On Thursday 12th July Mr Wilson, Mrs Gibson and I took 40 happy Year 7 students to Warwick Castle for the day. We met at ‘stupid o’clock’ as one student nicely put it – which was 6am….. We had 4 and a half hours on the coach and arrived at the Castle at 10.30am. It was a bright sunny day (apparently raining in Tavistock….sorry!) We had a wonderful day and the students were brilliant!
We completed 3 activities – a ‘defending and attacking a castle’ tour, a ‘flight of the eagles’ display and a ‘firing of the trebuchet’ show (apparently the largest trebuchet in Europe). The students had the opportunity of exploring the Castle themselves – both inside and out and some bought bows and arrows and did a mock attack themselves.
We left at 4pm and the staff were ready for a sleep on the coach on the way home but the students had other ideas!! We were home by 8.30pm after a very memorable and enjoyable day out.
Well done all those lovely Year 7 students who came with us!
Mrs D Jones (History Department)
On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th July I took a group of Year 10 GCSE art students to St Peter’s CE Primary School where they helped develop and produce a large mural, taken from drawing work that St Peter’s Year 5 and 6 students had provided.
The brief for the mural was the local Tavistock environment and it was to be painted in St Peter’s school colours. It also provided the Year 10s with the opportunity to take part in a community project, work to a brief and as a practising artist. It also fitted in very nicely with the Year 10 coursework theme of “Environment” so images and examples of them working can be included in their unit of work.
Students involved in the two days were Marnie Pemberton, Gracie Parker, Sephora Ronan, Katelyn Dawe, Emily Harland, Autumn Miller, Sophie Hill and Tara Twine. They were a credit to the College and worked incredibly hard to finish the mural in time. They had a great sense of humour and put in excellent effort.
A huge thank you to Mrs Nicola Bennett, Mrs Julie Helm and Mrs Louise McGee (parent volunteer and initial College organiser of the project),Claire Barnham (St Peter’s project/art co-ordinator) Andy Jerrett and John Collacott without whom the mural would not have gone ahead or been completed.
Miss Mckeown – Art teacher.
A couple of weeks back Mr Alan Wroath – President of the Lions Club Tavistock, asked me if some of our students would join his Peace Poster competition this year. The competition presentation takes place at the Parish rooms on Thursday 19th July and was open to all the schools in and around Tavistock (primary and secondary).
So I sweetly asked some of my very able and lovely Year 7s to help me with this. Six of my class came in every lunch time for almost two weeks to design, draw and paint their A2 size posters based on the theme of “Imagine Peace”. What great effort and a brilliant attitude! Some of their classmates also came to give them support and suggestions for any improvements to be made. The students involved in making the peace posters were Anya Anstey, James Bartlett, Alana Jones, Thea Bourton, Kalyani Costello and Katelin Goodbourn. Other students who popped along to give good support occasionally were Sam Chambers and Molly Bolding.
Three of the students have been selected to receive a prize at the presentation at the Parish rooms. They are James Bartlett, Anya Anstey and Alana Jones, but, I have been very proud of the work all 6 of them have done. Well done to you all. What stars!
Tom Barrow, a former A level Law student at Tavistock College, has just graduated with a first class honours in Law from the University of Kent and is going on to study for a Master’s degree in Law and Medical Ethics at King’s College.
Helen Harris, Head of Law, commented: ‘Tom always thoroughly enjoyed his Law lessons and he really deserves this outstanding result. We are very proud of him.’
The Gifted and Talented enrichment programme for Year 7 finished with the astronomer, Clive Purchase, judging the Astronomy projects. The wonderfully creative and beautifully presented work of Alana Jones was chosen to receive the prize of an atlas of the star constellations, kindly donated by Mr Purchase.
The group have thoroughly enjoyed the programme they have followed this year, which has involved studying astronomy, having a sleep over to observe the night skies, a visit to the Astro-Physics department in Exeter University, studying politics and democracy, meeting Geoffrey Cox MP and taking part in the political speed dating event with our local Town Council. They have worked with enthusiasm and have all given their individual feedback on the projects, which will help us to meet their needs in following years.
Well done to everyone!
Mrs Hubbard and Mrs Harris
The inaugural Tavistock Learning Community Olympics took place at Tavistock College on Wednesday 4th July. This event was designed to give our feeder primary schools the opportunity to join together and participate in different activities under the idea of the Olympic Spirit. Even though the weather was far from summer like, there was a very positive atmosphere. The event was attended by St. Peters, St. Andrews, Whitchurch, Lifton, Lamerton and Gulworthy with over 240 pupils from Years 3-6 participating.
The pupils took part in a number of Olympic Sports including badminton, basketball and tennis as well as using the athletics track at the College for Track and Field Athletics. There was also an opportunity for the pupils to look at the Olympics through the medium of Dance and also be creative and make Olympic medals, bunting and handprint posters. A special mention needs to go to Tavistock College Sports Leaders who helped run the different activities and worked closely with all the Primary Schools.
This proved to be a very successful event with the primary pupils thoroughly enjoying the experience of using first class facilities and competing in Olympic Sports. It was also fantastic to see the Tavistock College Students working well with local Primary Schools and who knows there may have been a future Olympian at the event!
Mr. Shaun Hulbert.
Year 10 student Jacob Earley and Year 11 student Tegan Cunningham are performing at the Theatre Royal Plymouth as part of the Cultural Olympiad. 'The World at Your Feet' is an epic dance and theatre production about those who have made Plymouth their home. The audience is taken on a journey through a number of locations across Plymouth where they share ‘laughter, tears and a pot of tea’! Tickets can be purchase via the Theatre Royal Box office or www.theworldatyourfeet.co.uk.
Phoebe Adams will also perform at the Theatre Royal this August in 'Blood Tie’: in the dead of winter in a school dominated by rules, a new boy arrives. Rebellious and subversive, his presence has the power to unlock suppression and overthrow the past, threatening to bring two hundred years of history and order to its knees. Tickets on sale via the Theatre Royal.
Well done to these hard working students who have got through auditions to gain these parts.
Zoe is one of six shortlisted contestants for a national competition: Young Fashion Designer of the Year. We are thrilled that her talent has been recognised and we are sure her gown will be a huge success.
Zoe’s Greek inspired gown is very innovative. She has used the family farm as inspiration for her motifs and her experimentation and research led to Zoe even using a laser cutter on wellington boots! As with Greek Clothing, her dress is made from one piece of fabric that was draped and fastened with laser cut ivy leaves. These slot together like a jigsaw.
“I was really surprised to have been chosen as a finalist after seeing some amazing finalist's work from previous years, but I'm so so happy and it'll be a great chance to meet people who work within the textiles and fashion industry. Next year I’m doing a foundation diploma in Art and Design at Plymouth College of Art and then hopefully I’ll go on to study fashion or textiles at University. This competition is a great start as I'd love to work within the fashion industry one day" Zoe Spry
We wish every success to Zoe for this competition and her future aspirations.
As a part of the enrichment activities for gifted and talented students in Year 7 at Tavistock College, a group of 31 students took part in a “Political speed dating” event at the Town hall. The group have studied the democratic process and prepared insightful questions for a group of local, parish and West Devon Councillors, including the Mayor of West Devon Robin Musgrave. This was organised with the kind help of Councillor Debo Sellis.
Students had 5 minutes to question a Councillor before a whistle alerted them of the need to move on. Questions ranged from “If you were Prime Minister for the day what would you do?” to questions about local issues.
Students wrote: “The West Devon Borough Mayor attended and decided to be questioned on a round table to symbolise that we are all equal in the same way that King Arthur and his knights sat at a round table.” “We found that they all had different opinions, but that didn’t stop them working as a team.” “I learnt about the ways different Councillors work and it was really interesting.” “Absolutely brilliant, I learnt so much that my brain was fit to bursting when I left the Town Hall!” “Many Councillors had different views about most subjects and we were intrigued by the political discussions that were held.”
Everyone enjoyed the event immensely and agreed that “the West Devon mayor was epic and a legend!”
The week commencing 18th June 2012 saw the RNLI come into Tavistock College assemblies to increase the students’ understanding of safety on the beach and in the sea during ‘Water Awareness Week’. James Millidge, RNLI Educational Officer and his beach lifeguards addressed all the students in Years 7 to 10 and advised them on how to stay safe on the coast this summer.
The assembly consisted of some exciting video footage of the work of the RNLI and examples of the flags and signs that are seen on local beaches, so the students should now know where to safely swim or surf. The professionals talked about situations that have occurred on local beaches as a result of people not following some basic water safety tips.
Thank you to the RNLI for coming to the College to spread the Water Safety message.
Mrs Rhona Doyle PE
On Tuesday 19th June 2012 the Year 7 Rounders team went to Liskeard for the East Cornwall Rounders League.
The first game was against Looe who are a strong team. We won the toss and chose to field first but we made a few silly mistakes and then didn't take enough risks when batting. Looe managed to beat us and then went on to take the title of South East Cornwall Champions:
Looe 4 1/2 V Tavistock 2 1/2 (Lost)
Feeling confident after the team talk Tavistock won the toss again and this time the fielding was much tighter. We took more risks when batting and this time the risks paid off and we won convincingly against Liskeard:
Liskeard 4 V Tavistock 7 (Won)
Determined to win another game the Girls’ Year 7 team played a tactical game: communication was excellent and they played their best game yet. This resulted in a win against Callington:
Callington 3 V Tavistock 8 (Won)
Well done girls you were great!
Mrs Rhona Doyle
Young scientists and budding engineers from Tavistock College recently beat students from across Devon in a competition to find new solutions to real engineering problems.
The competition is part of the nationwide Engineering Education Scheme run by the Engineering Development Trust and involves teams of Year 12 students working closely with engineers and academics for six months to solve real life problems based on the needs of local companies.
The Tavistock College team of Sally Allison, Roger Blandford, Alex Langley and Tom Larcombe were delighted to win the competition with their design for a device to lift and manoeuvre a fully laden computer racking system. “I was stunned when they announced we had won. It was great to be set a challenge and exciting to tackle the process from design to a prototype.” said Tom after the cup had been presented
Tavistock College were linked with Rittal CSM, a Plymouth based company, who set the challenging design brief for a device that could fit under a gap of 40mm, lift almost 1½ tons and cost less than £50 to produce. The demanding specification gave students an awareness of how a solution to an engineering problem develops from initial idea to testing a prototype, and making recommendations for taking the project forward into production. All aspects of the design process had to be considered, including financial constraints. The product they developed has the potential to meet customer and market needs.
Roger Blandford said “Working on the project has given me a good insight into the engineering industry. We had the constant support of our mentor from Rittal CSM, Neil Wylie, to guide us through all the stages of design and development which helped us to clarify our ideas and put them into the final product. In addition the experience has developed both my team working and problem solving skills. I now feel more confident planning for my future career. ”
Linda Fuller, EDT Assistant Regional Director, based in Plymouth, congratulated Tavistock College on their success and said: "The scheme is an amazing way to develop company staff and school teachers, but the real stars are the students who come up with innovative solutions. Those who get through it are leaps and bounds ahead of their peers because of the skills they learn. Many projects had a commercial value and have the potential to save companies thousands of pounds."
Principal Helen Salmon added “I am very proud of this team. This demonstrates a high level of skill, knowledge and flair. These students could be the engineers of the future.”
Fifteen Year 9, 10, and 12 students had an amazing trip to see a fashion show at Plymouth Pavilions on the 24th May. The atmosphere was electric as Fashion Degree students showcased their stunning collections to a background of music and lights. Students were treated to an eclectic mix of fashion inspired by birds, colour, culture and tradition. Collections ranged from women’s wear to men’s and children’s wear.
Lucy Hounsell in Year 9 said ‘it was interesting to see how to make dresses and how well made they were’. Hazel Stevens followed on by saying ‘they were really unique ideas. I like the structure of them, they managed to get huge shoulder pads that curled upwards; they were amazing’.
It was lovely to see the students so engaged with the show and there was a really buzz as they started to think about their future career paths and what they could be accomplishing in a few years’ time.
Thank you to the students who were impeccably behaved and to Mr Keegan and Miss Fraser- Allden who accompanied us on the trip.
Year 9 students have been busy working on a design brief set by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds which aims to help increase the dangerously low number of some species of garden birds in the UK.
The project started with a video design brief from an RSPB representative which the Design Technology department had asked the RSPB to create to give real context to the project.
Students developed their carpentry skills creating a strong finger or dove tail jointed bird feeding station. They also learnt how to manipulate steel into an ornate form for a bracket to reinforce the structure and learnt about how to finish a product to make it withstand the elements.
The RSPB were delighted with the efforts of the 260 students who took part and commented that this kind of initiative could make a real difference to our garden bird populations. This is part of the Design Technology department’s drive to engage students in business and work related learning.
Graphic Design students in Year 10 have recently been working on an exciting project which aims to link design learning to their current English Literature curriculum. Students were set a design brief whereby they had to investigate a choice of novel or play from the GCSE curriculum which included titles such as 'Romeo and Juliet', Hound of the Baskervilles' and 'Of Mice and Men'. The designers then had to create their own paperback covers with this new knowledge.
Students first decided that an investigation of previous edition covers would be a sensible starting point. They then analysed how the graphic designs linked to the story without giving away too much of the plot.
During the project, the designers developed their skills using Photoshop to manipulate photos and images. They learnt how to create a laser cut mould which they later used to emboss their book covers and utilised a scanner to add their own artwork to finalise their product.
The project came to a climax when eight of the college's English teachers came to judge who the winner should be. Votes were cast and counted and the winner was revealed to much eager anticipation. Jamie Brown took the winning spot with his moody and superbly sinister 'Hound of the Baskervilles' cover. Runners up were Sephora Ronan with her 'Romeo and Juliet' cover and Shannon Fisher with her 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' entry. Jamie was delighted and really worked hard on his very professional piece of graphic design.
Mr Pete Keegan, Head of DT
During June a group of 10 young surfers were taken to compete at the North Devon Schools’ Surf Championships. Despite the initial anxiety about the surf forecast and weather looking far from pleasant, the group of Year 7 to Year 9 students were delighted to arrive at Putsborough Beach North Devon and see its head high and clean peaks. Conditions were looking brilliant after all!
Six of the students were entered into a tag team event competing against around 6 other schools. The group had to stay within the base circle on the beach while one at a time they tagged each other in and out of the water, claiming their best wave each time to be scored by the judges. This team event saw many spectacular moments with attempted head stands and switch foot jumps, as well as some very funny moments too. In the individual heats surfers Ben Roberts and Laurence Berridge really stood out, surfing really well but unfortunately getting knocked out by the stiff local competition.
The real success of the day was young surf girl Rebecca Banks in Year 7 who won her semi-final and got through to the final of the Under 14 girls. Rebecca racked up her wave count early into the final and even got creative with some turns and some switch foot action. For her success, attitude and team motivation skills Rebecca has been made Surf Team Captain. Rebecca commented "I am so pleased I got into the final. It was so challenging, tough and fun at the same time. I am so glad I was invited to come - I have had a brilliant time".
Mr Keegan and Mr Kirk who took the group were so impressed with the way the team presented themselves on the day. It was commented by the event's hosts 'Surf GB' that the Tavistock team showed "a very impressive team bond and were great fun to have at the contest". We look forward to more events like this one in the future.
Mr Peter Keegan