Effort Boards, Photography trip, Live Music Lunch and Dragons’ Den

Quarter 2 Effort Boards

The first effort boards of the year were released on Friday.

6th Form ‘Dartmoor Photo Shoot’ with Mrs Lynch

A number of our very talented A level Photography & Art students spent a chilly, but inspiring Thursday afternoon up on Dartmoor for a series of photo shoots. Each student was responding to their individual projects, exploring a variety of genres, techniques and approaches. Students explored landscape/panorama photography on the site of Dr Blackwells Drive. Slow and fast shutter speed was employed at New Bridge, as students photographed and captured the fast-flowing water of The Dart. Macro photography was investigated near The Weir at Buckfastleigh, looking at some of the fascinating flora and fauna found there. The following images give you a flavour of their afternoon.


Live Music Lunch – Fun Friday

On Friday years 9 and 10 were invited to our second Live Music Lunch of the year, featuring musicians from our Year 10 Music class in addition to a DJ set from Dylan Knock (year 11).

In preparation for his set Dylan was challenged to mix and beat-match as many songs as possible into five minutes, which he did effortlessly with five upbeat tracks of electronic dance music, warming the crowd for the music to follow.

Opening the event, our first year 10 band took to the stage to perform a raucous version of Arctic Monkeys classic, ‘I bet that you look good on the dance floor’, which was followed by a change of mood from our second act performing Bruno Mars’, ‘When I was your man’. Closing Live Music Lunch our final band performed another Arctic Monkeys favorite, ‘When the sun goes down’ to rapturous applause.

We’re so proud of all those students that performed and are so fortunate to have such incredible talent from our young musicians. It is clear that the beat goes on at Torquay Academy.

Year 10 Performers
Band 1: Ollie Drinkwater, Bartosz Mitula, Charlie Grimley and Charlie Porter
Band 2: Kirah Clee, Summer Faulkes, Erin Giffard and Emma Matthews
Band 3: Austin Howell, Dan Eales, Zac Evans and Tom Thorner
DJ: Dylan Knock


Fun Friday – Year 7 penalties

Mr Gratton’s stock rose a few points with his penalty success!


Dragons Den competition in the Bay

Students in Year 8 are taking part in a local Dragons Den competition organised by Devon, Plymouth & Torbay Careers Hub. Teams of students have worked together to come up with innovative products and services that will benefit Torbay and that correspond to our local industries. Miss Foster and Dr Davies have been pleased to see some impressive skills in the students – working together as a team, evaluating their choice of business ideas and organising themselves to prepare a PowerPoint presentation. Not to mention all their amazing ideas about how their products could benefit the lives of local people.

As part of the preparation, a local business mentor is assigned to the school and this week, we were delighted to welcome Simon Beer, Managing Director at Bigwave Marketing, who listened to the team’s pitches and advised them on how to refine their business ideas.

Simon said, ‘The students presented a diverse range of ideas that all looked to solve important problems in the real world. I was impressed with the confidence and enthusiasm of all the students that took part. It was certainly hard to help determine the winning pitch to go forward to the finals.’

Our winning team has been chosen by Simon and congratulations go to Team Happy Pens who now go forward to represent the school at the final event at the Royal Lyceum Theatre on 1 December. They will be presenting to a live audience and competing against Year 8s from six other local schools. The students in the Happy Pens team are: Daisy Board, Leon Snell, Lilly-Rose Garbett, Katie Peryer, Poppy Sanderson and Anastasiia Tukilush.

We wish them lots of luck!


Cadets Update

On Remembrance Sunday, 24 Cadets from the RAF Section joined 200 Sqn ATC at Torquay Marina for the yearly Remembrance service at the Cenotaph. In all, nearly 60 RAF Air Cadets marched with groups of veterans and other uniformed organisations to the Cenotaph to take part in the service. Although the weather forecast promised rain and the clouds were heavy, the rain held off until the laying of the wreaths and final march past. A wonderful, uplifting morning for all and thanks to the cadets for a smart turnout.

In a landmark event at Torquay Academy, aspiring cadets recently undertook the inaugural Potential Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) course, marking a significant step in their journey towards leadership within the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

The course, designed to cultivate essential skills and knowledge which proved to be a resounding success. The participants were enriched with insights into the roles and responsibilities of an NCO, leadership styles, and crucially building confidence and discipline. We explored the multi role an NCO plays. Cadets delved into the intricacies of leadership, learning how to balance authority with empathy and instil discipline while fostering a supportive environment.

The course emphasised the NCO’s position as a mentor and role model, shaping the character and capabilities of those under their command.

Leadership styles took centre stage during the course, offering cadets an understanding of the various approaches to leading a team. Through practical exercises and theoretical discussions, the cadets learnt new leadership styles, gaining valuable insights into their own inclinations and strengths as potential NCOs.

Building confidence emerged as a crucial theme throughout the course. Cadets engaged in team-building activities, challenging exercises, and public speaking opportunities designed to push their boundaries and nurture self-assurance. The goal was not only to prepare them for the rigours of leadership but also to instill a sense of confidence that extends beyond the uniform, influencing their personal and academic lives.

The course organisers recognised that true leadership emerges in moments of challenge, and the emphasis on discipline aimed to equip cadets with the resilience and composure necessary to navigate diverse situations.

Expectations of an NCO were clarified throughout the course, providing cadets with a roadmap for their future roles. From effective communication and decision-making to leading by example and fostering a cohesive team spirit. Cadets left with a profound understanding of the high standards expected from those entrusted with leadership responsibilities.

The success of the Torquay Academy CCF (Army) NCO course stands as a testament to the commitment of both cadet staff and the cadets. As these aspiring cadets embark on their leadership journeys, the lessons learned and bonds forged during this transformative experience will undoubtedly shape not only their contributions to the CCF but also their personal and professional growth.

Meet the Tutor / Head of House Evening

Last Thursday, we hosted our first ‘Meet the Tutor/ Head of House’ for Year 7 students and their parents and carers.
The school atrium was a buzz of conversations, refreshments and smiles as the Year 7s were able to celebrate their successes of the first half term with their families and tutors.
On the evening we also had a carousel of presentations including Sparx, Tassomai, Report Systems and our Extra-Curricular offerings. This allowed parents and carers to leave the evening feeling empowered and confident in the new homework procedures, as well as everything that TA is offering our Year 7s.
Thank you to all those who attended and to all the staff involved.

Mr Gratton’s Year 11 Classroom

In Mr Gratton’s Year 11 class, the students have been responding to the feedback from the PPE exams. Although the class outperformed Mr Gratton’s expectations, every student can still improve by at least 1 or maybe 2 grades from this PPE.

The students question papers were marked and analysed and a feedback booklet was produced based on common errors. The students then worked through the booklets from model solutions using the I do, we do, you do teaching technique. To ensure the learning sticks, similar questions will be interleaved over the new 6 weeks in the do nows.


Fawcett House News

Fawcett House has been having its most successful year to date, they topped the house points leaderboard on three separate occasions and with multiple individual victories in years 7, 8 and 9.  This week Miss Risk spoke to four 7F students: Ayden Quarshie, Marcus Finley-Peers, Isabelle Leech and Freja McElkenny about why Fawcett was doing so well.  Here is what they had to say:

‘One of the things that is special about Fawcett is that we always do our homework every night. There is never a time when someone just forgets to do it or just doesn’t do it. This is why we get so many house-points.’

‘If there is a Sparx question that we can’t do, we can ask our maths’ teachers for help and that way, all our homework is completed.’

‘People in Fawcett are just nice in general. We work as a team, nobody starts any drama and nobody is mean.’

As always, the students of 7F had plenty of praise for house-captain, Miss Piggott:

‘Miss Piggott is really kind. She is calm, patient and always helps us with our homework in the mornings.’

‘Miss Piggott takes her time with things so we don’t feel rushed. She always gives out plenty of house-points.’

Mr Gale, head of Fawcett, who visits the group once a week to celebrate all achievements, was also the recipient of much praise:

’Mr Gale always opens the door with a smile on his face. He is charismatic, enthusiastic and joyful.’

Indeed, all four students have plenty of achievements after only a short while at the academy. Ayden and Freya have been recognised for their excellent homework completion; Marcus and Izzie for their excellent attitude.  A final word for any student in year 6 debating on what house they would like to be selected for:

‘You should join Fawcett because even when we are not always the top house, we always try our best.’  And who can ask for more than that?


Y8 English

This week, 8T9 have been stretching their creative writing muscles! After several weeks of analysing extracts from Gothic classics such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde – and thoroughly impressing Miss Elson with their thoughtful comments on cultural anxieties and symbolism – the class got to experiment with writing their own Gothic stories.

First, they practised creating motifs for imaginary Gothic narratives. The class first encountered motifs – symbolic objects that keep appearing in a text – back in Y7C1 when they studied Lord of the Flies and it was incredible how much the students remembered about the use of such motifs as Piggy’s glasses, the conch and fire. When it came time to create their own, the ideas were supremely imaginative. White lab coats turned black; birds became caged; suns sunk behind clouds and glass ornaments shattered. They really proved how well they understood how motifs can be used to change mood or build into the themes of a text.

Next, the class read through descriptions of settings from Frankenstein, Dracula and The Woman in Black, noting down how they thought the extracts fit the Gothic genre and used the tropes we had become used to. There were a few misunderstandings of what a setting actually was, but once this was explained, the students were off! Miss Elson was treated to several eerie descriptions of graveyards, crumbling castles and old houses. One student even managed to describe a lake in a very Gothic fashion by subverting her reader’s expectations.

For their final piece of creative writing, the class had the task of creating a monstrous character that could symbolise a cultural anxiety of either the Victorian period or modern society. After reminding themselves of how the writers had used characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein’s Creature and Dracula’s brides to explore anxieties about immigration, scientific advancement and changing gender roles, the students were able to have a go for themselves. Many chose to have their characters represent modern fears about AI and developing technology, though we did have several beastly creatures used to reflect Victorian anxieties of degeneration and independent women!

The class is now beginning our TA Canon – an opportunity to read famous or important stories more for pleasure than analysis and study. We are reading a set of short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and have so far enjoyed the macabre tales of The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart.

Pictured proudly showing off their work are Mason Findlay-Peers, Hattie Gamble, Chloe-Mae Jones, Tanya Neil, Brodi Docherty and Poppy Sanderson.


Geography Fieldtrip

The last remaining groups visited Plymouth on Wednesday this week to conduct their Human Geography investigation to identify regeneration at Drake Circus. Students worked hard collecting their data for their Paper 3 exam in the 2024 exams. They were a real credit to the school.


GCSE Product Design with Mr Hadley this week

An increasing number of students have been choosing to study GCSE Product Design in recent years and it has been a pleasure to see them working with such purpose and enjoyment. Students who choose the subject often go on to study it at A Level and many have left TA to enrol on university courses studying architecture, engineering and other design related topics.

In Year 9 at the moment, students are learning how to mark out and construct a range of wood joints. This is supplemented with additional skills in computer aided design (CAD modelling) and hand drawn isometric drawing. You can see from the photos the breadth of work completed to a very high standard. Take a look at the video to see students all hard at work applying their newly acquired practical skills!

Art Assessment Week

We have had a busy week in art working through assessments with all year groups; using oil pastel and pencil, drawing portraits, boots, succulents and seedpods. Here are a selection of examples from Year 7 to Year 10; it has been really enjoyable looking through the excellent work in their sketchbooks too. On Tuesday, the art club were painting festive and wintery scenes ready for Christmas and are also planning to make clay Gonks in our next session in two weeks time.


Students of the Week

Year 7 – Rosco Biagott and Farah Davidson
Year 8 – Rian Lial and Annie Aldous
Year 9 – Chloe German and Harry Newman
Year 11 – Esme Brabon and Samuel Stimpson
Sixth Form – Katie Williams and May Rooney

Art Star of the Fortnight – Saffron Kelsey

Our art star of the fortnight is Saffron Kelsey in year 10. Saffron was a great help to Mrs Lynch when she was putting together the ‘Rememberance Day’ Art Installion. Saffron was responsible for making the paper tissue poppies that adorned the mannequin in the show. Well done Saffron!

Congratulations to Elizabeth

Well done to 6th form student Elizabeth Cameron for being selected for the Devon Rugby U18 squad.

House Students of the Week

Year 7

Brunel – Elliott Hytche

Christie – Andy Iftode

Darwin – Charlotte Townsend

Fawcett – Archie Foss

Harrison – Lacey Loffel

Kitson – Florence Botten

Pengelly – Tyler Scott


Year 8

Brunel – Emily Cowan

Christie – Cabel Harford-Brown

Darwin – Sunny Weedon

Fawcett – Anya Cosslett

Harrison – Robyn Higgins

Kitson –  Jessie Mountstevens

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 – Cordi Williams-Powell

Nearne – Riley Page

Pengelly – Freya Dale


Year 8

Brunel – Alfie Speed

Christie – Janzen Flores

Darwin – Finlay Clark

Fawcett – Ellie Simpson

Harrison – Flossie Maxwell

Kitson – Lucie Bowers

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

University Offers this week


Sparx Leaderboards


Tassomai Leaderboards