Focus Five, 100% Attendance & Young Embassadors

Introducing the Newest Members of the Team

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Pictured: (from left) Science Technician – Mrs Mikosz, Assistant HOLA for Maths – Mr Cole, Head of Sixth Form – Mrs Thomas and Science Technician – Mrs Bowles

The New Year started by welcoming four new staff members (pictured) to our school community. Like the first day at school for our students, they have been learning their way around and have plenty of new names and faces to remember. If you see them in and around school, please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to them.

New Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Thomas, has begun to settle in and said “I am really excited to be joining the incredibly hard working and enthusiastic team of staff at Torquay Academy and working with the students. In the few days I have been here I have received a very warm welcome. Joining the Sixth form in its infancy will provide me with an excellent opportunity to be part of an exciting and no doubt challenging journey. I look forward to getting to know each and every student in the Sixth Form and supporting their progress towards achieving their full potential.


SLT Student Mentoring

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Pictured: Mr Pugh with his mentor group earlier this week, working through a mock Science exam paper

Since the start of September, I and the Senior Leadership Team have been mentoring our Year 11 students as they prepare to take their GCSE exams in the summer term.

Mentoring sessions have been taking place twice a week and has been popular with our students. Year 11 student Megan Crosbie-Hawkins (pictured centre) said “I’ve found it really helpful to learn new exam techniques” and David McNally (pictured right) said “It helps us ease into exam style questions and not to be put off by the bigger ones”.

Personalised mentoring will take place throughout the year using data from lessons to target areas where students would benefit from concentrated revision sessions.


Year 11 Art

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Pictured: Year 11 Student Freya Deakin, as the subject of her own art project

As part of her current GCSE Art project ‘Man Made World’, Year 11 student, Freya Deakin has created this very interesting self-portrait. The brief was to create a piece using any media, based on the ‘Man Made World’ and will be part of a graded portfolio.

Freya’s piece uses the New York City subway map as well as the New York City skyline and was created using Adobe Photoshop. Freya used a photograph of herself as the main subject and layered the images to create this impressive effect. Freya said “I decided to use Photoshop because I would usually paint or draw and wanted to do something a bit different. I am happy with the overall finish but would next time use higher quality images to make it less blurry”.


Students Celebrate 100% Attendance

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Pictured: Year 8 students with their certificates after an assembly this week.

Between starting in September and Christmas, we’ve had many students who have shown a passion for being in school every day. This is reflected in the attendance figures across the school.

We have had over 100 students achieving 100% attendance, which has been celebrated during assemblies this week. Pictured above is Mr Penrice with our Year 8 students after receiving their certificates during assembly.

Over half of the school cohort have an attendance of 95% or above, allowing them to take advantage of the wide ranging curriculum we offer to our students and reach their full potential.

Well done.


Employability Skill Boost with Focus Five Project

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Pictured: Yvonne Paddon, of the Education Business Partnership, introducing the Focus Five project to our Year 10 students

Twenty Year 10 students have been selected to take part in an exciting project running between January and March. The project is called “Focus Five” and is offered by Torbay Development Agency and run by Devon Education Business Partnership.

The scheme aims to increase the student’s employability skills and confidence by offering the support from a carefully selected business mentor. The students will be working with these mentors and Mrs Hadden to build up a portfolio, which will provide evidence for the key employability skills; communication, organisational, team work, customer care and problem solving.

The project will not involve lots of extra work from the students, rather, it is aimed at supporting the students in recognising and drawing out skills that they already have and providing evidence of them.


Castles in the Middle Ages

Pictured: Year 8 students with their home made castles

Linking with the Curriculum week, where students visited Chepstow Castle, Year 8 students have been studying the development of castles through time in their History lessons with Miss Cape. Students have been studying specifically at medieval attitudes and lifestyles through castle building.

During this topic, students have had to research a castle of their choice and compare it to Chepstow, plan and build a castle whilst including the many features of a medieval a castle and then write a letter addressed to the Lords and Knights of the land, advising how to attack or defend a castle.

The visit to Chepstow and the whole topic has really captured the imagination of the class, who then produced some outstanding work. Year 8 Student Lewis Rusby was inspired by Chepstow. He said “I built my castle based on Chepstow, including the towers and building inside of the walls. I enjoyed building the castle and learning about the medieval people”.


New Leo’s Club Needs Members

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Pictured: James Stone with his Leo’s Club poster

Passionate Leo’s member and Year 11 student James Stone approached us to help launch a Leo’s club here in school.

The aim of the club is to organise and run events over the course of the year to help raise money for charity. Once established, the new Leo’s members will take on specific roles within the club and together, decide on which charity their fundraising efforts will help.

James said “I enjoy helping people and meeting new people, which is what the Leo’s Club is all about. It feels good because you know you are doing something really worthwhile”.

Assistant Principal, Mr Penrice and Torquay Lions Member, Geoff Payne met earlier this week to talk about our school becoming a flagship school for the Leo’s club; a prospect I hope we can achieve.

James already has six students who would like to get involved and he is currently helping them to apply. If there are any more students who like to get involved in this exciting new venture please contact Mr Penrice.

For more information click HERE to visit the Lions club website.


Year 11 Health and Social Care Exam

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Pictured: Last minute revision before their exam

Year 11 BTEC Level 2 Health and Social Care students had an exam this week that contributes to 70% of their overall course grade.

After weeks of revision including a last minute revision session before the start of the exam, students felt well prepared.

Health and Social Care teacher Miss Haines said “The students have been committed to their studies and have been working extra hard during the revision sessions to make sure they can achieve the best results they can”.


Craft Club

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Pictured: Mrs Jukes and Year 7 students at lunch time today enjoying Craft Club

Students were enjoying making earrings at lunch time today with Mrs Jukes during Craft Club.

Roisin Payne (pictured right) said “I think craft club is good because you learn new things and it’s really creative. You also get to meet new people. The best thing we have made so far is the swirly beaded Christmas trees”.

Craft club is open to all students every Friday lunchtime and with a different craft each week to keep you busy, it’s a great club to get involved with. If you would like to join in, either pop along or speak to Mrs Jukes.



Students continue to thrive in Learning Café

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Pictured: Students making use of the Learning Café

Since the Learning Café began earlier last year, students have enjoyed having the time and facilities to do their homework and coursework assignments before and after school. It might be something to do with the free hot chocolate, but from September to December a total of 1701 students used the Learning Café; 5368 since it began in March 2014, which shows our student’s commitment to learning.

Year 11 student, Hope Tehrani is a regular at the Learning Café and was yesterday using her time to complete a coursework assignment. She said “It’s a great environment to do my coursework. I feel more motivated at school and there are less distractions than when I am at home”.



Young Ambassador Conference – By Kieran Bailey

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Pictured: Torquay Academy Young Ambassadors

What a day! Eight of us from Year 9 (Kieran Bailey, Joshua Clarke, Cody Marker, Nicole Doris, Ocea Jackson, Louie Smith, Ollie Cawood and Abigail Wicks went to Paignton Community and Sports Academy to attend the Torbay Young Ambassador Conference.

The day was split up into two parts, planning an event and YA (Young Ambassador) programme. My first workshop was planning an event. In this workshop we learnt how to get on with people we have not spoken to before and how to plan and deliver a Dodge ball PE lesson. Each school was split up and put into a number of different groups. In these groups we had to come up with the rules, equipment, lesson plan, fixture sheet and schedule.

Once each group had put all of their ideas forward, we proceeded into a number of different Dodge ball games. After the first workshop was complete, the group moved on to talk about what a Young Ambassador is and what they do. To break the ice the whole group played a game, which got us talking to people we wouldn’t usually talk to – this is a crucial part of being a Young Ambassador.

After the final talk from the Gold Ambassadors, the Torquay Academy group got together to decide what we are going to contribute to the school in the future.