Careers and Aspirations: Autumn Update

Careers and Aspirations: Autumn Update

A number of events to promote careers and aspirations have taken place in school over the last half term:

  • Our Sixth Form Art, Textiles and Photography students attended a presentation delivered by Bruce Timson, Course Leader for the Art and Design Foundation Course at King Edward VI Community College, Totnes; the course delivers a thorough grounding in the basic principles of art and design and secures its students a place on a BA (Hons) degree that requires the Foundation Course as a prerequisite to entry.
  • Ex-Churston student Luke returned to school to talk about his experience as a KPMG Apprentice. Luke provided information regarding the apprenticeship route as an alternative to going to university.
  • In support of our u2018Speakers in Schools Programmeu2019, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, delivered an informative Question and Answer session to our A-Level students, and students from throughout the school with an interest in politics or economics.
  • In October, students had the opportunity to meet with the Work Experience and Careers Co-ordinator for the NHS Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust. The drop-in sessions proved hugely popular and many students expressed an interest in enrolling for Lab Experience Days or for general work experience.u00a0
  • Churston is supported by an Independent Careers Advisor, who visits the school periodically, offering a selection of Year 11 students one-to-one support.
  • Year 9 students recently participated in an employability skills workshop, hosted by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) and Feeding Britainu2019s Future, a nationwide education programme. The session focussed on the transferable skills students can develop from both the compulsory subjects they will be studying for GCSE, and their option choices. Volunteers in diverse roles explained how their own skills and experiences are connected to what they have done at school.

Please keep checking our website for future events. For example:

  • u2018Tomorrowu2019s Engineers Weeku2019, 5th-9th November
  • Year 11 u2018Future Choicesu2019
  • Marine Biologist talk, delivered by one of Churstonu2019s ex-students

Erasmus Trip to Buchen, Germany

Erasmus Trip to Buchen, Germany


Please take the time to read the reports from staff and students from the recent Erasmus trip to Buchen in Germany. Students Lucy Simpson, Chloe Howgate (Y11), Josie Ratcliff, Issy Smith (Y10), Matthew Jamson (Y10) and Loic Bajomee (Y9) were accompanied by Mr Lewis, Mrs Godwin, Miss Arnaez. They each stayed with host families and experienced German life first-hand!

After travelling on the Saturday, the trip really began on the Sunday with a warm welcome from the host school and some group activities with the other students from all around Europe also taking part in the renewable energy project.

Each day included activities and trips which opened the students’ minds to the possibilities and current state of renewable energy in this area, but also allowed a historical, geographical and cultural insight into the beautiful area of Buchen.

To see the full report written by staff and students, and accompanying pictures – please click here……

Junior Robotics Club – All Welcome

Junior Robotics Club – All Welcome

This new club has begun this autumn term with the purchase of four Rover Robots.  As these arrive as kits, we have been busy building them – three are completed and the fourth just requires its cable connections completing.  Each Rover needs a Raspberry Pi computer which we will be able to program using Python.  We had several Raspberry Pi computers, but unfortunately these were quite old models, so we have purchased new ones for the Rovers.

The next activity club members will become involved with is installing the software onto the MicroSD cards that each Raspberry Pi uses.  We can then download some programs that control the Rovers and start to create our own programs.  Ultimately we could create programs that will control the Rovers through mazes, let the Rovers take part in races or whatever else the students decide to do.

We selected the Rovers as they are programmable using Python, which is the programming language we use for our GCSE and A Level courses.  A Level students also have the option of using these Rovers for their coursework, to demonstrate their programming skills.

The club runs each Tuesday lunchtime in Room 19.  This term we have only had up to six Year 7 students attending, so new students are welcome. As we are now ready to program the Rovers, Senior Robotics Club, for Year 9 and 10 students, will start after half term.

Finally, the four Rovers have the highly unoriginal names of Rover1 to Rover4.  So, there will be a Name-the-Rover competition after half term!

Year 7 Netball Tournament Starts With Success

Year 7 Netball Tournament Starts With Success

It was the Year 7 girlsu2019 netball teamu2019s first chance to play together competitively for the school at the Central Venue Tournament. The team was selected by Mrs Haigh from those that regularly attend netball practice.

The team played really well together and have progressed through to the second round of the tournament which will be held on the 12th of November. Mrs Haigh commented;

u201cIt was the girls first opportunity to play school netball, and they were brilliant, 6 games played undefeated – a fantastic achievement!u201d

The team are aiming high and would love to win the end of season tournament in March!

Cambridge Chemistry Challenge 2018

Cambridge Chemistry Challenge 2018

Did you hear about the new restaurant on the moon?u00a0 The food is excellent, but thereu2019s no atmosphere!u00a0 One solution to the dinersu2019 predicament would be to extract oxygen from moon rock (FeTiO3) and this was one of the chemical problems that our Year 12 Chemists tackled on their way to success in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge.u00a0

The competition is open to the top students in the UK and the bar is set so high that certificates are only awarded to the top 60% of entrants.u00a0 However, all 10 of our students were successful.u00a0 Copper awards were achieved by Bethan Thomas, Kolya Schwinge, Luka Karathanos, Felicity Dunn, Ellen Harman, Finbar Kneen and Ruth Garner.u00a0 Special congratulations go to Max Toy, Kris Shears and Ben Lavers who were rewarded with gold certificates for being in the top 8% of candidates. u00a0

Dr Hall

Diary of Vietnam & Cambodia Trip

Vietnam & Cambodia 2018

Jul 14

Day 1

All safely on the plane ready to take off… let the adventure commence! Touched down in Changi Airport, Singapore for our connecting flight to Hanoi, Vietnam – lots of tired but excited travellers! All landed safe in Hanoi, Vietnam after a long but trouble free journey. The weather is helping us to feel right at home already.

Jul 15

Day 2

Out for our first meal in Hanoi, students diving into everything on the table: Rice, Vietnamese Pork Ravioli, Prawns, Calimari, Duck, Spring Rolls, Fish and Banana! Followed by a torrential downpour and the students’ highlight of the trip so far – wearing the nón lá (Rice Hat)!

Jul 16

Day 3

A walking tour of Hanoi, dodging mopeds, cars and trains, enjoying the Vietnamese chaos! Then coach ride to Hai Phong to have traditional dinner (complete with fish and chicken heads, chicken claws and fish teeth!), before birthday celebrations for five students. And relax…

Jul 17

Day 4

Visited a pearl farm, then on to Halong Bay. Unfortunately informed en route that the government had cancelled all tourist boats due to a Typhoon warning. Ate in a fantastic seafood restaurant before amending our itinerary to visit Tam Coc this evening, with our alternative activities planned for tomorrow. Students naturally disappointed not to be able to see Halong Bay but enjoyed our evening activities and excited for our alternative experiences tomorrow.

Jul 18

Day 5

Visited Tam Coc (three caves) and jumped aboard small rowing boats where Vietnamese oarswomen gently took us through the stunning limestone scenery and caves. Followed by a visit to the Cuc Phong national park, including the Primate and Turtle rescue sanctuary before heading back to Hanoi to eat another 7 course dinner and then jumping aboard the Reunification overnight sleeper train to Danang.

Jul 19

Day 6

Overnight train was a great experience – some managed more sleep than others during the 16 hours! Arrived in Da Nang, had lunch, visited the Cham sculpture museum and then on to Marble Mountain caves to visit temples within and on top of the mountain. Then to find out how silk is manufactured and the opportunity to buy bespoke silk products. More food than we could possibly eat (again!) and back for a swim in the hotel pool. Now some well-earned rest.

Jul 20

Day 7

A morning boat ride took us down the river from Hoi An to Câm Thanh for a cruise on traditional Coconut Boats through Palm lined waterways. From here we travelled to Tra Que vegetable farm where students worked the land and planted crops using traditional methods.

Students were then taught how to prepare duck and chicken for cooking using spices and herbs, before eating their creations for lunch. A traditional massage followed, then a cycle ride through rice paddy fields to An Bàng beach for a swim in the South China Sea.

Students then had a walking tour of the bustling and beautiful sights of Hoi An including the Japanese Bridge and the candlelit Thu Bôn river. Rest now for an early flight to Ho Chi Minh city in the morning.

Jul 21

Day 8

After an early flight we have arrived safely at Ho Chi Minh City Airport, a few students (and staff) a little bleary eyed but excited for another day of adventure!

Landed early in Ho Chi Minh where we headed to the Cu Chi tunnels that were used by the Vietnamese soldiers during the American War. Had chance to experience what life was like for those fighting including crawling through a 30m stretch of tunnel. Then headed back to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to visit the War Remnants Museum to learn about the harrowing experiences of the American War. Moving on we visited the French inspired Notre Dame Church and Post Office designed by Gustave Eiffel in central Ho Chi Minh City.

Jul 22

Day 9

An early morning coach ride took us to the traditional Bên Tre market to get a taste of life in the Mekong Delta. From here we boarded a boat that meandered through Mekong tributaries stopping to give students a taste of local industries of brick making, coconut product production and on to a Mekong homestay for lunch. The group were then transported by Tuk Tuks that snaked along small jungle roads back to the coach for our transfer to Chau Doc in the Cambodian border ready for our journey up the Mekong into Cambodia tomorrow.

Jul 23

Day 10

Another early start and straight to Chau Doc wharf where we boarded our speedboat, taking us up the Mekong across the border into Cambodia and on into Phnom Penh. Disembarking straight into a riverside restaurant for our first taste of Cambodian cuisine.

A short coach journey took us to the most difficult and sombre experience of the trip; Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre, the killing fields of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime. After settling into the hotel we ventured to a traditional Cambodian restaurant for deep fried ice cream.

Jul 24

Day 11

Landed safely at Siem Reap International Airport after a short 45minute flight from Phnom Penh.

A breakfast with a view at our hotel was followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, home of the king of Cambodia, and the Silver Pagoda. We then visited the National Museum of Fine Art with incredible statues from the Khmer empire dating back to the 9th century.

From here we visited Wat Phnom, a Buddhist temple atop a manmade hill in central Phnom Penh. A short transfer after a buffet lunch to Phnom Penh airport for our flight to Siem Reap. Then to dinner and the hotel to rest and recharge (via the swimming pool for some!)

Jul 25

Day 12

Today we visited the ancient city of Angkor. First, we had a tour of the enormous Angkor Thom built in the C12th, before moving on to Ta Prohm wrapped in the roots of giant Banyan trees. Then on to the single largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat which we climbed in torrential rain to give striking views across the enormous complex. Following a swim back at the hotel we visited the night market in Siem Reap, and sampled some of the local delicacies before eating in a local restaurant.

Jul 26

Day 13

Our last day in Cambodia began with a boat trip to Tonle Sap; the largest fresh water lake in SE Asia. Here we experienced how the locals live and work on floating houses, markets and schools. We also visited a floating crocodile, fish, snake and bat farm.

After returning to Siem Reap we had our ‘last supper’ and said thank you and goodbye to our new friend Dan; our much loved guide for the trip. Have now landed safely in Singapore airport, waiting for our flight to London Heathrow.


Jul 27

Day 14

Landed safely at Heathrow Terminal 2. Onto the final leg of our journey.

Jaimee Wins at Great British Transplant Games

Jaimee Wins at Great British Transplant Games

Jaimee Luscombe in Year 9 recently achieved some great successes at the Great British Transplant Games. She competed and won a silver medal in long jump and a gold in the 3km time trial. She has also been picked to represent team GB in the World Transplant Games.

As Jaimee received a kidney transplant a number of years ago she immediately qualified for the chance to take part.

Jaimee said of her experience; u201cI took part because it is an amazing experience and I felt very proud of myself because everyone I competed against also had transplants of different kinds. It is also nice to show what a difference it can make to people in need of a transplant when you sign up to the Organ Donation Register – it not only helps many people to live but to be able to achieve things they never thought possible.u201d

As the Great British Transplant Games are annual, Jaimee hopes to compete again in her main sport, which is cycling. Well done Jaimee

Students Take Part in Dance World Cup

Students Take Part in Dance World Cup

Year 10’s Hollie Pugh took part in the Dance World Cup – representing Team England and receiving a gold medal! The event took place at the Melia Hotel in Sitges, Barcelona with over 20,000 dancers competing from 54 countries. In total Totnes School of Dance received 3 gold medals and a bronze plus a 4th, 5th and 6th place. It was an amazing experience for all the girls involved including Year 11’s Ellie Walker and Year 7’s Emma Hutchins.