Remembrance Day, Shakespeare Festival & Peer Herald

Remembrance Day

Pictured: Events throughout the week to mark the Centenary of WW1

To mark the centenary of World War One, students and staff here at Torquay Academy have been taking part in themed lessons, lunch time activities and the annual 2 minutes silence.

Mrs Radford’s Year 10 class were tasked with writing a creative writing piece from the viewpoint of somebody who had served in the war. The students then displayed their writing in their classroom for others to see. Miss Melrose had a similar challenge for her students but writing in French only (pictured).

Year 10 Student, Harley Duncanson said “…the descriptive war piece has been the best because writing and imagining what it would have been like to go through what all of our soldiers went through is extraordinary. Being in the same shoes as them would have been so scary and a life changing experience (literally).”

Students from Fairfields one have also been writing and creating a WW1 display. Poems, poppies and letters written ‘from the trenches’ were proudly displayed by the students. Mrs Fortune said “The students were really motivated by the WW1 topic and produced some really emotive pieces of writing.”

Head of Humanities, Miss Cape held a lunch time activities all week. Monday’s activity was poppy making (pictured) where students made poppy wreath’s to lay down during the 2 minutes silence.

Video: Two minute silence and the Last Post played by Year 9 student, Jack Bell

On Tuesday, the whole school gathered in the main atrium to take part in the 2 minute silence. Year 9 student, Jack Bell, played the Last Post on his French Horn, adding to the emotion that we all felt on that day. Miss Cape had also prepared Trench cake, Hard Tack biscuits (nicknamed Iron Slabs), and an example of rations that were handed out during the war. Year 8 student, Ryan Cole tried and ‘Iron Slab’ and said “It tastes like Weetabix and dog food! I wouldn’t want to have to eat this every day.” Fellow Year 8 student, Amber Kennard, tried on a gas mask and protective eyewear that were brought in; she said “They are horrible and really uncomfortable”.

Miss Cape showed students the ration supplies of a modern day soldier and compared them with WW1 rations (pictured). Students were amazed at the difference and could not believe how plain their diet was. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunch times, students began to construct a replica WW1 trench (pictured); this will continue over the coming weeks.

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Pictured: Joshua Phillips with his medal collection and his Grandad’s Royal Engineers National Service jacket

The commemorations inspired students to find out about their own families and how they were involved in the war efforts. Year 7 student Joshua Phillips (pictured) brought in several medals from his Great Grandad, Great Uncle and Grandad who were all involved in WW1, WW2 and National service respectively.

Joshua said “It makes me feel proud knowing that my family served our country”. Joshua enjoyed showing his collection to his classmates and explaining what each medal was for.

The school has also been very proud to see one of our celebrated ex-students feature so prominently in the remembrance activities in London. Col Sgt Paul Baines, pictured in his bearskin hat, has been rubbing shoulders with the Prime Minister and Prince Harry. Paul was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in Afghanistan during November 2009. Paul was injured when he risked his own life to save colleagues in an ambush in the Helmand Province.

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Children in Need Cake Sale

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Pictured: Students in our dining hall this morning with their children in need cakes and biscuits

Students and staff showed their charitable sides once again today in support of Children In Need.

We held a cake sale at break time and managed to raise £134.20 for the children’s charity.

Well done to those who donated!



Year 12 Health & Social Care Family Affair with Mr Chadwick and co.

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Pictured: Students taking notes from the discussions with Mrs Chadwick whilst I kept the children entertained!

Year 12 Health and Social Care students welcomed Mr Chadwick’s family into their class today to discuss “…the joy of having children” as Mrs Chadwick put it.

Mrs Chadwick, Luca and Seren, (pictured) spent a lesson talking to the Year 12 students, discussing a host of different topics including pregnancy, child birth, early years development, nutrition, socialisation and asked general questions about family life.

The experience has provided our students with lots of first-hand knowledge that will be used later in the term to complete their assignments.

Year 12 student Becky Harris said “It was a really good learning experience for us and we really enjoyed meeting Mrs Chadwick, Luca and Seren”.

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Pictured: Our year 12’s with Mr Chadwick and his family


Students ‘Buzzing’ after Shakespeare School Festival Performance

Pictured: Students on stage and back-stage during the Shakespeare School Festival

After, months of hard work from the students involved, The Shakespeare Schools Festival finally arrived on Monday and it was a fantastic experience.

The company made their way to the theatre at lunchtime, where we were thrown straight into a technical and dress rehearsals. Following this they had some time to go over a few little details before the final performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed their performance of Romeo and Juliet. The quality of the performances was simply incredible; they received a rapturous round of applause and cheers from the audience at the end.

Year 8 student Amber Kennard, who played Fryer Lawrence, said “It was really fun and we all enjoyed every minute of it. We were nervous before we were due to perform and were surprised how time flew when we were on stage!” Year 10 student, Aimee Gagg added “The performance helped our confidence a lot, especially because we got to work with other students that we wouldn’t usually speak to.”



Marjon Sport Masterclass

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Pictured: Our Year 13 students at Marjon University this week

Nine students from Year 13 attended a Sports Masterclass at the University of St Marks and St Johns (Marjon) in Plymouth yesterday.

Year 13 student, Charley Harris, kindly provided me with the following report:

“Year 13 BTEC Sport Level 3 students went to Marjon University on Thursday as part of a Sports Masterclass.

When we arrived, we were taken into a room where we had our welcome talk, before being given a master class in Sports Development. This included learning about the different programmes within the subject area and what is involved.

The second master class was Sports Coaching and was based on football. We learned how to become a coach, a mentor and what is involved in the Sports Coaching programme.

During the afternoon we had some practical sessions. We were able to take control of one of the sessions and lead each other through it. This involved two of us taking the role of the teacher and coaching the rest of the students. As teachers, we had to identify different scenarios and teach with different techniques. The final session involved playing Dodgeball. Emma even made us laugh by slipping over during the game.

Overall, the day was great! We were given so many different challenges and as a group, we worked well to overcome them.

On behalf of the Year 13’s, I would like to thank Mrs Hadden and Miss Edwards for taking us to and from Marjon’s and to Emma for providing the entertainment.”


Hele’s Angels Transform Unused Land as part of Gardens & Greens Project

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Pictured: (left) Hele’s Angels Neighbourhood Manager, Chris Forster with a volunteer on the new allotment area by our 3G pitch

Community group, Hele’s Angels, as part of their Gardens and Greens Project, have been working hard over the past few week in transforming a plot of unused and overgrown land into a well cultivated allotment.

I am so pleased to be able to support this project. The local community benefits from being able to use our space and we get the benefit of having the new facilities on site that our students can also take advantage of. This part of the project aims to rejuvenate the green areas of Hele and Lower Barton back to their former glory whilst providing volunteers with the opportunity to learn new skills along the way.

Gardens and Greens Project coordinator, Phil Lawlor, has so far led a team of volunteers to clear the plot, install a tool shed, poly tunnel and raised vegetable beds, which are beginning to produce crops that will be sold in the community shop on Hele Road. Proceeds from the allotment will help fund other projects in the community.

Hele’s Angels Neighbourhood Manager, Chris Forster said “It is great having an opportunity in working with the Academy and the community on this very exciting project. We have seen a piece of waste land turned into a productive area, producing produce for the community and more importantly an involvement and a feeling of improved self-worth from all involved”.

Hele’s Angels rely heavily on volunteer contributions. If you would like to get involved with this project or any other projects they are running, please contact Hele’s Angels on 01803 312808 or email



Dance Leaders put Skills to the Test

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Pictured: Our Year 11 Dance Leaders during their session at Torre Primary School

15 of our Year 11 Dance Leaders visited Torre Primary school on Wednesday to put the skills they have learnt over the past few weeks into practise.

The girls planned and organised a dance session for 24 reception age children, including fun warm up activities and to teach a dance motif to the song “happy”. The session finished with whole group performance.

PE teacher, Miss Knowles said “The Dance Leaders were absolutely brilliant, a real credit to the school and they loved working with the children.”

Next Wednesday the second Dance Leader group will visiting the school again to deliver another dance session. Look out for more pictures find out how they did in next week’s blog post.



Peer Herald

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Pictured: Editor of the Herald Express, Jim Parker briefing our Sixth Form students

We have teamed up with the Herald Express to produce the next edition of the Peer Herald.

The Peer herald is a four page supplement that is included in all of the print editions as well as being placed on line. They will reach a readership of over 250,000 people!

The editor of the Herald Express, Jim Parker, visited our Sixth Form students to brief them on what the publication was all about and the students set to work straight away, thinking about concepts for articles they want to write about. Their next step will be to have an editor’s meeting in the conference room at the Herald Express’s office.

The finished publication will be a supplement in the Herald Express in December.


Year 10 Food Technology

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Pictured: (left) May-Lee Mcnally and (right) Kaitlyn Day with their modified Bakewell cakes

Miss Wallace-Stanley’s year 10 food Technology class have been focusing this term on the functions of different ingredients in a recipe and how they can develop recipes to make them their own.

This week students have been developing new ideas based on the Bakewell tart including using different ingredients, shapes, flavours and different ways to finish their designs.

Kaitlyn (pictured) made hers with ginger pastry, lemon curd filling and a chocolate sponge; she said “I thought the flavours would work well together and am happy with the overall finish”.

Miss Wallace- Stanley said “The class came up with some really interesting flavour combinations and really improved their time management skills with this task.”



Primary Library Visit

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Pictured: Cockington students in our Library and showing me their Science experiment in our labs earlier today

Cockington Primary School visited us today to take part in Literacy and Science lessons with Mr Withers and Mrs Hammond.

Mr Withers said “The students were one of the most enthusiastic groups we have had and were a real pleasure to work with.”

Students learnt new library and research skills by taking part in a Library fact finding task and then learnt how to use a Bunsen burner and the effects they have when burning different metals.



iPads Further Student Learning Opportunities

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Pictured: Tear 7’s using the iPads in their art lesson this week

A group of Year 7 students are taking part in an iPad project to look at how technology can improve engagement and learning. They can be seen here using their iPads in an Art Lesson. The teachers of this group have undergone training to ensure new and exciting ways to learn are developed.

Parents attended a meeting to launch the project as the use of the IPads at home is as vital as their use in school to encourage independent learning. We will feedback the results of the trial in the new year.



Post 16 Evening

A date for your diary: Our Post 16 Open evening is coming up on the 4th December and will be a great opportunity to speak to Head of Sixth Form, Mr Harries, Sixth form subject teachers and other post 16 providers. The evening runs from 5.00 – 7.00pm.

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If you or someone you know would find this event useful before having to make your post 16 choices, feel free to spread the word and invite them.


Dance Duo Impress at Dance Festival

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Pictured: (left) Jess Tarrant and (right) Beth Rook with their impressive trophy and medal collection

Year 10 students Jessica Tarrant and Beth Rook came away from the Indian Queens Dance Festival with an impressive haul of trophies and medals (they could barely carry the box they were in!)

The girls had been rehearsing for the festival that took place in Fraddon, Cornwall for two weeks prior to competing and took part thirteen dances between them including solo dances, duets and one dance as a trio.

The girls, who are both members of Castle School of Dancing, were competing against each other as well as other dance schools from the South West and came away with nine gold, three silver and one bronze medal between them, as well as seven trophies!

Beth had the added honour of receiving and individual award at the end of the competition for Most Outstanding Senior Dancer for her ballet performance.

Mum of Beth, Miss Rook, said “The award was well deserved for all the hard work and effort this year. The high marks from the judges were testament to level of performance that both girls have now reached”.

The girls said “Dancing together is easier because we are really good friends. We push each other really hard to make sure we perform to our best.”

Training now continues (five days a week) as the girls prepare for a Christmas Performance at Babbacombe Theatre on 30th November. The girls would be delighted to see friends of the school there to support them. Tickets are available at the Theatre box office.



Boys Football

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Pictured: Olly Moxham organising the team

It has been a busy week for football again this week, with both Year 8 and 10 having games in the Devon and National Cup respectively.

On Monday Year 8 travelled to play against last year’s finalists Ivybridge. Unfortunately an early goal from Ivybridge proved to be the only difference between the two sides. It was disappointing result but the team put in a very strong team performance without any reward.


First Round Success for Year 10 Boys Football

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Pictured: Going for goal

On Tuesday Year 10 faced Ridgeway in round 3 of the National Cup.

We took an early lead through Shaun Johannesson (2) and continued to dominate the game and ran out comfortable winners with the score ending 9-1.

The rest of the goals came from Louis Baker-Thornley (2), Luke Lewis, Louie-Jay Haywood, Jordan Kenneford, and Ethan Hooper (2).

A great all round performance means we now travel to Tiverton High School in round 4.



Year 11 Futsal

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Pictured: Our Year 11 girls Futsal team

Both Year 11 boys and girls entered a team to represent TA in a Futsal competition at Paignton Community and Sport Academy yesterday evening.

Our girls only had five players and despite playing well and working together as a team, were unable to progress in the competition.

The boys team won 6, lost 2 and with the final game being played against TBGS, a 1-1 draw meant the boys failed to progress by 2 points.

Both teams represented the school impeccably well and are looking forward to the next competition.

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Pictured: Year 11 boys in action yesterday


Netball Round Up:

Pictured: Team photos of our girl’s netball teams this week

All year groups had teams out this week, with the Year 9/10/11 teams playing a very strong Churston team at the start of the week. Although the team came second, all girls put out a good performance and each quarter increased the goals they scored and reduced the goals conceded. The year 9s defence worked really hard with Nicole Doris and Ocea Jackson Graves playing well.

Later in the week the Year 7s and 8s visited St Cuthbert Mayne. Due to the weather the games were moved inside. Year 7s played well but were unable to secure the win despite some great performances from Ella Squibb and team mates. The Year 8’s game was a lot closer with the girls scoring goal for goal, however they were very unlucky to lose by 1 goal. Fantastic performances from Georgia Harvey and Ella Blayber.

It was fantastic to see so many girls representing the school Netball teams this week. Well done! If anyone else would like to join, training is Monday night 3-4.15pm.