Head Boy & Head Girl, First Ever Poetry Slam & Devon Cup Win

Head Boy and Head Girl Revealed in End of Term Assembly

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Pictured: Myself with Head Boy, Dominic Rowe, Head Girl, Paige Grimes, Deputy Head Boy and Girl, Matt Hadden and Correy Law after receiving their badges in the end of term assembly today

After a tough process involving interviews with myself, Mr Harries and Mrs Thomas, I am delighted to appoint our very first Head and Deputy Head boys and girls.

After submitting applications for the role and impressing in their interviews, Dominic, Paige, Matt and Correy were all successful and will after half term assume their new roles within the school. The students showed great passion and maturity during the process, which influence our decision to appoint them. I, Mr Harries and Mrs Thomas were seriously impressed by the students and are confident that they will represent the school excellently when performing their duties.

Head Boy, Dominic Rowe said “Becoming Head Boy at Torquay Academy is a real honour for me and achieving this position will be beneficial not only for me, but for the school as a whole. The process we went through (especially the formal interview in front of Mr Margetts, Mr Harries and Mrs Thomas) was challenging, as it really tested our social skills but it was fair at the same time. Personally, I have been devoted and displayed a genuine interest in the school over the years, and believe that this has helped me build on my confidence with this new role. I feel like I can give something back to the school by aiding many students and putting my thoughts across.”

Head Girl, Paige Grimes Said “Becoming Head Girl is a role that I am honoured to have been given. It enables me to show immense prominent student responsibility and allows us to be ambassadors for the school. I believe I have been devoted to school activities throughout the years whilst at TA. I was full committed to the application process and it’s rewarding to be given the role and become an influential student for my peers to look up to.”

Deputy Head Boy, Matt Hadden said “I am honoured to be offered the role of Deputy Head Boy. I cannot wait to get started with Dom, Paige, Correy and the prefect team. In the words of Timon and Pumba “Hakuna Matata”.

Deputy Head Girl, Correy Law said “I am very honoured to be Deputy Head Girl and it will be a pleasure to work alongside Head Girl, Paige. The process made sure it wasn’t a popularity vote and pushed us to ensure we were serious about taking on the responsibility of the role”.

I look forward to the appointed students making a real impact in school when we return after half term.

Well done all.

Students Perform at Torbay’s First Ever Poetry Slam

Pictured: Students before and during the Poetry Slam event

After performing at Europe’s largest ever Poetry Slam competition at the Princess Theatre this week, English Teacher Mrs Tanner came back with glowing feedback from many who were at the event, including Dreadlock Alien, who helped to prepare our students during poetry workshops at school.

Mrs Tanner, who worked with and took the students to the event reports:

We have just got back from Torbay’s’ 1st ever Poetry Slam. Being ever so keen to make Poetry appeal to all, this was certainly the place to be. With judges of successful authors and poets, Radio 4 host and Dreadlock Alien, we were in great company today!

We were 1 of 20 other schools for the 1st ever event here; we felt so proud to be a part of that! It was nice to have Torquay Academy on the map for being a part of the event.

We had jitters and disagreements just before they went on stage – but they did it! In front of nearly 1,400 people they were braver than me! I had to remind myself that they are only 11-12 years of age! They knew their lines, a great unique poem was delivered with confidence and poise and there were smiles all of the way through, accompanied by beat boxing in the end! I am extremely proud of all of them.

They felt a little disheartened after seeing some of the other entries, but I promised them that I would take all 5 of them again to the Slam 2016 and go for it again bigger and even better if that’s what they wanted!!

From a teacher perspective I was very proud, really to see how their confidence has grown over the last few weeks – please, if you see any of them, congratulate them!

The pictures above explain the day. I have also added the ‘Decisions’ poem they wrote together:

Decisions – by Torquay Academy Poetry Slam Team
I guess I have my parents to blame
For my terrible second name
This name just makes me sad
It’s your entire fault Mum and Dad
I just hang my head in shame
Because of my silly surname
People get in a habit
Of calling me Hannah Maggot!
This decision was made with my soul
Now I’m off to change it by de-poll!
What decision shall I make?
Maybe your second name doesn’t fit perfectly
How about we call you Miss Hannah Jeffery?
Or maybe we could call you George
Or deep like Cheddar Gorge!
Here’s a name that I am fond
How about Hannah Ash Blonde?
Or be like the girl in Dr Who, that lady called Hannah Pond
Or why not just be 007 Hannah Bond?
What decision will you make?
You’re so lucky
Unlike me
It’s not really funny
…to me
His name was Ron
It’s Grandad to me
It is a con
Why decide to take my Grampie?
So the decision we had to play
To let you go or to let you stay
Turning off the machine, and letting you die
Just enough time for me to say goodbyeeeeeeeeeeeee…
What decision should we make?
A decision of precision of an incision of a surgeon’s knife
A decision that will separate you, husband from wife
Is it on the left, is it on the right? Is it in front of me or is it out of sight?
A decision that decides my fate
A decision that decides the path I should take
A decision that decides what I could and what I must
A decision decides who shall I trust?
Decisions about being a Muslim or Jew
Decisions decide what’s old and what’s new
Decision like je suis Charlie
Decisions of what songs to listen to by Bob Marley?
Decisions decide what started the war
Decisions decide whether there should be any more
So now judges a decision for you
What ya gona do…put us though?


Year 12 Parents’ Evening

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Pictured: Students with their teachers at last night’s Parents’ Evening
Year 12 students and their parents enjoyed an evening of discussion yesterday at this week’s Parents’ Evening.

As the Sixth Form expands, each Parents’ Evening sees more parents and students in attendance to discuss current progress in lessons and longer term goals when applying for university.

The evening was very well attended and provided a great opportunity for parents to meet new Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Thomas, for the first time.


TBGS Students Act as Maths Mentors for Year 7 Students

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Pictured: TBGS students teaming up with our Year 7’s

On Wednesday, Mr Humphrey hosted a group of our smartest Year 7 students who teamed up with of the smartest Sixth Formers from Torquay Boys’ Grammar School.

The purpose was to give our brightest the chance to work with similar minded mathematicians and see what they could manage to do! There were maths problems and conundrums that had some of the Maths Department scratching their heads whilst the students beavered away showing that inquisitiveness and determination to solve a problem could fix everything. The Sixth Formers were left exhausted, the Year 7’s were left impressed at how much they can achieve and the teacher … still a little baffled.

Year 7 student, Cain Rider said “The first session was quite fun. The Grammar students explained things very well, especially some of the trickier stuff like algebra. The students really know their stuff which helps us a lot.”

The weekly sessions will continue until the Easter holidays.

Thanks to all the students, big and little, it was a very fulfilling experience.


Rowcroft Cheque Presentation

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Pictured: Community Fund Raising Officer, Hayley Norish with Miss Haines and students during the cheque presentation earlier today

Mrs Haines invited Community Fund Raising Officer, Hayley Norish from Rowcroft Hospice into school today so that students could present her with a cheque for monies raised during charity events at school.

Rowcroft has become one of our chosen charities. Not only did we raise money for this charity in the most recent non uniform day but to show even more commitment to the cause, the Health and Social Care students organised a Torquay Academy staff coffee morning to raise money for Rowcroft Hospice. Rowcroft is a local run charity that specialises in care and support for people and families that face the challenge of serious illnesses and life changing decisions and we are delighted to be able to help them with their work.

Hayley said “The amount raised by the students is fantastic and will help to care for patients living with life limiting illnesses as well as supporting their loved ones across South Devon. It is great having the continued support from the school.”



Year 8’s take on the UK Junior Mathematical Challenge

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Pictured: Year 10 students hard at work during the UK Junior Mathematical Challenge

120 Year 10 and 11 students took part in the UK Junior Mathematic Challenge this week. It involved students answering 25 multiple choice questions in one hour.

Numeracy Coordinator, Mr Humphrey, said “The students really took to the challenge well and are now eagerly awaiting the results.”

The top 40% of students nationally receive a gold, silver or bronze certificate in the ratio 1:2:3 and each institution receives a Best in School certificate once the challenge has is complete.



School Photographs

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Pictured: Smile for the camera. Student photos being taken earlier this week

Students enjoyed posing for the camera this week as Jelly Images came into school to take professional portraits of all of our students.

With a full studio set up, it was a novel experience and apart from a few camera shy students, they enjoyed their time in front of the camera and are looking forward to seeing the results.

Proofs of the photos will arrive in school after half term and will then be sent home for parents to order.


Sixth Form Football Team Grind out Devon Cup Win

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Pictured: Winners on their return to school after winning in their semi-final match

Our Sixth Form students travelled to Teignmouth for the semi-final of the Devon Cup yesterday. PE Teacher and Coach, Mr Grinsill reported on the match:

Teignmouth had a big squad to choose from as they are linked with Exeter City as part of their Sixth Form programme. We started tentatively and Teignmouth failed to capitalise with their early chances. The boys started to grow into the game and took the lead through Liam Artz after a poor kick from the Teignmouth goalkeeper.

Confidence from TA was high and they doubled their lead through Alex Constantinou from a well worked corner kick. Teignmouth then rallied and cut the lead in half just before half time.

Teignmouth started the second half brightly and heaped a great deal of pressure on the TA defence. TA caught Teignmouth on the counter attack and increased the lead through Jack Walker but Teignmouth then caught TA out at the back 2 minutes later to make the score 3-2. TA then caught Teignmouth out again on the counter attack and double their lead through Jack Walker again. Teignmouth then threw caution to the wind with 15 minutes remaining unfortunately pressure eventually told and Teignmouth levelled with two goals in the last 15 minutes.

With the light fading the game went straight to penalties. Teignmouth went first and missed thanks to a fine save from Adam Taylor this set the standard and TA eventually ran out 3-1 winners on penalties.

This was an outstanding team performance and a result the team truly deserved.


Students Compete in Karate Competition

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Pictured: (from left) Year 8 students Oliver Parson, Jake Lewis with Year 7 students, Cody Heal and Silbury Peakman after the Karate competition

Two Year 7 and two Year 8 students recently competed in a Karate competition with their Karate club, South West Independent Karate Organisation (SWIKO) last week.

Video: Year 7 student, Cody fighting Year 8 student Oliver Parsons during the Karate competition.

Competing at the Winners Gym, Torquay, against fighters from Plymouth, Newton Abbot and Kingskerswell, our students won a total of 8 medals between them, in various categories.

Year 7 student, Cody Heal fought in Girls and the under 5ft category and was then put forward to the Boys category after beating all of the girl fighters. Cody said “I was a bit scared to fight the boys but once I started fighting I felt confident”. Currently training three times a week, Cody holds a brown and two stripe belt but is hoping to be awarded a black belt this July.

Fellow Year 7 student, Silbury Peakman, who has been at SWIKO for 6 years, competed in the under 5ft category, a team fight and the Kata event, winning 2 silver medals for his efforts. Silbury said “I like to have my school friends at the same club. We have become closer through going to karate club with each other.”

Year 8 students Jake and Oliver fought in the under 5ft, team fight and Kata categories and took home 5 silver medals between them. The highlight for Oliver, who currently holds a green belt fought a black belt fighter and won. Oliver said “I was amazed that I beat him because he was a black belt which is 6 grades higher than me”. When I asked what Jake liked about Karate, he said “I enjoy the discipline, exercise and fitness aspects of Karate. I also like learning self-defence with my friends”.


Year 7 Netball

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Pictured: Our Year 7 Netball team at PCSA this week

Our Year 7 Netball team played in their second netball tournament on Monday. The girls played 3 games lost one by two goals, drew to Paignton and lost to Stoodley Knowle however they played some fantastic netball and are really starting to link play together to score goals.

Star of the tournament was Samantha Gourlay who controlled the games well at Centre but also picked up some fantastic interceptions. Well done girls.


Year 10 Boys Shine Whilst Representing Torbay District Football Team

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Pictured: Myself with Callum and Luke earlier this week

I was delighted to hear of the success of two of our talented young footballers this week.

Callum Morton and Luke Lewis both represented Torbay district on Monday in the quarter final of the Worrall Shield against Bridgewater SFA in Taunton. Luke captained the team from defence, whilst Callum scored a hatrick playing up front and helped secure an 8-0 win. Both boys have been playing for Torbay since last season and are not damaging their chances going forward with excellent performances such as this.

Luke said “Being captain is a big responsibility but I feel that it makes me a better player. I’m proud of the boys’ performance, as we hadn’t trained before the game.” Callum added “I’m really pleased to score a hat trick. I think I took my chances well and put in a good performance.”

The semi-final is due to be played at PCC against Yeovil. I look forward to hearing the result and wish the boys the best of luck.


Elyse shows good Form for in Warm up for Birmingham Athletics Comp

Year 9 student Elyse Leech ran in the 200m sprint in Cardiff last Sunday competing in the under 20’s age group as there were no younger competitors. It was a practice for her, for her next race in Birmingham in a couple of weeks’ time. Mrs Leech said “We are so thrilled as she got 2nd place in her heat for the 200m and won overall in that age group for the Southwest. She went with team mates and her coach”.

This is a great achievement for Elyse, as the older competitors have more experience and are physically more mature.

Well done Elyse.