Digital Leaders, Art at Torre Abbey & Poetry with ‘Alien’

‘Alien’ returns for Poetry Workshop

Video: Students showing off their new beat box skills earlier today

Students today were thrilled at the return of Dreadlock Alien! Returning for the third year in a row, the ex-Birmingham Poet Laureate returned to hold a poetry workshop with a small group of students in preparation for the Poetry Slam competition at The Princess Theatre in a few weeks time.

Showing off his own beat box poetry skills to start the session off, Dreadlock Alien taught some brave volunteers how to perfect a few beat boxing basics (Video). Dreadlock Alien then helped students understand how to structure a poem and techniques for a perfect delivery.

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Pictured: Inspired by an Alien – Students bounce ideas around with Dreadlock Alien

Students were inspired and the skills they learnt today will put them in good stead for the upcoming Poetry Slam, where they will be graded on the strength of their poems and beat box capabilities.


Choir performs at Rebekah Gibb’s Thanksgiving Service

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Our choir was privileged enough to be asked to sing at the remembrance service of Rebecca Gibbs today. Rebecca was a former people of the school and she went on to star in the West End and later in Casualty. She sadly past away at only the age of 41 in November last year. The choir performed two beautiful and emotional songs: in the arms of an angel and you know where we’ve been. The choir received so many compliments from the congregation and I was told on countless occasions how they would have been happy to pay to see such performances. I cannot think of another time where I have been so proud a group of our boys and girls since joining the school.


Year 9 Pathways Evening

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Pictured: A very popular Pathways Evening

Last night, Year 9 students and parents descended on the school in large numbers, joining staff in discussing GCSE options at the Year 9 Pathways Evening. This highlights how passionate our students and their parents are about learning.

At a vital and sometimes confusing time in their journey through school, Year 9 students were able to find out about all of our subjects, what they have to offer and what potential careers they can achieve through different learning pathways.

With GCSE option choices being made in the coming weeks, the Pathways evening provided our students and their parents with the information needed to make an informed decision about their future.
We will be repeating the evening on 5 February for our Year 8s when they will be making their choices.



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We have had a number of complaints about the amount of people parking on the double yellow lines outside of our school gates when collecting and dropping off students.

Parking on the yellow lines increases the risk to our students of being knocked over when trying to cross the road, as visibility to other drivers is greatly reduced.

I would greatly appreciate if parents would park in more suitable places, making the school run a safer time for all.

Thank you.


Year 7 Digital Leaders Begin Training

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Pictured: Year 7 Digital Leaders during their first training session with Network Manager, Mr Boak.

A group of Year 7 students recently volunteered to become Digital Leaders and took part in a training session earlier this week with school network manager, Mr Boak.

As Digital Leaders, students will help their peers during lessons with technical issues, help them to use functions of the ipads and the many digital applications that are used in lessons. Students will also be aiding teaching staff and our ICT department by setting up IT equipment for assemblies and school productions, as well as carrying out daily tasks such as resetting passwords when they have been forgotten.

Year 7 student, Oli Northcott, said “In Year 6 I began to learn how to build computers and a little bit about programming, which got me interested in computers. I want to learn as much as I can and help teachers at the same time”.


Art Students Visit Torre Abbey

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Pictured: Student work from the workshop at Torre Abbey earlier this week

This week, nine Year 11 and five Year 10 students attended the first of six print-making workshops with artist and printmaker Simon Ripley working after school at the Torre Abbey learning lab Art Studio. The workshops started off the new year with a creative explosion of colour.

Simon demonstrated the technique of mono printing using a process of layering. Our students very quickly became absorbed in the practice of printmaking, exploring a range of ideas and experimenting with colour.

Their output was astonishing and very inspired. It was a joy to behold such energy and enthusiasm and I can’t wait for the next session where they will make a number of collagraphic prints by building up layers of card and paper.

In February there will be a public exhibition of the students’ work; the culmination of the six workshops where you will have the opportunity to view all their work.



Year 9 Student Ashley Stott Gains Grade 5 Trinity Musical Theatre Award with Merit

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Pictured: Ashley showing his diverse performance capabilities in last year’s Hairspray performance

Year 9 student Ashley Stott recently gained Grade 5 Trinity Musical Theatre Award with Merit. To gain this prestigious award Ashley had to perform 2 musical performances and a drama performance. The first performance was Officer Krupke from Westside Story and the second performance was Seasons of Love from Rent.

The drama performance was another piece from Westside Story. To gain Grade 5 in musical theatre is a tremendous achievement for Ashley, especially as he is only in Year 9.

We are very proud of him and look forward to seeing him star in this year’s school musical, Fame, on 24th, 25th and 26th of March.

Well done Ashley!


Shannon Birchall Art

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Pictured: The romance of Venice. The final piece of Year 11 student, Shannon Birchall

Year 11 student, Shannon Birchall, has completed an impressive (both in scale and quality) piece of art, that now hangs proudly in the conference room. Measuring 6 x 4 feet, her enthusiasm for the project showed in the detail and quality of the final piece. Here is what she had to say about the project:

“My inspiration for my art piece was the ‘man made world’ which involved the exploration in depth of architectural and mechanical forms. As an individual, I am extremely ambitious and I have a belief that travelling will give me a great sense of fulfilment and that travel has the ability to broaden the mind.

I wanted to incorporate my passion for travel and the topic of the ‘man made world’ to ensure that my interest would stay maintained throughout the making of the piece. Focussing on the idea of manmade structures, I layered different textures of wood, mosaic, pieces of a map and other materials to create a three dimensional image.

I had the intention of highlighting the renowned romantic atmosphere of Venice with the colour palette of warm tones of ochre and sienna. The perspective leads the eye into the centre of the picture and the monumental scale should have an impact on the spectator. I’m particularly intrigued by the distorted reflections mirrored in the channel of water, as I find the dance of light captivating. I believed that it was of great importance to use vibrant mosaic pieces and mirror to emphasis these colours.

Although it was ambitious in scale, I found the process particularly rewarding, with my favourite aspect being how the channel of water becomes iridescent in the sunlight.”
I think this is a beautiful piece of work. Congratulation and thank you, Shannon.



Alumni Posters Stir Interest of Current Students

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Pictured: Students have been intrigued by the Alumni poster that have begun to appear in school

Over the past few weeks, more and more of our former students have been joining our Alumni network, sharing their experiences in and out of school and how they have secured the careers that they are currently in.

After receiving photos and profiles from our Alumni students, posters have been made showing their progression from school into the jobs they are in today and they are beginning to be notice by our students.

Speaking to the Year 8 students (pictured) who already have their own career aspirations, they said “It’s good to know what students have done since leaving school. Finding out about what jobs they do is interesting because some of them we didn’t know existed”.

If you went to Audley Park, Torquay Community College or Torquay Academy or know someone who did please follow and share the link below and join our Alumni network. Your stories have already began to inspire our students.



Careers Meetings Provide Food for Thought

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Pictured: Mrs Hadden and Year 11 student Vaz Thenral Velu during a careers meeting earlier today

Careers advisor, Mrs Hadden, has been holding Careers advice meetings with Year 11 students in order to help them focus and decide on their next steps.

A world of choice, awaits our Year 11s in the summer including continuing their study at our Sixth Form. The careers advice meetings have been helping students by informing them of their options and exploring potential career paths.

Year 11 student Vaz, (pictured) had a meeting this morning. He is looking to study Business Studies and Sport at our Sixth Form and said “After my meeting with Mrs Hadden, I know what am going to do with life and know what career to aim for when I leave school.”



Science Website Helps Students with Homework and Revision

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Pictured: A screenshot of the Science revision website

Lots of our GCSE Science students have been using the new Torquay Academy Science revision and homework website created by Mr Gale and the Science team.

The website contains lots of YouTube clips, vocabulary lists and revision activities as well as all the Year 10 and 11 Science homework tasks.

Students have been saying that they have found the website very helpful and easy to use, and that it has helped them to understand the Science they have been covering in lessons.

You can access the site by clicking HERE



Thank You for Your Support

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Pictured: A certificate of appreciation from Macmillan Cancer Support

As a school, we are committed to raising money for charity through events such as Macmillan Coffee morning and charitable events organised by our staff and students.

We were recently sent this certificate of appreciation from Macmillan Cancer Support so I thought I would share their thanks with you!

Thank you to all who donate at our charity events.


Year 9 Football Cup Success

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Pictured: Our boys in action earlier this week

Our Year 9 football team took on Teignmouth in the first round of the South Devon Cup. With a number of boys absent we had the help of a couple of boys from Year 8.

We started brightly and dominated early possession moving the ball quickly and with ease. The pressure eventually told and after 15 minutes we took the lead through Ben Tolman, who went through one on one with the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home nicely into the corner. Teignmouth responded well and equalised 10 minutes later through a well worked free kick.

As the game progressed, conditions worsened and both teams struggled to take their chances. The game finished 1-1 after normal time so extra time followed.

In extra time we dominated and eventually won the game 2-1 after a great solo effort from Joe Belston who beat 4 players on his way to scoring from 25 yards.

A big thank you and well done to the two year 8 boys, Cole Harford and Olaf Koszella, who stepped up and played and to Joe Croft who did a fantastic job as linesman.



Judo Club

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Pictured: (left) Luke Brailsford-Dunn and (right) Jake McNeil at Judo club earlier this week

As part of MATCHES Partnership, fostered through Mr Jones’ Primary Liaison role, two of our students (pictured) enjoyed attending a Judo club at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School this week. The boys really enjoyed the session and urge any other students that might be interested to come along.

Luke said “It’s a really good experience and you get to learn self-defence”. Jake added “It’s a good way to meet new people at a new school and learn a new skill”.

The club runs every Wednesday from 4.00 – 5.30pm at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, with Mr Jones providing transport, using the school minibus.

The club is open to all Year 7 students for £1 a session, see Mr Jones for more details.