Watersports, Climbing, Film-making & more in Activities Week

This is my last blog of what has been an extremely busy academic year.  I hope that you all have a good break and we look forward to seeing the students back in school in September.

Wednesday 6th September – Years 7 & 12

Thursday 7th September – All other years.


Perfect Scores

21.7.17 Perfect Scores

Getting a one for effort in every category from every teacher is quite the accolade. At the end of quarter four, 5 students managed to achieve this! I am so impressed with them; they have each had the perfect quarter and I couldn’t be prouder. The students are:

Year 10 Jessica Mitchell (not in photo above as she is on work experience)

L-R : Anna Hobson (2nd quarter in a row) – Year 8, Poppy Hodgson – Year 8, Zane Sibiya – Year 9, Ellis Knowles – Year 7


Activities Week

Its been a week of activities in Torquay Academy. Our boys and girls, staff and students, work extremely hard throughout the year and this week has been no exception! We have swapped our normal lessons for trips and visits across the county and one group to France. Whether you are a thrill seeker, sporting, outdoor adventurer or just wanted to do some baking activities week had something for you. Yes its been great fun but watching the students interacting and pushing their boundaries has been a really rewarding part of the week for all. The students were able to select from caving, climbing, mountain biking, France, baking, sewing, sports, football, board games, surfing, coasteering, kayaking, windsurfing, theme parks and something called geek week!

I would like to thank our amazing staff for putting on such an exciting week.


Theme Parks



Mr Mellitt demonstrates to the students how not to do it on the ice…

Many of our students spent the week visiting a number of attractions around the South West. They went to Butlins, Crealey, Woodlands, Splashdown and ice skating and bowling in Plymouth.


Extreme Dream

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The extreme dream team have battled swans, climbed walls and the weather to participate in multiple intense activities.  Monday began with kayaking where there were far less capsizes than anticipated as the students avoided a ferry as well as a family of swans to compete in various games and challenges.

From watersports to climbing walls, the team tackled clip n climb, with races between Mr Beswetherick and the pupils taking place. Stairway to Heaven was a challenge taken by many of the students, with falls and interesting techniques shown by some. The day ended with the students being responsible for each other’s safety, belaying for each other in the quay climbing centre.  It was great to see the students all helping each other out. The rest of the week consisted of scuba diving, paddle boarding and caving. The team believe they are now expert divers after confidently exploring the 7m pool they found themselves in after the weather decided to be against us.  The students showed courage and teamwork throughout the week – a great end to the year.


Film Week

21.7.17 Film Week

Students have spent the week with Mrs Mortimore, Mr Harris and Mrs German planning, filming, editing and finally showcasing their own short films. This has involved filming ‘on location’ at Torre Abbey. They also visited the Blue Walnut cafe to watch this year’s entries for the Manhattan Short Film Festival and went to Torquay Museum to see the Star Wars exhibition.


Wet and Wild

A great week with water sport fun. Monday started with glorious weather at Decoy Lake learning Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Kayaking. A BBQ at lunch and learning to play Kubb – everyone had a fabulous time. Gorge Walking made Tuesday a wet and wild day trying to navigate up a rushing river. Highlight on Wednesday was learning to surf at Goodrington Beach with @reach_outdoors. Thursday and Friday was spent surfing at Bigbury Beach.


Year 9 Music on Tour

21.7.17 Music on Tour

The Music department decided to offer some of our Year 9 Music students the incredible experience of being part of a real-life working band on tour. This has involved the students having to work at an extremely fast pace over two days to create a group of bands, prepare songs, decide on a running order, as well as learn how to present this to a real audience ready for a line-up of gigs organised in the local area across the following three days.

Although the idea of going out on tour presents itself as such an exciting opportunity, the students have soon learnt just how much hard work must go into being a real working band on tour and have had to quickly adapt to various roles such as becoming roadies, sound technicians, instrument technicians, as well as being an actual musician in itself.

Every single audience our Year 9 students have performed to over the course of this week have been absolutely blown away by the level of talent and technical skill the students have demonstrated. Our Music team, which consists of Miss Pappin, Mr Brinson, and Mr Mathew, have all mentioned how what could have been quite a stressful week has been made an absolute pleasure by the hard work and commitment of each and every student that has participated in this incredible experience. Miss Pappin specifically mentioned how blessed they feel to be given the opportunity to work with the most wonderful group of students they could have asked for.


Arts & Crafts

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One of the free activities that took place again this year is ‘Arts and Crafts’. Run by Mrs Radford and Miss Martin it aims to teach students some skills they might not already know and then put these skills together to produce a decorated bag. Across the week they made sock monkeys, Dorset buttons, a cross stitch picture, a felt key ring and lots of pompoms. The students made some beautiful items and realised the benefit of concentrating and working carefully. William Flood produced some lovely broaches made from Dorset buttons which deserves a special mention.



The Sixth Form enjoy a week of activities too!

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We’re pleased and proud that we are able to offer our Sixth Form students their very own Activities Week to burn off any left-over energy after such a busy and challenging year.

On Monday, students went off to Cornwall’s Retallack Aqua Park. This huge inflatable Aqua Park has a giant trampoline, catapult, water wheel, ‘stepping stones’ climbing wall, slides, blast bags, challenging balance beams and lots more. The students raced each other around the course, watching each other ‘wipeout,’ trying to beat the obstacles and hurling themselves into the water – more ‘total wipeout’ style fun than they could dream of!

Tuesday followed a more sedate agenda of ten-pin bowling and adventure golf. However, it got a little tense when Mr Honey’s aim was off and those Strikes were a little illusive…

Wednesday was a fantastic, fun-filled, adrenaline packed day out with paintballing as the event. Students ran around 45 acres of woodland and flat meadow, playing a variety of game arenas and scenarios to keep them entertained throughout the day. Staff joined in too to add to the students’ experience!

Thursday involved a scavenger hunt in the beautiful Cockington Country Park followed by a picnic and a friendly game of rounders.

On Friday, the Army returned for the second time this year to offer some great team-building challenges. All of which were taken in good humour. In the afternoon, all students came together for a BBQ to round off a brilliant year!


Mountain Biking

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This week 14 trail blazers attacked a series of gruelling mountain bike trails. The week consisted of two off-road long distance routes: Day 1 – a round trip of 24 miles from Newton Abbot to Liverton and Haytor and back, Day 2 – a round trip of 20 miles from Plymouth to Yelverton and back. This was followed by two days of single track skill riding at Haldon completing the blue and red trails. The week concluded with a trip to Woodbury Common to put into practice skills mastered earlier in the week. Award of ‘King of the Mountain’ goes to Jack Britton for unbelievable uphill stamina. The ‘Yellow Jersey’ award goes to Macauly Day for fastest overall trail times at Haldon. Finally the ‘White Jersey’ award for best young rider goes to Ethan Tester – brilliant skills! Well done to all 14 riders – you made Mr Toorneini and Mr Miller proud!





Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition



A level Biology Field Trip

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On Wednesday and Thursday last week (12th-13th), the Year 12 A level Biology students went on two field study days to collect ecology data for their A level Core practical. On Tuesday they went to the sand dunes at Braunton Burrows in north Devon to study sand dune succession. The weather was beautiful and the students enjoyed identifying many different species and taking in the views. On Thursday we took the students to Saltern Cove in Paignton. Both sites are SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and have a spectacular biodiversity. On Thursday the biologists were studying the rocky shore ecology and identifying how the drying effect (dessication) of the tide affected the distribution of the species. It was a fabulous two days.



Automotive and Construction



Great stuff from our Automotive and Construction Crew this week with lots of exploring, investigating and learning about Cars and Masonry.

Monday and Tuesday were spent carrying out a series of tasks in the Automotive workshop that were set by Mr Foulds. Tasks included raising cars on the lift, swapping wheels, removing, testing and refitting lights, tyre checks and reports, removing valves from cylinder heads and removing rear suspension struts.

All the students have been fantastic and worked with enthusiasm and had a real thirst for more information.

Wednesday and Thursday we moved next door to the Construction area and split into two groups each of which were to build their own BBQ out of Bricks and Mortar.
Both groups were provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and shown how to use the cement mixer after which they were responsible for building the BBQs from the task sheets and drawings provided.

Last lesson Thursday was to park a car between cones set out…… sounds simple? just as well we had an hour!     Mr Waring and Mr Foulds said that it was a pleasure working with some fantastic students.


 Sports Activities

Over 100 pupils every day had a great week in the PE department, displaying all their skills and prowess they have learnt over the Year in core lessons. Various activities were provided throughout the sessions and catered for everyone’s needs to ensure all had an enjoyable day. Badminton , Benchball, Dodgeball , Fitness suite , Golf , Trampolining , Football , Basketball, Table tennis, Rounders and Futsal were all available !!!! Wow, an exhausting week for many of them. It was also fabulous to see the Years mixing together in healthy competition and fun, new friendships have been formed over the week. A special thanks to our Year 10 Work Experience crew, who helped enormously.


Great British Bake Off

21.7.17 Bake off

The high standard of baking was judged this year by Mr Powell and Mr Pugh.  The winners this year  are :Ella Squibb, Maria  Gabl. and Amy Langley (not in photo)   Well done to all of the students who worked extremely hard and produced some fantastic baking.


Geeky Geek Week

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TA students have got super geeky for Geek Week! They have spent the week showing off their geek knowledge with quizzes, designing their own superheroes and anime characters, and playing live action versions of Quidditch and Pokemon Go.

We’ve had video games tournaments, deadly games of Pokemon Monopoly, a series of geeky films from around the world…and our favourite activity: Iron Cosplay. With only 15 minutes to create a costume out of scraps, Iron Cosplay has really shown how creative and exciting our students can be. We didn’t think last year’s results could be topped, but they’ve done it!



End of term assembly

Last week ended with our end of term assembly.  As part of the assembly we awarded Sports and Performing Arts Colours to the following students:

Colours Summer 2017

The highlight of the assembly were three musical performances – these can be seen below.