Poetry Slam, Police Q&A and Erupting Volcanoes

Year 11 Parents’ Evening

Blog 12.12.14 a

Pictured: Our Sixth Form students, Gareth, Chloe, Correy and Nathan who were on hand to greet parents at last night’s Year 11 Parents’ Evening

This week was Year 11 Parents’ Evening, which gave our Year 11 parents and students the opportunity to speak to their teachers and Progress Leader, to discuss progress and future targets for their individual subject areas.

At such an important stage in their school lives, as they approach the all-important exam season, it was pleasing to see that the evening was so well attended. The discussions that took place will no doubt be crucial for our Year 11’s to continue their exam preparations.

Special thanks go to our Sixth Form students who helped throughout the evening, by serving refreshments and greeting parents through the door.


Festivities Begin as Students Enjoy Christmas Lunch

Pictured: Students enjoying their Christmas lunch on Wednesday this week

Staff and students really got into the festive mood this week as we all enjoyed a Christmas lunch on Wednesday.

The tables were set and crackers were pulled as we all tucked into a fantastic Christmas lunch. Students even broke out into song, singing some of their favourite Christmas songs.

Service was a busy, due to the popularity of the occasion, so I managed to get into the kitchen and helped dish up the dessert (pictured).

I would like to thank the kitchen staff and duty staff who made the lunchtime a special one; Christmas spirit is definitely flowing through the school as a result!



Poetry Slam Volunteers Needed

Blog 12.12.14 b

Pictured: Mrs Tanner introducing the Poetry Slam idea to our year 7 students earlier in the week

English teacher, Mrs Tanner, introduced a very interesting but relatively unknown event called a ‘Poetry Slam’ to our Year 7 students during their assembly this week.

A Poetry Slam is simply a poetry competition in which poets perform original work alone or in teams in front of an audience, who serve as the judges. The poetry is judged by the enthusiasm of the crowd and the amount of noise they make.

Mrs Tanner is currently seeking poets in Year 7 and students who would like to act as audience members, who would like to compete at the Princess Theatre against 20 other local schools.

Mrs Tanner, said “This is a really exciting opportunity to get involved in poetry with a really modern twist. If you would like to get be part of the event at the Princess Theatre as a poet or as an audience member, come and see me in room H17.”

Before the main event, we have a guest poet booked to come into school on January 16th who will run a workshop with our Slam team to prepare them for the event.

This is a really worthwhile event, which I really urge our Year 7’s to volunteer for.



PCSO Martin Rushworth Q&A with Year 7 Students

Blog 12.12.14 c

Pictured: PCSO Martin Rushworth with our Year 7 students earlier in the week

This week PCSO Martin Rushworth has been going into year 7 Opening Minds lessons as part of their ‘Crime in the Community’ project.

PCSO Rushworth told the students about his own career path through the military and into the Police, eventually arriving at Torquay Academy as our resident PCSO. Being centred in the heart of the community enables him to be effective in the role.

Students found the talk enlightening and enjoyed asking numerous questions about police work generally and PCSO Rushworth’s career. Students were also surprised to learn of the many jobs and career paths that the Police service has to offer, giving food for thought on their own future careers.

PCSO Martin Rushworth explained that “Working closely with the students who form a large part of our local community allows us to break down any barriers that may stop young people approaching and engaging with the Police”.


Christmas Card Competition

Pictured: This year’s Christmas card competition entries

Many students entered our Christmas card competition this year with the prospect of their card being chosen to be sent out on behalf of myself and the school community.

There were lots of fantastic entries which made it really difficult to choose a winner, as a result all of the entries can be seen on presentation screens around the school, visible to all students, staff and visitors.


Year 7 Literacy Presentation

12.12.14 d

Pictured: (back from left) Assistant Principal Mr Withers, Governor Anne Derbyshire, Myself (front from left) Libby Finch, Max Fyrth, Nyah Silvester and Liam Mugliston

A small group of Year 7 students have been working with one of the school trustees, Anne Derbyshire, who has been leading additional reading, speaking and listening sessions, since the beginning of the term, in order to facilitate their confidence and progress. The sessions were designed to promote a love of reading as well as boost confidence in their own ability to present their opinions to their peers.

It was a real treat to be invited to a presentation where the four students, Libby Finch, Max Fyrth, Nyah Silvester and Liam Mugliston talked about what they have learnt during these sessions.

After the presentation the students told me “We didn’t think doing a presentation would be possible because we were too shy and quiet.” Max continued by saying “I can go home and tell my mum and dad that I nailed it.”

During the presentations, the four students described their favourite authors, books and words as well as explaining why English is so important.

They presented with confidence and clarity which is often difficult for professionals to get right.

Anne Derbyshire has been giving her free time to deliver these sessions, which have proven to be very beneficial to our students. Anne said “It’s Lovely to see the confidence of the students growing each week. Their behaviour has been exemplary and then have worked brilliantly as a team. It has been an absolute pleasure”.



Year 11 10 Hour Art Exam

Pictured: Students hard at work during their mock exam

There was an eerie quiet in the art rooms this today and yesterday as our Year 11 GCSE Art students sat their 10 hour mock exam!

Students started their exam entitled ‘Me, Myself & I’, working in a variety of media from drawing and painting, textiles, photography and even film making! The students were all working really hard producing some original and inventive artwork.

Art teachers, Mrs Lynch and Mr Haring were very impressed with the finished pieces after a long and testing exam.



Year 7 War Hammer 40K Club

Blog 12.12.14 e

Pictured: Year 7 students at the newly formed Warhammer 40k club this week

After announcing the club during assembly this week, Caine Rider, Ethan Tanner and Reece Whitehouse were pleasantly surprised at the turnout to their new Warhammer 40k club.

Warhammer 40k is an increasingly popular strategy game, enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life. To get started, you need to assemble the small models (pictured) and paint them… and then you have to learn the rules.

The three boys are keen to teach their peers the rules of the game and hope to enter the inter school league, once they have formed a team together.

If you are in Year 7 and would like to join in the fun, the club runs every Monday at 3.00 – 4.00pm in room F2.

Blog 12.12.14 f

Pictured: Some of Ethan’s models that he has painstakingly hand painted


Scenes of Destruction as Erupting Volcano Hits Year 9 Geography Class

Blog 12.12.14 g

Pictured: Year 7 students who stayed after school yesterday to see the volcano eruption, demonstrated by Corey Rodgers

Okay, so no scenes of destruction but we did have an erupting volcano in school yesterday.

As part of a homework project Year 9 Geography student Corey Rogers built an erupting volcano.

The model was extremely lifelike and using a bit of chemistry, Corey made it erupt in lessons to demonstrate what it would be like if you lived near one. The ‘lava’ spilled out over the side of the volcano and flowed down the side just like the real thing. Corey can be seen here demonstrating an erupting volcano to some year 7 students who had taken an interest in his excellent working model.

Video: Student video footage of the eruption


Creative Drawing Club and Competition

Blog 12.12.14 h

Pictured: Students signing up to the creative drawing competition

Year 7 student Hannah Wood with the help of her friends, Ella Walker, Niamh Howlett and Natasha Frew have started their own Creative Drawing Club for their fellow Year 7’s to enjoy.

To kick the club off, the girls have decided to run a competition themed around Christmas/Winter Wonderland. The competition is being judged by Art teachers, Mr Haring and Mrs Lynch and Opening Minds Teachers Miss Nash and Mr Godfrey, with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Students have until Friday 19th December to submit their entries to the girls, with the winner being announced in the New Year.

Students who wish to take part have already been signing up (pictured) and those who would like to get involved, the girls meet every Tuesday break and lunch time in the school Library.

When asked why they wanted to start the club the girls said “We all like art and think that the competition will get people excited and want to be involved. We also hope that people that aren’t as confident with drawing will give it a go and hopefully improve their skills.



Year 10 Geography Model Rivers

Blog 12.12.14 i

Pictured: Students working on their 3D models

This week Year 10 Geographer’s have been learning about river features for their GCSE course. The students from Mr Toorneini’s class decided to put theory into practice by constructing 3D models of river basins and features. Samantha, our Year 10 Geography ambassador explained “It was a really useful exercise as it gave us a much clearer understanding of how the river processes like erosion and deposition are involved in creating each feature, for example the meanders and ox-bow lakes”.

The models will be completed early next week with students adding explanation cards to the features they made. The finished models will be on display in the Humanities corridor – FFG.



Torre C of E Primary School Visit for Sport Festival

Blog 12.12.14 j

Pictured: Our Sixth Form students whilst running the sports festival with Torre C of E Primary School pupils

A class of 24 students from Torre Primary visited us this week and took part in a Multi-Sport Festival, organised by our Sixth Form BTEC Sport students. Pupils took part in various different activities involving target practice, balancing, footwork patterns and ball skills, all of which contributes to the development of the young student’s physical development and motor skills.

Miss Sizer, PE teacher, said “Our Sixth Form students, who led the sessions, were great ambassadors for the Academy, highly enthusiastic and great role models to the younger students.”

Blog 12.12.14 k

Pictured: Torre students ready to leave after an exciting Multi-Sport Festival