Ofsted Visit, Three Peaks Challenge and Ducklings

Ofsted visit

We were visited by Ofsted this week. Four inspectors came in for two days using the tougher new framework that you may have read about. We will find out in a couple of weeks the contents of the report and I will write to all parents at that time. I see the visit as an important part of the monitoring of a school.

I have a clear vision of the direction that I want to take the school in and I shared with the inspectors our TA 2020 Vision document that we have been working on since I joined in January (I had planned to share this with everyone next week as it is having a final proof read).

Damian Completes Three Peaks Challenge!


Pictured: Damian on top of Scarfell Pike, one of the three peaks.

Year 12 student, Damien Coates, completed the Three Peaks Challenge, in the Lake District at the weekend and has so far managed to raise £120.

The National Three Peaks Challenge is a well-known phrase amongst the more adventurous. It involves walking the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. Damien took on the challenge with his fellow Air Cadets and had only 12 minutes remaining when they reached the finish!

Once all donations have been collected, Damien will be donating it all to Macmillan Cancer Support. I promise to see him on Monday, but this week has been rather busy…


Enter our Creative Writing Completion for the Chance to Win some Exciting Prizes


Pictured: Year 7 student Sophie Baker, has already began writing her entry for the competition

An exciting new creative writing competition is now up and running to celebrate the launch of our new A-Levels in Creative Writing and Media Studies which start in September this year.

Entrants are invited to create a “Steam punk” short story, combining elements of modern and Victorian literature, using the title “Oliver Twist Vampire Killer”. The competition will be judged by top novelist Candy Harper, whose recent novel “Have a little Faith” was a Waterstones Top Ten, bestseller. Candy said, “I was so pleased to be asked to support this competition. I find writing to be a wonderful way of expressing myself and wish A Levels like this had existed when I was a student.”

The competition entrant whose story is judged to be most promising will win a Kindle E-reader with their winning story published and available to buy on Amazon, as well as a signed copy of Harper’s first novel, “The Disappeared”.

Entries from outside the Academy are welcome. You can email Mr Heartford, Head of Learning Area for English, for further details: cheartford@tqlearn.com


Carnegie Preparations in Full Flow


Pictured: (left) Ashley Stott and (right) Caitlin Reader rehearsing for the upcoming Carnegie event

The Carnegie Shadowing event is drawing closer (17th June) and our students have been rehearsing more frequently over the past few weeks. The event is held at Stover School in the Jubilee Hall and there will be plenty of competition from other local schools.

Above are Ashley Stott and Caitlin Reader rehearsing their lines in an after school rehearsal. Ashley said “Preparations are going well so far. We are gathering costumes and props at the moment to add to the performance and we are confident that we will be ready for a great performance!”

On the day an author of one of the nominated novels for the Carnegie event, will be in attendance to watch all of the school’s performances and to talk with the students about writing their own books.

The group has grown since the last time they featured in the blog, but there is still space for more volunteers. If you would still like to get involved, please speak to Mrs Tanner.


Year 7 Parents’ Evening


Pictured: Mr Jones during one of the Year 7 Parents’ Evening appointments this week

This week we welcomed lots of parents into the school for the Year 7 Parents’ Evening.

The evening was well attended and we gained lots of positive feedback from our parents. Some of the comments received:
• “Lovely Evening. Very smooth and calm”
• “The staff couldn’t have been more supportive than they have been. An excellent school with lovely staff”
• “From primary to secondary, there has been a massive improvement, he is doing very, very well!”

I would like to thank all who made the evening a success given that if followed on straight after our inspection.


Duckling Update

Pictured: Jemima and Joey at almost 3 weeks old

Our newest and now possibly most popular members of our school are now almost three weeks old and have astonished students in their Science lessons at the rate in which they have grown.

They have now also been named; Jemima can be seen in the video above and seems to enjoy being on camera, whereas Joey is perhaps a little more shy and prefers to stay in the background…

They are both showing their different personalities and are not phased at all when being handled by staff and students.


Weather Station


Pictured: Facilities Manager, Mr Dumbell, putting the final touches to the installation of the new weather station.

This week saw the installation of our very own weather station, on the roof of the school (pictured)

The station will provide highly accurate readings on the amount of rainfall we have, the wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity and air pressure and will be a valuable resourse, particularly for our KS3 Geography students. Also pictured is the control panel that has been fitted into Miss Cape’s classroom for students to be able to monitor and record the weather as it happens.

Mr Toorneini would love for our students to be the school’s own weather monitors so that each week we can update you all with the weather in the local area. If there are any students that would like to get involved, please speak to him.


Shiphay Academy Visit for Library Learning Experience

Students from Shiphay Learning Academy were invited into school today to experience our Library and all it has to offer,

Literacy Coordinator, Mr Withers, delivered Library Skills lessons with activities aiming to teach students how to use a library effectively, whilst highlighting the wide range of amazing information on offer in our school library.

It was great to see the students enjoying the our Library and learning such valuable research techniques.


Crossroads Pizza


Pictured: Year 7 student Leon Ilyas with his crossroads pizza

Pizza was on the menu this week for Fairfields student Leon Ilyas. During his catering lesson, Leon came up with a new type of pizza called the ‘Crossroads Pizza’ which incorporates four separate pizza toppings that all meet in the middle.

This was a great concept and the end product looked great!


Year 8 Students – Javelin


Pictured: Year 8 Student Georgia Large with a great throw during her PE lesson

Our Year 8 students made the most of the little bit of sunshine we had this week, taking to the athletics field and learnt how to throw the Javelin during their PE lessons.

They learnt different techniques starting with the 2 step throw, then progressing onto the 8 step throwing techniques.


Sports Round Up

South West Futsal Champions!


Pictured: South West Futsal Champions!

Our Year 11 Futsal team became regional champions on Sunday after beating the best school and club sides in the South West.

The team (pictured) won every game, blowing away every team with their superb possession game and quick passing.

There were brilliant performances by each member of the eight man squad. The lads will be off to Birmingham with Mr Jones on Sunday 29th June to compete again for the chance to become National Champions!

Well done boys!