Students get creative throughout the school

Welcome to the Newest Members of the Team


Pictured: (Left) Lucy Wood and (right) Rachel Popham

We have two new members of staff joining us this week, the new Assistant SENCO, Lucy Wood (left) and new PE teacher, Rachel Popham (right) who is covering for Miss White, whilst on maternity leave.  On behalf of all the staff and students, I would like to welcome you both to Torquay Academy.



End of Half Term Whole School Assembly

Blog 14.02.14 Assembly

A new tradition started this week, to mark the end of a fantastic first half term at this wonderful school, I arranged for the whole school community to get together in the sports hall to finish the half term with a whole school assembly.  The assembly allowed me to thank students and staff for all of the great work that they have done over the past six weeks. I also shared some of our recent success stories and we all enjoyed a great performance by our school Jazz band…….



Year 12 ‘Ready Steady Cook’ Off


Pictured: Mr Harries and I with our Year 12 students

As part of their PSHE lessons, our Year 12 students have been taking part in a, Ready Steady Cook style, cooking challenge. Each of our students were given a set of 6 ingredients, for them to make of what they could.  Head of Sixth Form, Mr Harries, said “the idea is to prepare them for when they leave school and go onto university. They will hopefully be able to survive on more than just pasta”.

Three students progressed to this week’s final and had ingredients consisting of chicken, cheese, mushrooms, broccoli, eggs and potato. Mr Harries and I were invited to judge the final, so we joined them in the final cook off. The outcome was three delicious dishes, making the decision that Mr Harries and I had to make very tough. After much deliberation and lots of tasting, Emma Baker was revealed as the overall winner, with a lovely breaded chicken dish. Well done to all involved.



Year 7 Science Homework


Pictured: (left) Year 7 Students with their homework projects. (right) Year 7 student showing me their raspberry jelly cell formation.

Miss Hammond invited me along to see the brilliant homework projects that her Year 7 Science class had produced this week. They were asked to make models of an animal or plant cell and I thought they showed great imagination after seeing their finished work.  Alex Jones (above left) made a cake, decorating the icing to show a cell structure, whilst other students used other 3D materials and even some raspberry jelly!



BBC Filming Virtually Safe Video


Pictured: Filming taking place this week for an exciting online safety project

As mentioned in my previous blog posts, we have been working with the Torbay Virtually Safe team to improve our students’ knowledge and understanding around the dangers of sending images over the internet or on mobile phones.  This work has been brought to the attention of the BBC who were on site this week, as they wanted to film the work we are doing with our students.  Our students were filmed during a presentation delivered by the local police and the Torbay Virtually Safe team with the aim of including the footage in a television programme, which will be broadcast nationally on BBC3.  Our students represented the school exceptionally well and the BBC staff said how impressed they were with them. Once we know when it will be aired, I will let you know.



Year 11 Dance Leaders Take the Musicals to Mayfield School


Pictured: Our Dance Leaders at Mayfield School

Year 11 dance leaders visited Mayfield School this week, with PE teacher Miss Knowles, as part of their final assessment for the dance leadership course. The students focussed on a theme of musicals and had a great time teaching High School Musical to 8 classes in total.  The main focus for the Dance Leaders was verbal and non-verbal communication when teaching, especially how to change your plans on the spot, thinking and adapting quickly.  The students were an absolute credit to the school and Miss Knowles was very proud of their behaviour and attitude.



Year 10 Students Learn Important Life Skills


Pictured: Year 10 students during the Life Skills event

Local agencies including Checkpoint Torbay, Torbay Hospital, and the Police kindly gave their time to offer their support and guidance to our students, in Life Skills sessions this week. They covered important life topics such as drugs, breast care awareness, legal highs and online safety.  The sessions were aimed at equipping our students with the life skills to progress to the next stage of their development both socially, morally and economically.  Events such as these Life Skills events help to equip our student with the knowledge and understanding of how they can succeed in life and the services that are there to support them.



Students get Creative at Art Club


Pictured: Students during art club with Mrs Lynch

I visited Mrs Lynch and students during the Art club this week to see some of the work on show. Here I saw students spending their free time, after school, working on a variety of art projects.  In particular, I chatted to three Year 9 students, Jason O’Rourke, Harry Clempson and Louie Blaber, who were working on a Graffiti wall project. Inspired by artists such as Banksy, Blu and Burger Man, the students explained that to get the effect they wanted, they began by stretching fabric over a wooden frame and masked off some brink shapes. They then sponged the paint onto the fabric and peeled the masking tape off, to reveal the bricks. They intend to finish the project by adding stencils and 3D graffiti to their wall design.  Mrs Lynch added “they have been very creative and inventive with their design ideas”.

I really enjoyed seeing our students working on their art projects. It just goes to show the time, skill and dedication it takes to make these pieces come to life!



Year 12 Parents’ Evening


Pictured: Head of Sixth Form, Mr Harries (left) and Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Mr Jones (right) with Louie Birkenshaw and parents.

Year 12 students had their first Parents’ Evening this week. Staff enjoyed meeting with students and their parents to review the progress they are making and to set future targets.  I was very pleased to hear the positive feedback I received from the parents on the night. Thank you to the parents, students and staff for the time you gave.



Primary School ‘Problem Solving Festival

Year 1 & 2 students from Torre Primary, Sherwell Valley Primary & Cockington Primary schools visited this week for a primary school ‘problem solving’ festival lead by our Year 12 Sports Leaders and Mr Jones.  Emma Baker, an aspiring Primary School Teacher, said “It is nice to get experience of working with young children and leading these activities, it really gives me confidence and practice for my possible future career”.  The festival was a great success. Our students did a fantastic job on the day!



Amazing Hats


Pictured: Year 7 students and their amazing hats!

More of our Year 7 students have completed their ‘Amazing Hats’ Design and Technology Project this week.  Year 7 students looked at the work of hat designers Stephen Jones and Phillip Treacy after being given the task of designing flamboyant hats using a theme of “under the sea”. Their hats were made from card and paper and other recycled materials that would otherwise be thrown away.  As you can see, the time and effort that went into the hats produced even more really great designs!



Year 10 Food Technology Valentines Treats


Pictured: Valentines cookie made by Year 10 Student Chloe Tritschler

Year 10 Food Technology students were making Valentines Treats today, as part of their skills building, in preparation for their controlled assessments.  As you can see, the standard of presentation was extremely high!



Careers Week

As part of Careers week nine Year 11 students and two Year 12 students visited local business, Centrax, at their factory in Newton Abbot. The main purpose was to meet with the Apprentices from Centrax, in order give our students the opportunity to find out more about being an apprentice. Whilst there, we were given a whirlwind tour of the site by the very knowledgeable Apprentices.  Also part of Careers week The National Apprenticeship Service, Children’s Services and Careers South West organised an event specifically about Apprenticeships, at Parkfield Youth Centre, which we were invited to attend.  Two of our 6th Form students went along with our Careers Officer, Mrs Hadden. The afternoon consisted of a number of workshops, and gave the students a chance to speak to employers who offered Apprenticeships, the Apprentices themselves. Other activities included looking at transferable skills, interview skills.



Sports Round Up

Year 7 Football team progress in the County Cup after beating South Dartmoor Community College 5-3 this week. Goals from Olaf Koszela (2), AJ Tehrani, Bailey Crews and Cody Monk secured the victory. We will now play St Lukes or Ivybridge in the semi-final.


Year 8 Football Team travelled to Plymouth this week for their fixture against Devenport High School for Boys. It was a well contested match, played in some very difficult conditions.  After leading 2-0 at HT, playing against torrential rain, 100mph winds and a long spell of hale, we lost 6-3. Goals from Joe Belsten & Alfie Edwards.


Year 7 and 10 netball Teams played Paignton Community and Sport Academy on Monday night and unfortunately lost both games, however played some good netball and worked hard moving the ball well.


Years 7, 8 and 10 Netball teams played Torquay Girls Grammar School on Thursday evening in the wind and rain, unfortunately again were unsuccessful with year 7s only having 5 players they lost 15-0, year 8s fought hard and had a very evenly match game but lost out 1-0 and year 10s played some strong netball and work well as a team however lost 9-5.


Pictured: Our netball girls in their brand new kits



Miss Pappin – Guest Blogger

As mentioned in my January 31.01.14 blog post, Miss Pappin will have the pleasure of visiting our Nigerian partner schools over half term.  I have asked Miss Pappin if she would be my guest blogger for the week, updating us with how she is doing and what she is up to whilst on her visit, so, if the internet connection allows, Miss Pappin will be updating the blog daily whilst on her visit.  We wish you all the best on your visit and look forward to reading all about it!