Welcoming our new Year 7s
We were delighted to welcome our new Year 7s on Thursday. I was very impressed with how well they applied themselves to their first “proper” day at TA. They told me they had really enjoyed their day and felt a lot more confident about joining us in September.
They were very polite and I look forward to welcoming them in September.
Success is ‘MADE’ at TA!
For the second year running, Torquay Academy has entered the prestigious MADE Project, an inter-school design and make competition that links each school with a local technology company, raising awareness of both STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers and the thriving high-tech manufacturing sector in Torbay. MADE stands for Manufacturing Activities Designed to Engage and is a pilot initiative led by the Torbay Development Agency. Schools competing against us this year included Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, Churston Ferrer’s Grammar School, Brixham College, The Spires College and St Cuthbert Mayne School.
We narrowly missed out on the win last year and our new cohort knew they had a lot to live up to, so were very keen to do the school proud this time around. Students in Year 7 were set a clear brief in Design and Technology lessons and produced a stunning range of creative and innovative CAD modelled design solutions which were then shortlisted by Mr Hadley. The shortlisted group then presented their ideas to Rob Hirst, STEM Ambassador from our link company Spirent. He was particularly impressed with the way in which students had linked the company’s core business of GPS testing equipment with themed products including phone and tablet holders, money boxes, desk tidies and greetings cards. Praise indeed from a representative of a company making products used by many renowned brands including Aston Martin, McLaren, Bentley and NASA!
The team – Boris Pugh, Mason McCarthy-Payne and Keira Davies – proudly represented the school on finals day on Wednesday 27th June at the Riviera Centre presenting their clever concept for a flat pack desk tidy to a panel of three expert judges.
The form of the eye-catching LED-lit desk tidy was inspired by the space-based technology that is tested by Spirent products and it evolved from hours of consideration and refinement. The design used light and colour to great effect. The opening of our presentation involved the unveiling and switching on of our products in three dramatic stages, set to the music of Strauss’s “Prelude… Der Genesende” famous for its appearance in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Judges were clearly impressed by this and by the confidence and passion with which our students spoke about their ideas and experiences throughout the project. As you’ll see from our YouTube video with this article, Keira made an excellent computer model of the final design and Boris and Mason both dedicated many hours at lunchtime and after school to perfecting and honing their products which many iterations created on the laser cutter. A special thanks goes to our fourth team member Amelie Wallace-Fisher, unable to attend on the day due to illness, who put hours into making the fantastic presentation which features heavily in the YouTube video.
The day comprised a morning of school presentations, a break for lunch and judging deliberation, a talk by the elected major and a celebration event attended by special guests, dignitaries and parents in which the winning team was announced. In a nail-biting climax, judges announced Torquay Academy as the winning school having been impressed with the way in which students had taken ownership of the project and worked tirelessly to create an attractive and commercially viable prototype. We were awarded the coveted MADE Project glass trophy and each student was given a £15 Amazon voucher.
We would especially like to thank Rob and all at Spirent for the time they have dedicated to the project, the numerous visits to the school, the generous goodie bags for our student finalists – each of which also included a £10 Amazon voucher, the £100 donated to the Design and Technology department and for the effort put into making a careers video specially for TA in which over a dozen Spirent employees spoke of their different roles within the company.
Praise must also go to Maddie Brewer and Grace Cayford who narrowly missed out on being shortlisted with their thorough and well annotated designs. In recognition of this, both girls will receive a £15 Amazon voucher.
Congratulations to all involved!
Olaf Koszela Signs Pro Contract
This week saw a milestone in our partnership with Torquay United when Year 11 student Olaf Koszela signed a Professional Contract with the Plainmoor based team. Olaf will train and play for Torquay United whilst continuing his studies at Torquay Academy. Well done, Olaf, fully deserved.
Visit from world-renown education author
I was delighted to host author of Teach Like a Champion Doug Lemov and his colleague Colleen Driggs. Doug and Colleen were in the UK for a few days from their native America and they contacted me to ask if they could spend a few hours with us at TA. It was a priviledge to show them around our school
Year 7 HPA Geography Fieldtrip to Dawlish Warren
On Tuesday 3rd July, the Year 7 HPA Geographers visited Dawlish Warren along with Miss Fannon, Mr Chadwick and Dr Hocking, to experience a taste of how a field trip works and to investigate processes that occur at the coast. Students conducted Bi-Polar surveys, Cost Benefit Evaluations and investigated the process of erosion as well as how and why we need to defend Dawlish Warren. The students behaved impeccably and were a real credit to the school.
Year 10 Students in Physics Olympiad
In April, a group of year 10 students competed in the Oxford University Physics Olympiad Challenge. A selection of students achieved a result high enough to be awarded bronze, silver and gold certificates. To be placed in the top 5% of students taking the challenge is a remarkable achievement for Jak and Noah and is something we, as a school, are very proud of. Well Done !
Noah Johnson – Gold
Jak Partridge – Gold
George McCaffrey – Silver (not in picture)
Thomas Huitema – SIlver
Sonny Prior – Silver
Hassan Hussein – Silver
Hannah Mabbutt – Silver
Alex Corbett – Bronze
Cain Rider – Bronze
Maths Inspiration Talks at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter University
On Wednesday a minibus with some of our best Mathematicians from years 9 and 10 went to Exeter University to watch this years Maths Inspiration talks. On the theme of Playing for Real the students were guided through some explorations of the mathematics behind games or both skill and chance and whether there is an optimal strategy by Rob Eastaway (author and mathematician), Helen Pilcher (who has derived a formula for the perfect joke) and Ben Sparks (Britains Got Talent contestant and Maths Speaker). Despite their best efforts during the show Dylan Gale and Luca Guastella both failed to separate Rob Eastaway from his money and he kept his £100.
More information on the talks and the speakers can be found on twitter : https://twitter.com/MathsInspiratn?lang=en
Summer in the Study Centre
It has been a busy term in the Study Centre: students have been working hard and enjoying the sunshine. 7C were victorious as the only tutor group in the whole school who managed to have no students with overdue books: to the victors the spoils or in this case an ice cream for every student in the tutor group! The students in homework club have enjoyed working in the outside space and using the Chromebooks to complete Mathswatch and testing themselves on Quizlet. As we draw closer to the end of the year the amount of Star Reader certificates being awarded to students in their reading lessons has increased as students complete their reviews. To date, 94 students in Year 7 have been awarded their bronze certificates for reading at least 5 books this year. We hope they continue to enjoy reading over the summer and return to the Study Centre in September to share their recommendations.
Red Belt Success
Abigail Jones received her Red Belt in mixed martial arts after a grueling 3 hours exam in Swindon. Well done Abigail.
Sixth Form Student Raising Money for Brain Tumour Charity
Sixth Form student Ben Tolman will be raising money for the Brain Tumor Charity, see his comments below;
On September 2nd, I will be undergoing a 4.2 mike swim from Torquay to Goodrington, in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity. To raise awareness and money towards the charity, that the wonderful Charlotte sadly passed away from. Challenging myself will remind of all the characteristics of Charlotte, such a brave, determined young girl. Please help my raise money on my JustGiving page, to reach the goal of £500 to aid research and help to suffers of this horrible disease. Thank you, Ben.
Students of the Week
Pictured this week with me are : Finn Drew – Yr 7, Brajan Beijalski – Yr 8, Cheyenne Churchward – Yr 9, David Green – Yr 7
Well done to : Kelsey Hawkins, Olivia Walker, Maddy Brewer, Amy Woolacott, Michael Brooker, (not in photo Kaja Kuryluk)
Bronze : Kieran Johnson, Oakley Manning, Clayton Gagg, Freya Boote, Finley burn, Tasha Ellis-Hatch, George Prew, Emily Griffiths, Finn Drew, Adam Pac, Dylan Chalmers-Wood, Harrison Peart, Kai Matthews, Deanna Rowe, Ainsley Hambleton, Alice Little, Megan Smith, Keira Connolly, Graham Mitchell, Caine Lee, Kelsey Cresser, Isabel Cresser, Alicia Lindley, Lucas Macfie-Jones, Katie Walker, Cameron Smith, Yun Xin Liu, Isabella Spurle, Flynn Brown, Emily Hunt, Chloe Kingshott, Thomas Brown, Leah Harman, Katie Wright, Harvey Green, Alvin Ho, Alex Hyde, Emily Stentiford-Crook, Emily Algar, Rhys McPartland, Lottie Denning, Juliette Loud, Ryan Wilson, Caitlin Holmes, Joe Pike, Callum Thomas, Ronnie Wilder, Sophie Rick, Dean Lynch, Ryan Johns-Kouadio, Jake Ellwood, Taylor Ford, Demi Breheny, Isaac Gourlay-Newman, Kaja Kuryluk, Stella Swift, Harvey Wright, Jack Berrett, Connor Berry-Mills, Teigan Brooksbank, Jack Thorpe, Corey Milton, Aiden Cossey, Jake Peters, Ben Trebecki-Wright, Nick Turner, Reece Crichton, Brandon Edwards, Crystal Young, Grace Prew, Spencer Artz, Jacob Almond-Abraham, Jack Parker, Leon McMullen, Lucas Tarran, Siana Goddard, Jack Manley, Alfie Gouldthorpe, Dayne McKenna, Silbruy Peakman, May Dooley, Demi Lindsay, Kane Gardner, Briana Tostevin
Silver : Grace Cayford, Harvey Bates, Aurora Rosser, Lucia Augado-Georgian, Codie James, Ellis Kendall, Gareth Mufford, Isabel Watkins, Leoni Bailey, Ellie Holloway, Cody Lidster, Tyler Silvester, Umekio Melodious, Ruby Pleass, Troy Riley, Leo Dunkley, Lydia Ladd, Jesscia Smith, Lorenzo De Paoli, corbyn Gardner, Amelie Wallace-Fisher, Macie Simmonds, Nathan Wells, Louis Mellitt, Millie Hope, Sam Robinson, Scott Rhodes, Antonia Standen, Sian Burton, Kacey Kenyon, Rhyanna Lewis, Emily Mahoney-Billis, Finley Paull, Sophie Milford-Caddick, Sean Andrews, Thomas Porter, Jay Rich, Lucy Sullivan, Aaliyah Hardoyal, Ollie westwood, Matthew Leighton, Bethany Coker, Angel McKenna, Kasi Cooper
Gold : Chloe Dance, Poppy Holloway, Freddie Kingdon, Lily Rogers, Dara Kennedy, Thomas Johnson, Azize Isufi, Alfie Sams, Sean Brown, Olivia Kenyon, Maddison Watt, Angua Graham, Sofia Evans, Paige Godwin, Emanuel Korolyk-Markiericz, Mateusz Baczynski,
Bronze : Maddy Brewer, Harley Sneap, Kelsey Hawkings, Elizabeth Cameron, Noah Handford, Emily Johns, Ellis Knowles
Silver : Kelsey Hawkins
Gold : Kelsey Hawkins
Platinum : Boris Pugh
Next week the site will be transformed as the scaffolding starts to come down and the exterior panels will be placed on the building.