Ten Tors on the Moors, Sparx maths and more sport

 Ten Tors

IMG_0205Blog Ten Tors

This is the first day of winter according to the Met Office. The weather responded by raining consistently for 4 hours driven on by gust up to 40 mph. This was on top of a very wet week so those in charge knew that the conditions would be “character building” to say the least.  Mr Brett had chosen a route that enabled them to drive past the home of Ten Tors at Okehampton Camp. I don’t think that most of the students believed Mr Brett when he said that the field with the sheep in becomes home for upwards of 4000 students, staff and helpers one night next May. Almost as soon as they had started on our routes the weather set in. As a result, the views achieved from the summit of Oke Tor and Yes Tor were little more than a few yards. The students are starting to navigate more effectively now so they knew where they were. The weather has a real impact on the tops and it takes real teamwork to get a team focused enough to navigate successfully so you leave the top in the correct position on the right bearing; a moment when the students learn a lot about their personal motivation and drive.

All the walks were cut short due to the conditions but to be fair the decision was made by the staff as there was no let up from the students. This is a real credit to them for looking after each other in conditions where it would have been easy to have a problem. A picture of determination towards the end of the rain.

The last training of 2018 will be on the west side of the Moor near Lydford. In January the rucksacks will appear full of kit and the training can move up a gear with teams taking on legs on their own when they are ready to do so.



 Sparx Maths

7.12.18 Sparx maths

This week, students from Year 7 were awarded for going above and beyond in their Sparx Maths homework each week. By completing optional and target questions these students gained extra “XP” and are all well on their way to receiving their first Sparx HW badge!


TA on the world stage


Last year top education author Doug Lemov and his colleague Colleen Driggs visited us to see our teachers using the Teach Like a Champion techniques and to look around our school.  They are teaching techniques that help our students learn, for example, Wait Time means that students are given time to think deeply about questions before being asked for a response, and, Cold Call is asking any student for an answer without them putting their hand up to ensure they are all thinking of an answer in case they are asked.  What Doug found unique at TA in his travels around the world is how we teach these techniques to our students as well.  We call this Learn Like a Champion.  Doug starts his blog post as follows:

“One of the highlights of my trip to the UK last June was visiting Torquay Academy in Devon- not just because it’s a really outstanding school where happy kids are given the gift of orderly school and rich, challenging instruction but–epiphany alert–because when teachers used techniques like Wait Time and Cold Call they were transparent with students–cooperative even. You see they had they explained the techniques teachers used to students in advance and why they were using them. Then at key points in the lesson teachers signalled to students that they were using them. And since students understood why–“Oh, this is a deep thinking question so my teacher is using Wait Time–they were partners in the execution of the techniques. It was a beautiful thing to behold and I asked Headteacher Steve Margetts if I could interview him about it.”

You can read Doug’s full blog and interview with me about how we use Learn Like a Champion here.



Activities in Enterprise


Here are a few snapshots of the great work that has been going on this week in the Enterprise Learning Area. Highlights include lots of healthy eating in Food & Cookery, crunch time in Robotics, colourful laser cut greetings cards and a cheeky photobomb in a Design & Technology lesson – look carefully! There is so much more to see, so why not visit the Enterprise Twitter page on a regular basis and give them a follow!


Additional French Work

Our French Assistant, Miss Foretay has been working with Lila-May Harrington because she used to live in France and so can speak excellent French.  They have been working on some more complicated tasks including this recipe:

7.12.18 Recette de potion magique pour voler


MFL Riddle

Below is the grapheme (writing) for the number 6 in Mandarin.   Does it remind you something familiar?




Team TA Sports Roundup

Year 7 National Cup

7.12.18 Y7 National Cup1 7.12.18 Y7 National Cup2

Our Year 7s were again outstanding on Tuesday in the ESFA national cup away against St Peters.  They found it quite tough in the first half with St Peters putting bodies in the way to block our shots on many occasions.

The second half was a different matter with our energy and fast-paced football opening up many chances for us. The goals, in the end, came from Josh Thompson with a hat trick, Jack Alcock with 2 and Charlie Stevens with 1.  With another clean sheet and 6 goals the confidence is high going into the next round when we will face the winners between Callington or Devonport away.


Girls Football – Under 12

The Year 7 girls had mixed fortunes on the football field this week, they started the week with a resounding 8-1 win over Brixham Community College.  There were outstanding performances from all the girls who, after a slow start, quickly found their passing and shooting game and were able to score some excellent goals through team work. On Tuesday the same team travelled to Paignton to play the Paignton CSC and unfortunately in a game that could have gone either way we came out as 2-0 losers. However, the team should not be too despondent as they have the potential to develop into a force to be reckoned with in the future. The team were: Phoebe Parker, Lily May Bond, Ava Sams, Matilda Bindon, Jazz Povey, Grace Fitzsimmons, Emily Tucker, Georgia Jones, Ellie Denby, Mia Bewers, Phoebe Asplen, Abi Anderson, Ava Mitchell, Heidi Wright.


Under 15 girls football

Unfortunately, the Under 15 girls team National league game v Richard Lander school was postponed for the second time this week due to the weather in Cornwall, we will now play them next Monday on our astro to avoid any further postponements.



7.12.18 Netball 8

The Year 8 Netball team have been playing a year up in the Year 9 central venue league fixtures.  They have acquitted themselves very well throughout the season and have won a lot more than they have lost.  Unfortunately, this week they came up against the two best teams in the tournament in the shape of Paignton CSC and TGGS. Whilst they played some excellent netball they were not able to come away with a win. However as already stated, it is turning into a very good season for the team who will now concentrate on performing well in their own age group for the rest of the season.


Table Tennis

7.12.18 Table Tennis

Year 8 student, William Bevan, made a great debut in the South Devon and Torbay Table Tennis League last Friday with support from another Team TA student Year 10, Nick Turner who is in his second season.  The young team achieved a 10 – 0 victory vs Newton Abbott Table Tennis Club team. Each boy played three single matches and a doubles match. Well done to our students for this great achievement.


Post 16 Football

7.12.18 Post 16 football

Our 1st team travelled away to play Exeter College on Wednesday to try and keep our unbeaten record going.  The game was thankfully on their astro as the weather was horrendous, with it raining and blowing a gale all the first half.  We didn’t have a great start and our usual performance levels were down in comparison to what we are used to.  We looked a bit tired and were not pressing the opposition as we have done so far this season. Exeter defended very well and looked to catch us on the counter on a few occasions.  Going in at half time 0-0 we knew the second half would be tough seeing who would crack first.

We created chances but our finishing was off and the decision making from us as a team was poor on the day. The game was very entertaining for the neutral and had tackles, shots, end to end football but lacked a little bit of quality when needed in front of goal.  In the final few minutes both keepers pulled off outstanding saves to keep the result at 0-0 at the final whistle.

Our boys came off feeling we had definitely dropped two points but we still keep our unbeaten run going moving into our cup matches next week.


2nd XI

On Wednesday the second 11 took on a South Devon College team in a friendly. South Devon took the opportunity to field numerous first-team players after their game had been called off. TA were two one down at half time even though they were dominating the game in terms of possession and chances. TA took complete control in the second half and ran out 4-2 winners. The goals came from Adam Kenyon, Kane Gonzalez x2 and Jordan Bastow.



7.12.18 Y7 rugby

Year 7’s travelled to TBGS this week to play rugby under dark clouds and the potential of a huge downpour. The boys started the game well and put pressure on the opposition making some big hits against their strong runners deep in the opposition territory. The pressure resulted in a turnover which the TA boys quickly turned into a try. TBGS quickly hit back with an individual try of their own. The game was finely balanced with both teams enjoying periods of possession. The tackle of the day made by Pierce Gerring on their biggest runner, allowed Harry Clarke to make some great in roads into the opposition territory.  This resulted in a surge of possession  from TA and finally ended with a great team try. TBGS then scored again with some nice play but the boys held on, scored another and then the final whistle blew. What a great team performance. in soggy, wet conditions. The boys are developing well and learning each game.


Hannah’s victory in Wildnight run

7.12.18 Hannah Carr

On Saturday evening Hannah ran the Burrator Noir 2K race, in the Wildnight Run series. She ran a  hilly trail run on Dartmoor where a head torch was essential.  She proudly finished the 1st girl.  Congratulations and well done Hannah.



Students of the Week

7.12.18 SOTW

Students of the Week this week with me are: Ellie Denby, Taylor Laker, Harvey Denning, Jessica Breach, Archie Hodgson-Hunt, Billy Robson, Jacob Almond-Abraham


Principal Certificates

7.12.18 Bronze 2


(not in order)

Y7 : Oriana McCaul,  Anya Page-Dove, Nikodem Piasecki, Melissa Arscott, Evan Kinghorn, Mia Denby, Fin Gaisford, Bogdan Pamfile, Robbie Wright, Jeb Whatley, Lily-May Bruton, Matt Budavolgyi, Charlotte Sweeney
Riley Isaac

Y8 : Jessica Breach , Emilie Cartwright-Lomax, Harvey Bates, Chloe Dance, Maddy Brewer

Y9 : Lucas Macfie-Jones,

Y10 : Chloe Martin, Jake Peters



House Stars of the Week

Year 7

Brunel – Taylor-Anne Floyd

Christie –

Darwin – Sophie Denison

Fawcett – Charlotte Long

Harrison – Anya Griffiths

Kitson – Tommy Aldous

Nearne – Gabriella Fouche

Pengelly – Joe Lawrence


Year 8

Brunel –

Christie – Amelia Batten

Darwin – Codie Meade

Fawcett – Cody Lidster

Harrison – Katie Packer

Kitson – Jett Bradford

Nearne –  Bailey Denyer

Pengelly – Ena Brett-Wilson


Year 9

Brunel – Nicole Mintern

Christie – Emily Mahoney-Billis

Darwin – Lyla Trewin

Fawcett – Lauren Bowden

Harrison – Megan Withey

Kitson – Olivia Bridgman

Nearne – Tyler Potter

Pengelly –


Building Update

7.12.18 Building update

The dining room has now been rendered and we are waiting for a roof.


7.12.18 Building update

The foundations are now completed and we are waiting for the steel to be delivered next Friday.  The theatre will really start to take shape once the steel structure is in place.