DARK MATTER DAY – 31st October 2018
On October 31, 2018, the world celebrated the historic hunt for the unseen—something that scientists refer to as dark matter. Scientists believe that dark matter, which we have so far only detected through its gravity-based effects in space, makes up about a quarter (26.8 percent) of the total mass and energy of the universe.
To celebrate Dark Matter day a guest speaker, Dr Vincent Smith (M.B.E, M.A, Ph.D, F.Inst.P) from the University of Bristol came to give a presentation to students in Years 9-13. Dr Smith’s area of research is Elementary Particle physics and he has taken part in experiments at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) and Fermilab (Illinois, USA).
The presentation was incredibly well received from our students and raised many excited questions about this area of Physics. The presentation was built on the understanding of Physics from the current GCSE specification and emphasized the link between the current studies and their potential future in particle physics.
Physics Skype Presentation
On Friday a further guest speaker, Dr Samuel Henry (B.Sc., Ph.D.) from the University of Oxford, gave a presentation via Skype to our A level Physics students plus a few of our Year 11s who have shown an interest in pursuing Physics as a career in the future. Dr Henry’s job involves developing particle detectors and related gadgets for tackling fundamental questions in Physics. He is currently working on the upgrade of the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The presentation was broken down into three parts, the evidence for the existence of dark matter, how our current model cannot explain its existence and how his research is trying to detect dark matter. The students were thoroughly engaged throughout his presentation with many of them saying how awesome, inspiring and informative it was. This was reflected in the student’s high quality questions, some of which included:
‘In the theory of supersymmetry, does the anti-matter have a parallel counterpart?’
‘How does a muon have 207 times the mass of an electron?’
‘If supersymmetry is a possible theory, when will the particles stop being discovered?’
He also gave some great advice to any student thinking of studying Physics at degree level such as ensuring they question the Science articles they read in the media and don’t assume every article is the complete story. It was a thoroughly inspirational presentation and will hopefully encourage the next generation of Physicists to follow suit.
On Friday 2nd November, Miss Fannon and Miss Nash, along with a group of some of our hardest working Year 11s, attended a lecture led by AQA Chief Examiner Simon Ross. The students listened carefully to a lecture about exam technique with a real focus on physical geography, a vital element for their Paper 1 exam in the summer.
Lego Builders Creations!
On Thursday Morning two Year 8 students, Alfie Lang and Dylan Weatherburn-Bird, created these Lego creations which was part of their Lego Therapy on Thursday Morning which gives students the chance to create something which helps with concentration and focus.
Year 10 Chemistry
This week Mrs Astle has set the challenge to her Year 10 classes to complete four experiments over two lessons. They have been provided with the methods, results tables to complete and analysis questions. These lessons have been designed with two reasons in mind. Firstly, the experiments are part of the required practicals that all students need to complete during their Science education time, and secondly, she want to build resilience in the students. After going through the safety rules, the students were expected to work in teams to complete the practicals within a set time. Mrs Astile is really pleased with how well they are doing.
Year 11 Biology
Dr O’Hanlon’s Year 11 Biology group, 11T9, reviewed their learning about the different reagents used in Food testing this week. The students used a variety of different biochemical tests in order to identify positive results for different nutrients in several different food samples. Here are some of the student’s positive results.
This week has seen our first student of the year complete the Lexia literacy program. A massive congratulations to William Reed in Year 7. Completing the entire program in a record breaking time has involved a lot of hard work and dedication, both during the school day and at home. William has made an excellent start to his time at Torquay Academy and the literacy skills and knowledge William has learnt through Lexia will help him continue to achieve and succeed.
Hannah Carr in 7P made a fantastic start to the Wildnight Run series 2018/19. She finished 1st girl in the 9-11 2K race The Night Templer (20/10). This trail run at Stover Park took the runners through forest & around Stover Lake lit only by their head torches. Well done, Hannah!
Football Superstar in the Making
Scarlett started playing football at age 7 for primary school and loved it so much she gave up all her other hobbies so she could focus on being the best she could. She began training with Select Soccer and then gained the opportunity to play for Plainmoor girls. By Year 8 Scarlett moved on to play for Stoke Gabriel which later became Brixham. Alongside Brixham she played for Plymouth Aspire. She was invited into Plymouth Argyle’s player Development Centre after trialling with them in 2017. She now plays for Newton Fire, Plymouth Aspire and earlier this year trialled and got in to play for Plymouth Argyle under 16s. She has shown true passion and determination – she trains 4 evenings every week and has matches on Saturdays and Sundays. She is hoping to play professionally for a career and focuses all her attention outside of her studies to achieve this goal.
Team TA Sports Roundup
Into the FA Youth Cup 2nd Round
On Monday our First Team, playing for Torquay United, faced Totton & Eling at Plainmoor in the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup. It was watched by a big crowd for local youth football as the excitement starts to build around the area of how well our boys are doing this competition. The game started with us scoring in the first minute from a corner and then dominating for the next ten minutes. This was great to see but also lead to us taking our foot off the gas thinking it would be easy and started to do things that were not part of the game plan.
We still had enough about us to go in at half time in front but we were still looking for a better performance. We came out for the 2nd half and finished the job off winning the game 4-1 with goals coming from Olaf Koszela x 2, Harry Smith & Jamie Passmore. We now have Maidenhead United (away) in the 2nd round to be played in the next two weeks, This game is huge for our boys as the winner of this game will go into the 3rd round of the cup when all the premiership teams enter so if that’s not incentive enough then I don’t know what is. I believe the boys have enough ability to get through so let’s hope we can beat Maidenhead and draw a huge team in the 3rd round, keep your eyes peeled.
ESFA National Elite Cup
TA 4-2 Victory v South Devon College
Wednesday was our first meeting with South Devon College in the ESFA National Cup, we were drawn to play away against them at Stoke Gabriel so we knew the pitch would be good for the style of football we like to play.
Being the only two schools now that run a football programme in the area this was going to be the first test between the two new sides for the 2018/19 season. Preparation for this game was difficult due to the FA Youth Cup two days before so we had to go through bits in the analysis room on the screen rather than train so the boys could rest. The game started how we thought and we dominated possession and had many chances to score early on; our passing game was crisp, our strikers were finding space and our midfielders were controlling the game. At half time we went in 3-0 up with goals from Olaf Koszela, Luke Selly and Zak Chalmers Wood – we had so many chances looking back on the video it could have been 7/8.
In the second half we came out knowing they would have to throw everything at us to try and get back into the game and that’s what they did, playing more direct and trying to play over the top of us they created a few chances through our lack of communication. Cole Harford then scored direct from a corner to make it 4-0 with 30 minutes to go. We then made some changes and gave some players a rest after the busy 3 days.
With the game becoming very stop-start due to silly free kicks and stops in play we lost our focus for a bit and allowed them two very soft goals near the end which the boys know wasn’t good enough as our clean sheet tally this season has been very good and we let that slip through poor mistakes. With the game finishing 4-2 and us advancing into the next round we know we could have scored many more through the chances we had and we were sloppy with the goals. Looking ahead it will give us bits to work on moving forward and we will only improve and continue to get better.
Year 7 boys’ rugby continued this week with three games at TBGS. The team is still developing and learning the game and another four students completed their debut this week. That’s a total of over thirty Year 7s who have represented the school so far at rugby. The boys managed a win against Cuthbert Mayne, a draw against TBGS Bs and unfortunately lost to a very well drilled TBGS A team. What the team lacks in technical knowledge at the moment they certainly make up for in sheer determination and commitment both in the tackle and with ball in hand going forward. Outstanding performances from Tommy Aldous, Sean Fitzpatrick, Harrison Clarke, Jay Tout, Will Green and Will Harrison. Also notable contributions from Zac Steele, Kieren Dale, Ben Gosnall, Jeb Whatley, Will Reed, Robyn Preitling with debutantes Will Hemus, Oliver Philips, Cole Shobrook and Owen Woodcock getting their first run out and doing a great job.
Well done to all involved. Training next week is on Tuesday and Wednesday after school in preparation for a tournament next Friday
Students of the Week
Students of the Week this week with Mr Pugh, Mr Chadwick and me are; Willow Cronje – Yr 11, Aaliyah Harford-Brown – Yr 9, Kieran Parker – Yr 12, Evie Heron – Yr 7, Kieran Bailey – Yr 13′ Charlie Clarke – Yr 10, Katie Packer – Yr 8
House Stars of the Week
Brunel – Harrison Clarke
Christie – Chayden Talbot
Darwin – Ben Gosnell
Fawcett – Oliver Lucas
Harrison – Isabel Blamey
Kitson – Evie Heron
Nearne – Olivia Painter
Pengelly – Melissa Arscott
Brunel – Poppy Rogers
Christie – Grace Cayford
Darwin – Riccardo Iordache
Fawcett – Angus Graham
Harrison – Amelia Barrett
Kitson – Milla Schwarz
Nearne – Leo Dunkley
Pengelly – Alfie Lang
Brunel – Amy Woolacott
Christie – Aaliyah Harford-Brown
Darwin – Yun Xin Liu
Fawcett – Felix Houghton
Harrison – Anthony Brooking
Kitson – William Heron
Nearne – Jay Rich
Pengelly – Molly Rose
New Dining Hall Extension
It is hard to see from this picture, but we now have a floor and some walls.
The sheer scale of our theatre is becoming apparent as the foundations are built.