Top 2 School in the South West
The final schools league tables were released today and the wonderful successes our students enjoyed last summer are reflected in our position. Our Progress 8 score has been finalised at 0.61 – essentially this means every student last summer achieved almost 2/3 of a grade higher in EVERY subject than if they had gone to an AVERAGE school. Wow! This means that students have gained 5 higher grades because they went to TA rather than an average English school.
This Progress 8 score is the highest in the local area and the second highest in the South West – this includes the area up to Gloucester / Swindon / Bournemouth. That’s right, TA is the second highest performing school in the South West!
Many congratulations to our extremely hardworking staff and students.
Ex Student signed by West Bromwich Albion
Callum Moreton, who left us last summer to join Yeovil Town, has been signed by the Premiership side West Bromwich Albion this week. We are delighted for Callum who played a pivoted role in leading out attack in many Devon Cup finals in his five years at TA. We wish him the very best for the future as he moves onto his new club. I look forward to reading about his future successes
Rotary Club Youth Speaks Competition
Last Saturday two teams from Torquay Academy competed in the Rotary Club’s Youth Speaks Public speaking competition held in Torquay. Anna Hobson, Georgia Davies and Myah Brett-Wilson from Year 8 delivered speeches on the death penalty while Niccolo Guastalla, Cameron Knowles and George Fenn from Years 11 and 12 spoke on the media and Brexit.
Both teams produced extremely eloquent and well researched speeches and the girls are now through to the regional finals for the whole of the South West, taking place in Plymouth next month. Well done to both teams!
Year 8 Parents Evening
On Thursday night we held Year 8 Parents Evening. It was an opportunity for parents to come and talk to their child’s teachers and discuss their pathways decisions. It was an extremely busy evening with many teachers having appointments from 3.30 – 7.00pm.
The feedback from parents to the school was very positive with them commenting on how well their child is doing at the Academy. Equally, the teachers were able to explain what has been going well and how to improve even further. I have been so impressed with the way Year 8 students have contributed to Torquay Academy and it was a delight to meet so many parents.
Good luck to our Herald Express Sports Awards Nominees
Our Devon Champions Under 15 Football Team, Director of Football Chris Hogg, Year 12 Elyse Leech and table tennis coach Jo Lacinska Piwowar have all been shortlisted for a Herald Express Sports Awards. The ceremony takes place this Thursday; I hope they have a wonderful evening and wish them the best of luck.
Structural Spaghetti Challenge
The science department hosted an inter-school structural spaghetti challenge this week. Several schools attended and teams worked hard to design and construct model bridges using only dried pasta and superglue. Points were awarded for strength, lightness, looks and tidy work. The strongest bridge managed to hold 4.5kg before failing! The final winners were a Year 11 team from Brixham College with our Year 9 team (Davinia DeLucis, Zane Sibiya and Hannah Woods) runners up with their original design and very neat modelling. Mr Mellitt is hoping to turn this into an annual event.
Shiphay Year 5 Visit
We recently had a visit from Shiphay Yr 5 pupils who had an afternoon of literacy and enterprise. They started with a session in the library where they raced against the clock to discover answers to questions such as ‘how much does an adult Bengal Tiger typically weigh’ and ‘what is the capital city of Slovakia’ . They followed this up with a lesson in one of our fantastic Technology rooms where they worked with a range of tools and equipment to produce high quality customised keyrings. The skills developed included drilling, filing, polishing, gluing and the use of letter punches. Students were able to adapt and embellish high quality laser cut acrylic plastic parts that had been fabricated on the school’s newly acquired industrial standard laser cutter.
Kevin Hadley, Head of Enterprise, who led the activity, said “It was brilliant to see all students getting involved, having such fun learning new practical skills and getting a real taste for Design & Technology at Torquay Academy. For many, it was the first time they had used a hammer, letter punch or file when making. I was very impressed with the quality of work completed and I hope all students enjoy using their bespoke keyrings for years to come! Well done to all students involved and particular thanks to Year 9 students, Sonny and Hassan, who tirelessly assisted more than sixty students in making their keyrings over the course of the afternoon.” As always it was a pleasure having the Shiphay pupils over and we look forward to seeing them again soon.
On Tuesday, the Y7 football team played and comfortably beat Isca Academy 11-0, with a very dominant performance from start to finish.
TA started brightly and found themselves 3-0 up after 8 minutes through Ben Aldous (2) and Sean Brown. Neat interplay between the front 4 of Aldous, Brown, Charlie Charlesworth and Finely Paul was a feature of the first half. However, after racing into such a lead TA became a little ragged and complacent for 10 minutes before then starting to pass the ball with more pace and urgency again; as such, it took until just before half time for Sean Brown to get his second and TA’s fourth.
The second half followed the same format as the first, with captain Ryan Johns-Kouadio controlling the game from midfield, and him helping to orchestrate further goals for Charlie Charlesworth, Finley Paul with a brilliant strike, Caine Lee and Cody Bose before helping himself to one to round off the scoring (we won’t mention the missed penalty Ryan!). A comprehensive, solid and confidence boosting win sees us progress to the next round of the County Cup.
Man of the Match: Taylor Benefer
Torbay Centre Parcs Badminton Tournament
Following on from our success in previous years in this competition, 8 boys and 8 girls attended the recent Torbay event, with a bid to go through to the Devon County round, a title that has so far eluded our KS3 teams. Some fabulous badminton was seen throughout the afternoon, particularly as we fielded relatively inexperienced players in our B teams, but all rose to the challenge admirably. Following a tough final match against Churston Ferrers, our Boys A team (Ellis Knowles, Matt Leighton, Jack Manley, Finn Mulready) emerged victorious 3-2. They will now face other winning schools from across the county at the beginning of February. Special mention goes to Finn Mulready who stepped up to the A team following the sickness of another player and Ben Arscott for stepping into the B team at the last minute. Well done to all who took part. Next week sees the same tournament for our KS4 teams, having won it for the last two years. No pressure!
Year 7 Netball
Year 7 girls Netball team beat Spires, 3-2, in a friendly match at Torquay Academy on Wednesday. The girls have shown excellent commitment to their training and as a result are seeing some great improvements in their performance on the court. With some excellent defending from Sophie, there was some lovely movement and passing up the court from Katie and Emma to provide lots of scoring opportunities for Ellie and Rhyanna. Well done girls!
Team – Rhyanna Lewis, Ellie Mitchell, Emma Harrison, Katie Walker, Neve Gourlay-Newman, Sophie Milford-Caddick, Maya Wolsey, Taylor Ford.
Player of the match – Emma Harrison
Tia Raises Money for Rowcroft
Tia Alcock Burness in Year 7 has raised £400 for Rowcroft by cycling 25 miles. Her story was in the Herald Express (see below). Well done Tia.
Principal Award Certificates and Badges went to Tallulah Robson Y7, Beth Rivers Y10, Ellis Chapman Y8, Josh Nicol Y10, Cheyenne Churchward Y8 and Kacie Milton Y10. Well done to all.
Students of the Week
Students of the Week with me, Mr Pugh and Mr Withers are; Ryan Johns-Koadio, Grace Loader, Dayne Mckenna, Charlie Cuss and Kacie Milton.