A call up to the first team, engineering and a very busy week!

Olaf is selected for Torquay United’s First Team


Last Saturday Torquay United hosted top of the table Billericay Town.  Olaf, who has already scored 29 goals this season in various league and cup competitions, was called up to the first team.

Gull’s Manager Gary Johnson told the Herald Express that “He had been doing very well in the youth team, scoring goals.  He and other lads from that side train with the first team at least once a week, and we’ve had Olaf training with us almost full-time and fitting his studies around that.  We put him on the bench because of what he’s shown us and because it is going to give him great experience at 16 years of age.  It was also a ‘Well Done’ to Torquay Academy and the other players for their success in the FA Youth Cup.  It was an acknowledgement of the achievement of them and the staff, and it shows everyone that there is a link through to us at first-team level.  Every time they come into training with us, we can see that these lads are decent, and we feel there is a good opportunity for some to come through to senior football here.”

I am extremely proud of Olaf.  He demonstrates what hard work, combined with talent is able to achieve.  It was also very heartening to read Gary Johnson’s comments about our other boys who regularly train with the first team.

You can read the full report about Olaf’s selection on the back page of this week’s Herald Express.



Georgia interviews Gary Neville

georgia and gary 1

Year 13 student, Georgia Large, had the opportunity to interview Gary Neville during her university open day visit to UA92.  Georgia, who is applying to study journalism, took the opportunity to interview Gary, who along with other members of the class of ’92, have set up this new university.


 The Brilliant Club

9.11.18 Brilliant Club 19.11.18 Brilliant club 2

A number of our Year 10 and year 12 students have been selected to take part in the Scholars’ Programme run by the Brilliant Club. This is a university taster programme involving a visit to the University of Exeter, a series of six tutorials with a PhD tutor coming into school, an assignment on the topic they have studied, and a graduation at the University of Oxford.    Our Year 10 students are studying Comparative Politics with Nick Dickinson from the School of Social Science. They are: Gareth Howells, Rebecca Willis, Tom Norman, Shannon Banks, Lauren Howells, Lacee Borge, Kaytlyn Mortimore, Jacob Almond-Abraham, Dylan Gale, Brandon Edwards, Ben Harris.

Our Year 12 students are studying Climate Change and Oceanography with Dr Freya Garry from the School of Geography. They are: Tom Gabl, Sarah Farrell, Matt Roberts, Jordan Taylor-Johns, Hayden Gibbings, Hannah Dale.

Last Friday they went for the Launch Trip to Exeter University where they were able to see around the amazing facilities and participate in their first tutorials and lectures.


The Future is… TA!

9.11.18 Future TA19.11.18 Future TA2

9.11.18 future TA39.11.18 Future TA4

Year 12 and 13 students recently travelled to London on a fact finding mission for their A Level Product Design course. During the visit, students explored a range of exhibitions including one of the flagship events at the V&A Museum, ‘The Future Starts Here’ – an interactive look at the future of design showcasing one hundred projects in development for future living… a landscape of possibilities such as the living internet – an entire tree is able to broadcast and receive wifi signals, a self-sailing ship that can clean up oil slicks, 3D printed homes for explorers on Mars, an autonomous interactive taxi service with a built-in personal assistant and glass disks capable of storing terabytes of data for billions of years to come!

The exhibit was housed inside the stunning Sainsbury Gallery – a new 1,100 square metre column-free space which is one of the largest temporary exhibition spaces in the UK.

Students spent the day gathering information, resources and design stimuli that will go directly towards their A Level coursework. Reflections from students include…
Eye-boggling exhibits, I particularly liked the laundry sorting robot that lost its’ temper every now and again!” Patrick C
“I saw so many items that I didn’t realise existed such as 360 terabytes stored on a small piece of glass” Elliot A
“It was an intriguing look into the future, especially the self driving car” Louis R
“The autonomous car really gave me a sense of what the future will be like” Callum P
“The Science Museum showed me how we have advanced in technology in such little time” Cyle P
“I can’t believe Tesla might be putting battery packs in every home!” Harry W
“It was awesome to see Thomas Thwaites’ toaster first hand – I can’t believe he went to such levels to make his own product completely from scratch” Jamie E
“The trip will really help me with my A Level course” Kamil S

Click on link below to see further footage.


‘TA’ – the robotics way!

I was so impressed with Amelia, Caitlin and Amber in Year 8 who have programmed something a little special with their Lego robot. It’s amazing to watch but how did they do it? No secrets really, just planning, programming and plenty of practice! A brilliant effort in robotics lessons with additional time dedicated at lunchtimes and after school – well done you three!


New Emoji Competition Winners

Callum Bowden and Michael Brooker, won a competition at Techbay for their designs of a new emoji. Flossy and Jim, an illustration business, worked with local school children to create and launch digital stickers to be used within mobile chats around the world.  They were really impressed with Callum and Michael’s designs, attitudes and the emojis.  These new emojis are now available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play Store for use all over the world!  The following is taken from the press release:

“Award winning illustration business ‘Flossy and Jim’ have been working with local school children to release their very own digital stickers which can be used in popular online messenger chats. The talented students entered a competition at the TechBay event in Torbay, where over 300 students and 22 local engineering and manufacturing businesses helped deliver an interactive programme of activities to engage the young people and excite them to consider careers in Hi Tech Manufacturing, Engineering, Advanced Electronics and/or Photonics. A partnership with Bare Tree Media, will format the stickers for digital platforms and publish the stickers for global availability.  

Lynette Dare, Founding Director at Flossy and Jim said: “The children that entered our ‘Create an Emoji’ competition showed a real passion for engineering and also a real creative talent, which impressed us so much we decided to work with them on our new digital sticker pack, and give them an opportunity to see how their designs could be used in the real world.”

Robert Ferrari, CEO at Bare Tree Media said: “We are thrilled to support an exciting program that challenges students creatively and allows them to have their content go live for their families and friends to engage with all over the world.”

Over 300 students and 22 hi tech business leaders attended the TechBay event, and just 7 of these students were selected to work on the sticker project. The children involved attended several schools including Brixham College, Churston Ferrers Grammar School, Paignton Community and Sports Academy, St Cuthbert Mayne School, The Spires College, Torquay Academy and Torquay Girls Grammar School.

The ‘Flossy and Jim Mojimoji’ stickers are available to download for IOS devices from the App Store and within the Android version of the emojiTap sticker-photo app from the Google Play Store.”

Congratulations to both Callum and Michael!



9.11.18 Maths

Does this number mean anything to you? That was the question internationally renowned Mathematician and Journalist Simon Singh posed to our Year 7 last week when he visited to look at the great work the Maths department stretching the very talented mathematicians we have in school. Simon is supporting only a handful of schools across the country with his TopTop set project, we are one of only two in the South West. Simon was very impressed with the quality of the lessons he saw and the work that our students were doing. Simon is going to be supporting the school over the next few years with the Top Top set project.

Oh and what did 357686312646216567629137 mean? It is a truncated Prime, if you cut off a digit from the start you still have a prime number, as one of 7t9 spotted! A couple of lucky students were even given pencils with this on, so when they sharpen it, although part of the number disappeared, it still showed a prime. I think many of the Maths teachers were a little jealous of these pencils!!


Senior Maths Challenge

9.11.18 Sixth Form Maths

The Sixth Form mathematics students took part in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge on Thursday. The challenge is a national competition aimed at ultimately selecting a team to compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad. Students are awarded for their efforts and we look forward to receiving their results.


Hegarty Maths

As you are all aware that this year students in years 8-11 complete their Hegarty Maths online homework three times a week. As a result of the sheer hard work and determination by the students a total of 3523 hours, which is equivalent to 146 days of learning outside the classroom. Torquay Academy currently are in the top 3% of schools using Hegarty Maths for the video duration and top 9% for questions answered. The following students top their year group for the amount Maths online homework completed; Harley Sneap (Year 8), Isaac Caddick (Year 9), Lacee Borge (Year 10), Luca Guastella (Year 11). We hope the effort by our students continue into cycle 2 and the rest of the year.




Upper School Music Showcase

9.11.18 Upper school Show Case - Poster

We are looking forward to the Upper School Music Showcase on Tuesday 13th November at 6pm. The evening will feature a fantastic array of performances from our Y11, Y12 and Y13 Music Performance and Music Technology students plus our Music Academy. A highlight of the evening will be our Y11 Final Exam performances which will be recorded live on the evening and set to an external examiner. Entrance to the event is by ticket only (free), please speak to one of the performers if you wish to attend.




Tutor Time in 10SJM

Everyone is working hard in 10SJM tutor time, revising for assessments and for their future GCSEs.


Team TA Sports Roundup

There are graphics in and around the school that state that Torquay Academy is home to the hardest working students in the South West. If anyone ever needed evidence to prove this they should spend a day in the life of one of our sports stars during assessment week. Not only do they complete their assessments, they also take time out to represent the school in a plethora of sports.  This week all of the action, and there was a lot, was either in National Competitions or County Competitions that qualified you for the Nationals.  In addition to this it is the expectation that any student who misses an assessment completes that assessment in their own time, commitment indeed. In summary a very busy but very rewarding week for all concerned. We started the week off with 10-9 penalty shoot out victory for our Year 10 footballers in the National Cup v Churston Grammar School, we then dispatched of Poole High School Dorset 6-0 in the National B team Sixth Form cup, where we are now into the last 16, our futsal teams were outstanding on Tuesday when we finished first and second in the boys under 13 Torbay Schools competition and also won the under 13 girls competition, this is unprecedented and a great achievement. Wednesday saw our under 13 boys table tennis team crowned as County champions. There was also over 50 girls representing the school in netball matches against other schools this week and I counted at least 50 Year 7 & 8 boys at rugby training. As this is being written we look forward to Friday when the Year 7 end of season South Devon Rugby tournament takes place and the Year 9 boys entertain Launceston Community College in the National Football Cup. Next week we travel to Cornwall in the National Cup for our Under 14 basketball players, our sixth form football team, under the guise of Torquay United Youth Team travel to Maidenhead to play in the second round proper of the FA Youth Cup, our Under 13 and Under 15 girls and Under 12 boys have their next matches in their respective National Cups.  There is also more rugby, more sixth form football and netball and on Friday the basketball team are back in action with a home fixture in the National Cup.

9.11.18 Y10 Football warm up

Year 10 football team on a warm up


Table Tennis

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Our Under 13 and Under 16 boys table tennis teams travelled to Plymouth this week to take part in the Devon Team Championships. Due to some of our regular players in the Under 16 team being unavailable Daniel Green Yr 8 and William Howard Year 7 stepped up to the mark to make up the team along with Nick Turner Year 10 and Ellis Knowles Year 9. They played some great table tennis and won their first match against Teign School with relative ease, next up came Stover School and then Churston Grammar School, in both of these matches we were playing against some very strong opposition who were all Year 11.  Our boys narrowly lost both matches 5-3 which was not enough for them to progress further in the competition but they should be proud of some excellent play.

Our Under 13 team consisted of William Bevan, Brandon Thomson and Bobby Western all Year 8 and Josh Thompson Year 7. They to were up against some very good opposition in the qualifying leagues where they played Lipson Community College and Eggbuckland Community College. They beat all before them to qualify for the final where they met Devonport High School and Stoke Damerel.  In the first match against Stoke Damerel we played some great table tennis but the opposition kept coming back at us until we eventually beat them on count back, this meant that it was more or less winner takes all when we played Devonport High School.  Some excellent work form Number 1 seed William Bevan and Number 2 seed Bobby Western resulted in us going 2-0 in the first set of games, Brandon Thomson went on to win his game against their number 3 seed to make it 3-0. Josh Thompson was very unfortunate in his game against their number 2 seed when he lost in two very close games, however he would have won had it not been for an outstanding act of sportsmanship from Josh who showed maturity beyond his years pointing out that the scorer had made a mistake close to the end of the first game and that they needed to play the last point again. We were not kept waiting very much longer to confirm that we were to be crowned County Champions as the boys then went on to win the rest of their games. An outstanding result for a group of students who epitomise what it means to be a student at Torquay Academy and represent Team TA. Well done boys, onto the South West Championships in the new year.



9.11.18 Futsal

Miss Fannon and the Under 13 girls team has a fantastic afternoon on Tuesday as 2 teams were entered into the Torbay Schools Futsal competition held at PCSA.

Team A- Darcie Baker, Sophie Clarke, Ava Mitchell, Milla Schwarz, Ella Sanderbrook, Lily Ella Monk and Abi Anderson. Played 6, Won 6, scored 22 conceded 2. Total goal tally- Darcie Baker a staggering 16, Ava Mitchell 5, Sophia Clarke 1. Team B- Maddy Brewer, Maddy Palmer Kerslake, Leoni Bailey, Ella Heasman Knight, Teah Gaisford, Megan Bird and Lily Bond. Played 6, Won 1, Lost 5, scored 2, conceded 14. Goals both scored by Maddy Brewer. A fantastic all round afternoon with some excellent football and sportsmanship on display. Team A now progress through to the County Fustal finals in March 2019.

The Year 8 boys successfully defended their South Devon Futsal title, although were pushed all the way by our Year 7 team. In Group A, we defeated Dawlish (6-0) Newton Abbot College (3-1) Paignton A (2-1) and Teign (8-0) to comfortably win the group. In the final, the Year 8 boys saw off a great effort by the Year 7s to win 2-0. The boys and girls now progress to the County finals on March 6th, for the second consecutive year. Hopefully, the boys can go one step further after losing the final on penalties last year!



9.11.18 Nball 39.11.18 netball 1

On Wednesday our Year 7 and Year 8 netball teams attended a triangle tournament vs Torquay Girls Grammar and St Cuthbert Mayne.

The Year 8 team were playing up an age group so it was important they got off to a strong start. With some great interceptions in the D as well as accurate shooting they were able to beat Cuthbert 2-0. P.O.M Mya

The next game v TGGS was going to be tough, but the team proved themselves after consistently converting turnovers into goals. The team did extremely well and managed to secure a solid 4-4 draw. P.O.M Ella

For most of the Year 7 team it was their first competitive game at TA. They stayed focused and although hadn’t played much before they showed some promising netball. Unfortunately they lost to an extremely well practiced TGGS team. P.O.M Freya

With a few tactical swaps and a new understanding of the game, the girls were able to develop throughout the following match against Cuthbert. Although there was brilliant communication and movement the team were disappointed to lose but have now found areas that we can work on in training.  P.O.M Mia


9.11.18 Netball 4

On Monday, the Year 8 A squad attended the U14’s National School Netball tournament at Paignton. The tournament saw them take on 5 other local schools with hope of progressing to the next round.  Although, as they were playing a year up and have next year in the same age group, we thought our chances were slim, a very big win v Coombeshead CC and a draw against Trinity School were unfortunately followed by three narrow losses which mean that we will have to wait until next year to try again.

Although the girls were unsuccessful in progressing to the next round, they delivered a great team performance and consistently showed great through-court play. There were moments of great attacking and defensive play, especially considering the girls were playing up an age group. Well done girls, you’ve done yourselves proud!



9.11.18 Grace Povey

On Friday, 2 November at the annual Torbay Athletics Club Awards Evening, Grace Povey Year 7 was awarded the following trophies:-

1. The Girls Endeavour Cup which is awarded to someone they feel has worked really hard and shown commitment and improvement.
2. Torbay Athletic Club commitment to Cross Country 2018.
3. Torbay Athletic Club commitment to the Indoor Sports Hall 2018.
4. Torbay Athletic Club commitment to the Devon Open 2018.

On Sunday 4 November, she also ran in the Teignbridge Trotters Fun Run Mile (cross country) at Stover School and was awarded a medal for completing the mile. She came 4th in the Girls U13. Quite rightly Grace is very proud of her recent achievements.


Hannah’s been running again!

9.11.18 hannah runs again

Last weekend saw Hannah, 7P, compete in the second race of the Wildnight Run series. The Haldon Night 2K took the runners down the steep hill, through forest then back up the hill. Not put off by the heavy drizzle & wind Hannah finished 1st girl. Well done again Hannah!


Students of the Week

9.11.18 SOTW

Students of the Week this week with me are : Josh Thompson Y7, Lucas Macfie Jones Y9, Sonny Prior Y11, Milla Schwarz Y8, Reagan King Y12, Katie Leigh Y13, Shannon Banks Y10


House Stars of the Week

Year 7

Brunel –

Christie – Ava Sams

Darwin – William Howard

Fawcett – Darcy Thomson-Wade

Harrison – Ellie Chammings

Kitson – Emily Phillips

Nearne – Robin Pightling

Pengelly – Shelby Astley-Rubin


Year 8

Brunel – Oli Waring

Christie – Elisha Perror

Darwin – Alisha Morris

Fawcett – Leoni Bailey

Harrison – Alan Kumiega

Kitson – David Waddington

Nearne – Harley Cartwright

Pengelly – Charlie Nunn


Year 9

Brunel – Finn Beer

Christie – Isabel Cresser

Darwin – Will Flood

Fawcett – Paige Godwin

Harrison – Millie Hope

Kitson – Antonia Standen

Nearne – Liam Wallace

Pengelly – Grace Hallett



Building update

9.11.18 Build update