Field Trip, Anti-Bullying Charter & Fame Rehearsals

Year 11 Geography Field Trip to Dartmoor

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Pictured: Students conducting their data collection on Dartmoor earlier in the week

On Monday this week our Year 11s conducted a visit to Dartmoor where they collected their own data to help complete this year’s Geography controlled assessment – Investigate the Positive and Negative Effects of Tourism on Dartmoor.

The class selected two popular areas to visit for their fieldwork – Haytor and Widecombe-in-the Moor. Students collected information by conducting footpath erosion surveys, environmental quality surveys, field sketches, and visitor questionnaires. They worked hard throughout the day despite having to battle with the rain and cold wind.

One student commented “It was really good to go out and see the impact of tourism for real rather than reading it in a book. I didn’t realise just how much people damaged the ground just from walking between the car park and Haytor. It really suprised me”.

Students will now spend their lesson time writing up their reports in class under exam conditions. The report is equivalent to 25% of their Geography GCSE total.



Former Students Reconnect

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Pictured: Former student, Claire Jones, who kindly joined our growing alumni network, in order to inspire current students

Former students have been re-uniting in joining our alumni network and have provided us with information on their school lives, further education and career paths since leaving school.

The new Alumni page on our website is dedicated to displaying former student profiles, with the aim of inspiring current students to become fully aware of the necessary qualifications needed to secure different careers in the future. I am also hoping that it will open our girls and boys eyes to the range of careers that are out there.

Claire Jones (pictured) attended Torquay Academy, leaving in 2005 and was happy to reconnect. Claire is now a Biomedical Scientist. To find out how she succeeded in securing her dream career, visit the Alumni page on our website. You can also view the journeys of many of our former students on this page.

If you attended Audley Park, Torquay Community College or Torquay Academy and have not yet signed up to our alumni network, please do so by visiting and see the ways that you can reconnect with your old school and inspire our current students. I would be sincerely grateful for your support.


Parent Governor – Tracey Ross Visits for a Day

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Pictured: Parent Governor, Mrs Tracey Ross, with a class earlier in the week

Parent Governor, Mrs Tracey Ross, spent the day in school on Wednesday visiting students during lessons and observing the day to day operation of our school.

Mrs Ross and all of our Governors dedicate a lot of their own time to ensure the school is heading in the right strategic direction, usually unbeknown to our students. The visit also gave our students the opportunity to speak to Mrs Ross and find out more about her role within the school governing body.

Mrs Ross said “The students were very cooperative and inquisitive about the role I play as a Governor. Today has been enlightening. I was able to speak with staff, parents and students which gave me a better understanding of the school as a whole. I will definitely be visiting again soon.”


Anti-Bullying Student Charter

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Pictured: Our Year 11s delivering an anti-bullying assembly to our Year 9s this morning

As part of Anti-Bullying week, our Year 11 students have been promoting our Anti-Bullying Charter to staff and students in the school.

Year 11 students Warren Ellis, Lucy Minto, Livvie Palmer, Kyle Ramsden, Saskia Bridgeman, Chloe Roberts and Megan Crosbie have led assemblies to the year 7, 8 and 9 students outlining:

– What bullying is
– Different ways that bullying may occur
– The effects bullying can have on victims
– What to do if you are being bullied or know someone who is
– When asked why this group of students felt so passionately about helping others, Warren Ellis said “We wanted to emphasise that an anti-bullying stance should be taken throughout the year and not just for one week. – We know what it’s like being in their situation and like to be able to help students to understand that they don’t have to suffer alone. There is always help available to them”.

In support of the Anti-Bullying Charter, the group of Year 11 students visited students during tutorial time today and asked everyone to sign the charter and to get behind their cause.

Myself as well as all of our staff will sign the Charter over the next few days and show that bullying in any form is unacceptable.

We experience very little bullying in school, because we continually focus these important issues. Our Ofsted report in June commented “Students, parents and staff agree that there is little bullying and that any which occurs is dealt with effectively. The school’s records confirm this. Students have a good understanding of the dangers of bullying, for example through the misuse of electronic media.”

Year 12 Work Experience site Visits

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Pictured: Our Sixth Form students hard at work during their Work Experience Placements this week

In addition to their timetable, our students who do level 2 courses in Children’s Play, Learning and Development, Health and Social Care, Public services, Travel and Tourism and Construction have work experience placements for 2 days a week. We believe in our Sixth formers having a full time education rather than undertaking part time courses as it better prepares them for a future career.

The school has formed valuable partnerships with local businesses and schools who are willing to offer our students these valuable opportunities.

During Mentoring Day this week, Mrs Hadden and Mrs Edwards visited some of the students on their placements. Robbie York and Rebecca Harris (pictured) have been working at Cavanna Homes and Torre C of E Primary School respectively and from the feedback we have received from the employers, they are really making their mark in the local community, whilst gaining a wealth of new skills and experience.

On the behalf of staff and students at TA, I would like to thank the local employers who have so kindly supported our students with these placements.


Torre Primary School Visit TA

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Pictured: Torre Primary School students during their visit today

A class of students from Torre C of E Primary School enjoyed an afternoon of activities today in our Library and one of our Science labs.

For many of the students, it was their first experience in a real Science lab and a library with so many resources. They left with a ‘Bunsen Burner License’ after learning how to conduct an experiment safely, using a Bunsen burner whilst in the library session, students learnt a host of new facts and research techniques after taking part in a fact finding task with Mr Withers.

The students seemed to thoroughly enjoy their visit and were a pleasure to have in school.



Mentoring Day

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Pictured: Mrs Tanner during one of her Mentoring Day appointments

This week we had the first mentoring day of the year. Mentoring Day gives parents and students the opportunity to speak with tutors about progress being made across all of their subjects as well as agreeing targets for the future to ensure progress continues in school.

The day was very well attended by our parents, which will no doubt have a significant impact on our student’s progress in the coming weeks.

Fame Rehearsals

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Pictured: Students during their first Fame rehearsal

Students were keen to get going at the first rehearsal for our school production of Fame.

Our school productions are always brilliant and the last production of Hairspray was no exception. Mrs Jagger-Rowden ensures me that this year’s production will be one to remember.

Tickets will be available on Monday 9th March. Given last year’s sell out show I would recommend getting your tickets early!

We would love to see you on the night.


Table Tennis Presentation Kick-starts New Partnership

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Pictured: PE Teacher and Football Academy Coach, Justin Grinsill, Vic Bonfante, Jo Piwowar, Kris Piwowar of TTTA, Chris Brown of Table Tennis England and Sport Centre Manager Chris Hogg

After announcing the new partnership of Torquay Academy and the Torbay Table Tennis Academy (TTTA) Chris Brown, Table Tennis England, Area Development Lead – South West, visited the school last week to present us and TTTA with a Club Mark certificate. The award is nationally recognised in all sports and is recognition of the high standards of the clubs facilities, coaching and organisation.

The evening started with an exhibition match between club coaches (Jo and Kris) where some outstanding Table Tennis was played. This was followed by several club presentations and the Sports Mark presentation by Chris Brown (pictured).

If you are interested in taking part, for students there is a six week free trial period after school every Friday. For anyone else who may be interested in trying a new sport or returning to the game, sessions run on Thursdays and Saturdays. For more information click HERE.


Football Academy Students Learn from the Pros

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Pictured: Gateshead FC training on our 3G pitch earlier today to TUFC songs, sung by our students during their break time

We had a visit from Gateshead FC today. They asked to use our 3G pitch for a training session before playing Torquay United at Plainmoor tomorrow afternoon. It seems people the length and breadth of the country know about our world class facilities.

Of course our Sixth Form Football Academy students did not miss out on the opportunity to watch a professional outfit train.

The students enjoyed the visit and as long as they don’t beat the Gulls tomorrow, we would happily have them again.