GCSE Results Day
Pictured: Students celebrating their success on GCSE results day last month
It was lovely to come in during the summer holiday and share the moment where our students found out their GCSE results.
Record Maths and English results have enabled our students to move onto their chosen courses. The highlight for me was seeing the students bringing in their grey jackets and swapping them for our new 6th form black jackets. There was a real sense of graduation to the occasion.
BGT Auditions – Have you got Talent?
The Britain’s Got Talent Production Team will be visiting us on Thursday 25th of September to see “a range of fresh student talent” (their words).
They told me “If you’re a Torquay Academy student or member of staff and have a talent that you would like to share, no matter how big or small, then we would like to see you”.
If you’re interested in meeting them, you will need to sign up on the sheet outside of Miss Pappin’s room. Singers should prepare a verse and chorus of a song and all other performances should be no longer than 90 seconds.
With the amount of talented students in our school, I’m sure they will be impressed!
Now, all I need is to think of a talent that I can audition with…
Winner of the Creative writing Competition
Pictured: Mr Heartford presents Georgia Large, the winner of Torquay Academy’s Creative Writing competition, with her prizes during the end of year assembly.
The winner of our inaugural Creative Writing competition from the end of last term was Year 9 student Georgia Large (pictured).
Entrants were challenged to create a “Steam punk” short story, combining elements of modern and Victorian literature, using the title “Oliver Twist Vampire Killer”.
There were over 100 entries from students across Torbay making judging them a task in itself! After Mr Heartford and Candy Harper, guest judge and best-selling children’s author, had read through all of the entries it was Georgia’s story that really stood out.
Mr Heartford said “We had a fantastic response and the standard was really high. Georgia was certainly a worthy winner!”
Georgia won a Kindle E-reader her winning story published and available to buy on Amazon, as well as a signed copy of Harper’s first novel, “The Disappeared”. Well Done Georgia!
Pictured: Our new Year 7 students during the summer school
Summer School was an outstanding success this year! Everyone had an amazing time whilst enjoying a variety of activities led by our staff.
Set over two weeks students took part in a variety of educational and fun activities.
Week one was based on the theme of “Under the Sea” and each student was involved in producing and creating some wonderful work in the academy, ranging from baking cookies and fairy cakes to performing in Drama. This was then followed by excursions to Grenville House, in Brixham, where they learned to kayak, a trip to Dartmoor which gave them an outdoor adventure and then to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.
Week Two was based on the same structure but with the theme of Animals and this meant more creative and interesting activities in the Academy followed by a trip to Grenville House where students enjoyed raft building and a wonderful visit to Paignton Zoo.
The summer school allowed students to get to know their new class mates, the teachers and staff at our school and allowed them to become familiar with the school and grounds.
Feedback from the students and parents was fantastic and it was clear to see the benefits of such a great couple of weeks.
Students who were involved can look forward to a review of the Summer School in the form of a booklet which will be available in the coming weeks.
Introducing the newest members of the team…
Pictured: (Back, from left) Mr Brinson (Music), Ms Sanders (Assistant Principal and Business Studies), Mr Grinsill (PE and Football Academy), Mr Humphrey (Numeracy Coordinator), Mr Turner (Modern Foreign Languages) and Mr Gale (Assistant Principal and Science). (Front, from left) Mrs Jukes (Assistant Senco and English), Ms Kay (Science), Ms Hayes (Science), Mrs Elson (English), Miss Roberts (English) and Dr Jones (English). Not Pictured: Mr Jefferies (Assistant Senco and Maths), Mr Lambswood (Fairfields) and Mrs Childs (Chef).
The start of a new year often means one or two new members of staff… Due to an increase in student numbers and our drive to have the very best teachers working at Torquay Academy we have welcomed 15 new members of staff. They are all wonderful additions to the school and are having a great impact.
I hope that they have felt as welcome to the school as I did when I started in January.
New Routines Help Students Adopt a new Attitude to Learning
Pictured: (left) Students lining up before starting their tutorial session in the morning and (right) the installation of the new outdoor digital clocks.
There have been a number of changes for students to get used to since starting the new term. After seeing first-hand the routines and how the school operates on a daily basis since I started in January, I felt that a number of changes needed to be made in order to help the students adopt a consistent approach to their learning and make the most of every minute during the school day.
One main change is the 2 week timetable with 5 lessons each day instead of 6. This means that students have more time in each of their lessons dedicated to learning and spend less time moving between lessons.
Another change is tutorial time. This has been moved to the beginning of the day and starts with students lining up outside and then walking to their tutor rooms. The routine has been made very clear to students and focusses particularly on punctuality, uniform and preparing students for the lessons they have throughout the day. Clocks have been installed in our outdoor areas to help students maintain good punctuality. If you have driven past the school I am sure you will have noticed the one on the front of the school!
Staff also have a focus on rewarding good work and behaviour. Praise points are issued to students for a range of positive behaviours such as excellent homework or answering a question well in class. Already this week 1342 praise points have been issued.
The changes made have already had a positive impact on daily life at the Academy and will continue to improve the learning that takes place.
Rise and Read
Pictured: (left) Sixth Form student Jasmine Bradshaw reading with students. (Right) Year 7 students enjoying reading with the Sixth Form students.
This week has seen the start the start of our Rise & Read programme, where year 7 students have the opportunity to come into the Academy three mornings a week to read a book.
The sessions are led by our Sixth Form students, Dominic, Paige, Jasmine, Matt and Richard, and supported by staff. Students arrive for Breakfast Club at 7.30am and then go onto their Rise & read groups at 7.45 where they read one novel as a whole group.
Sixth Form student Matt Cotton said “It’s nice to be able to have a positive impact on the new Year 7’s reading ability”.
There are currently three groups with well over 40 pupils attending each day – an excellent start to a provision that is designed to encourage a love of reading as well as provide all of the significant academic benefits that regular reading provides.
Year 7 student Nyah Silvester said “I love reading and like that the school has so many books to choose from”. Fellow Year 7 student Joshua Lloyd added “I love reading too but came to improve my reading ability… the Sixth Form students made it easy to follow and read the story with them”.
There are still places available and it would be brilliant to see even more year 7s come along to the sessions. Please send a note in your child’s planner if you would like them to attend or contact Mr Withers.
Breakfast Club Continues and is still FREE for all!
Pictured: (left) Leah McDonald and (right) Charli Sims of Year 7
With the success and popularity of the breakfast club last term, I have decided to continue this service and allow students and staff to come together at the start of each day and enjoy eating breakfast together.
Leah and Charli (pictured) said “…we like breakfast club because of the variety of food to choose from and it’s free!”
The breakfast club is the perfect way to start the day, making sure you are full of energy to for the day ahead.
If you are yet to try the breakfast club for yourself, it begins at 7.30am everyday so why not come along? The learning café and library are open before school as well.
Sixth Form Students Pride Shining Through
Pictured: From left: Richard Raybould, Dominic Rowe and Phoebe Tape – some of our new Sixth Form students.
Our Sixth Form students have been walking around the school with a distinguished sense of pride at the start of the new term and it appears their new Sixth Form blazers have a large part to play.
Richard Raybould (pictured left) told me “I like our new blazers… they are smart and make us really stand out. It makes us think of how far we have come in order to get into the Sixth Form and how far we are going to go.”
It has been great to see how mature and well prepared they have been and they are proving to be great role models to the rest of the school.
Our New Furry Friends
Pictured: One of our two giant bunny rabbits with two of our four Guinea pigs in their hutch.
We have kindly been given four Guinea Pigs and two giant bunny rabbits by Pennywell farm to add to the TA farm.
They have begun to settle into their newly built enclosures and staff and students look forward to caring for them as part of a lunch time club as well as for our Land Based Science lessons.
The rabbits will grow to twice the size of a regular rabbit and will be a great addition to the TA farm.
With chickens arriving on Saturday, the farmyard family will continue to grow and provide a great learning experience for our students.
We will be holding a naming competition over the coming weeks.
Elyse Wins even more Gold!
Pictured: Elyse receiving one of her gold medals at Exeter Arena
Shortly after finishing for the summer, Year 10 student Elyse Leech, competed in the athletics South West Championships, winning two gold medals!
Elyse has already shown her ability in previous competitions and continues to dominate the 100m and 200m events. She even achieved a new personal best of 12.81 seconds in the 100m sprint.
Elyse told me “It is one of the most important events I have competed in. I was surprised that I won gold in both races because one of my competitors had beaten me in a previous competition. So far my success has pushed me to train harder, which is really paying off!”
The athletics season will begin to slow down for the winter until after Christmas when the indoor season starts. Elyse will continue to train hard and we look forward to seeing even more success in the new year.