In a different format to the usual sports day that we hold annually, sports day took place over the course of 2 days, Monday and Tuesday of this week, as well as the traditional track and field events our students had the opportunity to take part in other physical activities including handball, table tennis, dodgeball, basketball and a fitness challenge. Whilst the emphasis for these events was on fun there was very much a competitive edge to the track and field events. It would be safe to say that this year was our most successful in terms of competitiveness, close-run races and displays of pure determination and resilience.
There were many highlights from the events but aside from the staff relay and obligatory bending of the rules in that one, it was the 1500 metres races, a new event for our sports day, that captured the hearts. Every last one of the students that took part put in a tremendous effort and battled all the way to the end, regardless of where they were going to finish in the race.
21 boys and 18 girls in Year 7 took part in the 1500 metres races and there were well over the usual 8 taking part in year 8 and 9 races. At the end of the two day festival of athletics, an assembly was held where to the delight of Mr Harries, Christie House were crowned sports day champions!
Whilst every one of the students that took part in sports day was superb there were some stand out performances in terms of old school records broken and in the case of the 1500 metres and hurdles brand new records set. The students listed below broke school records:
1500 metres (no previous record set)
Year 7; Ellie Denby and Reef Beer
Year 8: Amelia Batten and Charlie Nunn
Year 9: Emma Harrison and Cain Less
Hurdles (no previous records set)
Year 7: Ellie Denby and Aiden Bovey
Year 8: Ella Sandbrook and Troy Riley
Year 9: Olivia Foster and Lewis Barbour
100 metres; Year 7 Boys – Harry Clarke
400 metres: Year 9 Girls – Emma Harrison
Year 7 Girls – Penny Richards
Year 7 Boys – Reef Beer
Year 8 Boys – Charlie Nunn
Year 9 Girls – Emma Harrison
Year 9 Boys – Ben Aldous
Year 7 Girls – Abi Anderson
Year 9 Boys – Connor Berry-Mills
Year 7 Boys – Charlie Stevens
Year 9 Boys – Ellis Knowles
Year 7 Girls – Darwin
Year 7 Boys – Brunel
Year 8 Girls – Brunel
Year 9 Girls – Darwin
Was it the sporting highlight of the day the staff house relay? No. But the students loved cheering on their house staff!
Not content with hogging the limelight for two whole days, the PE Department finished off with their annual sports awards on Tuesday evening. Once again it was a very pleasant reminder of how successful our students are both in terms of school team performances but also in terms of team and individual performances that students compete in outside of school.
There was some real talent on show on the evening, everyone who was nominated for an award should be very proud because you all deserved to be there and any one of you could have been the winner of an award, however there can only be one winner per category. Those listed below should feel very proud of themselves. We were very fortunate to secure the services of David Hill for the evening, David was born with no left forearm but was brought up to believe there was no such word as can’t. Through hard work and passion, David went on to represent Great Britain at the highest level for 15years. David is a 2 x Paralympian in Swimming & Triathlon, World & European Medallist, British Champion and was TeamGB’s Youngest Athlete at the Athens 2004 Paralympics and Top 10 Finisher in the Rio de Janerio 2016 Paralympic Games. He delivered an inspirational speech, took pat in a Q and A session and presented the prizes.
The winners were:
Key Stage 3 Boys – Harley Sneap
Key Stage 3 Girl – Ava Sams
Key Stage 4 Boy – Harry Denby
Key Stage 4 Girl – Wiktoria Jarosz
Key Stage 5 – Joe Croft
Attitude Towards PE – Kole Gjikolaj
Contribution to Sport – William Bevan
Young Leader – Lizzie Harris
Individual Performance – Elizabeth Cameron
Sportsmanship Award – Ellie Mitchell
Team of the Year – Sixth Form Football Team
On Tuesday afternoon we held our annual TA Summer Fest event for the whole school to enjoy. The entire event was planned and delivered by the 6th form music students as part of their BTEC Level 3 music course. The outdoor Summer Festival, now in its 4th year, included a full lineup of music on the outdoor stage, a variety of stalls and activities pus a BBQ for everyone to enjoy. We also had the return of the ‘Rave Cave’; the drama studio was converted into a live music technology venue which featured a professional set of decks, visuals and sound system.
The sixth form music students were responsible for every aspect of the event including the site plan, advertising, merchandise, stage set up, the line up, sound engineering, risk assessment and budget to name just a few things! All students who were involved in the festival were an absolute credit to the school, be it as performers, tech crew, stall managers, sound engineers or spectators. A wonderful afternoon in which everyone at TA came together to celebrate the musical talents of our youngsters. An amazing event!
On Wednesday the watersports students spent a day on the Moors gorge walking in the river Plym. This involved scrambling over rocks as they climbed up the river, sliding down rocks into the river, exploring tunnels and generally getting completely soaked. On Thursday they were paddle boarding at Goodrington and then moved onto Churston Cove where we spent the afternoon climbing up rocks and jumping into the sea. Everyone challenged themselves with the jumps and they saw quite a few jellyfish along the way as well as a seal! On Friday they spent the day surfing at Bigbury.
Students had a wonderful week climbing, kayaking and coasting, great fun had by all!
Music Students at Mad Cool in Madrid
Our Year 12 Music students went what they have described as “the best school trip ever” to Madrid to attend the Mad Cool Festival. They got to see many different performers including Noel Gallagher, Iggy Pop and the Chemical Brothers. A huge shout out to all of our music students who have represented Torquay Academy so well. They have been a privilege to take abroad. Here’s to the rest of their Summer.
A group of students enjoyed the beautiful weather by taking sail on the Bay. Plenty of drenchings, capsizing and laughter. Some have gone from never setting foot in a dinghy to confidently sailing to a beach for lunch and recovering a man overboard. We also had a paddle board instructor for a session on Friday to help us with developing other important on-the-water skills.They had a wonderful time and improved their sailing skills under expert tuition.
Students enjoyed a carousel of visits at Crealy, Woodlands and Splashdown. There were lots of tired students and staff by the end of Friday!
One of the free, in school activities this week was ‘craft’. Students had the opportunity to try a range of activities, ranging from making sock monkeys (or sock sloths or a crocodile) to painting egg cups and embroidering shopping bags.
Great TA Bake Off
It has been a great three days designing and making pizzas and cakes this week which resulted in delicious smells coming from the food technology department. Well done to the students below who were winners in the competition today.
1st Sian Burton – Black Forest Gateau
2nd Tyler-James Nunn – Wimbledon coloured cake
Commendations went to Riccardo Iordache for his chocolate brownies and Monika Petrova for her Strawberry Mouse Cake
Staff and students have had a great time for Harry Potter Activities Week. We have experienced House Sorting, Potion Making and Wand Crafting. Students have had their knowledge of Harry Potter put to the test in movie quizzes. And not forgetting to mention a trip to the WB Harry Potter studios in London where the movies were bought to life!
We’ve had a nerdy few days at Geek Week! As well as rooms dedicated to video games, board games and film screenings, each day had various activities set up for students to fight to prove themselves the ultimate geek. Wednesday saw the students of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw battle it out in DDR and Mario Kart tournaments to crown the ultimate champion, as well as taking part in a live-action version of Pokemon Go.
Thursday had our students testing out their art skills as they designed their own superheroes and anime characters, before practising their chopstick expertise in a relay race and later testing their geek credentials in a quiz.
On Friday, we started the day with Iron Cosplay, where students get 15 minutes to create a costume for their model out of the supplies they’re given. After three rounds of chaos, cardboard and tape, Slytherin emerged as the temporary champions! But with two activities to go as this was written, who knows who will win overall…
Art and Photography
Mrs Lynch and Mr Haring have spent the most amazing three days with their very enthusiastic and talented art & photography students creating original and unique art pieces. Inspiration for the artworks produced, began with a trip to The Barbara Hepworth Gallery in St Ives. This visit was been followed up by a number of exciting and challenging art workshops back at school. The students have gained enormously from the three days and have learnt many new techniques including additive and subtractive sculpture.
Attention to detail, problem-solving and high-quality delivery were strong skills that were developed in the robotics this week.
Work Experience 2019
Work experience has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to get a taste of the world of work. There have been 213 placements this year in a wide variety of work places, including architects, engineering firms, garages, restaurants, graphic designers, primary schools, leisure centres, hairdressers, accountants, construction companies and many more.
The students have learned a lot about resilience, initiative, team work and perseverance. We have had lots of very nice comments from the employers including a selection below:
“She has been punctual, polite and well turned out. The feedback from all our staff has been very positive. If she wanted to do an apprenticeship in childcare later on I hope she would apply to our nursery. Childcare needs people like her.”
“We have had a very successful week: he has been an excellent work placement student. He has been punctual, polite, interested, and has engaged fully with all the activities during the week.”
“We have thoroughly enjoyed having the two students this week. They have been amazing and are welcome anytime.”
“She has been fabulous and is a credit to the school.”
“His attitude for a young lad was fantastic.”
“Fabulous! A real asset to the team. Positive, hard working and fun.”
“I was actually very impressed by his attitude and general interaction throughout his placement. He was professional, courteous, asked appropriate questions and was willing to get stuck in with some research I set him. Although I had my doubts as to the benefits the student would gain, his interaction made it so much easier to show him the processes we follow when dealing with clients. It was actually a great experience for the office, which is credit to him.”
“She has been exceptional – would offer her a full time position.”
“A very cheerful and polite young man with a good sense of humour. He was well presented and arrived to work in a timely manner.”
“Both boys have had a fantastic attitude, very polite and enthusiastic to carry out all tasks. They were early each day for work. They were a credit to the school and themselves. Both of the lads will be working for us during the summer.”
There were many more comments in a similar vein. We are extremely grateful to all our employers for giving students the opportunity to work with their company. Without them, work experience would not be possible.
I am delighted that our students have gone out of their comfort zone to arrange these placements, to make contact with employers, and to work hard during the week. It has set them up brilliantly for their work in year 11 and we look forward to great things from them in the future.
English Department Sorting
Year 10 students have been hard at work preparing our book stock for September tutor reading. They have also been down in the Study Centre learning librarianship skills and labelling books ready for the introduction of Accelerated Reader in September.
Twelve Year 8 Brilliant Club students attended their graduation ceremony at the University of Bristol last week.
This was the culmination of the six week programme with our PhD tutor, Emily Marsay, of the School of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter. They studied “What makes a great Prime Minister”, which included an in-depth study of politics, including the careers of Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher. As part of this, they wrote a 1500-word essay about their learning. All the students’ essays were highly regarded, attaining 2:1 or 2:2 grade. They received their certificates at a ceremony at the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol, with several parents able to attend. It was fascinating to see another university and get a flavour of university life.
We are very grateful to Emily for her guidance throughout, and to our Brilliant Club patron Nancy Galloway for her support in enabling us to run the programme. We are very proud of the students and wish them well in their future studies.
Year 7 have been conducting a number of practicals in science during this week to test the variety of skills they have developed over the academic year. Here a selection of year 7 scientists are investigating the effect the angle of a slope has on the maximum velocity of a car!
Last week saw students take part in the annual swimming gala. Well done to all students who received certificates.
Year 7 boys
Year 7 girls
Year 8 boys
Year 8 girls
It was lovely to hear this week that 3 of our Under 15 girls have been selected to represent Devon Under 16s next season. Ocean Latto continues where she left off with the team last year, whilst Taylor Ford and Ellie Mitchell are two new additions to the team. All three girls work extremely hard at their sport and deserve all the plaudits that come their way. You read it here first, but all three really do have a great future in football ahead of them. Well done, girls.
We also wish sixth form student Harry Ford all the very best this week as he has been having trials with Bristol City, another one to watch out for in the future.
Finally on the sporting front and a return to athletics it was lovely to hear that Grace and Jazz Povey representing Torbay Athletics Club took on fellow Year 7 students Ava Sams and Hannah Carr representing South Devon Athletics Club in the Pearson Inter Club Cup at the weekend. All 4 girls performed fantastically well for their teams, bragging rights for the overall winning team would go to Ava and Hannah whilst Grace and Jazz can claim a first in the 4 x 100 metres relay, great friendly rivalry from four very dedicated girls.
This year has been a great one for Literacy intervention with more students than ever making progress.
Literacy intervention offers students a wide range of different programs and packages of support, this means that each student will receive dedicated help tailored to their individual needs. Lexia is one of these programs, that helps the students improve their Literacy skills and understanding through five different levels of activities, teaching skills ranging from vowels and syllable sounds to Latin and root meanings.
In order to complete all five levels, students need to show dedication to their learning, both in and out of school. A huge congratulations to all the students who succeeded in completing the Lexia program this year.
Pictured are this year’s finishers, Harry Langford, Chloe Syms, William Reed, Jack Whiscombe and Kacper Taterynowicz. Also finishing but not pictured are Kacy Fairhurst and Libby-Marie Marshall
The climbing wall is complete! It looks incredible and will be a great addition to our PE curriculum and after school clubs. A lot of the flooring has now been laid and the majority of the building has been painted. Over the next couple of weeks, the lighting and sound will be added ready for September.