Amazing music showcase, future teachers and fruit flies

Upper School Music Showcase

16.11.18 MA 116.11.18 MA2


On Tuesday this week, we were treated to an evening full to the brim with talent in our first ever Upper School Music Showcase. The evening consisted of Y11 exam performances, sixth form music and music technology performances and concluded with performances from our Music Academy. The evening was simply outstanding and featured one brilliant performance after another. The atmosphere was electric and both performers and audience alike had a fantastic evening. I can’t wait until our Christmas Concert on Wednesday 19th December.


Budding future teachers enlightened by specialist conference

16.11.18 Future teachers1 16.11.18 Future teachers2

Sixth Form students attended an informative conference at Buckfast Abbey alongside peers from other south-west schools interested in teaching as a profession. The ‘Future Teachers’ event aimed to bust the myths behind teaching with a broad range of speakers as well as hands-on learning activities such as how to count 1-10 in Japanese using memorable actions! Students were also able to quiz experienced teachers, those newly qualified and under-graduate and post-graduate trainees. Reflections upon the day included the following comments:

“It gave an insight of what courses and routes are best for you” Katie L
“It will really help me with my university application” Lauren L
“Talking to real life students will help me write my personal statement in my university application” Oli C
“I now know what I need to do to get on the right course” Rebecca V
“It has opened my eyes to new routes into primary teaching” Kieran P

Enterprise Twitter launch

16.11.18 Enterprise Twitter Launch

The Enterprise Learning Area have recently created their own Twitter account to showcase the ongoing great work being completed by students in Design & Technology, Food & Cookery, Product Design, Computing, Health and Social Care, Child Development, Construction, Business Studies and Automotive Engineering. Please follow the account to see achievements, videos, photos, links to thought-provoking articles, learning opportunities and much more.

Highlights this week include excellent Automotive exam results, bird box practical work, laser cut lid designs, progress with the Greenpower car and a 3D scan of me to name but a few!


Ex-Students Talk about University Life

16.11.18 Uni Life1 16.11.18 Uni Life2

Yr 13 University applicants were privileged to have a visit from ex-students Aimee Morgan and Beth Rainbird in Friday’s Assembly to talk about University Life. Both girls are studying at Bournemouth University – Beth in Media Communications and Aimee in Business.

The girls delivered an interesting and informative presentation covering all aspects of life at university that will certainly guide our Yr 13 in their next steps.


Geography Trip to Plymouth

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The Geography team and 60 of our Year 11 geographers spent the day in Plymouth City Centre to conduct their GCSE Human field work. Students were a credit to the school as they collected data, completed pedestrian counts and investigated how Plymouth has changed over time.


Science Club Investigates

16.11.18 Science club

Miss Aldworth-Jones is running our year 7 and 8 science club on Thursdays after school. This week students were investigating what happened when a lit candle in a saucer of water had a jar placed on top and then figuring out why the water was drawn up into the jar. They investigated different sized candles and jars to see if this changed the effect, which is actually caused by a difference in pressure between the air in the jar and atmospheric pressure. Pictured here is Alana Mitchell, Sonny Jackson and Layla Batteniss.



Year 13 Biology Genetics studies

16.11.18 Photo 1 anaesthetizing the flies16.11.18 Photo 2 gently brushing the flies onto a white tile

16.11.18 Photo 3 using a paint brush to place the flies in their new home16.11.18 Photo 4 flies are sorted and males are placed with females

Over the next few weeks Dr O’Hanlon’s Year 13 Biologists will be undertaking some genetic cross experiments using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. The fruit fly is an excellent model to study genetics because it has a short life cycle, simple reproduction and it is relatively inexpensive. Drosophila melanogaster is used in evolutionary and developmental studies and it is an important model organism for the study of genetics and development. These fruit flies share nearly 60% of human genes and are studied by thousands of Scientists around the world.

We have ordered in two fly phenotypes, Wild type males which have red eyes. The allele for red eyes is dominant. We also have some white eyed virgin females. The females have two copies of the recessive mutant allele giving them white eyes. The gene for eye colour is on the X chromosome and is therefore known as sex-linked.

This week, students have been anaesthetising the live flies and crossing the wild type males with the white eyed females. The flies will then mate and lay eggs in the nutrient medium we have given them. In a few days we will be able to see some larvae in the nutrient medium and we will be able to remove the adult flies. Once the first generation (known as the F1 generation) of flies emerge, students will then study the flies to find out the sex and eye colour of them, sort them and cross a further generation of flies known as the F2 generation.

The Year 13 Biologists will then be able to use a statistical test known as a Chi-squared test in order to find out whether our expected results fit are statistically different from our observed results.

Photo 1: The fruit flies are anaesthetised using FlyNap.
Photo 2: The fruit flies are gently brushed out of their tube onto a white tile for counting and observation
Photo 3 and Photo 4: Five wild type males and five white eyed females are placed into tubes containing nutrient agar.


Nuffield Research

16.11.18 Nuffield Research16.11.18 Kyle Farrell

A few weeks ago, the blog featured a post celebrating the success of Kyle Farrell, a Year 13 student who completed a 4 week Nuffield research placement at the Living Systems Institute at the University of Exeter (you can read that blog post here –

Last week Kyle was invited to attend an awards ceremony to celebrate his success this summer. The first picture is Kyle with his research supervisor, Kyle Wedgwood (you can read Kyle’s profile here –

The second picture is Kyle with the rest of the research placement cohort at University of Exeter, proudly sporting his TA uniform!

A huge well done once again to Kyle, who has hopefully paved the way for more TA students to complete such fantastic research placements in the future.


Flame Tests

16.11.18 Year 9-Lucas and Tyler16.11.18 Year 9 - Lorenzo and Mckenzie16.11.18 Year 9 - Kiara

To end a great week of Super Teaching, 9T7 carried out a series of Flame tests on a range of Group 1 metals to further their knowledge of this particularly interesting group of elements.

Students were given unknown samples of Alkali metals in solutions and had to determine the element present based on the colour of the flame. After completing the task students enjoyed mixing the samples to create a rainbow effect flame!


Maths Trip

16.11.18 Maths 116.11.18 Maths 3

On Thursday we took a team of students to compete in the Senior Team Maths Challenge at Exmouth Community College. The competition consisted of three rounds, each with its own challenges. For our debut appearance, the students did extremely well. They should be very proud of their performance. Well done to Andrea Locatelli, Kayleigh Perrow, Noah Johnson and Kyle Farrell.



16.11.18 Y7 Young Philosopher

Year 7s have just graduated from TA’s first Young Philosopher course, earning themselves a certificate and high praise from the RS teaching team! The course is based upon A level Philosophy and made accessible for key stage 3 students. They’ve considered big questions around how the universe was made and whether violence is ever acceptable, whilst tackling challenging theories from Plato and Descartes – can we really be sure we know what we think we know? Lots of excellent enthusiasm and critical thinking from our new year 7s – a perfect foundation from which to embark upon our next cycle of learning!


Team TA Sports Roundup

Breaking news as this blog is being written, message from Mr Welsh live from the South Devon Cross Country Championships at Stover, we have just had our best year ever with the following all qualifying to represent South Devon at the forthcoming Devon Championships: Hannah Carr Year 7, Reef Beer and Will Harrison Year 7, Issac Astbury Year 8 Emma Harrison and Caitlyn Graham Year 9, more on this in the next blog but well done to all who qualified and indeed all that took part for us today.


Plymouth Argyle Signing

16.11.18 Harley Sneap

Year 8 student, Harley Sneap, signed for Plymouth Argyle at the start of the season and is now well integrated into their Under 13 squad. So far this season, his team has faced Cardiff City, Bristol Rovers, Exeter City, Yeovil Town, AFC Bournemouth, Cheltenham Town, Oxford United and Swindon Town. Harley is relishing the challenge of playing at this standard and has put in some excellent performances to date. Harley captains our Year 8 football team and we are very proud of the progress he continues to make.



The U15 Girls team travelled to St Luke’s in Exeter for their National Cup 3rd round game on Monday and despite the horrendous weather conditions put in a top performance to beat a good opponent 9-1. A first half hat-trick from Taylor Ford put us in control at half time, with 3 excellent finishes. The first half link up play between Taylor and Ocean Latto opened up the St Luke’s defence at will. In the second half, goals from Siana Goddard (4) Wiktoria Jarosz and Leah Harman saw us comfortably through to the next round.

Sixth Form Football

3 Teams Fielded 25 goals for Team TA – 0 Goals against Team TA! – Wednesday was a great day for football at Torquay Academy.


1st Team

16.11.18 1st XI

Unfortunately our 1st XI, who have represented Torquay United in the FA Youth Cup this season, had the heartbreak of losing 3-1 to a very good Maidenhead side this week, however they had very little opportunity for self pity as they were back in College league action on Wednesday.  This time it was Weymouth College that experienced the full force of what a great team we have at the Academy as we came away 8-0 winners.  This leaves the 1st XI unbeaten in the College leagues this year.


Second Team Goal Fest

16.11.18 2nd XI

The second team on Wednesday took on Penwith College from Cornwall in a league game. TA ran riot from the first kick off when they took the lead after 25 seconds from Harry Smith. The game eventually finished 12-0 with the goals coming from Jamie Passmore x4, Harry Smith x3, Harrison Beer x2, Josh Hurren x2 and Adam Kenyon.


3rd Team Emphatic Win

On Wednesday, the Third XI got their season up and running with a comprehensive victory over South Devon College. The lads started very brightly, a dangerous free kick from skipper Dan Rowe was bundled in by Jordan Bastow. With TA in complete control, we should have been out of sight by half time yet we squandered some excellent opportunities. In the second half, the lads continued to dominate play, but this time we were far more ruthless with our finishing and another goal from Jordan Bastow, plus finishes from Ben Tolman, Ivantony Browne and a Rowe penalty seeing us register an excellent win.


Tear 7 Progress in National Cup

Our Year 7s have progressed into the 4th round of the national cup with another impressive performance, this time against Wadebridge school from Cornwall.  The team is special and we will continue to gel as a group which is exciting for Mr Hogg to know thatwe can become better still over time.  The game was great to watch with strong individual and group performances; we played some really attractive and effective football with goals galore. Goal scorers were: Jack Alcock – x4, Charlie Stevens – x3, Reef Beer – x3, Josh Thompson – x2, Will Green – x1.  Final score was 13-1, the next round will be drawn on Monday, let’s keep this run going



TA Year 7 South Devon tournament

16.11.18 Rugby 1

The Year 7s entered the South Devon tournament not really knowing what to expect.  With the wind blowing a gale and the threat of a hurricane looming in the afternoon the lads set off in great spirits. A strong squad of 18 battled the elements and the opposition. First up were South Dartmoor College who we beat 15-0 in a well matched game. Our pick and go and elusive running proved too much for the opposition. Next up were Churston Grammar School who we comfortably beat 25-0. This was a stand out performance which saw the boys take the game to the opposition and some hard running saw TA cross the line multiple times scoring five unanswered tries in the process. TA topped the group and went into the next round of games against TBGS A and B, Newton Abbott College. First up were Newton Abbott College who had one very big player who managed to be the difference between the two teams and scored two tries single handedly. Next up were TBGS Bs who we managed to beat 10-0, a great performance by the lads who stuck to the task and played really well to win the game. Next up were TBGS As and with the group wide open the winner would probably top the group. Unfortunately the boys lost 5-0 and ended up finishing third overall after the final result of the remaining game. It was a great performance from the entire squad. Most notably Will Green who came away from the day with no less than seven tries! Some tries were individual brilliance and others were well worked team tries. Other notable performances from Sean Fitzpatrick who carried well, Will Harrison stole the ball in contact numerous times, Francis Breslan also carried the ball well with purpose and intent. Harry Clarke and Jay Tout both ran hard with the ball and tackled very well. Congratulations and well done to all the squad members who played a significant role in the day: Will Harrison, Steve Fitzpatrick, Ben Gosnell, Zac Steele, Tommy Aldous, Jay Tout, Robyn Prietling, Harry Clarke, Jeb Whatley, Francis Breslan, Kieran Dale, Owen Woodcock, Will Hemus, Will Reed, Will Green, Kai Alexander, Pierce Gerring, Will Howard. It was a great day out and the boys performed brilliantly and behaved exceptionally well all day.


TA Year 7 Boys 50-10 Spires

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The Year 7 boys took on The Spires this week in their first game at home. The lads got off to a great start after kicking off and tackled the opposition hard, dislodging the ball and subsequently picking up the spilled ball and scoring after two or three phases, 5-0 up after less than a minute. This set the tone for the rest of the game. The boys scored four unanswered tries and only allowed the Spires to cross twice, both after missed tackles high up the field on their biggest runner. The boys played well and are beginning to get some structure in their play and understanding the complicated rules of the ruck. Over twenty-five boys got the opportunity to represent their school at rugby and bodes well for the future of the squad. Stand out performances from Will Harrison, Tommy Aldous, Steve Fitzpatrick and Francis Breslan.


Year 8 Rugby

16.11.18 Year 8 Rugby

The Year 8 rugby team travelled to Brixham CC this week for their 3rd match of the season, the boys played outstandingly well and came away with a 7-5 win.


Year 10 Rugby

The Year 10s travelled to TBGS on Wednesday to play in the South Devon cup. With injuries, we re-arranged some positions with Rylee Steel playing at Centre and Callum Crocker going to Scrum Half. They both had outstanding games for TA along with the whole team. The tackling and determination of the team was a testament to the character of the players. We lost the game to an outstanding TBGS team. However, we managed to score 4 tries and, in phases, played some of the best rugby they have played whilst at the school. This was a great team performance, well done to all the boys.



16.11.18 BBall U1416.11.18 BBall2 U12

It was a week of firsts for basketball at Team TA.  Firstly our Under 14 team travelled down to Newquay for their first ever National league game, unfortunately the result did not go our way as we lost 38-48.  However, there were so many positives to come out of the trip for our boys. It was the first time they had played a team of the quality that they were up against, the first time they have had a professional referee officiate a game.  It was a steep learning curve but one that these boys are more than ready for the challenge of.  Our Under 12s also played their first Central Venue League matches of the year and came away with a very impressive played 6 won 6. An excellent start in what is hoped will be a successful journey through basketball the Academy.



9.11.18 Nball 3

On Monday the Year 7 team attended the Central Venue League in Paignton. The girls played 3 short games against other local schools in the area.  Their first game saw them take on Teignmouth CC. The girls had a brilliant start and were drawing at half time. Unfortunately the Teignmouth CC team were able to capitalise on a turnover and the score ended 2-1. P.O.M Mia.

A strong Kingsbridge side were the next opponents for the girls. Although they produced some brilliant turnovers and through court play they were unable to keep up with the great shooting from Kingsbridge resulting in a 3-0 defeat. P.O.M Matilda.

Finally the team had possibly their toughest game against Stover. The team used their knowledge from the previous games and managed to achieve a 1-1 draw, after producing a great display of team work. P.O.M Freya


Students of the Week

16.11.2018 SOTW

Students of the Week pictures with me are: Scarlett Williams- Yr 11, Macy Harvey – Yr 13, Emanuel Koroluk-Markiewicz – Yr 9, Ava Mitchell – Yr 7, Cameron Smith – Yr 9, Jack Shirlow – Yr 10, Grace Cayford – Year 8


Principal Certificates


I was delighted to be able to hand out the first Principal Bronze certificates this morning to Codie and Kai who have both been awarded 100 House Points.  Many congratulations!

Bronze : Codie James Y8,  Kai Alexander Y7


Star Readers

16.11.2018 Star Readers

Well done to Star Readers (not in order): Abi Jones – Yr 8, Niahm Dolan – Yr 8. Aaron Cox – Yr 8, Ryan Prowse – Yr 7, Charlotte Sweeney – Yr 7, Jack Darke – Yr 7, Sophie Caton – Yr 7


House Stars of the Week

Year 7

Brunel – Oliver Sutton

Christie – Robbie Wright

Darwin – Vincent Poynton

Fawcett – Aleasha Dunford

Harrison – Harrison Spurle

Kitson – Thomas Beazley

Nearne – Karolina Lagodzinska

Pengelly – Riley Isaac

Year 8

Brunel – Harvey Bates

Christie – Archie Hughes

Darwin – Ellis Kendall

Fawcett – Jessica Breach

Harrison – Lila Nyari

Kitson – Kelsey Hawkings

Nearne – Charlie Trapp

Pengelly – Amelie Wallace – Fisher

Year 9

Brunel – Noah Handford

Christie – Alfie Sams

Darwin – Scarlett Hill

Fawcett – Igor Sniegocki

Harrison – Alfie Fenn

Kitson – Madeleine Reeve

Nearne – Kacper Tatarynowicz

Pengelly –


Building Update

16.11.18 building update


The grounds works team have been battling water in their trenches as the concrete foundations have been laid this week.  They are almost ready for the steels which should start to go up in the next couple of weeks.