World Book Day, Omani Visitors, National Final & Betty

Year 7 5-a-side 3rd Best in Country!


Pictured: Myself and Mrs Nicol with our Year 7 boys

The boys competed in the 5 a side National Finals at the Soccerdome, Derby. They travelled up to Birmingham on Sunday, to watch Aston Villa vs Norwich at Villa Park sitting behind the goal in which Villa scored all 4 of their goals in a 4-1 win. We then travelled to a hotel for dinner, before staying overnight. After a good breakfast, we then travelled to Derby to compete as one of the last 8 teams in the country!

In the group stages, we produced some outstanding performances, winning against Ian Ramsey C of E School (2-1) John Hampden Grammar School (2-0) and Thomas Telford School (3-3) to qualify for the semi-finals. Here we played St Aloysius College, from London and despite and monumental effort, we bowed out with a closely fought 2-0 loss, to a team where each player was associated to a Premier League club.

Their achievement is magnificent and the boys can proudly call themselves the 3rd best team in the country.



World Book Day Surprise for our Students


Pictured: Staff in the assembly hall this morning revealing the surprise to our students

This week I joined staff who made a tremendous effort for World Book Day and even managed to keep it a secret so that we could surprise our unsuspecting students.  World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.  In order to engage our students in discussions of books and different characters we have enjoyed all kinds of fun and interesting book based activities. There were activities including Mad Hatter hat making, a Quidditch tournament in PE, potion making in Science, a historical short story competition in Humanities, mapping, based on the Hunger Games in Digital learning, a Mad Hatters Tea Party in Food Technology as well as other various challenges set by the teachers.

I have to say how impressed I was on the effort that our staff made and am delighted with the effect that it had on our students. The way that the World Book day provoked our students in asking questions about the books and characters that we were dressed as was a real pleasure to see and made the day really worthwhile.



Omani Head Teachers Visit


Pictured: Myself and Mr Lamble with the visiting Headteachers from Oman

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming three head teachers from Oman.  By working with the British Council, we have been able to expand the links that we have already made with other International Schools. We thoroughly enjoyed hosting our visitors over two days this week and provided a full schedule for them so that they could make the most of their visit to Torquay Academy.  They were particularly interested in learning more about how we track the progress of our students, the Pastoral care we offer and gaining a general understanding of leadership in the British education system.  Our students enjoyed chatting with our guests as they visited them in their lessons. The Omanian Head Teachers seemed to really enjoy this and even helped to educate our boys and girls about where Oman is and the cultural differences that exist.



Exeter Dance Festival


Pictured: Beth Rook (left) and Jessica-Lee Tarrant at the Exeter Dance Festival

Beth Rook and Jessica-Lee Tarrant recently performed in the Exeter Dance Festival 2014, competing in solo and group dances. The girls competed against various other dancers from the South West and were pleased to accomplish certificates of distinction in many of their dances.  The Year 9 students, who have been dancing together since they were in Primary School train five days a week together, which really showed at the Festival.  The next festival that they will be competing at is during the Easter half term at the Palace Theatre, in Paignton; the girls would love as much support as possible at the festival, so if you are interested, please contact us here at the school for more details.



Year 9 Parents Evening


Pictured: Mr Kinnear talking to Year 9 student Aimee Gagg and mum at the Year 9 Parents’ Evening

It was a real pleasure to see our Year 9 students and parents attend the Year 9 Parents’ Evening this week.  I really value the partnership between home and school; it is that relationship and how we work with students that will enable them to fulfil their potential.  I look forward to seeing our Year 9 students continue making good progress as they near their all-important GCSE’s.



Carnegie Book Club


Pictured: Katy Pickburn (left), Bonnie Harvey (middle) and Mrs Tanner (right)

In preparation for the Carnegie event at Torquay Girls’ Grammar School, students have started a Carnegie lunchtime book club. A ‘long list’ of Carnegie books has been released, so our students, along with Mrs Tanner have been reading a selection of them, whilst discussing and reviewing them as they go.  The students will have to eventually select a book from a ‘shortlist’ and present their own interpretation of the book.  Bonnie, who took part last year explained “reading is already a hobby of mine but the Carnegie book club and competition is really fun”. Mrs Tanner and the girls need more help from other students in order to have enough students to present in the competition. Prizes are on offer and besides that, it’s fun!

If you are interested in joining the Carnegie book club, please speak to Mrs Tanner.



Betty Returns!


Pictured: Myself, Mr Withers, Mrs Lewin, Sally Metcalfe (Handler) and students with Betty the Pets as Therapy Reading Dog

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Betty, the Pets as Therapy Reading Dog this week, as she has now returned to begin work with a new group of students.  Betty is trained to work with children who lack the confidence to contribute regularly to class discussions and read out loud. Once a fortnight Betty and her handler Sally will come into school to work in a small group with the selected students and help provide support.  Literacy coordinator, Mr Withers said that “previous work carried out by Betty and her handler has shown some good improvements with previous students”.



Hairspray T-Shirts Arrive!


Pictured: The cast of the school production of Hairspray in their new t-shirts

Students were desperate to show off their new cast t-shirts that arrived this week.  I would like to thank Mr Cawood, dad of cast members Oli and Miles, as his printing company,, has generously supported the students by sponsoring the t-shirts.

If you are interested in coming to see a Hairspray Performance on 26-28 March, you can buy tickets for only £2.



Sssssay Hello to Cornelius the Albino Corn Snake


Pictured: Paige Doyle and Josh Mitchell holding Cornelius

Students in Miss Hammond’s Science class have a new resident in their classroom.  Miss Hammond introduced Conelius, the albino corn snake, to her class this week and they were all very excited to hold him (they were a lot braver than me).  Cornelius is a new addition to the Science department, to enhance the student’s experience of Biology.



Sports Round Up

Year 7 Football Team played Paignton Community and Sports Academy winning 12-2! Goals from Olaf Koszela (3), Aj Tehrani (2), Ollie Mason (2), Elliot |Stevens (1), Cole Harford (1), Lewis Eaton (1) and Harrison Beer (2) sealed a great win.


Year 10 Football Team played a friendly match against Paignton Community and Sports Academy this week. This game was one for the neutral, with plenty of goals ending 4-4.


Year 7 Girls Football Team played in the Central Venue League on Tuesday evening. After beating Kevics A&B and Newton Abbot they drew with Churston and STCM and unfortuantely lost to Coombshead Academy. This meant that the girls missed out by 1 goal on qualifying for the county finals. They all worked extremely hard and there were some exceptional performances, Gabby Baker and Kasey Dixon were highlighted to me.


Pictured: Year 7 Girls Football Team


Year 8 Mixed Athletics Team (girls and boys) took part in the Devon School Games Indoor Athletics Finals at the Plymouth Life Centre. With 17 teams from across the county competing to be crowned county champions the competition was going to be tough. The teams took part in lots of different activities both on the track and in the field events, however the competition was very tough and we ended up finishing16th in the county. Well done to all who participated on the day!


Pictured: The year 8 Athletics Team



Trampolining, Cheerleading and Gymnastics Competition

On Thursday a team of 7 students travelled to Brixham College to take part in the Torbay annual Trampolining/Cheerleading/Gymnastics competition.  We took a mixed team of very talented athletes, Miles Cawood, Cameron Knowles, Taz Turner, Beth Rook, Tuesday Toghill, Macey Toghill and Grace Gywnne (pictured). The team had to choreograph a group cheerleading routine and then perform either a set trampolining routine or compose a gymnastics sequence.  The trampolining team consisting of Miles, Cameron, Taz and Grace came third overall, only 0.1 behind second place and 0.4 behind first place. Miles Cawood also won individual trampolining.


Pictured: Trampolining, Cheerleading and Gymnastics team