Tragic News, Trampolining & New Student Voice

Tragic News

Last Saturday I learned of the passing of one of our ex-students, Tom Rendle, who left our Year 11 in 2013. I cannot describe the shock and sadness that the whole school community felt when we heard of the tragic news. So many staff and students have very fond memories of Tom during his time here. Tom was a very enthusiastic sportsman and leader; this resulted in him being awarded our inaugural Contribution to Sport Award at the TA Sports Personality evening. He was a wonderful sports student ambassador for the school and Torbay; this involved him working with local primary schools and helping organise sporting events here. I would like to express, on behalf of myself and the whole school, our deepest sympathies to Tom’s family and friends.



Road safety

One of my greatest fears for the safety of our students is the roads. I had a very productive meeting with our excellent Inspector Lou Costin who has given us the full support of the local police in trying to improve road safety in area. We planned a week of events to promote road safety in lessons and assemblies.

On Wednesday morning one of our younger students was hit by a car. I was relieved to see that he wasn’t seriously injured when I visited him in hospital that morning. When I spoke to his mum later that evening we acknowledge how lucky he’d been.

As the evenings draw in I would ask everyone to have conversations with their children about the importance of road safety and awareness.



BGT Hopefuls now Face Waiting Game

Pictured: Pictures throughout the auditions

This week I was delighted to welcome the Britain’s Got Talent team to Torquay Academy. On Thursday afternoon I spent five wonderful hours with the production team watching over fifty of our students audition for a place on the show in our Creative Arts Learning Area.

There were many nerves as the students came into the room to have their performance and interview filmed.

I am always overwhelmed by the quality of our boys’ and girls’ performances and they did themselves proud, especially when you consider the nerve-wrecking situation.

We will find out if any of our students will be progressing further in the New Year.



Macmillan Coffee Morning

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Pictured: Pictures from the Macmillan Coffee morning

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event. Organisations across the UK hold a coffee morning, where donations are made to the cancer charity.

With the generosity of our students and staff we were able to raise an impressive £255.55. Students enjoyed drinks, cakes and biscuits in exchange for a donation to Macmillan.

Year 12 students were keen to get involved and helped the coffee morning run smoothly.

Thank you to all that contributed today, every penny goes towards the support and care that Macmillan provide to cancer sufferers and their families throughout the UK.



May-Lee Colour Rush Fundraising

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Pictured: Myself with May-Lee and her Colour Rush medal

Year 10 student, May-Lee McNally came to show me her medal this week after she completed the 5k Colour Rush in aid of Rowcroft Hospice.

May-Lee ran with her mum and sister; their contributions helped raise over £62,808, beating the target of £50,000 that the hospice was hoping for.

The medal was still covered in paint, and May-Lee said “It was really fun…I got some in my mouth which didn’t taste nice but it was for a good cause, so I was happy”.

Well done May-Lee.


Literacy Room Boosts Literacy Skills

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Pictured: (front) Jake McNeil, (back from left) Maidie Axon-Jenkins, Sam Rowes, Mrs Gardner and Jordan Ullah

The link between raising literacy standards and academic achievement is clear. To support this we have opened a dedicated literacy room. It has been very busy since the beginning of term, ensuring that students have a dedicated area in which to work on this very important area.

We have a wide range of activities that take place in the room, including the Lexia and Reading Assistant computer programs as well as additional reading, spelling and handwriting provision. It is open from 7.45 in the morning for targeted intervention and stays open after school for period 6 work. It is staffed by the literacy team throughout the whole day.

It is proving very popular amongst our students and is a fantastic space for them to learn in.


Student Voice Gives Students their Say

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Pictured: The KS3 Voice representatives during their first meeting of the year

This week saw the first meeting of the year for our Student Voice. One of our new Assistant Principal, Ms Sanders, is now leading this important body. Each member of the school voice was voted for by their fellow students during their tutorial sessions.

The Student Voice have a vital role in the school, as it is their opinions that help to shape the way we do things on a day to day basis.

Topics discussed included, the new daily routines and how they have improved school life, homework timetables and how the students want to issue more leadership roles around the school including sport, community and Creative Arts leaders.

Many mindfull points have been raised this week and I have already met with Ms Sanders to discuss them.


Students Learn Care Values During Health and Social Lesson

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Pictured: (left to right) Bonnie Harvey, Miss Wallace-Stanley, Lauren Swaine, Courtney Thorne and Becky Evans

Year 10 students learnt about values of care this week in their Health and Social lesson with Miss Wallace-Stanley.

The brief was to design resources for adults with physical disabilities such as hearing and visual impairment as well restricted fine motor skills.

The above practical cooking activity helped the students highlight the challenges that the adults may face, whilst peer observation was used to add further insight into the situation.


Year 13 BTEC Sport Students ‘Change for Life’

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Pictured: Year 13 students using peer observation and learning new skills

Our Year 13 students enjoyed a training session this week with Nick Gilard, School Games Organiser for Torbay, and were shown lots of different coaching activities that they can use when they are involved in primary sport festivals and other local sporting events.

The Change for Life scheme is aimed at inspiring more activity amognst children, whilst also building literacy and numeracy skills during the fun sport sessions.

Nick explained “The sessiosn are usually delivered by PE teachers but the quality of the young leaders at TA is so high, they have proven that they are more than capable of leading the sessions”.

Young leaders Adam Taylor and Kyle Moore said “We enjoy educating the kids and helping them become more active”. Fellow student Nicole Ross said “It’s really fun working with local primary school children”.


D of E Bronze Training

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Pictured: Our students using the stoves to prepare a camp meal

Sunday was a training day for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition. 12 students attended all day, starting with navigation practice and route finding on country lanes, green lanes and public footpaths.

The students did very well and managed to navigate around all the obstacles without an issue. They returned to school and practised by putting up the Tents. We had a small issue which was that we haven’t had any significant rain recently so the ground was very hard to get the pegs into but this was overcome in a variety of ways.

Finally the students learnt how to use their stoves and boiler, putting them to good use by making hot drinks and a camp meal (Pictured).


Trampolining Club

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Pictured: Teigan Ford flying high in trampolining club

Mrs Knowles has been delighted with the number of students attending her trampolining club. This week nearly 40 students were in attendance; they were all keen to jump straight in and learn the basics.

Mrs knowles taught students some basic moves including pike, seat drop, stradle, tuck, straight and half turn. Year 9 student Teigan Ford (pictured) was at the club for the second time. Teigan is a keen trampolinist with 2 ½ years experience and said “I like to show the others how to do it and getting to know them as well… I like it here because we didn’t have trampolines in my old school”.

Mrs Knowles is happy to welcome anyone to the club and is even looking for students who would like to represent the school in future competitions. If you are interested please come along next Monday after school.



Sports Round Up

Girls Netball

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Pictured: Team TA

Torquay academy Year 9 and 11s had their first set of netball matches this week. Both squads were depleted in numbers due to injuriesinjury or other arrangements, so we were very thankful to some Year 8s and 10s who played up to help.

The start to the season is always quite tough especially when our first game is against TGGS. However both teams worked hard on court and demonstrated some great potential to work on for the rest of the season.

At half time the Year 11s were only down by 2 however in the 3rd and 4th quarter TGGS managed to pull away to win the game.

The Year 9s used a few new combinations to the team which took them a while to settle into but progress was made throughout the game, only allowing TGGS 4 goals in the last quarter.

With Monday’s game out the way and the cobwebs gone the girls took to the courts again for another match against STCM. The warm up match the day before had obviously paid off as these games were a lot closer and very well contested from both teams.

The Year 11 game saw both teams flowing goal for goal with some great shooting from Abbie Powell and good defending from Abbie Sykes the girls narrowly missed out on the win 9-8

The Year 9s again worked really hard and demonstrated some good movement around the court. However were unable to stop the accurate shooting from STCM.

Overall it was brilliant to see so many of the girls playing netball out on the courts and the attitude and effort displayed was fantastic. Well done girls!



It was not only netball the girls were playing this week. Girls from all years represented Torquay academy in a 7aside football tournament on Thursday against STCM.

With lots of keen Year 7s playing for the first time, the Year 8s & 9s combining to make a very strong team and Year 10/11s getting back into the swing of football, 32 girls in total put on a Torquay Academy football shirt and represented our school.

Year 7s battled hard against a strong STCM side ended up losing 2-0 however some great defending from Tonitia Powell and great movement on the ball from Scarlett, The team look promising for the season to come.

Year 8s/9s played some great football passing and moving the ball well were rewarded with a 3-1 victory. Well done girls!

The Year 10/11 team put in a good performance against a team that they had lost to 4-0 last season and managed to improve on this by only allowing them 2 goals this time.

The afternoon was very enjoyable and was lovely to see so many keen footballers in action.

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Pictured: Our Year 7 football team
The Year 8 Football Team kicked off their season on Wednesday evening with a game against Dawlish Community College in the 1st round of the National Cup.

The team started brightly and were 1-0 up within ten minutes from a superb finish from AJ Tehrani. WeTorquay Academy then dominated for the rest of the first half in terms of possession but failed to add to the scoreline. TorquayAcademy again started brightly and created a number of chances. Eventually the pressure told and TA went 2-0 up through an own goal. The scoring was completed by Cody Monk who finished well with his weaker left foot from just inside the box.

It was a solid team performance and a good start to the season. Well done Boys! Mr Grinsill.