Art Show, University Place & Homework to Impress

Students Impress at Art Show at ‘The Yard Gallery’ Exeter College

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Pictured: Mrs Lynch and Miss Pappin with students at ‘The Yard Gallery’ at Exeter College earlier this week

Wednesday evening saw twelve of our Gifted and Talented Year 11 art students arrive at ‘The Yard Gallery’ Exeter College, for the private view exhibition of their work and the work of other art students from 6 other secondary schools.

Certificates and prizes were given to the best student’s work, with Saffy Jones receiving recognition for her self-portrait study and Louis Ruegg receiving the prize for the ‘Best overall art student’.

Mrs Lynch and Miss Pappin accompanied the students, who also brought family and friends to the event. A fabulous evening was had by all with lots of very positive feedback and praise being given to our students.

The show continues until the 5th of February and is open weekdays from 10am.


Year 9 Parents’ Evening

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Pictured: Student helpers ready to greet parents through the door

Last night was Year 9 Parents’ Evening and it was great to see so many parents and students in school discussing progress and setting future targets.

With the Year 9 GCSE options deadline approaching, it was a chance for students and parents to ask any last minute questions about their GCSE pathways.

Thanks to our Year 11 and 12 students who helped to greet parents and serve drinks on the night. I know parents are grateful for a hot drink on arrival!


TA Students Selected for Stand Against Violence Pilot Programme

Pictured: Students during their training to become SAV Ambassadors

With help from specialist violence preventative charity, Stand Against Violence (SAV) PCSO Martin Rushworth and Devon and Cornwall Police, a selection of students from years 7 -12 were selected and trained as Stand Against Violence Ambassadors this week.

Set up in 2005 following the tragic murder of 17 year old Lloyd Fouracre, SAV aims to prevent future tragedies such as this.

The charity has three main focus points:

  1. To promote good citizenship among young people.
  2. To demonstrate the consequences of violence.
  3. To equip young people with the skills they need to handle potentially violent situations.

PCSO Martin Rushworth arranged for SAV to come into school, as well as members of Devon and Cornwall Police, to introduce the topic to the students. After a day of training, including a self-defence lesson from Matt Stait of Modern Samurai Martial Arts Academy, these students are now the Stand Against Violence Ambassadors for the school.

PCSO Martin Rushworth explained “Introducing the ambassadors into the school is a great method of signposting any potential or actual violence to the relevant authorities who will then be able to deal with the issue. We are not expecting the ambassadors to directly challenge violent behaviour, but can instead highlight the issues caused by violence to their peers and report any potential issues.”

Whilst I would rather we would not have to equip our students to learn how to deal with potentially these situations, we all too often read about how young people can be the targets of violence. This is another area where the academy is leading the way in supporting our boys and girls.

A Year 8 student and newly appointed SAV representative, said “Hearing the story of Lloyd and how he died was really sad. I was pleased to be chosen as a representative because it’s helped me to think more about violence and its consequences. I enjoyed learning the self-defence moves because I feel like I have more of a chance to defend myself in a violent situation.

After spending the day with our students, Stand Against Violence tweeted “Great day at @TorquayAcademy training their new violence prevention ambassadors! Good luck guys you will be ace and see you all again soon.”

Devon and Cornwall Police have been so impressed with our students and how Stand Against Violence works in schools that they are looking to promote the initiative throughout all secondary schools in Devon and Cornwall.


Students Voice their Views

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Pictured: Year 11 student, David McNally, chairing this week’s Student Voice meeting

Year 11 student, David McNally with the help of Vice Chair, Warren Ellis, chaired this week’s Student Voice meeting for Key Stage 3.

The meeting gave a chance for each tutor representative to put forward their own views on what they like in school and what they feel needs to be improved.

One of the main issues that was brought up was the amount of litter that is dropped during break and lunch times and this formed the basis of the first Student Voice challenge. Assistant Principal, Mrs Sanders set the students the challenge of thinking up ways of encouraging students to discard their litter in the bins around our school rather than dropping it onto the floor or leaving it on tables. Students have been encourage to be as imaginative as possible and to work out any funds needed to make their ideas come to life.

I look forward to hearing their ideas at the next Student Voice Meeting.


Jeremiah is First Sixth Form student to Receive University Offer

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Pictured: Year 13 student, Jeremiah Ovenden happy to have an unconditional offer

Year 13 student, Jeremiah Ovenden received two conditional and one unconditional offers from universities after applying to study Creative Writing.

The excitement has been building as ten of our students have currently gone through the UCAS process, applying to various universities. With the closing date being on the 15th January 2015, Jeremiah was “…over the moon” to receive his offers.

Being first in his cohort was a great feeling for Jeremiah; he said “It’s an honour to be first amongst my peers to receive offers from my chosen universities. I would like to thank the school and staff for helping me along the way in reaching this stage of my journey”.



Year 7 Student Recognised for Time and Effort Dedicated to Rowcroft

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Pictured: Year 7 student Jack Cumston

I received a wonderful email this week highlighting the outstanding effort that, Year 7 student, Jack Cumston has made in raising money for Rowcroft Hospice. The following was email to me by Hayley Norrish, Community Fundraising Officer for Rowcroft Hospice:

I wanted to make contact with you to let you know that one of your Year 7 students, Jack Cumston has been working very hard to support Rowcroft Hospice.

Jack’s commitment to the hospice started at primary school when he was working towards his Civic Award. He informed us that he was going to take on a sponsored walk from Brixham to Paignton (and back again) which he managed to complete in 2 hours, raising a wonderful £280.63. Since the end of 2014 he’s continued to fundraise and has raised a further £147.35 which is fantastic. Jack’s not stopping there as he’s determined to raise even more for his local hospice in 2015.

I just wanted to let you know that Jack has been a wonderful ambassador for Rowcroft Hospice and is making a real difference to his local community by raising awareness of the services we provide across South Devon. Jack is a wonderful young man and an inspiration to us all, I’m sure he will be an absolute credit to Torquay Academy.

Jack said “My Nan was supported by Rowcroft Hospice so I want to raise as much money as I can so they can carry on helping other people”.

Well done Jack.



Catering Manager lends Knowledge for Year 10 Controlled Assessment Project

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Pictured: Catering Manager, Miss Cook, talking about catering in a school

Head of Learning Area for Technology, Miss Wallace-Stanley asked our Catering Manager, Miss Cook, to discuss her role in the school and what must be considered when catering for a school.

The Year 11 students listened intently, as Miss Cook explained the nutritional, budgetary and policies that affect the decisions made in catering for school children. Miss cook also explained about other dietary considerations such as allergens and religion.

The informations gained from Miss Cook will help the students with their Controlled Assessment where students have to design a product for a school canteen and providing a rationale for their choices.

Year 10 student, Sydney Poolton said “It was very interesting to hear about all the different food types and what is used in the school dining hall. I was surprised that there were so many allergens to consider.”


Year 7 Science Homework

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Pictured: (left) Year 7 student Roisin Payne with her cake and (right) Science Teacher Miss Kay.

Miss Kay was so impressed with a homework project she received earlier this week that she wanted to share it with the whole school. Year 7 student, Roisin Payne (pictured) chose her homework assignment form the Homework Takeaway Menu and it’s clear to see the amount of effort that went into it.

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Pictured: Close up of Roisin’s cake

Roisin clearly demonstrated her knowledge of the structure of an egg and the fertilisation process and creatively displayed this be making and icing a cake.

Well done Roisin!



More Homework to Impress!

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Pictured: Year 8 student, Joel Hallam’s History homework

Similarly to Miss Kay, Mr Powell was also impressed with the time and effort the Year 8 student, Joel Hallam, put into his history homework that he wanted to share it with everyone.

Whilst learning about medieval castles during their lessons, year 8 students were asked to build a castle of their own and Joel’s was outstanding!

It took him a week to build and incorporated so much fine detail that it was a joy to see.

Mr Powell said “I’m extremely proud of the incredible effort that has gone into making Joel’s castle look so professional. It’s great to see the students take pride in their work and show enthusiasm for the topic.”


‘Cakey Wednesday’ Introduced to Sixth Form Students

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Pictured: New Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Thomas, introducing Cakey Wednesday to our Sixth Form students earlier this week.

Our Sixth Form students had a pleasant surprise on Wednesday afternoon as they were part of the launch of ‘Cakey Wednesday’.

Our new Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Thomas, provided the students with cakes and hot chocolate to enjoy during their lunch break as the new initiative was explained to them. Every week from this week’s launch of ‘Cakey Wednesday’ students have been asked to either make or buy a sweet treat to share with their peers. For a small price per treat, the idea is that over the course of the year, the money raised will then be donated to a local charity.

Students were keen to get involved (not just to eat the cake) and are already planning what to bring in for next week. If anyone would like to join Mrs Thomas in making cakes for ‘Cakey Wednesday’, you are welcome to join her in our food technology room every Monday after school.

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Pictured: Year 12 student, Correy Law, enjoying a hot drink and sweet treat earlier this week.



Year 5 & 6 Indoor Athletics Festival

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Pictured: Students from Warberry Primary School with Year 13 student Dan Smith

On Wednesday this week, as part of the MATCHES partnership with Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, we hosted an Indoor Athletics Festival for three local primary schools, Warberry, Shiphay and Torre.

The aim of the MATCHES partnership is to promote physical activity amongst young children and offer PE activities that are not often available to young children in our feeder primary schools.

120 Students attended the event, organised by Mr Jones and Mrs Low and with the help of some of our Year 13 Level 3 BTEC Sport students, it was a great success. Events included sprints, relays, hurdles, long jump, triple jump, javelin and a range of other multi skills events.

Mr Jones said “The event was a resounding success with a fantastic turnout. The MATCHES partnership has shown growth over the past months which is great, as we are able to increase the level of PE and sporting opportunities to our feeder primary schools.

Lucy Jones, teacher from Shiphay Learning Academy said “We are really impressed about how well organised the tournament has been. It’s good for our pupils to be learning new skills in a friendly competition like this”.

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Pictured: Fun for all. Students after the athletics tournament

The winning school on the day was Shiphay Learning Academy, who will now progress to represent our cluster in the next round of the competition.

Special Thanks to Year 7 students Scarlett Williams, Ella Miles, Brittany Carrington, Holly Porter, Louisa Birchall and our Year 13 students for helping to make the tournament a success.


Girls Central Venue Football Tournament

Our Year 9 girls competed in a Central Venue 7-a-side Football Tournament last week which was hosted here at TA.

Five other schools were invited to take part, including Paignton Sports and Community Academy, St Cuthbert Mayne, Westlands and Coombes Head Academy.

The tournament was closely competed with all teams giving a good account of themselves, especially Coombes Head Academy who were overall winners.

PE Teacher, Mrs Low organised the event and said “it’s fantastic to see so many girls participate and show such enthusiasm for the sport. Thanks to Bailey Clarke, Frazer Sundholme and Luke Lewis for officiating the matches.