Lots of girls’ sport, zebra crossing and live music Fun Fridays

The zebra crossing is complete!

To celebrate the addition of the lighting and beacons to our zebra crossing, of Heads of House took a stroll before handing out certificates on Friday morning.

Have a look at our very own TA Dogs on the crossing below…


Live music Fun Fridays

This saw another set of incredible performances following a DJ set.  The Year 8 and 9 filled The Platform for the Fun Friday.  You can see some highlights of this and the previous event’s performances.


Aladdin rehearsals in full swing

The Performing Arts Academy are working hard to get ready for their performances of Aladdin next year.  With a cast of over 70, the dance performances look stunning with so many boys and girls taking part.


Crest Awards

Students who have been attending our brilliant Science club with Mr Hanley and Mr Spittle were awarded with their prestigious CREST awards this week for the project work they undertook as part their club.  It was fascinating to hear about their projects and I look forward to seeing what they achieve next.


House News

Over the next two weeks, the Year 8 students are participating in a ‘retro sports’ house competition. The event involves eight events, run on consecutive days, featuring good, old-fashioned sporting races and trials. Students are only allowed to compete in one event and have the chance to earn eight points for a win, seven points for second place and so on. As with all our house competitions, the response has been incredible -with large numbers of volunteers willing to compete. I have been particularly impressed by the healthy competition, the support competitors have shown each other and the appreciation of team members for their participation. To date we have held: a plank challenge, a keepie-uppie competition, a wheelbarrow race and a bean bag balance challenge. Harrison house are currently in the lead but anything could happen in next week’s events.


House Assemblies

We had our House assemblies this week.  In this picture, you can see Mr Chadwick rallying his troops for one final push as the final House standings will be announced in just three weeks in the end of term assembly.


Sixth Form Open Evening

There was a real buzz in school on Thursday evening as we welcomed so many Year 11s to our 6th Form open evening.  There was a talk in The Platform from Mrs Hosking and myself, before students were able to speak to A level teachers about the subjects we have on offer.

I am delighted that we are expanding our A level provision next year; students can now also opt for Psychology and Spanish.


University Trip

This week 140 year 11 students went to Plymouth University. The students had a tour of the facilities, including the Wave Tank building to see cutting edge facilities. Student ambassadors spoke about their experience of university. Next Steps and lecturers from the university talked about the different routes through higher education, the variety of courses on offer and what level of qualifications are needed to access higher education.


1st AID Gold Award presented to Cdt Cpl Heidi Wright of TA CCF

Back at the beginning of 2023 a Yr 11 student approached her senior cadet staff asking if she could go and do her Gold 1st Aid Course. They asked a few questions. It very quickly became apparent that at Cdt Cpl Wright’s Method of Instruction course at Chickerell she had been “spotted” and as a result she had received a letter suggesting that she should apply for the Gold 1st Aid Course. Wright applied for the course and it took a while for the answer to come back that she had been accepted as they hadn’t realised that she wasn’t quite old enough! Finally, the acceptance came through. Now the Cpl found out what it would take to get the Gold badge; 2 online weekends which had an element of pass or fail in them followed by a 9-day camp which was pass/fail and finally running a weekend-long 1st Aid Course to gain the Gold Badge.

The weekends passed by with Heidi getting on and holding her own against much older and more experienced cadets. She answered on first aid questions, teaching methods and finally had to deliver a lesson online. No surprise in that Cdt Cpl Wright passed this phase and was invited to Boscombe Down for a 9-day camp. This camp was a serious 7 days of grafting. On the eight day we started to see the results of most students’ efforts as they taught their lessons in a confident professional manner which would inspire cadets to learn and take an interest. Heidi passed and was now just old enough to go out and deliver her first course. The final session on the course was the most fun as all the cadets were taught how to create the gory wounds to add a sense of realism to a casualty scenario.

The only matter now was where was Heidi going to run her first course. It was agreed that the November YFA run by ATC Devon and Somerset Wing at Chickerell would be the venue and 2 further cadets would run the course alongside Heidi. Plenty of preparation and November arrived. Only 2 cadets made it to Chickerell but the quality of the teaching to the 11 cadets on the course soon warmed up to a really inspirational course. Not only did they handle learning difficulties for one or two students but they seemed to inspire the cadets there, as all wanted to do the Advanced First Aid when they could.

Cdt Cpl Wright passed her final hurdle and was awarded her Gold badge as a result. Not only is she the youngest cadet this year to achieve the award but on her way through the course she also gained her full First Aid at Work certificate, the ability to assess at Advanced First Aid Level and also the Ability to run and assess the Youth First Aid which are recognised St Johns Ambulance Courses. This is an absolutely fantastic achievement and the Wing First Aid Officer drove down specially to Present her Award.


CCF Update

This past week has been nothing short of exhilarating for the dedicated cadets of Torquay Academy. From rigorous training camps to hands-on experiences at military facilities, our young cadets showcased determination, discipline and a thirst for learning.

The weekend kicked off with the RAF cadets engaging in a challenging training camp at Chickerell. Following another kind Invite from Devon and Somerset ATC a group of 9 of our TA CCF got on the coach on a very damp evening last Friday night.

Cdt Cpls Evers and Crushcov joined the Junior NCO course when they arrived and had to work hard at all aspects of leading young people on the parade square and in the classroom. Both looked shattered when they had finished the weekend.

The largest contingent went on the method of instruction course. They were learning how to deliver and evaluate lessons to cadets having previously planned it. Taking on this challenge were NCO’s Butler, Corline and Green. They have now come back to the Squadron and will practice their skills and be assessed by the OC of 200 Squadron who kindly comes in to officiate.

A new course titled STEM was run this time and 2 of our cadets joined in were Phillips and Burton who got stuck into a course which had lots of different elements. Afterwards they were worn out but seemed to have had a good weekend.

Cdt Cpl Gardner joined a course which will help the section significantly as he was trained in ground school. The RAF section have just landed 4 Flight simulators and these will be put to good use with our cadets now able to attend their flights with a good idea of the controls of the Aircraft so that they can make the most of each flight opportunity. They can also be signed off for their ground school.

The 9 th cadet was Cdt Cpl Wright who went on to run her own course and her story will feature in another part of this Blog. Needless to say the coach home was a very quiet place for an hour but then the 33 squadron were all talking and making plans for next time. A real treat to see so many of our cadets excelling themselves in the wider cadet world with all sorts of positives coming back over the course of the weekend. A real credit to the TA cadet force.

The Army Cadets continue to develop weapons handling by and firing on the electronic firing range within Wyvern Barracks. The Defence Close Combat Trainer (DCCT) range is a state-of-the-art facility that allows cadets to immerse themselves in realistic combat scenarios. The visit not only sharpened their marksmanship skills but also provided valuable continuation training. Our cadets left Wyvern Barracks with a deeper appreciation for the precision and discipline required when operating the cadet GP Rifle.

Midweek, our year 8 cadets had a date with a variety of activities. The cadets were issued the MTP Pattern Military Uniform, instilling a sense of pride and identity among the cadets. Meanwhile the year 9 and 10 cadets immersed themselves in drill practice to perfect those crisp movements, navigation challenges to test their orientation skills, and command tasks that demanded quick thinking and effective communication.

The RAF section’s highlights of the day were the flight simulators. Aspiring aviators took control of the newly purchased flight simulators and experienced the thrill of flying without leaving the ground. It was an opportunity to foster a love for aviation and inspire dreams of taking to the skies.

The cadets soaked in knowledge from experienced instructors, not just the technical aspects but also the values of discipline, leadership, and teamwork. Each activity aimed to mold them into well-rounded individuals, ready to face challenges both in and out of uniform.

In the spirit of constant improvement, the Torquay Academy cadets embraced every opportunity for growth this week. Their commitment to learning, coupled with the mentorship of dedicated instructors, ensures that the future leaders are being nurtured right within our school’s cadet program.

As we reflect on this action-packed week, it’s evident that Torquay Academy cadets are not just students; they are young individuals on a transformative journey, building skills and character that will serve them well in whatever path they choose. The experiences of Chickerell and Wyvern Barracks are not just memories; they are building blocks for future success. The journey continues, and we can’t wait to see where it takes our cadets next.


Year 10 Physics with Mr Hanley

This cycle, Year 10 have been learning about atomic structure and radioactivity in Physics. Mr Hanley’s Year 10 classes were shown radioactive materials and their properties demonstrated by Mr Hanley and Mr Carpenter using a Geiger-Muller tube, as well as the dangers that they pose!  They used this demonstration to complete a grid of the properties of alpha, beta and gamma radiation which could be applied to 6 mark exam questions.

Last week, they completed their assessments and then the data was used to superteach the areas that the class struggled with.





Year 8 French

In Miss Hammett’s Year 8 French class, students have been working hard by showing off their writing skills. They have produced some very impressive pieces of work, writing about holidays in French.

8Q7 Spanish have been practicing their translation skills with mini whiteboards and competing against their peers in preparation for their end of cycle assessments!

Year 10 have been preparing for their speaking assessments by practicing their questions with a native French speaker, our lovely foreign language assistant Elisa. They have also been practicing the role play part of their speaking exam with Miss Hammett’s puppet theatre!


Careers Focus of the Week

Today (Friday 24th) is ‘Black Friday’ – known in recent years as the “start of Christmas” where retailers slash hundreds of prices and shoppers snap up the bargains. For many businesses, Black Friday is their biggest day in sales with an estimated 8.74bn spent over the weekend and a huge 53% of UK shoppers splurging out.

Ironically, today is also known as ‘Buy Nothing Day’ – a protest against the consumerism that organisers felt was necessary in our world. Starting in 1992, the movement has picked up momentum and businesses now worry their hugely successful Black Friday sales will see a decline. Students at TA have many opportunities to learn about the world of Business around them and how profits can fluctuate. For example, in GCSE Business Studies, students learn about how businesses manage their finances during unpredictable times, how they ensure effective practice to maximise their profits and much more.

Additionally, students have the opportunity to take parts in extra-curricular activities to learn about the business world. A great example is our Year 8 Dragon’s Den event, in which our TA Team is currently busy perfecting their presentations ready for the finals at the Royal Lyceum Theatre next Friday. The team have worked together to create a business idea with the Healthcare industry in mind – ‘The Happy Pen’. We can’t reveal too much before the finals but we think it’s an amazing idea and are looking forward to the final pitch.


Hospitality and Catering

The students in Hospitality and Catering are amazing in every way! The course consists of 60 percent coursework which includes their practical exam and an analysis of nutritional health and well being . The written exam at the end of year eleven is 40 percent of their qualification and is based on how the hospitality industry works in action. Each week they complete a Do Now based on the written exam and then in the lessons complete either a practical skills based task or a theory based lesson where they learn how to develop responses for their coursework using chrome books .

We are so proud of everything they do from developing the skills needed to operate in a professional kitchen to how to formulate a detailed examination response.


Principal’s Bronze Certificates

Year 7 – Jack Parton, Isla May, Calum Carpenter, Bobby O’Regan and Andy Iftode


Students of the Week

Year 7 – Izzie Mildren and Leonard Toribio
Year 8 – James Beer and Izzy Goldsborough
Year 9 – Bella Blatchford and William Candy
Year 11 – Emma Roadnight & Oliver Huxtable

Girls Football

It has been a whirlwind 10 days of girls football. Last week our U18s had their first game together against Parkstone Grammar in Poole, unfortunately, on the day Parkstone progressed into the next round with a strong performance.

Next up were our U15s who played Millfield, this was a big learning curve for the group as on the day we had to travel without four of our players leaving the other girls with a difficult task ahead. Millfield were too good for us and won the game but our girls never gave up and showed tremendous character.

This week we started with our U13s against Exmouth, the game was really close and at half time it was 2-2, unfortunately losing players at half time and injuries made it difficult in the second half and Exmouth deservedly went on to win the game.

Tuesday matched our U14s against Eggbuckland and all the girls really put a performance in for this one. A strong win to progress into the next round.

Finally, our U13 & U15 girls rounded off the week in the central venue tournament against local schools to see who progressed into the county cup knockout stages. Both year groups did well on the day but it was our U13s who won the tournament to progress into the county knockouts. Lots of positives, lots to learn from and exciting times ahead for our girls’ programme.


U19’s National Schools

(Match write-up by Ellie Chammings, Sixth Form Netball Academy player)

On Tuesday, Team TA’s Sixth Form Netball Academy travelled to Exeter University to play in the U19 National Schools Netball Competition. To begin with, they were in a pool with Churston, Ivybridge and Maynard School. The team faced strong competition but played well and finished in an impressive second place in their pool, making it through to the qualifying rounds. The first match of the qualifiers, Team TA faced Exeter College who were an extremely strong team (and also went on to become overall winners). Although all the girls played well and fought hard, they lost the match which eliminated them from qualifying through to the nationals. This did not deter the girls, and they continued to play a high level of netball, and after challenging other schools and a couple of narrow losses, Team TA came away in 8th place out of 16 schools! The teams never gave up even in the face of tough competition and kept their heads held high the whole way through.
Coaches Player: Skye Warner
Players Player: Tammy Westacott
National Schools Squad: Mia Denby (C) Ellie Denby, Ellie Chammings, Skye Warner, Evie Sutton, Lily Unsworth, Elisha Perrow, Lilyella Monk, Penny Richards, Milla Schwarz, Tammy Westacott, Amy Wilson.

U15 Netball Academy CVL

The U15 Netball Academy travelled to Paignton Hub on Wednesday for their second Central Venue League of the season. The team were placed in a pool with Teign School (A&B), Paignton Academy and Newton Abbot College. The girls gained some impressive results, winning 8-2 against Paignton, winning 5-2 against Teign B, winning 7-1 against Teign A winning and 8-5 against Newton Abbot College. Congratulations to our Players’ Player of the tournament, Ema Kestell and our Coaches’ Player Ivy Hodgson-Hunt. Well done, girls!

U15 Netball Academy: Ema Kestell, Jemimah Jones, Eve Cameron, Ivy Hodgson-Hunt, Amy Harrison, Millie Sneap, Isabelle Moxham, Francesca Skelly and Larna Waller


Athletics Achievements

Several female athletes from Team TA have received multiple awards at their Athletics club. Penny Richards from Sixth Form received the ‘Endeavour Award’ for always being at training, starting 400m, competing in cross country and always being positive. Keeley Little in Year 10 received the ‘Outstanding Sprinting’ and ‘Club Records’ awards as she now holds all of the female club records in 100m, 200m, 300m. Francesca Skelly in Year 9 received the ‘Long Jump’ award for progressing in long jump all season and achieving the overall best performance at the club for long jump. Finally, Annalise Little received the ‘Most promising junior’ award for always being at training, starting cross country, and setting lots of personal best times. Well done to all of you!


Year 8 Netball

On Tuesday we took two Year 8 netball teams to a netball CVL tournament. Both teams displayed some lovely netball, listening well to their coaches and tried to put what they have learnt in training onto court. They played some tough matches but stayed positive throughout and created some good passages of play, fantastic interceptions and some well earned goals! Well done girls!
Player of the player of the match: Maria Nihtyanova and India Faulkner and Coaches player of the match: Scarlett Connelly and Lily Ross Garbett.


Year 7 Swimming

Over the weekend, May McDonough represented Torquay Leander Swimming Club in the U11 age category. May swam 16 lengths of a 25 meter pool and knocked 42 seconds off her original personal best, finishing with a time of 6:03. Well done, May!


Year 10 Football

On Thursday the year 10 boys Football team reached round 2 after a dominant 8-1 performance against Churston. TA used this as a practice game before their big upcoming fixture against Tiverton in round 4 of the national cup. TA went in 2-0 up at half time thanks to goals from Albie Baker. TA rang the changes at half time and went 3-0 up in no time thanks to. TA eventually ran out 8-1 winners with goals from Dan Bellingham x2, Charlie Green x2, Sam Alcock and Fin Allnut.

Year 9 football

Unfortunately on Thursday, the boys lost their first game of the season and ultimately bowed out of the National Cup, after a narrow 2-1 defeat to TBGS.

Our opponents were better than us in the first half, as we couldn’t find our usual glow and passing rhythm and took time to adjust to a tight pitch. However, we went 1-0 up through a screamer from Miko. TBGS hit back with 2 avoidable goals just before half time. We were excellent in the second half, completely dominating the ball but were unable to get the equalising goal.




Y11 Football

Year 11 fell short in the National cup. On Monday the year 11 football team took on DHSB in round 4 of the national cup. The team unfortunately did not perform well as a collective and eventually fell to a 4-1 defeat. The scoreline could have been a lot worse for TA but the heroics of Elliott Mills in goal meant it kept the score to a reasonable one. TA wil, now turn their attention to the Devon and South Devon cups.


House Students of the Week

Year 7

Brunel – Alexis Kovacs

Christie – Elena Bolton

Darwin – Ebany Fawkes

Fawcett – Leighton Ellis-Cook

Harrison – Ayrton Sharp

Kitson – Alba McKechan

Pengelly – Tyler Scott


Year 8

Brunel – Emily Cowan

Christie – Caleb Harford-Brown

Darwin – Sunny Weedon

Fawcett – Anya Cosslett

Harrison – Robyn Higgins

Kitson – Jessie Mountstevens

Nearne – Alfie Spicer

Pengelly – Poppy Sanderson


Year 9

Brunel – Oliver Welsh

Christie – Harrison Richards

Darwin – Summer Holmes

Fawcett – Cody Jones

Harrison – Emilee Payne

Kitson – Chloe Burton

Nearne – Daniel Piper

Pengelly – William Kelly


Homework Students of the Week

Year 7

Brunel – Dylan Drinkwater

Christie – Jamie Hancox

Darwin – Arlo Brady

Fawcett – Mia Piewiszko

Harrison – Leonard Toribio

Kitson – Codi Williams-Powell

Nearne – Riley Page

Pengelly – Freya Dale


Year 8

Brunel – Alfie Speed

Christie – Janzen Flores

Darwin – Finlay Clarke

Fawcett – Ellie Simpson

Harrison – Flossie Maxwell

Kitson – Lucie Bowers

Nearne – Kayla Hadley

Pengelly – Ethan Lewis


Year 9

Brunel – Summer Lawford

Christie – Francesca Skelly

Darwin – Leah McClements

Fawcett – Lewis Phillips

Harrison – Larna Waller

Kitson – Faye Cassidy

Nearne – Mason Mitchell

Pengelly – Chloe German

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