Watching the eclipse
The whole school community gathered in front of the school to watch the eclipse this morning. I believed it was an educational opportunity that our students should be able to share. We explained the dangers of looking in the sun and we looked at how to make pinhole viewers. Whilst the cloud cover prevented a clear view of the eclipse, we did get to experience the strange of phenomenon of it getting much cooler and darker and the moon eclipsing the sun.
The students enjoyed the experience of the eclipse. We won’t see another partial eclipse in the UK until 12 August 2026 and the next total eclipse will be in September 2090.
Year 10 Photography Trip
Last Monday saw Mrs Lynch and our Year 10 photography students board the coach for the short journey to Upton Park, for their first photography field trip. The school had been approached by ‘The Friends of Upton Park’ who require good quality photographs of the natural environment for their new website. Our students were keen to take up the challenge.
The weather wasn’t great, in fact it was very overcast and a bit drizzly, however our students braved the elements with great enthusiasm and energy and actually captured some brilliant photographs. Some of the images will be on show at the end of year arts exhibition, whilst others might be on the www!!!! We shall see. Well done year 10.
RNLI Visit to Torquay Academy
The sixth form at Torquay Academy have elected to support and raise money for the wonderful work that the RNLI do and we were fortunate this week to have a visit from the Coxswain of the Torbay Life Boat station. Mark Criddle ,who has been a member of the RNLI for the last 26 years, gave an inspirational talk to the year 12 students about the work they do and the ways in which they support and look after the residents and non residents of Torbay when rescue is needed. The Torbay RNLI depend on generous donations and volunteers to ensure that they can continue to help and rescue those that are in danger around the coastal regions. The TA sixth form have raised fifty pounds so far and will continue to ensure that the money they receive from selling homemade cakes on “Cakey Wednesdays” goes to support the great work they do.
x-Men in White
On Tuesday, a group of 13 Year 9 students attended a series of workshops at Peninsula Medical School hosted by Professor Lorna Harries and Dr. John Chilton. The students were very excited about their visit and looking forward to the activities they would complete. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to work in the research facilities at the University, a privilege that is only extended to invited parties and research scientists. Even the undergraduates do not get to use these labs. Below is a summary of the afternoon, as written by Georgia Large;
We arrived at Peninsula Medical School, part of Exeter University and were taken through to the reception area. We were given name tags and led into a lecture hall where we were briefed on what our aim for the day was. The day was led by the “x-men in white” team. On our name badges was a letter and this was the name of our team. I was in team B along with Caitlin Reader, Jodie Madlin, Kira Richbell, Jack Lavercombe and Ocea Jackson. There were also three boys from Torquay Boys Grammar in our group and they were called Adam, Ethan and Thomas. We were then led, in our teams, to the university research labs. Our first experiment was to multiply DNA samples so that we were able to analyse them. Whilst at this station we also looked at DNA patterns and identifying chemicals based on their DNA patterns.
Our second station was about dyeing subtances in order to analyse them under a microscope. We used six different dyes and used each one to look at the same sample of yeast under a microscope to see which worked best. Following the decision the colour crystal violet worked the best we looked at three different samples dyed the same colour and discovered the mutant yeast.
Our final station was looking at blood pressure, blood glucose and BMI. We used different pieces of technology to find our pulses, our blood pressure and even used needles to find our blood glucose levels. We then returned to the lecture hall where we were debriefed and the day finished.
We all really enjoyed the day and learnt a lot that we may not have learnt in school.
National Judo Championships
On Sunday 15th March, Year 8 student Kasey Lyons travelled to Birmingham for the National Championships to compete in the National Judo Championships in the female yellow belt over 50kg category. During the heats she managed to knock out the ex-European Champion, and went on to win a well deserved place in the Final. A difficult contest against one of her own teammates followed with Kasey bringing home the silver medal, which now places her second in the whole of Britain for her age, weight and belt category. Well Done Kasey, a fantastic achievement! We are so proud of you.
Students’ Work Exhibited at Torre Abbey
11 art students have recently attended a print workshop at Torre Abbey. Their work, alongside other schools’ artwork, is to be exhibited next week. The poster below has information about the exhibition so do go along to view their artwork and support the students.
Luke Brailsford-Dunn in Year 7 completed Level 5 and finished Lexia this week. This was achieved through sheer determination and by coming in every morning before school and staying after school every day. Well done Luke !
Some of our year 11 students spent mentoring day completing an important piece of science coursework. Under the guidance of Dr Hocking and Mr Gale they researched and discussed the use of antibiotics, looking particularly at the rise of superbugs such as MRSA.
Students developed their own questions such as ‘Are antibiotics beneficial?’ and ‘Should the government ban antibiotics?’. They presented both sides of the argument and weighed up how good the evidence was before explaining their own view.
Students said, “the coursework was very interesting because it helped me to understand why some bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics” and, “I now know that we should be careful about taking antibiotics when we don’t need them”.
Skills South West Show, Plymouth Pavilions
As part of Torquay Academy’s Careers Education Programme, on Wednesday of this week, 4 members of staff accompanied 59 Year 10 students to the Skills South west show at Plymouth Pavilions. It is the regions biggest hands-on jobs, careers and skills event.
The students spent 2 hours talking to large employers and local Universities about the opportunities available to them. They also got to try some interactive activities such as practicing CPR, stir frying, mixing smoothies via a blender attached to a bike, bricklaying and hair styling using the blocks used in hairstyling training academies.
The students had a wonderful time, and hopefully took away some information and new ideas to help them aspire to great things. Mrs Hadden who accompanied the trip said “As usual, their conduct and behaviour was exemplary, and it was a pleasure to accompany them to this event”