National Canoeing Sprint Regatta at the National Water Centre at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham. He achieved gold in the 10000m sprint for U16's and is now the fastest U16 canoeist in the UK. 
Well done Gabriel!


Meanwhile, in Hockey…

Matthew (Y11) last week competed at the England U16 Hockey Semi-Finals with his team from Oxford City Hockey Club, where they had a fantastic win 2-0.

We look forward to hearing about the final.
And to Netball…

Ava (Y6) recently attended trials for Trinity, a local based Netball Club, where the coach said she showed great promise and determination on the court. Ava has a great attitude and the ability to play well in various positions. Ava has been asked to join Trinity Netball Club where she will train in the evenings and play matches at the weekend. Congratulations and good luck, Ava.
House Bake Offs 16 and 23 June

The House Teams are looking for pupils to take part in the House Bake Offs which start next week. On Wednesday 16 June, Years 9 and 10 are challenged to make a delicious stir fry and on Wednesday 23 June, Years 7 and 8 will be competing to make the perfect vegetarian pizza. If you are interested in taking part, please let your House Teams or Mme Gallacher or Mrs Gable know. Each Bake Off needs two team members per House and teams can be from different year groups. Bon appétit!
Lower School Council Pond Work

At the start of the Trinity Term, the Lower School Council decided that we should restore the pond at the back of the playground.  
They spent two weeks planning the restoration, designing the new pond, and researching how to empty the pond, keep it clean, and attract animals. The team especially wanted to incorporate their COVID-19 rocks and their yellow colour. Work is ongoing and the team hope to finish the new pond by the end of the school year.
Read More
French Day - May 2021
With lots of panache and a dash of Je ne sais quoi, we celebrated our French Day.  The Lower School pupils enjoyed dressing up and looked very chic sporting bleu, blanc et rouge, breton stripes and berets. Pupils enjoyed French-themed games, singing, and food and drink. Sampling French culture and practising their language skills this way made the pupils really energised and keen to do well. William summed up his delight with "It's the best day of my life!". Mais oui!
Volunteer Photographer Wanted

Have you got a good camera and can you spare an hour on Prom night (7pm, Fri 25 June) to take formal photographs of the Year 11’s to mark their special occasion?
Learning Journeys is back!
At the age of 87, in the year 1562, Michelangelo, the largely self-taught Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet proclaimed ‘ancora imparo’….’I am still learning’. This was the concept behind Learning Journeys, which emerged last year during remote learning and is back, bigger and better this year!
Learning Journeys is a creative lifelong learning programme for Year 11 and Upper Sixth in which the pupils are offered a choice of directed and purposeful activities after their official lessons are complete, aimed at assisting their progression to further study.
New Cashless Catering Services - Coming Soon!
We are introducing a system to allow Year 11 and OLA 6th pupils to prepay and order school lunch as well as purchase items during break time. In these Covid times, we are endeavouring to eliminate the need for cash across our site, whilst still providing a full catering service to our pupils. The new system will give parents and carers the ability to add money to their children's accounts via their provided student ID cards and more!  Further communications will be sent out when the system is live, with instructions on how to register, add children to your account and top up your balance.
An interesting article from the University of Oxford
A comic for teens (and parents) explaining circadian rhythms, light, mood, sleep phases and a quiz! 
Read more here and see the comic here 
We hope you've enjoyed this look at the latest OLA news. If you have news for the next edition, the deadline for pictures and copy is Wednesday 16 June.
Please send your stories and any feedback/ideas to 
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Our mailing address is:  Radley Road, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxon OX14 3PS
Tel: 01235 524658

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Our Lady's Abingdon · Radley Rd · Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 3PS · United Kingdom